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Advice Needed On Range Issues

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by nim6us, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. nim6us

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    Hello All!

    I'm trying to get some clarification on the range of my PV2+. The specs per DJI say 300m or roughly 1000ft for range. First off, is range distance or altitude, or a combination of the two? i.e. I'f I'm flying at an altitude of 100ft is the distance than 900ft? That aside I've read numerous people who talk about getting double that range, some even saying stock they're getting a mile on their flights. I know typically manufactures are going to go on the conservative side when posting acceptable ranges, but I'm trying to just get a realistic idea of what I should expect from my setup.

    The reason for my concern is because most flights out I'm at an altitude of 75ft and I'm getting 700ft out, occasionally I'll get to 900ft. However anywhere in that 700ft-900ft I get signal drop out. Now this is all using the included range extender, in clear open terrain, with 8 or more satellites and plenty of battery power. I don't feel comfortable flying outside of 700ft without fearing I'll trigger a "Fly Home". Otherwise I'm mega impressed with all the features; the speed, the handling, the stability, but if I'm honest I expected more from the flight range. In all the demo videos I saw they were scouring the terrain way beyond 700ft or even 1000ft. I've only flown consumer grade RC heli and quad copters, nothing this high end before. Am I doing something wrong, or is there something else I should be doing to enhance the performance? Any help from someone with experience would be greatly appreciated!

    EDIT: Also I see some threads talking about FPV and I guess there's a difference from flying through your iPhone app and just controlling it with the RC unit and watching it with your eyes? Personally I would think FPV would be mandatory past 1000ft, I can barely see my PV2+ when it gets out that far, most times I lose it all together, I'd be lost without the FPV. Either way when I'm talking about the range I'm talking about the FPV view.
     
  2. lsteigerwalt

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    If you go up to 200-250 your range will increase. Range doesnt work like a line. So 100 up and 900 out isnt 1000 range. Think about the long side of a triangle and that is your range. the distance away in the app takes this into account and is your true range. Also make sure you are facing the bird at all times and that the antenna is pointing straight up to the sky. The flat side of the antenna and wifi repeater should be facing the bird when in the air. In other words you want the pointy end of the antenna 90 degrees parallel to the bird. The more you fly and get it further out it seems it gets longer and longer. I took my last bird out to 3'000ft with no mods what so ever. Haven't had a chance to stretch the new one out yet but hoping for similar results. Also humidity plays a huge role as well. The higher the humidity the lower your range will be. Good luck with extending your flight. Let us know how it goes.
     
  3. Dirty Bird

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    As lsteigerwalt stated, make sure you are orienting the antennae correctly and directing the Wi-Fi extender at the bird when flying. Generally the higher I fly the more range I get. Range also depends on factors like terrain, environment, humidity, RF background radiation, etc.. Also, these components all vary and I am sure there is a large variance in transmitter & extender power output, Phantom-side Wi-Fi output, and reception. I have flown in the exact same spot on different days and gotten twice the range one day as another. Have you flown in different locations? How is the humidity on your flight days as this can make a big difference in overall range.
     
  4. nim6us

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    Currently I'm in south England so the humidity is pretty low, perhaps it's the altitude. I incorrectly thought that if I was at a lower altitude it would increase my range, when it appears it's the opposite. I'm actually just about to go out and fly shortly so I'll take it up to 250 and see how far I can get. Thanks guys!

    EDIT: Actually we just got called for rain.. so will have to report back tomorrow. But do you have any thoughts on the range extender app? https://itunes.apple.com/GB/app/id876413138 I see it says it only works with the 2.4 gHz range, and the new Vision is 5.8 gHz so I'm skeptical it will work for me. Also I'm not sure how the app works, if it goes in and alters the Phantom's firmware, I'm an IT guy, and I know if you screw around on your own with firmware when the manufacturer pushes out an update it can cause bad things.
     
  5. lignow

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    Don't feel bad, I only get 90 feet on a good day. 65 + flights, use all the tips from the forums. The assJacks I bought it from are so bad business people that I thought they ripped me off. It was like , we got your money now so " f " you.. NO email or phone contact from them. I will not deal with them. Sent email to dji mid may\14 still nothing. STAY AWAY from those people in Calgary Alberta Ca.
     
  6. Dirty Bird

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    The range extender app boosts the Wi-Fi (FPV & telemetry) side, so it is 2.4 Ghz. It works for many people. There are several versions of the app. The one you posted is the original. How it works is, after you have your bird powered on and connected to Wi-Fi, you run the booster app, and simply click the "Boost Up" button. It makes no permanent changes to your Phantom, and remains in effect until you power down. You have to run it before each flight to enable the boost.

    The question is, are you losing control or FPV? If you are getting the "Control Lost" message, you are losing control and the Booster app will not help. If you are getting the "Phantom Connection Broken" message, then you are losing FPV and the Booster app may indeed help.
     
