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Old Mar 09, 2011, 09:35 AM
Pipe Merchant's Avatar
Joined Mar 2011
5 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by galaxiex View Post
Should not use acid flux for soldering electronics.
Acid flux is more suitable for plumbing repair, not electronics.

Get some rosin flux instead, or better, get some rosin flux cored electronic solder.

http://www.escience.ca/hobby/RENDER/...085/11168.html

http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2062715
Thanks for the tip! I've been using rosin core solder, but it doesn't seem to want to wet the steel. Since then I've realised that perhaps I wasn't cleaning the tips well enough, so I've got some ethanol and some fine sandpaper. As it turns out, acid core solder is pretty damn hard to find anyway - none of the shops I visited had any! I managed to find something called "Fluxite" at work, which I'll try if the cleaning isn't enough.

I'll give it another shot tonight and let you guys know how it goes
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Old Mar 09, 2011, 11:10 AM
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Austria, Vienna, Vienna
Joined Jun 2007
110 Posts
I used 2.2mm (~AWG11, heavy, still soft) copper wire, directly soldered onto an F-connecter to TV-antenna adaptor for the wheel. The cloverleaf goes onto the female end of an SMA extension cable (male/female)

I tried hard to achive for the wheel:
- all ground straighta are in one plane
- all ground straights are 90 apart
- all hot side straights point 45 upwards
- each hot side straight forms a vertical plane with its "corresponding" ground straight

these requirements "dictated" the arcs, not much attention to their apperance.

I tried to achieve similar relationships for the cloverleaf sections.

What are the imporant (radiating) parts of the wheel/cloverleaf ?
The straight sections or the bends?

The nice part using connectors as "base" is you can easily solder on end after the other to the ground shell.
Then you can slowly adjust the hot ends till satisfied, and - if per tinned generously before - you simply tap them to the center.
That way the wheel has four ends to solder to the connector case, but only two edges to connect and solder to the centerpiece!

Anything I could do better, any mistakes ?
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Last edited by reely340; Mar 09, 2011 at 11:17 AM.
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Old Mar 09, 2011, 12:13 PM
Engineer for Christ
IBCrazy's Avatar
Amherst, VA
Joined Jun 2006
10,301 Posts
Everything radiates, not just part of the antenna. Your antenna looks fine. it should work well.

-Alex
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Old Mar 09, 2011, 02:58 PM
Kiwi in Germany
whakahere's Avatar
Germany
Joined Jun 2010
2,255 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCrazy View Post
Everything radiates, not just part of the antenna. Your antenna looks fine. it should work well.

-Alex
By attaching to the plug right out make it easier to put together? I am thinking of making a 5.8ghz one. I am hoping it will make it less fiddly. Would I have to shorten any wire length doing it this way?
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Old Mar 09, 2011, 03:46 PM
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Amherst, VA
Joined Jun 2006
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No. Attaching directly to the connector is extremely difficult. Use a short run of cable or you will be very frustrated with it.

-Alex
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Old Mar 15, 2011, 11:03 AM
Pipe Merchant's Avatar
Joined Mar 2011
5 Posts
Well, I finally managed to solder everything together! I'm not sure whether the antenna really works or not, I tried it in my flat and it seems to - but then again my flat is so small i get video without any antennas at all! here's a couple pics:
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Old Mar 15, 2011, 01:06 PM
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Amherst, VA
Joined Jun 2006
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Very well done, sir! I have a different technique for doing the 5.8GHz versions that makes it a little easier. I will be outlining all this stuff and possibly even making a video here soon. I will have it all on my website once I get it up and running

-Alex
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Old Mar 15, 2011, 02:58 PM
Pipe Merchant's Avatar
Joined Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCrazy View Post
Very well done, sir!
Thanks Alex! I just did a quick test with the camera on the window sill, and it seems I have managed to build 2 working cloverleaf antennas! I got to about 100m away with no interference whatsoever (and this is in central london) before buildings started cutting off the los. Fantastic stuff! I can't wait to go try these out in the park this weekend! Thanks a lot for your guide!!
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Old Mar 17, 2011, 07:56 PM
FPV junkie
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United States, UT
Joined Jan 2011
3,355 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCrazy View Post
This antenna is best flown in conjunction with another circularly polarized antenna on the RX. Like the Skew planar wheel, this does not play well with Lawmate RX units.


