ClearBoost Enhanced FPV/Drone Video Reception

Ultimate Video Reception!

Adding ClearBoost to your video receiver gives you increased flight flexibility. Where before you received a weak signal, the amplifier boosts it up from static to clear video. Whether you are flying long distance aerial mapping, or FPV racing around trees and obstacles, ClearBoost is going to give you more consistent video.

If you have tried a high gain antenna, such as a heilcal or patch antenna, you have seen the benefits increase gain yet also the limitations of a narrow beamwidth. ClearBoost improves your video in a similar way, but allows you to use any antenna, with any beamwidth! Coupled with a directional antenna, ClearBoost really lets you push the limits.

Product in Brief

New antennas designs and availability have revolutionised the FPV and sUAS industry by providing a tailored solution specific to the needs of pilots, rather than utilising WiFi and other-purpose products for the job. Now, we take things to the next step in the evolution of flawless flight video. By adding ClearBoost to your receiver, you can see the same similar performance gain as adding a high gain directional antenna, yet continue using your existing antennas.

We still use analog video for flight because it offers the lowest latency but that doesn't mean you should be stuck looking at a noisy, static filled image any time you fly behind something or get too far away. ClearBoost will give you cleaner clearer video when you signal gets too weak for your reciever to properly handle, the same as a directional antenna would. Don't be limited to a single flight direction, use an omni-directional antenna and fly anywhere.

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Use With Certified Modules

For pilots in countries that require the use of a 25mW or less certified transmitter module, ClearBoost gives you the same RF Link Budget (total combined signal strength of your antennas, receiver sensitivity, and transmitter power) as using a 600mW video transmitter without it. If you live in Europe, or fly at racing events in the USA or Canada - then ClearBoost offers you a clear advantage by giving you far more signal.

How Does it Work?

Your video transmitter radiates energy in the form of radio waves, on the ground these are picked up by your antenna and then passed into your video receiver. The video receiver then converts this signal back into a video picture... hopefully pretty similar to what went into the transmitter.

If something gets in the way of that signal, even just air, the video picture starts to look fuzzy or broken. Flying behind something like a tree can instantly ruin your day by reducing the signal so much the receiver can no longer make an understandable video picture out of it.

The solution to this is simply more power, on one end or the other. A more powerful transmitter sends out a more powerful signal, however this isn't as viable as it might sound. Going from a 0.5 Watt  (500mW) transmitter to a 2 Watt transmitter might sound like a lot, with four times the power, but it is really only 6dBm (the units RF power is measured in) - as decibels are logarithmic this means you only get twice the signal strength from four times the power! Increasing transmitter power offers rapidly diminishing returns so instead you must look at the other end of the RF equation, the receiver.

Furthermore, in many countries (all of Europe for example) regulations limit you to just 25mW of power. In these regions, using a more powerful transmitter is not an option at all - so any signal enhancement must be done on the ground.

So far in the FPV/Drone world the best choice is a high gain antenna attached to your receiver. A typical high gain 5.8GHz antenna from the well known brands gives you around 13dB of gain - about the same as going from 0.5 Watts to 10 Watts on the transmitter side! However there is a downside, you can now only fly where the antenna is pointing.  We love the Circular Wireless Helical, but with just 11dB of gain and a beam width of 60 degrees we lose 300 degrees of flight options horizontally and have to watch our flight altitude. Note that many directional antennas are mid gain, around 7-9dB. With 4-6dB less gain that the high gain antenna, or ClearBoost, they offer one third to half as much signal strength.

ClearBoost provides electrical amplification of the signal on the receiver side. Adding 13dB of gain to such a weak signal as received by your antenna consumes just 18-20mA of power - about 1/10th of what your receiver is using. Its about the same as using a 10Watt transmitter (assuming you started with 600mW) on your aircraft, or using a high gain directional antenna on your receiver, but without the limitations in flight direction or smoking hot transmitters.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Do not try this. Ever. ClearBoost has a relatively low maximum input and output power - very far below what your transmitter outputs, even the little 25mW transmitters. ClearBoost is designed to work with a signal received by an antenna only. Connecting ClearBoost to a video transmitter will destroy it, a very best case outcome would be severely degraded performance.

Again: No - do not connect your ClearBoost to a transmitter. Ever.

