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gps cover

Discussion in 'Recreational sUAS Flyers Discussions' started by baker55, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. baker55

    baker55 Member

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    Posted by baker55, Jan 30, 2011 #1
    Is it necessary to have a gps cover?
     
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  2. Droider

    Droider Drone Enthusiast

    Posted by Droider, Jan 30, 2011 #2
    In what way - Like a hard cover to protect it from ground strikes? or to not restrict signal reception?
     
  3. RTRyder

    RTRyder Merlin of Multirotors

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    Posted by RTRyder, Jan 30, 2011 #3
    The short answer is no, the longer answer is you want to have some sort of covering over the electronics for protection. The level of protection depends on how much you're willing to risk the board(s) being damaged in a crash or anything other than an upright landing. I use 1/8 inch thick acrylic domes over the the electronics stack on the Droidworx Hexa and a similar but lower dome over the Hoverfly Quad board. In either case the approximately $50 dome is protecting hundreds of $ worth of electronics, this isn't to say it's entirely crash proof, but it will certainly be many times better than stuffing it into the dirt with something like the flimsy 1mm thick dome that comes with the stock MK. That said, I hope I never get to find out just how well the dome does protect what's underneath.

    Ken
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2011
  4. baker55

    baker55 Member

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    Posted by baker55, Jan 30, 2011 #4
    Sorry, let me rephrase that. I mean is it needed to restrict signal reception.
     
  5. RTRyder

    RTRyder Merlin of Multirotors

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    Posted by RTRyder, Jan 30, 2011 #5
    No you don't want to restrict reception at all, doesn't take too much for the GPS to lose the signal entirely, the covers are there just to protect the electronics from the elements.

    Sometimes I wonder how much effect just using the acrylic dome has on signal strength, but it seems to work fine so I'm not going to lose sleep over it.

    Ken
     
  6. Bartman

    Bartman Welcome to MultiRotorForums.com!!

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    Posted by Bartman, Jan 30, 2011 #6
    ken,
    how heavy are the acrylic domes? if i paint the inside of the clear plastic does it restrict gps reception at all?
    bart
     
  7. Droider

    Droider Drone Enthusiast

    Posted by Droider, Jan 30, 2011 #7
    Iv'e painted my DroidWorx standard dome with four coats of PLASTIKOTE paint.. had no affect on GPS signal reception what so ever..
     
  8. Bartman

    Bartman Welcome to MultiRotorForums.com!!

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    Posted by Bartman, Jan 30, 2011 #8
    cool, thanks Dave. mine is still clear and i was going to tint it but i may paint it white instead.
    Bart
     
  9. Droider

    Droider Drone Enthusiast

    Posted by Droider, Jan 30, 2011 #9
    Spose its a bit like sat nav.. My tomtom works through a 5mm thick toughened glass windscreen.. sure if your receiver is out there in fresh air it going to work better but a .5mm plastic sheet is not going to affect it so much.. I just posted a video of mine working fine with the painted dome on.. and as I type my stack is sat in the kitchen getting 4 satellites through two 1mx1m skylights!
     
  10. RTRyder

    RTRyder Merlin of Multirotors

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    Posted by RTRyder, Jan 30, 2011 #10
    The lower of the two weighs 115 grams or roughly 4 ounces, the taller one slightly more. Paint won't block the GPS but you might be surprised at how much weight it can add.

    Ken
     
  11. Bartman

    Bartman Welcome to MultiRotorForums.com!!

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    Posted by Bartman, Jan 30, 2011 #11
    well, the other option is to dye it and i bought black dye last week for that but haven't had a chance to do it. i like the idea of using paint so sunlight can't heat things up as much under the cover.
    bart
     
  12. baker55

    baker55 Member

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    Posted by baker55, Jan 30, 2011 #12
    Does the signal from the other electronics confuse or effect gps?
     
  13. RTRyder

    RTRyder Merlin of Multirotors

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    Posted by RTRyder, Jan 31, 2011 #13
    It can though if you have all standard MK electronics assembled in the stack in the proper order there shouldn't be any problem. I have the XBee TX/RX setup velcro'd to the side of the dome cover, an I2C isolation board directly underneath the GPS board, and a receiver diversity board hanging off to the side of the isolation board along with all the stock electronics and so far nothing has interfered. There's also a 5.8 gHz FPV TX strapped down low on the landing gear support, I used to have it stuck on the rear frame arm on the stock frame and it never caused a problem there. I've heard from others that have the I2C board saying they had problems with the GPS getting confused by placing the isolation board directly underneath the GPS and that moving it down in the stack solved the problem. I haven't seen that happen (yet) so I can't comment on whether or not it might be an issue with the I2C board or something in the way they have their stack built and wired, or what the problem may be.

    Ken
     
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