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Dji spark height. 150/160m then lose signal.

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Jan 29, 2018
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#1
Hey people. Anyone know why I lose signal when I go about 160m above ground. I'm in the UK so wonder if it's something dji have done to stop me going above 150m.
 

windryder

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#2
If DJI was to put a limit on how high you can fly I doubt they would make the drone lose signal! That could cause you to crash! You must be hitting some sort of interference at 160m. Maybe microwave or?
 
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#3
Hi thanks for getting back to me. I have flown it over on fields and it has happened. So no interference that I can think of.
 
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graywoulf

Just another propeller head
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#4
I have to ask but are you positioning the RC antennas correctly? And if you are going to fly great distances, you may want to consider buying one of the parabolic antenna signal extenders.
 

Njc235

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#6
Hey people. Anyone know why I lose signal when I go about 160m above ground. I'm in the UK so wonder if it's something dji have done to stop me going above 150m.
The drone code limit is 400ft altitude which is around 120M. You shouldn’t be trying to fly above that unless you are PfCO holder with an exemption.
 
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#7
Hi that's fine. Lol
Yes I do have them in the correct position.
Well is see you are in uk, so just like me in SA we have CE not FCC which means our signal strengh from the transmitter is greatly reduced when compared US fcc. While i have had my spark up to 200m mostly as a once off experiment in the middle of nowhere, my expereince has been that for whatever reasosn with spark and CE the signal seems be weaker broadcasting high. I can get greater distances horizontal especially if i am around 100 meters up. As per other poster antenna positioning is key, and what can esaily happen when you that hight, is when fly drone towards you when its get directly over you, you can lose signal if you dont piont controller antennas straight up, with its antena lengh body pionting at the sky. . Its usually just for 3 seconds when drone goes over top of you. In my expereince 200 meter is as high as i can get it on CE untill connection becomes bad. Yet i can get 750 meter distance horizontally. I have found sweet spot height for longer distance be a 100 meter, so you get line sign with controller. I noe have mavic 2 with occusync 2 and there i have no issue with going higher even on CE.
 
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#8
Well is see you are in uk, so just like me in SA we have CE not FCC which means our signal strengh from the transmitter is greatly reduced when compared US fcc. While i have had my spark up to 200m mostly as a once off experiment in the middle of nowhere, my expereince has been that for whatever reasosn with spark and CE the signal seems be weaker broadcasting high. I can get greater distances horizontal especially if i am around 100 meters up. As per other poster antenna positioning is key, and what can esaily happen when you that hight, is when fly drone towards you when its get directly over you, you can lose signal if you dont piont controller antennas straight up, with its antena lengh body pionting at the sky. . Its usually just for 3 seconds when drone goes over top of you. In my expereince 200 meter is as high as i can get it on CE untill connection becomes bad. Yet i can get 750 meter distance horizontally. I have found sweet spot height for longer distance be a 100 meter, so you get line sign with controller. I noe have mavic 2 with occusync 2 and there i have no issue with going higher even on CE.
Thank you.
 
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#9
Well is see you are in uk, so just like me in SA we have CE not FCC which means our signal strengh from the transmitter is greatly reduced when compared US fcc. While i have had my spark up to 200m mostly as a once off experiment in the middle of nowhere, my expereince has been that for whatever reasosn with spark and CE the signal seems be weaker broadcasting high. I can get greater distances horizontal especially if i am around 100 meters up. As per other poster antenna positioning is key, and what can esaily happen when you that hight, is when fly drone towards you when its get directly over you, you can lose signal if you dont piont controller antennas straight up, with its antena lengh body pionting at the sky. . Its usually just for 3 seconds when drone goes over top of you. In my expereince 200 meter is as high as i can get it on CE untill connection becomes bad. Yet i can get 750 meter distance horizontally. I have found sweet spot height for longer distance be a 100 meter, so you get line sign with controller. I noe have mavic 2 with occusync 2 and there i have no issue with going higher even on CE.
Like the other poster i also strongly recommend parabolic directional antena ataachemtn for spark due to CE, it makes big difference i never fly my spark without then. Only downside to them is they make your signal much more directional so you have piont t towards where you fly. But heck with spark limited range and CE you probally have do that already.
 
