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SecretSpy711
26th March 2012, 02:15 AM
Ok, my Argtek amp is on it's way, which should hold me over until I get a LRS, but in the mean time...

I sent a question to the folks at Argtek asking if it would pass a signal if no power is applied to the booster...

The guy that responded obviously didn't speak English very well, and basically told me that if no power is applied, then apply power! Hahaha! D'oh! Why didn't I think of that?!

Does anyone know the answer?

Also, what kind of range are people getting? Please state your relevant setups/equipment.

airtruksrus
26th March 2012, 02:54 AM
I've been using mine for a while now and yes it will pass a signal just fine with no power applied. Using a Ubec to filter and rectify the power from the lipo. I only turn it on when i get ready to hand launch and as for range, haven't had any problems yet to speak of, don't know until i get the video range problem resolved. Did do a dumb mistake and left the Frsky tx on range test mode accidentally when launching with the booster plugged in, problem is it won't turn on since the signal wasn't strong enough to activate it.

SecretSpy711
26th March 2012, 02:59 AM
Thanks airtrucksrus.

I rephrased my question to Argtek and got another response: "The booster add 12dBm power." Oy, the language barrier!

airtruksrus
26th March 2012, 03:07 AM
Looking into getting another LRS when the time is right, have to use the FrSky till then. It's only caused one crash and that was without the argtek on the Tx and didn't use a lopass filter on the 1.28 Ghz 800Mw Vtx. Battery was probably getting low on the Rx end.

SecretSpy711
27th March 2012, 12:30 PM
Here's another head scratcher...(for me anyway)

The Argteks are bi-directional. So that means that if the amp is powered on, and it has a strong enough signal landing on the antenna, it will try to feed that into my FrSky module? Is that bad? Is there some kind of RF diode / check-valve that I should be putting between the amp and antenna?

I'm imagining trying to fly while standing next to Derrick who uses a Spektrum DX7, which I know has more output power than my FrSky. Will this cause the Argtek to go into receiving-mode and try to feed the Spektrum signal into my FrSky, and just ignore my own signal?

In other words, can an amplified FrSky operate at the same time as other 2.4GHz sources, including another amplified FrSky in the area? Does the amp always give priority to the input signal if it's above the trigger value, even if there is a more powerful signal coming from someone else?

volto
27th March 2012, 12:58 PM
I didn't know the amp was bi-directional. That kind of worries me too. One way to test may be by putting a 50 ohm load on the side of the amp that connects to the FrSky transmitter, and put the antenna close to a strong 2.4ghz source with power to the amp, see if the light comes on. Too bad Renatoa isn't on this forum.

SecretSpy711
27th March 2012, 04:55 PM
I just discovered something called an isolator or circulator and can be had on ebay for a reasonable price. The difficulty is finding one that can be used in the 2.4GHz range. Will have to do some testing to see if it's necessary.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isolator_%28microwave%29

Vitamin J
27th March 2012, 04:59 PM
Huh, does that mean that the Argtek could be used as an amplifier on a 2.4ghz vrx?

airtruksrus
27th March 2012, 05:15 PM
Here's another head scratcher...(for me anyway)

The Argteks are bi-directional. So that means that if the amp is powered on, and it has a strong enough signal landing on the antenna, it will try to feed that into my FrSky module? Is that bad? Is there some kind of RF diode / check-valve that I should be putting between the amp and antenna?

I'm imagining trying to fly while standing next to Derrick who uses a Spektrum DX7, which I know has more output power than my FrSky. Will this cause the Argtek to go into receiving-mode and try to feed the Spektrum signal into my FrSky, and just ignore my own signal?

In other words, can an amplified FrSky operate at the same time as other 2.4GHz sources, including another amplified FrSky in the area? Does the amp always give priority to the input signal if it's above the trigger value, even if there is a more powerful signal coming from someone else?

As far as the directions were put out, using it on the Tx puts it into a straight transmit mode - 1 Watt output. Using it with an internet router changes the mode to to bidirectional, don't know how, it just does. As long as it's attached into the FrSky Tx module, that is the only signal going through. As far as using it for receive haven't tried it yet but it did state it increases the sensitivity, have to look at the specs as to how much.

Some of the other pilots at my field were concerned whether the Argtek would affect their radios, later decided to fly their turbines after i came down. Haven't experienced it interfering with other 2.4 systems as of yet and definitely helps with the reduced receiver range when the Vrx is operating.

SecretSpy711
27th March 2012, 07:00 PM
Can you post a scan of the directions? I'm not sure I believe that's how it really works. It was never meant to be used the way we are using it -- as with many other FPV equipment. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you're lying, I'd just like to interpret it for myself. I'm the inquisitive type that has an insatiable need to get to the bottom of this and see how it works.

We don't even know if "bidirectional" means it's going both ways simultaneously, or discreetly... do we?

Mark Hitchman
27th March 2012, 07:34 PM
The booster attenuates the signal when no power is applied to it. I lost signal at about 500 meters when I forgot to plug the power into the booster where previously I had flown 2.7km without the booster and 6km with it on Frsky.

Mark

volto
27th March 2012, 08:06 PM
But the question here is if the booster amplifies incoming signals, would 1w of RF power into to the frsky transmitter damage it?

SecretSpy711
27th March 2012, 08:16 PM
Mark was speaking to my initial question, however his answer seems to contradict what airtrucksrus said in the 2nd post. Maybe he didn't go further than 500m as Mark did?

airtruksrus
28th March 2012, 03:45 PM
Can you post a scan of the directions? I'm not sure I believe that's how it really works. It was never meant to be used the way we are using it -- as with many other FPV equipment. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you're lying, I'd just like to interpret it for myself. I'm the inquisitive type that has an insatiable need to get to the bottom of this and see how it works.

