BINDING: No Change from previous procedure. Hold down binding button while turning your transmitter on for 3 seconds, then release. The LED will be FLASHING GREEN. If the LED does not FLASH GREEN, you did not hold down the button long enough, try again. Turn on your Receiver, let system run for at least 5 seconds. Turn off your Transmitter, then turn back on. The receiver should come to life.
CALIBRATION: It is advised to calibrate your receiver to your Dragon Link Transmitter when the system is new. This procedure must be done for EACH receiver you have, as the calibration information is stored in each receiver. With the antenna mounted on your Dragon Link transmitter ( Not dummy load ), Hold down the binding button while powering the transmitter on for 7 seconds, first the LED will be RED, hold it down a full 7 seconds until it turns GREEN. Release the button as soon as the LED turns GREEN, and if you have done it correctly, the LED will flash alternating RED and GEEN. Now, Jump the signal pins of Pins 5 and 6 of the Reciever with the antenna DISCONNECTED, and power it on. Let the system run like this for a full 10 minutes. Turn the Transmitter off, Then turn the Receiver off. Remove jumper on RX, it is now exactly calibrated to your transmitter. I recommending doing this procedure when the system is new, and once a year. This is NOT needed, and NOT recommended every time you fly.
CHANGE UNIT ID: Now you can always fly with anyone in the world, and if by small chance you have the same UNIT ID, you can easily change it at the field. Do the following: Hold Down the Binding Button on the Transmitter while powering on the unit. The LED will first be RED, after 7 seconds it will turn GREEN, and after 12 seconds the LED will go OFF. Once the LED is off, the ID of your Dragon Link transmitter has changed, turn off your Dragon Link transmitter at this time. You will need to rebind all your receivers for them to work with your transmitters new UNIT ID. Recalibrating after this procedure has no advantage and is not needed.
Setting the Fail-safe
Turn on your RC transmitter and set all controls exactly where you will want want them to be in case of loss of RC control. When all controls are exactly where you want them, hold down the RED button on the Dragon Link transmitter for 4 full seconds. You should see a RED LED indication after 2 seconds of pressing the button, this red LED while you hold down the button indicates that the failsafe has been successfully set. The LED will return to green when you release the button, the failsafe is now set.
It is vitally important that you take the time to set your failsafe settings correctly. This will make the difference between a non event and a crash should you loose your RC signal. Your failsafe should be set for a slow level power off glide with return to home activated and autopilot on if you have one. If you do not have any autopilot or return to home, set your failsafe for a slow level power off glide, this will give you time to reestablish RC control and keep your plane from going out of control into a dive in the event of loss of RC control signal.
If you should loose RC control, an effective method of regaining RC signal is to hold your RC transmitter high in the air over your head and vertical, and flying the plane from this position until the plane regains its signal. Needless to say, if you experience a failsafe, bring the plane closer, land, and determine why this happened.
Range Testing Your Dragon Link
All RC systems should be range tested before flight, but the procedure is a little different for the Dragon Link.
WARNING: Do not turn on your Dragon Link transmitter without the antenna attached, this can burn out the transmitter. Also NEVER tighten the Dragon Links antenna on its antenna connector, this will damage and strip the SMA connector over time. Just put on the antenna on the Dragon Link transmitter until it stops turning, tightening it more will not improve performance, and only damage it over time.
Included with the Dragon Link is a dummy load for the transmitter, it simulates an antenna for the transmitter but does not radiate any signal, it is much more effective at keeping RF from escaping than simply removing the antenna from the Dragon Link. To do a range test of the Dragon link RECEIVER, its antenna, and possible interference from equipment on the plane, do the following test. Put the included Dummy load on the Dragon Link transmitter, set your plane on the ground with everything turned on, cameras, Video transmitters, etc, your plane should respond normally to about 20 Meters ( 60 Feet ) away from the transmitter. ( Note the receivers antenna MUST be connected to the receiver as normal. ) Do not stop the range test at the first failsafe, the 20 Meter figure is where control is maintained most of the time, some fail-safe's are acceptable.
To do a range test of the Dragon Links TRANSMITTER and its antenna, put the transmitter antenna on the Dragon Link transmitter. Now disconnect the antenna from the RECEIVER, so that the receiver SMA has NOTHING touching it, and move the antenna connector at lest 5 CM away from the RX SMA connector, and walk about 20 Meters ( 60 Feet ) away,, some failsafes are acceptable as long as you have control most of the time. This tells you that the Dragon Link Transmitter is putting out good power.
There will always be large variations in the range check distances ! The 20 Meter ( 60 Foot ) distance can be affected by many things, putting your plane on a table as opposed to the setting it on the ground will make a huge difference in your range check distances. Even how you hold your RC transmitter will affected distances greatly, so expect results to vary a LOT !!!, If your range check is 20 Meters ( 60 Feet ), that is a good test and you should get really good range in the air.
If you can not control your plane at 10 meters ( 30 feet ) while using the dummy load, you have drastically reduced range and you should find out what is causing the problem, you can still fly, but probably not more than 5 KM or so.
