Maarten Baert's website

Game Maker / C++ projects

Home Model Creator ExtremePhysics Game Maker DLLs SimpleScreenRecorder Quadcopters   Recent comments Search

Last modified: Tue, 22 Aug 2017
Refresh

Pagoda antenna


The Pagoda antenna is an omnidirectional circularly polarized antenna design that I created. My main design goals were:

  • Good omnidirectional radiation pattern.

  • Good axial ratio.

  • Reasonably small.

  • Easy to manufacture within fine tolerances at low cost, even for a hobbyist.

I did not try to make any specific aspect 'perfect', because this usually comes at the expense of other aspects, and they are all quite important.

I quickly realized that the easiest and cheapest way to get arbitrary shapes manufactured within fine tolerances is to use regular PCBs. Of course this limits the design to flat shapes, so the real challenge was finding a design with a minimal number of PCBs that would achieve the desired properties. The final design is the result of months of simulation and tuning. I won't claim that this design is perfect, but it does seem to have a smoother radiation pattern and a significantly better axial ratio than most other antennas.

Image: pagoda2-photo1-small.jpg

Photo of a Pagoda-2 prototype. The diameter is just 22.5 mm, much smaller than most other designs.

Specifications

  • Center frequency: 5.8 GHz

  • Bandwidth: 500 MHz (5.55 – 6.05 GHz)

  • Matching: S11 < -20 dB, VSWR < 1.22 (at center frequency)

  • Axial ratio: < 1.3

  • Antenna gain: 1.2 dBi

  • Radiation efficiency: 95%

These values are based on simulation, actual measurements are below (they are very similar). The center frequency may shift a bit between batches as a result of variations in the dielectric constant of FR4. Also, not all brands of FR4 have the same dielectric constant. Frequency shifts up to 100 MHz are normal.

Radiation pattern

Image: pagoda2-rad-3d-l80-wp-30db-small.png

3D radiation pattern. Look at the 2D version if you actually want to see the numbers.

Image: pagoda2-model-small.png

Simulation model.

Image: pagoda2-rad-vert-l80-wp-small.png

Best case, vertical cross-section taken at various angles.

Image: pagoda2-rad-vert-l80-nowp-small.png

Worst case, vertical cross-section taken at various angles.

For comparison, here's a simulation of the traditional cloverleaf antenna using the same simulation software and setup:

Image: cloverleaf-model-small.png

Simulation model.

Image: cloverleaf-rad-vert-l80-wp-small.png

Best case, vertical cross-section taken at various angles.

Image: cloverleaf-rad-vert-l80-nowp-small.png

Worst case, vertical cross-section taken at various angles.

The 'best case' and 'worst case' correspond to different assumptions about what happens to signals that travel along the outside of the coax. In the 'best case' simulation, these are completely absorbed at the other end of the coax. In the 'worst case' simulation, they are completely reflected back towards the antenna. The latter case usually results in standing waves on the outside of the coax, which causes the coax itself to radiate and interfere with the radiation pattern of the antenna. This is why the radiation pattern isn't smooth anymore. The reality will be somewhere between these two extremes.

Measurements

Image: pagoda2-photo2-small.jpg

Prototype units used for measurements, two LHCP and one RHCP.

Image: pagoda2-vna-s11-small.png

VNA measurements.

This gives you an idea of the kind of variations you can expect for hand-assembled antennas. The center frequency is a bit off but not enough to cause any problems. This is most likely caused by variations in the FR4 material used by the manufacturer.

For anechoic chamber measurements, look here.

Where can I buy one?

I have no plans to manufacture these antennas myself, I'm hoping that other antenna builders will pick up this design and start selling it.

The following manufacturers are selling the Pagoda antenna:

Manufacturer

Price* (USD)

LHCP

RHCP

SMA

RP-SMA

Notes

3DPrintYourLife

$18.00

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Three different lengths available. With plastic (TPU) spacers and shell for improved robustness. No measurements (yet) - performance may differ from my reference design. Longer lengths will likely perform better.

Banggood/Realacc

$8.99

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Available in multiple colors. PCB thickness and spacing doesn't match my specifications, which may affect the performance. Measurement results here.

FarVew

$11.99

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Straight or 90-degree connector available. Also sells ABS and TPU covers, kits and individual PCBs + assembly jig.

Geekbuying/EMAX

$15 for 2

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_no.png

50mm or 80mm variant available. Sold by multiple distributors, price may vary slightly. Measurement results here.

FlyTime

$8.78

Image: state_no.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Only ships to the Czech Republic.

GEPRC

$14.9 for 2

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

iForge Hobby

$10.07

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Only ships to the Philippines. 50mm or 80mm variant available.

Lumenier

$12.99

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_no.png

Straight connector, shorter length.

MenaceRC

$11.40

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

With injection moulded protective shell. Measurement results here.

Parkflyer

$7.5

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_no.png

Straight or 90-degree connector available.

Prodrone

$14.04

Image: state_no.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Manufacturer claims that every antenna is individually tested with a spectrum analyzer.

Race 412

$4.5 - $7

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Price depends on options.

Unmanned Tech

$14.17 for 2

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

Image: state_yes.png

* Based on listed price and exchange rate at time of writing. May be outdated. Shipping not included.

If you are a manufacturer who is selling this design, feel free to email me or leave a comment below.

You can also just build them yourself, it's really not that hard. Just download the design files and follow the instructions below.

License

Image: 88x31.png

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This means you are free to use this design in any way you like (this includes commercial use) as long as you credit me. If you choose to modify the design files, you should share the modified design files under the same license.

Design files

Pagoda-1

This was the first prototype I ever made. Because of modeling inaccuracies the center frequency was 5.63 GHz instead of 5.8 GHz, which was fixed in the next version. Design files are not available.

Pagoda-2

This version has two variants:

  • 2: The default variant, for use with bare PCBs or light foam spacers.

  • 2B: This variant was re-tuned for use with plastic shells (specifically the 1mm thick ABS shell used by MenaceRC).

Everything is included in a single zip file: Download

Pagoda-3

This version has two variants just like the Pagoda-2, but this time I generated design files for various center frequencies. The 5.8 GHz Pagoda-3 is identical to the Pagoda-2, I just changed the version number to avoid confusion. Because re-tuning takes a lot of time, I did not re-tune every frequency independently, instead I generated designs for 5.5 GHz and 5.8 GHz, and derived the rest with interpolation/extrapolation. Because of the large file size, I have split the designs into separate zip files this time.

Python scripts used to generate the files: Download

Generated design files

5.3 GHz

5.4 GHz

5.5 GHz

5.6 GHz

5.7 GHz

5.8 GHz

5.9 GHz

6.0 GHz

PCB for Pagoda-3

Download

Download

Download

Download

Download

Download

Download

Download

PCB for Pagoda-3B

Download

Download

Download

Download

Download

Download

Download

Download

Assembly jig for Pagoda-3/3B

Download

Download

Download

Download

Download

Download

Download

Download

The correct PCB distance is frequency-dependent:

Parameter

5.3 GHz

5.4 GHz

5.5 GHz

5.6 GHz

5.7 GHz

5.8 GHz

5.9 GHz

6.0 GHz

D1

4.39 mm

4.24 mm

4.10 mm

3.95 mm

3.80 mm

3.65 mm

3.51 mm

3.36 mm

D2

11.63 mm

11.40 mm

11.16 mm

10.92 mm

10.69 mm

10.45 mm

10.21 mm

9.98 mm

Important: This antenna will only work properly when manufactured and assembled correctly. This is not just a regular circuit board, read the instructions below!

Parts

If you decide to build this antenna, you will need the following parts:

  • PCBs: Manufacturers will make these for you if you send them the Gerber files which are included in the design files above. I used Elecrow for my prototypes, they will make 10 PCBs for $10. That means you end up paying $3 per antenna (it gets much cheaper if you make them in larger quantities). The PCBs must use 1.0 mm thickness FR4 material, not the regular 1.6 mm thickness. The correct thickness is critical, if you get this wrong the design won't work properly at all! Regarding copper thickness, 35 µm (1 oz) is fine. Thicker copper tracks won't improve the efficiency at RF frequencies due to the skin effect. The design is tuned for standard FR4, but there may be small variations between different FR4 manufacturers which can result in a shift in the center frequency of the antenna. I specifically made sure that the design isn't too sensitive to material variations, so this shouldn't be a huge problem, but you should still avoid manufacturers that use special materials with different dielectric constants than regular FR4.

  • Coax: Regular RG402 coax, with a 0.92 mm core, 3.0 mm dielectric, and 3.6 mm outer diameter. Make sure that you use a type that doesn't have a plastic insulator around it, otherwise you can't solder to it. I used this for my prototypes. It costs $5 for 1 meter, and you need 9 cm per antenna, so that's about $0.5 per antenna.

  • SMA connector: Regular solderable SMA connector for RG402 cable. You can also use a crimp connector if you have the right crimp tool. I used this for my prototypes (or if you want RP-SMA, this one). They cost $6 for 10 pieces, so that's $0.6 per antenna. It works fine, but I found that these connectors have a tiny bit too much capacitance (i.e. the impedance is a bit too low), which causes a small but measurable reflection. I also found that the gold plating can wear off if you handle them a lot. This doesn't affect the performance, it just looks ugly. If you can find a better type, let me know.

If you include shipping costs, you will probably pay $50-$60 for the parts to make 10 antennas.

