September 20, 2020 – Ann Arbor, MI
I wanted to do a post about this in case anyone else runs into this issue.
TL;DR: Modern drones and controllers have powerful wireless transmitters that might knock your wifi mesh network offline.
This weekend, I was prepping my DJI Mavic 2 Pro for flight by running the latest firmware updates and making sure the batteries were all charged and also up-to-date. It was a beautiful sunny morning, so I brought all of my gear up into the living room so I could enjoy the light. (I generally perform these updates in my basement studio – this will become relevant in a moment.) I fired up the Mavic and controller and initiated the update. Soon after my son, who was sitting on the sofa working on his laptop, complained that the internet wasn’t working. Sure enough, everything was timing out on my phone as well. I turned off my phone’s wifi and connected to my Google mesh wifi routers and discovered that 2⁄3 of my network had a status of poor or offline!
Step one of troubleshooting the network is to reboot it. Hmm, that didn’t work. Step two: pull physical power from each unit, then turn each one one in sequence, starting with the master at the modem. Test after each step. Everything is happy in the basement. Moving upstairs, things are not happy. The furthest mesh from the living room is poor, and the one in the living room is still offline. What is going on?! Google… nope, nope, nope. YouTube… nope, nope, wait! Of course. The Mavic and controller, doing it’s update thing right in the middle of my living room, is overpowering my wireless network. Sure enough, once everything was updated and powered off, my entire network returned to normal.
We celebrated by going flying!
Natural Bridge State Resort Park
Aerial 360 over Little Cedar Lake in Waterloo Recreation Area. Taken with a DJI Mavic 2 Pro.