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Buyers remorse? Frustrated.

CrashMan

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I won't lie I am getting a little frustrated and I know I am new to it with things still to learn but it feels like its more than that.

Again I tried using the beacon and my galaxy s10. First I tried fixing on me and then getting into the rig. At this point it would loose me and run like a chicken with its head cut off.

Tried this a second time and it quickly goes to GPS and off again like a chicken.

The third time I started in the rig---lasted about 20 seconds and then off into the trees. Kinda freaky trying to get a drone thats like 30ft up in the trees down without wiping it out..

The forth I did just me--and its works great--but that does nothing for me as thats not the reason I made the purchase....

Somebody had mentioned about using the beacon only. I drove out to the open road to have zero obstructions. The beacon had a heck of a time connecting to the drone and would only show one indicator on the GPS bar... I connected in the rig, started to follow and bam--again like a chicken who lost its head.

All times zero obstruction between me and thew drone. I don't know if its an interference issue but I have seen many videos folks doing the same thing.

Looking for some insight to either what I am doing wrong or the next things to check out... Also somebody had mentioned launching and landing by hand--got a chance to practice it and it worked slick.

I had also read something about some issues rising after a couple prior firmware updates? Thanks for taking the time to read this...

 
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Saladshooter

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Sorry to hear about your frustration. There are a couple of folks on here that track in the way you are extensively so hopefully they can help more.

Its unclear to me whether you have a Skydio 2 or 2+. I have an original Skydio 2. Definitely use the phone and Beacon together to speed up getting a signal. The Beacon on the original is terminally slow in acquiring satellites. Once its working and in the air, lock on the vehicle while you are standing outside it. You will see a car icon on the phone screen. Tap on it and it should be ready to track..... then enter your vehicle.

Find a way to keep the Beacon near the window of the vehicle and use the phone to move the Skydio around.. It should help in maintaining the signal between the drone and the Beacon. The closer you keep the Skydio to the rock crawler, the better it should stay connected and able to track.
 
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ETdronehome

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I won't lie I am getting a little frustrated and I know I am new to it with things still to learn but it feels like its more than that.

Again I tried using the beacon and my galaxy s10. First I tried fixing on me and then getting into the rig. At this point it would loose me and run like a chicken with its head cut off.

Tried this a second time and it quickly goes to GPS and off again like a chicken.

The third time I started in the rig---lasted about 20 seconds and then off into the trees. Kinda freaky trying to get a drone thats like 30ft up in the trees down without wiping it out..

The forth I did just me--and its works great--but that does nothing for me as thats not the reason I made the purchase....

Somebody had mentioned about using the beacon only. I drove out to the open road to have zero obstructions. The beacon had a heck of a time connecting to the drone and would only show one indicator on the GPS bar... I connected in the rig, started to follow and bam--again like a chicken who lost its head.

All times zero obstruction between me and thew drone. I don't know if its an interference issue but I have seen many videos folks doing the same thing.

Looking for some insight to either what I am doing wrong or the next things to check out... Also somebody had mentioned launching and landing by hand--got a chance to practice it and it worked slick.

I had also read something about some issues rising after a couple prior firmware updates? Thanks for taking the time to read this...

Having watched your video I’m wondering if there is something in your vehicle that is “blocking” the signal between the drone and the beacon.

In all of the video the drone is positioned behind the crawler to follow you.

As a test maybe try to set it out in front of the crawler and have it fly backwards as you drive. You can watch it and have a LOS out the front window, where you are holding the beacon. You would also be able to start moving almost immediately after acquiring tracking mode and the Skydio doesn’t have to wait around trying to figure out what direction it needs to fly.
 
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CrashMan

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Sorry to hear about your frustration. There are a couple of folks on here that track in the way you are extensively so hopefully they can help more.

Its unclear to me whether you have a Skydio 2 or 2+. I have an original Skydio 2. Definitely use the phone and Beacon together to speed up getting a signal. The Beacon on the original is terminally slow in acquiring satellites. Once its working and in the air, lock on the vehicle while you are standing outside it. You will see a car icon on the phone screen. Tap on it and it should be ready to track..... then enter your vehicle.

