transmission range for typical 72 mhz remote

i own a futaba 6exp w/ ppm/pcm selectable feature.i was curious as to how far away my UAV can be from the "control base" W/out losing signal from the remote. i was hoping somwhere along the lines of at least 2000' or above.i would like to have this spec handy because im planning on buying a wireless camera that can transmitt a maximum of 2000'. i hope one of you guys can help. feel free to let me know if wireless mini cams are available for purchase that can transmitt signal beyond 2000'.

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  • Wait i thought that 72mhz would have greater range than 2.4ghz well i dont know i read somewhere that the 2.4ghz Dx6's could only go like 1500ft or something so people with big models sometimes would lose radio reception im not sure...

    no offense meant

    can someone specify the correct info?
  • Hi Tom, I have video on youtube onder rtrhobby. I use a JR 9303 I'm getting 2.2 mile range with standerd equip. As for video has the best for long range.I'm also new at this but things are going very will and at low cost. Good luck and be safe!!!!!!!!!!
  • Range is dependent on a number of things. Antenna are measured in dB. The higher the dB the further your signal will travel and can be recieved, however, the narrower your beam width will be. So, an 8dB patch may have a 65 degree window while a 24dB yagi may have only a 10 degree window. As long as you are within this beam, your range is increased, go outside the beam and you can loose signal alltogether. Additionally, the polarization of both antennas need to be the same. For example, in the air a 2.4ghz video tx may use a horizontal dipole which would require a horizontally polarized antenna on the ground. However, since the plane may be moving about in any of three axis, the polarization may change to vertical polarization during flight. To overcome this potential problem, circular polarized antenna are often used on the ground which work well in either horizontal or vertical polarization. Circular polarization comes at price however, lower dB ratings. So, to increase your video range, one can use diversity receivers with different antenna. Personnally, I use three antenna, (2) 8dB circular patches and (1) 6dB vertical rubber ducky. For very high altitudes I used (2) 14db horizontal patches on the ground at right angles to eachother, essentially providing circular polarization.

    For the RC control, using longer antennas on the Rx side has shown some improvement. Read the RC-CAM website. Additionally, one can add another wire to the Rx ground equal in length to the antenna but in the opposite direction. This only works in the lower 35/50/72Mhz ranges. At 2.4Ghz, antenna length is critical and changing it can actually reduce range.

    Generally speaking, lower frequencies travel further and around objects better then higher frequencies. You may get more range with 900Mhz than 5.8Ghz.

    Another option is building an antenna tracker to point your antenna at the plane at all times. This can be done using the GPS co-ordinates of the plane transmitted to computer to calculate the antenna direction or using RSSI of the Rx and wobbling the antenna for the highest signal.

    Finally, if you are flying beyond visual range (which your stock Tx can do) you might as well add an autopilot to bring the plane back to you in the case of a lost signal. Tx range becomes a non issue and video range will be several miles if you are at any high altitude. Dean Goede is developing the AttoPilot which will soon be available and is discussed thoroughly over at RCGroups under UAVs.

  • Moderator
    There are several ways to extend the RC TX range and the video range.
    The simplest is adding patch antennae.
  • 3D Robotics
    Repeating reply from Genesis Factor (from the now-deleted blog posts asking the same question):

    "my 72mhz blade cx has a ~300ft MAX range (according to EFlite). you may expect around that or less as I don't think that was real world testing."

    My own reply: I think you can expect to get 1,000 feet in practice, but 2,000 is pushing it. For that sort of range, you'd be better off switching to 2.4 ghz.
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