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Old Dec 03, 2014, 06:14 PM
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United States, CA, Walnut Creek
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Reccomendations please! Hunt for the fpv radio...

Hi all,

I am looking to graduate from a regular 2.4ghz radio system for fpv(hitec optic 6 sport) to something with a dragon link or TSLRS type system. Now I am familiar with hitec, so naturally that is my bias but I have also heard some good things about the turnigy 9x and the price point on that is obviously a plus.

The plan at the moment is to go with a hitec aurora 9(not the 9x, I see no advantage there) and then adapt it for long range with one of the dragon link type kits out on the market.

I guess as far as you more experienced FPV ers out there are concerned, what would you do in my position? HAM license is underway, I'm about 75% through the online class. So that wont be an issue for much longer.

Also, any particular preference as far as a LRS goes? So far as I can tell Dragon link and TSLRS are pretty highly rated and whichever I can more readily get parts for is the one I will go with.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Dec 03, 2014, 07:37 PM
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hillbille's Avatar
United States, CA, Barstow
Joined May 2007
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I bought and use DragonLink. The thread here on RCG is always active and Mike answers every question asked. The help and customer service is beyond any that you will find for any other system.

I have ordered several things from DragonLink's web site in the past (mostly antennas and such) and they usually ship the very next day (from Florida) and I have never had anything take more than a week to arrive here in California.

The nice thing about the DragonLink system is that it is very basically a plug 'n play system with almost every radio made. DragonLink is made right here in the good ol' USA too.

There's my plug! LOL!! Also if you order now (just recently) you'll get the new "micro" receiver with your DL system and it will already have the very latest firmware. These new little receivers are the outstanding and very flexible.

You will need to decide for yourself on what you like based upon what your needs are, but the DL system will be everything you'll need for anything you want to do and it's so easy to get more parts or service.

Hillbille
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Old Dec 03, 2014, 08:14 PM
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Qwin's Avatar
United States, GA, Kennesaw
Joined May 2011
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+1 on Dragon Link...support is outstanding.
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Old Dec 06, 2014, 10:43 AM
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Amherst, VA
Joined Jun 2006
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I am a HUGE fan of the Flytron OpenLRS. Granted, you will need to download the google chrome app to install the latest firmware, but there is no better LRS on the Market in my honest opinion. I have tried them all. Here is how I rank all the LRS I tested:

1. Flytron OpenLRS - Cheap and effective. Do not use excessive video transmit power or you can destroy your control link. RSSI telemetry is awesome as it beeps as you get to the end of your range.
2. RangeLink - Cheap and plug and play. You must run a 6V BEC as the unit will reset in power sags below 4.2V.
3. EZUHF - Excellent hardware but has had some firmware issues. Avoid the monopole antenna like the plague and this will do well.
4. Dragonlink - Great distance capability but has many hardware issues. Tends to emit spurious emissions which can greatly reduce video range. I have tested 7 units so far. All have had emissions on the 1.3GHz video band.
5. Scherrer - Early versions were pretty good. The latest is only effective as a paper weight. It Not only does it destroy 1.3GHz video at very short range, but it randomly damages other video frequencies as well. It also tends to randomly start your motor without warning. Avoid this LRS system.
6. R-Link - I have not tested this but reports show some issues with 910MHz video. I have heard from some that this system gives control in places many other cannot. Again, I cannot confirm as I have not tested this myself.
7. Orange LRS - For some reason this just doesn't work nearly as well as the Flytron. It is very susceptible to noise.
8. DTF UHF - Excellent system that works out of the box. Similar to Flytron with a lower price point. The issue is that the transmitter amplifier tends to get damaged easily and it reduces power. Most users will never notice this, however.

My professional $.02

Here's a video of some of the testing I did:

FPV LRS shoot-out (40 min 45 sec)


-Alex
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Old Dec 06, 2014, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCrazy View Post
8. DTF UHF - Excellent system that works out of the box. Similar to Flytron with a lower price point. The issue is that the transmitter amplifier tends to get damaged easily and it reduces power. Most users will never notice this, however.


-Alex
First I heard of that. Is there a thread discussing it anywhere?
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Old Dec 06, 2014, 12:32 PM
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IceWind's Avatar
Ireland, County Dublin, Dublin
Joined Feb 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCrazy View Post
3. EZUHF - Excellent hardware but has had some firmware issues. Avoid the monopole antenna like the plague and this will do well.
Which one the one for the RX or the the TX?
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Old Dec 06, 2014, 05:50 PM
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mark hitchman's Avatar
New Zealand
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Most UHF systems have been updated since IBCazy did his tests so it's best to check each of the forums and see what all the different complaints are about.
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Old Dec 07, 2014, 03:51 AM
kha
openLRSng haxor
Finland, Espoo
Joined Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCrazy View Post
I am a HUGE fan of the Flytron OpenLRS.

1. Flytron OpenLRS - Cheap and effective. Do not use excessive video transmit power or you can destroy your control link. RSSI telemetry is awesome as it beeps as you get to the end of your range.
...
7. Orange LRS - For some reason this just doesn't work nearly as well as the Flytron. It is very susceptible to noise.
8. DTF UHF - Excellent system that works out of the box. Similar to Flytron with a lower price point. The issue is that the transmitter amplifier tends to get damaged easily and it reduces power. Most users will never notice this, however.
Regarding these three, they all use same RF modules, the only difference to dtfuhf is that it runs RF module at 5V instead of 3.3 doubling output from ~400mW to ~800mW, this ofc means a bad or missing antenna will kill the RF module a lot easier on dtf. This merely is user error and you really cannot blame HW. Also this only affects the TX unit, in fact you can rework the dtf tx stepdown to run at 3v3 if you want (SMD resistor swap).

