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Flying with no wifi/data plan pay as you go sim.
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Callum94
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United Kingdom
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Hello I am completely new to this and have just bought a Phantom 3 standard as my first drone, what I didn't realise is you needed Wi-Fi since I thought the app just connect straight to the drone; I knew you have to have a certain capable phone so I just ordered an iPhone 5s just for this (original phone is an Galaxy mini from 2011).

The problem I have just found out (have not received drone or phone yet) is that you need to have WI-FI to actually fly this (I know about GPS) but I have a pay as you go sim which I do not want to use any data on it since it is like £1 every 10 minutes, so would it be better me buying another sim with a 1gb data plan for around £5 a month or is there a work around since the only thing turned on my phone when in use would be the GPS for the locations? I would like the maps to display on my phone but unfortunately there are no offline maps at the moment for IOS so the only thing I could do (which I read about on here) would be to cache certain areas where I plan to fly, would this be a viable option? Thanks.
2017-10-4
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Labroides
Captain
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
Australia
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Hello I am completely new to this and have just bought a Phantom 3 standard as my first drone, what I didn't realise is you needed Wi-Fi since I thought the app just connect straight to the drone.

You don't need wifi or any data plan to fly your Phantom.
It will do very nicely without either.
The R/C controller connects to your Phantom via radio.
Like many other fliers, I use a wifi only tablet well away from any wifi or internet connection.
I fly a lot and don't miss out on any features.

The Phantom has a perfectly good GPS receiver of its own and this is what it uses for all flight functions.
It's not much use for the Phantom to know where your phante is - that's all it could get using the phone's GPS.
2017-10-4
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Mark The Droner
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Flight distance : 2917 ft
United States
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Are you saying you have no internet access at all?  Not even in your home?  You don't need an internet connection to fly.  You do need one to initially get started with the Go app.  And you need a mobile device of some kind which, of course, is capable of wifi.  The wifi signal is the signal between the AC, the controller, and your mobile device, but it has nothing to do with the internet.  Yes, caching specific areas you plan to fly works.  
2017-10-4
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Callum94
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Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-10-4 03:40
Are you saying you have no internet access at all?  Not even in your home?  You don't need an internet connection to fly.  You do need one to initially get started with the Go app.  And you need a mobile device of some kind which, of course, is capable of wifi.  The wifi signal is the signal between the AC, the controller, and your mobile device, but it has nothing to do with the internet.  Yes, caching specific areas you plan to fly works.

Yes I should have mentioned that I can use my WI-FI at home but did not want to be charged when out and about from my provider, I was wandering since I read somewhere to use the map (which I intend to do) you needed an internet connection (WI-FI) which made me think I would be charged when flying the drone. Thanks for the info.
2017-10-4
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Antonio76
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Flight distance : 144403 ft
Denmark
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Welcome to the Club!  AFAIK you do NOT need WiFi to fly  a Phantom. An internet connection is only required to sign up for the first time or in case of a system update. The Tablet or phone doesn't connect to the drone during flight, it connects to the remote controller, which does not use WiFi to connect to the drone -even if the frequency may be the same, the protocol is different.  Also, the offline maps, you access them via the DJI GO App after enabling the map caching when you can be online (at home, with WiFi connection, for instance. BTW, there are "offline" maps for iOS, but they are not supported by any other App. Look for "maps.me"  in the App store.
2017-10-4
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Callum94
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Labroides Posted at 2017-10-4 03:37
Hello I am completely new to this and have just bought a Phantom 3 standard as my first drone, what I didn't realise is you needed Wi-Fi since I thought the app just connect straight to the drone.

You don't need wifi or any data plan to fly your Phantom.

Ok thanks, I will be hopefully using the FPV through the app on my mobile and I presume I would be charged for the maps of the locations if I don't cache the area? if that is the case I would just put my phone into flight mode after I have cached the area from my house. Thanks.
2017-10-4
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Labroides
Captain
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
Australia
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Callum94 Posted at 2017-10-4 03:53
Ok thanks, I will be hopefully using the FPV through the app on my mobile and I presume I would be charged for the maps of the locations if I don't cache the area? if that is the case I would just put my phone into flight mode after I have cached the area from my house. Thanks.

Forget the maps, they are of very limited use anyway but if you cache them at home, you can have them out in the field.
2017-10-4
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Callum94
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Antonio76 Posted at 2017-10-4 03:53
Welcome to the Club!  AFAIK you do NOT need WiFi to fly  a Phantom. An internet connection is only required to sign up for the first time or in case of a system update. The Tablet or phone doesn't connect to the drone during flight, it connects to the remote controller, which does not use WiFi -even if the frequency may be the same, the protocol is different.  Also, the offline maps, you access them via the DJI GO App after enabling the map caching when you can be online (at home, with WiFi connection, for instance. BTW, there are "offline" maps for iOS, but they are not supported by any other App. Look for "maps.me"  in the App store.