-Alex
KJ4RIV
Why does the lawmate not like this antenna?
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Old Mar 17, 2011, 09:10 PM
Videopilot
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United States, NC, Charlotte
Joined May 2009
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I think it turned out there was a problem with his particular lawmate. It should be fine.
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Old Mar 18, 2011, 09:09 AM
Engineer for Christ
IBCrazy's Avatar
Amherst, VA
Joined Jun 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_beeson View Post
Why does the lawmate not like this antenna?
I never figured that out. Something about the closed loop circularly polarized designs doesn't play well with lawmate's 1.3GHz RX. The quadrafiliar helix has the same problem with lawmate RX.

I use a cheap FOX RX unit with mine. I flew my plane behind a house and below a hill yesterday, effectively blocking all radio contact with the plane and my co-pilot watched in awe as the plane belly-flopped onto a concrete roadway. The video was fuzzy but usable. I had no control, but I did have video even with the junk RX unit. So if you can't use a Lawmate RX, I don't think that's much of a loss considering the performance.

-Alex
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Old Mar 18, 2011, 01:33 PM
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Huntsville, AL
Joined Nov 2009
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Alex,

What are your thoughts on keeping the structural and performance integrity intact with the cloverleaf when mounted externally? For us 900mhz guys the antenna is pretty big, approx 6 inch diameter and can flex easily. The plane I will be mounting it on will be pretty slow moving but on a windy day or a faster plane, I could see the antenna flexing and changing shape which alters it's radiation properties. The drag induced by a radome would be detrimental vs the benefits. Any thoughts? Maybe a wooden dowel hot glued to each "leaf"?
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Old Mar 18, 2011, 04:16 PM
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Ithaca, NY
Joined Jan 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crash821 View Post
Alex,

What are your thoughts on keeping the structural and performance integrity intact with the cloverleaf when mounted externally? For us 900mhz guys the antenna is pretty big, approx 6 inch diameter and can flex easily. The plane I will be mounting it on will be pretty slow moving but on a windy day or a faster plane, I could see the antenna flexing and changing shape which alters it's radiation properties. The drag induced by a radome would be detrimental vs the benefits. Any thoughts? Maybe a wooden dowel hot glued to each "leaf"?

I'm also curious about this. When I was outfitting video to my craft I felt I had two options (even though 1.3Ghz is also possible) on the highest or lowest frequency available: 0.9Ghz or 5.8Ghz. I decided on 900Mhz because I felt there are good antenna options, the penetration through trees and around buildings in low-altitude FPV flight on helis and multi-rotors was a little better, and the range was better at equal power than 5.8Ghz. But now I'm thinking that with the incredible increased range of circular polarization SPW / Cloverleaf, jumping up to 5.8Ghz for the smaller antennas might be worth re-outfitting my gear. A 900mhz SPW is pretty hefty, and drag is increased and placement becomes more difficult.
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Old Mar 18, 2011, 05:50 PM
Engineer for Christ
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Amherst, VA
Joined Jun 2006
10,301 Posts
It doesn't seem to bother my 1.3 GHz system when flying in excess of 70 mph, so I would guess it is ok for yours. The wind deflection is minimal. I plan on making a 900MHz CP system for my high altitude stuff.

The cloverleaf is more durable for this as there is more clearance to prevent shorting out. However if using a good strong wire like .035 MIG welding wire you should have no trouble.

-Alex
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Old Mar 18, 2011, 07:37 PM
Build Fly Crash Repeat
crezzee's Avatar
Worcester UK
Joined Nov 2004
761 Posts
My CL for a 2.4Ghz vtx mounted on my homebrew easystar pod. 50ohm coax, 1.0mm mig wire, plastic tube and tape mount.
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