Close-range RF Signal loss

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#1
Hello,

I know there are many threads with similar names; I've been reading only the most recent ones but they all seem to end before a solution is found.

Similarly to other stories told here, I went out for practice fights before summer today and suddenly discovered that the aircraft is losing signal at ridiculously close-range distances in open field.

Quick facts:
Aircraft: P3S
V 1.2.40+
Flysafe database: 01.00.01.05
DJI-Go: Android / 3.1.26
Tablet: Galaxy Tab A Model SM-T280

Remote and craft batteries fully charged at flight beginning;
The remote antenna was always facing the drone;
Flights over an open field with no known interference sources around;

Logs from the two last flights can be seen here:

May 8th, 2018 02:55PM | General / Overview | Drone Flight Log from DJI GO app, version 3.1.26 on Android | Total Mileage: 247 ft | Portugal | Airdata UAV
May 8th, 2018 03:07PM | General / Overview | Drone Flight Log from DJI GO app, version 3.1.26 on Android | Total Mileage: 909 ft | Portugal | Airdata UAV

Last summer there were no major issues with RF signal loss; I made several flights on land ad over water going at decent distances (>500 m / 1600 ft) without loosing control of the aircraft. During the winter I switched the aircraft on a few times but never flown it far enough to notice any issues.

All equipment is stored in a padded pelicase with laser-cut padding for this model.

DJI-Go asks for a firmware update to V 1.9.20 but I am afraid it will do more damage than good.

Question is: does anyone have figured out why suddenly the aircrafts start reporting signal loss at close-range and if so, if there is/are practical solutions?

thank you for any advice

Rui
 
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#2
Hello,

I know there are many threads with similar names; I've been reading only the most recent ones but they all seem to end before a solution is found.

Similarly to other stories told here, I went out for practice fights before summer today and suddenly discovered that the aircraft is losing signal at ridiculously close-range distances in open field.

Quick facts:
Aircraft: P3S
V 1.2.40+
Flysafe database: 01.00.01.05
DJI-Go: Android / 3.1.26
Tablet: Galaxy Tab A Model SM-T280

Remote and craft batteries fully charged at flight beginning;
The remote antenna was always facing the drone;
Flights over an open field with no known interference sources around;

Logs from the two last flights can be seen here:

May 8th, 2018 02:55PM | General / Overview | Drone Flight Log from DJI GO app, version 3.1.26 on Android | Total Mileage: 247 ft | Portugal | Airdata UAV
May 8th, 2018 03:07PM | General / Overview | Drone Flight Log from DJI GO app, version 3.1.26 on Android | Total Mileage: 909 ft | Portugal | Airdata UAV

Last summer there were no major issues with RF signal loss; I made several flights on land ad over water going at decent distances (>500 m / 1600 ft) without loosing control of the aircraft. During the winter I switched the aircraft on a few times but never flown it far enough to notice any issues.

All equipment is stored in a padded pelicase with laser-cut padding for this model.

DJI-Go asks for a firmware update to V 1.9.20 but I am afraid it will do more damage than good.

Question is: does anyone have figured out why suddenly the aircrafts start reporting signal loss at close-range and if so, if there is/are practical solutions?

thank you for any advice

Rui
What do you mean by remote antenna facing the aircraft?

The antenna should be vertical like a flagpole NOT horizontal like your pointing a flashlight or torch at it.

How would you describe your technique now?
 
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#3
What do you mean by remote antenna facing the aircraft?

The antenna should be vertical like a flagpole NOT horizontal like your pointing a flashlight or torch at it.

How would you describe your technique now?
Hi; thanks for the reply.

"Facing the aircraft" just means that I (and the remote) was always looking towards the aircraft. The actual antenna orientation was the standard:
 

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#4
"During the winter I switched the aircraft on a few times but never flown it far enough to notice any issues."

In the two logs it shows you loosing signal at 30' and 60', during the winter you didn't fly any farther than that?
Wondering if you go those logs, or older, etc.

Are you positive the firmware is still the same in the remote and the Phantom from when it was working like it should?

Rod
 
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#5
This is a very unfair ongoing issue. I’ve stopped flying mine all together for at least a year now due to this issue. DJI seems to not have a solution or simply don’t care. I’ve read where some say to log out of DJIgo and log back in. Mine started that crap when I updated the firmware. I tried to go back to original firmware without much success. Good luck
 
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#7
What do you mean by remote antenna facing the aircraft?

The antenna should be vertical like a flagpole NOT horizontal like your pointing a flashlight or torch at it.

How would you describe your technique now?
"During the winter I switched the aircraft on a few times but never flown it far enough to notice any issues."

In the two logs it shows you loosing signal at 30' and 60', during the winter you didn't fly any farther than that?
Wondering if you go those logs, or older, etc.

Are you positive the firmware is still the same in the remote and the Phantom from when it was working like it should?

Rod
Hi Rod, thanks for the inputs.

Replying to your questions.:

1. I've only taken it out for very close, low altitude flights to practice hand recovery since that is the way of recovering the bird on the boat

2. I checked old logs and it was OK with firmware 3.1.8. I am not sure what firmware is in the remote. I will find out how to check that. Thanks for the tip.
 
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#8
First you said.
"DJI-Go: Android / 3.1.26"

Now
"firmware 3.1.8"
These are DJI software versions.


