Pagoda 3/3B antenna — 70 sets shipped for $11.68, anyone?

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.

By | September 1, 2017

UPDATE2: a new panel and ordering instructions has been posted here. Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜‰

UPDATE: Please do not submit this to seeed and elecrow. See the updated post here.

Recently I have been frequently asked to do an updated revision of my pagoda antenna panel for easy ordering. Maarten Baerts recently updated his great pagoda design. My previous article on how to order 160 antennas for 40 bucks was a great success and even got copied by several other blogs (if you read this, shame on you!).

Maarten has released the new design files for his revision 3 and 3B. The B version of this design is meant to be mounted inside a ABS shell. If you do not want to mount a shell you want to order the normal version. Adding a shell detunes the antenna slightly, Maarten has carefully tuned the B version to be spot-on when enclosed in an ABS shell.

The good news are that I managed to squeeze seven complete designs onto a single 10cm x 10cm PCB. The single antenna PCBs have small break away tabs, all you have to do is to break them apart by hand. This means by ordering the default set made of 10 copies you will receive 70 antenna sets for $4.90 ($11.68 shipped) from elecrowย  (using their special green 2-layer offer). You can order the same amount for $4.90 ($14.80 shipped) from seeedstudio. As I have made good experience with seeed and I really like the ability to chose the pcb color on my own I will use their PCB service again.

Don’t let the fact that you are probably never ordered a custom PCB from a manufacturing company scare you off, in fact it is no big deal. The chinese prices are so low that nothing can go wrong. Most likely you will not have to pay any import taxes as the items value is so low (e.g. <22 Euro for Germany). Just decide which pagoda design you want to have manufactured and follow this guide. I prepared panels for the 5800~MHz version of the revision 3 and 3B (ABS enclosure) in both polarizations for you:

Download the design you chose as a zip file from the list above and head over to seedstudio fusion. You can enlarge my preview images by clicking on them:

  1. Log in into Seeedstudio fusion and click on this link to open up the fusion pcb ordering page
  2. Click on โ€œAdd your gerber fileโ€ and select the zip file
  3. Change the PCB thickness to 1mm (important!):
  4. Select the PCB color as you like
  5. Click on “Gerber Viewer” to get a preview:
  6. Close the preview and click “Add to Cart”
  7. Open your cart and proceed with the checkout.

Shipping may vary where you live. As shipping is more expensive than the ordered items you can save even more by doing a group order together with some friends. It’s easy to add multiple designs in different colors to your cart (only $4.90 per 10 copies each!). Simply repeat steps 2-6 multiple times.

Have a lot of fun and success with building your never ending supply of fpv antennas. Thanks to Maarten for sharing the pagoda design with the world! This post saved you roughly $400 by not buying ready made pagodas. In case you have some spare cash left, Maarten would certainly look forward for a donation ๐Ÿ˜‰

16 thoughts on “Pagoda 3/3B antenna — 70 sets shipped for $11.68, anyone?

  1. JoshP

    I’ve had this problem of a PCB house wanting to charge me a separate setup for each design and asked them what in their minds constituted a “seperate design”. They said the copper needs to be connected between them. So I added a small trace on one layer that doesn’t do anything between the boards. This solved the problem with that Chinese production place.

  2. gijs

    hey Simon, the pagoda3_lhcp_5800 file is not 100×100 but 98.5×100.5, can you fix that please?
    Thanks for your work on the PCB design and idea!

    1. fishpepper Post author

      Not right now. The multi panel is more convenient. Have a look at the newest design, it also features a assembly jig ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. montis

    I have ordered pagodas on Elecrow on 2017-09-04 and received them already. Maybe I was lucky to be one of the first. Got total 70 antenna kits for $9.70.
    Thanks, fishpepper, for your work!

    1. fishpepper Post author

      Seems like you were lucky ๐Ÿ˜‰ I can not recommend this, though. I would suggest you wait some more days for my new order to arrive, it will also feature an assembly rig.

  4. Czaja

    Just a little update in case someone wants to give it another go. I have just received a parcel from SeedStudio. For some reason they processed my order without charging anything extra. I paid $4.90 + $11.70 postage less $5 coupon code they sent me after I registered an account with them. Not bad.

    Thank you once again for sharing the design.

    1. fishpepper Post author

      You were just lucky. I had a long conversation with seeed. They will block those orders when they see it. Lucky for us I have another supplier that does not have this issue. I have a new batch on the way to me, I will write a new post when it arrives. Should not take more than 1-2 weeks from now.

  5. Czaja

    Good stuff. Thank you for sharing.

    Unfortunately Elecrow won’t be able to do it for such a low price. I initially went with them as the Seedstudio had quite expensive shipping to UK so it was like $6 or $7 cheaper from Elecrow using their special green PCB offer. However I got an e-mail from them:
    You know profit of PCB manufacture is low.
    different pcbs panelizaing will incur extra fee.
    Now there are three different boards in your design,So $24 extra.
    go to this page to purchase $24 (24 units) and select “walk in” option as shipping method
    So I went with Seedstudio at the end. I also got a $5 off voucher from them after I didn’t finish my initial transaction when checking the prices. So eventually I paid only a fraction more than I would have with Elecrow.

    1. fishpepper Post author

      Sorry for all your inconvenience. I have no idea why but Seeedstudio and Elecrow do indeed charge extra if there are different designs on one panel. I never had that problem before. They have no problem with 16 equal designs though… This does not really make sense to me. Maybe they want to stop you from sharing the pcb with friends by panelizing different designs. Who knows…
      I am currently checking out different possibilities, a new order that includes a PCB based assembly rig is on its way to a (different) fab. I will let you know once it is shipped.

      1. Czaja

        No worries. No need to apologise. It’s great you are sharing your work with us. Really appreciate it. I just wanted to let others know about it.

  6. Markus Wilhelm

    I have (or should i say try’d to) ordered one set of Pagoda 3B rhcp from seeed and got the problem that they claim there are 4 individual designs instead of 1 (which i cannot see since they are uneven distribute parts of similar routed parts) and that it costs additional 30$. Is there a solution to this problem ?

  7. alexc

    I don’t think seeedstudio let’s you manufacture that design without paying a cost for 3 different designs, I tried that in the past with a panel for v2 Pagoda antennas and I got a email from them about this issue.

  8. Yura

    Hi Simon, thank you for updated version of PCB!
    But on seeedstudio you have to select “Different designs: 4” (for each type of mask used on PCB). So the total cost for 70 antennas will be $34.90 without shipping.

    1. Hikage

      you are right i have this problem, now seeestudio contact me and say
      “Problem Description:
      When you placed the order, you chose ‘1’ design, while there appears to be ‘4’ designs in your files.
      This will cost an extra $10USD per additional design per order.
      Please follow the customized payment link below and pay a total of $60USD.”

      I pay $22,94 USD for 140 antenna with shipping by EU Post to france, but now with the $60 USD extra cost.
      i prefere the previous versions with only one design on the pcb and need to buy 3 pcb design for have a pagoda


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