With 2.4gHz being so congested will Solo ever be offered in ham radio bands?  My buddy said that just below the common 2.4 open licence bands is a ham band. Maybe that could be used?  Or 433 mHz like the Iris?

Just curious, I love my Solo but the limited range, even with better than stock antennas I added, is a bummer. 



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  • No, and nor should it be. Remote aerial operation are specifically excluded from the licence.

    • Developer

      Remote aerial operation are specifically excluded from the licence.

      That maybe correct for the UK, but in Canada amateur radio license allows the use of any frequency above 30MHz for control of RC aircraft, with no requirement to send your callsign periodically. Obviously all Radio Amateur Frequency use is non-commercial.

  • How far are you planning on going? 

    • I lost connection only 350' away on one of my flights Sunday with full line of sight.  I want to go further than that, ha ha.

      Again, not trying to fly miles away, I just want more range than I'll ever use for reliability.  Even though Solo performed correctly when it lost signal then started to return to home it's still a little disconcerting.

  • Ha ha, that's funny, my buddy who is a ham operator is the one who brought it up to me.  He would have purchased Solo already if it used different frequencies like Iris does.  It's not that much money to get the ham license so I would just do it and be legal if it meant a more reliable connection to Solo.

    It would be pretty cool if you provide proof of the ham license and then the software unlocks the channels right below the open WiFi bands.  Assuming the hardware can do that.

    Currently I have some 6db antennas that my friend had laying around from some routers.  Kinda like the old Linksys routers use to come with.  They are nothing crazy but in an open field I went from about 650' of range with the stock antennas to over 850' away with about 10-12 db of signal left to go.  Both tests were on the same path using the app's RSSI meter.

    That said I was showing Solo to my parents on Father's Day and I lost connection only 350' directly above the home position with full line of sight.  Solo did what it was supposed to do and started to return to home.  At about 250' I was able to reconnect the controller and take over.

    I'm not trying to fly 5 miles away or something dumb like that.  I just want it to be reliable for orbit or cable cam modes.  I'd rather have 1,000' of range and work within 300-400' with a rock steady connection than be right at the limit of range to do a simple shot.

    • Developer

      You should look at this http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/wireless/aironet-a... and in particular the elevation pattern (relating to altitude with a vertical dipole)

      A 'radiation pattern' for a dipole antenna is like a toroid, so the actual power radiating out the end of the antenna is much lower than say at 45 degrees from the antenna. directly overhead is actually a 'weak spot'. Higher gain antennas have more weak spots 

      What also not shown in the diagram, is that close to the ground, energy is reflected backup so increases the the effects of the 'weak spots' so when at altitude high over head and you move, you could lose signal strength and connectivity.

      If you want better close in range, you may do that better with a lower gain antenna, but one of better quality. It may also be better if you reduced your output power (too mush power close in makes connectivity worse as it overloads the receiver)

    • Good stuff.  It's definitely a complex problem with lots of variables.

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