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Mavic Air range only 200m?

captjones

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Hey all!

Just got the Mavic Air new and lovin' it! Just a quick question - is it normal to experience image transmission issues at around 200 meters?
I'm losing image signal in different locations, the screen goes black. iPhone 6 and cheapo Huawei both have this same issue.

Plus, DJI Go 4 app for Android is horrible, kept freezing and crashing. Might be due to full storage?
For iPhone works nicely.
 

captjones

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Europe, Estonia. Bought the drone from biggest telecom company here, I assume it's proper EU version. The frequency is set to Auto.
 

InvisibleName

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Europe, Estonia. Bought the drone from biggest telecom company here, I assume it's proper EU version. The frequency is set to Auto.
Ok, if you want better, more reliable signal strength & range, you need to research the FCC hack (fairly easy to find in this forum).

Also, as you have the choice, I suggest you stick with your iPhone
 

Thwyllo

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Where are you flying it?

One thing I've found is that, like only one or two other apps, my phone gets really hot when I'm flying, (it's a fairly recent android with 2gb RAM), so I'm guessing the Go app is using a lot of CPU power so make sure you've got unnecessary stuff shut down and the phone in Flight Mode.

While I've got you, can you please tell that girl from the "Hiker in Estonia" YouTube channel that I'm in love with her and as soon as my divorce comes through I'll be over. Thanks.
 

captjones

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Ok, if you want better, more reliable signal strength & range, you need to research the FCC hack (fairly easy to find in this forum)

Thanks, though, I can't be arsed / am too scared to experiment with complex stuff just yet.

I got this tip from DJI official forum:
Check the transmission channel graph for noise (lots of red spikes). Then manually select a channel that is distant from the red spikes.

Will try and get back to you.

While I've got you, can you please tell that girl from the "Hiker in Estonia" YouTube channel that I'm in love with her and as soon as my divorce comes through I'll be over. Thanks.

Haha xDD
 
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Thwyllo

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The FCC hack is well worth doing - and easy - but I don't think it fixes video signal loss at 200m, that's more likely to be environmental, in other words lots of interference from something.
 

InvisibleName

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Thanks, though, I can't be arsed / am too scared to experiment with complex stuff just yet.

I got this tip from DJI official forum:

Will try and get back to you.
I have no idea what they’re talking about?! There is nowhere in the Go app that shows you “noise”
 

InvisibleName

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The FCC hack is well worth doing - and easy - but I don't think it fixes video signal loss at 200m, that's more likely to be environmental, in other words lots of interference from something.
Good point, but operating with increased power output of FCC mode sure helps! ;)
 

Thwyllo

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Good point, but operating with increased power output of FCC mode sure helps! ;)

Well its a good question...I assumed that the FCC hack just increased controller signal output, whereas video transmission was a function of the drone back to the phone/controller? Maybe I'm wrong. I was once before I think....
 

InvisibleName

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Me again! So what makes a channel "unstable" if it isn't "noise" from other frequencies and/or devices? Are we talking semantics here or is there a technical difference?
Maybe we are, I was just making the point that the Go app isn’t showing noise in the channels bar. Regardless of that, I’ve never needed to take it out of Auto - the app always seems to find the best channel. So, as @Thwyllo said, it may be down to local interference
 

JetStream

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I got my MA a week or so a go. I would highly recommend the ‘FCC hack’.

I live in the UK and therefore by default my controller and drone were running on the lower power CE mode.

In the residential area that I live I was getting around 100-150m out before losing video feed. I have since switched over to FCC power levels using my friend’s Android device. It took all of 2 mins. I have also bought some cheap parabolic reflectors off eBay.

Last night I checked my range again (in FCC). I had the parabolic reflectors on. I got 1250m before the image began to break up. This was in the same residential area. That’s a massive difference.

I would expect to get at least double that in an area with little or no WiFi interference.
 
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captjones

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Thanks guys, I used the cheapo Huawei to turn Mavic Air into FCC mode (11 channels instead of 13) and switched back to iPhone, got 400m range this time and then started to lose signal. That's good enough for me.
 

Thwyllo

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Thanks guys, I used the cheapo Huawei to turn Mavic Air into FCC mode (11 channels instead of 13) and switched back to iPhone, got 400m range this time and then started to lose signal. That's good enough for me.

But you must be flying in a densely populated area...400m is nothing to lose video at?
 

JetStream

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In my experience 5.8Ghz is more effective for range than 2.4Ghz. Of course lower frequency transmission should equal greater range but I think this is partially offset by the higher transmission power on 5.8Ghz:

5.8 Ghz
FCC: ≤31 dBm

2.4 GHz
FCC: ≤28 dBm

The other benefit of 5.8Ghz is less congestion. Almost all home WiFi runs on 2.4. Not so many people use 5.8.

I would also recommend the use of parabolic reflectors. They are cheap to buy and will definitely increase range as long as you keep them pointed at the drone at all times.

In my experience 5.8Ghz (FCC mode) plus reflectors flying in a populated area gives me somewhere near 5000 ft (1500m) range when flying at 400ft.
 

Thwyllo

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There isn't a technical authority on the planet that will tell you 5.8 doesn't have less range than 2.4. it's all about (1) faster data transmission speeds, which making holding a connection easier, and (2) congestion in the 2.4 band in urban areas which reduces the latters capability significantly.

I live in the middle of nowhere and have a dual band router which works fine on the other side of my field 250 yards away on 2.4, but there's diddly squat on 5.8. And I regularly do 2-3kms with the drone on 2.4 without any issues.
 

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