We don't even know if "bidirectional" means it's going both ways simultaneously, or discreetly... do we?

Was trying to find the info sheet in the garage last night, should be able to get it tonight and get a scan made. Should clear things up.

airtruksrus
28th March 2012, 03:52 PM
Mark was speaking to my initial question, however his answer seems to contradict what airtrucksrus said in the 2nd post. Maybe he didn't go further than 500m as Mark did? I don't think i've ever had my plane out past a couple hundred meters without the amp turned on. When performing the range check, the amp did have enough attenuation when turned off to affect the ground check versus taking it off and trying the range check only to gain an extra 20 ft.

airtruksrus
29th March 2012, 12:30 AM
Found the manual on the Argtek, only had 2 small pages showing the specs, the rest were on the cover of the box.
8397Shows the version included.
8398 Front cover, 8402 Back,
8399 8400 8401 As long as there is an input coming from the Tx, the amp will stay in transmit mode. It only turns into receive mode when the Tx is turned off and the amp is left on.

Hope this helps.

Pelagic Pilot
29th March 2012, 01:07 AM
I can't say for sure, but after 20+ years of playing with radio I have never heard of an amp that feeds energy backwards. This amp is meant to be hooked up to a router for wireless internet, if it fed 1 Watt into any receiver it would fry it. There may be a "preamp" to boost the received signal when in non transmit mode, but that is a whole different thing. And as was said, your Tx will keep this thing in transmit the whole time no matter what anyway. But keep inmind that you can overdrive this with your Tx, look to see what the max input is and don't exceed that. I think a DX6i puts out about 100 Mw in the USA mode.

Pelagic Pilot
29th March 2012, 01:10 AM
Oh I see it now, it's 15 Dbm which is about 32 Mw, so check the output on your Tx before using this.

airtruksrus
29th March 2012, 02:34 AM
I think the Dx6 might overdrive the amp, Don't think they would sell this for the FrSky if it didn't work out in their testing, and it's only putting out 60Mw. On the receive function, it should only be stating the 12db as the increase in sensitivity, not the output going back to the device.

SecretSpy711
29th March 2012, 02:44 AM
Anyone want to flip the Argtek around and see what happens?


I can't say for sure, but after 20+ years of playing with radio I have never heard of an amp that feeds energy backwards.

Isn't that what is meant by "Bi Directional"?

"Bi-directional, half-duplex, time division duplex senses RF carrier from transmitter and automatically switch receiving to transmitting mode"

From my little knot-hole, to me this "Chinglish" means that the "transmitter" could be on either end. Yes the diagrams show it connected to the access point... but couldn't I instead connect it to a WiFi card on a PC (if it has a removable antenna)? They both transmit. They both receive. WiFi transmitters, at any given time, could be either the PC or the Access Point. What good would it do for a PC to be able to see the access point, but not vice versa? Maybe I'm thinking about this all wrong... I'm definitely no expert in RF.

FrSky output is 60mW / 18dBm. It's within limits according to RangeVideo, but I bought a 4dB attenuator to try out, it will put the input signal closer to the optimal value (9-13dB), which may actually increase the range because the boosted signal might be cleaner...

airtruksrus
29th March 2012, 03:16 AM
Getting the optimum input might do just that, curious as to how much. It should work on the wi fi card without any issues, it was designed to enhance the operational range from the indoor router. Used in the manner that were using it for, i'd like to push the range of the plane to get the failsafe to turn on the return to home function but having more issues getting the video to come in past 1.2K from a 300Mw Vtx. Haven't pushed the limits on the 800Mw Vtx yet, and that's where the Argtek has helped with the shortened range issue.

Fairly certain that it's only going to transmit in one direction but don't have any spare equipment to try to prove it wrong. The amp should only be able to activate with the signal going to the input side. Seen only reliable operation so far. Using a 9Dbi whip in place of the stock 5Dbi whip. Using the 5Dbi whip on the FrSky receiver.

SecretSpy711
29th March 2012, 10:26 AM
Thinking about this more overnight, I think Pelagic Pilot is probably right... a 1W reverse signal would fry whatever it was hooked up to. And as you said, it should say receiver sensitivity is increased.

However, I think "time-division half-duplex" means that it's switching between transmitting and receiving modes fairly fast?? So I think it is attempting to feed a signal into the FrSky, but it's not powerful enough to cause problems... That is my theory now anyway.

Pelagic Pilot
29th March 2012, 01:01 PM
When you hook an amp up to a voice radio for example (like a 145 Mhz ham radio) the amp is bi-directional, when you key the microphone and speak the transmitter in the radio comes on, travels down the coax into the amp, the amp sense this incoming energy and switches on thus boosing your 5 watt input to a 100 watt output. Once you release the mic to listen to the other guy the amp sees the input energy drop and shuts off the boost portion of itself. If it has a receive preamp in it (the amp) then it will help "clear up" the incoming signal and send it to you radio. This incoming preamp does NOT mean the signal coming in to your radio is the 100 watts you were sending out, it just clears things up a bit.

The argtek thing should not be any different. If you had two of these, one on your single antenna Linksys in your house, and one on your wifi card for the laptop 500' away somewhere in a field in tent or whatever here is what would happen:

You type www.youtube.com (http://www.youtube.com) and press enter, laptop amp comes hot with 1 watt sending request to internet for youtube then shuts down to Rx mode waiting. Once youtube page is at the router that amp comes up and sends you the page then shuts down. Once you hit play the router amp will come up with just enough data to buffer the video, then shuts down into Rx so another laptop on the same network can share. These amps bounce from Rx to Tx instantly all day long.

