DJI Transmission Systems – Wi-Fi, OcuSync & Lightbridge
Drone transmission systems can have a huge effect on the capabilities of your drone. They give very different results, meaning you need to pick a transmission system that’s right for you when selecting your drone.
DJI use three key transmission systems with their drones; Wi-Fi, OcuSync and Lightbridge. Each system has a range of different benefits, affecting how they perform and their abilities.
In our latest post, Heliguy Insider will be looking into each of the three transmission systems, highlighting each of their features and how they could benefit each end user. We’ll also detail which of the current DJI drones utilise which transmission system and how to achieve the best transmission with your drone.
Keep reading for more on each transmission system and which is right for your needs.
What is a Transmission System?
The transmission system in terms of a drone is the method used for communication between the drone and the remote controller/smart device you’re using to control it. Depending on which transmission system is used, different results will be given for the drone’s range, video transmission, transmission latency, available control frequencies and more.
As we mentioned in the introduction, there are three transmission systems utilised by DJI. These are Wi-Fi, OcuSync and Lightbridge, found on different DJI drones across the market.
DJI utilises a Wi-Fi transmission system on its beginner and consumer drones as a cost-effective method of control. The drone uses its own private Wi-Fi that the user connects to using a password.
DJI’s Wi-Fi allows users to control their dedicated remote controller or a mobile device, however, this will usually result in a reduced range.
Dual frequency bands of 2.4 and 5.8 GHz are available with Wi-Fi, automatically switching for maximum control.
Two forms of W-Fi are currently used by DJI; standard Wi-Fi with the Spark and enhanced with the Mavic Air. The standard Wi-Fi gives the Spark a European transmission range of up to 500m and the enhanced Wi-Fi gives the Mavic Air a transmission range of 2000m. These transmission ranges allow users to maintain VLOS (Visual Line of Site) with their drone, one of the UK regulations.
Both Wi-Fi systems provide a video transmission in 720p to the connected mobile device. This allows a clear view from the drone’s camera for control and shot setup etc.
Benefits of DJI Wi-Fi Transmission
Wi-Fi transmission is ideal for DJI’s consumer drones, helping keep the cost down when compared to OcuSync and Lightbridge systems. The transmission range isn’t a far as the other two, however, considering the small size of the Mavic Air and Spark, the range is appropriate to maintain VLOS and keep the drone at a safe distance.
DJI’s OcuSync transmission system is utilised on high-end consumer and prosumer drones. It falls within the Lightbridge family and has a superior transmission range to Wi-Fi and Lightbridge.
OcuSync transmission is not as susceptible to interference, improving the reliability of the connection, even in areas with strong radio signals.
There’s an increased transmission range with OcuSync, allowing the Mavic Pro and Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 to reach a maximum of 2.5 miles with CE compliance. This is a huge increase when compared to the W-Fi connection.
Video transmission to a mobile device is 720p or 1080p at 30fps, giving an enhanced view from the drone’s camera with a much more reliable connection.
OcuSync quickly establishes a connection with the drone as well as reconnecting instantly, giving a huge amount of control to the drone pilot.
Benefits of DJI OcuSync
One of the key benefits of OcuSync is the wireless compatibility with the DJI’s FPV Goggles and Goggles RE. The Goggles allow a unique perspective from the drone’s camera without any restrictions from cables.
OcuSync also allows multiple remote controllers to connect to the drone at one time. This can be used to have an operator control the drone and a second operator control the gimbal, helping users capture advanced shots.
OcuSync also offers the furthest transmission range of up to 2.5 miles, likely to be a deciding factor in using it on the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 instead of Lightbridge as was seen on the Phantom 4 Pro and Advanced.
DJI’s Lightbridge transmission system is designed to work with their professional and enterprise level drones. Lightbridge transmission is available in standard Lightbridge HD and Lightbridge HD 2, depending on the drone you’re using.
For all the drones mentioned above, a maximum transmission range of 2.2 miles is available within CE regulated countries. Although 0.3 miles less than OcuSync, this range will likely still be enough for all pilots, even those in enterprise sectors.
Other than the Phantom 4 Advanced, all the drones using Lightbridge can access dual-band switching between 2.4 and 5.8 GHz. However, to increase the affordability on the Advanced, 2.4 GHz is the only band available.
Each drone will also receive video transmission in either 1080p or 720p from the FPV camera.
Benefits of Lightbridge
Lightbridge transmission provides a reliable connection between the drone and the controller, ideal for professional and enterprise users.
Master and Slave connections are available using Lightbridge, allowing separate drone and gimbal control for precise and accurate actions.
Some Lightbridge drones such as the Matrice 200 Series and Inspire 2 use the Cendence Remote Controller, an advanced flight controller with customisable functions that can integrate into any industry.
Tips on Maximising your Transmission
There are several ways in which you can maximise the transmission distance between your remote controller and drone. These tips will help you maintain an unobstructed connection, allowing you to safely control your drone to its maximum distance.
- When possible, fly in a clear and open location away from trees, rock and metal structures. This will allow you to achieve the maximum transmission range.
- Check KP index to avoid flying in times of high interference. This can cause a failure in communication between the drone and the remote
- Never cross the antennas on the remote controller. This will cause interference and can lead to video breakups etc.
- Ensure the controller is held in the optimal transmission zone. Please see the picture below for an example of this.
Following these tips will allow you to maximise your transmission zone and achieve a clear and error-free connection.
Summary of DJI Transmission Systems
DJI’s transmission systems are industry leading, allowing pilots to get the most out of their drones. Connections are usually clear and free of breakdown when flying within our recommendations above.
It’s likely we’ll see OcuSync take the main stage with DJI’s future drone releases unless a new system is developed and implemented. Its advanced range and wireless integration with the DJI Goggles are desirable additions for drone pilots.
To speak to a member of the Heliguy team about which transmission system is best for you, please give one of our team a call on 862 298 5964 or email us at [email protected].
Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider Blog for more announcements, insights into drones and, of course, the latest news from the drone industry.
David is Heliguy’s Blogger and Head of Digital Content Production. David keeps our readers up to date with drone news within the ever-changing industry.