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Issues and differences with E90 and C23 cameras related to 5.8 GHz and downlink video and telemetry


Part 107 certificate
Premium Pilot
Sep 5, 2018
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Matthews, North Carolina
OK folks, please bear with me. I have spent a fair amount of time testing cameras related to downlink signal affecting video viewing and telemetry. I have two H 520s that perform well. I use an E90 camera and a C23 camera interchangeably with either drone. Both record beautiful 4K video and photos. The problem is with the E90. I am going to list a set of tests that I have conducted comparing the two cameras. Neither camera has ever been injured; in fact neither has ever had a hard landing. I have two ST16S controllers; one with standard antennas and patch; one with an Itelite DBS extender. Both of the controllers are on the same updates and are running DataPilot 1.6.97. Just for completeness sake, I did open the E90 and confirmed that the WiFi antenna was properly attached; I also checked the antenna for continuity with a volt-ohm meter.

1. I measured each of the cameras on my laptop WiFi signal strength software in close proximity to the drone, indoors. The E90 signal ranged from -31 dB to -22 dB. The C23 signal ranged from -33 dB to -24 dB.
2. I flew each of the cameras on each of the drones using the ST16S with the standard antennas and the patch. Flights were at 30 meters AGL with distance from the controller of 300 meters. This is in a suburban area with dense housing; VLOS with no intervening trees at the 300 meters mark. The C23 demonstrated no loss of video (or stutters) at that distance with the camera doing a slow 360 degree view. the E90 not only had video interruptions, but had two relatively brief losses of camera connectivity. This was regained relatively quickly and appeared to be related to the orientation of the camera during the 360 degree view.
3. I flew each of the cameras with each of the drones using the ST16S with the Itelite. The C23 did exactly as before, i.e. no problems. The E 90 did not have any loss of connectivity, but with frequent stutters in the video, primarily during the camera rotation.
4. These findings were no different depending on which drone that I used.
5. All of the video from both cameras was beautiful and uninterrupted.

OK, I am open to do other tests to provide further information, but I need your advice and experience about where to go from here. Is it possible that the E90 WiFi board is not workings as intended in spite of the fact that it had a higher overall signal in the indoor testing?

Let me know what you recommend,
  • Wow
Reactions: Steve Carr

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