DJI Spark is a beginner drone that has been around for some time but is still quite popular. Although DJI stopped selling it a while ago, you can still buy it from online retailers.
Since the Spark was introduced before the high-end DJI Mavic or Mini series, people often wonder how much range it has.
Today, we will discuss the DJI Spark range and see how far it can go from the controller.
The DJI Spark has a maximum range of 1.2mi (2 km) in an unobstructed, interference-free fly zone. However, the software reduces the range to comply with various regional laws.
In this article, we will discuss how physical obstacles, signal interferences, and local regulations limit the range of DJI Spark. In the end, there is a small trick to increase your range as well.
DJI Spark Range
When we talk about how far can the Spark can fly, it can mean two things:
- How far can the drone receive transmission signal from the remote controller (transmission range)
- How far can the drone go from the remote controller before running out of power (battery range)
Let’s discuss both and see how the DJI Spark performs on both of these.
1. Transmission Range
The DJI Spark uses the legacy Wifi transmission protocol to connect to the remote controller.
It runs on two different sets of Wifi frequencies, 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz. Depending on the bandwidth availability, it switches between them.
The range is locked via software, depending on the channel you are operating on. Each channel has a different allowed range in each region.
Theoretical maximum range of DJI Spark 12. miles (2 km) when there is no legal limit on transmitter power, and there is no obstruction and interference.
In practice, however, the range is limited by a few factors.
Every region has different regulations when it comes to transmitter power.
Although the Spark transmitter can communicate with the drone at a max distance of 1.2 miles or 2 km, not all regions will allow that much transmitter power.
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 2 km range of your drone on both 2.4 GHz and 5.8GHz frequencies.
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 500 meters on 2.4 GHz and 300 meters on 5.8GHz.
MIC: This certification is for use within Japan only. The maximum allowed transmission range under MIC certification is 500 meters on both frequencies.
SRRC: This certification is for use within Mainland China. The maximum allowed transmission range under SRRC certification is 500 meters on both frequencies.
FCC and CE are the most common types of DJI Spark you will find in the western markets and on Amazon.
Below table summarise the Wifi ranges on different channels in different regions.
|DJI Spark Model||Max Allowed Range|
|FCC||2,000 meters |
(on both 2.4 GHz & 5.8 GHz)
|CE||500 meters on 2.4 GHz|
300 meters on 5.8GHz.
|SRRC||500 meters |
(on both 2.4 GHz & 5.8 GHz)
|MIC||500 meters |
(on both 2.4 GHz & 5.8 GHz)
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 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.
I have explained the difference between FCC and CE mode in a separate blog post if you want to go into details.
Interference & obstacles limit
Even if you are allowed by law to fully utilize the 2 km range offered by the Spark transmitter, interferences and obstacles always reduce the effective range.
The range is considerably reduced in urban areas with a lot of cell towers, home and office WiFi, and other interfering signals.
The range is further reduced if you fly from behind the obstacles like skyscrapers and towers where you have no direct line of sight.
2. Battery Range
When talking about ranges, they usually talk about transmitter range and remote control signal strength.
With newer DJI drones, the battery is the bottleneck, not the transmission range. But with Spark, that’s not the case.
DJI Spark has a flight time of around 12-16 minutes in good weather conditions. At the max speed of 50 kph, you can travel 7 km out and back before your battery is down to zero.
Unlike the high-end DJI drones with extreme ranges like 12 km for Mini 3, the DJI Spark battery is pretty sufficient to utilize the full range of the Spark.
It can get you to 2 km and back pretty easily.
In summary, although the DJI Spark battery is powerful enough to get you to the max transmission range of 2 km and back, the transmitter and wifi signals are very limited.
DJI Spark Range Extender
To get around the shorter range problem of the Wifi remote controller, people have been using parabolic range extenders to extend the range of the signals.
Parabolic range extenders are dish-shaped metallic sheets that sit behind your transmitter antenna and reflect and enhance the antenna signals in the drone’s direction.
- Range Extender for Drone compatible with DJI Spark.
- Dual Extended Range Pack enhances the Antenna Signal & Extends the Remote range.
- Excellent Signal Booster Effect
- High-quality Materials made from high-quality Brass And Silica Gel Materials
- Quick Installation and Disassembly plug & play design.
People have been using these range extenders to increase the officially stated range by 40% to 50%.
Check out the below video and see the distance covered at the bottom of the screen.
Reasons for poor drone range
If your drone has a range that is significantly lower than the numbers above, please see some common reasons below.
You might get a poor range if:
- You are flying the CE version, and the firmware lock limits the range. 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 other wireless sources interfere 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 Spark max range; maybe its an issue unique to your drone.
You can contact the official DJI support team for help with your specific unit.