Order configuration for Elecrow
  • Layers: "2"

  • PCB Thickness: "1.0mm"

  • Copper Weight: "1oz 35um"

  • PCB Size: "5cm Max * 5cm Max"

  • PCB Color: "Red" (or anything else, it really doesn't matter)

  • Surface Finish: "Hasl" (or "Hasl (lead free)" if you use lead-free solder)

  • PCB Stencil: "No Stencil"

  • Lead time: your choice

  • Panelizing: "Single PCB with milling"

Order configuration for SeeedStudio
  • Material: "FR-4 TG130"

  • Layers: "2 layers"

  • Dimensions: "50" * "50"

  • PCB Qty: "10"

  • Panelized PCBs: "1"

  • PCB Thickness: "1" mm

  • PCB Color: "Red" (or anything else, it really doesn't matter)

  • Surface Finish: "Hasl" (or "Hasl Lead Free" if you use lead-free solder)

  • Copper Weight: "1oz"

  • Min Hole Size: "0.3mm"

  • Min Tracking / Spacing: "6/6 mil"

  • Blind Vias: "no"

  • Half-cut / Castellated Holes: "no"

  • Impedance Control: "no"

Assembly

The PCBs need to be spaced accurately to get good results. The correct spacing is shown in the following image:

Image: pagoda3-assembly-drawing.png

Ideally you need to get these distances right within a 0.1 mm tolerance. The best way to do this is with an assembly jig. I used a jig which I cut out of 3.0 mm MDF with a laser cutter. You can find it in the design files. Always check whether the DXF file is loaded properly by the laser cutter software before you run it, because the DXF export feature in Inkscape is somewhat buggy. Some laser cutters act as printers, in this case it's much more reliable to just 'print' the SVG from Inkscape directly.

Cut out two copies, because these parts aren't very strong so you want to have some spare ones (and MDF is very cheap). If you can't get access to a laser cutter, there are some online services that can make these for you, but I have no experience with those. If that's also not an option, you can also try to get the correct spacing by stacking pieces of wood and paper until you get the correct thickness. You can actually get half-decent accuracy with this method if you measure the thickness with a caliper, but it's not a convenient assembly method. I assembled my first two prototypes like this, it took me at least twice as long as with the assembly jig, and the accuracy was obviously not as good.

The top PCB should have the text facing up, the other two PCBs should have the text facing down. Check my photo if you aren't sure you are doing it right. The top and middle PCB should be aligned using the alignment markers (the three little silkscreen lines that are printed on both sides), otherwise the antenna will not work at all. You can align them easily by rotating the PCBs until the markers are aligned with the edges of the arms of the assembly jig.

A temperature-controlled soldering iron is recommended. Set the temperature to 400 °C, because you need to solder directly to the coax which tends to act as a heat sink. Even with a high temperature it will take some time to heat up the coax, so just be patient. If you don't wait long enough for the coax to heat up, you won't get a decent solder joint. Give the solder enough time to flow into the gap between the PCB and the coax, and rotate the antenna so you can apply heat and solder from all sides. Try to use no more solder than necessary, because excess solder will shift the center frequency of the antenna.

Reviews

Extras

Frequently asked questions

Can you send me a sample?

I don't have enough prototypes left at the moment, so no. I also have no plans to sell these myself.

Can I fill the space between the PCBs with foam to make the antenna stronger?

Yes, in fact this was the plan all along. I just didn't do it for the prototypes because it takes more effort and they are already pretty strong without it. I recommend low-density Styrofoam (the 30 kg/m³ type). I'm referring to 'real' Styrofoam, which is usually blue, uniform and sold as insulating material. This is not the same as the white expanded polystyrene foam which is commonly used as packaging material, which is often (incorrectly) called 'styrofoam' in the US. They both have similar RF properties and are both suitable, but the white type is made out of little balls which makes it much harder to cut properly, whereas 'real' Styrofoam is uniform and very easy to cut.

These foams are roughly 97% air (by volume) so the dielectric constant is also very close to that of air (roughly 1.05), which means that it has virtually no effect on the performance of the antenna. You could adjust the spacing between the PCBs if you really wanted, but this actually makes the axial ratio slightly worse, so I would just leave it as it is. The addition of foam will shift the center frequency down by about 10 MHz, which isn't a problem. If your really want to get the center frequency just right, you should scale back all dimensions equally, not just the spacing of the PCBs.

Do not try this with higher density foams though, and make sure that the foam doesn't absorb RF radiation (i.e. it should have a very low loss tangent - polystyrene is ideal for this). If you plan to glue the foam to the PCB, you should use a very thin layer of glue. Epoxy should be fine. I haven't tested how much impact this has, but I expect that it won't be a problem.

Feedback, questions, ...

You can leave comments below, or if you prefer you can also email me:

Image: aaaa.png

If you don't get a reply within a week, your message was probably eaten by the spam filter. If that happens, try sending the message again from a different address.


Comments

Unclemcpeanut

Comment #1: Thu, 22 Sep 2016, 13:13 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


hi would you be able to consolidate the antennae to a single pcb layout for cheaper pcb prototyping? i believe all 3 pcb components can fit on a 50x50mm pcb, i attempted to do it on viewplot 2.0 but it's a very limited program and im unsure how to merge different layers, k thx bye

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #2: Fri, 23 Sep 2016, 3:22 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Unclemcpeanut

hi would you be able to consolidate the antennae to a single pcb layout for cheaper pcb prototyping? i believe all 3 pcb components can fit on a 50x50mm pcb, i attempted to do it on viewplot 2.0 but it's a very limited program and im unsure how to merge different layers, k thx bye

Most prototyping services do not allow this. Elecrow charges extra for panelized prototypes. Seeedstudio charges extra if the parts are different but not if they are identical (but with this antenna they clearly aren't). It ends up being cheaper to order the parts separately.

If you want to manufacture a lot of them, then the cheapest option is to order 100x100mm panels of identical parts. But that doesn't really make sense for hobbyists.

Last modified: Fri, 23 Sep 2016, 3:24 (GMT+1, DST)

Btgreg

Comment #3: Fri, 23 Sep 2016, 9:26 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi Maarten,

I really like your pagoda design.

I too have designed and manufacture antenna's

I would like to discuss with you, have you got an email address?

Many Thanks
Greg

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #4: Sat, 24 Sep 2016, 18:13 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Btgreg

Hi Maarten,

I really like your pagoda design.

I too have designed and manufacture antenna's

I would like to discuss with you, have you got an email address?

Many Thanks
Greg

My email address is displayed on this very page, right above the comments ;).

Causemann

Comment #5: Fri, 30 Sep 2016, 20:58 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hello
Just saw the video on YouTube from RCModelReviews

I woukd like to build thesse antennas.
But the file format of your Design files is strange for me.

Which program do i need to open them?

Best regards
Jochen Causemann
Germany

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #6: Fri, 30 Sep 2016, 23:23 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Causemann

Hello
Just saw the video on YouTube from RCModelReviews

I woukd like to build thesse antennas.
But the file format of your Design files is strange for me.

Which program do i need to open them?

Best regards
Jochen Causemann
Germany

You can open these files with Gerbv.

Dave855

Comment #7: Thu, 27 Oct 2016, 21:33 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Okay I have now completed antennas, assembled kits and just the PCBs for those that have everything else.

http://farvew.com/29-pagoda-omni

Thanks Maarten!

Rocketnutz

Comment #8: Wed, 16 Nov 2016, 22:54 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Just check the link for the store - all out of stock.

Hope you can restock soon - would love to give these a go!!!

Thanks!

Dave855

Comment #9: Fri, 18 Nov 2016, 23:12 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Indeed, I have a lot more coming.
If you sign up, I am planning on sending out an E-Mail as soon as they are back in stock.
Thanks!

Hippo

Comment #10: Fri, 2 Dec 2016, 5:28 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi,

Is it possible to calculate the layout for an antenna using standard 1.5/1.6mm PCB? I'd like to make some at home, but I can't find any 1.0mm anywhere. If it's a matter of scaling the file, or running the script with difference values, I can do, but beyond that I'd need an expert. I'm sure a lot of folks would like to make these at home though.

Thanks!
Dan

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #11: Sat, 3 Dec 2016, 20:32 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Hippo

Hi,

Is it possible to calculate the layout for an antenna using standard 1.5/1.6mm PCB? I'd like to make some at home, but I can't find any 1.0mm anywhere. If it's a matter of scaling the file, or running the script with difference values, I can do, but beyond that I'd need an expert. I'm sure a lot of folks would like to make these at home though.

Thanks!
Dan

There is no easy way to scale the values, I would have to re-run the entire optimization process. Also, 1.6mm PCB would increase the losses significantly. I don't recommend it. If you want to go to a lower value instead (e.g. 0.8mm) then that's possible, although it still requires re-optimizing the entire design.

Hippo

Comment #12: Sun, 4 Dec 2016, 16:57 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Maarten Baert

If you want to go to a lower value instead (e.g. 0.8mm) then that's possible, although it still requires re-optimizing the entire design.

Ah, thanks. I do have some .5mm, but I worry that it would be too fragile. Don't do extra work on my behalf. I'll continue to see if I can track down some 1.0mm. Do you have a recommended source that ships to the US?

Thanks for responding,
-Dan

P.S. Out of curiosity, do you think it would work at all to mill down the unprinted side of 1.6mm to a 1mm thickness? I can do that. Also, I'd be interested in your version 1.0 files, as I usually fly in the lower end of the band, or a recommendation to scale the design into the 5.6gHz-5.7gHz range. Double thanks!

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #13: Sun, 4 Dec 2016, 23:04 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Hippo

Ah, thanks. I do have some .5mm, but I worry that it would be too fragile. Don't do extra work on my behalf. I'll continue to see if I can track down some 1.0mm. Do you have a recommended source that ships to the US?

Thanks for responding,
-Dan

P.S. Out of curiosity, do you think it would work at all to mill down the unprinted side of 1.6mm to a 1mm thickness? I can do that. Also, I'd be interested in your version 1.0 files, as I usually fly in the lower end of the band, or a recommendation to scale the design into the 5.6gHz-5.7gHz range. Double thanks!

FR4 is a composite material, you can't easily thin it like that without getting loose fibers sticking out everywhere. Also, you need two-sided PCBs in order to get a strong connection to the coax, otherwise the copper will just peel off. It may be more practical to just order the PCBs from Elecrow or a similar service.

Gorto

Comment #14: Tue, 6 Dec 2016, 10:31 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi Maarten, great antenna design and I have made a bunch of them. Will test them out tomorrow with my friends. Just want to say thank you for sharing your design.

Last modified: Tue, 6 Dec 2016, 10:31 (GMT+1, DST)

Sonic Turbulence

Comment #15: Thu, 8 Dec 2016, 9:50 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Good Day Maarten,

I am also into flying fvp quads and helis...I manufacture pc boards in south africa and would like to know if the holes need to be through hole plated for the antenna to work or could I make them just double sided without plating. Thanking you in advance.

