I've got a pet project in which I'm trying to write/build a self learning autopilot for my rc plane. I've got a Raspberry Pi with an IMU and a pitot tube in the plane and it can now control the servos of the plane. So far so good.
I'm now thinking about connectivity. I want to be able to send commands in json from my laptop to the Raspberry Pi in the plane. I got it working over wifi, but that means I need to take my router outside when I go flying. Plus the range of the wifi is not very good (I tested it outside and it comes to about 50 meters).
Conventional rc transmitters and receivers have way better ranges (up to 1000 meters) than my wifi from the router does, so I'm wondering how I can leverage that technology. I see plenty of rc receivers around to buy, but they all work with a number of channels, instead of a data link over which you can send arbitrary data/json. I searched around for things like "raspberry pi rc receiver" and "USB rc receiver" but apart from some tips on how to turn your raspi into a transmitter to an rc car (for which I don't know the range), I can't find anything about longer range receivers for the pi, or rc transmitters to attach to my laptop with which I can just send and receive arbitrary json.
Does anybody know whether there are any simple modules which I can attach to my raspi and laptop to send json with this rc technology to and from the pi over a range of at least 200 meters? All tips are welcome!