3D Robotics

Long-range (40 mile!) RC control project

3689586355?profile=originalFrom Hackaday:

Long range wireless control of a project is always a challenge. [Mike] and his team were looking to extend the range of their current RC setup for a UAV project, and decided on a pair of Arduino mini’s and somewhat expensive Digi Xtend 900Mhz modems to do the trick. With a range of 40 miles, the 1 watt transceivers provide fantastic range. And paired with the all too familiar Arduino, you’ve got yourself an easy long range link.

[Mike] set the transmitter up so it can plug directly into any RC controller training port, decoding the incoming signal and converting it into a serial data package for transmitting. While they don’t provide the range of other RF transmitters we’ve seen, the 40 mile range of the modem’s are more than enough for most projects, including High Altitude Balloonmissions.

The code for the Arduino transmitter and receiver sides is available at their github. Though there is no built-in error correction in the code, they have not had any issues.  Unfortunately, a schematic was not provided, but you should be able to get enough information from the images and datasheets to construct a working link.

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  • Could this be used for a uav?
  • Developer

    An alternative method for virtually unlimited range is to use the GSM/GPRS net.


  • Hi Guy,

    I completely agree that the first biggest problem is that most of us have no idea what is legal and what is not and a whole pile of not legal, restricted or requiring amateur license stuff is flooding the market with no indication of what is what.

    The wiki could certainly use a page that covers bands, restrictions and a nice table showing which specific pieces of equipment are legal or require a license and which are not.

    I am, unfortunately, no longer participating in the DIYDrones wiki due to substantial disagreement with it's management and direction so you will need to undertake that on your own.

    Best Regards,


  • Its TX code is not compiling well however RX code has no issue in compilation.

  • One of the real problems we will eventually have to grapple with are the huge pile of completely illegal radio systems and operators that are now extremely wide spread.

    We haven't heard much from the FCC yet, but as the wattage keeps going up and as the consumer (toy) market is saturated with more and more RC stuff from China (who doesn't give one hoot what the FCC thinks) it is an issue they will surely deal with eventually.

    Most FPV and telemetry for our stuff now already requires a FCC licensed operator to use it and only a tiny fraction of those using them have a license.

    I would make a strong suggestion to those of us actually trying to not piss off the FCC to concentrate on antenna quality and directionality rather than transmitter power output whether you have a license or not.

    It's only slightly more fun to have the a letter from the FCC show up in the mail than the FAA.

  • Awesome! However I am wondering what the legalities surrounding this are?

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