Wifi repeater range extension. Amped AP300 (actually SR300).
Going to bang this out in a bit of a hurry so I'll be coming back to edit in any requested info.
Finally got a chance to do a free-space range extension test using an Amped SR300 WiFi repeater.
The SR300 is a standard store&forward repeater. Main and Extended networks are on the same channel but use different ESSID's.
It has a full-power, two antenna diversity radio with a very sensitive LNA (Low Noise Amplifier) for reaching out and picking up fringe AP's and devices.
It also has the standard RSMA connectors for the antennas in case you want to use directional external antennas.
The code running in the SR300 is a bit tweaky as far as its ability reconnect bridged networks upon power up. Other repeaters may do this better, but the SR300 is what I had to test with.
First, the test setup.
The test was run with an unmodified AR.Drone running 1.7.4 and an Amped Wireless SR300 with an adapter power cable allowing it to run off of a Zippy 11.1V LiPo battery. Obviously, it could be run off the included AC adapter, a 12V auto power cable, or whatever. The measured operating current draw from the battery was 160mA, but current draw will vary depending on the radio's adaptive transmit power level. 160mA is probably a good ballpark figure to stay with.
The Amped with the LiPo and adapter cable.
For the ranging test the Amped was stuck onto a tripod at 1.2 meters (4 ft) off the ground. The antennas were oriented in a V pattern to give reasonable gain in both horizontal and vertical polarization. The controller, a Galaxy Tab 7, was located ~8 meters away from the Amped in the opposite direction from the drone.
Drone on a stick.
The AR.Drone was placed on the end of a PVC pipe extending from the rear of a car. The plastic standoff extends 2 meters and is used to reduce reflections or interference by the metal auto body. I used a car instead of flying the drone because I'm lazy and the drone is too small and non-reflective to get a positive range lock from a laser rangefinder. The car is plenty big and reflective to the IR laser.
Running the AR.Drone facing away (antenna side toward the repeater) the video feed from the drone remained up and stable out to 405 meters (445 yards, 1335 ft).
This is line-of-sight - put trees and building in the way and all bets are off.
Not bad for an unmodified AR.Drone!
The following shows the setup screens for the Amped SR300/AP300.
Step 1: Connect to the SR300 using the included instructions. You will see this.
Turn on your AR.Drone and let it boot up (leds green). *It has to be running 1.7.4 or greater and look like an AP to WiFi devices*
Step 2: Scan for the AR.Drone SSID. Select it and hit NEXT.
Step 3: Leave Key field blank. Hit NEXT.
Step 4: Make up a name for the extended drone network, it will be what SSID you connect to with your WiDevice running the drone control software. Use or remove any password that you want for the extended network. Hit NEXT.
The SR300 will reconfigure itself and you will be able to connect to the extended network and run the AR.Drone flight program.
Happy extended flying!