Does the antenna tracker require a directional antenna to track the craft or does it use the telemetry data transmitted to point in the right direction?
it uses telemetry data
The telemetry data is used to locate the vehicle in the air. The use of a directional antenna improves signal on the ground and you can use the vehicle out to a much great distance. The more directional an antenna is the more gain it has, but the more accurate you need to be in your pointing at the vehicle.
The reason I ask is that I’m using 433mhz telemetry radios, which will also greatly improve the transmission distance but I’d like to use a high gain antenna for video if I can get good, directional control with a dipole antenna for the tracker.
FYI, for data telemetry I have changed my system to 915MHz for getting the location to the automatic antenna tracker. I am using RFD900+ radio modems that support two antennas.
I also have some 435MHz telemetry as another link, but will not be using that for the AAT data. I have yet to fly this configuration.
Remember you can improve your video transmission distance by putting a higher gain antenna on your video receiver, say a patch or even a Yagi-Uda. I have an Arkbird patch currenlty, at 1.3GHz. You just need to remember that the higher the antenna gain the better it has to be pointed at the vehicle to get signal.
I would use the RFD900’s except I use a 915mhz Crossfire system and am not sure of any conflict with the antenna frequencies being that close.