"V 1.9.20" this is firmware, I was wondering if your sure the firmware had not been changed between good and bad.
I guess you still can't check RC firmware versions, it been just over a year since my P3S could fly.

Rod
 
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#11
First you said.
"DJI-Go: Android / 3.1.26"

Now
"firmware 3.1.8"
These are DJI software versions.


"V 1.9.20" this is firmware, I was wondering if your sure the firmware had not been changed between good and bad.
I guess you still can't check RC firmware versions, it been just over a year since my P3S could fly.

Rod
You are obviously correct @RodPad. The 3.x.xx are DJI Go versions. My mistake. I am actually not sure about the firmware because it is not shown in the logs kept at Air Data.

After revision of the logs I noticed that I had forgotten about some flights I made on a sunny day in February. There were only two minor and brief signal loss events during two separate flights and several flights with no problems, including one to a distance of 500 m / 1640 ft over water. I know this does not tell much, but just to be thorough, the DJI-Go version during those flights was 3.1.26.

Again, I do not recall if I made any firmware upgrade after that.

I will take the aircraft to another area this afternoon to see if the problem persists and will report later.

r
 
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#12
Are you positive the firmware is still the same in the remote and the Phantom from when it was working like it should?

Rod
OK; I tried a few more flights in different areas just to make sure it was not an interference issue. Same problem every time.

I decided to upgrade the firmware, since a message was appearing in DJI Go asking for that for some time... and alas, after initiating the upgrade a message appeared saying that the upgrade was not successful because the latest version of the firmware (1.9.20) was already installed.

Thus, it does seem that the equipment were already running firmware 1.9.20 (and not 1.2.40+ as stated in the first message), although it reported an earlier version. And yes, it seems that the problem was caused by having the new firmware installed...

I am considering trying to downgrade; but since @RodPad states that his P3 is stranded on land for over an year, I assume downgrading is not easy/solution?

R
 
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#13
@rprieto,

Firmware wasn't the killer, it had a very bad landing (five pieces). :rolleyes:
I could start and stop the motors see through the camera, until the battery went dead.


The first time I did a Fryware, P3S's had only been out two weeks.

The second time downgrading firmware just had showed up as an option in the app.
Of coarse I did the upgrade thinking that at least now if it fails I can go back. :rolleyes:
I could tell in 3 minutes that it was screwed up again. Then the app said, no downgrade available. :mad:
About the time I got it back from DJI, the word came out about using the SD card for firmware.
This was the only way on a P3A/P3P.
I never updated it again. :eek:

Don't know if you had been on this thread yet?
Phantom 3 Standard range mod , let's do it together...

I'm hoping Mtn Boy, we share some more details.


Rod
 
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#14
@rprieto,



Don't know if you had been on this thread yet?
Phantom 3 Standard range mod , let's do it together...

I'm hoping Mtn Boy, we share some more details.


Rod
You are a real help @RodPad...

Yes, Ive been in that thread and have seen that you are very helpful there too. I am still trying a simple solution that does not require modding for several reasons, the most important being that the drone belongs to the Research Institute I am affiliated with, not to me. The other is that we need it ASAP for fieldwork thus I would like to avoid damaging it or having to send it for repair otherwise it will take most of our field season to get it flying (I live in an island where UPS and FedEx do not deliver... it may well be one to two months before we get the drone back).

I was just now with DJI Online support and was asked to reinstall the software using debug mode in the tablet. Don't believe it will work but will try just for the sake of it. Will post the result here.
 
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#15
Just saw the videos... sad! I had one like that with a toy drone from Syma. Also tried the motors until the battery died; then had to climb the tree and push it down. The difference was that the Syma only cost 40 something bucks...
 
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#17
OK; I tried a few more flights in different areas just to make sure it was not an interference issue. Same problem every time.

I decided to upgrade the firmware, since a message was appearing in DJI Go asking for that for some time... and alas, after initiating the upgrade a message appeared saying that the upgrade was not successful because the latest version of the firmware (1.9.20) was already installed.

Thus, it does seem that the equipment were already running firmware 1.9.20 (and not 1.2.40+ as stated in the first message), although it reported an earlier version. And yes, it seems that the problem was caused by having the new firmware installed...

I am considering trying to downgrade; but since @RodPad states that his P3 is stranded on land for over an year, I assume downgrading is not easy/solution?

R
I don't think it's possible to downgrade a P3S anymore. But it sounds like the same issue I was having. Not that I would fly far, maybe 600 feet and I could no longer see it. But after going to 1.9.20 I started to lose signal at 300 feet. That never happened before. When I sent it in to DJI they turned it around in a day, almost as if they knew already what the problem was.
 
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#19
OK; tried everything that was suggested by DJI Support operator, with no improvements noticed. I am convinced this is the S20 chip referred by @HappyStandardOwner here. It is probably caput.

Will send the drone for repair.
Be prepared to send them the controller as well. They may ask for it. Remove any after market parts such as prop guards, gimbal guards, etc. What I got back was a different AC and controller. I think they swapped out the gimbal and camera, though. Serial number was the same. Drone had no stickers at all, including serial number label. It looked brand new.
 
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#20
Be prepared to send them the controller as well. They may ask for it. Remove any after market parts such as prop guards, gimbal guards, etc. What I got back was a different AC and controller. I think they swapped out the gimbal and camera, though. Serial number was the same. Drone had no stickers at all, including serial number label. It looked brand new.
Thank you for the advice. Will do as you say.

R
 

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