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#10
Hey people. Anyone know why I lose signal when I go about 160m above ground. I'm in the UK so wonder if it's something dji have done to stop me going above 150m.
While i think its unlikely this si your issue there is indeed a hight limit in dji go app that can be set manaully you might want check that too Screenshot_20190112-214257.jpeg
 
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#12
Yes I have checked what my max height was set at. I changed that but still no difference maybe it's what was previous said in the UK the signal strength is made much weaker.
Well i probally shouldn't say this... But there is umm older versions of dji go 4 app that umm uses FCC mode if your interested lol
 
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#14
Graywoulf has the right of it. Not even touching on legalities regarding height AGL, the enhanced WiFi used by the Spark and the Mavic Air is not in the same league as Occusync or even the older Lightbridge. Antenna orientation is paramount and directly (or nearly so) overhead seems to give the worst results.

I'm in Australia so on CE standard for 2.4Ghz and SRRI for 5.8 which is lower than FCC, I find that flying out and away at a 45º angle (until reaching the maximum allowed 400FT) my spark(s), I have four in the company inventory, start to get flakey at around 675M-725M over water which is pushing the boundary of "line of sight" anyway so I'm not much fussed in increasing it.

Regardless of DJI's position of whether it's supported or not I've found in recent tests that using the OTG cable (even on my technically unsupported Apple device) extends range a little but stability and latency are HUGELY improved over using WifI link to the controller.

Regards
Ari
 
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Rbigham29

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#15
I'm in ce mode in the uk (s.wales) and can get roughly 1400m before rth is activated but that is using the parabolic range extenders they are a god send but like it has been said in this post as soon as you move the controller away from the drone signal goes straight away. I had a connection in this flight right up until I turned round to come home then lost signal and done a rth. Screenshot_2019-01-13-09-17-28-340_dji.go.v4.jpeg
 
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#16
I'm in ce mode in the uk (s.wales) and can get roughly 1400m before rth is activated but that is using the parabolic range extenders they are a god send but like it has been said in this post as soon as you move the controller away from the drone signal goes straight away. I had a connection in this flight right up until I turned round to come home then lost signal and done a rth. View attachment 8310
Wow 1400m that is high haha.
 
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Rbigham29

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#17
Don't like flying high with it or far to be honest to small to see after about 500m. Never flown higher than the limit tho 120m. That 1400m range was a one off I think mostly I start to lose reception about 1000m or as soon as I start to turn!!!
 
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#18
Don't like flying high with it or far to be honest to small to see after about 500m. Never flown higher than the limit tho 120m. That 1400m range was a one off I think mostly I start to lose reception about 1000m or as soon as I start to turn!!!
Yeah I'm pretty sure it would return home fine but not worth the risk.
 
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Barbara

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#19
I may be about to put my foot in it, but I feel compelled to ask anyway. Why do people feel the need to push the envelope of performance (I can somewhat understand this) and regulations? With incidents in the UK and elsewhere spotlighting UAVs and the threat of even tighter regulation, as just happened here in Canada, I think responsible operation of your drone would be in order. Then again, my observation is that responsibility is often lacking these days. I'm a biker, and the same seems to apply there too.

Researching what drone to buy, I found that the Spark is classed as a Selfie drone by most reviewers. The impression I got was It wasn't really designed for long distance usage. It's small (hard to see at distance), has a short battery life and uses WIFI radio which is inherently short range and subject to interference and line of sight limitations. It suited my purposes as a reasonable camera on a solid platform at a reasonable price. Something I can learn on, get decent video and decide whether or not to go bigger.

Please fly responsibly.
 
