Range Problem with 433Mhz Radio

Hi All,

Has anyone experienced range problems with the 433Mhz 3DR radio?  I get a solid initial connection but I can only get about a metre of distance before the signal drops out. I also have a 915Mhz radio and that works fine.

Here are the current settings. The remote also has the exact same settings.


I am hoping it is just a setting I have not set correctly.


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  • Hi,

    I'm having the same problems with the RcTimer 433 modules.
    Guess what, bad antennas.
    Thanks to the info of Andrew Tridgell I nailed it down.
    By replacing the antenna all was working fine.

    So Andrew, thank you for the troubleshooting guide!

  • @ Byron, i am getting similar values with 433mhz telemetry module.realy looking forward for your field test results. thanks

  • I've had the same issues with my 433mHz 3DR radios from the start. I'm not sure what's going on. I've done all the tests suggested in this thread and come up with a similar result as Michael. When I set my Tx power to 20dB and place the Tx/Rx approx 1m apart, I get values of ~115/112, far lower than the expected 200. 


    Here are the results of the distance test, moving my hex away from the GCS and back towards it. 


    As was discussed, it doesn't look like a PA burnout, due to similar signal strength. I'm wondering if I have two bad antennas or something. Like I said, I've had this problem from the get go. 

    I ordered the 433MHz radios instead of the 915MHz for use in the US, not realizing they were for Europe, as I'm new to this community, so I may see if I can exchange them. It's just irritating not having working telemetry.

    Thanks for any input you guys have!


    2013-02-06 02-54-24.tlog

  • MR60
    Are you sure your antenna is not broken ? Would explain the 1 m distance
  • Developer

    Hi Michael,

    You should get much better range than that. Can you post a tlog of a range test? Start it up with the air radio and GCS close to each other, and with GPS lock on the air side, then walk it away and the tlog will allow me to see the signal and noise levels on both ends.

    There are lots of possible causes for why range would be poor. The two most likely are large noise levels (eg. USB noise) and antenna connector problems (eg. using SMA antenna with RP-SMA radio).

    I've also seen cases where the power amplifier has been damaged by transmitting for too long with no antenna attached (or an antenna with the wrong connector).

    Cheers, Tridge

  • Tx Power

  • Are you using the base station transceiver with the integrated USB FTDI? That had some known issues with interference...

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