The art of receiver antenna placement.

The art of receiver antenna placement.

Posted by Lee McKenzie on 27th Jan 2016

One annoyance about the FrSky receivers we run on our mini quads is that the antennas themselves are far too long and when installed via 'correct placement' seem to always get chopped by the props. 

I'm always envious of the guys running Satellite receivers with there tiny little threads sticking out the side of the receiver.

Previous builds of mine have always frustrated me as it wouldn't be long until a crash resulted in an antenna finding its way into the violent blades of the mini quad props. Resulting in annoying RSSI low calls from Amber or time spent sorting the issue out. Usually done by stripping back the outer grounding sheath of the antennas and measuring the exact length of the inner conductor. 31ish mm will do. However I never had the patience or memory to be able to be completely accurate with it.

After messing around with placement, which was entirely dictated by the fact that carbon fiber blocks RF signal, I thought I had found the perfect placement.

That is until a mid air collision completely negated all the meticulous work that went into finding that antenna 'sweet spot'

I decided to do something different with my more recent build. Now, I can't take credit for this idea as numerous people had already given it a go. But I can attest that this method is absolutely brilliant, so simple and keeps the antennas well clear of the props. 

I haven't done a range test and don't think I need to as mini quad racing is all pretty close proximity stuff. Flying within a 60m area RSSI never dropped to levels where Amber was screaming at me. In fact it was pleasantly quiet for once.

Here is a picture of the magic....

All that was needed was to simply route the antennas out through the bottom plate, secure with zip ties and orient them toward the rear leaving the inner conductor to extend past the back. This exposes the tip of the antenna to the air and out past the RF blocking carbon. Friends I have been flying with have said that even if they don't extend past, it's generally not an issue for racing.

The screw heads protrude out from the frame enough that landings onto hard surfaces produce very minimal damage if any at all.

'I just noticed a missing screw lol, can you see it?'

I digress, its the beauty of the small changes you make as you progress in your mini quad builds that really set a reliable build apart from a less successful one. Changes you will only learn to implement the more you crash and break things. Until finally a build falls into place where you have been able to minimize 100 possibilities of something keeping your quad from flying.