Shop our Airplanes Products Drone Products Sales
Thread Tools
Aug 08, 2014, 02:47 AM
Registered User
czorzella's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenh3497
I've found the best way to use a Loc8tor is to put it in the trash after opening the package. Make sure the trash is picked up that day so you are not tempted to use the thing.

Ken

Ouch! please elaborate your experience with this product.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Sep 04, 2014, 10:02 PM
Registered User

loc8tor antennas


Hello,

So after playing around with UHF beacon tracking, (difficult close-in). I am ready to try the loc8tor. I've just ordered the kit, and plan to add an external dipole to the tag to get it up out of the carbon fiber quadcopter frame a bit to prevent the signal from being blocked.

My question is, how to I know which antenna trace on the tag board is the driven element, and which one is ground?

If anybody knows, how to figure this out, I'd love to hear it.

I also plan to hook up a 9 element yagi to the handheld. I'll post some photos when I get this rig built.

thanks

steve


Sep 05, 2014, 07:39 AM
Tri-Quad-Hexa-Octo-copters!!
Thread OP
Double post deleted.
Last edited by jesolins; Sep 06, 2014 at 12:29 PM.
Sep 05, 2014, 07:39 AM
Tri-Quad-Hexa-Octo-copters!!
Thread OP
Hi f,
The outer curved trace are the driven elements. So there are two antennas for diversity. The ground plane is the larger surface copper in the middle of the rest of the pcb with vias to the other side.
Cheers,
Jim
Quadrocopter and Tricopter Info Mega Link Index
Quote:
Originally Posted by finkbuilt
Hello,

So after playing around with UHF beacon tracking, (difficult close-in). I am ready to try the loc8tor. I've just ordered the kit, and plan to add an external dipole to the tag to get it up out of the carbon fiber quadcopter frame a bit to prevent the signal from being blocked.

My question is, how to I know which antenna trace on the tag board is the driven element, and which one is ground?

If anybody knows, how to figure this out, I'd love to hear it.

I also plan to hook up a 9 element yagi to the handheld. I'll post some photos when I get this rig built.

thanks

steve


Last edited by jesolins; Sep 06, 2014 at 12:38 PM.
Sep 05, 2014, 01:10 PM
Stuart
srnet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by finkbuilt
My question is, how to I know which antenna trace on the tag board is the driven element, and which one is ground?
Why does it matter, for a dipole ?
Sep 05, 2014, 10:31 PM
Registered User

loc8tor antennas


Quote:
Originally Posted by srnet
Why does it matter, for a dipole ?
Hmm... let me reframe my question.

If I want to hook up an external dipole, the kind with a brass sleeve and a piece of coax, taken from a 2.4ghz RC RX, where should I solder the sheild, and where should I solder the core?

thanks!

I figured that one of the curved traces was the "signal" and one side was the "ground" for the shield of the coax.

how should I hook up an external antenna?

thanks
Sep 05, 2014, 10:33 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by finkbuilt
Hmm... let me reframe my question.

If I want to hook up an external dipole, the kind with a brass sleeve and a piece of coax, taken from a 2.4ghz RC RX, where should I solder the sheild, and where should I solder the core?

thanks!

I figured that one of the curved traces was the "signal" and one side was the "ground" for the shield of the coax.

how should I hook up an external antenna?

thanks
those 2 curved antenna traces come from different pins on the chip.
Sep 06, 2014, 01:25 AM
Registered User

antenna success


Quote:
Originally Posted by finkbuilt
those 2 curved antenna traces come from different pins on the chip.
I added an external dipole antenna to the tag and DOUBLED the range.

At first, there was no difference in range after adding the external antenna, but then after deciding to reverse the polarity of the antenna, i accidentally destroyed the uppermost capacitor seen in the attached PCB photo (board.jpg), so I just removed the capacitor and soldered the shield of the coax directly to the pin of the chip, and BAM! the range was now double in an identical test.

Sorry, the pcb picture is the BEFORE photo, so the antenna connection is not shown. (added photo of connected antenna)

next up, adding an external yagi, maybe 7 or 9 elements to the handheld to see what happens there.Name: image.jpg
Views: 215
Size: 371.6 KB
Description:

Name: board.jpg
Views: 200
Size: 56.3 KB
Description:

Name: external-dipole.jpg
Views: 159
Size: 129.6 KB
Description:
Last edited by finkbuilt; Sep 06, 2014 at 09:59 PM. Reason: typos
Sep 06, 2014, 12:31 PM
Tri-Quad-Hexa-Octo-copters!!
Thread OP
Diversity. Those are actually two separate antennas.
Cheers,
Jim
Quadrocopter and Tricopter Info Mega Link Index
Quote:
Originally Posted by finkbuilt
those 2 curved antenna traces come from different pins on the chip.
Sep 06, 2014, 02:07 PM
Registered User

loc8tor antenna


Quote:
Originally Posted by jesolins
Diversity. Those are actually two separate antennas.
Cheers,
Jim
Quadrocopter and Tricopter Info Mega Link Index
Interesting, thanks.

Well for whatever reason, the mod that I made really boosted the signal / range by a significant ammount.