Find a way to keep the Beacon near the window of the vehicle and use the phone to move the Skydio around.. It should help in maintaining the signal between the drone and the Beacon. The closer you keep the Skydio to the rock crawler, the better it should stay connected and able to track.
MY apologies its a 2.. So the slow link time is normal then with just the beacon, wasn't sure but somebody had mentioned trying that to see if it helped.. Most my shooting is planned for close proximity and I still need to make a mount for the beacon.
 

CrashMan

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Having watched your video I’m wondering if there is something in your vehicle that is “blocking” the signal between the drone and the beacon.

In all of the video the drone is positioned behind the crawler to follow you.

As a test maybe try to set it out in front of the crawler and have it fly backwards as you drive. You can watch it and have a LOS out the front window, where you are holding the beacon. You would also be able to start moving almost immediately after acquiring tracking mode and the Skydio doesn’t have to wait around trying to figure out what direction it needs to fly.
I will give that a shot. Unlike a normal vehicle I have far less metal covering with the roof all aluminum. Was thinking of doing Velcro and a couple spots to set the beacon...
 
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Saladshooter

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I will give that a shot. Unlike a normal vehicle I have far less metal covering with the roof all aluminum. Was thinking of doing Velcro and a couple spots to set the beacon...
Aluminum is very good at blocking WIFI.... quite a bit better than steel or iron, though I would think you have enough open space under the roof to get the signal to the beacon. Definitely place the beacon as close to the outside as you can and use the phone screen to visually lock on the correct subject, not the beacon if you can help it.
 
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CrashMan

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Aluminum is very good at blocking WIFI.... quite a bit better than steel or iron, though I would think you have enough open space under the roof to get the signal to the beacon. Definitely place the beacon as close to the outside as you can and use the phone screen to visually lock on the correct subject, not the beacon if you can help it.
So just to clarify the phone connects to the beacon and the beacon to the drone in that order or flow? Heck I can easily Velcro the beacon to the roof or use the gopro mount on the roof.. My one and only concern is under disconnect is it just as easy to stop the drone in its place with the phone as it is the beacon?

I have an older galaxy that I use with my Mavic pro 2 and I might make a new mount and use that instead. I will look into doing a mount for my phone in the rig...

But I guess I have never researched and would have thought that aluminum was a better blocker...
 

ETdronehome

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@CrashMan said

“So just to clarify the phone connects to the beacon and the beacon to the drone in that order or flow?”

If you are using phone beacon combo yes that’s the right order.

The phone alone can connect to S2 via wifi

The beacon alone connects to the S2 with both a wifi signal AND a GPS “computation” So provides a more “robust” connection to the S2 when it loses visual lock

I’m not really sure how the GPS link works. S2 internally has a GPS fix and so does Beacon but if it’s in GPS only mode then how does the drone know where the beacon is-only Skydio engineers know😀

The S2 connects via wifi AND its visual tracking system.

If you had a controller it would connect to the S2 via Wifi, you turn phone wifi off so it doesn’t conflict with the controller.

The controller is bigger with lots of battery so it’s wifi signal is stronger than the phone or the beacon.

The phone somehow speeds up the process of the beacon getting through its initial GPS dance in the phone-beacon combo but I don’t know if the phone adds anything to the connectivity to-from the S2.
You don’t have to use a phone as you can fly beacon only. If you are good at “wanding” with the beacon and/or can use the buttons on the beacon to maneuver the S2 it works. Your video shows you in heavily trees terrain so getting good at maneuvering with the phone might be a good idea. I found wanding more an art than a science and the buttons on the beacon provide a subset of direction control.
 
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Saladshooter

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My one and only concern is under disconnect is it just as easy to stop the drone in its place with the phone as it is the beacon?
There is big red X on the phone screen when tracking.... you hit the button and it will switch to Hover, like when hitting the red button on the beacon.

