DJI Mini 3 Pro, What is the Signal Range?

Mini 3 Pro Signal Range Issues

The Mini 3 Pro is a workhorse with plenty of interesting functionalities. After a series of firmware updates, it performs extremely well. Only a major issue remains: poor signal transmission

The quality of the transmission varies from place to place. There are plenty of reports on the web of users who have serious issues like me, while others seem to be happy with their unit

The Mini 3 Pro signal transmission is the worst-performing of all DJI models. The culprit is probably the position of the antennas, located inside the front arms. In fact, in other models like the cheaper Mini 3 and the Air 3, DJI has repositioned the antennas in a pair of feet at the end of the wings

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How Far Can the Mini 3 Pro Fly?

I have never done a range test so far as I am not interested in reaching distances of several kilometers with a drone. It is not allowed by regulations and can be dangerous. In most cases, for footage and photos, I remain within 500 meters, which is well inside VLOS. Only occasionally do I need to push the distance to 700 or 800 meters (about 2500 feet)

I will start from a place I often use for my tests: it is an area at the foothills of Mount Etna with plenty of little villages one next to the other. It is a suburban built-up area with a good deal of interference

Here in Southern Italy, people use mobile phones practically 24 hours a day, even while they sleep. There are also some big telecommunication antennas. So it is an area with relatively strong interferences

In the Mini 2, the antennas are located inside the feet

With other models, only a couple of times I have experienced signal failures, mostly with the Mavic 3, but the issue was quickly fixed by a firmware update. Recently I have noticed that with the Mini 3 Pro, I could not get anywhere near the same two locations, I would get constantly disconnected

With the RC Controller

Let’s start the test with the new RC controller, flying in the usual direction. in the Tab transmission of Settings, there are three options. By default, the new controller is set to Dual band, in which case the most suitable frequency is automatically chosen between 2.4 and 5.8 GH

For more information about the excellent RC controller with built-in screen check my in-depth article

Selection of the transmission settings with the Mini 3 Pro
Selection of the transmission settings with the Mini 3 Pro

It is also possible to set manually one of the two frequencies. In theory, 2.4 GHz is the one allowing the longest distance, but it is more sensitive to interference, in other words, it should be the one to use for flying at maximum distances in rural areas. 5.8 Ghz should be the one to use in urban areas or other situations with strong interferences

Let’s have a go using the Dual band default mode. Keep an eye on two indicators: the distance from the home point at the bottom in the middle and the signal strength on the top right. This is the direction and at a distance of only 70 meters, we can see that the signal is worsening, not good!

The RC controller with a built-in screen for DJI prosumer drones
The DJI RC controller with a built-in screen

I increase the elevation, which in general gives a slightly better signal, but again at 140 meters, the signal goes down a lot. At 200 meters the bars turn red, which means that the signal is almost lost. After several warnings of a weak signal, the drone managed to get to 430 meters, before being disconnected and initiating a Return To Home

I have tried several times the same route using the dual-band setting, and the average distance I could reach was 400 to 450

Let’s try using the frequency of 5.8 GHz. This time I get disconnected at 300 meters, even worse! At 2.8 GHz I get slightly better results, as I can reach 450 meters before being disconnected

With the Traditional RC N1 Controller

Let’s try the traditional RC N1 controller. I connect it to a tablet and pair it to the Mini 3 Pro. I lose some bars very quickly, but the aircraft keeps going further and I finally lose connection at 600 meters, which is still disappointing, but slightly better than what I could get with the new RC

So, in a crowded environment with plenty of interference, the Mini 3 Pro signal is very disappointing. Dual-band is the setting giving slightly better results in this environment and the traditional RC N1 controller is slightly better than the new one

In Open Areas

What about flying in a rural environment without interference? So I pack the drone and controller and head to Mount Etna, in a very remote area with no buildings of any kind. Surely I should get a better range

I set the transmission to Dual band and am ready to go. There is nothing around, there should be no interference at all. It is roasting hot and the light conditions are horrible, but it doesn’t really matter for our test

I head towards these old craters and I start to lose a few bars at a distance of 200 meters. At 320 meters the bars turn red, which is not encouraging. I raise the altitude and the bars go back to yellow, at 500 meters they go back to red and I manage to reach 750 meters before I get disconnected

It is still the worst performance ever in any drone I have tried, but it is a distance that suits my needs on most occasions

Improvements after Eight Months

DJI is generally very good at listening to feedback from users to improve weak points of new models

After several firmware updates, the signal range of the Mini 3 Pro has very slightly improved but remains the only major weak point of this model

VicVideoPic

I am Vittorio Caramazza, aka Vicvideopic, the founder of this website and author of all the posts. I am a videographer and photographer contributing to several stock agencies. I am an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop and Lightroom. I have 10 years of experience with dron videography and photography. I was struck by drone syndrome in 2013. I have owned and tested in depth the following drones: Phantom 3, Phantom 4, Phantom 4 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic Mini, Mini 2, Air 2, Air 2s, Autel Evo Nano Plus, Mavic 3, Mini 3 Pro, Mini 3. My home has turned into a breeding ground for drones. I am the owner of two YouTube channels specializing in Videography and Photography, with a focus on drones My main channel is VicVideopic (in English): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgaBlrFDONJ4BSEUHa2cLKg My other channel is Drone Mitico, the Italian version.: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkeoY8rPPj-fypUKHckTtwQ I am currently based in Sicily (Southern Italy), but I tend to move quite often. After all, this is one of the main benefits of being a digital nomad…

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