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Phantom 3 SE Dissapointment (Range & Litchi)
3208 32 2018-2-15
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fansfbf708c8
lvl.2
United States
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Hi all Pilots

First post on this forum and this is specific to the Phantom 3 SE.

I received the P3SE in December and have been flying a good few hours now. I have found the following annoyances with the P3SE and software:

1- I have found that my range is extremely poor. My last attempt was with a very clear line of sight on a nice day at the beach. My maximum range was around 1700ft before RTH was triggered. This was with no signal booster installed. When I put on a parabolic antenna mount (plastic thing that can be bought for a few £ on amazon), my range actually reduced to less than 1600ft before RTH triggered. I have since learned that the reason for such poor range is local (UK/EU) limitations on transmitter signal strength. In the UK, we are restricted to CE mode and do  not have FCC available (this is the case if using the latest FW release). As far as I am aware, FCC regulations (like in the USA) allow transmitting signals of up to 10 times more power than CE regulations (Europe) and this may go a long way to explaining the reason for such pitiful Phantom range.

2- I researched a good lot into Litchi as I would like to have the ability to fully map out missions before going on site. I was very excited and forked out the cash to install the app on my phone (HTC 10). What I didn't realise at the time was that Litchi is not compatible with the P3SE (yet, but probably never) as DJI has not released the SDK for this model of drone. When I read that Litchi was compatible with Phantom 3 4K, i stupidly assumed they meant the Phantom 3 SE (i wasn't aware that the 4k was a different model). It looks like the P3SE is nearly the only model not supported in Litchi and that for me is very annoying (there's not even a Phantom 3 SE topic available within these forums).

So, in follow up to my life story, I have these questions:
A- On the P3SE controller, does the external antenna communicate with the a/ your phone/tablet only b/ the drone only or c/ both the drone and your phone/tablet? If the answer is a/ your phone/tablet only, this would explain why the parabolic extender made no improvement to range (yes, I did have it pointing the right direction).
B- Would adding external antennas in place of the two internal ones make any difference, if transmitter power is still restricted by CE regulations?
C- Has anyone had provable results of improving range with P3SE (not caring about other models as they use different comm setups)?
D- Will DJI release the SDK for P3SE so that we may use 3rd party apps like Litchi?

I will probably have more questions but thought I would leave it at that for now.

Thanks in advance for all responses.
2018-2-15
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Nebuchadnezzar
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Spain
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i live in spain , im phantom 3 SE  owner i m using FCC . there are several methods & versions to do

2018-2-15
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Nebuchadnezzar
Captain
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Switch to FCC mode in Europe, and fly miles instead of just 300 meters with P3SE
https://phantompilots.com/thread ... s-with-p3se.128089/
2018-2-15
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Nebuchadnezzar
Captain
Flight distance : 2489482 ft
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Before i use FCC..all were app crashes , constant signal advices , no wanted return to home ..etc etc ..... now the GPS screen above is always Green ;) Enjoy & fly safe
2018-2-15
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djiuser_iGJqCoTNTQSa
Second Officer
United States
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There are plenty of modifications you can do, but I found that it makes very little sense to do them when you look at the cost of the modifications compared to simply buying a better model.
2018-2-15
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Nebuchadnezzar
Captain
Flight distance : 2489482 ft
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PD : no modiifications in my AC
2018-2-15
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Siambuddhas Group
First Officer
Flight distance : 116926 ft
Singapore
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Nebuchadnezzar Posted at 2018-2-15 07:42
PD : no didifications in my AC

Yup...it's true...
2018-2-15
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DerekJSpence
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Nebuchadnezzar Posted at 2018-2-15 07:38
Switch to FCC mode in Europe, and fly miles instead of just 300 meters with P3SE
https://phantompilots.com/threads/switch-to-fcc-mode-in-europe-and-fly-miles-instead-of-just-300-meters-with-p3se.128089/

Thanks for sharing that knowledge. I had come across it a few weeks ago but couldn't find it again and wasn't sure of how to install direct from apk.
I have followed the steps detailed in the link and looks like I am in FCC now (only 11 channels available).
Just hoping for some better weather so I can run a test and see if I get further than my current 1700ft record.

