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Thread: TBS 2.4 VTX/VRX questions

  1. #1
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    TBS 2.4 VTX/VRX questions

    Hi,
    I've recently tried switching to 2.4ghz for my video. I've got a 500mW unify vtx, and the TBS 2.4 groundstation.

    I am getting much further range out in the open, line of site with nothing blocking the signal, as expected. But, I also expected better penetration than 5.8ghz. I am not seeing that.
    Basically, w/ 5.8, I can be in my back yard, and fly the drone in front of my house, along the sidewalk down the street a couple hundred meters away from me at low level along the ground, through houses and trees. W/ this 2.4 gear, as soon as I am on the other side of my house it starts glitching.. The screen flashes to white or black or scrolls down constantly. So, that's maybe 10-20 meters away through my house. And same for the other direction into the woods behind my house. On 5.8 I can fly about 100 meters into the woods before the picture starts fading or glitching. W/ 2.4, as soon as I enter the tree line, the screen is flashing and rolling. It's also not great out in the open. I get further range, but with a lot more glitches like the screen flashing or rolling. It's not fading out.. I can get very far before the signal starts getting grainy or black and white. But it has severe flashing and rolling quite often.
    I'm using TrueRC Singularity antenna on the copter, and TrueRC x2air (dual crosshairs) on the receiver. I've tried another singularity omni on the receiver as well.
    Is there anything I can try to improve the glitching? I am not flying in a clean radio environment. I'm around trees, flying behind buildings,etc. But I am always here, and don't understand why 2.4 is worse than 5.8ghz, which is contrary to what everyone says. I've tried several frequencies from 2370-2510, and there's not much difference between them.

    SO, is this normal? Is there anything I can try? Right now my best guess is that my 5.8 gear is all new and designed/built w/in the past year, while this 2.4 gear appears to be about 5 year old technology.. and maybe people have learned to build better hardware/software over that time that improves handling of multipathing and other signal issues.. Or maybe something is defective w/ my 2.4 gear.

    I'd appreciate any advice.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    One possibility 2.4 is used on many devices, Bluetooth, TV remotes, etc, it's likely your noise floor is pretty high on 2.4 in a built up area.

    Wheras 5.8 ks typically the upper band of routers and not used as much by other devices, therefore the noise floor could be a lot better on that band.

    From what I recall 2.4 tends to be a better choice away from built up areas, TBS usung 2.4 as their band of choice for most of their LR stuff even using the rubber ducky antenna with great results.

    Personally I would try a few things, first fly both in a non residential area, and see if maybe you have a bad 2.4 vtx, in that setting 2.4 should easily out fly 5.8.

    Second if you have an RF explorer or some of the newer 2.4 RX's that have a spectrum analyser, check the noise floor around your house.

    Third although not available on the TBS units there are some 2.3G frequencies you can try like 2305mhz which is far enough away from the residential 2.4 devices that you might find that better.

    Hope this helps.

    Steve.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
    W7STE

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    I have a Quanum receiver w/ spectrum analyzer, but I don't think it's sensitive enough to pick up WIFI signals.. It detects the VTX when it's powered on, but otherwise, is completely low/flat. And the quanum vrx is otherwise very bad.. I can't fly 10 feed away w/out it fading to black or other issues.
    My control radio is a crossfire, so 915mhz.
    I don't have my phone on me or my laptop or anything else w/ a 2.4 radio. But otherwise, you're right, I'm in a suburban area and every house has wifi. There's a walmart and hardware store nearby w/ who knows what equipment. But like I said, up in the air, even directly above the walmart, 2.4 is working great. More than twice the range of my 5.8 gear (both 2.4 and 5.8 are 500mW). The issue seems to be w/ reflected signal, more so than noise.. although I don't know a lot about radio... maybe interference does manifest itself w/ things like reflected signals more so than range.

    I'm going out to the country this afternoon, and will test some things there.

    I'd rather not purchase new gear because I have a lot invested in TBS 2.4 stuff now.
    The other issue about other brand gear is this is on a microcopter so I need it to be as light as possible. The TBS stuff seemed to be the smallest/lightest options available. I'd love to try the 2.3 band, but I don't think it's an option for this copter. The little 1" across singularity antenna is bigger than my entire flight controller/camera(runcam micro split)/esc stack .
    Last edited by wicked1; 30th June 2018 at 03:26 PM.

  4. #4
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    I hear you I love the TBS 2.4 for its size, but it does not have the coverage down to 2.3, also I know what it is like to invest in a lot of technology, I personally would prefer TBS for my 2.3G coverage, but they could not get the signal stable enough to support it.
    W7STE

  5. #5
    Parochial Nimrod Steezus's Avatar
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    The TrueRC Singularity also lists its' frequency as 2.40 to 2.51, so I would think it wouldn't be compatible with 2.3 either.

    I do remember seeing TBS fly 2.4 through cities like New York and SF without issue and I always wondered how they pulled that off. I just assumed they used a tracker with a big yagi.

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    Well, the country was no better.
    There is no cell phone or internet or WIFI where I was. Miles and miles away from any communications towers or any civilization.
    Same results. Up above the trees, it does pretty good. Range is amazing if I ignore some of the scary flashes and glitches.
    Down under the tree canopy, it's just constant flashes and screen rolling. 5.8 in the same spot was crystal clear down in the trees.

    I'm starting to think something is wrong w/ the gear.. An old ham guy was there and suggested maybe the TX/RX are slightly off in their tuning so it's not locking on to the channel properly.
    It doesn't look like the signal is running out of range, which is usually when it goes grainy and starts to go black and white. It's just harsh flashes and rolling, which I've only seen when I fly my 5.8 stuff from under my aluminum screened in porch, or some other spot that causes huge signal reflections. But, I'm not in those spots while testing the 2.4 stuff. I'm out in the open. The RX is up on a 7' tall tripod. It should be ideal.

    I'd appreciate any advice, or official troubleshooting steps from TBS, if they watch these threads. Thanks.
    Last edited by wicked1; 2nd July 2018 at 09:31 AM.

  7. #7
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    Here's what I'm seeing.
    As soon as I go around the corner of my house, it starts. Under the tree in the front of my house, it's bad. 5.8 in the same area is perfect.
    Then I fly into a field and behind a clump of trees at about 45 seconds. The 2.4 becomes almost unflyable there. 5.8 is still fine there, and I can actually fly about 4 houses further down the street from that point, along the ground, on 5.8. \

    Last edited by wicked1; 2nd July 2018 at 11:42 AM.

  8. #8
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    I’ve had the same sort of issues with the unify 2g4. It’s a huge drag especially seeing videos of this same setup going 10 plus kilometers out with no issues while I’m struggling with static and popping within 100 feet.

  9. #9
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    I gave up on it... I've been having trouble w/ all the TBS gear I've bought over the past 6 months or so.. 2.4, 5.8, and Crossfire. Equivalents from other manufacturers have been fine.
    For 2.4, I tried my friends IRC gear, and it was perfect. It's heavy, though, and I can't really use it on this particular copter.
    Last edited by wicked1; 7th August 2018 at 12:34 AM.

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