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Phantom 3 Professional still worth it?
363 32 2019-12-4
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sudokb
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Hello everyone! I'm getting back into aerial film making and struggling with is buying some ND filters and a range extender as well as possibly an Ipad for the Phantom 3 Pro worth it? I have the Phantom 3 Pro already but I definitely would want some ND filters as well as a range extender and probably a bigger screen (ipad) to use with it to get the quality I'm after. Is it worth it to put a few hundred dollars into it OR is it better to just upgrade to the Mavic 2 Pro or even the Mavic Mini at this point in time since it seems the PH3 Pro is basically dead now with no firmware updates or any support.

Thanks!

2019-12-4
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CHASCOADMIN
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What will be your primary environment? If you fly near high transmission lines or heavily populated areas I wouldn't consider the P3P. They are known for GPS issues in comparison to the next generation. Trust me that is not something you want to deal with. Depending on your goals I would entertain the Mavic Mini. If your scope is larger and you want to shell out for it get the Mavic 2 Pro. Don't limit yourself to pictures and videos. If your get the M2P look into mapping. There are some very good forums out there for support and I am available should you think about it. Good luck
2019-12-4
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sudokb
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CHASCOADMIN Posted at 12-4 06:34
What will be your primary environment? If you fly near high transmission lines or heavily populated areas I wouldn't consider the P3P. They are known for GPS issues in comparison to the next generation. Trust me that is not something you want to deal with. Depending on your goals I would entertain the Mavic Mini. If your scope is larger and you want to shell out for it get the Mavic 2 Pro. Don't limit yourself to pictures and videos. If your get the M2P look into mapping. There are some very good forums out there for support and I am available should you think about it. Good luck

I'll be flying a mixed environment so this could be an issue. The range issues I've experienced previously with it are probably my fault due to what I was trying to achieve which was a short clip over a lake but there were some trees in between line of sight which I know isn't best practice but I needed the shot and that was the only way.

I looked into the mapping which is pretty awesome and seems like they've came such a long way with it compared to the P3P. Camera wise, tech wise, etc...Which is why I was wondering is it worth pouring a few hundred dollars into the P3P vs putting that towards a new drone that's more up to date.
2019-12-4
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Nebuchadnezzar
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I am Phantom 3 SE User, Im very happy after more than 500 Kmts... Phantom 3 Pro is better yet
2019-12-4
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DJI Paladin
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Hi. Thank you for reaching out to DJI Forum. I hope our valued DJI members can provide you the best response to this inquiry. Just a friendly reminder, with regards to any third party range extender. DJI does not recommend using any third party accessories as it may affect the performance and compatibility of the said drone. Thank you and safe flying.
2019-12-4
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CHASCOADMIN
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sudokb Posted at 12-4 06:41
I'll be flying a mixed environment so this could be an issue. The range issues I've experienced previously with it are probably my fault due to what I was trying to achieve which was a short clip over a lake but there were some trees in between line of sight which I know isn't best practice but I needed the shot and that was the only way.

I looked into the mapping which is pretty awesome and seems like they've came such a long way with it compared to the P3P. Camera wise, tech wise, etc...Which is why I was wondering is it worth pouring a few hundred dollars into the P3P vs putting that towards a new drone that's more up to date.

We flew a P3P for about 6 months when starting up our drone program and it is a good mapper. If you go that route buy yourself a parabolic antenna and it will help considerably.

P3P Parabolic Antenna Add-on
2019-12-4
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solentlife
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I don't understand why the P3P gets such knocks ... I admit it isn't a P4P or Mavic with zoom etc. But it still produces some pretty darn good video / stills.

I honestly believe that quality of video / photo is more the USER when we get into such 4K cameras etc. I accept that of course better camera etc. makes a difference, but many of us are not very good at extracting best out of what we have.

If you fly near high transmission lines or heavily populated areas I wouldn't consider the P3P. They are known for GPS issues in comparison to the next generation.


Sorry but I do not agree with that  ... a) in reality ALL model flying near transmission lines is not advised ... b) heavily populated areas - you are already seriously regulated to steer clear of such ...



