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Typhoon H Video/Control Range

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Typhoon H video link and control range with the ST16 is specified as "up to 1 mile." Is that realistic? My Typhoon 4K video link usually dies around 1,200 feet. I'm thinking about getting an H for a little better range,the Curved Cable Cam capability, and the obstacle avoidance in Follow Me mode.
 

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Typhoon H video link and control range with the ST16 is specified as "up to 1 mile." Is that realistic? My Typhoon 4K video link usually dies around 1,200 feet. I'm thinking about getting an H for a little better range,the Curved Cable Cam capability, and the obstacle avoidance in Follow Me mode.
The "up to" could mean anywhere from 10 to 5000'. The 5000' would be under ideal conditions and I'm not clear about that reference including video range. The control distance is certainly that far. When I first got the H 18 months ago I tested the video range between the tops of two hills in a rural area and had video up to about 3700'. After I landed I realized the mushroom antenna was horizontal rather than vertical so that certainly inhibited the range. At other locations I could manage 2500' but often have trouble with trees blocking the signal. In dense tree cover I'm lucky to get 1000'. Because I fly in forested areas, I added an external antenna to the ST16. That helps with the video signal strength considerably. If you are flying in an urban area you will most certainly get less range.

1200' with the Q500 isn't terrible. I have gotten about 2200' with stock antennas but the video will drop as soon as you yaw the Q. Again, I added the external antenna to the ST10 for more reliable video. Without question, the H is at least double the range of the Q and probably more. You certainly have to watch the battery voltage when going far and you also need know the wind direction. I try to plan my longer flights always going upwind.
 
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I have a now retired P2V whose video range was only anything between 500' and 800' more often than not dropping out on the lower end of that range (one reason why I retired it), despite the range being quoted as 300m. Quoted ranges, then, are not to be trusted since such ranges can only be achieved in perfect conditions, though it is true to say that some people achieve better ranges especially if using antenna boosters.

Since the P2V, UAS' have come a long way and video ranges have also increased. For example, my P2V+ can give a video range all the way out to my maximum VLOS (1200' as a dot in the distance). Same with my H480 (1500' that I can vouch for). 1200' feet, then, is reasonable for a T4K...Far better that earlier UAS'.
 
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The "up to" could mean anywhere from 10 to 5000'. The 5000' would be under ideal conditions and I'm not clear about that reference including video range. The control distance is certainly that far. When I first got the H 18 months ago I tested the video range between the tops of two hills in a rural area and had video up to about 3700'. After I landed I realized the mushroom antenna was horizontal rather than vertical so that certainly inhibited the range. At other locations I could manage 2500' but often have trouble with trees blocking the signal. In dense tree cover I'm lucky to get 1000'. Because I fly in forested areas, I added an external antenna to the ST16. That helps with the video signal strength considerably. If you are flying in an urban area you will most certainly get less range.

1200' with the Q500 isn't terrible. I have gotten about 2200' with stock antennas but the video will drop as soon as you yaw the Q. Again, I added the external antenna to the ST10 for more reliable video. Without question, the H is at least double the range of the Q and probably more. You certainly have to watch the battery voltage when going far and you also need know the wind direction. I try to plan my longer flights always going upwind.
Thanks for your reply, Steve. My flight topography runs the gamut from downtown urban areas to open water and marsh. The open water is another reason I'd like the fail-safe aspects of the extra motors and rotors on the H versus my T4K. I'm certainly not looking to fly it a mile away. It's tough enough to keep VLOS at 1,200 feet, where I usually find my T4K video starts to get twitchy. But invariably, my subject is only another 200-300 feet away!

Like you, and especially over water, I try to fly outbound legs upwind. But my typical flight is never longer than 7-8 minutes, so I almost never get into a low-battery situation. With an H, I could envision flying a route once to set up CCC waypoints, then switching to a fresh battery to re-fly it for grabbing the video.

It sounds like you're telling me I can reasonably expect at least a little better video range from the H versus the T4K. If it's another 200-300 feet, it will likely be enough. An aerial camera platform is only as good as its viewfinder.

--Doug
 
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I have a now retired P2V whose video range was only anything between 500' and 800' more often than not dropping out on the lower end of that range (one reason why I retired it), despite the range being quoted as 300m. Quoted ranges, then, are not to be trusted since such ranges can only be achieved in perfect conditions, though it is true to say that some people achieve better ranges especially if using antenna boosters.