Sonic

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #16: Thu, 8 Dec 2016, 23:36 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Sonic Turbulence

Good Day Maarten,

I am also into flying fvp quads and helis...I manufacture pc boards in south africa and would like to know if the holes need to be through hole plated for the antenna to work or could I make them just double sided without plating. Thanking you in advance.

Sonic

Technically it is possible to make them without through-hole plating, but the mechanical strength will be worse. Through-hole plating is definitely recommended.

Dave855

Comment #17: Fri, 16 Dec 2016, 0:08 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Hippo
Quote: Maarten Baert

If you want to go to a lower value instead (e.g. 0.8mm) then that's possible, although it still requires re-optimizing the entire design.

Ah, thanks. I do have some .5mm, but I worry that it would be too fragile. Don't do extra work on my behalf. I'll continue to see if I can track down some 1.0mm. Do you have a recommended source that ships to the US?

Thanks for responding,
-Dan

P.S. Out of curiosity, do you think it would work at all to mill down the unprinted side of 1.6mm to a 1mm thickness? I can do that. Also, I'd be interested in your version 1.0 files, as I usually fly in the lower end of the band, or a recommendation to scale the design into the 5.6gHz-5.7gHz range. Double thanks!

Hey Dan,

Sorry I'm late.
I do offer PCBs and free shipping in the US.

Once you go Pagoda you never go back! ;)

http://farvew.com/antenna-kits/38-pagoda-2-omni-antenna-rhcp.html

Last modified: Fri, 16 Dec 2016, 0:08 (GMT+1, DST)

Knifa

Comment #18: Mon, 19 Dec 2016, 13:08 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hey there! Are you able to post the source files for your design? The ones you provided are the Gerber files and I'm finding it tricky to get them imported into EAGLE.

Dampf

Comment #19: Mon, 26 Dec 2016, 11:11 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hello Maarten.
Thank you very much for your great design and moreover, making it open source.
We are a small group of multirotor enthusiasts and since everybody owns at least two quadcopters, we would like to make a whole bunch of your antennas.
So my question is, if you could provide a (gerber) file, that fits several designs on a 100x100 pcb, as most vendors like itead or seeedstudio provide?

best regards

Markiempje

Comment #20: Thu, 29 Dec 2016, 9:55 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi Maarten!

Great work, just before i order parts. Can i also use more flexible coax cable? say for instance less thick, flexible so i can route this cable the way i want. Is the length of the Coax cable best at 9cm as you stated, or can this be any arbritrary length (not too long) say 100-150mm?

thanks in advance!

Mark

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #21: Thu, 29 Dec 2016, 21:00 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Knifa

Hey there! Are you able to post the source files for your design? The ones you provided are the Gerber files and I'm finding it tricky to get them imported into EAGLE.

The files were generated with Python scripts, which are also included in the design files. There are no other source files.

Quote: Dampf

Hello Maarten.
Thank you very much for your great design and moreover, making it open source.
We are a small group of multirotor enthusiasts and since everybody owns at least two quadcopters, we would like to make a whole bunch of your antennas.
So my question is, if you could provide a (gerber) file, that fits several designs on a 100x100 pcb, as most vendors like itead or seeedstudio provide?

best regards

These manufacturers won't allow you to put multiple different PCBs on the same board (or they will charge you extra). E.g. with Seeedstudio the best you can do would be:

10 times 4x4 part1: 160 pieces for $10
10 times 4x4 part2: 160 pieces for $10
10 times 6x6 part3: 360 pieces for $10

You're lucky, Seeedstudio recently changed their pricing model so now this is quite affordable. There are structural integrity issues though - the PCBs will need to be attached to each other so the manufacturer can handle them as a single piece, otherwise they refuse this because you're basically making separate PCBs. And even then they may refuse it because of the amount of milling involved. You will have to manually separate the PCBs and file the rough edges.

I will look into it, but I'm not sure whether the manufacturer would accept something like this.

Quote: Markiempje

Hi Maarten!

Great work, just before i order parts. Can i also use more flexible coax cable? say for instance less thick, flexible so i can route this cable the way i want. Is the length of the Coax cable best at 9cm as you stated, or can this be any arbritrary length (not too long) say 100-150mm?

thanks in advance!

Mark

The length doesn't matter as long as the antenna is a reasonable distance away from the quadcopter frame. However the antenna was specifically designed for 3.6mm semi-rigid coax, I wouldn't try it with flexible coax. Even if the diameter is the same, you will likely not be able to solder to it properly, and the PCBs won't stay parallel the way they are supposed to. Nothing stops you from routing semi-rigid coax through your model though.

Last modified: Thu, 29 Dec 2016, 21:03 (GMT+1, DST)

Dampf

Comment #22: Fri, 30 Dec 2016, 17:18 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote

These manufacturers won't allow you to put multiple different PCBs on the same board (or they will charge you extra). E.g. with Seeedstudio the best you can do would be:

10 times 4x4 part1: 160 pieces for $10
10 times 4x4 part2: 160 pieces for $10
10 times 6x6 part3: 360 pieces for $10

You're lucky, Seeedstudio recently changed their pricing model so now this is quite affordable. There are structural integrity issues though - the PCBs will need to be attached to each other so the manufacturer can handle them as a single piece, otherwise they refuse this because you're basically making separate PCBs. And even then they may refuse it because of the amount of milling involved. You will have to manually separate the PCBs and file the rough edges.

I will look into it, but I'm not sure whether the manufacturer would accept something like this.

Thanks for your reply.
Thats exactly what I meant.
I asked the guys at seeedstudios and they told me a design with slots/tabs is possible, but they didn´t told me how much they charge for something like that.
In the meantime an fpv buddy, who´s very talented in programing, altered the phyton script you provided with your design files and merged 9 gerbers to fit a 100x100 pcb, including breakaway tabs.
BTW: this is his website http://fishpepper.de/ I´m sure you´ll like it ;-)
We are now in search for a manufacturer who will do the job for us.
We are thinking of DirtyPCB´s, because they also provide laser cutting.
Once we have a solution, I´ll let you know how it went.

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #23: Sat, 31 Dec 2016, 19:21 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Dampf

Thanks for your reply.
Thats exactly what I meant.
I asked the guys at seeedstudios and they told me a design with slots/tabs is possible, but they didn´t told me how much they charge for something like that.
In the meantime an fpv buddy, who´s very talented in programing, altered the phyton script you provided with your design files and merged 9 gerbers to fit a 100x100 pcb, including breakaway tabs.
BTW: this is his website http://fishpepper.de/ I´m sure you´ll like it ;-)
We are now in search for a manufacturer who will do the job for us.
We are thinking of DirtyPCB´s, because they also provide laser cutting.
Once we have a solution, I´ll let you know how it went.

Please let me know whether you find a manufacturer that accepts it at a reasonable price. If they do, I will change the design files to take advantage of this.

Last modified: Sat, 31 Dec 2016, 19:26 (GMT+1, DST)

Dmg

Comment #24: Fri, 6 Jan 2017, 3:01 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi,

I've got a lot of experience pushing chinese pcb services to the limits, and I have to tell you that they don't explain well what they mean about panelizing and extra cost. They charge you extra if:
-You want them to panelize your design
-You want them to add features to your panel
-You specify V grooving as separation method

Anything else gets through just fine, don't even bother asking, just send them the mechanical layer specifying where to cut, make sure that you don't go below 1mm routing tool diameter (better if you stick to >= 2mm) and maybe send them a picture of a 3D render of how the PCB should look like, that's it.

I've got a lot of panelized PCB's manufactured that way at no extra cost by elecrow, smart prototyping and such, and they've never complained.

I also panelized your pagodas, fitting all 3 PCB's on a single 50x70 board and sent them to elecrow. They're already manufactured and shipped, and I'm waiting for them to arrive.
This is what I sent them:
[img]http://i66.tinypic.com/hs8jl4.png[/img]
Using standard 50x100mm 2 layer PCB service for I think it was 12$
This is what they have manufactured (part of the order picture they send you when they ship it):
[img]http://i63.tinypic.com/160c006.png[/img]

By the way, can I make the coax wire shorter than 9 cm overall? I'd like to have mini pagodas with 5cm cable but I'm not sure if that would affect the performance. Thanks for the awesome design!

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #25: Sun, 8 Jan 2017, 2:10 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Dmg

Hi,

I've got a lot of experience pushing chinese pcb services to the limits, and I have to tell you that they don't explain well what they mean about panelizing and extra cost. They charge you extra if:
-You want them to panelize your design
-You want them to add features to your panel
-You specify V grooving as separation method

Anything else gets through just fine, don't even bother asking, just send them the mechanical layer specifying where to cut, make sure that you don't go below 1mm routing tool diameter (better if you stick to >= 2mm) and maybe send them a picture of a 3D render of how the PCB should look like, that's it.

I've got a lot of panelized PCB's manufactured that way at no extra cost by elecrow, smart prototyping and such, and they've never complained.

I also panelized your pagodas, fitting all 3 PCB's on a single 50x70 board and sent them to elecrow. They're already manufactured and shipped, and I'm waiting for them to arrive.
This is what I sent them:
[img]http://i66.tinypic.com/hs8jl4.png[/img]
Using standard 50x100mm 2 layer PCB service for I think it was 12$
This is what they have manufactured (part of the order picture they send you when they ship it):
[img]http://i63.tinypic.com/160c006.png[/img]

By the way, can I make the coax wire shorter than 9 cm overall? I'd like to have mini pagodas with 5cm cable but I'm not sure if that would affect the performance. Thanks for the awesome design!

That's good to know!

The important thing is the distance between the antenna and the quadcopter frame (or any other large conductive objects). So it really depends on the mounting method. More distance is always better because it reduces the 'dead zones' where your frame is blocking the signal. It depends on how much you value physical size over signal quality I guess.

Midge

Comment #26: Sun, 8 Jan 2017, 16:20 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Dmg

Hi,

I've got a lot of experience pushing chinese pcb services to the limits, and I have to tell you that they don't explain well what they mean about panelizing and extra cost. They charge you extra if:
-You want them to panelize your design
-You want them to add features to your panel
-You specify V grooving as separation method

Anything else gets through just fine, don't even bother asking, just send them the mechanical layer specifying where to cut, make sure that you don't go below 1mm routing tool diameter (better if you stick to >= 2mm) and maybe send them a picture of a 3D render of how the PCB should look like, that's it.