  7. Phanton v2+ newbie

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    Hi
    I'm in the south east aswell (colchester,Essex) where abouts are you mate
     
  8. jaxbert

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    When I first started flying my Phantom I was lucky to get 600 feet. Now my record stands at about 1700 feet away at about 300 feet in the air. I had a clear LOS to be bird the whole time on those long distance flights (I got LASIK so I can actually see it too) :)

    At 75 feet its probably disappearing over the trees and it will lose signal.
     
  9. nim6us

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    @ Dirty Bird I'll have to double check but I believe the message was "Connection Lost" again I'll make note next time I'm out. Also thank you for the info on how the app works, it's one more thing to add to the pre-flight check list, but the fact it doesn't make any permanent changes adds a big benefit for me.

    @ Phanton v2+ newbie My work takes me all over the place but currently in Truro, Cornwall.

    @jaxbert A) That's encouraging news related to my range issue and B) You may be onto something with getting my eyes checked, my vision hasn't been it's best and I've been ignoring it, stubborn refusal to accept getting older and all that ;)

    But I can't wait to test at a higher altitude, I truly hope that is the issue. Which leads me to another question, at the risk of watering down my own thread. I've wondered how altitude is calculated as well. I ask because I fly starting on high ground and it goes down into a small valley then back up the other side. I wasn't sure if say I took off at 100ft altitude, when I go over that valley and my FPV reads 100ft altitude, is that 100ft based on where I took off from or does it recalculate based on the ground it's above?
     
  10. ToThePoint

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    Altitude is calculated when home-point is set and has nothing to do with how high it started.
    If you set a new home-point in flight it will still keep that original hight but as far the rest goes its been reset, RTH hight for instance.
     
  11. nim6us

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    Okay all, so pretty disappointed at the moment. I tried increasing the altitude to 250ft then 300ft and I got even less distance than before. I'm getting out 500ft-600ft distance; I tried in multiple directions west, north, then east and got about the same results. I'm definitely getting the "Control Signal Lost" message on my FPV. Before I start thinking about there being an issue with my Phantom, I do want to get out to another area and test the range there.

    However if anyone has any ideas as to what's going on I'm open to suggestion. I'm going to try the FPV Booster app and see what kind of results I get. There's this gorgeous church tower on a hill that I've been wanting to zoom out and fly around. It was the first thing I was going to do when I got my P2V+, but every time I attempt the flight I get several hundred feet out, then sure enough I lose connection and the Phantom sadly flies home. I'm sure I'll figure it out, just was hoping it was an easy answer. Thanks for everyone who's offered support, there's a really great community here.
     
  12. tizzl10

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    control signal lost is your 5.8 control link, not the 2.4 fpv wifi link...how do you have your 5.8 antenna oriented when you fly?
     
  13. nim6us

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    A) If "control signal lost" is the control link and not the WiFi link, what does that mean how do I fix it? B) I have the RC antenna clicked straight out, it's hard to describe so below is a picture:
    [​IMG]
     
  14. tizzl10

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    well, there lies part of your issue. i would suggest reading the manual at this point. you will thank me later. it will save you from a lot of frustration in the long run.
     
  15. rrmccabe

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    Yep, I agree. Get the antenna rotated so its 90 from the Phantom itself

    Also, make sure your controller is in FCC mode.
    Are you clear line of site? (LOS) or do you have leafy trees in the way.
     
  16. nim6us

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    Yeah I'm going to have to look at the manual, or if anyone can find a picture or youtube video. I've had people try to explain the position of the antenna and WiFi extender and I'm still having a rough time understanding what they're saying. I am in clear line of sight, it's just amazing to me to think moving the antenna 90 degrees would give me double the flight range, but I am a first rank n00b at this stuff ;)

    Also I found this great video of CE an FCC flight mode, just saw it before you mentioned it. I was in fact in CE mode so perhaps that's part of it. If you're reading this thread because you need help with range do check it out the below video.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbvgf8YMQDI[/youtube]
     
  17. rrmccabe

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    Just remember you want the side of antenna pointing at phantom. Not the tip.

    The signal radiates off the antenna towards the sides and the least amount is off the end.

    And CE mode will make a difference compared to FCC. Less power.
    Note arrows below. This would be with Phantom high above you and somewhat close. Rotate controller or antenna to keep those blue arrows pointing at bird.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. nim6us

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    AWESOME! Thanks rrmccabe exactly what I needed! Message received, can't wait to test tomorrow :D
     
  19. rbhamilton

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    All you do is take the height squared plus the range squared then take the square root of that to get the actual distance from you to the drone. Guy named Pythagorus figured that one out waaaay back. Not sure he had drones in mind when he came up with his theorem though.
     
  20. clev

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    Great picture bro. I had the same question and you answered it.