With two of these amps, two patch antennas for 2.4 would allow you to extend your home internet a looooong way, got a Mtn you can see from your house? Go camping there :)

airtruksrus
29th March 2012, 02:26 PM
With two of these amps, two patch antennas for 2.4 would allow you to extend your home internet a looooong way, got a Mtn you can see from your house? Go camping there :)

Just hook it up to a yagi and move the office conference meeting to the top of the mtn.

Your'e not kidding, but the company also sells a dual input - dual output 2W module shown (probably 1W for each output) in the same manual if anyone wants to do some experimenting beyond what the 1W module offers.

Vitamin J
2nd April 2012, 03:54 PM
I talked to Ian a bit more about his experience with the Argtek to try and get some more info about the failings.

He used his with an FrSky system, so it was only 60mw. He wasn't using an attenuator. His telemetry was still working brilliantly even at long ranges so we thought that maybe it was amplifying the incoming signal. Could that be possible?

He didn't have very much flying time on the booster before it failed, only a few flights. I wish I knew how much flight time were on the other boosters that have failed. After it failed he had total loss of control about 1 mile away or so, should have been able to work that distance stock so the burn-out booster was attenuating the signal.

volto, how many hours do you have on your booster?

volto
2nd April 2012, 05:09 PM
No idea, if I were to guess, maybe 4 or 5 hours. Did he mention how much power he was putting to it? I think that's the main killer of these.

SecretSpy711
2nd April 2012, 05:15 PM
RangeVideo's input wattage numbers are higher than what I've seen from Argtek, so I will be using the attenuator. Flew it for the first time last weekend and it seemed to work fine, except when I was high above myself in the null zone, I still got failsafes. I still have some testing to do further out, but it also seems like you still gotta watch your fresnel zone, i.e., the boosted signal probably doesn't go over obstacles much better than the stock 60mW signal.

Also, something to think about... 60mW = 18dB, 100mW = 20dB. 60 to 100 doesn't seem that bad, but 18 to 20 is very close.

Pelagic Pilot
3rd April 2012, 10:54 PM
After some more research I am leary of these, the issue with input is that it affects the output (transistors do that), so 30 Mw in = 1000 Mw out, but 60 Mw in is causing it to push a lot more out, probably not 2000 Mw, but maybe 1700+, that in itself will burn out the amp. But that main problem is duty cycle (as measured over a 10 minute period) if it was a 50% duty cycle then you can only Tx for 5 minutes, then it needs 5 minutes to cool off. As cheap as it is it might not even be a 50% duty cycle. I was looking at Lcom amps and called tech support, they had 500 Mw output amps (half the argtek) that cost $150 - $200 each. I called tech support and they said they do not have any 100% duty cycle amps, not even the $500 stuff would do it. You really need to have a watt meter to check the output of these amps, adjust the input as needed for maybe a 750 Mw output, and run them for 5-6 minutes max.

volto
4th April 2012, 12:33 AM
How could they possibly work as a reliable wireless network booster if that was the case? What if you were downloading something all night and it was at 100% duty cycle for 12 hours?

SecretSpy711
4th April 2012, 12:49 AM
I'm still going to keep flying it until I get a DragonLink or other UHF system. I didn't notice the amp getting warm at all on my first flights with the 4dB attenuator. Didn't try it without. 60mW is just not strong enough to go as far as I'd like to.

A lot of people here have a beef with 2.4 systems for FPV purposes, maybe burnouts are part of the reason... I think up until this thread, only a handful of people were using an attenuator to get the signal into the usable range of the amp. Other than the fact that you just gotta watch your Fresnel zone, I haven't seen anything so far that would send me running back to 72MHz yet. I'm just currently trying to find an area large enough to fly safely with a good chance of recovery if/when it does go down.

I'd like to see someone try Argtek's 4W booster (http://www.argtek.com/style/frame/templates1/product_detail.asp?lang=2&customer_id=1718&name_id=59305&content_set=color_1&rid=56313&id=138606) :-)

Pelagic Pilot
4th April 2012, 09:05 AM
How could they possibly work as a reliable wireless network booster if that was the case? What if you were downloading something all night and it was at 100% duty cycle for 12 hours?

Wireless network is never 100% duty cycle, that is why you can have 10 laptops at a coffee shop with only one router. It is on and off constantly, if it was on for 10 Milliseconds (1/100 of a second) and then off for 10 Milliseconds then you have a 50% duty cycle.

Here is a cheap 500 Mw (half the output of Argtek) for $125 that will NOT work for this application, see the note near the middle of the page concerning CW operation (CW is 100% duty cycle) causing damage to the amp:

http://www.l-com.com/item.aspx?id=30926

And here is a high end 3 Watt commercial/military grade amp for nearly $600 that will also NOT work and would burn out if used for FPV, the note says for half duplex operation only:

http://www.l-com.com/item.aspx?id=20094

Now this one would work, it is streaming media ready (even though tech support said they did not have any of these, I will have to call them back and ask WTF?), but you can see in the description where they talk about the amp not needing to cool off:

http://www.l-com.com/item.aspx?id=20119

Pelagic Pilot
4th April 2012, 09:11 AM
Well I am going to have to call Lcom back and B!tch someone out, I called looking for a 100% booster and they said they didn't offer any, well here is one of a dozen or so they have, this is the cheapest one, and it is 1 watt with streaming media capability:

http://www.l-com.com/item.aspx?id=20074

Vitamin J
4th April 2012, 07:53 PM
Damn, Pelagic, that's pretty rough news. But since there's so little choices for us, any ideas on how to make them last a little longer? Maybe attenuate it more? Would it be worth opening the case and installing a heatsink or anything?