I've got a lot of panelized PCB's manufactured that way at no extra cost by elecrow, smart prototyping and such, and they've never complained.

I also panelized your pagodas, fitting all 3 PCB's on a single 50x70 board and sent them to elecrow. They're already manufactured and shipped, and I'm waiting for them to arrive.
This is what I sent them:
[img]http://i66.tinypic.com/hs8jl4.png[/img]
Using standard 50x100mm 2 layer PCB service for I think it was 12$
This is what they have manufactured (part of the order picture they send you when they ship it):
[img]http://i63.tinypic.com/160c006.png[/img]

By the way, can I make the coax wire shorter than 9 cm overall? I'd like to have mini pagodas with 5cm cable but I'm not sure if that would affect the performance. Thanks for the awesome design!

Dmg, could you post a link to the file you had manufactured by elecrow? I'm not familiar with pcb or panelizing and would like to make some antennas for myself.

Dmg

Comment #27: Tue, 10 Jan 2017, 15:24 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Midge

Dmg, could you post a link to the file you had manufactured by elecrow? I'm not familiar with pcb or panelizing and would like to make some antennas for myself.

Yes, but not yet. I'll wait for the boards to arrive to check if everything is OK, and if it is I'll post the files somewhere. The boards are already in Europe, so I expect them this week. I went the lazy way and panelized them using the Altium Designer gerber importer, and although I checked the resulting panelized gerbers against the original design files and they seemed OK I want to be 100% sure that nothing is messed up (apart from the silkscreen text which got messed but I didn't bother to fix)

Also, we've got an anechoic chamber where I work and the guy responsible for it owes me a favor, so he'll measure some pagodas I make when he has some spare time and the chamber isn't being used (i.e someday in the (hopefully near) future). I'll send the results to Maarten when it's done.

I really like this design, as me and some friends fly race drones as a hobby and no matter how expensive the antenna we always end up tearing the cable, breaking the antenna, and/or messing them. I don't expect these pagodas to be any tougher in the long term, but they can be made for 2€ a pop or cheaper. That's 10 antennas for the price of one of the ones we use now... and likely with better performance.

Heribert

Comment #28: Wed, 11 Jan 2017, 16:48 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hello,

You wrote above that a 0.5mm PCB would be basically possible, actually from a HF point even more beneficial.

As I'm interested in flying nano and pico drones, I'm interested in as lightweight antennas as possible. That's why I really would like a 0.5mm PCB design.
I honestly don't think that this would be a stability problem, as they are pretty small and even 0.5mm FR4 is actually pretty stable.

But I can surely understand that the work you would have to put into to get it optimal is a lot.
Would there be a fast rough (non optimal) way for scaling, which I could do?

And how much worse would the performance be without the third GND-PCB?

Thanks for your work and that you share it!!!

EDIT:
BTW, how much would the performance be affected if one would route away the non copper parts of the PCB? (this could also decrease the weight signigicantly.)

EDIT2:
Would it eventually be possible for you to publish your NEC simulation file?
Then I could try myself to get the best scaling for a 0.5mm PCB and also try if one could route away more of the unused PCB.

Last modified: Sat, 14 Jan 2017, 10:29 (GMT+1, DST)

Elsvs09

Comment #29: Sun, 15 Jan 2017, 14:38 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi Maarten,

Can we design this antenna for 2.4 GHz? I guess scales of the antenna would be bigger than 5.8 GHz, but the point is how big. Are the proportions scaled to operation wavelength? Thanks in advance.

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #30: Mon, 16 Jan 2017, 4:09 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Heribert

But I can surely understand that the work you would have to put into to get it optimal is a lot.
Would there be a fast rough (non optimal) way for scaling, which I could do?

Yes, halve the width of the ring-shaped pad that solders to the coax, and increase the spacing between the PCBs by 0.5mm to compensate of the change in thickness. This will probably shift the frequency up a bit, so scale up the arms about 5% to shift the frequency down again. I'm just guessing here so don't be surprised if the result performs poorly.

Quote: Heribert

And how much worse would the performance be without the third GND-PCB?

You will lose some of the power as it is propagating along the coax. The result depends on how the coax attaches to the TX, the shape of the TX etc, so basically impossible to predict. I don't recommend it.

Quote: Heribert

BTW, how much would the performance be affected if one would route away the non copper parts of the PCB? (this could also decrease the weight signigicantly.)

It's all fixable with sufficient re-optimization but this takes a lot of time.

If you want to reduce weight, your biggest target should probably be the RG402 coax. Thinner coax is probably better for your application.

Quote: Heribert

Would it eventually be possible for you to publish your NEC simulation file?
Then I could try myself to get the best scaling for a 0.5mm PCB and also try if one could route away more of the unused PCB.

I do not use NEC. NEC is pretty much worthless for these types of antennas at this frequency. The results are just completely off. You need something like HFSS or CST (but those are both far too expensive for hobbyists, so you need to be a student at a university or something to get a chance to use it).

Quote: Elsvs09

Can we design this antenna for 2.4 GHz? I guess scales of the antenna would be bigger than 5.8 GHz, but the point is how big. Are the proportions scaled to operation wavelength? Thanks in advance.

Roughly speaking, yes, but in practice not everything is easy to scale. The PCB and coax would become too thick, so you probably don't want to scale those. I would have to re-optimize the design. Also, at 2.4 GHz the size is about 53mm which is a bit impractical. Cloverleafs may be a better option at that frequency.

Last modified: Mon, 16 Jan 2017, 4:12 (GMT+1, DST)

Dmg

Comment #31: Tue, 17 Jan 2017, 22:07 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Midge

Dmg, could you post a link to the file you had manufactured by elecrow? I'm not familiar with pcb or panelizing and would like to make some antennas for myself.

Here, I just posted them:
https://github.com/Repo-IEEEsb/DroneRacing/tree/master/Desarrollos/Pagodas-Panelizada

Boards arrived, I've assembled one today, so far looks good. About 500 MHz bandwidth (-10 dB return loss) with a resonant frequency of 5,83 GHz (RL peaks at -35 dB).

We'll see how the radiation pattern turns out.

Serop72

Comment #32: Sun, 29 Jan 2017, 21:08 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hello!in figure assembly distance between the layers of 3.65mm and 10.45mm
in the assembly jig 3.85mm and 10.65mm (I measure up to the laser cutting file)

It is right?

Thank you for your work! very interesting design, I'm going to do the antenna

Stinkyjohn

Comment #33: Fri, 3 Feb 2017, 10:03 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi to all,
thanks Maarten for design. Made 18 antennas for my and my friends.
One of them has spectrum analyser at lab, so we checked them. They has good vswr - 1.23 to 1.35
But to bet true they are very very sensitive to assembly process.
Dimension tolerances should be very tight and even after that resonation point can flow about +-150Mhz (few of them was away at 180Mhz).
I've designed to that new assembly jig with 4 support points of pcb's. Cut it on CNC and it's from G10 and has very tight fit.
I'm not talking that design is bad, but you should know how tight tolerances are for 5.8Ghz. We done many cloverleafs to our racing drones (don't know why, but they don't have long live :) ) so I know how at 5.8Ghz precise you should be when making antennas for 5.8Ghz to archive good repeatability (within 100Mhz), and even after that some of antennas are off 300Mhz ;)
I've also noted that connector type and manufacture of cable will also have impact on antenna.
After my findings i've found discussion on RCG about differences in Chinese SMA and RP-SMA connectors and cables. As I remember Martin7182 or markus123456 confirmed that theory. Alex also often talks about quality of cables.

And one more thing, beware printed cases for Pagodas. I've printed them from PLA, PLA+, TPU, ABS, PETG and TITANX.
They all shifts antenna and a lot. Shift strictly depends on filament, how many (how thick) you use. I've tried ready designs and my own - with minimal amount of filament - all off them shifts antenna. So we will use Pagodas without cases.

Anyway, great design. When weather will allow, we will test them on our racing field.

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #34: Sat, 4 Feb 2017, 21:22 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Serop72

Hello!in figure assembly distance between the layers of 3.65mm and 10.45mm
in the assembly jig 3.85mm and 10.65mm (I measure up to the laser cutting file)

It is right?

Thank you for your work! very interesting design, I'm going to do the antenna

The correct numbers are 3.65mm and 10.45mm. The laser cutting drawing was adjusted to compensate for the line width of the laser, which is roughly 0.2mm (at least for the model that I'm using). If the slots are too narrow, you can easily widen them with some fine sandpaper or a small file. If they are too wide, they don't hold the PCB in place very well which is annoying. They also widen automatically as you use them because the jig wears out over time.

Quote: Stinkyjohn

Hi to all,
thanks Maarten for design. Made 18 antennas for my and my friends.
One of them has spectrum analyser at lab, so we checked them. They has good vswr - 1.23 to 1.35
But to bet true they are very very sensitive to assembly process.
Dimension tolerances should be very tight and even after that resonation point can flow about +-150Mhz (few of them was away at 180Mhz).
I've designed to that new assembly jig with 4 support points of pcb's. Cut it on CNC and it's from G10 and has very tight fit.
I'm not talking that design is bad, but you should know how tight tolerances are for 5.8Ghz. We done many cloverleafs to our racing drones (don't know why, but they don't have long live :) ) so I know how at 5.8Ghz precise you should be when making antennas for 5.8Ghz to archive good repeatability (within 100Mhz), and even after that some of antennas are off 300Mhz ;)

This is strange, I can get much better repeatability myself and I'm also using manual assembly. The 'VNA measurement' graph above shows three units which I assembled manually, I was seeing only about 50 MHz variation.

I have found that the solder joints matter a lot. Make sure that you are using the right amount of solder and heating the joints long enough to ensure they reflow properly (like I do in my assembly video).

Quote: Stinkyjohn

I've also noted that connector type and manufacture of cable will also have impact on antenna.
After my findings i've found discussion on RCG about differences in Chinese SMA and RP-SMA connectors and cables. As I remember Martin7182 or markus123456 confirmed that theory. Alex also often talks about quality of cables.

Yes, I have noticed that too. The length of the cable also has some impact because it affects the phase shift between the SMA connector and the antenna. If the connector was perfect, this would not matter, but the fact that I can measure a difference indicates that the SMA connector I'm using isn't perfect.