Thanks, would the FPV from the camera be received from the controller as well? or just the telemetry data? and I will have a look on the store when I get my phone. Thanks for the help.
2017-10-4
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Callum94
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Labroides Posted at 2017-10-4 03:57
Forget the maps, they are of very limited use anyway but if you cache them at home, you can have them out in the field.

Great thanks, just wanted the maps for peace of mind so I knew its exact location if/when I inevitably crash.
2017-10-4
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Antonio76
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Callum94 Posted at 2017-10-4 04:00
Thanks, would the FPV from the camera be received from the controller as well? or just the telemetry data? and I will have a look on the store when I get my phone. Thanks for the help.

Whatever appears on your mobile device comes from the drone camera (FPV imaging) or from the telemetry from the drone. In either case the path is Drone <--> Remote<--> Tablet (DJI GO App), and as I said, the signal is not transmitted via WiFi but via a radio link between Drone and Remote using 2.4 GHz frequency but NOT the same Protocol as WiFi....
2017-10-4
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Callum94
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Antonio76 Posted at 2017-10-4 04:14
Whatever appears on your mobile device comes from the drone camera (FPV imaging) or from the telemetry from the drone. In either case the path is Drone  Remote Tablet (DJI GO App), and as I said, the signal is not transmitted via WiFi but via a radio link between Drone and Remote using 2.4 GHz frequency but NOT the same Protocol as WiFi....

Fantastic, thanks to you and everyone else for the help and hopefully I can have great times to come with the quad. Thanks again.
2017-10-4
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Antonio76
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Callum94 Posted at 2017-10-4 04:21
Fantastic, thanks to you and everyone else for the help and hopefully I can have great times to come with the quad. Thanks again.

Have fun! -and fly safe!
2017-10-4
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Mark The Droner
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Flight distance : 2917 ft
United States
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Antonio76 Posted at 2017-10-4 03:53
... it connects to the remote controller, which does not use WiFi to connect to the drone -even if the frequency may be the same, the protocol is different.  ...

Could you expound on this or provide a link?  Not trying to argue, just trying to get my facts straight.  My understanding is that the 2.4 ghz signal which connects between the controller and the mobile device is certainly a wifi signal.  Otherwise the mobile device would not be able to connect.  And the 2.4 ghz signal which connects between the AC and the controller is also a wifi signal, as that is how it was on the P2V.  Also, the P3S manual calls the connection between the AC and the controller a wifi signal specifically (see WiFi Video Downlink page 33).  However, my understanding is the frequency for the latter connection was moved a bit lower in the more recent devices so that it's slightly out of the frequency range available for most if not all mobile devices and therefore the signal is not seen as a choice when perusing the mobile app for wifi signals.

My understanding with Wifi is that although it's a stable means to transmit video, it has an inherent weakness due to its need to "check" the signal - and that's why distance is often disappointing relative to the clean 5.8 ghz control signal.  DJI's lightbridge solved the wifi distance problem at least partly because it eliminated the check.

Thanks
2017-10-4
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Antonio76
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Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-10-4 04:35
Could you expound on this or provide a link?  Not trying to argue, just trying to get my facts straight.  My understanding is that the 2.4 ghz signal which connects between the controller and the mobile device is certainly a wifi signal.  Otherwise the mobile device would not be able to connect.  And the 2.4 ghz signal which connects between the AC and the controller is also a wifi signal, as that is how it was on the P2V.  Also, the P3S manual calls the connection between the AC and the controller a wifi signal specifically (see WiFi Video Downlink page 33).  However, my understanding is the frequency for the latter connection was moved a bit lower in the more recent devices so that it's slightly out of the frequency range available for most if not all mobile devices and therefore the signal is not seen as a choice when perusing the mobile app for wifi signals.

My understanding with Wifi is that although it's a stable means to transmit video, it has an inherent weakness due to its need to "check" the signal - and that's why distance is often disappointing relative to the clean 5.8 ghz control signal.  DJI's lightbridge solved the wifi distance problem at least partly because it eliminated the check.