SecretSpy711
4th April 2012, 09:33 PM
You honestly don't think the Argtek amp could work for, say, 30 minute intervals??? The entire case is cast aluminum, if it gets hot then just attach more aluminum fins with some AAA thermal epoxy.

For me it's not worth spending almost $200 on an amplifier when I could get a UHF system for only a little more, that will go much, much further.

volto
4th April 2012, 09:45 PM
Mine doesn't even get warm.

SecretSpy711
4th April 2012, 09:54 PM
I was gonna say that, but so far I can count the flights using it on one hand.

SecretSpy711
5th April 2012, 02:08 AM
Just had to post these pics.

Hopefully this baby will let me control Doc Brown's Delorean... while it's in the future!

8669 8670

Vitamin J
5th April 2012, 10:32 AM
Haha, whoa that rules! You're gonna have to help me build a CL and some SPWs, I don't want to try my booster with the stock antenna.

volto
5th April 2012, 11:50 AM
That's awesome SS, should have some wicked range with that sucker. With my flying style, I think a 3 turn would be more appropriate, I don't like having to face the same direction as the plane.

SecretSpy711
5th April 2012, 12:15 PM
Thought about that. 5 turns should have a beamwidth of about 60 degrees, which should work well for where I want to use this. My goal is to get an RC link that out-ranges the video link... this should do it.

marce002
25th June 2012, 09:28 PM
hello, please tell me if im wrong, if the frsky receiver is in range check mode, the signal is 1/30 , so in this case my hawking hsb1 500mw booster will not work due to a poor signal? or im in front of a defective booster? (bought it used), in full power works fine, but wanted to check if would work without a flight

MatCat
25th June 2012, 09:44 PM
I have one, but I rarely use it because it interferes with my 1.2Ghz vRX... though my new RMRC vRX still gets it bad on 1280 but not on other channels, I need to experiment and see if flying on 1258 would work well for me. As far as it is hooked up to something constantly transmitting it will never go into receive mode.

SecretSpy711
26th June 2012, 01:08 AM
marce002, you are correct. The range check mode is not powerful enough to activate the booster.

MatCat, I dont have any interference problems using the LawMate 1.2 receiver.

MatCat
26th June 2012, 01:18 AM
Yeah it's funny, no one else seems to get the interference like I do, both of my RX do it (both are digital though)

marce002
26th June 2012, 08:53 AM
thank you SecretSpy711,,, i do also have 1.2 800mw from range video, in a wing, so it is separated at least 30cm, i did not try fpv yet, because i have just got the booster, is there any range check i can do without the frsky v8fr range check test mode?

SecretSpy711
26th June 2012, 07:47 PM
Not really. If you are in a VERY open area you might be able to do a full scale range test, but I don't know how much that woukd really tell you because of Fresnel reflections off the ground. I use a telemetry version that will make the transmitter module beep when you start getting out of range. You can just fly one of those and turn around when you hear the beeps.

volto
26th June 2012, 10:53 PM
Stick the receiver in the microwave.

or rather, the transmitter, and walk away with the receiver... lol

SecretSpy711
27th June 2012, 01:03 AM
Lol, now there's a thought! Clarification: do not turn on the microwave!

marce002
27th June 2012, 12:13 PM
Hello, and any of you guys know of a way to get RSSI from a V8FR frsky receiver version 1 with no telemetry? it is a black unit with diversity antennas. Where to find an easy way to do it....:(

khaled_abobakr
28th February 2013, 12:45 PM
Still no clue as how to improve the reliability of the ARGTEK booster ??

Thanks

Khaled

CrashAffinity
28th February 2013, 12:54 PM
i believe i have the same one installed on my DX8 currently, just make sure you attenuate the signal from the tx to the booster and you shouldn't have any reliability issues. I've run mine for 18 months so far with 0 problems. I've got a 6dB attenuator on mine, but after looking at the specs a 10dB attenuator would actually be better

khaled_abobakr
28th February 2013, 01:02 PM
i believe i have the same one installed on my DX8 currently, just make sure you attenuate the signal from the tx to the booster and you shouldn't have any reliability issues. I've run mine for 18 months so far with 0 problems. I've got a 6dB attenuator on mine, but after looking at the specs a 10dB attenuator would actually be better

Hi polix

I use it with the FRSKY module that outputs 60mW ... So what is the optimal value for the attenuator in my case ??

Thank a lot

Khaled

CrashAffinity
28th February 2013, 01:04 PM
you'll likely be just fine with a 6dB attenuator, my DX8 output is 100mW, and i should be using a 10dB (ideally). Each of those boosters has a max input + an optimal input, a 6dB attenuator on your tx should put it in the optimal input

khaled_abobakr
28th February 2013, 01:08 PM
I have only used it once and for no more than 15 mins ... without an attenuator ... do you think that can damage it ??