Quote: Stinkyjohn

And one more thing, beware printed cases for Pagodas. I've printed them from PLA, PLA+, TPU, ABS, PETG and TITANX.
They all shifts antenna and a lot. Shift strictly depends on filament, how many (how thick) you use. I've tried ready designs and my own - with minimal amount of filament - all off them shifts antenna. So we will use Pagodas without cases.

I know - if you want a case, you should consider scaling the antenna down to compensate for the frequency shift. But if the case is thin enough, the shift is quite small, so the antenna will still work quite well. I have done measurements of the MenaceRC model with case, and it was only shifted down by about 100 MHz.

Peter62233460

Comment #35: Sun, 5 Feb 2017, 20:47 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi Marteen! Thanks for designing this awesome antenna.

I would like to build the antenna and I was wondering whether I could use other coaxes instead of the RG402 you recommend. I bought some RG316 cables years ago and I am wondering whether this would be okay to use. As for the construction jig, I can modify the design to accept the narrower cable and laser cut it.

Thanks,

Peter.

Pauloxzr

Comment #36: Thu, 16 Feb 2017, 7:08 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hello Maarten Baert! Greetings from Brazil! My name is Paul! First of all I want to congratulate you for your brilliant work! I've always wanted to make my own antennas and with your project I see that I have the opportunity to make my first antenna correctly and accurately. I have spent a lot of money buying antennas that are not efficient and resistant, and I found in your project what I need. In the city and country where I live I do not have many resources, like a company that makes PCBs. I have only people who have machines that do the cutting and drawing of PCBs, but these machines only receive source files made in pcad, orcad, proteus, eagle. Is there any way to convert Gerber files to be interpreted on these machines and programs? I am very interested in your project! I do not want to make antennas for resale or make money, I just want it for personal use in my racing drone. I have an intermediate experience in electronics, and I can build the antennas precisely as described in the videos I saw on your site. The only detail is that I do not have the machine to cut the PCBs. Thank you very much for what you can do for me. Thank you very much.

Gadgetfpv

Comment #37: Fri, 17 Feb 2017, 16:04 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi..

Thank you for sharing this design... can't wait to try... one quick question... the smaller disc in the assembly has copper in it, correct...

Sorry if this a simple question, quite new to all of this PCB design stuff...

Gadget

Luno

Comment #38: Fri, 17 Feb 2017, 22:19 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi!

I've got a Beerotor Honeydrop antenna which is using your Pagoda design. The cable shielding is missing between the top and the middle PCBs. I wonder if this antenna performs bad because of that.

http://forum.rcdesign.ru/attachment.php?attachmentid=1298680&d=1487348602

Nhillerby

Comment #39: Mon, 20 Feb 2017, 2:23 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hello Maarten, could this sma cord included in the pagoda 2 kit be cut down to a shorter length? It's a bit lengthy for fpv. Thank you for your genious invention.

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #40: Tue, 21 Feb 2017, 1:40 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Peter62233460

Hi Marteen! Thanks for designing this awesome antenna.

I would like to build the antenna and I was wondering whether I could use other coaxes instead of the RG402 you recommend. I bought some RG316 cables years ago and I am wondering whether this would be okay to use. As for the construction jig, I can modify the design to accept the narrower cable and laser cut it.

Thanks,

Peter.

The design is made for RG402 and won't perform properly with cables that have a different diameter. It requires re-optimization of the design. I don't have time to do that now though. Also, RG316 is likely too flexible for this antenna.

Quote: Pauloxzr

Hello Maarten Baert! Greetings from Brazil! My name is Paul! First of all I want to congratulate you for your brilliant work! I've always wanted to make my own antennas and with your project I see that I have the opportunity to make my first antenna correctly and accurately. I have spent a lot of money buying antennas that are not efficient and resistant, and I found in your project what I need. In the city and country where I live I do not have many resources, like a company that makes PCBs. I have only people who have machines that do the cutting and drawing of PCBs, but these machines only receive source files made in pcad, orcad, proteus, eagle. Is there any way to convert Gerber files to be interpreted on these machines and programs? I am very interested in your project! I do not want to make antennas for resale or make money, I just want it for personal use in my racing drone. I have an intermediate experience in electronics, and I can build the antennas precisely as described in the videos I saw on your site. The only detail is that I do not have the machine to cut the PCBs. Thank you very much for what you can do for me. Thank you very much.

I sent you DXF files by email, try to use those. Gerber files are still the recommended format though, it's the industry standard for PCB design. I've never heard of any manufacturer that can't accept Gerber files.

Quote: Gadgetfpv

Hi..

Thank you for sharing this design... can't wait to try... one quick question... the smaller disc in the assembly has copper in it, correct...

Sorry if this a simple question, quite new to all of this PCB design stuff...

Gadget

Yes, the bottom side of the small disk is almost entirely covered with copper.

Quote: Luno

Hi!

I've got a Beerotor Honeydrop antenna which is using your Pagoda design. The cable shielding is missing between the top and the middle PCBs. I wonder if this antenna performs bad because of that.

http://forum.rcdesign.ru/attachment.php?attachmentid=1298680&d=1487348602

I have seem many people complain about build quality issues with that antenna. Problems with the SMA connector, bad PCB alignment, cases that fall apart, bad soldering and so on. I don't recommend it.

Quote: Nhillerby

Hello Maarten, could this sma cord included in the pagoda 2 kit be cut down to a shorter length? It's a bit lengthy for fpv. Thank you for your genious invention.

You can shorten it, but this will bring the antenna closer to the quadcopter frame which will result in a larger 'dead zone' where the frame is blocking the signal. Just be aware of that.

Gadgetfpv

Comment #41: Tue, 21 Feb 2017, 10:31 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Dear Maarten,

Thank you so much for responding to my last post...

Now my PCB supplier is asking whether the PCB is Single or Double Sided? Would you be kind enough to let me know...

Last modified: Tue, 21 Feb 2017, 10:42 (GMT+1, DST)

Willem

Comment #42: Thu, 23 Feb 2017, 14:52 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Dag Maarten, waar kan ik de kits voor deze antennes kopen in België aub?
Mvg.

Tok

Comment #43: Thu, 23 Feb 2017, 20:46 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi Marteen

Are there any plans for a 1280Mhz version of the pagoda ?

Br
Thor Magne
Norway

Matan

Comment #44: Fri, 24 Feb 2017, 10:35 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi.
I built the antennas, and I'm having some performance problems.
I' using the same cable and connector you give links to, made the PCB's at elecrow, and assembles using your jig and following your video.

I think it's because of a minor mistake on the gap between the PCBs, they are about 0.1-0.2mm closer then what you specified.
Could that be the reason? if not, what else?

I intend to design a new jig that will make the assembly more convenient, as well as more accurate. (and will that will be 3d printed and not laser cut, which is where my inaccuracy come from)

So, do you think its possible to cut a notch in the two big PCBs so they will be at a fixed position in the jig? (instead of the silkscreen lines, cut three tiny notches on the outer part of the PCB and have a dimple in the jig that will sit in the notch so they will be at fixed position to one another)

Will it have an impact on the performance?
If it's OK, how can I alter the design? with what program?

Thanks,
Matan.

Ivan

Comment #45: Sun, 26 Feb 2017, 15:10 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Thanks for your antenna design Maarten.
I tryd to isolate traceroute the antenna after exporting the gerbers to have it isolated traced for my cnc.
Unfortunately i must have done it badly, i am sure the measure is off after i tryd to export them.
My SWR is way too high and only its about 1:3 at the highest frequency to get best SWR... lol
Allmost sure the arms are too short after converting.
Is it possible to have some dxf files so i can try it again? Converting gerbers to anything usable is failing here.
Got my hands on a few FR4 pcb 1mm now so i dont have to thinning the 1.6mm pcb.
Hope you can help me out.
Thanks in advance.

ps. got 2 pagoda antennas in meantime to play with from Menace. SWR seems better without the protection cover.
Tested some Depron foam between the 2 top plates has giving me a good result, hardly affect the SWR

Last modified: Sun, 26 Feb 2017, 19:17 (GMT+1, DST)

Willem

Comment #46: Wed, 1 Mar 2017, 15:47 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi Maarten, where can I buy these antenna kit(s) in Belgium please?
Best regards.
w.

Rotordog

Comment #47: Sun, 12 Mar 2017, 21:23 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


I was wonder what makes the difference in a RHCP and LHCP with the Pagoda? Are the templates in the disc simply going in the opposite direction to change the polarization> Like a cloverleaf.

I also thought I understood from previous post that in fact the cable length creates no no issues so long as the disc do not contact anything potentially conductive.

Thanks!

Rotordog

Comment #48: Sun, 12 Mar 2017, 21:54 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


One last question. Would it cause any issue with performance if you dipped the PCB antenna disc and at least part of the coax in a protective liquid vinyl?

Efeksk

Comment #49: Mon, 13 Mar 2017, 14:34 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hello maarten
My name is Halim KARAPINAR
I have been manufacturing antennas for FPV systems for about 3 years. I am very successful in this regard in Turkey. And I produced the antennas you designed for the first time in Turkey. I produced 45 pairs of antennas for the 1st race of the Turkish Dron Competition League which will take place in Istanbul city on March 19, 2017 and delivered it to the competitors. These antennas are excellent.

I need help on a topic.
I want to make changes to the prints on the PCB antennas.
For that you can tell me the raw files of the antennas and what program I can open. I use DipTrace. But if I have to open it with a different program, I can also download that program.

I also want to make a small donation for you.
Thank you very much for sharing your help and design.
The producer of SkyRod Antennas is Halim KARAPINAR.

[img]http://i.hizliresim.com/ZZ7WYo.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i.hizliresim.com/9Q2Rgo.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i.hizliresim.com/JanXqW.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i.hizliresim.com/nRLkR5.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i.hizliresim.com/M0LX0k.jpg[/img]

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #50: Sun, 19 Mar 2017, 16:22 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Gadgetfpv

Now my PCB supplier is asking whether the PCB is Single or Double Sided? Would you be kind enough to let me know...

Double sided, otherwise you will miss some pads on the bottom side and you won't get through-hole metallization.

