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Thread: 5.8 GHz versus 2.4 GHz IBCrazy 13dBic Pepperbox Antenna

  1. #1
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    5.8 GHz versus 2.4 GHz IBCrazy 13dBic Pepperbox Antenna

    Hi Alex and the VAS Team, I currently have a 5.8 GHz VAS airscrew on a 2w Vtx and a mad mushroom together with an IBCrazy 5.8 GHz 12.5dbic Helical Black Cannon on a diversity monitor. In order to max out my long range capability on a 5.8 GHz system without switching over to 2.4 GHz to fly out 5 miles on my endurance multicopter with a 24 min. flight time, I wanted to go with a 5.8 GHz VAS 13dBic Pepperbox Antenna. I was able to get 2 km on my current system on level terrain. Would I be able to achieve this goal using the VAS 5.8 GHz pepperbox to reach a 5 mile distance or should I just completely change over to the 2.4 GHz 700 mW Vtx and a Rx using a 2.4 GHz pepperbox? I have multiple multicopters using only VAS and wanted to continue supporting your great company. I hope I can get your best recommendation on this matter.
    Last edited by fpvguam; 8th October 2015 at 07:40 AM.
    NH2LB

  2. #2
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    The Black cannon and pepperbox have the same gain and therefore the same ultimate range. However, the full range of the pepperbox is seldom realized as the wide beam tends to pick up noise from other sources (mainly WiFi). The Black cannon is your best distance antenna, and the Pepperbox is the ultimate coverage antenna. Assuming a low noise floor, the range of both of these is 9-10 miles.

    That said, 5.8GHz is terrible for distance and it is getting worse. With WiFi migrating to 5.8GHz, 2.4Ghz is really opening up. To prove this, find a cheap USB dongle for WiFi (they're ~$15) and plug your pepperbox into it and scan for WiFi. You're going to find more WiFi hotspots than you ever knew could be picked up by one device. It is not uncommon for me to hit 12 WiFi hotspots from a single location with a Pepperbox. I personally fly 2.4Ghz and 5 miles is a walk in the park. 700mW is excessive. In fact, 400mW is probably your best bet. A Crosshair will get you your 5 miles, as will a pepperbox and a black cannon. You can experiment with different channels, but I find I have the best luck on 2396MHz for video unless I am out racing in which case Irun 2305Mhz to get around the 2.4GHz RC controllers.

    So yes, move to 2.4GHz. you will be glad you did

    -Alex
    If it is broken, fix it. if it isn't broken, I'll soon fix that.

    [url]videoaerialsystems.com[/url] - Performance video piloting

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by IBCrazy View Post
    The Black cannon and pepperbox have the same gain and therefore the same ultimate range. However, the full range of the pepperbox is seldom realized as the wide beam tends to pick up noise from other sources (mainly WiFi). The Black cannon is your best distance antenna, and the Pepperbox is the ultimate coverage antenna. Assuming a low noise floor, the range of both of these is 9-10 miles.

    That said, 5.8GHz is terrible for distance and it is getting worse. With WiFi migrating to 5.8GHz, 2.4Ghz is really opening up. To prove this, find a cheap USB dongle for WiFi (they're ~$15) and plug your pepperbox into it and scan for WiFi. You're going to find more WiFi hotspots than you ever knew could be picked up by one device. It is not uncommon for me to hit 12 WiFi hotspots from a single location with a Pepperbox. I personally fly 2.4Ghz and 5 miles is a walk in the park. 700mW is excessive. In fact, 400mW is probably your best bet. A Crosshair will get you your 5 miles, as will a pepperbox and a black cannon. You can experiment with different channels, but I find I have the best luck on 2396MHz for video unless I am out racing in which case Irun 2305Mhz to get around the 2.4GHz RC controllers.

    So yes, move to 2.4GHz. you will be glad you did

    -Alex
    I had a feeling that you would make that recommendation to move over to 2.4 GHz for long range FPV. I was very happy to even get a little over 2 km on my current 5.8 GHz set-up. I never realized how long range FPV can be such an adrenaline rush to get distance. I will set my goal at 5 miles and dropping the extra cash on a 2.4 GHz system with your recommendations in mind. I will make my online order today after this post. The 2.4 GHz Pepperbox has impressed me with its 180 degree wide beam width and its aesthetic looks which in essence avoids the need to get an antenna tracker over the black cannon despite having the same gain. I was just a little worried with narrow band width with the black cannon if I fly outside the bandwidth and lose video reception. 5 miles on flat terrain, jungle and over water is my ultimate goal. Thanks for your excellent antenna systems and customer support. If I get to my goal of 5 miles with your Pepperbox antenna, I will be your forever loyal customer! Your number one in my books! I will be taking the plunge to 2.4 GHz!

    Cheers!