Since the P2V, UAS' have come a long way and video ranges have also increased. For example, my P2V+ can give a video range all the way out to my maximum VLOS (1200' as a dot in the distance). Same with my H480 (1500' that I can vouch for). 1200' feet, then, is reasonable for a T4K...Far better that earlier UAS'.
Roger on the "dot in the distance" at 1,200 feet, FlushVision. I'd certainly never be able to see the aircraft from a mile away. But getting video for another 200-300 feet past my T4K's range may be just enough, and I know I can keep VLOS at that distance. Thanks!

--Doug
 
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Best I have done with my H, all stock antennas is 3500 feet at about 150 feet in altitude. H was just a small dot. No way other than remembering which way I was pointed to check orientation other than the green arrow. I use to fly out over the river to film the cargo ships, but those flights were never more than 500-600 feet away. Made mental note that feet dry battery voltage was 15 Volts. The RTH feature was upgraded in the firmware, so that when activated the H would turn to face the ST-16. Made for a neat trick to regain orientation should you ever loose it. Just flick it on, let it turn, then switch back to angle mode.
Fly Safe.
 
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Best I have done with my H, all stock antennas is 3500 feet at about 150 feet in altitude. H was just a small dot. No way other than remembering which way I was pointed to check orientation other than the green arrow. I use to fly out over the river to film the cargo ships, but those flights were never more than 500-600 feet away. Made mental note that feet dry battery voltage was 15 Volts. The RTH feature was upgraded in the firmware, so that when activated the H would turn to face the ST-16. Made for a neat trick to regain orientation should you ever loose it. Just flick it on, let it turn, then switch back to angle mode.
Fly Safe.
Thanks for the data, Bob. I'd be more than delighted with a 3,500 foot video range! And that's a great idea implemented by the new firmware to yaw the bird to face the controller in RTH mode! As far as I know, that doesn't happen with RTH on my T4K; it just starts returning home facing whatever was its last heading. I have to wait 'til its close enough to see the orientation before switching back to angle mode.

I'd be interested to hear whether anyone else has gotten that kind of video link range with the stock antennas on their H.

--Doug
 

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Many folks don't look at the Green Arrow. I shows the orientation of the aircraft. When it points straight up, the camera is facing you. So just yaw until it's pointing up and then push the right stick forward to fly it back. The signal on the H is most assuredly better than the Q. At least a factor of 2.
 
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Many folks don't look at the Green Arrow. I shows the orientation of the aircraft. When it points straight up, the camera is facing you. So just yaw until it's pointing up and then push the right stick forward to fly it back. The signal on the H is most assuredly better than the Q. At least a factor of 2.
Steve, you confused me when you wrote: Many folks don't look at the Green Arrow. It shows the orientation of the aircraft. When it points straight up, the camera is facing you" Don't you mean the H is facing you? The cam can be at any position,,, And if the Green Arrow is pointing straight down then push the right stick downward to fly it back. OK?
 
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Many folks don't look at the Green Arrow. I shows the orientation of the aircraft. When it points straight up, the camera is facing you. So just yaw until it's pointing up and then push the right stick forward to fly it back. The signal on the H is most assuredly better than the Q. At least a factor of 2.
Okay, thanks again, Steve. A 2x improvement on video range would be great! I think I'm close to pulling the trigger on a new H.

As for the green arrow, I understand the concept. Just pull or push right stick in the direction to which it points, and your bird comes back to you. But when the video signal has frozen, I find the green arrow gets a little flaky. On the T4K, I assume telemetry and the data needed to orient the arrow correctly on the controller comes back with the video on the 5.8 MHz link. So if video goes out, so does telemetry. Controls on the 2.4 GHz ink still work, but you don't necessarily see response on the video screen. Am I wrong about that?

--Doug
 

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Yes, of course. With the Q, the camera is fixed which is what the OP is flying currently. Thanks for the clarification.
 

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Okay, thanks again, Steve. A 2x improvement on video range would be great! I think I'm close to pulling the trigger on a new H.

As for the green arrow, I understand the concept. Just pull or push right stick in the direction to which it points, and your bird comes back to you. But when the video signal has frozen, I find the green arrow gets a little flaky. On the T4K, I assume telemetry and the data needed to orient the arrow correctly on the controller comes back with the video on the 5.8 MHz link. So if video goes out, so does telemetry. Controls on the 2.4 GHz ink still work, but you don't necessarily see response on the video screen. Am I wrong about that?

--Doug
It's always been my understanding there are 3 signals: Video at 5.8GHZ, aircraft control at 2.4GHZ and telemetry at 2.4. I have found the same thing as you, however. If you loose video, the telemetry is iffy. I think that relates to the antenna location on the controller. On some occasions I have lost video but the green arrow was still working but with a lag.
 
