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Phantom 3 Standard Range Issue is a Common Problem

Discussion in 'Standard/4k Discussion' started by Kneepuck, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. Kneepuck

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    Those of you who have a P3S, does this sound familiar? You get the Phantom. Excited, you do all the stuff you are supposed to do and make your first flight. It goes great! better than you had dreamed of. Then, you get the notice about doing a firmware update. You think, " This will probably make it even better" , so you do the update. And, now your P3S is a piece of junk. You can get no range. It goes RTH all the time. Even just hovering in 1 spot the signal fades in and out. The constant rth makes you want to smash the drone with a rock. Oh, and the fpv video works fine.

    A LOT of users are reporting this problem. Dji is certainly aware of it, but officially there is no problem. So, we are at their mercy until they do a firmware fix. It will help if everyone with this problem makes a lot of noise on the Dji website. Report it in the forums. The mods are Dji employes and report to HQ.[ModEdit: this forum or it's staff are in no way part of DJI] The more people who report it, the faster we get it fixed.

    As a workaround, I have removed the 5.8 ghz built in antenna ( will void your warranty ) , installed a pigtail with a bulkhead connector, installed where the stock antenna was, and purchased on ebay a 5.8ghz bi-directional 5 watt amplifier.It came with an antenna and a power supply.You can run it on a small gel cell motorcycle battery if you like. Pretty easy job to set up. If anyone wants to do this and needs instruction, let me know. I get over 2000 feet out and have been up to nearly 1000 feet with no signal loss and no rth. Healthydrones.com shows my signal score at 100% all the time.
     
    #1 Kneepuck, Nov 24, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2015
  2. N017RW

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    There's no need to expose yourself to so much radiation for that kind of range.

    You can do better with lower power and directivity.
     
  3. Kneepuck

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    That's not a lot of radiation. I have been an rf technician for over 30 years, in the military I dealt with LORAN stations that were 180 million watts. I was in the cellular communications industry for many years. RF is my life.

    Also, there are no other options with this problem on the P3S. Without the amp, I am lucky to get 150 feet. With a parabolic antenna I can add about another 100 feet. Not acceptable with a device that is claimed to do .6 kilometer. And I am not willing to return it to DJI and wait for 6 to 8 weeks for a repair that I will likely be charged for. And this solution works well for me.
     
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  4. N017RW

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    What do you figure the SAR is of your exposure?
     
  5. Kneepuck

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    Compared to all the RF I have been exposed too in my life, negligible. Besides, I already had kids. I also worked on Radar systems, and even they did not sterilize me. My kid may be a mutant, but at least she is a pleasant mutant. Also, 5.8ghz will not penetrate human skin. So the studies say.
     
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  6. RadRich

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    Kneepuck - where were you attempting to fly when you experienced the issues prior to upgrading your antenna?
     
  7. MightyY

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    I guess I got a good P3S because I just flew mine out 4500+ feet over a lake with no issues. Sucks that a lot of people are having reception issues just a few hundred feet (or less) away.
     
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  8. Kneepuck

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    I live on 150 acres up in the mountains. No nearby rf or other interference. No neighbors for over a mile. Line of sight forever.
     
    Squirrel! likes this.
  9. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    First off, are you referring to the most recent update?
    And secondly, there are people here going well over 10,000' using some antenna mods like an Itelite on the ground end and modified bird antennas. Looks great and works well.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  10. Kneepuck

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    Yup, latest firmware and Go app. The problem started with the last firmware update. Prior to that , range was fine. Now, with the latest firmware, I cant say, as I would need to un do my mods to find out stock performance. I will probably do that soon, but I am lazy. I was hoping to let others who have this problem, and it IS a common problem on the P3s, see if it cured theirs. I suspect not, as I had a conversation with DJI- Patrick and he stated that DJI was aware of and now working on the issue. And this conversation was after the latest update.
     
  11. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
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    I have the latest go app and have done the last update and have seen no difference in my range .
    I have been reading all the threads in here from folks having distance
    Issues way before this last update so JIMO this issue has nothing to
    do with the firmware.
    I got stock 6,666' before I started with my mods and is no way for
    me to undo all of them to test what you say.
    I do know I was over 2 miles before the update and still get that With it.
     
