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Weak signal in the city

Discussion in 'Inspire 1 Discussion' started by Kevin Cabral, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. Kevin Cabral

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    Is it normal for signal transmission to be weaken in built up areas? I was just doing a test flight outside my house and 50 meter's away it started to freak out. I was losing transmission and it was auto scanning for a stable channel. Then I realized in the app it told me strong interference, fly with caution. Is it normal for me to get weak signal in a city? Thanks in advance.
     

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  2. RaptorMan

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    It's been my experience that flying in built up areas increases the chance of a bad comm link between RC and bird and I've had several loss of signal problems within 100m in such places. OTH, when I fly in remote areas I've had no problems out to half a mile and have tested to 1.7 miles without incident.

    So, the problem in my view is not the inability of the bird and RC to hear each other but that there is so much other noise that the signal is being drowned out. Perhaps the Editor can chime in here but I think most of the comm problems are actually do to interference.


    Brian
     
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  3. Kevin Cabral

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    Yeah I figured, too much noise in the air. I might also be close to some cellular antenna's. Possibly 4 blocks away. Could be interfering with my signal as well. When I was flying in Mississauga lakeshore, I didn't have much issue with range. However, I did get disconnected at one point, but I noticed there was a Phantom operator near by. Could of been our signals clashing. If there was an issue with my antenna's on the Inspire, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to go further than 20 meter's out :p
     
  4. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    Yup - perfectly normal and should be expected. There is so much 2.4ghz and 5.8ghz 'chatter' in urban areas with routers/WiFi and other devices the noise floor is that much higher. Couple that with any high rise buildings and you can throw multipath in the mix as well as cellular, microwave and data links and you have a mix of noise that the Inspire has to listen through.
    Liken it to someone talking to you in an empty room and then moving away from you - you can still hear them perfectly well just a little bit quieter, but you still understand every word. That's like operating in a remote area.

    Now do the same thing but with a room full of 100 people all chatting, laughing and having a good time. You still hear the person talking to you when they are close to you but as they move away it becomes more and more difficult to hear them and dercern every word. They are still talking directly to you but their voice is lost in the chatter of the room. - that's what it's like flying in an urban environment!
     
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  5. lake_flyer

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    Most probably wifi access points that are interfering.
    2.4Ghz is pretty crowded in build up areas nowadays.
    5.8Ghz is still quite ok, I never had interference with my 5.8Ghz quad.
     
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  6. Kevin Cabral

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    You sir are the best! :p Good to know what I was experiencing is normal.

    Thanks Editor :)
     
  7. slim.slamma

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    Atti mode is your best option;)
    RTH kicks in frequently, fly aways in gps:eek:
    Reasons why you shouldn't fly over cities without being prepared for the unexpected:confused:
    Good luck:p
    Try one of the antenna modifications if you really need to fly in a city:D Otherwise your pressing your luck:mad:
     
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  8. Kevin Cabral

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    Normally I don't fly within the city. I usually fly outside the city or along the lakeshore. I was just testing something that one time and just noticed when reaching 50 meter's away, the screen was going nuts. Having weak video transmission. So I got worried and thought my antenna's on the Inspire was broken or something *always thinking the worst* lol. Then I never realized how much noise is in the air with routers... cell phones and all that. Explains why I couldn't go far without it freaking out.
     
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  9. slim.slamma

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    My rule of thumb is 200ft for every mile.




    Didnt intend to sound like I was busting your balls but just be careful.
    Remember you start loosing connection atti & climb don't just let the bird freak out in gps mode.


    Going far say 3 miles might mean 600ft.
    So, be your own adult:)
     
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  10. Kevin Cabral

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    Oh trust me I'm not that dumb :p. In my area there are helicopters that come by so if I fly, I fly low to the ground. I never went far in the city, well close to my house anyhow. So never knew the signal was that bad.
     
  11. slim.slamma

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    Actually stock is pretty good:)
    Trying to fly with in legal limitations causes BAD signals. Fly at 800ft alt you'll never loose signal.
    To me below 50 or 100 ft it's tough flying in any urban areas signal wise. You really need to be a pro:)
     
  12. Kevin Cabral

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    Yeah I was at least 20-30 meter's up. I'm sure I was in the cloud of cellular and router noise lol :p. When I flew further out this past weekend along Mississauga Lakeshore, another Phantom operator was near me. He was causing me issues. Who knows, maybe he had a mod on his remote and may of messed up my signal. I wasn't able to find him :p I tried to fly around to locate him lol
     
  13. Brett W

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    I actually lost an Inspire 1 Pro this way. Flying it between the only high rise apartment buildings here. I was only 800 feet away and flying at 200ft. The bird was disconnected from the ground station while next to the buildings. I had my RTH altitude set to 400 feet, my spotter lost visual as well as me. It never returned home. Days later I found out it struck the 25th floor of those buildings (obviously under 400ft) in a vacant apartment.

    $600 damage, paid by insurance, considered a flyaway

    I have a meeting with the FAA this coming Friday. Wish me luck
     
  14. Wavepilot

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    As is often stated on this site, "sorry for your loss." Good luck with the FAA and please let us know what you learn and the takeaway - both operationally and regulatory.