Quote: Tok

Are there any plans for a 1280Mhz version of the pagoda ?

No, it would be too big to be practical.

Quote: Matan

I built the antennas, and I'm having some performance problems.
I' using the same cable and connector you give links to, made the PCB's at elecrow, and assembles using your jig and following your video.

I think it's because of a minor mistake on the gap between the PCBs, they are about 0.1-0.2mm closer then what you specified.
Could that be the reason? if not, what else?

I intend to design a new jig that will make the assembly more convenient, as well as more accurate. (and will that will be 3d printed and not laser cut, which is where my inaccuracy come from)

So, do you think its possible to cut a notch in the two big PCBs so they will be at a fixed position in the jig? (instead of the silkscreen lines, cut three tiny notches on the outer part of the PCB and have a dimple in the jig that will sit in the notch so they will be at fixed position to one another)

Will it have an impact on the performance?
If it's OK, how can I alter the design? with what program?

If you place the notches far enough away from the copper elements, it should be fine. You can change the PCBs by modifying the Python scripts that I use to generate them. They are included in the design files.

Quote: Ivan

Thanks for your antenna design Maarten.
I tryd to isolate traceroute the antenna after exporting the gerbers to have it isolated traced for my cnc.
Unfortunately i must have done it badly, i am sure the measure is off after i tryd to export them.
My SWR is way too high and only its about 1:3 at the highest frequency to get best SWR... lol
Allmost sure the arms are too short after converting.
Is it possible to have some dxf files so i can try it again? Converting gerbers to anything usable is failing here.
Got my hands on a few FR4 pcb 1mm now so i dont have to thinning the 1.6mm pcb.
Hope you can help me out.
Thanks in advance.

ps. got 2 pagoda antennas in meantime to play with from Menace. SWR seems better without the protection cover.
Tested some Depron foam between the 2 top plates has giving me a good result, hardly affect the SWR

DXF files are now included in the design files. Getting DXF files from Gerbers is really annoying, I generated them from SVGs instead.

Quote: Willem

Hi Maarten, where can I buy these antenna kit(s) in Belgium please?
Best regards.

I'm not aware of any sellers in Belgium specifically, but I'm pretty sure that you can get the international sellers to ship it to Belgium.

Quote: Rotordog

I was wonder what makes the difference in a RHCP and LHCP with the Pagoda? Are the templates in the disc simply going in the opposite direction to change the polarization> Like a cloverleaf.

I also thought I understood from previous post that in fact the cable length creates no no issues so long as the disc do not contact anything potentially conductive.

Thanks!

Yes, the LHCP and RHCP version are just mirror images of each other. Just mirror the two top PCBs and you will get the opposite polarization.

Quote: Rotordog

One last question. Would it cause any issue with performance if you dipped the PCB antenna disc and at least part of the coax in a protective liquid vinyl?

Yes, unless it's an extremely thin layer (less than 0.1 mm). You can probably get much better results with Styrofoam, which doesn't affect the performance significantly.

Quote: Efeksk

Hello maarten
My name is Halim KARAPINAR
I have been manufacturing antennas for FPV systems for about 3 years. I am very successful in this regard in Turkey. And I produced the antennas you designed for the first time in Turkey. I produced 45 pairs of antennas for the 1st race of the Turkish Dron Competition League which will take place in Istanbul city on March 19, 2017 and delivered it to the competitors. These antennas are excellent.

I need help on a topic.
I want to make changes to the prints on the PCB antennas.
For that you can tell me the raw files of the antennas and what program I can open. I use DipTrace. But if I have to open it with a different program, I can also download that program.

I also want to make a small donation for you.
Thank you very much for sharing your help and design.
The producer of SkyRod Antennas is Halim KARAPINAR.

The Gerber files are generated by Python scripts which are also included in the design files. I did not use traditional PCB software to design these PCBs.

Goose

Comment #51: Tue, 21 Mar 2017, 16:47 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Maarten,

Two questions as this is the first time I have toyed around with PCB antennas.

1. I am trying to have the PCB's done by a friend of mine here in the US and he is stating that the drill file is not included in the Gerber files. Do you know what he is talking about? If so how would I go about getting those from you? Email?

2. The FR4 needing to be 1mm is only the FR4 correct or is it the overall thickness including the Screenprint? I know the issues with dielectric speed, but you don't provide a total thickness of the board and screenprinting.

Thanks.

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #52: Wed, 22 Mar 2017, 2:58 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Goose

Maarten,

Two questions as this is the first time I have toyed around with PCB antennas.

1. I am trying to have the PCB's done by a friend of mine here in the US and he is stating that the drill file is not included in the Gerber files. Do you know what he is talking about? If so how would I go about getting those from you? Email?

2. The FR4 needing to be 1mm is only the FR4 correct or is it the overall thickness including the Screenprint? I know the issues with dielectric speed, but you don't provide a total thickness of the board and screenprinting.

Thanks.

1. Tell him that the .txt file is the drill file. He probably wants to rename it to some other extension like ".drl". Sadly there's no universal standard for these extensions, some manufacters want ".txt.", others want ".drl" (short for Drill) and yet others want ".xln" (short for Excellon).

2. The 1.0 mm thickness is the base FR-4 material. But realistically it doesn't matter if it's off by a tiny amount, the properties of FR-4 tends to vary between manufacturers anyway. Solder mask is only ~20 µm so I just ignore it, it has no meaningful impact.

Last modified: Wed, 22 Mar 2017, 3:00 (GMT+1, DST)

Dmg

Comment #53: Sat, 25 Mar 2017, 23:31 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Recently a friend of mine sent his first attempt at PCB panelizing to elecrow. He sent something that no sane PCB manufacturer would make and surprisingly he got exaclty what he ordered with zero compliants and no extra cost. It was a very unstable panel with features we all thought were forbidden in chinese manufacturers.

So, now knowing that elecrow will make almost anything, I've decided to design this:
https://github.com/Repo-IEEEsb/DroneRacing/tree/master/Desarrollos/PagodaValuePack

I've called it "Pagoda Value Pack" and it includes 3 copies of the Pagoda Antena PCB's (RHCP for now but changing to LHCP is trivial and will do it if this works) with added breakaway alignment struts, a modified simplified assembly jig that uses the alignment struts, an end ruler to measure the coax, a stripping depth gauge for the RP-SMA connector and a template for cutting styrofoam half discs to fill the pagodas. All of that in a single 10x10 cm PCB. I've ordered an experimental batch to see how all works. Hopefully this will simplify the pagoda-making process. We're also testing styrofoam-filled pagodas with very promising results durability-wise!

Dmg

Comment #54: Sat, 25 Mar 2017, 23:36 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


By the way, I've noticed something strange. Your 3D rendering from the simulator shows that the center PCB has the copper on the bottom side, while the gerbers and assembled pagodas have the center PCB copper on the top side. Is this normal?

EDIT: FAIL, I got fooled by the perspective of te 3D rendering. All is OK. Please ingore this comment.

Last modified: Sat, 25 Mar 2017, 23:40 (GMT+1, DST)

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #55: Mon, 27 Mar 2017, 3:35 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Dmg

By the way, I've noticed something strange. Your 3D rendering from the simulator shows that the center PCB has the copper on the bottom side, while the gerbers and assembled pagodas have the center PCB copper on the top side. Is this normal?

EDIT: FAIL, I got fooled by the perspective of te 3D rendering. All is OK. Please ingore this comment.

Yeah, the 3D viewer has half-broken transparency support. It doesn't know which parts should be drawn in front and in many cases it messes up. You don't get that problem with opaque colors, but then you can't really see what you're doing. I've learned to ignore it :).

Tripd27

Comment #56: Tue, 28 Mar 2017, 21:36 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


I noticed in your ReadMe file when ordering from Elecrow to select the 1.6mm PCB Thickness, but in your instructions on the page you are very adamant about using 1.0mm PCB. I did order the 1.0mm, just thought I would point this out so you can update your documentation. Great work on the Pagoda Antenna, and thank you for sharing the plans.

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #57: Thu, 30 Mar 2017, 4:11 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Tripd27

I noticed in your ReadMe file when ordering from Elecrow to select the 1.6mm PCB Thickness, but in your instructions on the page you are very adamant about using 1.0mm PCB. I did order the 1.0mm, just thought I would point this out so you can update your documentation. Great work on the Pagoda Antenna, and thank you for sharing the plans.

Oops, looks like I somehow copied the default Elecrow settings instead of the edited ones. Thanks for telling me!

Efeksk

Comment #58: Mon, 3 Apr 2017, 10:29 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hello there.
How to change the print on pcb.
Example: I want to scroll down Design By Marteen Baert.
I would also like to add the manufacturer SkyRod article.
How will I do that

Andygetfpv

Comment #59: Tue, 4 Apr 2017, 20:35 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi Maarten, I wanted to let you know that Lumenier is now manufacturing the Pagoda antenna in RHCP and LHCP version now. (RPSMA coming soon as well) It would be great if you could link it on the "Where to buy" section. Thanks for all your work on this project!

http://www.getfpv.com/lumenier-pagoda-2-5-8ghz-antenna-rhcp.html
http://www.getfpv.com/lumenier-pagoda-2-5-8ghz-antenna-lhcp.html

Miki

Comment #60: Thu, 6 Apr 2017, 18:58 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi Maarten,

If I use 0.8mm pcb what the distance between the discs should be?
The same, the actual distance +0.2mm?
There is some formula to be used?

Unclemcpeanut

Comment #61: Mon, 10 Apr 2017, 5:17 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


hi, i'm attempting to edit the python files but when i run it it send an error, No module named 'pylab', im pretty new to coding and have only done matlab stuff, what do i need to do to get it to work? i have got ipython from the anaconda suite but have no idea where to start. thanks and love your antenna works great on my quad

Gryphon

Comment #62: Tue, 11 Apr 2017, 9:11 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Dear Maarten baert,

thank you for designing this pagoda antenna .
Banggood has released the similar pagoda antenna
http://www.banggood.com/Realacc-5_8G-5dBi-50W-Omnidirectional-Omni-FPV-Flat-Panel-Pagoda-Antenna-SMARP-SMA-p-1140659.html
and we would like to give you some sample in return.If you have interested in that ,please contact us .My email address is wengguifeng@banggood.cn

I looking forward to hearing from you

Sincerely

Gryphon

Ea7dwk

Comment #63: Tue, 11 Apr 2017, 21:14 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi MAARTEN : thanks a lot for your "pagoda" antenna.- So a great and lovely job !!.- I´m wondering myself about the thinner RG405 coax cable for RG402 replacement.- Maybe it makes not so much difference.- 73,s.

