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.
DJI Drones Using Wi-Fi: DJI Spark, Mavic Air and the DJI Mini and Mini SE.
Dual frequency bands of 2.4 and 5.8 GHz are available with Wi-Fi, automatically switching for maximum control. Two forms of WI-Fi are currently used by DJI; standard Wi-Fi with the Spark and enhanced Wi-Fi with the Mavic Air, Mini and Mini SE.
The standard Wi-Fi gives the Spark a European transmission range of up to 500m and the enhanced Wi-Fi gives the Mavic Air, Mini and Mini SE a transmission range of up to 2,000m.
These transmission ranges allow users to maintain VLOS (Visual Line of Sight) 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, Spark and Mini and Mini SE, the range is appropriate to maintain VLOS and keep the drone at a safe distance.
DJI’s OcuSync transmission system is utilised on its latest drones - both consumer and enterprise. 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.
Some DJI Drones Using OcuSync: Phantom 4 Pro V2.0., Mavic 3, Mini 3 Pro
Over the last few years, DJI has been upgrading its OcuSync transmission system. Ths began with the early iterations on the Mavic Pro, through to OcuSync 2.0 on aircraft such as the Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom and the Mini 2, and then on to the upgraded, enhanced and latest DJI O3, O3+, and O3 Enterprise, on aircraft such as the Mavic 3, Mini 3 Pro, M30 Series and M300 RTK.
In most cases, OcuSync provides access to the dual-frequency bands of 2.4 and 5.8 GHz.
During its evolution, OcuSync has helped to bolster drone transmission distance. And the increased transmission range on the latest versions of OcuSync is staggering, enabling distances of up to 8km (CE).
The same is true of the enhanced quality on the camera live view. For instance, O3+, on the Mavic 3, enables live feeds of up to 1080p/60fps, while DJI O3 enables operators of the Mini 3 Pro to benefit from live feeds of 1080p/30fps.
Benefits of DJI OcuSync
Depending on the version of OcuSync, the transmission system can provide compatibility with DJI’s FPV Goggles, Goggles RE and also the DJI FPV drone/goggles. The Goggles allow a unique perspective from the drone’s camera without any restrictions from cables and a super immersive experience.
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.
On top of this, the OcuSync ecosystem offers substantial transmission ranges: Distances which are getting further and signals which are getting stronger with every iteration of OcuSync.
DJI’s Lightbridge transmission system is traditionally designed to work with their professional and enterprise level drones. However, more recent enterprise drones now use OcuSync, such as O3 Enterprise (M30 Series) and OcuSync Enterprise (M300 RTK)
Lightbridge transmission is available in standard Lightbridge HD and Lightbridge HD 2, depending on the drone you’re using.
DJI Drones Using Lightbridge: DJI Phantom 4 Pro and Phantom 4 Advanced. DJI Drones Using Lightbridge 2: DJI Inspire 2, Matrice 200 Series and Matrice 600 Pro.
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.
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.
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.
OcuSync has taken the main stage and the most recent DJI drone releases benefit from enhanced OcuSync.
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 0191 296 1024 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider Blog for more announcements, insights into drones and, of course, the latest news from the drone industry.
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