Thanks

Khaled

Wearyman
28th February 2013, 01:10 PM
I am also using a FrSky 2.4module on my Futaba 9c radio, so 60mw output. If I wanted to get 6DB attenuation but didn't want to use an attenuator, could I get the same result with a length of coax wire? If so, how much wire would I need? (Thinking about strapping my cloverleaf to the built-in 72 mhz antenna as a mast)

CrashAffinity
28th February 2013, 01:10 PM
no, you should be just fine, i just wouldn't continue using it without one. Here's some links to find them if you don't know where to get them


This is the general model of attenuator (mine is the 6dB version)

http://www.e-meca.com/rf-attenuator/...D=16&SpecsID=1

This is the exact one i got (though not necessarily where it came from)

6dB -> http://www.talleycom.com/store/product/MCA662-06-1.html

if you look below under 'similar products' you'll find other versions as well

CrashAffinity
28th February 2013, 01:12 PM
I am also using a FrSky 2.4module on my Futaba 9c radio, so 60mw output. If I wanted to get 6DB attenuation but didn't want to use an attenuator, could I get the same result with a length of coax wire? If so, how much wire would I need? (Thinking about strapping my cloverleaf to the built-in 72 mhz antenna as a mast)

depending on the brand of cable you get, they will give you a rating on the SMA cable you're using for signal attenuation per foot or per metre. You can then figure out how much attenuation your cable is giving you. Keep in mind attenuation is different for each frequency, so look specifically for their 2.4ghz attenuation rating per foot/metre

Wearyman
28th February 2013, 01:46 PM
depending on the brand of cable you get, they will give you a rating on the SMA cable you're using for signal attenuation per foot or per metre. You can then figure out how much attenuation your cable is giving you. Keep in mind attenuation is different for each frequency, so look specifically for their 2.4ghz attenuation rating per foot/metre

Ok. I checked out a couple SMA Coax cables and they are running at around 24-34db per 100 feet, which factors out to .24 to .34 db per foot. So you'd need around 20 feet of the stuff to get 6DB attenuation. Cheaper to just get an attenuator and stick some cable on the end. I'll get slightly more than 6DB attenuation, but only slightly. Shouldn't be a problem.

volto
28th February 2013, 11:27 PM
How bout this? $10 shipped. http://www.ebay.com/itm/120994389746

turdsurfer
1st March 2013, 01:40 PM
What do you guys think about the unlabled Artek boosters on Ebay:
http://www.ebay.nl/itm/New-Web-wifi-Singal-1W-wifi-Broadband-Booster-Amplifier-for-2-4G-802-11b-g-Route-/120902371029?pt=US_Networking_Boosters_Extenders_A ntennas&hash=item1c2657c6d5#ht_7218wt_1397
Trustworthy or not?
I'ld buy from RangeVideo if the shipping to Europe weren't so expensive.

volto
1st March 2013, 04:48 PM
While searching for that one turdsurfer posted in the US ebay, found this 2W booster and they vaguely claim that it's designed for RC. Also will accept 9-16v so you could power it from the transmitter battery. Interesting.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/261111582465

RuralFPV
1st March 2013, 04:55 PM
^^


Minimum input power: 3dBm
Maximum input power: 22dBm


Well that's a bit more friendly anyway.

Some really choice chinglish there. :)

Pisces
1st March 2013, 05:14 PM
I guess this thread would be useful for information on using the Argtek 1W booster. Range Video sell this booster. ElCheapo is of RVOSD development fame. Now pushed out to 80km with the FrSky and Argtec booster. Only stopped from going further out due to the time/distance constraints of his flying wing.
RC 2.4Ghz pushed to 40km+, 65km, 80km
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1439219

turdsurfer
1st March 2013, 05:30 PM
Actually the Sunhan 2W booster seems like a better choice for me than the Argtek:
Review: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1549065&highlight=sunhan
Record flights: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1439219&page=16
Ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2W-WiFi-Wireless-LAN-Signal-Booster-Amplifier-W-Antenna-/110647831757?pt=US_Networking_Boosters_Extenders_A ntennas&hash=item19c31feccd
Perhaps the 'Wii-link' posted above is fine, but so far it hasn't been tried and tested.

Pisces
1st March 2013, 08:05 PM
Ive been using the Argtek 1W booster for several years. The label for the type no. at the bottom of the unit is 11b/g 1W. To play it safe with a FrSky DJT telemetry tx module then I have used an input attenuator. This attenuator is just a length of RG316 coax cable 2.5m length.

FrSky tx output = 60mW = +18dBm
Argtek Booster tx gain = 12 to 15dB ( from spec sheet with the unit )
Rg316 @ 2.4GHz = 1.6dB/m then for 2.5m = 4dB

RF output calculation

RF input power dBm - cable loss dB + amplifier gain dB = Output power dBm
+18 - 4 + 15 = +29dBm

Max output of Argtek +30dbm ( 1W).

The Argtek is supplied with a regulated mains power plugpack with +5V DC output. So a regulated DC-DC converter is used from a 3s lipo for the DC IN +5V for the Argtek.

As with all RF amplifiers the output must be correctly terminated in 50 Ohms. This means the antenna must be always be connected before the DC power or the high VSWR will damage this Argtek booster.

khaled_abobakr
6th March 2013, 03:34 AM
Hi

I've ordered the cheap mini circuits 6dbm attenuator (http://api.viglink.com/api/click?format=go&key=c1d25e831406ba20a5afa355d5950d05&loc=http%3A%2F%2Ffpvlab.com%2Fforums%2Fshowthread. php%3F4587-The-Argtek-2.4GHz-booster-thread%2Fpage6&v=1&libid=1362568640383&out=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fitm%2F120994389746&ref=http%3A%2F%2Ffpvlab.com%2Fforums%2Fshowthread. php%3F4587-The-Argtek-2.4GHz-booster-thread%2Fpage5&title=The%20Argtek%202.4GHz%20booster%20thread&txt=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fitm%2F120994389746&jsonp=vglnk_jsonp_13625686377052) .. so to keep the output power within the optimal input range in terms of RF power

Now regarding the electric power itself that powers the booster

Is running the ArgTEK booster off a 5V bec better than running it off a 6V bec in terms of reliability ??

