Some tips on picking drones frequencies

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    Jeff-T
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    Some tips on picking wireless frequencies

    Wireless can be something of a black art, and there are a dizzying array of standards and choices. Here are some simple guidelines to help you pick wisely:

    • RC and amateur UAV gear usually operates in these frequency ranges:

    1. 72 MHz (older analog RC gear in the US)
    2. 35 MHz (older analog RC gear in Europe)
    3. 433 MHz (RC and telemetry, in Europe)
    4. 900-915 MHz (video and telemetry, in the US)
    5. 1.3 GHz (video)
    6. 2.4 GHz (digital RC gear, video and telemetry)
    7. 5.8 GHz (video)
    • It is a bad idea to have transmitters and receivers in the same frequency range, so you’ll want to choose your equipment to avoid this. Even if they use different frequencies, try to keep transmitters (telemetry, video) and receivers (RC, GPS) as far apart as possible. The only time you should consider having two radios onboard that share the same frequency is if they are digital spread-spectrum radios, such as those in the 2.4 GHz range.

    • In general, the lower the frequency the longer the range because it can go around obstructions better, so 900 MHz video tends to have longer range than 2.4 GHz video. But digital transmission technology can more than compensate for that, so it’s not a hard-and-fast rule. For instance, a high-end spread-spectrum 2.4 GHz wireless video setup can outperform a lower-end 900 MHz one.

    • Some frequency ranges are more crowded than others. For instance, indoors and in urban environments 2.4 GHz has to compete with everything from WiFi to Bluetooth to cordless phones. 900 MHz just competes with some cordless phones.

    • 1.3 GHz is quite close to the frequencies the GPS satellites transmit at, and it can degrade your GPS performance. If you are using a 1.3 GHz transmitter, keep it as far from your GPS module as possible.

    Here are some sample recommended configurations:

    RC      Telemetry Video
    Configuration 1 (US) 2.4 GHz      915 MHz 5.8 GHz
    Configuration 2 (Europe) 2.4 GHz      433 MHz 5.8 GHz
    Configuration 3 (US)

    Configuration 4 (Europe)

    2.4 GHz

    2.4 GHz

         915 MHz

    433 MHz

    1.3 GHz

    1.3 GHz

     

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