  12. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
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    After rereading this again the OP is wrong with one thing I know from being here as long as I have . The mods do not work for DJI .
    Now you have amped your's and that's something I have never done as well as use Healthydrones or any other app to help me .
    The only thing I have seen for sure is this TX being put together poorly like the 5.8 cable being so short it breaks at the dipole
    or pulls lose from the board . Have seen pictures from others posted here with this and from just seeing mine it was as tight as a
    guitar string .The rest of the cables are not of the quality from earlier models and I know this from having had them .
    This Standard popped up overnite and I think they were put together in such away no 2 are alike. I am seeing folks that are first time owners
    with this model that are having distance issues that if they had had started with a P2 and seen all that has gone on with these things and read in here what other's have learned wouldn't be having them . The Standard was not made to have much distance as the Pro/Adv and I think lots
    of folks don't get that .Why so many are having distance issues here is really got me stumped but to say the mods here work for DJI
    Is funny to me . I see where you say you are flying and would seem to me to be a great place with little noise but just look in my media
    at my test flights and just where I did them from the pictures from the flight logs and see where I have got 2 miles at only 300' over lots of noise .
    These quads might have issues but this last update is not one of them or is not with mine .
     
  13. Kneepuck

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    By last update,if you are talking about the one 3 days ago, that is not the one that started the problem. It was the firmware update in September that changed things for me. And I am aware that the Standard only has an advertised range of .6 kilometers. That is still a great deal further than the 200 to 300 feet that my and many, many others are getting with the Standard after the September update. It is great that you are getting several times more range than was claimed by the manufacturer. But I am sorry, I fail to see your point. Because your Phantom works great does not mean no one else really has a problem.
    I was thrilled with my Phantom right out of the box. I never once got the weak signal message followed by the rth from distances as close as 50 feet altitude and 50 or less feet away that became the norm after the firmware update. And I see a large number of posts describing the exact same problem with the exact same aircraft under the exact same circumstances as mine to ignore the clues. All of them started after the September firmware update. And now that enough people have posted on the DJI website, DJI is aware of and is working on the problem. That is according to DJI-Patrick. I have no reason to dis-believe him when he says that.
     
  14. Kneepuck

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    Also, you are correct about the antenna cable on the r/c. Mine was stretched tight as well. So I replaced it with a quality one and a new dipole antenna. This did not help anything. That's why I went ahead and set up the amplifier. Because, barring swr issues or otherwise pure rf related issues, I have never yet seen a short range transmission that could not be extended with some additional power. But even with the amplifier, I am still getting only about 2500 feet at 2 or 3 hundred feet of altitude. Clearly, there is some problem there. This problem only affects the 5.8 ghz r/c control signal, not the 2.4ghz video signal. I am sure interested in using the directional antenna setup to see what kind of range I get then. It would be great if that, combined with the firmware fix, gave me acceptable range performance. I would probably remove the amplifier mod in that case. Because it does require some extra stuff that you have to carry around. And, as I said earlier, I am pretty lazy.
     
  15. zrherda

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    Mods do not work for DJI?
     
  16. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
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    Me lazy too Knee :)
    I just looked back and not sure what I was on but got mine and did the start up update on 9/22
    Using that update stock I got this 6665'.PNG You can see the bars I had at that distance and here is the log now.PNG
    And no zrherda Meta ,Ian,TJ or Gunsinger do not work for DJI . This is a privately owned site and though it might look sometimes like they
    do they do not work for DJI . One of the mods here also mod's at the 3DR and YUNEC forum's which are owned by Jacob and several others .
     
  17. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    Negatory zrherda. The moderators here are volunteer, donating their time to help keep this place organized and making it a better experience for everyone. I personally have been modding here a long time, since before the change over, I do it for the love of the hobby and to be honest, this place was in dire need of structure a while back. So if you guys see us moderate a thread or a member it is not because DJI told us too, it's because they didn't follow the guidelines for the forum. ;)
     
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  18. zrherda

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    Well thank you! I am new to this hobby/forum but have had some great interactions and advice already.
     
  19. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    It is a pleasure to welcome you to the Phantom Pilots forum zrherda. I hope that you will take advantage of the benefits that come with membership and that you will be able to use the forum for the exchange of innovative ideas and as a resource for current developments in Phantom quadcopter’s. There are a lot of good, knowledgable members here.
     
  20. RodPad

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    Why does the date on your flight log show 04/10/2015