2.4GHz installation

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I ran into some trouble with my 2.4 GHz installation mid-event during the 2010 'A' class Nationals, losing radio control of the boat at the far mark, and asked Ken Binks for his advice.

My Sword has a carbon fibre hull, and I'd positioned the two aerials in the shape of a wide 'V' at deck level just beneath the aft deck patch.  Until the race in question, I had no control problems, but Ken pointed out that it had been raining during my race.  Rain, he said, attenuates the radio signal, and my somewhat marginal setup became inadequate because of that, and the considerable distance to the mark (around 180 metres) from the control area.

What I needed to do was to have a least one aerial in clear air.  I also needed to place the second aerial in the most open area of the deck patch along the deck centreline.  Ken emphasised the need for 'signal path diversity', meaning that the two aerials needed to be placed so that, as far as possible, if one was 'hidden' from the transmitter, the other would be in better 'sight'.

Putting one aerial into the air required a stub next to the sheeting post, illustrated below.  And yes, there is a chance that the sheet could catch and foul, so I'll need to make some kind of fitting to prevent the sheet wrapping around the aerial tip.  (Just taping the aerial to the sheeting post won't work, since the post needs to move up and down as the mast is raked forward or back.)

Getting the other aerial to run down under the deck patch needed a longer aerial wire to be fitted.  Ken removed one of the 150mm coaxial aerial wires from the receiver and installed a 250mm length, which fits into a tube taped to the underside of the deck patch, as in the next two photos.  In the first, you can just see a slight indentation showing where the tube runs under the patch.

The last photo shows the receiver inside the pot, and the way the aerial wires exit into their tubes inside the hull.


2011 Lester Gilbert