Originally Posted by nyplotter
I remember when I was having an issue BEC said the gain on the standard antenna was 1.5 or 2. The omni antennas are 5 / 6 or so. Obviously direct connection with the standard antenna and two connectors plus 30' of cable.
I can tell you that I have one camera with an omni antenna on it as a repeater and it's pretty slow. I have told this to BEC as well. I am know expert but I think they have the power turned down so low to reduce battery consumption that they don't properly power an omni antenna. The $45 yagi antennas work great to the point I just order one with every camera.
Battery drain is know longer an issue they last forever but I think other things are suffering. I also think the black flash is under powered but I again I am know expert just my opinion from trial and error.
When the cameras where sucking power my signal was very strong and fast and my flash range seemed further. I just think they are trying to find a balance.
That like of reasoning seems plausible for a camera, but power availability should not be an issue for the pcbase.
Let's talk about communications. High data rates are relatively unimportant in most applications. Does it really matter if it takes 15 seconds or 3 minutes to transmit a picture as long as it doesn't take so long that pictures back up to the point where they are lost? In one of my discussions with BEC, they talked about using an adaptive communications scheme in some future version. During those discussions we focused more on adaptive routing. That means each camera would look and any cameras it could see in the network and the signal levels and assign a cost to each path and pick the lowest cost route to the PC Base. Similar techniques are common with IP routing. The problem was how they were planning to define "cost". They were only looking at "cost' form a communications stand point. I told them about some of the cascading battery problems that I was having with routers. That is, if you overload a router and it goes into low battery status, pictures backup on terminal cameras. As soon as you replace the battery in the router camera, the terminal cameras transmit the backup of pictures. If this occurs during the night or a cloudy day, the batteries in the terminal cameras will all go into low battery status as well. On top of that, all those pictures transmitting through the router will drain it as well.
I suggested to them that if they were going to some kind of automatic routing, they needed to consider current battery status of each camera as part of the "cost" associated with each hop.
I say all that as background. While I don't know what kind of communication scheme they are using with the X7D, it would not surprise me that he are doing a different kind of adaptive communications that does consider battery status.
If signal levels get too low, you start to have dropped packets or packet errors. Any modern communications protocol will require some level of retransmission when too much corruption occurs. Retransmitting these packets requires more battery power. If signal power levels are high, I can get higher data rates (faster transmission), but it requires a lot of battery to achieve these faster rates. With an adaptive communication techniques both devices start using full transmit power to start a transaction. Each side then reduces transmit power while keeping track of data rates and bit error rates. When either data rates drop below a preset threshold or bit error rates exceed a preset threshold, both sides raise their power slightly. This allows the communications to complete with acceptable data rates and bit error rates while minimizing the battery power consumption.
Again, I don't know that BEC is doing this, with the X7D, but I know they have some engineers smart enough to be considering this kind of stuff.
None of this explains Scrim's issue, but it does address some of the things you are talking about. I doubt they would intentionally reduce LED brightness on the black flash model. They really have that down pat on the Orion. Keep in mind, black flash will never be as well illuminated as red blob on identical cameras. If you want to see if the X7D is under illuminated, simply hook up a UWAY black flash extender to it. If the pictures don't improve, it is not under illuminated.