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Spark Range throttled in UK/Europe

Coolaudio

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Hi all. Was just reading on the spark chat over at the dji forum that in Europe the transmission and receiving range of the spark remote has been drastically reduced. From 1.2 miles to 0.31...not over the moon to be honest. The power has pretty much been halved..and determined by gps location.

What's you're thoughts on this troops?

I'm aware that under UK law there is a 500m distance limit for drones but my concern is that by limiting the power, 500m may be unlikely...soon find out I guess...

Probably due to tx/rx power limits in uk
 

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Lastrexking

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Sadly it's the EU regulations. Can't do a thing about either as it's written into the Sparks coding. It's the same with all DJI drones in the UK/EU.
 

Coolaudio

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Sadly it's the EU regulations. Can't do a thing about either as it's written into the Sparks coding. It's the same with all DJI drones in the UK/EU.
Thanks lastrexking

It's not that I was considering going further than the law allows but just concerned that the 5.8 ghz range is 0.19 miles (306 meters) unobstructed....oh well:)
 

Lastrexking

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It's rubbish isn't it? Don't mind on the Spark, with my eyes I won't see it that far away anyway, but on the larger models it should be changed.
 

Goose

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Sadly it's the EU regulations. Can't do a thing about either as it's written into the Sparks coding. It's the same with all DJI drones in the UK/EU.
Trying being outside the EU on the other side of the planet in Australia where our regulatory body chose the EU rules rather than the North American ones I don't even get the passport/boarder crossing benefits
 

nicholas hickman

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Suck? Yeah kinda. However, I have never flown my drones out much more than 500m (typhoon H and Autel XSP) and cant imagine wanting to fly my spark any further. I think you could argue that todays UAVs with GPS, obstacle avoidance FPV technology are safer to fly at those ranges than VLOS. I'm sure much of this crappy regulation is a legacy of primitive technology and fixed wing RC aircraft.
 

Coolaudio

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Suck? Yeah kinda. However, I have never flown my drones out much more than 500m (typhoon H and Autel XSP) and cant imagine wanting to fly my spark any further. I think you could argue that todays UAVs with GPS, obstacle avoidance FPV technology are safer to fly at those ranges than VLOS. I'm sure much of this crappy regulation is a legacy of primitive technology and fixed wing RC aircraft.
Indeed....lets hope the proposed new EU regulations don't come into force...50m height. 100m distance

I also read somewhere that dji were starting to introduce transponders on some of the bigger birds..hopefully increasing the safety.
 

stanleyy

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if it is only about EU regulation, then why is the range on Mavic in the EU 4km?? It has to follow exactly the same rules as Spark.. (TX power regulations)
I can't believe that 8x longer range on Mavic is only caused by different modulation and better antennas..
 

Lastrexking

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if it is only about EU regulation, then why is the range on Mavic in the EU 4km?? It has to follow exactly the same rules as Spark.. (TX power regulations)
I can't believe that 8x longer range on Mavic is only caused by different modulation and better antennas..
The Euro regs aren't about the distance, but about the power output of if TX. Can't remember the actual ghz, but in the EU it's much lower than the US so it vastly reduces travel distance.

In the days of the first Phantom it wasn't an issue as there was a simple switch that set the TX to CE or US, so you were in control. But now, with GPS the software sets the frequency of the TX.

With regard to the Spark not having the same distance as a Mavic, they're using a different type of transmission system. It's wifi based so very limited wherever you fly it.

That said, it's so small I wouldn't want to fly it too far.
 

stanleyy

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Both Spark and Mavic do run on the same frequency bands, 2.4 and 5 GHz, and therefore the same power regulations are applied on both.
This doesn't really explain the range difference between Mavic and Spark.

Also I am almost 100% sure that Spark does not use Wifi or any similar protocol for 'full range' control via remote controller. That would not work, due to various reasons, related to band sharing, beacons and certification requirements. They must be using a proprietary protocol, just like on Mavic. Maybe with different modulation, but upper layers including video encoding are for sure very similar to those used on Mavic and other high end DJI products.

