Long range telemetry options

Guys,

I am looking for the best long range telemetry options legal in Europe.

My goal is to rover around the house and may be street to so a max range on 250m is enough, but this is on the ground not in air… and not in plain line of sight… I would like to stream FPV + telemetry to the ground station

  • 4G modem is the longest range of course but will cost you especially for video and the dongle itself is rather pricy here in NL, it has to wait a bit until proce drops…
  • As i have a rover i could just glue my old mobile phone on the rover and I have 3G but this is not enough??(not sure here) for streaming video + telemetry.
  • WIFI is what i have now but the range in not adequate, I admit I have a cheap usb dongle now in the pi(tiny EDIMAX no external antenna) so would a better WIFI dongle give me the desired range? 250 m on the ground…
  • radio 3DR 420 MHz band i believe would work in Europe, not sure how much range and bandwidth I would get…?

Any tips from the experts here on the forum?

EDIT:
additionally power consumption is also an issue.
some wifi adapters need a powered USB hub in between right?

Much appreciated

hugo

1 Like

Hi Hugo,

Wifi:

I tried to control my rover with wifi at first and it does not really matter what adapter you use. I had a router mounted on my rover with two 9dbi omni antennas and a router in client mode to connect to it. I streamed video and sent control commands through this connection and I never got much further than 150m on an open filed. One day I tried it in thick fog and the connection dropped before the rover was out of sight (50m). With the power restrictions in europe, you have to use directional antennas and point them at the vehicle. Best would be to have directional antennas on both ends.

Smartphone/mobile phone on rover:

There is an android app called “andruav”, it is made by the same guy that does the Hefnycopter firmware for KK2.x boards. It works well, streaming video from the smartphone and telemetry from the smartphone or different flightcontrollers. I tried to put one of my old smartphones on my rover connected via USB, but the RPi could not provide the power needed to charge the phone, so the USB connection went on and off constantly. Perhaps you could slice the USB cable and connect the phone to another power source, but I did not try it.

433MHz telemetry:

This it what I use at the moment, but only for telemetry/configuration. With 100mW and 19200baud airspeed I get a range of 500m on the ground, more with a plane or copter. The bandwidth is much to low to stream video through it.
I use a dedicated FPV transmitter for this.

I use in US 4G/3G. Not free, but pretty cheap. Range basically unlimited.

I have tried high-power WiFi - doesn’t work
I have tried radio telemetry - doesn’t work
I have tried amateur radio band telemetry - works, but only for non-commercial (usually 2M band), so I can’t use it for my project.

So I ended up with 3G/4G with a tiny router on the rover. Bandwidth varies with signal strength, of course, but with 4G… easy to stream video.

Hi Tim,

Thx for your post, you have a rover project too?
Do you have some description of pics of it? love pics…

Btw do you stream video or does it operate more autonomous?

Any additional sensors on it to do object avoidance?

hugo

@hugokoopmans

Hugo

I do have a rover. I am building a vineyard/orchard management system, with a (large) rover and a hexacopter for surveillance of the vineyard. They communicate and will work autonomously.

I currently have the prototype (smaller) rover done, and am testing GPS positioning and CV recognition of the vine stress with openCV. We have a team of 5 folks working on it.

Interested in contributing?

Tim

1 Like

Hi
Thanks for trying Andruav. yes this is me Mohammad Hefny the same guy that does HefnyCopter.

I suggest you may use less weight smaller device such as
http://www.amazon.com/Flylinktech®-S6-Android-Camera-Unlocked/dp/B00LPC89NW/ref=pd_sim_sbs_107_5?ie=UTF8&refRID=0VCNCPVG9BE3F1G4N6AX&dpID=41EAGYRizML&dpSrc=sims&preST=AC_UL160_SR160%2C160#technicalSpecifications_feature_div

Please keep following Andruav, it will support many nice features soon. :smile:

hello guys,

did you also try with this equipment item that claim to be very powerful in open field (1000mW)

If someone is interested I will be able to feedback you on it (should receive it by the end of this week).

The bad thing about 4G is that you need to subscribe to a dedicated line for your UAV (or play with removing/reinstalling your phone sim card at every flight which is really annoying…).
I ordered a second SIM and when I connected it, it automatically killed my previous SIM card that actually was installed in my phone.

does somebody have a clue on how to avoid that? Having a specific SIM with dedicated phone nbr is quite expensive in France (~20 eur / month)

Thanks for your answers!
Guillaume