Thanks again.
2018-2-15
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DerekJSpence
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I will try and duplicate my original flight distance tests and do the same for the FCC mode to show how much better my range is
2018-2-15
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Nebuchadnezzar
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Test with care... I had no problems...it increase the flight distance and RTH is ok .. I m enjoying more than never
2018-2-15
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Siambuddhas Group
First Officer
Flight distance : 116926 ft
Singapore
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Fly safe buddies................
2018-2-15
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DerekJSpence
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Siambuddhas Group Posted at 2018-2-15 17:12
Fly safe buddies................

Thank you
2018-2-16
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Siambuddhas Group
First Officer
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Singapore
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Nebuchadnezzar Posted at 2018-2-15 14:08
Test with care... I had no problems...it increase the flight distance and RTH is ok .. I m enjoying more than never

Flight tested.. 1km to lost a second transmission...didn't dare fly far... U turn back.. strong wind so never go further..no look back on other craps APK...this is the best...
2018-2-16
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Nebuchadnezzar
Captain
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i tested today 3.1.28 ...it keep the FCC despite to clean all system , it mean AC or remote remember the switch   not bad at all
2018-2-17
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DerekJSpence
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3.1.28? That's an earlier version than 3.1.8 in the guide you linked. Is there any advantage in using 3.1.28 over 3.1.8?
2018-2-17
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Nebuchadnezzar
Captain
Flight distance : 2489482 ft
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3.1.28 is the actual official version... I was using the mod to switch to FCC...  After this i dont need to use mod...the switch is done despite intall the new version.
2018-2-17
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Nebuchadnezzar
Captain
Flight distance : 2489482 ft
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It keep the 11 channels in 2.4Ghz band...it mean FCC
2018-2-17
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Nebuchadnezzar
Captain
Flight distance : 2489482 ft
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Try intall the last version 3.1.28...then simplt check the 2.4 Ghz band.. If you get 11 channels you are in FCC....13 channels mean CE.
2018-2-17
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DerekJSpence
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Nebuchadnezzar Posted at 2018-2-17 07:16
Try intall the last version 3.1.28...then simplt check the 2.4 Ghz band.. If you get 11 channels you are in FCC....13 channels mean CE.

So, if I allow the app to now update, it will keep me in FCC mode? Thats great. I thought that this was the app version that triggered the CE/FCC switch.
2018-2-17
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DerekJSpence
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So, earlier on today, I returned to the site of my previous (CE Mode) test and did the same flight in FCC Mode. I can't believe how far it actually went. In CE mode, I only got just over 1,700ft before RTH was triggered. In FCC mode, I got beyond 10,000ft and chickened out of going further. I had Image transmission warnings from 8,500ft away but video was still fine on my phone and had full signal on AC so I could have gone further.
If possible, I will post a comparison video here soon.
One observation with 3.1.8 installed was I could not view the satellite navigation window on the app, it remained grey whatever setting I used.
2018-2-17
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Siambuddhas Group
First Officer
Flight distance : 116926 ft
Singapore
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DerekJSpence Posted at 2018-2-17 14:15
So, earlier on today, I returned to the site of my previous (CE Mode) test and did the same flight in FCC Mode. I can't believe how far it actually went. In CE mode, I only got just over 1,700ft before RTH was triggered. In FCC mode, I got beyond 10,000ft and chickened out of going further. I had Image transmission warnings from 8,500ft away but video was still fine on my phone and had full signal on AC so I could have gone further.
If possible, I will post a comparison video here soon.
One observation with 3.1.8 installed was I could not view the satellite navigation window on the app, it remained grey whatever setting I used.

Welcome to FCC... Never look back on other apk... Just stick to something which impress you.
2018-2-18
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Siambuddhas Group
First Officer
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DerekJSpence Posted at 2018-2-17 14:07
So, if I allow the app to now update, it will keep me in FCC mode? Thats great. I thought that this was the app version that triggered the CE/FCC switch.

