Solo Range Limited After Firmware 1.0.5 Update

Updated and took Solo out to fly yesterday evening. Was surprised to all of a sudden see flashing red lights and signal loss - no control. Waited and finally Solo initiated a RTH. Tested again and got this photo.


Note 2 bars at 43.6 feet and 17.6 feet up. Not too great. Maybe it was a bad evening for flying.

Problem 1st started though with latest firmware update.

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  • Thanks Mike - I think I'll go out and log different flights in varying locations and see what I come up with. Appreciate the numbers!

  • All depends on the surroundings.  I can fly 850' away at my job over open fields.  Due to RF congestion I can only fly about 250' away at my parents house.

    The RSSI numbers are your best bet to watch.  I have never seen full bars in the app.  The controller shows signal strength differently than the app.  Sometimes I will see full strength there but the app will show down one or two bars.

    • Hi Rich - 850 feet sounds like as much as I could hope for - not sure how that compares with the range 3DR advertises. Somehow I just feel like my Solo is just not up to what it should be. Of course since I had issues from new - GPS not connected, then fly away crash and now reduced range I am fearful that something is wrong with it. I think I will see if I can get it exchanged.

    • Sorry if I'm stating the obvious but...

      The only other thing to remember is all antennas, especially higher gain ones, are directional.  The stock antennas are lower gain so they'll be less directional.  In a 3D graph the pattern looks like a donut.

      The ones you tried from your router will be a little higher gain and a little flatter pattern.  Think pancakes :)

      That said you'll have to keep the flat side of the antennas aimed at Solo for the best performance.  I use the RSSI meter numbers and tilt my controller up and down to try and get the best signal.  Slight changes can make a large difference.

      About halfway down this page is a good example of antenna patterns.  One is low gain and most likely how the stock antennas behave.  Below that is probably how your higher gain antennas behave.  Scrolling down further shows a patch antenna which is probably what I'll be trying next.

    • The very first Solo I purchased was DOA.  The controller never transmitted SoloLink so I was never able to connect the app or do any updates.  The one I have now is the one I exchanged my first one with.

      I only say that because I think there could be some radio issues in the first batch of Solos that shipped.  Seems like if people had issues day one it was trying to connect and do updates.  Or they would do a factory reset then not be able to get everything paired.  A dead radio will cause all of those problems.

      I just worry if my current Solo is 100% or not.  I agree 850' away is pushing LOS anyway and I only did that for a test.  But the range just seems so varied it's hard to predict.  To go 850' away in one place then lose connection 250' away in another is a little sketchy.

      At some point I'll try a more directional pair of antennas on the controller.  Seems like people are having success gaining some reliable range that way.

  • I was just reading on another forum where someone got slightly farther after the update. Today he went 4,450' and before the update went 4,100 in the same area before the update. But you have to have some sort of antenna connection problem or flying in a very noisy area. Go up about 20' and out about 30' and read your RSSI. Should be no more than about -50.

    • Thanks Jubal I will give that a try. Just odd as previously when I went to the sports park I never had it turn red on me. I did have it initiate a RTH before but now I can regularly have it out of range. Of course from the picture you can see there are a ton of houses out there and I bet they all have WiFi.

  • Tried again today - max range is about 300 feet. I even tried the antennas from my router but they only showed marginal improvement.

    Wonder what 3DR did to reduce the range so much!

    Here is a screenshot - note height and location:


    Sent log to 3DR

    Here is the alternate antenna setup:


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