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Losing video signal around 400m (1300ft) distance - FCC mode

monty.roman

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#1
Hello guys.

last couple days i've been flying Spark in open area (mostly over meadows) and noticed instantaneous video feed loss at 400-450 meters away from RC. As you can see on video attached, the feed is going perfectly smooth just until I've reached 400m (1300ft) distance, despite the signal is pretty good at the moment.


First thing came to my mind was that the RC jumped back to CE mode but according to the app, it didn't. I also checked whether the antennas are adjusted properly - they were pointing directly on the aircraft with the flat part as usual.

I'd like to get some opinion or advice on it.

Thanks.
 
Last edited:

lmel2005

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#2
Does it happen, all the time, in every area, or in the specific one?
Have you tried to fly in a different direction?

Maybe there is an interference in that area.

Reaching 400m I see signal falling by one line, then a sudden signal loss.
 

monty.roman

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#3
Was thinking the same but unfortunately it happened in other direction and even in other location. Always cuts off at 400-450 meters. Drone is still controllable after signal loss but I was afraid to fly further without video feed.
 

lmel2005

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#6
Was thinking the same but unfortunately it happened in other direction and even in other location. Always cuts off at 400-450 meters. Drone is still controllable after signal loss but I was afraid to fly further without video feed.
Are you sure it is in FCC mode?

Have you tried to switch to 2.4g and test range?

After video feed, usually controller disconnection follows, and then rth is triggered. Is video signal loss the only issue you noticed?
 

monty.roman

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#7
Day before I've been flying in different location and there I've been disconnected completely (no control over the drone) and when asked whether to RTH or not, selected Yes and got message 'RTH operation timed out'. After couple seconds the drone returned automatically as it should. Disconnected completely at 370 meters.
 

monty.roman

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#8
Didn't try switching to 2.4 GHz, will try today. I've made factory reset and re-link drone and RC so i will be testing on clean setup. Also I've been advised to format or replace SD card since the drone uses it as a cache and occasionally the bad card can affect the range.
 

lmel2005

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#9
I think that a bad SD card would cause problems even in 50m distance, but you can try another card and test.

What are fw and go4 versions?
 

maumau

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#11
Hello guys.

last couple days i've been flying Spark in open area (mostly over meadows) and noticed instantaneous video feed loss at 400-450 meters away from RC. As you can see on video attached, the feed is going perfectly smooth just until I've reached 400m (1300ft) distance, despite the signal is pretty good at the moment.


First thing came to my mind was that the RC jumped back to CE mode but according to the app, it didn't. I also checked whether the antennas are adjusted properly - they were pointing directly on the aircraft with the flat part as usual.

I'd like to get some opinion or advice on it.

Thanks.
Do you fly with OTG? Probably not...
 

monty.roman

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#12
I do use OTG. In the moment I've lost signal you can see the RC switch between frequencies for a second. That wouldn't be possible if I were connected via WiFi since one frequency would be occupied.
 

maumau

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#13
But if you say that A/C was still under control but you lost video feed, that means there is a problem between RC and your device. Usually it is solved using OTG. If you have OTG that means that sometimes you have bad contact. It happened to me once. 400m might just be a coincidence. With all what you describe, I dont see any other explanation. Mb others have a better one.
 

monty.roman

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#14
I don't really know what to think about it. Definitely gonna test it more with factory reset drone and RC. OTG cable is pretty much new (even has the DJI connector on the RC side) and I even bought a new phone few weeks back.
 

lmel2005

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#15
I do use OTG. In the moment I've lost signal you can see the RC switch between frequencies for a second. That wouldn't be possible if I were connected via WiFi since one frequency would be occupied.
It looks like it changed channel mid air.

Try to lock a free 2.4g channel.
 

monty.roman

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#16
so I've tested it yesterday with partial success. Spark flew over 400 meters successfully and the video feed dropped at 690 meters. For the reason I still don'r know, the RC didn't switch to 2.4 GHz and when I switched manually, the transmission didn't go better and AC kept connecting and disconnecting. When I got home after the flight, I've found that I've left video cache on and even forgot to kill the background running apps prior to flight so today I'll try again and more thoroughly.
 

lmel2005

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#18
Good news indeed.

Maybe was some glitch in channel selection part of software.

Anyway, spark is very interference sensitive, and Dji's software is inferior to hardware.
 

monty.roman

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#19
maybe it was some bug in the app, maybe it was due to some USB OTG problem without debugging enabled, who knows.

to be honest, I'm not distance records breaker and don't actually need to fly 3000 ft. away on daily basis to take good shots (usually the 1200-1300 ft. radius and 600-700 ft. altitude is just good enough for me).

All I wanted was to be sure that I can control it safely when I'll be forced to do so and the 3000 ft. result is good enough for this.
 
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lmel2005

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#20
I understand that.

I'm not flying spark more than 500m (my Mavic Pro flies long distance flawlessly), but if it disconnects even in 150-200m distance, it is useless.

Fortunately FCC trick solved this problem for me, and now I can enjoy my spark.

I don't update Fw or go4, if the new version doesn't add something significant.
 

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