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #64: Sat, 15 Apr 2017, 4:10 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Efeksk

Hello there.
How to change the print on pcb.
Example: I want to scroll down Design By Marteen Baert.
I would also like to add the manufacturer SkyRod article.
How will I do that

You can do this by editing the Python script that generates the files.

Quote: Andygetfpv

Hi Maarten, I wanted to let you know that Lumenier is now manufacturing the Pagoda antenna in RHCP and LHCP version now. (RPSMA coming soon as well) It would be great if you could link it on the "Where to buy" section. Thanks for all your work on this project!

http://www.getfpv.com/lumenier-pagoda-2-5-8ghz-antenna-rhcp.html
http://www.getfpv.com/lumenier-pagoda-2-5-8ghz-antenna-lhcp.html

Thanks, added.

Quote: Miki

Hi Maarten,

If I use 0.8mm pcb what the distance between the discs should be?
The same, the actual distance +0.2mm?
There is some formula to be used?

It's not that simple. If you want to get it exactly right, you need to re-tune the entire design. It's easier to just stick with 1mm. If you really want to try it with 0.8mm, then just keep the distance the same.

Quote: Unclemcpeanut

hi, i'm attempting to edit the python files but when i run it it send an error, No module named 'pylab', im pretty new to coding and have only done matlab stuff, what do i need to do to get it to work? i have got ipython from the anaconda suite but have no idea where to start. thanks and love your antenna works great on my quad

You need to install a number of modules. 'pylab' is a collection of modules including numpy, scipy and matplotlib. You will also need 'freetype-py'. I have never tried installing it on Windows, but on Linux you can get all of these from the package manager. You can also install them with 'pip' if you are familiar with that. Note that you need python 3, not python 2.

Quote: Gryphon

Dear Maarten baert,

thank you for designing this pagoda antenna .
Banggood has released the similar pagoda antenna
http://www.banggood.com/Realacc-5_8G-5dBi-50W-Omnidirectional-Omni-FPV-Flat-Panel-Pagoda-Antenna-SMARP-SMA-p-1140659.html
and we would like to give you some sample in return.If you have interested in that ,please contact us .My email address is wengguifeng@banggood.cn

I looking forward to hearing from you

Sincerely

Gryphon

I have sent you an email.

Quote: Ea7dwk

Hi MAARTEN : thanks a lot for your "pagoda" antenna.- So a great and lovely job !!.- I´m wondering myself about the thinner RG405 coax cable for RG402 replacement.- Maybe it makes not so much difference.- 73,s.

It is certainly possible, but it would require re-tuning for optimal performance. It would also make the antenna more fragile.

Prx

Comment #65: Sun, 23 Apr 2017, 9:20 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Tried sending the ValuePack panel through Elecrow standard service a few days ago and they said they can't manufacture it like this unless I pay $36 instead of the normal $10. Anyone else had any success recently?

Ps915

Comment #66: Fri, 28 Apr 2017, 0:25 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi Maarten,

first of all thanks for your awesome antenna design. Me and the german FPV Community really like your design.

I just wanted to share my personal Pagoda project with the german community with you. i wrote some blogposts about the Pagoda antenna and also translated it for the englisch users.

We also created a new soldering aid for cables with already soldered SMA connectors.
So mybe you can link to my articles in on your page above if you find the helpfull.

Assembly: http://blog.seidel-philipp.de/pagoda-fpv-antenna-assembly/
ordering pcbs on seeedstudio: http://blog.seidel-philipp.de/do-it-yourself-pagoda-fpv-antenna-for-less-than-2/

Again many many thanks for the work you did.

PHIL

PS: We are about to test some other flexible calbles to fit some UFL connectors to it. maybe loweering the diameter of the PCB holes and fit some RG316 cables inside. For GND you just ripp of the isolation. What do you think?

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #67: Mon, 1 May 2017, 13:03 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Prx

Tried sending the ValuePack panel through Elecrow standard service a few days ago and they said they can't manufacture it like this unless I pay $36 instead of the normal $10. Anyone else had any success recently?

This is normal, Elecrow does not offer free panelization, unlike Seeedstudio. Seeedstudio only allows it when the PCBs are all identical (which is the case here).

Quote: Ps915

Hi Maarten,

first of all thanks for your awesome antenna design. Me and the german FPV Community really like your design.

I just wanted to share my personal Pagoda project with the german community with you. i wrote some blogposts about the Pagoda antenna and also translated it for the englisch users.

We also created a new soldering aid for cables with already soldered SMA connectors.
So mybe you can link to my articles in on your page above if you find the helpfull.

Assembly: http://blog.seidel-philipp.de/pagoda-fpv-antenna-assembly/
ordering pcbs on seeedstudio: http://blog.seidel-philipp.de/do-it-yourself-pagoda-fpv-antenna-for-less-than-2/

Again many many thanks for the work you did.

PHIL

Added. That production error is interesting, I haven't seen that happen before. I guess it's not surprising, concentric pads isn't something you would find on a regular PCB, and the way it gets encoded in the Gerber file is a bit unusual.

Quote: Ps915

PS: We are about to test some other flexible calbles to fit some UFL connectors to it. maybe loweering the diameter of the PCB holes and fit some RG316 cables inside. For GND you just ripp of the isolation. What do you think?

The coax is part of the 'active' elements of the antenna, so if you change the diameter, you will likely see significant changes in performance. I don't think this will work well without serious re-tuning of the design.

Ps915

Comment #68: Wed, 3 May 2017, 16:55 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hey guys,

Since Seetstudio still sends e-mails that the they did it correctly, i investigated into this. When they produce your boards wrong, this is not your fault. The files are correct. The chinese manufacturer just mixed up the files. There is always only PART 1 (the top PCB), which is produced wrong, because they mixed the bottom layer of PART2 with PART1.I send Seeedstudio the following picture, to hope they understand.
http://blog.seidel-philipp.de/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/seedstudio_error.png

Last modified: Wed, 3 May 2017, 16:56 (GMT+1, DST)

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #69: Wed, 3 May 2017, 20:59 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Ps915

Hey guys,

Since Seetstudio still sends e-mails that the they did it correctly, i investigated into this. When they produce your boards wrong, this is not your fault. The files are correct. The chinese manufacturer just mixed up the files. There is always only PART 1 (the top PCB), which is produced wrong, because they mixed the bottom layer of PART2 with PART1.I send Seeedstudio the following picture, to hope they understand.
http://blog.seidel-philipp.de/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/seedstudio_error.png

That's also possible, but I think it's more likely that their software doesn't properly support the way I'm defining concentric pads in the Gerber file, and deletes the gap between the two pads since the software doesn't understand that there can be two pads in the exact same location and yet not connected to each other.

Anon1337

Comment #70: Mon, 15 May 2017, 19:47 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hello,

farvew.com sells a pagoda 2 antenna labeled as 'Revision B'. Did Maarten create a Revision B or is this their own design? If it is their own design are the design files available?

Ps915

Comment #71: Tue, 16 May 2017, 12:12 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hey Maarten,

what about the length of the coax cable (from sma to the third pcb)? if i want to build a very short antenne, can i do this without problems?

Am i right, that after the third PCB the length doesn't matter?

Auleefor

Comment #72: Wed, 17 May 2017, 16:26 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Excellent design, I like it very much !

A question please: Did you consider pcb thickness regarding distances between discs ?
What I mean, should it be distance between conductive layer of bcb ?
Can you please clarify as it makes a huge difference in effect !

Thanks for sharing all this knowledge !

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #73: Thu, 18 May 2017, 23:22 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Anon1337

Hello,

farvew.com sells a pagoda 2 antenna labeled as 'Revision B'. Did Maarten create a Revision B or is this their own design? If it is their own design are the design files available?

Version '2B' was also created by me, and is included in the latest design files. It is identical to version '2' but re-tuned for antennas with a plastic shell.

Quote: Ps915

Hey Maarten,

what about the length of the coax cable (from sma to the third pcb)? if i want to build a very short antenne, can i do this without problems?

Am i right, that after the third PCB the length doesn't matter?

This has been asked many times, see previous comments.

Quote: Auleefor

Excellent design, I like it very much !

A question please: Did you consider pcb thickness regarding distances between discs ?
What I mean, should it be distance between conductive layer of bcb ?
Can you please clarify as it makes a huge difference in effect !

Thanks for sharing all this knowledge !

The distance shown in this article is the distance between the PCBs (i.e. FR4), which are supposed to be 1mm thick. If you are using the provided assemby jig, you don't have to worry about this.

Iforge

Comment #74: Sun, 21 May 2017, 4:55 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi Maarten,

Will you be releasing the Rev. B of the antenna?

Regards,
Jonathan

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #75: Wed, 24 May 2017, 2:30 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Iforge

Hi Maarten,

Will you be releasing the Rev. B of the antenna?

Regards,
Jonathan

What do you mean? It is already included in the latest design files.

Iforge

Comment #76: Thu, 25 May 2017, 10:01 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Oh wow thanks Maarten! I thought it was a different one. Thank you so much!

Stylesuxx

Comment #77: Sun, 4 Jun 2017, 3:02 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Maarten Baert

Version '2B' was also created by me, and is included in the latest design files. It is identical to version '2' but re-tuned for antennas with a plastic shell.

I was wondering, is version 2B the recommended version, or is it just recommended if you want to use a plastic shell?

Thank you Maarten, for this great design!

Last modified: Mon, 5 Jun 2017, 20:47 (GMT+1, DST)

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #78: Mon, 5 Jun 2017, 0:01 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Stylesuxx

I was wondering, is version 2B the recommended version, or is it just recommended if you want to use a plastic shell?

Thank you Maarten, for this great design!

Only if you use a plastic shell or heat shrink. If you use it unprotected or with just a styrofoam filler, the default version is better.