2019-12-7
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CHASCOADMIN
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sudokb Posted at 12-4 06:41
I'll be flying a mixed environment so this could be an issue. The range issues I've experienced previously with it are probably my fault due to what I was trying to achieve which was a short clip over a lake but there were some trees in between line of sight which I know isn't best practice but I needed the shot and that was the only way.

I looked into the mapping which is pretty awesome and seems like they've came such a long way with it compared to the P3P. Camera wise, tech wise, etc...Which is why I was wondering is it worth pouring a few hundred dollars into the P3P vs putting that towards a new drone that's more up to date.

A long, long way in a short time. The way we use Wi-Fi is more of a linear (directed) signal so it doesn't normally get any interference that it isn't looking for, but in my experience lakes can be tough on GPS. I think that's because multipath interference can come in as the water reflects much more strongly than trees or ground. The ground planes on the drones aren't near enough protection in comparison to what is used by survey-grade GNSS receivers.
2019-12-10
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solentlife
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CHASCOADMIN Posted at 12-10 05:33
A long, long way in a short time. The way we use Wi-Fi is more of a linear (directed) signal so it doesn't normally get any interference that it isn't looking for, but in my experience lakes can be tough on GPS. I think that's because multipath interference can come in as the water reflects much more strongly than trees or ground. The ground planes on the drones aren't near enough protection in comparison to what is used by survey-grade GNSS receivers.

Please inform all Ships and boaters that their GPS rcvrs are unreliable.

And just for the record ... guy is talking P3P which uses a modified 2.4Ghz signal via Lightbridge ... which is far more resilient than base WiFi
2019-12-10
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CHASCOADMIN
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solentlife Posted at 12-10 08:42
Please inform all Ships and boaters that their GPS rcvrs are unreliable.

And just for the record ... guy is talking P3P which uses a modified 2.4Ghz signal via Lightbridge ... which is far more resilient than base WiFi

Every survey or marine-grade receiver I have ever seen has a giant base plane in comparison to the size of the GPS module. The P4's have no formal base plan and it is built into the antenna so it's about the same size as the GPS.
The point was that Wi-Fi is used in a linear sense and it was a visual cue as to the difference between the physics of Wi-Fi use versus GNSS signals.
2019-12-10
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Geebax
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CHASCOADMIN Posted at 12-10 13:56
Every survey or marine-grade receiver I have ever seen has a giant base plane in comparison to the size of the GPS module. The P4's have no formal base plan and it is built into the antenna so it's about the same size as the GPS.
The point was that Wi-Fi is used in a linear sense and it was a visual cue as to the difference between the physics of Wi-Fi use versus GNSS signals.

The P3P does not use WiFi in any sense whatsoever. And the GPS receiver is quite good. The only one that exceeds it is the receiver used in the P4RTK.
2019-12-10
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RedHotPoker
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Geebax Posted at 12-10 15:54
The P3P does not use WiFi in any sense whatsoever. And the GPS receiver is quite good. The only one that exceeds it is the receiver used in the P4RTK.

Geoff, I love my Phantom 3 Pro. & Wouldn’t trade her for an Inspire 2. Wicked Grin.

Lucky, for me, mine is of the vast majority, without it having any of the many problems, some members here, experienced. No negativism from this bird. .

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2019-12-10
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solentlife
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CHASCOADMIN Posted at 12-10 13:56
Every survey or marine-grade receiver I have ever seen has a giant base plane in comparison to the size of the GPS module. The P4's have no formal base plan and it is built into the antenna so it's about the same size as the GPS.
The point was that Wi-Fi is used in a linear sense and it was a visual cue as to the difference between the physics of Wi-Fi use versus GNSS signals.

I am a GPS user of many different forms and use ...

I was involved in the early days of Magnavox Transit ... then before leaving ships to come ashore saw the introduction of GPS ... then DGPS ...

Have used and taught classes navigation and GPS ... covering simple hand ... solid state as on the DJI ... marine hobby and commercial as well as Survey systems.

I've used military and civilian systems in war zones with my work ...

I agree that the antenna differs with each system, but the accuracy is still there. Most of the difference is not from antenna in fact but in how it uses the received data. Most marine ad hobby GPS has a longer interval between calculations but also rejects less positional errors. The survey system samples and calculates far more often and can then reject more that do not fall into the circle of position. We'll ignore the often misunderstood number of sats a recvr locks onto.

