Onboard 2.4 GHz WIFI router for telemetry and video?

Has anyone used an onboard wifi network to transmit data to your ground station?

Views: 12672

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Sure have!  Check out this post for some addtitional info:


I've gone the 5.8 GHz route for video transmission via ubiquiti equipment (wispstation on quad with CPI antenna, and Bullet M5 on ground with 13dbi CP patch).


Here's a video fo my first real field test:



I stuck with the 433 3dr radio's for telemetry, as they work fine for me and have more range than my current radio setup anyway..  you can see telemetry data in video as well as realtime signal info from my on-board wireless bridge.


Hope this helps get you going in the right direction!

Dont bother wifi routers have a very limited range. Typically after 20-30m you are out of range. That distance is not very practical if you want to fly. I would imagine adding a booster would suck quite a bit of battery.

What range do you get with the 3dr radio and what antennas are you using ?

I was able to get a full 300m out with a realtime 720p FPV stream (200ms lag), and wasnt even close to running out of range.  And this was with a quad...  I'm pretty confident I can get 600-1000m out without issue.  You can check out my video for range test which shows distance to home on hud (in feet).

I've been out 1.5km with the 433mhz radio with no issue, and thats with the standard antenna included with the radio (1.5dbm I believe).  For my wifi I'm using a Ubiquiti Wispstation M5 (200mw) wireless bridge with cloverleaf antenna, and on ground I use Ubiquiti Bullet M5 (600mw) with 13dbm cp patch antenna on antenna tracker.


I'm able to get a full 13.5mbs up/down stream to 300m so far, havent tested out further but still had plenty of signal.  You can check out my other youtube video for groundstation and quad..  Wifi has been amazing, and I now have a live HD feed to my Sony HD goggles..


Wow, thats just the sort of thing I was looking for; a digital network link to the vehicle.

Well feel free to hit me up with any questions.  I've had it functioning on a variety of Ubiquiti equipment.  For a nice light weight wireless bridge you should look at the Wispstation M5, 200mw and works perfect with standard 5ghz CP cloverleaf antenna.  That's what I had on my quad for the you tube video I posted above.  I set my fence at 300m so only got out around 1,000ft., but feel pretty confident I could have got out 500-600m with no issue.  Wish I would have went for the limits of the Wispstation before swapping in the Rocket M5...  Oh well, can always swap them back.. 


I went the 5.8ghz route for two reasons: 1) No possibility of radio interference with my Hitec receiver, and 2) Short of being out in the woods, the airwaves are flooded in the 2.4 ghz band..  At least here in Vegas..  I did a site survey with my laptop, at my flying field and was shocked at how many networks were available...


I wish you luck and hope to see you dive in like I did.  I'm extermely happy with what I have achieved to date, and I'm only getting started.   

I have started to experiment with 2.4Ghz however I am still using 2.4 for radio control as well.  If you stay away from N and use G and set the channel to 13 there is plenty of room left for the radio gear to hop.  So far I have not had any problems.

For long range try the MicroTik gear rather than Ubiquity.  I am ordering the following:

UAV side:

 RB912UAG-2HnD - http://shop.duxtel.com.au/product_info.php?products_id=276

 R11e (Optional 5GHz radio) - http://shop.duxtel.com.au/product_info.php?products_id=292


Ground Station

Duxbase for 2GHz with 90 degree antenna option, possibly with mobile module added:


The routers are going to have 3G modems VPN connected and configured to be a fallback link if the wi-fi fails.  RouterOS is a full router operating system and the company has examples and tutorials.

If you want to pre-calculate some of this this is the best link budget site I have found.

http://home.deds.nl/~pa0hoo/helix_wifi/linkbudgetcalc/wlan_budgetca... space loss

If you use MAVProxy you can have all your telemetry down the wi-fi link as well.  You can also do this with a serial to ethernet converter.

I actually looked at the MicroTik gear, but it seemed to be a little tough to come by stateside..  It also looked a bit more complicated than the Ubiquiti equipment as far as setup.  I’m no networking expert…!  Does look intriguing though, too bad the RB912UAG boards aren’t a little smaller, they are in fact a bit larger than the Ubiquiti Rocket once out of the case.  I may pick up a couple of the 5ghz 5HnD boards just to give them a try.  I’ve got so much invested in 5ghz radios and antenna at this point that I think I will stick with it for frequency…  Keep me posted as your project progresses, very curious to see what kind of range/bandwidth you end up getting out of the 2.4ghz MicroTik gear!


With my video transmission functioning smoothly my next step will be telemetry over wifi.  I’ve seen some connect the APM telemetry out to the RPI and then transmit this over Ethernet using Ser2Net?  Any insight into a simple way to do this would be greatly appreciated!    




The reason that I am using 2.4 is that the free path losses are so much less than 5.8G.  From the site that I posted here are the losses:

Freq        Loss(dB)     Distance  
5.8GHz    -128           10km
5.8GHz    -123            6km
2.4GHz    -120            10km
2.4GHz    -115            6km
This is measured dB so 3dB less is half the power.   The difference is 8dB which is nearly 8 times less power reaching the reciever.
The telemetry over wi-fi works - what you need is a serial to wi-fi converter however most of them are 2.4 so unless your ground station is dual band it will not work.  Perhaps you could use a serial to ethernet and have a small switch on board to plug it into the bullet.
Something like this should work:
However I have tested and used similar one to this:
Just set it into TCP server mode.
Also watch that you get the TTL ones as you can plug this straight into the APM telemetry port without a converter.  If you use a RS-232 serial to ethernet or wi-fi you need another converter from RS232 to TTL

Dear all,

I need to connect and send data (sensors readings) from my RC plane to the PC.

Usually I would use a SD Card and connect it to my processor (Teensy ARM7) on board and then check saved data on my PC.

But in this case I should send so much data, that writing in a SD Card would take too much time. So I need to connect ground station and Plane through WiFi.

Which is the best solution? I heard about XBee Pro but I think that 100m range is not enough.

There are much more easier solutions or should I try with XBee anyway!??


Dear All..

This is also the approach I am looking at as well ..  I am a WISP and have towers all over town..  Mostly 5.8 stuff..  These radios are amazing.. You can expext line of sight 5 miles easily..  And another nice thing about the 5.8 vs 2.4 is latency..  much lower..  Here is a good setup on the ubiquiti..  Narrow your bandwidth to 10mhz this will punch more power into a narrower beam and get your distance and no interference..  also enable channel shifting and pick a frequency no one is on..  say 5450 ..  stay out of the 5750 to 5800 .. or jump up above to 5810 .. this is howa I run my backhauls between towers.. and to clients..  you can get a olid 65mbs link easy.. plenty to run hd video telemetry.. etc..  Ubiquiti also sells a serial to ip device..  shouldnt be 2 hard to convert rs-232 to ttl using say a max chip ..

Reply to Discussion


© 2020   Created by Chris Anderson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service