You should think dtf as revised version of original flytron, it makes better use of cpu features doing timer based ppm in/out, adds better power filtering and has a good lowpass filter on rf front.

Also in many cases 100mW is more than enough with UHF, for that you can use RX module on TX side. (you can upgrade power later and use the rx as rx). For this I recommend the Hawkeye/DTFUHF miniRX which has integrated USB making it very easy to use.
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Old Dec 08, 2014, 02:45 AM
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United States, CA, Walnut Creek
Joined May 2013
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Out of your responses I am hearing a couple of things:

Do your best to protect any system you choose. Otherwise it will come back to bite you in the butt.

Dragonlink is a pretty solid choice.

DTF UHF and Flytron are both great choices, only difference being certain features(flytron with the signal strength beeping and DTF with a higher radio power output.

Just looking at the websites im leaning towards dragonlink or flytron, any additional input you guys have is always welcome.

Also back to the radio question, any reason I should go with a hitec aurora 9 over the turnigy 9x? The price difference is ready to make me break the hitec habit.

Thanks for all the responses
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Old Dec 08, 2014, 03:05 AM
kha
openLRSng haxor
Finland, Espoo
Joined Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMA Grant View Post
Out of your responses I am hearing a couple of things:

Do your best to protect any system you choose. Otherwise it will come back to bite you in the butt.

Dragonlink is a pretty solid choice.

DTF UHF and Flytron are both great choices, only difference being certain features(flytron with the signal strength beeping and DTF with a higher radio power output.

Just looking at the websites im leaning towards dragonlink or flytron, any additional input you guys have is always welcome.

Also back to the radio question, any reason I should go with a hitec aurora 9 over the turnigy 9x? The price difference is ready to make me break the hitec habit.

Thanks for all the responses
It is worth noting OrangeRX, Flytron, and DTF-UHF/Hawkeye OpenLRS all run with same firmware (to be exact DTF/Hawkeye is not supported by the original flytron FW but nobody really uses that).

Seems Flytron is out of stock, so I really recommend DTF stuff over it (as you get some improvements in the HW too)

Regarding Aurora/9x, I would recommend checking the FrSky Taranis, it is excellent value and packs more functionality than you ever need + it gets new features as firmware is updated constantly.
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Old Dec 08, 2014, 02:30 PM
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United States, CA, Walnut Creek
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Just checked out the taranis and it looks good, it also looks like it and all its associated parts and receivers are available through hobbyking which means good availablity for me. looks like I found a radio. I just need to do some more HW on what each receiver does in the Frsky linup though the LRS receiver seems pretty self explanatory.

That being said, it comes stock as a 2.4ghz radio, the question becomes whether I can just use that and their "long range receiver" for fpv out to two miles or so(tricopter) and then switch to one of the aftermarket LRS for flying the plane out past that(noting that the LRS will have its own special RX. Does that sound correct?

also just read that the taranis has built in RSSI alarms will this also carry over to the DTF or dragonlink system?
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Old Dec 09, 2014, 10:32 AM
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smoothvirus's Avatar
United States, VA, Franconia
Joined Sep 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMA Grant View Post
That being said, it comes stock as a 2.4ghz radio, the question becomes whether I can just use that and their "long range receiver" for fpv out to two miles or so(tricopter) and then switch to one of the aftermarket LRS for flying the plane out past that(noting that the LRS will have its own special RX. Does that sound correct?
No. You only need one receiver per plane. If you were going to fly with an LRS you would just use it the whole way.

That said, two miles is very far for a multirotor. It can be done but not many fly out that far.
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Old Dec 09, 2014, 01:09 PM
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Moldova
Joined Jun 2010
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I didn't read all posts here but I want to say that already 3 years I use with no issue Hitec Aurora 9 paired with DragonLink v1. They worked out of the box. Connecting the DL to module port and didn't have to deal with spare battery or trainer port connectors. Now I use a 4ch clone receiver as repeater for DL Tx.
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Old Dec 09, 2014, 03:36 PM
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Australia, SA, Adelaide
Joined Oct 2011
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My 2c, I have a second hand Futaba 9CAP with the EzUHF plugged into the trainer port. and it works fine, no extra battery required. Dipoles on the Rx is best, but no big problems with the monopoles at this point, very rarely run it at more than 200mw.

The RSSI beepings sound a good idea on the Flytron, I have that on my FrSky short range setup and love it dearly.
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Old Dec 10, 2014, 12:56 PM
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parajared's Avatar
United States, AZ, Prescott
Joined Oct 2013
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Consider just buying a hitec 2.4 ghz reciever that outputs PPM. You don't need a new radio, the PPM output can talk to whatever 433 module you decide to buy.

Quote:
That said, two miles is very far for a multirotor. It can be done but not many fly out that far
Nah,
40mph= .7 miles per minute. You will be at the 2 mile mark in less than 3 minutes

Quote:
taranis has built in RSSI alarms will this also carry over to the DTF or dragonlink system
I'm pretty sure Taranis recievers talk to the radio the same way a telemetry unit does. I don't think this would carry over.
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Last edited by parajared; Dec 10, 2014 at 04:05 PM.
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