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2.4 or 5.8GHz?
4199 20 2017-2-4
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piowoc73
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Hi guys,

do you have any recommendations as far as using 2.4 vs. 5.8GHz frequency is concerned?
My understanding is that 2.4 works better for longer distances, but 5.8 would work better in the environment where there may be some interference.
Is P4P able to automatically switch between these 2 frequencies, or they can be only manually selected?

Which one do you use and why?

Thanks!
Peter
2017-2-4
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dronist
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Yes P4P can automatically switch between the 2 frequencies. I leave it on auto...
2017-2-4
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theGrindLab.com
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I have personally never NEEDED to use 5.8 due to congestion. I try to stay in 2.4.
2017-2-4
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Cetacean
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Aloha Peter,

     You appear to have a good understanding of the frequency use.  And the other two comments are useful for perspective.  

     A month ago, right after I got my P4 Pro, I was flying with a friend who has a P3 Advanced.  And when my P4 Pro came in, his P3A started acting up - a lot!  Both were on 2.4 GHz.  I have since switched mine to 5.8 and his P3A behaves very well now.  

     The 5.8 GHz frequency is good for flying close to urban / suburban areas, as you noted, where there is a lot of interference to be expected.  I have flown my trusty P3P in suburban areas where I could not get out past a half mile due to the interference.  My P3P has gone for miles!

     The option for 2.4 and 5.8 GHz will do you in good stead over time.  Just like all the other bells and whistles we get with out high-tech drones from DJI, we need to learn how to use them.

Aloha and Drone On!
2017-2-4
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theGrindLab.com
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Cetacean Posted at 2017-2-4 22:52
Aloha Peter,

     You appear to have a good understanding of the frequency use.  And the other two comments are useful for perspective.  

Yup. When I would fly my P3P in the same area at the same time my associate was flying his P3S, we would have all sorts of interference (at least in the video feeds).
2017-2-5
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Cetacean
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theGrindLab.com Posted at 2017-2-5 06:02
Yup. When I would fly my P3P in the same area at the same time my associate was flying his P3S, we would have all sorts of interference (at least in the video feeds).

Aloha Grinder,

     My friends P3A was doing circles, spirals and major fails in the control department.  (I do try to understate thing sometimes.)  Mahalo for the back-up though!

     But, once I sent him ten feet away, he started to get control again.  For some reason he had forgotten that he is not supposed to sit at the same picnic table with me.  The change of settings to 5.8 fixed all that, so it appears to be working well these days.

Aloha and Drone On!
2017-2-5
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BenStein
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Flight distance : 2066532 ft
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Unfortunately, there is some inaccurate information above that should be corrected:

"Yes P4P can automatically switch between the 2 frequencies. I leave it on auto..."

This is not correct. The Phantom 4 Pro automatically switches CHANNELS within a frequency, but *DOES NOT* automatically switch frequency. You must select the frequency. You may optionally select the channel in that frequency band if you wish, or select auto in which case the devices monitor the signal to noise ratio (SNR) of each channel and coordinate a switch to another channel in the given frequency if another is more clear.

I live in a minor  metro area and there is no channel I can select on 2.4 Ghz which does not produce a "poor" radio quality. I always have to use 5.8 GHz unless out in the boonies (a class C regional airport is 5.2 miles away also).

However, when out in boonies, I have taken the P4P to about 4900 feet in line of sight (from atop a dam) whilst strong radio quality is still maintained. So I generally always use 5.8 Ghz since it works well for me. Though, what you read is true, generally (without interference considered), you may get longer distances with 2.4 in some conditions.
2017-2-5
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theGrindLab.com
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Cetacean Posted at 2017-2-5 17:58
Aloha Grinder,

     My friends P3A was doing circles, spirals and major fails in the control department.  (I do try to understate thing sometimes.)  Mahalo for the back-up though!

Good to know! We didn't have issues severe enough to try but I'll definitely look at that next time. Thanks for the info!
2017-2-6
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theGrindLab.com
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BenStein Posted at 2017-2-5 18:10
Unfortunately, there is some inaccurate information above that should be corrected:

"Yes P4P can automatically switch between the 2 frequencies. I leave it on auto..."

This is how I believed it to work too. Auto channels, not auto frequencies.
2017-2-6
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piowoc73
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BenStein Posted at 2017-2-5 18:10
Unfortunately, there is some inaccurate information above that should be corrected:

"Yes P4P can automatically switch between the 2 frequencies. I leave it on auto..."