Last modified: Mon, 5 Jun 2017, 20:46 (GMT+1, DST)

Stylesuxx

Comment #79: Mon, 5 Jun 2017, 4:36 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Maarten Baert

Only if you use a plastic shell or heat shrink. If you use it unprotected or with just a styrofoam filler, the default version is better.

OK, thank you for the quick reply. I am planning on using 3D printed spacers and heat shrink, so I will go with version 2B.

Last modified: Mon, 5 Jun 2017, 20:46 (GMT+1, DST)

Eosbandi

Comment #80: Tue, 6 Jun 2017, 23:40 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi Marteen,
First of all, congratulations for the design. It quickly became the new standard for 5.8 antennas :D

Quick question, i need to retune the antenna for 4.8Ghz (4.8-4.9 band). Could it be done by simply changing the distance between the plates, or I have to resize the plates as well ?
Could you give some guidence about retuning ?
Thanks in advance,
EOSBandi

Race412

Comment #81: Wed, 7 Jun 2017, 17:04 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hello Maarten!
My roommate and I were wanting to make and sell some at a very low price, our largest problem so far has been getting our name out there. Is there any way we could get our website in your chart above?
Thank you
Michael Pickering
Chris Wisdom

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #82: Thu, 8 Jun 2017, 1:42 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Eosbandi

Quick question, i need to retune the antenna for 4.8Ghz (4.8-4.9 band). Could it be done by simply changing the distance between the plates, or I have to resize the plates as well ?
Could you give some guidence about retuning ?

It's not that easy. In theory you can scale up everything by the right amount and get a 4.8 GHz antenna, but in practice you won't find the right PCB thickness or coax diameter. So you have to keep those constant and somehow compensate for it. This gets harder when you move further away from the original 5.8 GHz design. It's definitely not something that can be done manually.

I am currently doing some tuning for lower frequencies, I can give 4.8 GHz a try to see if it's feasible without huge changes. I was trying 2.45 GHz first but that isn't working as well as I had hoped (matching is a problem). 4.8 GHz should be easier.

Quote: Race412

Hello Maarten!
My roommate and I were wanting to make and sell some at a very low price, our largest problem so far has been getting our name out there. Is there any way we could get our website in your chart above?
Thank you
Michael Pickering
Chris Wisdom

Sure, tell me when you have some available for sale and I will add it to the list.

Race412

Comment #83: Thu, 8 Jun 2017, 5:40 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Thank You! Here is the link to our site, https://squareup.com/store/room-412/ we are thinking about switching the site to another that supports PayPal, right now its only a card because its through square.

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #84: Fri, 9 Jun 2017, 1:32 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Race412

Thank You! Here is the link to our site, https://squareup.com/store/room-412/ we are thinking about switching the site to another that supports PayPal, right now its only a card because its through square.

Added. What's the polarization?

Race412

Comment #85: Fri, 9 Jun 2017, 16:30 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


For now it is only RHCP but eventually we will be buying some LHCP. We also can do both SMA and RPSMA, just need to update the website

Tomkanovik

Comment #86: Wed, 14 Jun 2017, 13:05 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Can you post 16 (4x4) pagodas 2 revB in one gerber with size 10cmx10cm please?

Austinthemighty

Comment #87: Fri, 16 Jun 2017, 7:46 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Does the length of the coax cable matter?

Tomkanovik

Comment #88: Sat, 17 Jun 2017, 23:54 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Austinthemighty

Does the length of the coax cable matter?

The creator said, it havent influence.

Quadgod

Comment #89: Fri, 23 Jun 2017, 17:39 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


I want to make a little bit longer than normal antenna for my goggles maybe around 7 to 8 inches so it clears the top of my head well is this okay will there be any loss or performance issues?

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #90: Sat, 24 Jun 2017, 1:38 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Quadgod

I want to make a little bit longer than normal antenna for my goggles maybe around 7 to 8 inches so it clears the top of my head well is this okay will there be any loss or performance issues?

You won't lose performance by making the coax longer, except for the losses in the coax itself, which is very low for RG402, so don't worry about it.

Austinthemighty

Comment #91: Sun, 25 Jun 2017, 5:57 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


What is the dimensions of the pcb?

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #92: Sun, 25 Jun 2017, 22:10 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Austinthemighty

What is the dimensions of the pcb?

22.5 mm diameter for the large PCBs. If you want more details, just use the design files.

Akinys

Comment #93: Sun, 9 Jul 2017, 12:25 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi, my friend made antennas from 12 complekts of pcb. Many of them have very accurate center frequency and SWR close to ideal: for example we got 4 antennas with 5.840GHz and SWR 1.02 1.04 1.04 1.1
Congrats for good design and sharing with the community.
Now some questions:
1. Because of accurate assembly it is possible to get very consistent center frequency and narrow band. So why not to make different designs to cover all channels of FPV band - from 5.705 to 5.945 ?
2. Could You make designs for lower band - somewhere from 5.150 - 5.550 ? My friend is struggling to get working SWIT HD video transmission system on cable cam in arena filled with 15K people.

Last modified: Sun, 9 Jul 2017, 12:36 (GMT+1, DST)

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #94: Thu, 13 Jul 2017, 0:02 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Akinys

Hi, my friend made antennas from 12 complekts of pcb. Many of them have very accurate center frequency and SWR close to ideal: for example we got 4 antennas with 5.840GHz and SWR 1.02 1.04 1.04 1.1
Congrats for good design and sharing with the community.
Now some questions:
1. Because of accurate assembly it is possible to get very consistent center frequency and narrow band. So why not to make different designs to cover all channels of FPV band - from 5.705 to 5.945 ?
2. Could You make designs for lower band - somewhere from 5.150 - 5.550 ? My friend is struggling to get working SWIT HD video transmission system on cable cam in arena filled with 15K people.

1. The main problem is that different manufacturers use different brands of FR4 which are not all identical. This can cause the center frequency to shift by up to 100 MHz. However since the bandwidth is 500 MHz, it's not really a problem.
2. I am planning to make a re-tuned design for 5.5 GHz to cover the 'low' raceband. I wasn't aware that there were channels below 5.3 GHz though. In any case, re-tuning takes a lot of simulation time.

Actl-z

Comment #95: Sat, 22 Jul 2017, 11:47 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Thank you for your design! I got an antenna from my friend,but the AR test results are greater than 2db! Can you show me your AR simulation results ?

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #96: Fri, 28 Jul 2017, 3:17 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Actl-z

Thank you for your design! I got an antenna from my friend,but the AR test results are greater than 2db! Can you show me your AR simulation results ?

Simulation: AR < 1.3. That corresponds to roughly 2.28 dB.
Measurement: AR < 1.67 (4.46 dB). Note that this was measured in an imperfect anechoic chamber, so the result may be a bit worse than the real value.

How did you do the AR measurement?

Actl-z

Comment #97: Fri, 28 Jul 2017, 12:10 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Maarten Baert
Quote: Actl-z

Thank you for your design! I got an antenna from my friend,but the AR test results are greater than 2db! Can you show me your AR simulation results ?

Simulation: AR < 1.3. That corresponds to roughly 2.28 dB.
Measurement: AR < 1.67 (4.46 dB). Note that this was measured in an imperfect anechoic chamber, so the result may be a bit worse than the real value.

How did you do the AR measurement?

Thank you !

The antenna was measured in ETS .

Thagymp

Comment #98: Mon, 31 Jul 2017, 14:47 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


I am wondering if its possible to scale the existing design to be used with 1.3g fpv gear?

Thank youu

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #99: Tue, 1 Aug 2017, 23:08 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Thagymp

I am wondering if its possible to scale the existing design to be used with 1.3g fpv gear?

Thank youu

In theory you could, but it becomes very impractical and expensive. Cloverleafs are a better option for those frequencies in my opinion.

Tantrim

Comment #100: Sun, 6 Aug 2017, 21:10 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Maarten. I'm trying to make a panelized version of the 2B version to send to elecrow. Could you please tell me if this looks correct for the 2B design? Also, the words might say 2B but it might be incorrect still as a heads up.

Top - https://i.imgur.com/N3nvO0A.png
Bottom - https://i.imgur.com/KZGL4Xw.png

Last modified: Sun, 6 Aug 2017, 22:15 (GMT+1, DST)

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #101: Tue, 8 Aug 2017, 1:01 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Tantrim

Maarten. I'm trying to make a panelized version of the 2B version to send to elecrow. Could you please tell me if this looks correct for the 2B design? Also, the words might say 2B but it might be incorrect still as a heads up.

Top - https://i.imgur.com/N3nvO0A.png
Bottom - https://i.imgur.com/KZGL4Xw.png

That's not going to work, the board outline is inconsistent and doesn't have nearly enough space between the PCBs. You need at least 1mm spacing everwhere, ideally more.

Tantrim

Comment #102: Tue, 8 Aug 2017, 2:07 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Alright thanks for your time Maarten

Wohenzhuce

Comment #103: Thu, 10 Aug 2017, 16:33 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hi Mr.Baert, i tried to send you a email to maarten-baert@hotmail.com 3 months ago, but never got your reply, is the email address correct? mine is big_fire@yeah.net
I would like to talk to you about your pagoda, thank you

Austinthemighty

Comment #104: Fri, 18 Aug 2017, 7:18 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


What program did you use to make these and can you upload the save files for them

Race412

Comment #105: Sat, 19 Aug 2017, 20:51 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Hello Maarten! We have recently made some changes to our online store and was wondering if you could make those changes to your page as well.

We now have both RHCP and LHCP.
Our pricing is from $4.50 to $7
We ship internationally
And if people see it on here they can get 5% off with code MAARTEN

Also, less relevant, we now have the URL race412.com

Thank You
Race412

Maarten Baert

Administrator

Comment #106: Tue, 22 Aug 2017, 3:13 (GMT+1, DST)

Quote


Quote: Austinthemighty

What program did you use to make these and can you upload the save files for them

Everything is generated with Python scripts. There are no project files.

Quote: Race412

Hello Maarten! We have recently made some changes to our online store and was wondering if you could make those changes to your page as well.

We now have both RHCP and LHCP.
Our pricing is from $4.50 to $7
We ship internationally
And if people see it on here they can get 5% off with code MAARTEN

Also, less relevant, we now have the URL race412.com

Thank You
Race412

I've updated the table.

Write a comment