If you can not control your plane with the dummy load on the transmitter at 5 meters distance ( 15 feet ), there is a very serious problem and you do not have enough range to fly at all. Attempting flight with a bad range check will most likely result in a loss of control and a crash very soon after the plane gets into the air.
Your plane must pass both type of range checks described above. IF you get a bad range check, here are a couple things to check first. Some video cameras radiate noise on the UHF band, and can make the Dragon Link have intermittent failsafes at short and medium range. A really bad case of video camera induced interference can even make your plane totally un-flyable and cause a crash. The SN-777 camera, and some of the other KT&C cameras cause large amounts of interference and can not be used with a UHF system. The other thing to look for is the distance between the video transmitter and the Dragon Link receiver and its antenna, there should be at least 23 CM, and for higher power transmitters even more separation. A good rule is to get the video transmitter as far away from other electronics as possible, the further the better. If you suspect interference from equipment on the plane, remove the power to one thing as a time, redo the range check, and see if it improves. If you remove power to the camera, and your range check goes a lot further, then you have a pretty good idea that the camera is causing reduced range. Do things on the FPV plane have to be perfect ??? It depends on how far you want to fly... If you are going to be flying only 5 KM or less away, you can have a lot of things wrong and never have a failsafe, but if you are going to fly 30 KM or more, the planes setup will need to be close to perfect for maximum range. There are a million things that can reduce the range of the RC system on an FPV plane, if your range check is not satisfactory, and you are not able to figure it out, ask us for help on this forum. As the people in this and other forums have many years of testing different cameras and equipment, and are always willing to help !!!
The most accurate way to test the maximum range of your system is in the air. To safely do this, you must have your plane set up with an autopilot that will return it home in the case of a lost RC signal, and the auto pilot and RTH must have been tested to work, make the turn to home, and fly perfectly. To do this test, fly your plane a long distance with the Dragon Link transmitter antenna tip pointed directly at the plane, this will reduce the RC signal getting to the plane by a large amount since the weakest place of the transmitter antenna is right at the tip f the antenna. If your planes goes into failsafe and stays in failsafe, you can regain control by moving your RC transmitter antenna vertical and holding it high over your head, this will increase the RC signal to the plane be a large amount because the strongest part of the signal is radiated off the sides of the transmitter antenna. You should be able to fly about 10 KM with the Dragon Link transmitter antenna tip pointing directly at your RC plane.
LOW RSSI Readings: Using RSSI as a theoretical way to calculate the range of the Dragon Link system is NOT recommended. To be accurate, the RSSI values must be calibrated to different values for each OSD, and for each setup depending on how much noise is present. Many people have believed they had a problem based on low, or varying RSSI readings, when no problem actually existed. A lot of things can make an RSSI reading change by a large amount. Bottom line is, do not think you have short range solely based on RSSI readings. Do the tests described here, including the one in the air to be sure of your actual range.
Note: Do NOT over tighten the transmitters antenna, once the antenna stops turning, tightening it more will NOT increase performance, it will just make the SMA connector strip or wear out very quickly.
LED INDICATIONS ON THE DRAGON LINK TRANSMITTER
The LED indicator on the Dragon Link transmitter will tell you what it is doing. The indications are as follows:
STEADY RED: The Dragon Link has Power and is functional, but no PPM signal is being received from the RC transmitter, you will not have control of your plane like this. Check to see that the RC transmitter is set to PPM mode and NOT PCM. Also check connections from the RC transmitter to the Dragon Link.
FLASHING RED: The Dragon Link has power and is functional, but no PPM signal is being received from the RC transmitter, you will not have control of your plane like this. Check to see that the RC transmitter is set to PPM mode and NOT PCM. Also check connections from the RC transmitter to the Dragon Link.
STEADY GREEN: Normal indication, The Dragon Link has power and PPM, you should have full control of your plane.
FLASHING GREEN: This is binding mode, the button has been held down when you powered the Dragon Link up. This is a correct indication for binding, but You will not have control of your plane like this. You must turn off power and then turn on power again to get normal operation.
RED WHILE PRESSING BUTTON: This indicates the failsafe set mode, when the button is held down for 2 seconds or more the LED will turn steady red to indicate the failsafe set mode. The LED will turn green again as soon as you release the button, this is normal.
FAQ'sYes. DragonLink is heavily filtered for all common frequencies (900Mhz, 1.2Ghz, 2.4Ghz, 5.6Ghz)
Can I use DragonLinkv2 with my video system?
How can I change channel 9 from PPM stream to a normal channel?
Just have a Jumper of the signal Pins of Channel 7 and 8 on the receiver jumpered when you bind, and then Channel 9 will be a normal channel instead of PPM output. After this, you can remove jumper and use your DragonLink with all channels. To set channel 9 back to PPM Stream, just bind again without the jumper.
What's the voltage output from the RSSI pin?
The DragonLink puts out a voltage of about .75 volts at 0 RSSI to about 3.5 volts at 100%.
Do I need a buffer to use RSSI from DragonLink with my OSD?
No, you don't need a buffer. The DragonLink RSSI output is already buffered.
What's the 9th pin PPM for?
PPM is the combined stream of all your channels together. This output is used by other systems, like the DragonOSD+