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Low Signal Quality (antenna tutorial)
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Kloo Gee
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Hi All,

If you are getting low signal quality with your DJI drone, please make sure that you are properly orienting your RC antennas.  If you aren't sure what the correct orientation is, please check out the following video I made.  You should always have the large flat side of the antennas pointed at your aircraft.  This can have a major impact on your signal quality.



DJI has also made a great tutorial on this topic:


NOTE:  I know this is not the solution for all signal problems.  Just trying to help out those that may not be aware of the proper orientation.

Happy Flying!
-KlooGee

p.s. Cross posted on both Spark and Mavic forums.  Mods, please feel free to delete or fix as you see fit.
2018-2-25
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Wachtberger
Captain
Flight distance : 261509 ft
Germany
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Nice tutorial, very relevant for beginners.
2018-2-25
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DeFuanz
lvl.2
United States
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Great info! Just recently bought my Spark and this is the first place ive seen this so this is fantastic to know. I want to try a few distance flights soon so How much of a difference would the antenna angle effect the distance? Also would the speed of the drone effect the reception as well? say sport mode versus regular on that kind of flight? I understand there are a few factors so i want to make sure to get the most out of it.
2018-2-25
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kfloke
Captain
Flight distance : 149961 ft
Singapore
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Good guide.. I think this is apply to all Mavic model
2018-2-26
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Bayguy69
Second Officer
Flight distance : 460026 ft
Puerto Rico
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Good tutorial. A lot of people need to see this. Keep the good work.
P.S. I hope you like the Island (before the Huracane)
2018-2-26
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ianpatrocinio
Second Officer
Flight distance : 388199 ft
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very informative video
2018-2-26
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Bekaru Tree
Captain
Flight distance : 14348235 ft
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good post gloo. absolutely good to get that information into practice. as you rightly say though it is not the solution for all signal problems but what else it could be remains elusive. I did see one interesting possibility on another mavic pro forum where the guy says he found his problem inside the rc where the terminals had bceome degraded or weekly connected - i did email him to send me pics which he said he had but have yet to hear back - will follow up on that and let you know if i make an interesting discoveries in that line.
2018-2-26
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davidmartingraf
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Flight distance : 27482142 ft
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What about using Parabolic Dish Antenna Range Extenders?
2018-2-26
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davidmartingraf
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-2-25 09:55
Nice tutorial, very relevant for beginners.

How do you like your Mavic Air compared to your Spark?
2018-2-26
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Wachtberger
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davidmartingraf Posted at 2018-2-26 06:26
How do you like your Mavic Air compared to your Spark?

I was very happy with the Spark but the MA is a new dimension I have to say. I am still in the process of learning all the additional settings and due to weather unfortunately can't fly much. I am very impressed of the capabilities.
2018-2-26
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mixchief
First Officer
Flight distance : 160646 ft
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It's really funny that in a lot off reviews and vlogs you see the "experts with the antennas in "Y" or straight ahead, very misleading
2018-2-26
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davidmartingraf
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-2-26 06:44
I was very happy with the Spark but the MA is a new dimension I have to say. I am still in the process of learning all the additional settings and due to weather unfortunately can't fly much. I am very impressed of the capabilities.

That's good to hear, it looks like another superb drone by DJI.
2018-2-26
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Wachtberger
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davidmartingraf Posted at 2018-2-26 07:09
That's good to hear, it looks like another superb drone by DJI.

It definitely is!
2018-2-26
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davidmartingraf
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Is the 42.5 mph top speed of the Mavic Air really that more noticeably faster than the Spark or say the Mavic Pro?
2018-2-26
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davidmartingraf
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mixchief Posted at 2018-2-26 07:01
It's really funny that in a lot off reviews and vlogs you see the "experts with the antennas in "Y" or straight ahead, very misleading

Yeah I noticed that too..
2018-2-26
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Wachtberger
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davidmartingraf Posted at 2018-2-26 08:01
Is the 42.5 mph top speed of the Mavic Air really that more noticeably faster than the Spark or say the Mavic Pro?