Lightbridge is a modified form of 2.4Ghz that some confuse with base WiFi. Still trying to figure out what you mean by 'Linear Sense' ... if you mean that WiFi and Lightbridge are Line of Sight basically then maybe ... but why mention WFi when its a P3P ??
2019-12-11
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CHASCOADMIN
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Geebax Posted at 12-10 15:54
The P3P does not use WiFi in any sense whatsoever. And the GPS receiver is quite good. The only one that exceeds it is the receiver used in the P4RTK.

In my experience the entire P4's GNSS module far outperforms the P3 series. The build of the aircraft greatly reduced multi-path interference. Wi-Fi is the generic term for transmission of radio waves. Lightbridge and OccuSync are types of Wi-Fi. I understand the term could make it confusing and I will now use the correct terms, but at the end of the day the Phantom RC's are using parabolic antennas the are directional, not omni-directional like in GNSS. It was just an example of how multi-path interference comes into play and how the DJI drones newer than the P3 handle this interference better. I also agree that the P4RTK is even better and that is because it is capable of tracking additional constellations. Including L5 when it is available.
2019-12-11
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solentlife
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mmmmmmmmmmm .... yeh ..... ok ... if you insist.
2019-12-11
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Air/America
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CHASCOADMIN Posted at 12-11 07:13
In my experience the entire P4's GNSS module far outperforms the P3 series. The build of the aircraft greatly reduced multi-path interference. Wi-Fi is the generic term for transmission of radio waves. Lightbridge and OccuSync are types of Wi-Fi. I understand the term could make it confusing and I will now use the correct terms, but at the end of the day the Phantom RC's are using parabolic antennas the are directional, not omni-directional like in GNSS. It was just an example of how multi-path interference comes into play and how the DJI drones newer than the P3 handle this interference better. I also agree that the P4RTK is even better and that is because it is capable of tracking additional constellations. Including L5 when it is available.

"P4RTK is capable of tracking additional constellations",    Interesting capability

2019-12-11
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solentlife
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Air/America Posted at 12-11 07:58
"4RTK is capable of tracking additional constellations",    Interesting capability

You like living dangerously !! ...
2019-12-11
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CHASCOADMIN
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Just for others that might swing by and are interested.

P3A/P3P - GPS/GLONASS L1
P4A/P4P - GPS/GLONASS L1/L2
P4RTK - L1 GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO, L2 GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo, L5 (E5) Galileo
2019-12-11
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solentlife
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Good luck with Galileo !!  The French mucked that one up good and proper !! The fully operational launch date keeps being put back and back and back !! With UK being told they are not going to be part of Galileo after Brexit - you can expect even more delays ... and the likely launch of a Brit system  ...

As to the Legacy versions ... like everything in life ... they evolve.

As to your implied super duper better use over water ? I still say its basically irrelevant for us ...

The evolution of L1C. the accession to military frequencies (you will not receive the actual military data though !) - the 5 signals planned are for far more serious use than our drones !! Since the switch off of SA - the GPS system has been upgrading ... in spite of the long period money was short and sats were delayed in launch ..  
2019-12-11
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solentlife
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Basically - the P3P is still a good machine. The 2nd hand market prices are good indicator of that ... you can still get P3 batterys ... spare parts are out there ... good camera ... good stability ... good range.

Of course there are some items missing such as avoidance sensors - but that just means you need to know how to fly it !
2019-12-11
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Geebax
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CHASCOADMIN Posted at 12-11 07:13
In my experience the entire P4's GNSS module far outperforms the P3 series. The build of the aircraft greatly reduced multi-path interference. Wi-Fi is the generic term for transmission of radio waves. Lightbridge and OccuSync are types of Wi-Fi. I understand the term could make it confusing and I will now use the correct terms, but at the end of the day the Phantom RC's are using parabolic antennas the are directional, not omni-directional like in GNSS. It was just an example of how multi-path interference comes into play and how the DJI drones newer than the P3 handle this interference better. I also agree that the P4RTK is even better and that is because it is capable of tracking additional constellations. Including L5 when it is available.