Thanks

Khaled

volto
7th March 2013, 12:14 AM
Yes, you do NOT want to run it on 6v.

khaled_abobakr
7th March 2013, 03:42 AM
Thanks a lot volto ... I really appreciate it ..

Khaled

Pisces
7th March 2013, 04:23 AM
I agree with Volto. My thoughts were for my FPV build to considered that really the Argtek is designed and used for Wi-Fi. There a 1000's used that are left turned on 24/7. The unit comes with a mains power plug adapter with 5V regulated output. I checked the 5V with a scope and it was very close to 5V, stable and clean DC power. For my FPV set up im using a SEPIC DC-DC converter set to 5V output. Im using 3s Lipo.

I also suggest that using 6V the unit may be more subject to failure. This maybe the reason for some of the reported failures when used for FPV. Ive noted in some posts that the failed Argtek did not have a good 5V regulated supply voltage.

So dont risk it use 5V and the 6dB attenuator and your Argtek should be reliable. I have had good trouble free operation from my Argtek for several years.

Lindsay

khaled_abobakr
7th March 2013, 04:29 AM
Thanks a lot for the feedback ... I'll definitely do that ...

Khaled

salience
8th March 2013, 09:25 AM
Ive been using the Argtek 1W booster for several years. The label for the type no. at the bottom of the unit is 11b/g 1W. To play it safe with a FrSky DJT telemetry tx module then I have used an input attenuator. This attenuator is just a length of RG316 coax cable 2.5m length.

Using a cable as attenuator, and as a result being a couple, or a few meters away from the booster and its antenna might be a good idea - the jury is still out on microwave radiation and health issues. 60mw just in front of your face might be harmless enough, whereas 2000mw might well be another matter.

Pisces
8th March 2013, 03:14 PM
Using a cable as attenuator, and as a result being a couple, or a few meters away from the booster and its antenna might be a good idea - the jury is still out on microwave radiation and health issues. 60mw just in front of your face might be harmless enough, whereas 2000mw might well be another matter.

That is true. Users should consider how the unit is used and the RF exposure to the human body and in particular the head.

A couple of comments. In my case, the 4dB cable loss is not there for any safety heath MW exposure considerations. The cable loss is to adjust the Argtek booster RF input power level so that the 1W is not exceded at the Agtek output for reliable operation of the amplifier. That is, not to overdrive the RF amplifier and cause distortion and unwanted RF spurious emissions and also not to cause excess heat dissipation that could cause the module to fail.

The Agtek is a booster designed for Wi-Fi applications. These units are designed for indoor use connected to a standard Wi-Fi wireless router. The Agtek supplied rubber duck antenna is also a high gain dipole 5dBi. This makes the radiation exposure even more of an issue.

In my case for FPV, the cable extension is used so that the booster and high Gain antenna ( 7dBi patch ) can be separated from the RC Tx and mounted on a pole. I use the booster for longer range FPV. I have Vtx diversity receive also with high gain helical antenna. Both the RC 2.4GHz Argtek patch antenna and the Vtx antenna are pointed for tracking together on the pole. The pole is around 2m in height. This is above head height so that spectators and others do not walk into the antenna beam. This is not for health exposure reasons but to ensure that the RF signal is clear LOS and not attenuated though peoples heads even if only momentary.

True..2.4GHz is used in microwave ovens. RF exposure at this frequency should be a design consideration.

volto
9th March 2013, 01:39 AM
It is non-ionizing radiation, meaning it will not destroy DNA, it will only heat your skin, it's no more harmful than sipping some hot tea.

RuralFPV
9th March 2013, 04:26 AM
It is non-ionizing radiation, meaning it will not destroy DNA, it will only heat your skin, it's no more harmful than sipping some hot tea.

It is non-ionizing, no arguing that. No more harmful than sipping some hot tea?

http://www.arrl.org/rf-radiation-and-electromagnetic-field-safety

There is disagreement within the scientific community about these RF exposure guidelines. The IEEE guideline is still intended primarily to deal with thermal effects, not exposure to energy at lower levels. A small but significant number of researchers now believe athermal effects should also be taken into consideration. Several European countries and localities in the United States have adopted stricter standards than the recently updated IEEE standard.

Another national body in the United States, the National Council for Radiation Protection and Measurement (NCRP), has also adopted recommended exposure guidelines. NCRP urges a limit of 0.2 mW/cm<sup>2</sup> for nonoccupational exposure in the 30-300 MHz range. The NCRP guideline differs from IEEE in two notable ways: It takes into account the effects of modulation on an RF carrier, and it does not exempt transmitters with outputs below 7 W.
Probably safe at our power levels, but to say it's as safe as sipping hot tea... the jury is still out on that.

salience
9th March 2013, 06:14 AM
Since 9/11 anyone who believes what government-sponsored agencies say is naive!;)>
or,
never believe anything until it is officially denied...
I like the idea of an antenna pole. Standing a ways underneath the radiation emitter, in its vertical shadow, would certainly be a good precaution.
Has anyone tried a cloverleaf/booster combination?

DoctorAudio
14th March 2013, 03:38 PM
I did the same with the 2watt version.
I did use a -8dbm attenuator.
Everything is working great I get a 40db gain.
And it is cheaper than all those LRS system I was thinking of buying.
22790 22791

morphine
14th March 2013, 10:36 PM
That is just plain sexy!

salience
15th March 2013, 07:08 AM
DoctorAudio,
Can you tell us what your input/output indicator lights on the booster do as you use the setup? And are you receiving telemetry back from your flying machine?

