The range of your transmitter is an important aspect of this hobby as it can even save up money by avoiding failsafe and getting connection lost with the receiver. Different transmitters have different ranges with different receivers and it depends on many other aspects as well. So in this article, we are going to learn how to do FrSky long range antenna modification.

 

Simply doing this modification may not give you extended range if that is what you are thinking. We need to understand the different aspects on which the range of your transmitter depends in order to understand if you really need to do this mod. It depends on how your receiver antennas are mounting, how they are mounted, in what orientation they are mounted, and the orientation of the transmitter antenna. 

Maybe you are not getting a good range just because of some other reason like the wrong antenna orientation. Troubleshoot your problem first and find if it’s related to the range issues of your transmitter. Maybe you don’t even need this FrSky long range antenna Mod at all. 

 

What is this Mod? 

Have you ever wondered what kind of an Antenna is on your Taranis. Then here is the answer to that question. It is a 2dB dipole antenna that comes out of the factory on the Taranis and it is not removable (Except for the X9D Plus where it comes with a detachable antenna). 

So in this Mod we are going to change that 2dB antenna to a 5dB antenna. We need to understand the radiating pattern of both these antennas to have a better understanding of how this will help to have a better range compared to the stock antenna.  

As you can see from the image, the structure of the radiating pattern of the 2dB antenna is oval-shaped. However, the structure of the radiating pattern of the 5dB antennas is a circle with a radius of more than that of a 2dB antenna. 

The higher gain of the 5dB antenna changes the shape of the radiating pattern and make it more directional than narrowing it. Hence it will give more range to the left and right side of the antenna and less range on the top and the button. On the other hand, the 2dB antenna will give more range on the top and bottom and less on the right and left. 

Assuming that you keep an antenna horizontally, it will allow you to fly longer range with a 5dB antenna. But, if you place the antenna in an upright position, the signal is going to be much worse. That is why you need to keep the antenna in an upright position if you are having the stock 2dB antenna to have good signal strength.

So we are going to do FrSky long range antenna Mod where the antenna will be detachable that will allow you to switch between the 2dB and 5dB antennas. So let’s get started

 

Step 1: Get all necessary Components

  • 5dB Antenna & RP-SMA Pigtail - https://tinyurl.com/y3k76oz2

This kit contains the 5dB antenna and the RP-SMA pigtail which is necessary to do the FrSky long range antenna Mod. Grab a 2dB antenna as well in case if you will experience any issues with the 5dB antenna

 

Step 2:  Open the Taranis 

  1. Open the 6 Screws that hold the two halves of the Taranis
  2. Remove the Ribbon cable attached to the rear body and separate the two halves

 

Step 3: Clean the RF Module

Now it is time to solder the Pigtail. But before that clean the RF Module PCB and remove the old antenna. There will be leftovers of holt glue and you need to remove it.

Step 4: Remove Original Antenna

Once you desolder the antenna, remove the antenna and its holder using a Plier or tweezer.

 

Step 5: Solder RP-SMA Cable

Carefully solder the Pigtail without applying too much heat. The RF PCB is very sensitive and applying too much heat can even damage it. So be careful and don’t damage the RF Module. Insert the RP SMA Pigtail with the Plastic part and add hot glue to place it there.

Step 6: Checking for Issues

Once you complete the Mod, you need to check if everything is working alright. Do some range tests or check the SWR value and you will know if there are any issues. 

 

We have learned how to do FrSky long range antenna Mod and the consequences that can be arisen if it’s not done carefully. It will give you more range as the radiation pattern is much broader than the stock antenna. Moreover, you can change the antennas regularly without any soldering that makes it a tremendous upgrade. 

Many users have reported that this Mod has damaged their radios, hence be careful when doing this Mod and do it at your own risk. What I can promise is, if you do it without damaging the RF Module, then everything is going to be fine. I will be soon back with another tutorial. Till then, Safe Flyings!