SmartLink - Digital video, telemetry and control for 20 km

Thanks for following up. So I have some follow ups :slight_smile:

So am I correct in that control is using RC Overrides through telemetry then? Not anything special or unique to this product. No different than RC Overrides through any other telemetry link? The advertisement goes to great lengths describing control as something separate and unique with this special low latency. But RC Overrides is on telemetry and not unique. Not suggesting it’s bad. Trying to clarify if it’s something unique or not?

Thank you for clarifying this. It was quite obvious many people were reading your advertisement as 20ms video latency which is not the case and is probably not even realistic to achieve. 100-200ms video latency is pretty normal. The Solo’s video stream is on the higher end of that range.

So is it WiFi or LTE-U?

Then how do you know it will reach 20km?? Is this range just based on the general math of WiFi and LTE-U at 1 watt with ideal antennas? Or have you actually taken it out in the real world and flown it 20km away? If so, can you explain under what conditions and equipment you obtained this 20km range? In a desert with high gain directional antennas? With the included antennas? In a typical suburban environment?

Looks similar to this on specs:

We have been using them for while now and in real world with good antennas at 1 watt is far from reaching 20km. I would say 5-7 km on ideal conditions at 1 watt is more realistic. At 100mW 1-2km.

If it is a completly different product than my apologizes.

I was thinking microhard myself. I am a little suspect of that 20km range without high gain directional antennas. What do you pay for those modems if I may ask?

The HereLink uses LTE-U (aka "LTE over WiFi) at the same power restrictions and the same theoretical range specs listed here. So just guessing you’re using the same or very similar technology.

Range testing with the HereLink’s stock normal antennas has been documented on paper and video for reference. The longest I’m aware of was tested over water, so arguably perfect conditions. They got out to 16km and still had very strong signal. They ran out of coastline at that point and couldn’t physically travel further to see when it would drop out.

In a more typical land environment, the range was significantly less, generally single digit kilometers, which I think is what most people would expect of the technology. Everything else on 2.4ghz is going to reduce the range.

Since I doubt the SmartLink has a magic bullet to overcome everything else on 2.4ghz, is reasonable to assume the actual performance of the SmartLink will be similar to a HereLink or other similar devices using similar technology and antennas? If extensive real world testing in the wild with the SmartLink hasn’t been done yet, this would at least give some baseline expectations.

Agreed, I was also frustrated I ran out of coastline ;).

As with all these systems antenna, local interference and other things come into play, I wanted to test the headline figure and I’m 100% confident it can achieve it but like all things outside factors play their part.

I’d love to have a closer look at this system but at that cost it’s not likely to happen for me, I wonder if this is also based on the same backend as Herelink using fish ?

Herelink has come under a lot of criticism of late, some of it fair and some not so, yes the development has taken longer than anyone would have liked but I still strongly believe it’s going to be a very important product. With the updates to the core system that will bring multi RC and more options around multi node use but that’s likely not going to make the next release though.

Solex will resolve a lot of the issues as it’s got far more functionally around the buttons I believe and hopefully Profi will be able to get that out soon, today it’s not perfect but it’s a very decent start but it won’t satisfy all users.

As for the throttle there is a fairly simple mod to the hall affect gimbal that can be done to remove the spring and adding a washer to the gimbal to give what fixed wing users want of a manual throttle that holds, no ratchet but it will hold stiff. I have been meaning to do a video on it but just not had a chance but will get it don’t this week as I have seen a few posts on it.

But it could affect warranty so want to be clear on that.

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I’ve tested microhard 2.4ghz out to just over 11km, with 12db margin, so 20km with 2.4ghz cofdm is feasible.
Almost all of these type of datalink separate control and payload, so I don’t see that as a weakness: just a necessary compromise.
Microhard and Taisync are probably better comparisons than herelink: being tied to a handheld controller limits herelink somewhat.

Thanks a lot to Ian @MadRC for the recent detailed review of SmartLink