Wi-Fi is the generic term for transmission of radio waves.
Not in any part of the world that I am familiar with. Radio transmission is the generic term for radio transmission. Lightbridge and Occusync are radio communication protocols, and are simply a coding method for the digital data sent via radio transmission, they are not WiFi. WiFi is a bi-directional communications protocol, invented in Australia, that has now gained widespread use all over the world. It is not particularly well suited to device control of model aircraft, hence the reason why DGI dropped the use of it after the early models.

but at the end of the day the Phantom RC's are using parabolic antennas the are directional, not omni-directional like in GNSS.
Where? the Phantom aircraft do not use parabolic antennas at all. They use, in the main, plain dipole antennas. The antenna in the GPS unit is a printed circuit stripline antenna implemented inside the GPS receiver module. Parabolic antennas in the aircraft would be uttlerly useless, as the aircraft would only have to rotate slightly and all communication would be lost. Omnidirectional antennas must be used to achieve reliable radio connections.

DJI drones newer than the P3 handle this interference better.
Just a natural progression I would suggest. Anything made several years later can always take advantage of newer products. However the P3 series has perfectly adequate GPS reception capability.

I also agree that the P4RTK is even better and that is because it is capable of tracking additional constellations.
The additional constellations have little to nothing to do with the P4RTKs increased performance, as most of the 'new' constellations are incomplete as of this time, and are not even available in all parts of the world. The increased performance of rthe P4RTK is because the reception system is specifically designed to be used with high performance ground stations to improve positioning accuracy.


2019-12-11
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Mark The Droner
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Geebax Posted at 12-11 13:52
Wi-Fi is the generic term for transmission of radio waves.
Not in any part of the world that I am familiar with. Radio transmission is the generic term for radio transmission. Lightbridge and Occusynce are radio communication protocols, and are simply a coding method for the digital data sent via radio transmission, they are not WiFi. WiFi is a bi-directional communications protocol, invented in Australia, that has now gained widespread use all over the world. It is not particularly well suited to device control of model aircraft, hence the reason why DGI dropped the use of it after the early models.

I didn't know WiFi was invented in Australia!  Nice post.  Thanks.
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CHASCOADMIN
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solentlife Posted at 12-11 09:46
Good luck with Galileo !!  The French mucked that one up good and proper !! The fully operational launch date keeps being put back and back and back !! With UK being told they are not going to be part of Galileo after Brexit - you can expect even more delays ... and the likely launch of a Brit system  ...

As to the Legacy versions ... like everything in life ... they evolve.

Galileo L1/L2 works just fine, but it's pretty commonly known that none of the L5 signals are hot right now. You can believe what you want about water, magnetic properties of materials under water and how they affect GPS signals and I will do the same.

2019-12-11
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Geebax
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CHASCOADMIN Posted at 12-11 14:46
Galileo L1/L2 works just fine, but it's pretty commonly known that none of the L5 signals are hot right now. You can believe what you want about water, magnetic properties of materials under water and how they affect GPS signals and I will do the same.

Sure, you can believe what you want to. But it is not a good practice to expound your personal beliefs, well founded or not, on public forums, they may not be correct and mis-inform people. Better to stick to established facts.
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CHASCOADMIN
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Geebax Posted at 12-11 13:52
Wi-Fi is the generic term for transmission of radio waves.
Not in any part of the world that I am familiar with. Radio transmission is the generic term for radio transmission. Lightbridge and Occusynce are radio communication protocols, and are simply a coding method for the digital data sent via radio transmission, they are not WiFi. WiFi is a bi-directional communications protocol, invented in Australia, that has now gained widespread use all over the world. It is not particularly well suited to device control of model aircraft, hence the reason why DGI dropped the use of it after the early models.

You're right technically as Wi-Fi is a made up term, but just like the confusion between it, Lightbridge and Occusync it is a generic term and the two others are just boosted signals with different security protocols that are encrypted, but do not require additional authentication.

My mistake on the antenna type. Mine has a parabolic, but that is not part of the kit.

