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My Range test of Futaba 2.4ghz

PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:19 am
by Rob2160
Ok, so I'm stuck in a hotel in Darwin, with a new Futaba 6EX.

I thought I'd take it out for some real world range checking...

I placed the TX on the ground at the position indicated in the picture - it was beside a tree with the back of the TX facing south.

I then jumped in the car and drove to Position 1 - During the drive the receiver lost signal as I went behind trees and buildings.

As soon as I had a line of sight view of the TX, the RX locked solid green - This distance was 1.77km

I then drove to Position 2 - Again it lost signal while driving, but when i parked the car, I had a solid green light on the RX (this was while still in the car) The RX was also inside a plastic pelican case inside a thick carboard box (to simulate a fuselage)

When I got out of the car it remained solid green and the only way I could get an occasional red blink was to place myself between the TX and the RX.

The line of sight distance to position 2 was 3.34 km.

From position 2, looking back towards the location of the TX, even cars driving by were tiny indiscernable specks.. There is NO way you could see your plane at this distance...

The following pic shows the locations..

I am very impressed with the range of this Radio. I will be conducting similar checks on my Spektrum DX6i tomorrow..


Re: My Range test of Futaba 2.4ghz

PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:02 am
by skyhigh
I just got a Futaba 10CHP with 2.4GHz FASST module specifically for FPV flying. This is good news. Thanks for the writeup!

Re: My Range test of Futaba 2.4ghz

PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:14 pm
by Rob2160
Yes, I am amazed at the range.. I have managed another test of over 4 Km with reliable connection across water.. I hope to do a detailed comparison between the Futaba and a Spektrum DX6i with an AR6200 rx in the next week or two.. I'll take them both to the max range until they drop out...

Re: My Range test of Futaba 2.4ghz

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 4:22 am
by skyhigh
Looking forward to the results. I was thinking after you found the max range, you could try one of these DIY WIFI reflectors. Comes with an printable PDF cutout to get the dimensions exactly right. ... n-Booster/

Just slip it on top of the 2.4GHz transmitter antenna and make sure its pointed in the model's direction. Would be interesting to see if it does anything to the max range. I couldn't see that it could make the max range worse but, then again, radio technology is like voodoo magic to me. :lol:

Flying FPV, I would want anything I could get to increase signal power for both range, safety and reliability. A wave reflector like this seems like a great idea because I wouldn't normally fly behind my location too much during FPV. Why not reflect what would otherwise be wasted energy towards the model downrange? The alternative are active amplifiers but it requires good quality electronics as, I've read, most amplifiers increase the dB power as advertised but also increase the noise in the signal as to cancel out the benefits.

Re: My Range test of Futaba 2.4ghz, Spektrum and FM radios

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:40 am
by Rob2160
Thanks, I will have a look at the reflector..

Here is my 2nd series of range tests..

This time I tested 4 Radios.

1. Spektrum DX6i with an AR6200 receiver
2. Futaba 6EX 2.4 ghz with a R606FS receiver
3. A Kraft Series 80 7C 40 Mhz FM (built in 1980 and last serviced in 1990)
4. A 36 Mhz FM 4 Channel radio that came packaged in an RTF Ducted Fan F-18 kit (it has a brand label of "FAMOUS" on it)

I removed the 36 mhz radio from the F-18 and replaced it with the Futaba 6EX which is fortunate as you will see..

With my wife sitting with the 4 transmitters in the location indicated in the photo below.

I used my mobile (cell) phone to instruct her which sticks to move so I could view the corresponding servo movement.

I then drove with the 4 receivers, with servos connected to the positiions indicated.

Position 1 - 1.6 Kilometers

Spektrum - Perfect connection and response
Futaba - Perfect connection and response
Kraft - Perfect connection and response
Famous - No connection, no response

Position 2 - 3.7 Kilometers

Spektrum - Perfect connection and response
Futaba - Perfect connection and response
Kraft - No connection, no response
Famous - No connection, no response

Position 3 - 5 Kilometers

Spektrum - Intermittent connection and response (If I held the receiver above my head it became fully connected and appeared to have reliable response, but when I lowered the RX it lost connection)
Futaba - Reasonable connection and response with intermittent red blinking on the RX light, however when I shield the antenna with my hand the connection dropped completely
Kraft - No Connection
Famouse - No Connection


I then drove back to the location of the transmitters.. The "Famous" Brand 36 mhz radio did not connect until I was within 450 meters of the transmitter (hardly what you would fly a ducted fan jet with ...)

So my conclusion....

Spektrum and Futaba 2.4 ghz were virtually on par for range and clearly superior to my Kraft radio that was state of the art in 1980 (40Mhz FM)

The 36 mhz FM radio was not even in the ballpark...

Hope you find this info useful..


Re: My Range test of Futaba 2.4ghz

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:50 am
by RCModelReviews
Those figures are about what I would expect. Thanks for posting the info!

Re: My Range test of Futaba 2.4ghz

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:17 am
by skyhigh