Yes, we have a fairly comprehensive power filter on ClearBoost input which should remove the noise that most ground stations inject into the power line. However, if you have an antenna tracker with large servos you may way to consider powering your you receiver(s) and ClearBoost(s) from a separate battery. This is good practice whether you have ClearBoost or not, as servos can generate quite a bit of electrical noise which may affect the quality of your received signal.
Absolutely, any antenna with an SMA connector is completely compatible with ClearBoost. If your directional antenna has a different type of connector on it (including RP-SMA), you will need an adapter for it.

If you use a regular 5.8GHz reciever (not digital HD/1080p/4K), then it will work perfectly and offer you improved range and signal quality.

These systems include, but are not limited to:

  • DJI AVL58 (but not Lightbridge)
  • All ImmersionRC/Fat Shark generations, including NexwaveRF and Raceband
  • Team Black Sheep
  • Boscam
  • Skyzone
  • Aomway
  • Iftron Yellow Jacket
  • Monitors with built in receivers, including those with DVR capability.

Basically, if you paid under US$1000 for your receiver, you have an analogue reciever and the LNA is completely compatible with it.

ClearBoost comes with an adapter for SMA or RP-SMA receivers, you will need to know which one you have when you purchase from us/your local store. A receiver antenna connection with a hole in the middle is SMA, and one with a pin in the centre is RP-SMA.

Cinematography level commercial systems like those made by Paralynx, Teradex, DJI (Lightbridge) or other extremely high quality HD/Digital/4K links, are almost certainly not compatible. These systems use bi-directional data, and ClearBoost will block data going out to the video transmitter. ClearBoost is receive only, and will strongly block any signal going the "wrong way" through ClearBoost. There is not much we can do for these systems, as we do not know when they are in a transmit or receive state.

The technical answer to this is quite complex, however it is really fairly simple. An RF amplifier works an awful lot like an audio amplifier - and ClearBoost is set to 13 on the volume dial. A weak radio signal comes in through your antenna, ClearBoost increases its strength and then passes it on to your receiver. The receiver now has a stronger signal to work with and is able to give you a better video signal.

This is a very tricky question to answer. Without having done a site survey at your location, it's impossible for us to tell. Typically though, two to four times the range should be expected. Its approximately the same amount of range increase as switching from an omni-directional antenna to a helical/patch antenna, however without the beam width reduction. In our testing we typically saw 2-4 times the range. For example, a regular antenna/receiver would start to have terrible signal at 1.5km when flying under 300ft. With ClearBoost installed we managed to fly to 5km whist staying under 300ft altitude before the signal was too bad - this was the same flight, and same video transmitter, with our side by side ground station.

If you have a high power 5-6GHz interference source close by, it's interference will be the same relative to your signal, so you may not see a lot of improvement in this case. For most people however, the primary reason for losing their signal/getting static is due to low signal levels reaching the receiver and ClearBoost will certainly help with that. If you have a strong interference source near by, a directional antenna pointed away from it is a very good choice, and ClearBoost is perfectly compatible with this setup.

We have a complete technical datasheet in the downloads section for ClearBoost. In it, you will find technical specifications as well as results of testing in a third party lab.

To add a power LED or light to ClearBoost, we would have to make a hole in the enclosure for the LED or light pipe to stick through. For optimal RF performance, we do not want any external signal able to get inside the enclosure, so a hole for LED is out, as we cannot shield it.

The power jack and SMA connectors are shielded, and sit directly against the edge of the case to maintain a tight seal against unwanted RF interference. An unshielded power jack is a fraction of the cost of the shielded ones, however we want to maintain the best performance and signal quality possible.

Sorry, but it will not. Other than being completely unmatched for these frequencies, we have a strong filter on the input to ClearBoost that will strongly reject any signals not in the 5000MHz to 6000MHz range.

We are planning to make a 1.2GHz LNA for extreme range pilots, however we do not have an estimate of when this will be available. If you'd like to let us know that you are interested, or would like to be keep up to date on it's progress we would love to hear from you on our contact page.

Yes. ClearBoost has a SMA connector on the antenna input, so as long as you have an SMA antenna, or an adapter to SMA then you will be able to use your antenna with ClearBoost. RP-SMA antennas will need an adapter. 

An RP-SMA antenna connector has a hole in the centre, and an SMA antenna connector has a pin in the centre.

SMA Compared to RP-SMA

Quick Specifications

  • Frequency  5000-6000MHz
  • Gain More than 13dB
  • Voltage  4-17V
  • Current 16-18mA
  • Noise Figure 1.2dB
  Download Datasheet

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