Yes, progression of technology sometimes makes things better, but that was the point. That the P4 series engineering improved resistance to multipath interference. It's easy to see in the Airdata flight logs. I agree that the P3P GPS is adequate, depending on the environment. Why is it that I can setup a mission with the P3P and have to wait several minutes for pretty much any flight software to go green to allow flight? Most of these require at least 7 satellites. We have had tens of failures to launch or RTH scenarios because the P3P GPS was not sufficient. Testing against the P4P on the same day in the exact same conditions went green within a minute and over hundreds of flights has very rarely had issues with a lack of quantity or quality of satellites.

If you don't think that tracking anywhere from 8-12 more satellites doesn't improve performance of signal stability and reliability of the corrections stream then I can't help.

2019-12-11
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CHASCOADMIN
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Geebax Posted at 12-11 15:04
Sure, you can believe what you want to. But it is not a good practice to expound your personal beliefs, well founded or not, on public forums, they may not be correct and mis-inform people. Better to stick to established facts.

I get your point, but my belief in Galileo and Beidou in the U.S. for that matter is in practical daily use. Galileo and Beidou often outperform GLONASS in our area so I think expressing your opinion about my "belief" is fine and we all experience different things around the world. I guess the forums are supposed to isolate regions? I never claim to know it all and that is why I come to the forums. I share what I have experience with and what I have learned from other sources and if they are incorrect I gladly accept the corrections and improve.
2019-12-11
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Geebax
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CHASCOADMIN Posted at 12-11 15:08
You're right technically as Wi-Fi is a made up term, but just like the confusion between it, Lightbridge and Occusync it is a generic term and the two others are just boosted signals with different security protocols that are encrypted, but do not require additional authentication.

My mistake on the antenna type. Mine has a parabolic, but that is not part of the kit.

If you don't think that tracking anywhere from 8-12 more satellites doesn't improve performance of signal stability and reliability of the corrections stream then I can't help.

As long as you understand that the sheer number of satellites visible is not the aim, you must have a sufficient number of satellites of the same type, the GPS cannot use mixtures.
2019-12-11
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solentlife
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WOW !!!!

1. Glonass is not actually as wide coverage as GPS. It is also subject to "re-allocation" depending on Russian activities at the time. A good example was when Russia was fighting in Afghanistan.
2. Galileo is still not fully operational in any form and has suffered repeated 'outs' over last years including this year. Galileo is no more accurate than any other GPS system unless you are able to use EGNOS - which is of course subject to whether Galileo itself is operational !
3. If EU carries out its threat to exclude UK from Galileo secure systems - the Military and Security Services part - UK has already stated it would withdraw its support and technology causing serious problems for Galileo to meet its planned targets.

As Geebax says ... "As long as you understand that the sheer number of satellites visible is not the aim, you must have a sufficient number of satellites of the same type, the GPS cannot use mixtures" ...

I'm not so sure about the mixing of example GPS with Glonass sats, reason I am unsure about that - is that DJI I cannot find any reference to it. But there are many other GPS systems that can mix the two systems. It is quite possible though that they are not mixed in DJI gear - so lets accept that.

In terms of how many sats are 'locked' in - that does not mean all sats are used for positioning. It is common for a number to be rejected as their calculations fall outside of circle of probability. Second that most GPS rcvrs are designed to lock to a given number but only use a reduced number to provide positional info.... for the accuracy reason already given. Also that you can have a sat locked in and part of the count - but ground station designates it out of spec ... therefore your rcvr rejects its data.

And so it goes on ....
2019-12-12
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CHASCOADMIN
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For sure, that's some good additional info. There are many statistics involved in GNSS signals that determine whether or not an individual satellite is considered part of a solution. Note that it is individual satellites and not the constellations as a whole. Any time you get four satellites from any constellation working together you get a solution, but various softwares have various rules on what constitutes dgps vs float vs a fixed solution. It is also true that many softwares like Topcon Magnet can mix satellites from different constellations.
Galileo is a very viable solution in Central Texas. I have plenty of PPK logs to prove it. GLONASS on the other hand stumps me. while it has never been a really strong constellation, it has been a good supplement to GPS for many years without issues, but for close to the last year they are very spotty and weak. It might just be that I never realized how weak they were before I really started analyzing signal graphs. Or maybe Trump, lol.
2019-12-12
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Mark The Droner
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Interesting discussion.  I'll just add some stuff.