That I have not yet tested, but the MA is clearly more agile than the Spark.
2018-2-26
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davidmartingraf
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-2-26 08:04
That I have not yet tested, but the MA is clearly more agile than the Spark.

I sometimes think the Phantom 4 & Spark's construction with not having the legs fold, may be sturdier and last the greater length of time, then the Mavic's from getting worn too easily with folding the legs?
2018-2-26
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Dorset_Horn
Second Officer
Flight distance : 57254 ft
United Kingdom
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Good basic tips. Thanks for posting.
2018-2-26
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MFPullen
Second Officer
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Great video. Thanks for taking the time to produce this.
2018-2-26
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$gambino$
First Officer
Flight distance : 1563980 ft
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Davidmartingrafs idk about that...google "p4 shell develops cracks" I had two shells develop cracks from no crashes or hard Landings. My mav pro has been great to me as far as build quality and sturdiness of joints. So has my air
2018-2-26
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Leftyguy
Captain
Flight distance : 1282638 ft
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Great Info Thanks
2018-2-26
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Kloo Gee
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DeFuanz Posted at 2018-2-25 21:03
Great info! Just recently bought my Spark and this is the first place ive seen this so this is fantastic to know. I want to try a few distance flights soon so How much of a difference would the antenna angle effect the distance? Also would the speed of the drone effect the reception as well? say sport mode versus regular on that kind of flight? I understand there are a few factors so i want to make sure to get the most out of it.

DeFuanz, I think antenna angle becomes more and more important the more distance you have between the RC and the aircraft.  When it is close by, the signal is still strong enough even in the weaker directions that everything will likely be fine.  But the further you get away, the more important it is to have the antenna pointed correctly to ensure the best signal possible.

I don't think speed should play a significant factor in reception.  I believe that radio waves move at the speed of light (i.e. ~300,000km/s), so the difference in 5mph vs 30-40mph is essentially the same at the distances we are talking about.  I may be missing something, but I don't think it should affect it.
2018-2-26
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Kloo Gee
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davidmartingraf Posted at 2018-2-26 06:25
What about using Parabolic Dish Antenna Range Extenders?

I think once you get out to the periphery of the drone's max range, those type of devices would be even more dependent on pointing them at just the right angle.   I haven't personally tested them, but I can see how they would help at least a little bit with the caveat that you have to point them just right.
2018-2-26
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Kloo Gee
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mixchief Posted at 2018-2-26 07:01
It's really funny that in a lot off reviews and vlogs you see the "experts with the antennas in "Y" or straight ahead, very misleading

Yes, there are a lot of us "experts" that don't know what we are talking about.  I try to educate myself as much as possible so I don't pass along bad info, but I'm certainly not immune to being wrong occasionally.  Just ask my wife and kids!  Apparently when you get a teenager in the house you suddenly don't know anything any more!  Lol!
2018-2-26
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davidmartingraf
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Kloo Gee Posted at 2018-2-26 10:13
I think once you get out to the periphery of the drone's max range, those type of devices would be even more dependent on pointing them at just the right angle.   I haven't personally tested them, but I can see how they would help at least a little bit with the caveat that you have to point them just right.

I purchased a pair on Amazon several weeks ago that help with my flights when travelling long distances, you can see in this video it helped me attain 10,000 feet...

2018-2-26
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Kloo Gee
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-2-26 08:04
That I have not yet tested, but the MA is clearly more agile than the Spark.

I agree, the MA definitely has more spunk in just normal flying.  I really like it.

I think there is a noticeable difference in the Sport speed of the 2 AC.  An extra 25% is quite a bit of difference.  However, it really depends on how you are using it.  I tend to use Sport mode for 2 things.  

FIrstly just to play around.  I'll pop it up high enough that it is above all obstacles and then just have a bit of fun.  I'm usually not recording when doing this as I'm just randomly flying around.  

Secondly, I use Sport mode when whatever I want to photograph or video is a bit away.  I'll pop it into Sport mode to get there quick, switch out of it, capture whatever I want to capture, then switch back to Sport mode to get to the next spot or bring it back home.
2018-2-26
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Kloo Gee
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davidmartingraf Posted at 2018-2-26 10:18
I purchased a pair on Amazon several weeks ago that help with my flights when travelling long distances, you can see in this video it helped me attain 10,000 feet...


