DJI Mavic 3 is the latest flagship drone from the Chinese company. It comes jam-packed with cutting-edge features. Today, we are going to look at the DJI Mavic 3 range and see how far can it fly from the remote controller.
The DJI Mavic 3 has a maximum range of 15km (9.3 miles) when you are in an open area with no interference and obstacles. It works on the new Ocusync 3.0 transmission system which is very powerful. However, the actual range is limited by local regulations, signal interferences, and physical obstacles while flying.
Let’s discuss things in a bit more detail and see what range the DJI Mavic 3 can achieve under different conditions. Let’s also discuss if you are even allowed to utilize the full range under different regulations.
DJI Mavic 3 Range
When we talk about how far can the Mavic 3 fly i-e flight range, it can mean two things:
- How far the drone can receive transmission signal from the remote controller (transmission range)
- How far the drone can go from the remote controller before running out of power (battery range)
Let’s discuss both and see how the DJI Mavic 3 performs on both of these.
The DJI Mavic 3 and other newer drones uses the proprietary DJI transmission protocol called Ocusync 3.0 which has a theoretical range of 15 km. Any drone that uses the Ocusync 3.0 can transmit and receive data from the remote controller at that distance provided there is no interference and no obstacles.
In practice, however, the range is limited by a few factors.
Every region has different regulations when it comes to transmitter power. Although the Ocusync 3.0 and the DJI remote controller hardware are technically capable of producing strong enough signals to cover a radius of 15 km, not all countries and regions allow this.
Due to this, the DJI has different models and certifications for each region. The certifications are usually notified on each drone & remote controller and the transmitting power is locked in the firmware. The 4 most famous certifications are below along with their max allowed transmitter ranges.
FCC: If your drone is marked FCC at the bottom sticker, that means it is designed to be used in the United States, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Chile, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and other regions that follow FCC certification. In these drone models, there is no lock on the maximum range and you are allowed to utilize the 15 km range of your drone (if other conditions are satisfactory like no signal interference and no obstacles)
CE: If your drone is marked CE, that means it is meant to be used in the UK, Russia, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Macau, New Zealand, UAE, and other regions that follow CE certification. The maximum allowed range under CE certification is 8 km.
MIC: This certification is for use within Japan only. The maximum allowed transmission range under MIC certification is 8 km.
SRRC: This certification is for use within Mainland China. The maximum allowed transmission range under SRRC certification is 8 km.
|Max Allowed Range
Drones shipped to the EU and North America usually have both CE and FCC certifications at the bottom sticker. The drone will switch to the appropriate certification rules based on your GPS location.
Some people use GPS location spoofing to fool the drone into thinking it is flying in an FCC area while in actuality it is in a CE area (not recommended though)
To check if your drone is operating under FCC or CE, you can go into your DJI Fly App (tap 3 dots >> transmission) and see how many double-digit channels are there.
- If you see 11 channels, you are on FCC.
- If you see 13 channels, you are on CE.
Interference & obstacles limit
Even if you are allowed by law to fully utilize the 15 km range offered by the Ocusync 3.0, there are always interferences and obstacles that reduce the effective range.
In urban areas where there are a lot of cell towers, home, and office WiFi, and other interfering signals, the range is considerably reduced.
The range is further reduced if you are flying from behind the obstacles like skyscrapers and towers where you have no direct line of sight. As per DJI, here is how the effective range is reduced in different environments.
- Urban areas – strong interference, limited line of sight = 1.5 – 3 km
- Suburban areas – medium interference, open line of sight = 3 – 9 km
- Rural areas – very low interference, open line of sight = 9 – 15 km
When talking about ranges, they usually talk about transmitter range and remote control signal strength. They usually ignore battery range limits.
In fact, even if you are in a fully open area with no signal interference and no legal limits, the DJI Mavic 3 range can barely reach the 15 km mark. You will run out of half battery juice before that and will have to return home.
If you have been flying DJI for a while, you might have noticed that the drone always prompts for Return To Home (RTH) mode as soon as the battery is half consumed. At this point, if you don’t initiate an RTH, you risk losing your drone due to a low battery on your way back.
My favorite drone YouTuber that does regular range tests – Dustin Dunnill actually tested the maximum range test and reached 14.413 km (8.956 miles) but at great risk. Watch his impressive video below.
In summary, although the remote is powerful enough to control the drone at a distance of 14+ km, the battery is barely big enough to get you safely back to your home point.
Why my DJI Mavic 3 is giving poor range?
After reading all the discussion, you might have a good idea of the max DJI Mavic 3 range and how far can the Mavic 3 fly. If your drone is not going as far as it should, there might be a few reasons for the low range.
- You are flying CE version and the range is limited by the firmware lock. If you are not in an area where CE is applicable but your drone is still going into CE mode, you can use GPS spoofing or try using a moded fly app (these are grey areas so I am not going to link to the resources here. Try at your own risk)
- You are flying in a heavily populated area where interference from other wireless sources is interfering with your remote controller. This is the most common cause of lower than advertised range.
- You are flying from behind an obstacle and there is no clear line of sight. Especially in urban areas, where the more popular bandwidth i-e 2.4Ghz is overcrowded, your remote will try to shift to 5.8Ghz. Higher frequencies are even more susceptible to physical obstacles and hence will cause a lower range.
- Your antenna is not correctly positioned. Remember the rule of thumb: never point the tip of your antenna towards the drone. Keep them perpendicular at all times for best performance.
Even after taking care of all the points above you still cannot reach DJI Mavic 3 max distance, maybe it’s time to consider if there is any hardware issue with your drone or remote controller.
More read: How to charge DJI Mavic 3 battery fast?
You can contact DJI customer care and see if they can replace/repair your unit. You can also check out my more detailed blog about drone ranges and what factors affect them.