Drone piloting comes with several limitations. They are only allowed at certain altitudes and have a limited battery life and a maximum range. The first one is a hard and fast rule. The second is fixed by having a couple of extra batteries handy. How can you take care of the third one, though?
There is a nearly endless supply of accessories for the Phantom 3. Luckily, this also applies for boosting the WiFi signal. The stock range is cited at 3.1 miles. Unfortunately, this applies only to entirely unobstructed areas. Most areas inevitably come with some kind of interference which can shorten the range drastically. The good news is that there are two main ways to boost the signal.
One way is to specifically install an accessory to the controller. We don’t recommend this, since it can sometimes void the warranty. The other is an easily attached reflector placed on the antennas, which helps direct the signal more efficiently. Below is a list of the best WiFi extenders for your Phantom 3.
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- Phantom 3 Long Range Extender System Upgrade
- BlueProton WiFi Signal Range Extender Antenna Kit
- TACO-RC Parabolic Antenna Range Booster Reflector
- SKYREAT Copper Parabolic Antenna Range Booster
- DIY Windsurfer Antenna Range Booster
The first item on the list is also the most expensive at $499. Drone World’s Phantom 3 Long Range Extender System Upgrade offers a greatly extended flight range. It claims to work with distance, obstruction, and interference. It even works well around other WiFi signals.
Below is a photo of the Phantom 3 Long Range Extender installed on the remote:
The Long Range Extender requires professional installation, which ensures that this device will not void the warranty on your Phantom 3. Some consumers may already have their drone and remotes. They have the option to send their remote controller to Drone World for installation. They will even send it back free of charge.
Below is a video of actual footage showing the Long Range Extender in action:
The TACO-RC Parabolic booster falls into the second category. It consists of a simple reflector that slides onto the existing antennas. The booster is reflective aluminum, and sports a parabolic curve to help direct the signal to the drone receiver.
This device is much like other reflectors. They are easy to use and come with a much lower cost because it doesn’t actually change or upgrade the remote itself. The design also only helps while pointing directly at the drone. This typically will not cause a problem, although there may be a couple times when it gets in the way.
If you are interested in checking out the TACO-RC Parabolic Antenna Range Booster Reflector, its Amazon page has more detailed information about the product. It costs less than $35 and includes a carrying case.
SKYREAT’s booster works similar to the TACO-RC. It slides neatly onto the antenna and requires no further installation. It differs from the latter with a copper finish. This prevents oxidation. It also comes in two pieces instead of one. Each one slips onto a single antenna. It provides the same parabolic curve.
As with the TACO-RC model, this booster works best when directed at the drone. It also does not change the actual controller. It simply reflects the WiFi signal to give an enhanced range. This is the least expensive product on the list at $19.99 on Amazon. It does not come with any additional accessories.
If you are interested in learning more about the SKYREAT Copper Parabolic Antenna Range Booster, the Amazon listing has more detailed information.
The final choice is to build your own reflector using a printed template, aluminum foil, a file folder, and a glue stick. After putting it together, the finished product slides onto the antenna just like the TACO-RV and SKYREAT products above.
It is a very simple process and only takes minutes to fully assemble, resulting in an inexpensive and sturdy reflector. The aluminum foil works in the same way as the TACO-RC’s aluminum booster. The curve of the template also gives the same parabolic curve to maximize efficiency.
This is by far the cheapest option period. Even if you have to purchase every item needed, it costs nearly nothing. Unfortunately, it also is the least attractive. At its most basic form, it is merely paper and aluminum foil. Nothing stops you from decorating the booster to your liking, but anything extra you add could affect performance.
Thanks for reading! Do you have a favorite range extender for the Phantom 3 that we missed? Tell us about it in the comments or on our Facebook page.
Please share this post with anyone you know who has a Phantom 3 drone!