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Perfect Spark Antenna mod RP-SMA

Ender

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Jun 2, 2017
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Hi !

You may have read in my other posts that i glued 2 RP-SMA pigtails to my Spark RC.
I get much better range with good Antennas but regular RP-SMA pigtails dont really fit as there is no room inside (different from Mavic).
Here i found GREAT RP-SMA so i will end my 3D print experiments NOW ;-)

Clean Install Kit for DJI Mavic Pro

Greetings,

Ender
 

Falk Lumo

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Jun 24, 2017
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Munich, Germany
Hi Ender,

I follow and enjoy your posts. However, I am new to DJI and somehow I loose track of what you are telling us actually.

Do you mean above that one could buy and install the linked Mavic Clean Install Kit on the Spark RC? And then use any SMA antenna (like Itelite Nanosync)?

Greetings, Falk
 

Falk Lumo

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Jun 24, 2017
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Thanks, Ender for your kind reply.
I was already aware of your teardown thread, and a few Spark RC teardown/mod YT videos.
But it still can be kind of confusing to a DJI newbie ...

But according to my flight tests so far (EU), I definitely need to mod the RC to get acceptable range. Without a mod, I feel range is limited to some 200m where I can really trust the connection. This may be ok for some applications (wedding), but certainly is limiting what this wonderful drone is capable of (landscape).

Thanks again, Falk
 

Ender

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Jun 2, 2017
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Hi !

I found the time to *do* it and its fantastic !
Not only do these Antenna fit but also the accompanying washers make the fit & look perfect.
See two images (some leftovers of the glue i needed for my first install of "normal" pigtails).
But i hope you can see how perfect the fit is !

Greetings,

Ender
20170711_231602.jpg 20170711_231614.jpg
 
Last edited:

Dronason

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Jun 28, 2017
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Ordered one set. Will see after vacation. This way was effective for Phantom 3.
In the mean time I will have to use some Mavic windsurfer.
 

Ender

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Jun 2, 2017
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The things you might check while assembling the remote back:
-Fasten the RP-SMA screws REALLY tightly as they should not move when screwing on/off the Antenna
-There are small transparent inlays in the record / photo buttons that can easily get lost.
-The Antenna cable needs to be put away from the screw holes and the gimbal / up down potentiometer
-The sports switch cover has to be in the right position (same as real switch)
-Don't forget any of the cables :button PCB ribbon cable, battery cable, 2xjoystick ribbon cables

Thats all obvious but nevertheless i managed to mess up one or more of those things :)

Ender
 

Falk Lumo

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Jun 24, 2017
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I modified my RC now. Optically and mechanically, looks ok. Also, I can connect DJI Go to RC and everything looks ok (reports there is new firmware for the RC, stick calibration was going well too).

However, I cannot get the RC to bind or link to the craft anymore. The RC keeps flashing green (after I initiate bind) forever, with loud beeps. Of course, with antennas installed (a pair of omnidirectional ones). I reset the Spark to factory too.

Any idea, did I break the RC?
 

Ender

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Hi Falk,
first i hope that you are 100% on how to bind (not offending you, just to be sure).
--> switch on spark and long press power button until one beep, then put remote in binding mode ?!

If thats a given its hard.
Does the RC behave normally otherwise ?!
You shouldn't even have to rebind, it was bound to that very same Spark, right ?

Ugh.

Factory mode sets it to WiFi mode.

Ender
 

Falk Lumo

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Jun 24, 2017
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Ok, I guess I broke it, although I think I was really careful with the mod. Just wanted to make sure there is nothing odd to be done to get it working after the mod. Guess the transceiver to the Spark somehow became defunct.

Good news is that new RCs from China now are just 130€, but hate to do the mod again ;)
 

Ender

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Jun 2, 2017
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Falk, :-(

Could you try to reflash in case "just" the filesystem is corrupted ?!

May PM me !

Ender
 

xtro83

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Jun 17, 2017
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the teardown for spark rc


What is a pity is that this mod only works on the emission / reception of the rc nothing for ac
 

Falk Lumo

Member
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Jun 24, 2017
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Munich, Germany
Update and success.

Strange things were happening. First, I flashed the updated FW, but still impossible to link.

So, I decided to roll back the mod and install the original antenna. In order to give it away to some interested party and keep the mod kit.

Just before closing the case, I tested it out again and ... it linked! (yes, the RC works w/o the joysticks connected and when open) This made me wonder.

Now, I reinstalled the mod kit (but with another set of SP-SMA plugs as I have two sets). And with two pigtail antennas, it still worked. RC closed, tested again, everything works as it should (test flight ok). Other than assuming that one or both RP-SMA plugs have been defect, I have no explaination for this.

I am happy I don't have to aquire another RC (although I found one new at 130€ which is pretty bargain). and that I am through this.


Some details about the mod:

I have both the "Clean Install Kit" and the "Itelite Nanosync for Mavic Kit". I used the Clean Install Kit (but with the RP-SMA plugs from the Itelite), i.e., I did NOT install the bracket for the Nanosync antenna. Reason is that with the bracket installed, other antenna with RP-SMA connectors may not fit anymore (too tight). One can, however just shift the Nanosync bracket over the SMA connectors (w/o screwing as it fits tight anyway) and still use the Nanosync. As I am not sure yet how much I am going to like the Nanosync, I prefer it this way. It is what Ender did too ;)

@xtro83 the mod may not alter the ac. However, the better antenna does still improve the transmission from the ac, not just to it. However, any additional amp won't help the transmission from the ac. The mod though is amp free.
 
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Ender

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Jun 2, 2017
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@falk: CONGRATS :)

Its probably one of those pesky ribbon cables slipped out a nanometer or two.

Good relief :)

Keep flyin'

Ender
 
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Ender

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Jun 2, 2017
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What antenna are you guys using with your rc's?
My cheap setup are those:

Amazon.com: 1PC 2.4GHz/5Ghz 8dBi Omni WIFI Antenna Dual Band SMA male For wireless router: Computers & Accessories

(sometime there was a bundle, two of them for 9.99)
I woulnt trust the specs but they are fine enough and look unsuspicious.

The better setup are 2 x Alfa APA-M25 (around $15 each)

Then there are the Nanosync from maxuav for the big spender

My most beloved setup is a mix of one cheap Omni and one Alfa directional.
I got 80% max range and still good Omni behaviour...

ENder
 

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