Last spring, I got my Spark out to 9400 feet bone stock with no mods or helpers. I think it had more in it, but I just never made the time to go try again.  

I had a company send me a set of the parabolic extenders at some point, but they didn't fit over my antenna correctly so I just threw them in the trash rather than pull out my knife and fix them.  Figured if they couldn't get the holes right, how were they going to get the parabola right....

2018-2-26
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davidmartingraf
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Kloo Gee Posted at 2018-2-26 10:48
Last spring, I got my Spark out to 9400 feet bone stock with no mods or helpers. I think it had more in it, but I just never made the time to go try again.  

I had a company send me a set of the parabolic extenders at some point, but they didn't fit over my antenna correctly so I just threw them in the trash rather than pull out my knife and fix them.  Figured if they couldn't get the holes right, how were they going to get the parabola right....

Here's the link to my extenders:

https://www.amazon.com/Threeking ... olic+dish+dji+spark

I couldn't get that far out without these extenders, in the same spot as my video doing 10,000 feet I could probably do no more than 5,000 or half the distance.
2018-2-26
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AG0N-Gary
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Flight distance : 659898 ft
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Yes, the major signal is directly off of the broad side of the antenna.  They should be facing the aircraft and pointed directly at it for maximum range.  Keep in mind that line of sight counts too.  If you are so low that you slip behind some vegetation, buildings, hills, etc., the signal will degrade considerably.  When going for range, stay at maximum allowed height.  

As for parabolic slip-ons, they do work, but how?  They work because they make the antennas MORE directional.  They kill signal going the opposite direction, and attempt to FOCUS the signal going toward the aircraft.  Focusing the signal means it is a narrower beam, so aiming is even more critical and you'll have to watch to make sure you don't get sloppy with the direction you face when out on the horizon.  Think of a focusable flashlight.  When it is focused on a subject, it is brighter, but narrower.
2018-2-26
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sky6105
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Flight distance : 345653 ft
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Very informative video
Thank You
2018-2-26
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Little John
lvl.4
Flight distance : 192244 ft
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Good information thanks for sharing
2018-2-26
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B1houdini
Captain
Flight distance : 670951 ft
United States
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Nice informative video .
I do on occasion use the parabolic extenders. I find my reception does improve.
Just have to remember as Kloo Gee shown in his video, always point the controller in the direction of the drone.
2018-2-26
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Centraltooth
Second Officer
Flight distance : 76539 ft
Thailand
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Great guide. Works with any antenna
2018-2-26
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W.T. Foxtrot
First Officer
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Interesting concept for relational learning w the finger pointing.  Nice.
2018-2-26
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BeastMaster_101
First Officer
Flight distance : 1082992 ft
Canada
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informative as always
2018-2-28
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astrofly
Captain
Flight distance : 422201 ft
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Very useful tutorial. Sometime have signal problem, when snow end I will fly and test.
2018-3-1
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The Bash's
Second Officer

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I am anxious to try this out.  I have three cell phone towers visible from my attic window and I wonder if this would let me fly to the left of them.  As of right now I can fly 1000 feet past them on the right but I can't even make it to them on the left.  
2018-3-9
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dji TO88
First Officer
Flight distance : 3698 ft

Canada
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Great info! thanks for posting!
2018-3-9
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Suren
Captain
Flight distance : 6839144 ft
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excellent video thanks
2018-3-9
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Kloo Gee
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The Bash's Posted at 2018-3-9 20:38
I am anxious to try this out.  I have three cell phone towers visible from my attic window and I wonder if this would let me fly to the left of them.  As of right now I can fly 1000 feet past them on the right but I can't even make it to them on the left.

Yeah, it seems like any strong points of RF can affect the signal.  Making sure to orient the antennas correctly towards the aircraft helps to make sure to get the most out of the signal that is there, but as noted, it won't fix all signal problems.  I'm interested to hear how your future flights go.
2018-3-10
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