Well, I don't know specifically about the P2V or the P3S. Just downloaded the manual for the P3SE and yes, there is a mention of WiFi, and it says also "Tap to set the SSID and connection Password for the WIFi connection" (between the aircraft and the remote controller-doesn't say anything about the device). So this is undoubtedly a WiFi Protocol. But this seems to have been abandoned in newer drones, as I haven't seen it for the P4 or P4P.  I would like to know if this WiFi Video Downlink is only between the aircraft and the remote, or if it can be picked up by a WiFi  device like a tablet, or even a computer, and if the signal is directly readable, that is, would one be able to see the video  directly on the screen of such a connected computer or device? Anyway, I still think that the device one uses with the remote controller doesn't need to be connected to WiFi, and this was the  point. (and unless I'm wrong on this too due to some P3 peculiarity,  I think that the device and the controller do not connect via WiFi, they connect via a USB cable.
Thanks a lot for your input regarding the P3, I love learning things I ignored!
2017-10-4
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Mark The Droner
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Okay.  This is a P3S thread since the OP owns one of those so I was referring to that AC.  The P3A/P and all the P4s and the Mavic too are all lightbridge drones.  Wifi is the older technology and applies to the P3S, P34K, P3SE, and everything before those.  Wifi is not used at all in the lightbridge drones.  Lightbridge is not used at all in the wifi drones.  

Lightbridge drones have the advantage of - through the mobile device - connecting to the internet via wifi, but that is independent of the flight.  

Wifi drones can't connect to the internet via wifi because the wifi is being used for the FPV connection.   But if the mobile device is a smart phone, it can connect to the internet via a cell tower.  But again, the internet is not necessary for flight.

The lightbridge drones must use a cable because the signal is lightbridge, it's not wifi.  Mobile devices don't know how to connect to a lightbridge signal over the airwaves.  So they need a cable and the usb port.

Some background:  The old FC40 drone's FPV connected directly to and from the AC and the tablet via wifi.  The controller was not involved.  Range was minimal.

The P2V included a device which relayed the wifi signal to and from the tablet and AC.  DJI called it a range extender.  It was attached to the controller but was a physically independent device.  The FPV range was extended.  

The P3S was designed so that the range extender device hardware was hidden inside the controller.  It was still there, you just couldn't see it.  Same with the P34K and P3SE.  

DJI released the P3A/P with new lightbridge technology in early 2015.  That technology blows away wifi as far as FPV.  Wifi is a joke relative to lightbridge, which is why buyers of a new DJI drone should take a very hard look at a lighbridge drone before settling for a wifi drone.  

2017-10-4
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DJI Thor
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Appreciate the participants above. You don't have to have internet during flight. For the offline map, you can navigate it when you are at home, open DJI GO app, enable Cache Map in the Background, click on the map to cache where you will go, shut down the WiFi and check again. And just to remind, you might need to search if it is a No Fly Zone where you are going: http://www.dji.com/flysafe/no-fly
2017-10-4
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jhalter123
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Labroides Posted at 2017-10-4 03:37
Hello I am completely new to this and have just bought a Phantom 3 standard as my first drone, what I didn't realise is you needed Wi-Fi since I thought the app just connect straight to the drone.

You don't need wifi or any data plan to fly your Phantom.

I fly ass part and use a Samsung Galaxy tab e . It flies great and has Wi-Fi connection. But I don't see anything under the maps in the lower left-hand corner. It's been in repair and I'm going to try downloading the offline maps and try it. Any ideas would help me
2019-3-30
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jhalter123
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United States
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Labroides Posted at 2017-10-4 03:37
Hello I am completely new to this and have just bought a Phantom 3 standard as my first drone, what I didn't realise is you needed Wi-Fi since I thought the app just connect straight to the drone.

You don't need wifi or any data plan to fly your Phantom.

I fly ass part and use a Samsung Galaxy tab e . It flies great and has Wi-Fi connection. But I don't see anything under the maps in the lower left-hand corner. It's been in repair and I'm going to try downloading the offline maps and try it. Any ideas would help me
2019-3-30
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jhalter123
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United States
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Labroides Posted at 2017-10-4 03:37
Hello I am completely new to this and have just bought a Phantom 3 standard as my first drone, what I didn't realise is you needed Wi-Fi since I thought the app just connect straight to the drone.

You don't need wifi or any data plan to fly your Phantom.

I fly ass part and use a Samsung Galaxy tab e . It flies great and has Wi-Fi connection. But I don't see anything under the maps in the lower left-hand corner. It's been in repair and I'm going to try downloading the offline maps and try it. Any ideas would help me
2019-3-30
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Bashy
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Flight distance : 549140 ft
United Kingdom
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When you open the app, before you Enter the fly section, theres a menu top right, click that, you will seed offline maps there, or, when you enter the flight controller section, )when youre at home on your wifi with internet) open the map screen, and where go to where you want to fly for the day and zoom in on that area, it will cache the map, BUT, make sure you have the latest app version installed!!
2019-3-30
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