    Geoff
    NH2LB

  4. #4
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    2.4ghz pepperbox is huge compared to it's 5.8 little brother.
    This guy is right up the road from me and might consider giving one of these a try. $70 bucks is a lot if it's no good. Maybe able to talk him into letting me try one.
    https://fpvlr.com/store/product/rhcp...-helix-2-4ghz/
    I went out yesterday for the first time with the 2.4 pepperbox, and I can tell you it needs it's own tripod. setup has turned into a pita compared to 5.8. I'm using a mic stand to support mine.
    Last edited by fltundra; 8th October 2015 at 12:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fltundra View Post
    2.4ghz pepperbox is huge compared to it's 5.8 little brother.
    This guy is right up the road from me and might consider giving one of these a try. $70 bucks is a lot if it's no good. Maybe able to talk him into letting me try one.
    https://fpvlr.com/store/product/rhcp...-helix-2-4ghz/
    I went out yesterday for the first time with the 2.4 pepperbox, and I can tell you it needs it's own tripod. setup has turned into a pita compared to 5.8. I'm using a mic stand to support mine.
    I just ordered the 2.4 GHz VAS Pepperbox along with the Black Canon for comparison which is on the way. Hopefully they connect directly to the SMA connector on the rx without getting other adapters or extensions. I have a durable professional tripod, and I will attempt to keep the GCS in one package on the tripod using quick release tube clamps some with ľ threading for the monitor and the pepperbox antenna and the others with a flat panel to house the battery and dvr. I canít wait to try the new system out and I will post a photo of my 2.4 GHz GCS set-up once completed. The RHCP half sphere helix looks pretty compact for a 2.5 GHz antenna. Tell us if it works well with your set-up.
    NH2LB

  6. #6
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    2.4 is awesome. I switched from 1.3 to 2.4 a year ago. I use 400mW Vtx's on everything. I tried 200mW Vtx's but I have too much WiFi noise in the urban spots I fly to get decent range with them. They would great in the country though.

    If you think the 2.4 pepperbox is big you should see a 1.3 pepperbox....its like 4X the size.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrianm1972 View Post
    2.4 is awesome. I switched from 1.3 to 2.4 a year ago. I use 400mW Vtx's on everything. I tried 200mW Vtx's but I have too much WiFi noise in the urban spots I fly to get decent range with them. They would great in the country though.

    If you think the 2.4 pepperbox is big you should see a 1.3 pepperbox....its like 4X the size.
    I'm glad that Alex made the recommendation to switch over to 2.4 GHz for long range as well as many other members of this forum including yourself instead of continuing with 5.8 GHz. 2km is not bad for a 5.8 GHz video set-up. I went with the IMRC 700 mW VTx. Hopefully, with this set-up I can reach my goal of 5 miles.

    Incidentally, I don't want to sway from this thread, but if Alex is tuning into this thread, you can see how popular his VAS antennas here on Guam are with this photo.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	VAS antennas.png 
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ID:	67077
    NH2LB

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fpvguam View Post
    I'm glad that Alex made the recommendation to switch over to 2.4 GHz for long range as well as many other members of this forum including yourself instead of continuing with 5.8 GHz. 2km is not bad for a 5.8 GHz video set-up. I went with the IMRC 700 mW VTx. Hopefully, with this set-up I can reach my goal of 5 miles.

    Incidentally, I don't want to sway from this thread, but if Alex is tuning into this thread, you can see how popular his VAS antennas here on Guam are with this photo.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	VAS antennas.png 
Views:	535 
Size:	799.5 KB 
ID:	67077
    Wow! Usually in a photo like that I see one of mine and the others are all SprioNets and knock-offs. Good to know there are indeed a good number of people that appreciate my work

    -Alex
    If it is broken, fix it. if it isn't broken, I'll soon fix that.

    [url]videoaerialsystems.com[/url] - Performance video piloting

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by IBCrazy View Post
    Wow! Usually in a photo like that I see one of mine and the others are all SprioNets and knock-offs. Good to know there are indeed a good number of people that appreciate my work

    -Alex
    You should do promotions, contests on your Facebook page.

    Ask for customers to post pics of their:

    1. VAS CP antennas on a racing quad in fight.
    2. Ground Station with a VAS Antenna.
    3. Cleanest/coolest looking build with a VAS Plane.

    Give away a pair of Bluebeam Ultras or Airblades...whatever makes sense.

    Make sure the contest announcement states posting the pics constitutes a release allowing VAS to use the pics in marketing materials, website product page, web gallery, etc...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by IBCrazy View Post
    Wow! Usually in a photo like that I see one of mine and the others are all SprioNets and knock-offs. Good to know there are indeed a good number of people that appreciate my work

    -Alex
    When it comes to quality for a locked in video link, your antennas are consider a household name in the quad racing community!
    NH2LB

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