I think most people know that most devices such as smart phones, GPS trackers, etc. use GPS exclusively and require only four GPS satellites for a fix.  

I think most people know the older P2 and also the P3S uses GPS exclusively, and requires a minimum of six satellites for a fix.  Anything less and you get no fix at all and the AC is in forced ATTI.  

Flytrex devices which were added to some P2 ACs as an accessory had its own GPS software, and it required only FIVE satellites for a fix.  However, if you study the logs, you can see that the Flytrex fixes were quite a bit less accurate than they would have been if they had the sixth satellite.  For example, prior to launch, the Flytrex will give a fix which ends up being as far as fifteen feet away from the actual launch site because it started tracking early in the satellite acquisition.  So prior to launch, the log shows the AC traveling from a spot as far as fifteen feet away to the launch spot even though it actually hadn't moved an inch.  This is obviously because it acquired 6, 7, etc. satellites and the fix became more accurate.  

When the P3 A/P came out, it added GLONASS.  Some assumed that the system still required 6 GPS satellites and that GLONASS was just added for better accuracy.  But this was a theory because there was no proof at the time.  Some theorized that something less than six GPS satellites, perhaps five or even four, was possibly used in the GPS part of the system.  This seemed to make sense because of the "strength" indicator in the DJI log (numbers 1-5) which gave us ideas of what was happening with various combinations and satellite totals.  In the meantime, people were delving into the .DAT files and analyzing the data and getting all sorts of interesting info which wasn't readily available earlier.  We began seeing things with more clarity.  

Here's a discussion last winter on pp re DAT file analysis which shows a GPS/GLONASS fix with only five GPS satellies and three GLONASS satellites.

If you don't want to read the whole thread, start at post #39 and also see post #42:

https://phantompilots.com/thread ... pdated-poll.141803/

You can draw your own conclusions, but since the "NavHealth" is at 4 with only 5 GPS satellites and 3 GLONASS satellites, it appears all eight satellites are being used in some way to achieve level 4 NavHealth.  How, exactly, they're being used is not clear to me.  But a level 4 navhealth is pretty high considering it's a 5 and 3 combo (I'm assuming navHealth and satellite "strength" is the same data).  

And yet, in the first 30 secs in the flight below, the sat strength is shown as low as level 3 with ten satellites (see the top of the screen).  You can also see the strength indicator change even as the satellite number remains fixed.  




So this seems to imply that some satellites in some situations are dismissed for reasons Solentlife suggests.  Or it seems to me it may be possible that a particular satellite's signal, although received, is not strong enough for reliable data.  Or a combination of the two.  
2019-12-12
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solentlife
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You only have to sit on a boat with a plotter - no matter how new and sophisticated the SatNav is and watch the plot. Over time - you will have a spotted screen from the positions plotted even though the antenna / rcvr has been stationary the whole time.

All sat navigation uses Circle of Probability .... its only when Augmentation is enabled that it then closes in more accurately. But then you need a better rcvr !
2019-12-12
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Geebax
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solentlife Posted at 12-12 00:27
WOW !!!!

1. Glonass is not actually as wide coverage as GPS. It is also subject to "re-allocation" depending on Russian activities at the time. A good example was when Russia was fighting in Afghanistan.

My knowledge is based on using the GPS system from many years back, but as I understand it, the key element of a navigational satellite system is that the members all have a common clock. And that clock is not the same for a different satellite system, hence the reason you need to have a sufficient number of satellites, all of the same system.
2019-12-12
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solentlife
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Geebax Posted at 12-12 13:43
My knowledge is based on using the GPS system from many years back, but as I understand it, the key element of a navigational satellite system is that the members all have a common clock. And that clock is not the same for a different satellite system, hence the reason you need to have a sufficient number of satellites, all of the same system.

Basically agree ...

But there are systems now that do and can mix systems. The problem is as a buyer - its hard to determine which do or don't. Because the Brand just likes to say like DJI - GPS / Glonass received ...

My Yachts Plotter actually picks up both Galileo and GPS - uses both - even though its an old discontinued system. And just for the info - if I enable EGNOS - it rejects Galileo and reverts to GPS alone. It has no fault - its fault of Galileo / EGNOS !
2019-12-13
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