The problem with high-gain antennas that nobody is talking about

By | December 2, 2022

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00:00:00 – Why I don't use high-gain antennas
00:00:40 – High gain comes with a cost
00:02:04 – Real-world demonstration
00:03:16 – Does this apply to you or not?


When I test fpv goggles I almost always Test them with a combination of patch And Omni antennas and that leads some People to wonder whether I'm really Showing the goggles in their best light Why don't I put Ultra High Gain patch Antennas on the goggles to maximize the Range in penetration and the truth is That this is what I usually run in real Life I usually do not run Ultra High Gain patch antennas on my goggles to get The maximum range in penetration and That's because there is a hidden Downside to patch antennas that I think A lot of people are overlooking and it May or may not affect you But you should know it's there that's Going to be the topic of this video I'm Joshua Bardwell and you're going to Learn something today here's the thing About antennas that a lot of people Don't know antennas are kind of like This flashlight and this is true weather End to the antenna is receiving or Transmitting although it's easier to Think about it from the transmit side Because it sort of makes sense like the The light bulb puts out light the Antenna puts out radio waves but it Works the same for transmitting and Receiving so I want you to think of the Antennas coverage pattern like this Flashlight beam there's an area where The energy is going and there's an area

Where the energy is not going there's an Area where the coverage is and an area Where the coverage is not and if I go to A higher gain antenna that's like taking And focusing the beam down that is Almost exactly electrically speaking Rfally speaking what a higher gain Antenna does it focuses the beam or the Coverage area down into a tighter area And that means you get more energy in This area but the area in which the Energy is is smaller low gain antenna High Gain antenna now the amount of Energy that's coming out of the antenna Is the same in every case in one case It's spread thinner in one case it's Focused tighter but the key thing is That you don't get a high gain antenna Without giving something up in terms of The coverage pattern and that's the Hidden downside of patch antennas so I've set up a little test here in my Yard to try and demonstrate this effect I've got the quadcopter set up way over There and I've got my goggles how I Normally run them with a patch and an Omni and if I face directly at the Quadcopter we can see we're getting a Solid 50 megabits per second But if I turn around and face away we Can see that immediately drops I've Intentionally picked this location to be Right at the bare edge of the range of The Omni antennas so as long as I'm

Facing forward with the patch antennas I Get great signal but as soon as I fly Around to the side or the rear of the Quadcopter my signal gets weak and I Drop out how would this situation be Different if I had four directional Antennas instead of two directional Antennas and two omnis let's find out so It's not that surprising that while Facing directly at the quadcopter I have 50 megabits per second the difference Becomes apparent as I begin to turn away And I immediately start to see the Signal drop as I turn as little as Wow That's pretty radical If I turn this way Oh there it goes yep it's dropping down And it's going to drop out there it goes It drops out now I know that this is far From a perfect lab test in order to Really demonstrate the differences Between two antennas you need very Controlled conditions and real world Environments are always messy but the General principle that we're Demonstrating here is true and is real If you decide that you want to use Higher gain directional antennas instead Of omnis then you will get increased Range in penetration in front of you That is true but you will get Significantly decreased range in Penetration to the sides and to the back

And whether that works for you depends a Lot on where you fly relative to where You're sitting if you know that you Almost always fly within 180 degree Arc In front of you do this this is the Right decision for you but if you often Fly more in a 360 degree Arc like you're Sitting in a courtyard in the middle of The office Park and you're going all Around you this is a poor choice because And if you don't know this phenomenon Maybe you don't even notice that it's Happening you just think oh there must Be some a thick wall over there some Reason why I can't fly over there it's That you're flying off your antennas Flight beam and if you had an omni Antenna instead you might be getting More usable coverage in the areas that You're actually trying to fly the bottom Line is this whenever you watch somebody Testing goggles if they're testing them With ultra high gain patches and you see That they're getting a certain amount of Range in penetration you should think am I also going to be using High Gain Patches or am I better served by using On Omni and a directional antenna and Therefore maybe I'm not going to get That same range of penetration as long As whoever is doing the comparison is Using the same general type of antenna For the different goggles that they're Testing then you're probably going to

Get a fair comparison if they're using Different antennas like on one set of Goggles they're using four High Gain Patches and on another set of goggles They're using omnis then they there has To be a justification for that decision And you have to understand that that's Going to affect the results now another Thing that affects the range in Penetration you're going to get is going To be the polarization of the antennas That you use should you be using left Hand polarized or right hand polarized And does it even really matter I've got Another video about that and I'm going To put a card on screen and you can go Check that out I'll see you there