AltitudeRC Nano 25mW Video Transmitter Range Testing

28 April 2014

Hovership now carries the AltitudeRC Nano 25mW video transmitter. This tiny transmitter is a simple lightweight solution for FPV on small RC aircraft. It can be used with 1-3 cell batteries and provides filtered output power for a 3.6v capable camera.

We wanted to test the capabilities of this new product. In addition to some flight testing we performed some ground testing with a variety of antennas and receivers to see how far we could push the range.

For the test the transmitter was mounted on a pole and walked across an open field (in a suburban neighborhood) until the image on the receiver was unusable for FPV piloting.

Transmitter Antennas Tested:

  • Stock Nano U.fl antenna
  • ImmersionRC SpiroNET Omni 4-lobe skew planar

AltitudeRC Nano

AltitudeRC Nano SMA

Receivers Tested:

  • Fat Shark Dominator 5.8 GHz Module
  • ImmersionRC 5.8 GHz Uno

ImmersionRC Uno Reciever

Fat Shark Dominator Module

Receiver antennas tested:

  • 3dbi linear-polarized antenna (ImmersionRC stock antenna)
  • ImmersionRC SpiroNET Omni 4-lobe skew planar
  • FPVLR 9.3dBic Parasitic Helix

ImmersionRC Uno Linear Antenna

ImmersionRC Uno SpiroNET Skew Planar

ImmersionRC Uno FPVLR Parasitic Helix

Ground Test Results

Each combination was tested two times at the same location. Results will vary based on location and many other factors.

TX Antenna Reciever RX Antenna Range Distance
Stock Nano Fat Shark Dominator Module Linear Polarized 100m / 328ft
Stock Nano Fat Shark Dominator Module SpiroNET Skew Planar 107m / 351ft
Stock Nano ImmersionRC Uno Parastic Helix 114m / 374ft
Stock Nano ImmersionRC Uno Linear Polarized 100m / 328ft
SpiroNET Skew Planar Fat Shark Dominator Module Parastic Helix 117m / 389ft
SpiroNET Skew Planar ImmersionRC Uno SpiroNET Skew Planar 130m / 426ft
SpiroNET Skew Planar ImmersionRC Uno Parastic Helix 143m / 469ft

Flight Test Results UPDATE

This test was performed away from residential RF interference and flown aboard a LaTrax Alias quadcopter. The range more than doubled from my ground tests. 2.4GHz control signal went out before the 5.8GHz video. Once the quad reached the ground, video signal also went out.

TX Antenna Reciever RX Antenna Range Distance
Stock Nano Fat Shark Dominator Module Parasitic Helix 350m / 1150ft

  • Beautiful post with great data. I’ve been wanting to see these actual-use ranges tested, and have never been sure whey they weren’t shown on product pages. Keep it up!

    • I am hopeful that I will get even more range once in the air. Will be testing that over the next few days.

  • Joe Harper

    Thanks for the awesome info!

  • John F. Hendry

    Just found this test… thanks for sharing. Wow… past the LaTrax’s 2.4 GHz RC control with only 25MW on 5.8ghz… not bad at all. I’d rather lose video first but I’m sure in many other locations that would happen with 2.4GHz having the advantage. I really think the LaTrax / Blade 180 size gear reduction quads with better motors, FCB and RX are the way to go for FPV quads as their batteries are cheap as would be the other parts needed to build one if available and you don’t have to worry about doing any damage allowing more freedom (and risk of losing it) to go explore and this type and size of quad can be made to perform well. Not like using direct drive out runner motors but the longer flight times gear reduction brings to the design are worth it IMO. Coming over from flying large gliders mostly with some heli time I don’t mind noticing translational lift and feeling which way the wind is blowing unlike the 250mm flying bricks that some only get 3-4 min flights with a 1000+mAh battery. I’d rather do something else with the time and money invested as compared to LOS hour long flights anything less than 7 minutes is just too short a flight time for me to enjoy it especially FPV.