TBS AERUM MIMO FPV RACE ANTENNA
Team BlackSheep recently released the new AERUM race antennas. Up until now antennas for the most part are just wires covered in some plastic housing. The new AERUM antennas are PCB based antennas that are flat.
Since these antennas are so new, there’s not a lot of info on these. From what I could find, the AERUM antennas are what’s called MIMO or Multiple–Input Multiple-Output antennas. MIMO antennas have two or more antennas in a single package. By using two or more antennas in one, the data and range are increased compared to the standard single antenna using the same transmission power.
MIMO antennas were originally designed for WiFi networks but the AERUM were adapted to be used for FPV applications.
Parts Used in this Post
- Polar S
- Polar P
- Polar X
- TBS Unify Triumph
- ImmersionRC RapidFire
- Patch antenna
- Neutron in Hybrid Configurations. Build list HERE
There are 3 versions of the AERUM antennas:
- Polar S – The Polar S is a linear antenna meant to be a super light weight antenna. It only weighs 2g. Keep in mind linear antennas are not allowed at races.
- Polar P – this is a dual, Left and Right polarization TRANSMITTER antenna. It weighs 3.5g
- Polar X – this is a dual, Left and Right polarization RECEIVER antenna.
The flat design of these antennas make them extremely light and pretty much cause zero drag.
TBS AERUM ANTENNA TESTS
- Baseline test with a regular setup – AXii on the quad with TBS Triumph with patch antenna on the RapidFire
- AERUM Polar P on the quad with Polar X on the Rapidfire
- Baseline test with the AERUM Polar P powered up on the floor between my legs
- AERUM with metal obstacles
- AERUM distance test
Test 1. This is the baseline test with a normal setup. Video was fine until the far end of the track that put the quad behind the hill. Video was bad but still enough to fly.
Test 2. Video was good until the far corner behind the hill. Lost signal completely. Had to punch out over the hill to get the video signal back
Test 3 confirms I’m a dumbass. Since the AERUM P and X are dual polarization, I wanted to particularly test the Polar P antenna transmitting both left and right polarization. On my quad and goggles I was using Left hand. It didn’t seem like the Polar P transmitting Left and Right had any effect on my Left receiver.
The video was perfectly fine until my crossfire failsafed. I guess when I got far enough the signal from the quad between my feet overpowered the quad far away.
BTW I reached out to our local MultiGP race organizer and he said these antennas are allowed at races.
4. This test was to see how the AERUM antenna would handle metal interference like if you were flying in an indoor environment. The video was surprisingly good. Good enough to race.
5. I did this test in my TBS PRO32 Nano VTX test and I was able to go past the far gazebo at the far end of the field. The AERUM antennas barely made it past the line of trees. I’d say the distance is only about half of what the baseline setup can do.
Are the TBS AERUM Antennas Worth it?
I know in the video I said I wouldn’t recommend the AERUM antennas…but that was right after I dumped a quad in the water. After reviewing and editing the video, the results were not as bad as I thought.
The overall image was on par with a baseline setup with these exceptions:
- The AERUM antenna don’t have the penetrating power of a patch. Behind hills for buildings, you will probably lose your video
- Because these antennas are circular polarized, they are not designed for long range.
I’ll be doing more tests in the coming weeks. At about $45 for a Polar P and Polar X, I’d say give it a shot and try for yourself.
They look freaking awesome!
** 5/14/2019 UPDATE**
After using the Aerum X ever since I posted this video (about 2 months), I can recommend the X for the goggle antenna for racing. The performance of the X is on par with my regular Triumph + Patch setup. Not recommended for long range though. The great part of the X on the RapidFire rx is the low profile and never needing to switch between LHCP and RHCP. I found the X works great with both.
I haven’t not been using the Polar P. I found the video slightly worse than using a regular AXii but more importantly the flat design is good for normal flying conditions but on windy days you do feel more effects of the wind.
If you found this post helpful, it would be super cool if you purchased the components from my store or purchase items from my Amazon links. These posts are expensive and take a loooong time to make so the purchases make it possible for me to keep making them. Thanks in advance, I greatly appreciate it 🙂