Basics of drone antenna video
You have probably heard of a drone antenna if you are a drone enthusiast. This page will give you a clear understanding of what a drone antenna is and offers you some of the best choices regarding drone antennas.
There are a lot of factors to be considered when choosing the best drone antenna. The best antenna is not necessarily the one that will fly the furthest. Others factors such as interference, dropped frames etc. must be considered before deciding on which is the best.
Ideally, the best drone antenna is an antenna that will reduce the bounce rate, fly far, and generally emit or receive the best signal. Several factors have been considered in ranking the drone antennas listed on this page.
There are four types of drone antennas:
- Linear Polarized Directional Antenna
- Linear Polarized Omni Directional Antenna
- Circular Polarized Directional Antenna
- Circular Polarized Omni Directional Antenna
Before we move further to the top 5 of drone antennas, let’s make sure that we do understand what to look for, if we intend to buy a drone antenna.
Things to consider before buying a drone antenna
Drone Antenna polarization
The antenna polarization, or combination, that you choose will depend on the frequency that you want. Antennas using high frequencies such as 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz are prone to multi-path video interference due to the reflection of the RF signal. Basically, circular polarization is better than linear polarization at these high frequencies.
Drone Antenna Direction
An Omni directional antenna transmits and listen from all directions while the Directional antenna does so in a single direction. The Omni directional will give you video irrespective of the orientation of the drone, which the Directional ones will require the drone to travel in only one direction; change direction and you lose video.
Make sure that you have the proper drone antenna for your particular transmitter and receiver frequency. They cannot be cross-matched, so a 5.8GHZ antenna cannot work with a 2.4GHz system. High frequency antennas are also smaller and more portable, and found to operate better than the low frequency antennas.
If you want the best range and video, you should consider the placement of your antenna. Always keep the video transmitter far from the radio system antenna and GPS receiver antenna for the best performance. Make sure that there is a clear line of communication form your transmitter and receiver. Obstruction by the drone body can make you lose video.
Top 5 best drone antennas
Here is a list of the best drone antennas on the market:
1) IBCRazy (5.8GHz)
This is perhaps the best drone antenna on the market when it comes to video. It is well-known for its range and perfect QC. The antenna is quite pricey, but this translates into better flight and video transmission. The antennas are exposed on the drone, and this is why they are encased in a reinforced nylon hub. This means that after a crash, the antenna can be bent back into shape and continue operating as normal. If you are looking for precision flight, then this is the antenna that you should choose. It is manufactured by video areal systems for IBCrazy.
2) FarView Pagoda (5.8GHz)
For an open source antenna, this is quite a remarkable piece of drone equipment. It has excellent performance and gives great video clarity. It also has a long range, and beats some of the more popular branded antennas. The FarView Pagoda, however, is susceptible to damage, especially during crashes. The top plates shift around and have to be bent back into position. For just a few dollars, you can get a 3D printed protective cap which will stop the plates from bending during crashes. The antenna is not expensive, which is a surprise given the high-performance that it facilitates.
3) TBS Triumph (5.8GHz)
The TBS Triumph is a great innovation from an IBCrazy founder, Alex Greve. It does not have any active parts, which may make the manufacture difficult, but it is the best for free-style pilots because it is quite sturdy – some say that it is unbreakable. The antenna is light and gives clear video for the best flight. It also provides great range. This is an upgraded clover leaf/skew planar design, and it does not have any bent wire. Perhaps this lends itself to the durability of the antenna. This antenna drops very few frames during flight and is the dream of pilots who love to take calculated risks, while clearly seeing what they are doing.
4) ImmersionRC 5.8GHz SpiroNet
This is an antenna that has become very popular due to its great video transmission and quality mix and also the mid-range price level. The fantastic signal strength comes from the skewplainer design which makes for the best signal irrespective of the orientation of the drone. The antenna is encased in a tough shell that is resistant to some of the most-violent collisions. The antenna can survive crashes at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. This is quite remarkable. The red antenna shaft is another plus feature for the Spironet, since it can be bent into any position that you may desire. This removes the need for L or W type SMA/RP-SMA connectors.
5) Lumenier Axii
This is another fantastic antenna, giving great performance and video. It is quite expensive, but also durable, so your investment is protected. It has top gain and axial ratio, and therefore performs well even when flying low next to the ground. This is one of the reasons why it is said to be the best for race pilots. The antenna has a 1.0 Axil ratio, which means that it will perform well even in areas where there is bound to be a lot of multipath interference. This makes it great for racing across warehouses or parking lots. For pilots who love speed and need an antenna with 1.0 Axil ratio and durable antenna, this is the perfect choice to make.
When choosing the best drone antenna for your FPV, you need to consider many factors. However, you should think about the frequency, direction, polarization and placement first. You should also consider the performance of the antenna and weight it against its durability. Know what kind of flying you will be doing before you choose your antenna. This article has barely scratched the surface about the best drone antennas, but the five listed above are the best performers in the market, so you can get one for your FPV (drone).
Make sure to check out our recent guide about best drone landing pads too.