Best long range WiFi practices for copters

Hello folks!

I’ve been recently trying to establish reliable WiFi communication between ground station and navio. My target is to have consistent connection between 0.5 - 1 MB/s in radius of 500 meters with clear view, and perhaps 300 m with some minor obstacles on the way (like trees). I also need to have the connection at any angle to the drone, either it’s directly above me or the drone some distance away from me within 500m radius (assuming that ground antenna always points towards the drone).

I’ve tried different combination of WiFi dongles and antennas, but nothing worked even closely for me. I mostly use Alpha modems, since they have good reviews and linux support.

Here is the modems I have:

And these are antennas:

I also bought a booster - APA06-1, but connecting it doesn’t give any power increase, but actually it decreases the signal intensity for some reason.

I tried ALL kind of combinations antennas/modems (with different antenna’s pointing directions) on ground and drone side with hardware mentioned above, but none of them gave me a proper result.

For testing I used wavemon and iperf software.

The best connection I could get was with following setup: on drone it’s AWUS036NHA+ARS-H002 the antenna attached under the battery parallel to the ground; on the ground I have AWUS036ACH with APA-M25 and APA-M04 antennas pointing towards drone. At this setup I could get more or less stable connection up to 100m, but the signal consistency was highly depended on drone’s heading (onboard antenna orientation to the ground station).

Does anybody managed to establish a good WiFi connection that meets my requirements? Maybe you could give some tips how to increase the range of signal?

Thank you in advance!

Ubiquiti makes some good products for this type of project. We have a radio on a 90ft tower that creates a wifi network that has a .5 to 1 mile radius, in all directions. They also have directional setups we have established a 5 mile link with.

I use ground ubiquiti m5 in 5G with traker and 5km antenna without problem.

Have you also checked whether you really send with 30 dbi Tx?

Thank you for you replies, guys! Eventually the problem was (you wan’t believe) in USB cable to a doungle, as long as we changed it the connection stability increased dramatically. I would never think!
We also bought ubiquiti m5 and the performance is great indeed.

Would it be possible to provide a link to the components you use? I am new to outdoor WiFi practices, so would really appreciate a few links, and possibly a picture of your setup.


I use ubiquiti m2 on the ground with APA-M041 7 dbi antenna. While on drone there is AWUS036NHA with ARS-H002 5 dbi .


I’ve been experimenting with CP antennas (crosshair & skew planar), this has produced great results.

I also found boosters to be useless. I believe its because the create too much noise which counteracts any increase in signal strength.

I am flying with a modified GL-AR150 UAV side and this has also produced excellent results…

Awesome, thanks!