I believe DJI has crippled the range on purpose to not compete with their other products, there is no reason for such drastic range reduction unless they have some EMC issues or antenna problems (which would not be surprising on such small device)

I am not saying that 500 meters is a bad value for this type of drone, but I would prefer to have a bigger safe margin there.
 

Lastrexking

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I wouldn't feel safe flying a drone with a 12 minute battery life (from real world testing) much further than 500m. Plus, it's so small it'd be difficult to see.

Not sure on the TX system they use. I've probably misunderstood something I read on RC Groups.
I know it's different to the Mavic etc, as it doesn't employ occusync
 
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nicholas hickman

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The Euro regs aren't about the distance, but about the power output of if TX. Can't remember the actual ghz, but in the EU it's much lower than the US so it vastly reduces travel distance.
Im not so sure that the reduced power output in the EU has any impact on the range (USA 1000mW, EU 200mW), as it's more involved than that dB, antenna etc. We are living at the end of the "wild west" of the drone age, we will be regulated to death. The manufacturers will end up adding more and more firmware restrictions.
 

Mark_T

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Also I am almost 100% sure that Spark does not use Wifi or any similar protocol for 'full range' control via remote controller. That would not work, due to various reasons, related to band sharing, beacons and certification requirements. They must be using a proprietary protocol, just like on Mavic. Maybe with different modulation, but upper layers including video encoding are for sure very similar to those used on Mavic and other high end DJI products.
They really are using wifi, 3DR did the same with the Solo and it is the reason for the greatly reduced range.

You should be able to dig up the test reports if you go hunting on the FCC website.
 
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mavicpilot

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I wouldn't feel safe flying a drone with a 12 minute battery life (from real world testing) much further than 500m. Plus, it's so small it'd be difficult to see.

Not sure on the TX system they use. I've probably misunderstood something I read on RC Groups.
I know it's different to the Mavic etc, as it doesn't employ occusync
Yes, definitely impossible to see at >500m, but with a spotter it is fine. I have pushed it out to 2200' or about 640m and I still had plenty of battery left at return - 52% according to airdata landing info. This was with the RC on a beach with little to no interference around. However, it (maybe just video?) did start cutting off around 2150' or so.

It took about 2m30s to reach that distance with non-OA. So, I was not using sport mode there, but I did kick it into sport on the way back.
 

Lastrexking

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Whoa!!

I didn't know this...

So if I take my Spark on holiday abroad, I can't enjoy a further flight distance?!
Depends where abroad is for you. The distance is reduced in the EU (currently also including the UK), and Oz.
 

Clive

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I was only able to get 250m range with the remote controller and at that distance the image was really laggy, in the middle of nowhere so no interferences (Living in the Netherlands so CE mode). Pretty dissapointed though, I know we shouldn't expect the same range as with Ocusync or Lightbridge but even after 50m the live video feed was lagging and 'weak image transmission' was showing up quiet often. Antenna's were pointed in the right direction so that couldn't be the problem. I think the range for the Spark in FCC mode is excellent for it's size but in CE mode it just doesn't add up, paying 200,- euro extra for the remote control and not even being able to control it at 250m.

Would it be possible to change the code in the Spark to change CE mode to FCC mode? I remember they did it with the Phantom 3 Standard at Phantompilots
 
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JaZzMaN251

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Maybe the range increases when using a usb cable connection to the remote instead of the wifi connection.
 

Deacon Strange

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I got to 752m on Tuesday, just pushing it out over the beach. Android phone linked to the controller via USB OTG, no modifications, 2.4ghz.
Screenshot_20170722-075118.jpg

Out that far the video transmission was spotty and it the disconnected and returned home. Certainly wouldn't recommend it as you have zero chance of being able to see it with the naked eye at that distance.
Didn't even realise that the range was throttled to 500m in the UK till I was reading when I got home (I know that the legal range for it is 120m by 500m). Surprises me it went that far now.
 

r-ap

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For me , it seems, that there are big tolerances in the production of spark.
I'm using no OTG, this is the result in 2.4 ghz(CE Mode,using a spotter :)):
 

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