U in 3.1.18 or 11?? Sometime the apk just bypass and wont ask u to update if i wasnt wrong.
2018-2-18
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DerekJSpence
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3.1.8 is the version I installed. What I don't understand is why I would have to trick 3.1.28 into thinking I was in the USA and then swap to 3.1.8 when 3.1.28 apparently keeps the fcc settings anyway.
2018-2-18
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Siambuddhas Group
First Officer
Flight distance : 116926 ft
Singapore
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If 3.1.28 2.4 section shows 11channels , u wouldn't need to trick it anymore
2018-2-18
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DerekJSpence
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Siambuddhas Group Posted at 2018-2-18 07:19
If 3.1.28 2.4 section shows 11channels , u wouldn't need to trick it anymore

OK, so I installed 3.1.28 and it instantly prompted to change WiFi settings. Even if I ignored, it still now has 13 channels in 2.4 GHz which mes CE mode has been triggered again.
2018-2-18
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DerekJSpence
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Finally got a video made to compare my flights in CE and FCC modes. I tried to record my phone's screen at the same time, so I could display my distance and other stats, but my phone battery drained and the video was unusable.
Link to video below:

2018-2-18
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Siambuddhas Group
First Officer
Flight distance : 116926 ft
Singapore
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DerekJSpence Posted at 2018-2-18 09:25
OK, so I installed 3.1.28 and it instantly prompted to change WiFi settings. Even if I ignored, it still now has 13 channels in 2.4 GHz which mes CE mode has been triggered again.

yes....13ch ...u will only see less den 400meters to trigger RTH or even laggy crashing APP......thats really sickening... but at least now u know The way..the blue pill or the red pill...wahhahahahahhahah..
2018-2-18
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Nebuchadnezzar
Captain
Flight distance : 2489482 ft
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We told you... The difference is awesome
2018-2-18
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Nebuchadnezzar
Captain
Flight distance : 2489482 ft
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DerekJSpence Posted at 2018-2-18 09:28
Finally got a video made to compare my flights in CE and FCC modes. I tried to record my phone's screen at the same time, so I could display my distance and other stats, but my phone battery drained and the video was unusable.
Link to video below:
https://youtu.be/NLjYm1zVLSs

good video bro , now you ve tested the difference , in my situation ,the install the new version 3.1.28 keep the FCC mode 11 channels in 2,4,GHZ band in my AC or maybe is the RC who remember the switch
2018-2-18
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DerekJSpence
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Nebuchadnezzar Posted at 2018-2-18 11:41
good video bro , now you ve tested the difference , in my situation ,the install the new version 3.1.28 keep the FCC mode 11 channels in 2,4,GHZ band in my AC or maybe is the RC who remember the switch

I did try to upgrade to latest version 3.1.28 (going via play store) but as soon as I connected everything, it forced CE mode on me. So I have put it back to 3.1.8 to lock Fcc mode.
2018-2-18
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Siambuddhas Group
First Officer
Flight distance : 116926 ft
Singapore
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DerekJSpence Posted at 2018-2-18 12:49
I did try to upgrade to latest version 3.1.28 (going via play store) but as soon as I connected everything, it forced CE mode on me. So I have put it back to 3.1.8 to lock Fcc mode.

Yes...as he has mentioned too..latest apk sucks till max and almost crashes
2018-2-18
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Bashy
Captain
Flight distance : 549140 ft
United Kingdom
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Shame i cant do the same with the P4P, i did try with 4.1.9 and a config file but that was a fail not only that 4.1.9 there was no way around the goggle distance lock, no amount of messing starting with the app 1st then goggles worked, me still stuck in stupid CE mode, i want it just for the increase in power, not so much the distance.....
2018-2-18
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Siambuddhas Group
First Officer
Flight distance : 116926 ft
Singapore
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Bashy Posted at 2018-2-18 21:36
Shame i cant do the same with the P4P, i did try with 4.1.9 and a config file but that was a fail  not only that 4.1.9 there was no way around the goggle distance lock, no amount of messing starting with the app 1st then goggles worked, me still stuck in stupid CE mode, i want it just for the increase in power, not so much the distance.....

there is a will where is a way...some people should be already breaking it
2018-2-19
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