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Spektrum rx aerial protection

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stuey12/11/2008 19:50:00
601 forum posts
12 photos

Hi, i have just installed a Spektrum AR500 receiver into my Phase 3 F-16 and need a bit of advice. I have the receiver installed so that the short aerial is pointing vertically into the canopy, and the longer is going out through the cockpit floor and along the fuz. This has left the short aerial a bit exposed in the cockpit, and i want to put something over it to give it some protection. I am considering some thin wall silicon tubing which fits nicely over the outlet hole, or possibly a piece of heatshrink over the outlet hole along the length of the wire (which is approx 30mm). Would there be any shielding issues? I know when i briefly had a Spektrum rx in my 1/8 rallycross i.c buggy we use flexible aerial tube to protect the wire where it exits the radio box and bodyshell with no apparent effects.

I also noticed a pic where Timbo has covered his aerial wires on a AR7000 with what looks like heatshrink along their entire length, can you confirm this Tim?


Always broke12/11/2008 20:29:00
103 forum posts
4 photos
Heatshrink is fine. All my Spectrum RXs have had this done to them.
stuey12/11/2008 21:27:00
601 forum posts
12 photos
Is that along the whole length of the wire??
Always broke12/11/2008 21:35:00
103 forum posts
4 photos
I used aprox 15mm lenghts but you can cover the whole lenght with out any problems. The main reason for doing it is to give some support to the wire where it comes out of the case.
Tim Mackey12/11/2008 22:21:00
20919 forum posts
304 photos
15 articles
I did use heatshrink, but my main worry with these aerials is the exit point from the case - they often show signs of fracture at that point...and I glooped a nice splodge of rubbery glue around this - had no problems since doing this on all of mine. heres the picture you referred to.

stuey13/11/2008 07:26:00
601 forum posts
12 photos
Ok, thank you gents
stuey15/11/2008 11:19:00
601 forum posts
12 photos

I have just had 2 windy flights this morning with the receiver, and as far as i can tell it was fine. I did 2 low power range checks, ok at around 25paces, although I'm 6'2" so i might have a long pace. I ended up putting a piece of heatshrink over the vertical short aerial, a few mm short of the end. I don't think I had any glitching that I could detect, although it would be hard to tell in the gusty wind at my patch.

I am thinking that the module based Spektrum equipment may not have as good a range in low power mode as a Spektrum tx, as getting a reliable 30 paces with a AR6100 or AR500 is not consistent (imo). I was told my Horizon this may be the case, but i wasn't 100% convinced by the slight vagueness of the answer I was given. I suppose if it flies ok thats the test, not too keen on losing a model trying though!!

Roy Hill18/11/2008 17:22:00
26 forum posts
Hi,stuey,to support the antennas i fix a cocktail stick to the rx and use small rubber o rings to secure the antenna,s to them,using Timbo,s mods also ,it solves all my probs ,aircraft and heli,s. ps ,the destruction book recomends that they are secured  anyway. good flying, regards ,roy.
G03/07/2009 10:05:19
121 forum posts
2 photos
Apparently you should avoid black heatshrink since many black pigments contain carbon to make them black.  So black heatshrink (or any black tube) probably has some radio-blocking carbon in it - although I suspect it's not enough to have a major effect.
Tim Mackey03/07/2009 10:14:39
20919 forum posts
304 photos
15 articles
oooerr - that never occurred to me, and I usually sleeve all the little aerials on my spekky Rxs with the stuff for added protection as can be seen in the ancient posting above.
Still, never had a problem to date.... but worth knowing I guess.
Phil Wood.03/07/2009 10:32:39
3638 forum posts
27 photos
It's not carbon that's the problem, it's whether the material is electrically conductive in enough length to form an aerial director, reflector or screen.
Any metallic coating would be a problem.
Most pigments are metallic salts but are not conductive when used in plastic so do not cause a problem.
You take a test meter and measure the resistance along a length of carbon tube and you'll see it acts like a piece of wire............NOT good.

Edited By Phil Wood - Moderator on 03/07/2009 10:33:36

Doug Ireland03/07/2009 10:33:05
2088 forum posts
42 photos
The heat-shrink method sounds like a good idea! I'd be a bit wary about using a heat gun that close to all those electronic bits.
Martin Harris03/07/2009 11:20:35
8728 forum posts
214 photos
Isn't it usually referred to as "heat shrink INSULATION"?
Klippy03/07/2009 11:30:44
750 forum posts
13 photos
Hi Doug, provided it's not switched on you're very unlikely to have a problem after shrinking.
flytilbroke03/07/2009 19:38:14
2083 forum posts
5 photos
Martin, Insulation at Radio Frequencies is very different from nomal Electrical insulation. Some black heatshrink in particular can attenuate or block Radio frequency signals. Much depends on the compound and the wanted Radio signal.

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