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#20
I may be about to put my foot in it, but I feel compelled to ask anyway.
Hi Barbara

I don't think you're "putting your foot in it" but you are making assumptions that everyone's needs, abilities and allowed operations are the same as your own.

Like you, I read various posts here and in other places about other people's operations or watch videos on YouTube and I do at times shake my head in wonder. When I comment however I generally address the technical and safety aspect and pay only passing comment to the regulations. It's not my job to be the "drone police", there are far too many of them already and when you preach at people they instantly turn off to your entire message. You *are* right that there is a lack of responsibility in some quarters of the hobby. Generally speaking those people are not going to abide by the rules regardless of what they say or how many there are so why bother? Remember, you only hear from the minority. The vast majority of responsible, law abiding operators never post. In other cases people have legitimate reasons for pushing the envelope.

My case in point, I mentioned above that I had pushed a spark to the limit of line of sight until the connection began to degrade, why? I am the owner of a small R.P.A. business here in Australia, I hold an RePL and AROC (Remote Pilots Licence and Aeronautical Radio Operators Certificate) my company holds a ReOC (Remote Operators Certificate) which entitles the C.A.S.A. approved Chief Pilot (me *sigh*) to authorise our pilots for operations outside of the generally approved Standard Operating Conditions under some circumstances with appropriate safeguards in place after an exhaustive Job Safety Analysis and Threat and Error Management is put in place.

I bought 4 Sparks for the business, you are right for many people they are simply the ultimate in portability or a "selfie drone" but they are also much more. They are incredibly robust, have a 12MP camera more than capable of mapping or doing aerial mosaics of small areas and fly in places other R.P.A. cannot. I recently flew one into the cabin of a beached and partially submerged Trimaran, but the main reason I bought them is for close up inspection of antennas and towers, when you need to fly within 10cm of guy wires, masts etc the possibility of a loss must always be accepted regardless of how good you are. Better a $600 Spark than a $2500 Dollar P4P V2.0 and secondly they are for training of my pilots (also the responsibility of the Chief Pilot). You don't teach someone to drive in a Ferrari but you still need something that drives basically the same way.

As you mentioned the Spark has a reputation for reduced range, this is not because it is "WiFi" as you put it. The Spark by and large operates on the same 2.4 and 5.8Ghz band as any other DJI product. The difference it in the "modulation method" or how the stream of both video and control is overlaid on the carrier and in how much power output is used, technical stuff we don't need to go in to. Enough to say you're right, they don't do long range particularly well.

As I use them for training of my pilots, as I make my pilots fly them in all modes and as they can attain in excess of 50km/h it doesn't take very long for a distracted novice to fly it out of range and my liability insurance has to cover the ramifications and there are a few ambiguities in it's RTH operation I needed solid answers to. Answer? In my case go to a non populated area over the ocean and find out .. worse case scenario is a distant and expensive "plop gurgle". I can live with that better than someone losing an eye from an out of range out of control Spark. The results of these tests then help me formulate conditions which are placed in the companies "Operations and procedures manuals" which direct the pilots in how they must operate.

I've never done this with the larger R.P.A. as their specifications are such they they are way and above the required abilities and so were not in question. The Spark was another matter. So yes, while obviously in the minority there are still valid reasons why people choose to "push the envelope".

Slightly diverging onto your other comments (this post is too long already sorry all) The U.K. incidents are fairly obviously manufactured by parties with an agenda to push and the new laws you face in Canada are the result of (like us) living in a "nanny state" and having your legislation drafted by people with no personal experience in the subject and more interested in addressing the perception than the reality. There's no getting around it, the sub 400FT airspace that was worthless 3 to 4 years ago has suddenly become worth Billion$ to big business and we all know that Big Business never use their sway on Government to have legislation passed to their advantage because Multi National conglomerates share so well right? If they can remove a large percentage of traffic from that airspace under ANY justification they will.

Fly and ride safe (still riding here at 54)

Regards
Ari
 

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