Basic Guide to Solo Antennas (Stock, Alfa, FPVLR)

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You have FPV if you start losing FPV connection there is no time to wait, throttle up for more altitude and hopefully you will regain communication to
the quad. Waiting can cause the quad to go into RTH and the worse senatorial, the quad is lower than the RTH setting which means it could crash into
a obstruction. The best solution is to fly responsibly and know the flight path and never fly behind a obstruction even a mountain! Signals can be
blocked by obstructions and WiFi interference and is no exception. Fly responsibly, know where you are flying and and try to stay in sight of the
quad. Flying FPV is actually safer than flying line of sight since you are in the pilots seat. RTH can give you a sense of false security since the
Solo on the stock bird flies back to RTH backwards and a obstruction could be in it's flight path. Turn the quad 180 degrees on RTH and watch the
flight path and don't rely on the RTH to get you home safely always monitor altitude and visual flight home.
As part of my pre-flight checklist, soon after I arrive in a field location I look around to see where the drone *might possibly* travel behind trees, hills or buildings. I use some battery energy to discover the height of the tallest object that is above and in sight of my launch zone. Lately, I've started to use the tiny SkyViper 2450GPS for this task. I add 20 feet to the height of the tallest object and use Solex to reset the RTH altitude value for the Solo I am operating that day. I always fly line-of-sight in compliance with Part 107, however unexpected things can happen. For me, 1500 feet is what I consider to be the limit of line-of-sight, and I rarely need to send the drone that far. When I do, I also use the nifty Brite Lite LED system offered by Maddog.
 
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That's basically what I did. Based on terrain obstructions, my RTH altitude is 140ft. That is enough to clear trees on a hill and all structures in a normal suburban or rural area. That may also be what I made the new default RTH altitude on Open Solo :). So people who are oblivious and never look at or change it won't crash into obstacles on the RTH.
 
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That's basically what I did. Based on terrain obstructions, my RTH altitude is 140ft. That is enough to clear trees on a hill and all structures in a normal suburban or rural area. That may also be what I made the new default RTH altitude on Open Solo :). So people who are oblivious and never look at or change it won't crash into obstacles on the RTH.
From my experience, 140 feet should usually be good enough. (However in my rural area the trees are tall and I may be launching down in what I casually call "a GPS hole" of some kind (poor lock conditions). Or from a beach next to a tall bluff/cliff with tall trees part way up the bluff face. Terrain that most Solo owners probably don't operate in.)
 
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Just another testimony for the Alfa antennas. Mine just arrived and I did a "field test" to compare stock vs Alfa...stock antennas flew ~2200 ft. and Alfas flew ~5000 ft. While the distance values were achieved under back to back runs, exact conditions, 2200 ft. is not typical for my stocks antennas. They usually run out about 1000 -1500 ft. depending on location. So I figure the Alfa antennas are basically gonna double the distance of the stock...which is perfect for me. I'm calling it $20 well spent. I guess I'll order a 2nd set for my 2nd controller.

BTW...I have my RTL altitude set for 150 ft...for the exact reasons you both stated above. I also have mine set to hover at 3 meters instead of landing. I am often on unlevel ground, so I want to be able to move Solo around a bit before it lands.
 
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I'm hoping this post can be stickied to the top. Lots of newbs, and apparently everyone wants to know about antenna options. So rather than answering the same question 57 times per week, perhaps this will be a good place for those answers to be found. I put together these infographics to explain the difference between the stock antennas, the popular alfa paddles, and the popular FPVLR type system. Some of images in these graphics are my own. Some of them I stole from the internet. Sue me later. Some of my spelling may be wrong too. I generally don't care :)







If you want your Alfa paddle antenna to fit inside your (hard-case) backpack while attached to the controller, I cut the foam insertion holes larger to accommodate. Warning if you cut too deep (as I did), your knife will piece the outer shell of your backpack. With controlled patience it will work easily. Yes the Alfa paddles are an excellent upgrade.
 
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I'm hoping this post can be stickied to the top. Lots of newbs, and apparently everyone wants to know about antenna options. So rather than answering the same question 57 times per week, perhaps this will be a good place for those answers to be found. I put together these infographics to explain the difference between the stock antennas, the popular alfa paddles, and the popular FPVLR type system. Some of images in these graphics are my own. Some of them I stole from the internet. Sue me later. Some of my spelling may be wrong too. I generally don't care :)







I can't be the only one who has suddenly turned away from pointing my directional Alfa antennas at a Solo in flight (looking up to check for any aircraft flying unusually low; being distracted by moving ground vehicles nearby; being distracted by wild animals; and most often: being distracted by questioning, directing or cheerfully chatty human beings nearby).

After searching this forum, the Solex Manual, and the latest version of Solex, I have not found anyone suggesting a Voice Alert via Solex for when Signal Strength is "Low". Maybe the idea has been debated and dismissed in favor of other approaches. Maybe there is a challenge with sensing the value of "Low" that triggers a brief statement like: Signal strength low. (which may or may not mean: Point antennas to Solo)

Not everyone will want this feature. I'm just suggesting a way to avoid an unnecessary RTH action.
 
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any mention of power booster antennas- doesn't seem to be result on search- I hate reading so much info outside of my searches as most do...
 
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Power booster antenna systems were all the rage for a while. At the end of the day they really aren't warranted for the overwhelming majority of Solo flyers and seemed to have fallen by the wayside. A stock Solo provides range and reliability that satisfy most requirements. Adding the $20 Alphas enhances signal propagation at the expense of it's directional nature. The good news is you can probably pick up a slightly used setup on the Buy/Sell Group or the other go-tos. That said, there should be several YouTubes testing the various systems.
 
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With a Solo you are dealing with two way communication. I don't see any real benefit in having the controller pumping out more wattage. I have a F450 with Ardupilot and standard 2.4GHz one way communication that I use a 1 Watt amplifier on my transmitter. But the telemetry and FPV are all on separate frequencies. I get much farther reliable range on it but it requires a lot of extra gear and set up equipment
 
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anyone here did the wifi card upgrade? What has been your experience?
Yes I did and I put in the Remote control first big improvement then I put one in the solo and range did not change very much so my consideration is put one only in the remote that’s your biggest game and easiest to put in do not put one in solo waste of money but the one in the remote work very well.
 
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Yes I did and I put in the Remote control first big improvement then I put one in the solo and range did not change very much so my consideration is put one only in the remote that’s your biggest game and easiest to put in do not put one in solo waste of money but the one in the remote work very well.
And I also have the long range antenna Plus the Wifi card in the remote and it does not matter where I fly my drone I get minimum of 6000 feet to 8000 feet consistently in town or in the country!!!!!ps in all my experience I spend a lot of money on finding out what is the best and for me this was the best upgrade for doing the long range and I tried them all,
 
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No doubt many have done this, me included.

Solo uses a diversity propagation protocol. As such it depends on a dual antenna configuration that works best if the antennas are balanced.

The Alfa develops 7db of gain vs the rubber duck (stick) making 2db of gain.

I replaced my 2db ducks with 6db whips. This both provides additional gain used together and better matches the Alpha in a combo set up.
 
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