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How Much Signal Interference Can the Mavic Handle?
4609 9 2017-5-10
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mavicmedic
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United States
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Hi, Mavic-newbie here,
I just placed my order for the Mavic Pro after watching a number of videos examing the technical capabilities of the drone, however I could not find any videos that reliably tested the amount of interference the drone could handle before it loses signal and initiates RTH.  I feel like it's a relatively simple topic that I'm sure a number of you more experienced pilots could shed some light on to avoid newbies like myself inadvertently triggering RTH.  Here are some scenarios I felt could clear things up:


PS: I know FAA regulations state we cannot fly without a clear line of sight to the drone, but this is for the sake of knowing if I mistakenly pass behind a hill/tree/wall whether or not I will be triggering RTH

Mavic v. Wall (see sketch below): If I fly the mavic directly behind a wall so there is no visual between myself and the drone, how will it fare? What if the wall is made out of cardboard? Glass? Concrete? Steel? Would I notice a difference at a distance of 20 feet vs 2 miles? If I'm on ground level of a city and I fly my mavic around the corner of a building, will it immediately disconnect?

Mavic v. Trees (see sketch below): If I fly the mavic up and over a woodsy area, then down to an altitude of say 20 feet, how will it fare? Does the density or size of the woodsy area matter?

Mavic v. Land (see sketch below): If I fly the mavic up and over a landmass (hill/small mountain) and then, similarly to the above sketch, down to an altitude of 20 feet, how will it fare?

Sorry if this is rather lengthy, but I feel like this would help myself and many other new users to be more careful with our drones!

Mavic v. Wall

Mavic v. Wall

Mavic v. Trees

Mavic v. Trees

Mavic v. Land

Mavic v. Land
2017-5-10
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Fractures
lvl.4
Flight distance : 635531 ft
United States
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From my experience... it can handle quite a bit but its also very paticular. I would never assume that because I dont lose signal in X situation I wont lose it in Y situation. Treat each circumstance individually and never assume.  I live in a 3 story house and I can stand against the wall of my house and fly the drone low to the ground in circles around the house. Clearly no line of sight with a ~30ft tall brick house between the Drone and I. Obviously the size of the obstacles between you and the drone would have an impact on this as well (I would never fly over a large hill or mountain and assume to have signal on the other side)

I think the biggest forms of interferance come when the drone has inteferance to the sides and above the drone. I can stand right outside my garage door and fly the drone into the garage and get huge signal interferance even though I'm >10ft away with clear line of sight to the drone.

In the above illustrations I dont think you would have a lot of problems. I have not done much testing with trees between the RC and drone though.



2017-5-10
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DJI-Ken
DJI team
Flight distance : 1515312 ft
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United States
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It's all dependent on range as well, the further you are away then the more interference you'll have in your drawings. And also the environment. how dense are the trees, how big is the hill, how thick is the wall and the material it's made out of.
There is no exact answer, you just have to test it out and also you could be fine one day but not the next.
I'd say keep a clear line of sight out in an open area (not your neighborhood) and you'll be ok
2017-5-10
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thehippoz
Captain
Flight distance : 23 ft
United States
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Through mt. dji, I'd say no same with a skyscraper. It does very well through trees I noticed. In a open field/water , it's supposed to be good for 4 miles. The video stream will start to drop before the connection does, so there's plenty of warning.
2017-5-10
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rydfree41
Second Officer
Flight distance : 153268 ft
United States
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Most anything that blocks line of sight will disrupt radio waves , some more than others . You may fly behind a building and lose signal immediately while other times you may pickup a bit of reflected signal from the surroundings and still have some signal to control the aircraft . There is no cut and dry answer . Trees during the Winter will not affect the signal as much as the spring / summer months when there are many leaves . Leaves are mainly water and that will place millions of gallons of water between you and the craft if you venture out too far without gaining altitude to compensate which can quickly place you above height restrictions of many areas .
2017-5-10
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thehippoz
Captain
Flight distance : 23 ft
United States
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I'm kind of scared to fly next to a tree since saw this http://bit.ly/2q6Ndyj
2017-5-10
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Xman1
Second Officer

United States
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Lets put it this way....  As long as you follow the rules and keep line of sight as you can really see it, and you keep the antenna's pointed properly as in don't have the tips facing the drone, and as long as you don't fly next to a large signal source like a cell phone tower or HAM radio operator, I think you will have little to worry about.
2017-5-10
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Jenee 2
Captain
Flight distance : 7852129 ft
Australia
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You really should keep LOS. The second important thing to remember is that if you do go behind an obstruction that causes loss of signal, the drone will RTH in a direct line. So if your height is not sufficient to clear the obstacle then it may very well hit it. Don't rely on OA for this.
Be precise about how you set your drone to handle a loss of connection, RTH, hover or land. Be precise about what height you set for RTH.
2017-5-10
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DJISenord
lvl.1

United States
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You have to understand the spirit of the law.  Which was indented to discourage pilots from flying a UA beyond a humans ability to see without unassisted magnification.  That being said, common since should also be exercised.  So flying behind a tree momentarily is not an issue, however, flying behind a hill, building or some other large obstruction for some length of time will surely fall under the spirit of why the law was written.  I suggest all pilots, recreation and professional know the FAA and local laws in their area.  In fact, their are many low cost and even FREE materials out there to inform pilots as ignorance is no excuse.  I am a pro pilot, but it only cost me for example $155 dollars to earn my FAA certificate months ago ($150 exam fee and $5 for an really good study prep app call UAS107, https://play.google.com/store/ap ... nrobotix.labs&hl=en).  Knowing the rules and flying legally is much better for the industry, and for your pocket as fines can be in excess of $10k depending on the violation.  Know the rules and be safe!
2017-5-18
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Mojito
lvl.2
United States
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Here is a question If im flying and the mavic is traveling forward  and it looses signal will it keep flyiing forward  till the RTH quick in.
2017-5-18
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