Introduction: Intel Aero Drone - Extending Wifi Range
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The Aero acts as an access point (AP), meaning you can connect to it as a wifi device. This has a range of a few meters, which is normally fine for development purposes, but lets say you need a little something extra-special for your field testing. Well, using the process described below, we have actually been able to extend the range out to around 50 meters!
To clarify, this process only relates to the wifi signal (for example, connecting your laptop to the drone). It's unrelated to the RC signal (used to connect the remote controller to the drone).
This process will take about an hour.
Step 1: Collect Materials
For materials, you'll need to get the following
- 2x Antennas (one set of two)
- 2x Antenna Connectors (one set of two)
- 1x 3D printer with 10cm x 4cm print area minimum
The antenna connectors are listed separately because the ones that come with the antennas listed are actually a different size.
Step 2: Print the Part
Download this STL and 3D print it for about half an hour
The weight of this part is about 4 grams in ABS. Each antenna weighs about 14 grams, so you are looking at 32 grams total added.
Step 3: Screw on the Connectors
Screw both of the connectors into the mount. Be careful not to damage the connectors - that would be pretty sad.
Step 4: Unscrew Some Screws
Unscrew the ones shown in the image. The top two are actually attached to nuts.
Step 5: Screw on the Antenna Mount
First, pull the lower wire through the top two holes as shown in the first image. Then screw in the screws from the previous step over the mount.
Step 6: Open the Aero Board
It's time to perform some open-heart surgery, so just assume everything in here reads carefully.
Start by pulling off the cover. You can do this by squeezing the sides.
Then disconnect four cables as shown in the second image so that you can pull the board off of its mounting pegs and safely turn it over.
Step 7: Replace the Antenna Wires
Pull out the old antenna wires and put the new ones in. Just press the ends into the two terminals shown until they snap together.
Step 8: Put Everything Back Together
Good as new.
Step 9: Screw on the Antennas
And that's it.
Wait really? Yes that's all. Your wifi range will become extended just like that. Try it out!