DoctorAudio
15th March 2013, 12:15 PM
DoctorAudio,
Can you tell us what your input/output indicator lights on the booster do as you use the setup? And are you receiving telemetry back from your flying machine?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008VP5H2M/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img


It does rx, but I am not using telemetry.
When I tested it without mounting it it only lit the red one.
Once I got it hooked up and mounted with the -8dbm anttenator.
I had to put a RP-SMA adapter on it to link to my old spektrum module.
After that the green led come on and full power was seen.
Spektrum modules in the US put out 21.13 db of output.
So putting the -8dbm in place reduced it to 13.13db.
Which is 2 db from max input of this booster.
A -5dbm attenuator is not enough and the -6dbm is just close enough.
I wanted to, have some safety room. having 1.87 db of room doesn't kill performance.

As for the rx.
When I hooked this up to my Wifi router with it off I got 32db of gain that is including the 3 db gain antenna.
I placed the booster in line and used the same anttenna.
Signal went up to 62.72db of gain.
then I used the 10db gain antenna.
I was shocked that his antenna worked so well, because the gain went up to 74 db of gain.
The numbers are for reference.
I am sure my phone app is not as accurate as I would like be you get the point.
I am very happy with the setup and feel confortable about using it in the city or the mountains.
Hope this helps!

RuralFPV
15th March 2013, 04:37 PM
@doctoraudio

What is that mount you put it on?

I have one of the 1W versions but ALSO intend to get a dragon link. I'm really just throwing this together to play with. I'm kind of at a pause because I don't know of an elegant way of mounting the thing.

Thanks.

DoctorAudio
15th March 2013, 04:59 PM
http://gothelirc.com/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=189&cat=Radio+Accessories

RuralFPV
15th March 2013, 05:01 PM
http://gothelirc.com/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=189&cat=Radio+Accessories

I googled around a bit but not knowing what it's called....


Thanks.

DoctorAudio
15th March 2013, 06:09 PM
Your welcome.
I did have to drill the two holes in.

DoctorAudio
15th March 2013, 08:18 PM
What is funny is they are out of stock.
Maybe I could have gotten something like a buddy code.

ColoradoFlightMedic
15th March 2013, 08:22 PM
I have an ARGtek 1W booster for sale, I never really used it. $35 shipped. PM Me

salience
16th March 2013, 07:21 AM
[QUOTE=DoctorAudio;
It does rx, but I am not using telemetry.
When I tested it without mounting it it only lit the red one.
Once I got it hooked up and mounted with the -8dbm anttenator.
I had to put a RP-SMA adapter on it to link to my old spektrum module.
After that the green led come on and full power was seen.
<snip>
[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the rundown !
What I was wondering in particular is whether the indicator light(s) stay on constantly, or whether they do a bit of on-off-on that might give us an idea of the "duty cycle" the unit is trying to accomplish. Another thread here has suggested that with RC we are asking the booster to do 100% duty cycle whereas it might only be designed to do somewhat less as it would probably do in WiFi/router applications.
best regards,
peter

DoctorAudio
16th March 2013, 12:09 PM
Okay, I was concerned about that too. (Duty cycle)
As long as the radio is transmitting the green led comes on.
When hooked to my AP it would blink on and off when I was asking talking thru it with my laptop.

I left it on for an hour and it did not stop transmitting the whole time.
It never got hot and seem to be putting out full power.

So I am confident that it is working great and performaing well.

airtruksrus
16th March 2013, 09:20 PM
Never had any issues with mine either, constant transmit while on the FrSky or while hooked up to the computer. Used it on a regular basis with the 5v ubec and never got warm the entire time. The only issue i experienced was that the 2.4 would still only give me limited range of 1.3 miles before the receiver went into failsafe. Perhaps the area i flew in that day was flooded with wifi traffic and the FrSky is subject to a noise floor like anything else. Uhf was the only answer to flying extended through 2 miles out or more reliably. There was a couple of occurances where i was getting glitches around a mile out and felt like i was taking a huge risk every time i went beyond 3/4 mile.
Hooked up the Argtek to desktop computer and ended up with outstanding data transfer between the router and see no need to go back to 2.4 for control. Now if there was a way i could use the Argtek for use of digital video transmission, might consider if for fpv use again, with another Argtek on the ground station linked up in a wifi configuration.

Wearyman
28th April 2013, 08:52 PM
Since I swapped from 2.4 to 72mhz I never ended up doing anything with my 2w booster. So I took apart my Trend Micro TEW637AP access point, removed one of the diversity antennas and replaced it with the U-FL-SMA female mount adapter I had been using in my plane. Hooked the booster to that and the cloverleaf to the booster and plugged it all in.

Hooooooly crap! It's a good thing I have the AP in the basement or I'd be flooding the neighborhood with Wifi! I have 100% signal throughout my entire house now. I had kinda "meh" signal in many places in my house and really bad signal in a couple spots before. Now? I'm swimming in Wifi!

The signal REALLY drops off once I leave the house, and that is mostly because the AP is in my basement and I have ASbestos siding, which really attenuates the signal. but I can actually get it in my back yard now, which is saying something.

So, even though I'm not using it for FPV, I'm still getting great use out of it.

DoctorAudio
28th April 2013, 09:00 PM
Mine is still working great and not having any issues.
I don't think the antenna is as good as it can be!