Thank you for the clarification!
So, are you saying that you had a very good signal 4900 ft from your base on 5.8Ghz frequency? That's really far, so I would assume using 2.4 GHz at all would be more risky than just switching to 5.8 GHz for good.
I was thinking about that last night when somebody started using his drone 20 ft from me while he saw that I was at the spot first, so I waited until he runs out of battery to take off. He had one of the older DJI models, so I thought about switching to 5.8, because this was we could avoid any interference.
2017-2-6
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BenStein
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piowoc73 Posted at 2017-2-6 10:54
Thank you for the clarification!
So, are you saying that you had a very good signal 4900 ft from your base on 5.8Ghz frequency? That's really far, so I would assume using 2.4 GHz at all would be more risky than just switching to 5.8 GHz for good.
I was thinking about that last night when somebody started using his drone 20 ft from me while he saw that I was at the spot first, so I waited until he runs out of battery to take off. He had one of the older DJI models, so I thought about switching to 5.8, because this was we could avoid any interference.

Yes, on a recent flight I topped just a bit above 4900 feet distance in line of sight from home using 5.8 GHz and the HD video signal was still clear, although if I turned the remote at all away from the recommended orientation (90 degrees antennae to aircraft) described on pg 40 of the 1.2 version of the manual (under "Optimal Transmission Range"), it would warn of "weak image transmission". So as long as I kept the remote properly pointed at the aircraft, all was well.

In general, 2.4 GHz is considerably more crowded ISM band currently (thankfully leaving 5.8 more open for our use, at least for the time being). But out in the boonies, there is still likely to be pretty clear airwaves on either frequency. I do usually stick to 5.8 just to avoid potential interference and since have not encountered any problems with range, I have had no reason to use 2.4 at present.
2017-2-6
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MD_Icarus
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My P4 does not do a good chance in Auto mode.  It is actually very bad, as it wont switch channels when the power level drops.  As a result, I do a lot of test flights in each area and then I use a custom channel for each area.  I tend to stay in CH 19 for most of my flights.

I never understood why (and I have never received a reply) they can not use a simple software routine which checks current rf power level and switches channels until the best channel is found and then chosen.
2017-2-6
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rlarsen462
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For what it's worth anyone doubting the range of 5.8GHz...using a windsurfer I flew 11,000ft from my start point yesterday in a suburban environment without a single bar loss from RC signal or HD video signal.  Was flying 400ft AGL and did have clear line of sight (flew in a straight line).
2017-2-7
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piowoc73
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rlarsen462 Posted at 2017-2-7 10:53
For what it's worth anyone doubting the range of 5.8GHz...using a windsurfer I flew 11,000ft from my start point yesterday in a suburban environment without a single bar loss from RC signal or HD video signal.  Was flying 400ft AGL and did have clear line of sight (flew in a straight line).

What is "windsurfer" and how can you see a drone from a distance of 11,000 ft?
2017-2-7
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rlarsen462
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piowoc73 Posted at 2017-2-7 13:16
What is "windsurfer" and how can you see a drone from a distance of 11,000 ft?

I have one from dynamic3dsolutions.com, it's basically a simple parabolic range extender but it's highly directional so you have to maintain alignment with the line of sight that you're flying in.

And I have very good eyes.  
2017-2-8
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jeffinhizhands
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5.8 all the time. Never had an issue at all.....
2017-2-9
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Memento Mori
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I came across this that might help.

2017-2-10
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Mark The Droner
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Yes, in a perfect environment, 2.4 will give you superior range.  That's probably why DJI went with 2.4 on the very first Phantom.  

Yes, if the 2.4 bandwidth is crowded, you may be better off with 5.8.  It's nice to have that option.

In addition, my understanding is 5.8 has somewhat of an advantage if you have to shoot your signal through trees or near a tree line - for a couple reasons.  2.4 is more apt to be absorbed by the water in the leaves (note that microwave ovens use 2.2 ghz).  Also, if you're flying LOS over trees, the fresnel zone is narrower for 5.8 which allows you to shoot the signal closer to the horizontal tree line giving you the opportunity for more distance.  
2017-2-10
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blackcrusader
First Officer
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I just installed the 5.8ghz Argtek on my P3S today.

2017-2-10
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fans7dbec389
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BenStein Posted at 2017-2-5 18:10
Unfortunately, there is some inaccurate information above that should be corrected:

"Yes P4P can automatically switch between the 2 frequencies. I leave it on auto..."

Thank you for posting this - You are the first and only person on earth who clarified this, as my P4Pro owner's manual didn't even spell this out.  AUTO only selects channel within a MANUALLY-CHOSEN frequency band  (2.4 or 5.8Ghz).  Good information - thanks for sharing!
2018-7-17
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Jeff Millard
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BenStein Posted at 2017-2-5 18:10
Unfortunately, there is some inaccurate information above that should be corrected:

"Yes P4P can automatically switch between the 2 frequencies. I leave it on auto..."

Yep, I was pretty sure this was the case. I live in a heavily populated area with WiFi and cameras and other drones and... I've lost video with the P4P and waited to see if it would switch to 5.8. Narrator: "It never did!" But as soon as I manually switch it to 5.8 the video feed clears right up. So you got my vote that it doesn't automatically switch bands.

Jeff
2018-7-23
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