I connected the sheild of the coax to one of those outputs (with the capacitor removed) and the center conductor of the coax to the other antenna trace (capacitor still in place). I also cut the traces on the existing pcb antennas.

Name: image.jpg
Views: 125
Size: 371.6 KB
Description:

Next question:

Has anybody successfully opened the case on hte loc8tor lite handset? The black one. I'm trying to pry it apart, but its not working. I'm just mangling it.

Actually, could someone measure the distance between the reflector and the driven element, and hte width of the driven element on the loc8tor plus for me? it seems a bit easier to open than the lite.. of course, it is not guarenteed that the plus and lite have the same antenna, but it is a start.

I think that I will try just adding some more directors out in front of the device as a way to increase gain, before I start soldering to the board. Getting the right position and spacing will take some trial and error, but it would be cool if it worked. then I wouldnt have to tamper with the handled.

I could use a parabolic, but those are just too big to carry around "just in case" you lose the model.

thanks!

thanks
Last edited by finkbuilt; Sep 06, 2014 at 03:13 PM.
Sep 07, 2014, 06:42 PM
Registered User

loc8tor plus antenna


Hey,

Could someone who owns a loc8tor plus ( the silver one with the antanna director visible under the lid) please measure the length of that antenna director for me?

It's that pair of strips visible under the lid. I'd really appreciate it.

thanks!

steve

Name: loc-antenna-spacing.png
Views: 129
Size: 143.9 KB
Description:
Last edited by finkbuilt; Sep 09, 2014 at 11:55 AM.
Sep 09, 2014, 09:07 PM
Registered User

director experiment


Name: image.jpg
Views: 176
Size: 161.3 KB
Description:

Well, I did a little experiment with adding directors to the antenna on the loc8tor lite handset, and so far the results are encouraging.

I made a set of 5 directors out of heavy aluminum wire. they were 1.5 inches (tapering down slightly toward the front of the "antenna") and spaced at .75 inches. These are strange dimensions for a 2.45ghz antenna, and I just sort of guessed about the spacing.

This antenna size is based on reports from Jim about the dimensions of the antenna directors on the plus handset, the lite may be different, but it is probably the same, it seems to match the case dimensions.

I ran out of good clear testing ground after 1000 ft or so, but with this first test rig, I can say that the directionality was improved quite a bit, and the gain was improved as well. But it was not earth shattering.

I'd still like to actually wire in a real 2.45ghz optimized Yagi, but I just cant seem to get the case to the handset apart without wrecking it.
Last edited by finkbuilt; Sep 09, 2014 at 10:14 PM.
Sep 12, 2014, 07:26 AM
Registered User

Measuring antenna directors


Hi Steve,

The locator plus measurements are:

48 1/2 mm !!!Not correct!!!
49 mm !!!Not correct!!!

21 3/4 mm (18 3/4 mm + 3 mm)

I'd like to do the same you did with the aluminium bars,
how many square mm are the ones you use?

I also asked a friend, who examined the pcb.
He thinks it's very difficult to connect an external antenna.
(based on examing the parts and the antenna on the pcb of
the loc8tor plus)

I saw a movie on youtube, where someone put the receiver
on a dish antenna, this is too large for me, so I want to try
and put it on a yagi (optimized for 2,4GHz wifi)

Good luck to everyone!

Derk
Last edited by Derk_L; Sep 12, 2014 at 11:32 AM.
Sep 12, 2014, 08:21 AM
Registered User
Hi there,

After removing some parts from a budget wifi 2.4GHz yagi
antenna, I tried to put my loc8tor plus on it.
The result is very good, the receiver 'count'(?) went from
35 to 45 on average!
I attached a picture, the red arrows points are in line with
each other.
Maybe someone has suggestions, maybe it's better to move
it? Thanks in advance!

Derk
Sep 12, 2014, 11:12 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derk_L
Hi Steve,

The locator plus measurements are:

48 1/2 mm
49 mm

21 3/4 mm (18 3/4 mm + 3 mm)


Derk
Interesting, thanks Derek,

Those antenna measurements are in conflict with what I was told by another member, who said that they were 1.5 inches long, which is only 38.1mm, not 48.5mm as you report.

The wire that I used is round, 10 guage wire. I can measure it later and PM you with the info. But it looks like you have moved on to another option with the wifi yagi.

About attaching an external antenna lead to the PCB, well... I cant imagine that it would be that difficult. there must be someplace to make the conection. Worst case scenario, you could solder right to the traces for the pcb driven element, as close to the origin as possible. or solder to the last component before the driven element.

But I really like the idea of being able to revert back to the original antenna for the final 200ft.

Maybe a 2 piece parabolic could fold away in a fairly flat manner.

Keep up the experiments!

steve


Quick Reply
Message:

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
any good how to books for r/c helis? adam_jorgensen Electric Heli Talk 4 Mar 31, 2002 12:05 PM
Moderators needed for R/C Groups! Andy W Electric Plane Talk 1 Mar 21, 2002 06:44 AM
Pull/Pull System for r/c Patrick in WI Electric Plane Talk 4 Mar 18, 2002 02:18 PM
Rechargeable Alkaline batteries good for R/C packs??? TopGun Power Systems 2 Sep 27, 2001 11:03 PM