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Hey, What's Everyone Getting For Range?

Lon Denard

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Stock I got about 1/4 mile or less before loss of video feed in an urban environment.

What's everyone else getting?
 

OldBlueHeron

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That's on par with what I'm getting in an urban environment. I've seen 1/2 mile a few times. On DJI birds the antenna are generally in the landing gear. Since the Skydio doesn't have landing gear where did they place the antenna? I assume this is part of the reason for the lack of range.
 

Lon Denard

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That's on par with what I'm getting in an urban environment. I've seen 1/2 mile a few times. On DJI birds the antenna are generally in the landing gear. Since the Skydio doesn't have landing gear where did they place the antenna? I assume this is part of the reason for the lack of range.
Yep! I ranted about this months ago but everyone called me a hater. Hahahaha!
 

Jim

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Yep! I ranted about this months ago but everyone called me a hater. Hahahaha!
I’m seeing what I would describe as wildly mixed results. I haven’t attempted to go over a mile, or probably even close, as I have not gone to a place where I felt I could keep reliable visual contact that far and I try to be conscientious about that for obvious reasons, but I sometimes have flawless connectivity to half mile or more, and at other times it is cutting out on me at less than a quarter mile. Yesterday it gave me a couple of low signal warnings only 800’ away, line of sight on the beach, though I was close enough to two hotels that I suppose there could be interference issues from there and also some offshore rigs that might be doing point to point in a way that could interfere. Seems inconsistent and I’ve yet to get to the bottom of it.
 

Lon Denard

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I’m seeing what I would describe as wildly mixed results. I haven’t attempted to go over a mile, or probably even close, as I have not gone to a place where I felt I could keep reliable visual contact that far and I try to be conscientious about that for obvious reasons, but I sometimes have flawless connectivity to half mile or more, and at other times it is cutting out on me at less than a quarter mile. Yesterday it gave me a couple of low signal warnings only 800’ away, line of sight on the beach, though I was close enough to two hotels that I suppose there could be interference issues from there and also some offshore rigs that might be doing point to point in a way that could interfere. Seems inconsistent and I’ve yet to get to the bottom of it.
That's the biggest problem, the inconsistency. It makes it hard to fly this drone. I haven't flown this drone in a week over transmission concerns where I need to get shots.
 

Jim

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That's the biggest problem, the inconsistency. It makes it hard to fly this drone. I haven't flown this drone in a week over transmission concerns where I need to get shots.
I’m not finding it actually interferes terribly in my hobby flying but I imagine it might be an issue if you were trying to get cinematic shots in a limited time and in a zone with interference. This morning I took it out to the water and was flying over the ocean with nothing between us and nearly 1km away, it still had a plenty strong signal, but then would suddenly cut to zero occasionally and give poor signal strength messages advising me to get closer - and then go right back to full strength a couple of seconds later. It’s clearly not a distance thing, not only because it was going back and forth from three bars to zero at 1km, but because the exact same would happen when the drone was a few hundred feet from me. (In other words, I’m thinking it’s just tolerance to interference that they need to work on - not sure if this is on the drone side or the controller side.)
 

skydioconvert

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I’m not finding it actually interferes terribly in my hobby flying but I imagine it might be an issue if you were trying to get cinematic shots in a limited time and in a zone with interference. This morning I took it out to the water and was flying over the ocean with nothing between us and nearly 1km away, it still had a plenty strong signal, but then would suddenly cut to zero occasionally and give poor signal strength messages advising me to get closer - and then go right back to full strength a couple of seconds later. It’s clearly not a distance thing, not only because it was going back and forth from three bars to zero at 1km, but because the exact same would happen when the drone was a few hundred feet from me. (In other words, I’m thinking it’s just tolerance to interference that they need to work on - not sure if this is on the drone side or the controller side.)
That description of whats happening sure sounds like a reception problem caused by the lack of a good omni-directional antenna in the S2 and/or controller.

Interference might also contribute to the poor signal strength but just flying in an area free of interference could eliminate what ever effect the latter contributes to the problem.
 

Lon Denard

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I’m not finding it actually interferes terribly in my hobby flying but I imagine it might be an issue if you were trying to get cinematic shots in a limited time and in a zone with interference. This morning I took it out to the water and was flying over the ocean with nothing between us and nearly 1km away, it still had a plenty strong signal, but then would suddenly cut to zero occasionally and give poor signal strength messages advising me to get closer - and then go right back to full strength a couple of seconds later. It’s clearly not a distance thing, not only because it was going back and forth from three bars to zero at 1km, but because the exact same would happen when the drone was a few hundred feet from me. (In other words, I’m thinking it’s just tolerance to interference that they need to work on - not sure if this is on the drone side or the controller side.)
I think it's a combo of both. I wrote a long piece on it when the drone came out. They've obviously buried the antenna in one of the arms or in the body, when the drone has that portion away for you, it drops service. Just launch the drone, fly it away and spin it. Virtually every other drone has the ant in a leg. They would have been better served designing in a flip down (or up) ant of some kind (like the Mavic Air). Maybe even just a silicone nub sticking down...Heck, just letting the wire hang out would have been better from a function standpoint. I've been tempted to crack the cases and do just that. Of course, it would be bye bye warranty.

All the antenna boosting in the world is only going to get me so far when the the drone is the greatest source of interference.
 

Jim

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I think it's a combo of both. I wrote a long piece on it when the drone came out. They've obviously buried the antenna in one of the arms or in the body, when the drone has that portion away for you, it drops service. Just launch the drone, fly it away and spin it. Virtually every other drone has the ant in a leg. They would have been better served designing in a flip down (or up) ant of some kind (like the Mavic Air). Maybe even just a silicone nub sticking down...Heck, just letting the wire hang out would have been better from a function standpoint. I've been tempted to crack the cases and do just that. Of course, it would be bye bye warranty.

All the antenna boosting in the world is only going to get me so far when the the drone is the greatest source of interference.
Have you actually performed this test? Fly it 1000 feet away, turn the drone, and watch the signal fluctuate systematically based on the drone’s direction?
 

OldBlueHeron

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Have you actually performed this test? Fly it 1000 feet away, turn the drone, and watch the signal fluctuate systematically based on the drone’s direction?
I have, and I still think it’s antenna placement in the drone.
 

Jim

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I have, and I still think it’s antenna placement in the drone.
So did it actually demonstrate the hypothesized behavior? Rotate it, stop for a minute, and the signal strength shows lower? Rotate it again, stop for a minute, and the signal strength shows higher?
 

Lon Denard

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So did it actually demonstrate the hypothesized behavior? Rotate it, stop for a minute, and the signal strength shows lower? Rotate it again, stop for a minute, and the signal strength shows higher?
I should have done that today on video. I've seen it lose signal by turning it around to fly back. Ancedotal of course but I thought I'd mention it. Easy test to do, I'll try to get to it this week.
 

Jim

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I should have done that today on video. I've seen it lose signal by turning it around to fly back. Ancedotal of course but I thought I'd mention it. Easy test to do, I'll try to get to it this week.
Thanks! I’m on the road for a week starting today or I’d do it myself...
 

leenanj

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I can confirm that my iPad Mini gets twice the range than flying with just my iPhone 6.
The Mini must have a larger antenna I am assuming.
So that tells me the antenna on both end will make a difference.
 
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Lon Denard

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I can confirm that my iPad Mini gets twice the range than flying with just my iPhone 6.
The Mini must have a larger antenna I am assuming.
So that tells me the antenna on both end will make a difference.
Oh for sure, I get twice as much range from different antennas.
 

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