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It's always been my understanding there are 3 signals: Video at 5.8GHZ, aircraft control at 2.4GHZ and telemetry at 2.4. I have found the same thing as you, however. If you loose video, the telemetry is iffy. I think that relates to the antenna location on the controller. On some occasions I have lost video but the green arrow was still working but with a lag.
Thanks, Steve. Sounds like your experience has been like mine. But if the range of the H is noticeably better than the T4K, that should be a non-issue for me. I just want to see what I'm recording from a bit further away.

--Doug
 
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Roger on the "dot in the distance" at 1,200 feet, FlushVision. I'd certainly never be able to see the aircraft from a mile away. But getting video for another 200-300 feet past my T4K's range may be just enough, and I know I can keep VLOS at that distance. Thanks!

--Doug
There is a trick I use to find out the orientation of the aircraft without having to look at the screen when the aircraft it that 'dot in the distance'. Indeed, without using this trick my VLOS would be less by a couple of hundred feet. Assuming the RC is in mode 2: Apply a bit of right stick upwards so that the aircraft is in slow forward flight while at the same time input some yaw with the left stick. If you yaw to the left and you see the aircraft moving left, then continue with the forward movement and left yaw until you no-longer see leftwards movement with the aircraft. At that point the aircraft will be facing you. If the aircraft appears to be moving to the right when you start this procedure, then change the yaw to the right. When the aircraft stops showing any lateral movement, it'll be facing you. Handy to know if you lose the video feed.

Remember that VLOS is determined by the maximum distance you can maintain orientation of the aircraft without visual aid other than a pair of glasses, and without relying on the screen. By using the above method I can claim to have VLOS of a Phantom up to 1200,' and a larger aircraft like the H480 to 1500', but this is my absolute maximum. To be comfortable I tend to stay below 1000' and 1300' for the Phantom and H480 respectively.
 
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The range depends slightly on which firmware you're using - the European firmware uses lower transmission power, which results in shorter distances. However, the H is certainly capable of 4000'+ even on European firmware *in good conditions*. Good conditions are: Flat, open ground. No reflective surfaces, buildings or scattering vegetation. Clear line of sight between craft and controller. Low solar activity and clear skies. Aerials correctly aligned.
 
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I ran across this CaptainDrone video showing Typhoon range, showing it with and without his homebrew egg carton reflector for the ST16:
 
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Since the video transmitting antenna is inside of the CGO3+ camera, the signal strength that you will receive varies with the direction that the camera is pointed. I've noticed when flying away and the camera is pointed away from me, the video signal holds up well to some distance. But when I turn the camera, the video breaks up until the TH get closer to the ST16.

I see that the antenna position for the E90 camera is external. This should make video signal strength independent of camera orientation. Good idea.
 
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Just as a follow-up, I did pull the trigger on a new Typhoon H Pro. Had it a week. Still getting to know it. Still forgetting to raise the gear. I need somebody in ATC to tell me after take-off, "Check wheels up. Cleared to pan and shoot video." Flew it on IPS in the living room. It went a whole lot batter than it did when I tried that with my Typhoon 4K. No props broken by backing into the ottoman! Took it out over the lake about 2,000 feet away and had solid video (with the camera's back to me; didn't try it the other way.). Orbit Me worked fine. Haven't yet tried POI or CCC. Yesterday, I switched on OBS Avoid and deliberately flew toward the backyard fence in angle mode. It stopped. Then I had it Watch Me in smart mode as I walked it toward the branches of a big ol' tree. It nicely altered course around the tree while keeping me in the frame with no help from me (phew!). But the biggest improvement I notice is there's absolutely no Jell-O in the video from this thing. My Typhoon 4K isn't bad, but it can make Jell-O when the wind and angle are right. I've yet to see a lick of Jell-O from the H. I'm pleased as punch with it so far.
 

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The way I remember to retract the landing gear is as part of flight preparation. After turning on the props I go up 15-20 ft and I make sure it is hovering properly. After that the gear go up and I begin the flying.
 
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Sounds like that works for you. Right now, gear only gets in the shot if I shift into Watch Me, forgetting that the H just pans its camera instead of yawing the nose to face me. Usually, I'm in angle mode with the camera looking straight ahead, and I tend to fly the H like the 4K and just yaw to point the camera. Hitting gear up could be a checklist item, but it should be in automatic memory. Even airline pilots forget sometimes. Just recently, one of 'em realized the gear was still down in cruise from the excessive fuel burn. Had to turn around a plane full of passengers and go back.
 

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