Al3000
28th October 2013, 08:25 AM
Hi
Does anyone knows how to expand the range of dx8 radio? well not actually for FPV reason but because i recently lost a heli and simply it just got out of the range.It was newly upgraded to full metal parts( blade mcpx bl) and yes :oi couldn,t find it it,s gone for good. pain... ha? so i appreciate any input.Love from Denmark

Hans
28th October 2013, 08:53 AM
Use a booster: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=15127425&postcount=1

Or add a UHF-controller to your radio (ImmersionRC/Dragonlink/Rangelink/Scherrer)

Al3000
28th October 2013, 10:55 AM
Thanks a lot for the input

Nightstone
24th January 2014, 06:42 AM
I just went through the whole uhf thing. From my issues with Dragonlink ( Sent it back - Thank You GetFPV !!! ). To finally settling on Openlrsng ( this made me happy ). To Building my own antennas.

Now that I own a 9XR I was thinking I could get a spektrum module. That brought up the whole boosting it thing as the module has a sma connector. I know I can buy a booster and easily attach it. But what about making my own antenna. Say a Dipole or Moxon. Then I thought about the receivers. I know the antennas are pre sized for frequency but i should be able to make a custom one there also.

Anyone see any issues with this?

Another thing that brought this to light was Ibcrazy mentioning in a thread I read somewhere that spektrum could easily get boosted out to 4 miles if you knew what you were doing.

I like to tinker so i'm going to try this and see what I get.

Any thoughts?

Nightstone

rlage
24th January 2014, 09:54 AM
For spektrum i have made a project of a module using Frsky gear. Really worked well and got also telemetry functions.

http://fpvlab.com/forums/showthread.php?16692-FrSky-external-module-for-Spektrum-build-Log

Roboforcer X2000
24th January 2014, 10:41 AM
I've boosted my Taranis, but the benefits I got made the whole hassle not worth it:(
My 2W booster works on 12v, but the battery I had was LifePo which is 10v, so after few mins of operation voltage was too low for the booster. Changed battery to 2.6A Lipo, and with the booster on/off between the flights battery lasts for less than half a day. On top of that, standing close to a model I'm getting "telemetry lost/recovered" warnings and radio antenna is very sensitive to its position. I've no interest in long range flying and boosted my radio for stronger signal behind an obstacles, just for bashing around myself and it works good, but I wouldn't do it again...
At this very moment my Taranis is open on the table- I'm taking the booster out as I got OpenLRS. I'm not trying to talk you out of this, it's just my opinion- I'd rather upgrade to LRS than boost a 2.4 again:) Anyway, here's my video if you need to salvage an idea or two:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSoF-Y6_loU

Edit: also forgot to mention that if you have a booster connected, but not powered, you range will be only 50m as them boosters does not pass RF through

airtruksrus
24th January 2014, 12:04 PM
Edit: also forgot to mention that if you have a booster connected, but not powered, you range will be only 50m as them boosters does not pass RF through

Found that out the hard way after takeoff, good thing it was over head when the f/s kicked in and shut off the motor. Was going straight down till it got back in range and landed. Makes you remember to plug it in afterwards.

SecretSpy711
24th January 2014, 12:12 PM
Does it at least act as a load if not powered? dont want to burn out the transmitter, but leaving the booster off would be nice for bench testing things.

Side note, my 200mW 2.4 vtx knocked out my Apple Airport Express wifi station sitting ~10 feet away. 2 watts on this band might knock out your neighbors WiFi 3 houses down!

airtruksrus
24th January 2014, 12:33 PM
It does provide a sufficient load, ran the FrSky in the house quite a bit without the amp plugged in with no issues, should be only putting out 60mw, the module never even got warm as well as the amp during normal operation.

Nightstone
24th January 2014, 12:56 PM
I have the spektrum module coming in anyways as a backup for my DX8. Just started my open LRS journey. The antenna making opened a whole new world for me.

That said... I'm more interested in the effects of a good antenna being used to boost range vs a booster. Antennas are cheap and no mods needed for my 9XR.

So no one has tried making antennas for both the rx and tx? See what kind of range is possible?

guess its time to tinker...

Nightstone


I've boosted my Taranis, but the benefits I got made the whole hassle not worth it:(
My 2W booster works on 12v, but the battery I had was LifePo which is 10v, so after few mins of operation voltage was too low for the booster. Changed battery to 2.6A Lipo, and with the booster on/off between the flights battery lasts for less than half a day. On top of that, standing close to a model I'm getting "telemetry lost/recovered" warnings and radio antenna is very sensitive to its position. I've no interest in long range flying and boosted my radio for stronger signal behind an obstacles, just for bashing around myself and it works good, but I wouldn't do it again...
At this very moment my Taranis is open on the table- I'm taking the booster out as I got OpenLRS. I'm not trying to talk you out of this, it's just my opinion- I'd rather upgrade to LRS than boost a 2.4 again:) Anyway, here's my video if you need to salvage an idea or two:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSoF-Y6_loU

Edit: also forgot to mention that if you have a booster connected, but not powered, you range will be only 50m as them boosters does not pass RF through

Airborne
24th January 2014, 12:58 PM
Side note, my 200mW 2.4 vtx knocked out my Apple Airport Express wifi station sitting ~10 feet away. 2 watts on this band might knock out your neighbors WiFi 3 houses down!


Control transmissions are spread-spectrum and should not interfere with wifi even if you increase transmit power significantly. It might slow it down a peg, but it shouldn't knock it offline.

Video transmissions are big ass continuous analog signals, and will pretty much obliterate anything else on frequency.