The phone somehow speeds up the process of the beacon getting through its initial GPS dance in the phone-beacon combo
I am pretty sure the phone lends its GPS to the process and may continue to provide GPS help throughout the flight.

I don’t know if the phone adds anything to the connectivity to-from the S2.
If the phone adds to the connectivity at all its when the Skydio can't visually track and is using GPS. The big advantage of the phone is to be able to lock on the correct subject by tapping its associated icon on-screen.
 
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CrashMan

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There is big red X on the phone screen when tracking.... you hit the button and it will switch to Hover, like when hitting the red button on the beacon.


I am pretty sure the phone lends its GPS to the process and may continue to provide GPS help throughout the flight.


If the phone adds to the connectivity at all its when the Skydio can't visually track and is using GPS. The big advantage of the phone is to be able to lock on the correct subject by tapping its associated icon on-screen.
I will have to try that with the phone as I have used the beacon exclusively for the tracking and kinda held the phone not really paying attention to it until after I started tracking with the beacon...

Thanks for the input ;)
 
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ETdronehome

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I will have to try that with the phone as I have used the beacon exclusively for the tracking and kinda held the phone not really paying attention to it until after I started tracking with the beacon...

Thanks for the input ;)
Understand why you might not look at phone screen as you are mildly distracted driving over huge rocks!!! 😜

Having the beacon mounted outside the vehicle (perhaps in a water proof enclosure) where it has a clear LOS to the S2 at all times, with the phone or perhaps a bigger screen tablet inside the vehicle might be a good solution. If the S2 looses visual lock or gets stuck somewhere due to OA overload you would know by glancing at the tablets camera view. Pop the tablet out of its mount and walk back to fly the drone out.

I’ve recently got a Tripltek 8 tablet and it’s a great drone accessory. I just love trying to spend someone else’s $ 😎
 

ETdronehome

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There is big red X on the phone screen when tracking.... you hit the button and it will switch to Hover, like when hitting the red button on the beacon.


I am pretty sure the phone lends its GPS to the process and may continue to provide GPS help throughout the flight.


If the phone adds to the connectivity at all its when the Skydio can't visually track and is using GPS. The big advantage of the phone is to be able to lock on the correct subject by tapping its associated icon on-screen.
All very helpful advice.

I think phones have access via the internet to a GPS “calendar” - maybe not correct term. The calendar knows what satellites are available in a particular location so the GPS lock is quicker. The phone through the app would likely share that info with the beacon.

Sorry didn’t want to Hyjack the thread.

I personally think flying with a combo has a lot of advantages. Of course there are users such as @paularity that are out on the water most of time where a combo isn’t practical.
 
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CrashMan

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Good info and I always love good info. I will have to research the internet/GPS data thing as it sounds interesting. I will say my Garmin does work in that very spot. 2 years ago I spent 3 weeks GPS'ing every inch of our orv area to build a better map than what the DNR had.....
 

ETdronehome

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I did use the incorrect term - NOT calendar but ALMANAC. I’m sort of like a broken clock - correct twice per day - any more than that is pure coincidence! 😀

This is an article that helps define the term better than I did.

 
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CrashMan

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So taking steps to help alleviate my issue. The first was to get ram phone mount that comes off my grab bar. I am going tlo setup my old S7 that I use for my Mavic Pro 2. This will keep it in my sight without having to look down. Not sure thats where it will stay but its another try.
The second is I ordered a beacon mount that uses a gopro mount. That will go on the roof...

Will see how that works out this weekend......
 

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ETdronehome

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So taking steps to help alleviate my issue. The first was to get ram phone mount that comes off my grab bar. I am going tlo setup my old S7 that I use for my Mavic Pro 2. This will keep it in my sight without having to look down. Not sure thats where it will stay but its another try.
The second is I ordered a beacon mount that uses a gopro mount. That will go on the roof...

Will see how that works out this weekend......
Nice big screen setup! Beacon outside will logically eliminate any signal reduction due to roof.

Do you have anything else on the crawler that could be producing RF interference??
 

CrashMan

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No It's pretty basic, far less basic than any vehicle. One ipod, 2 amps are about the only things that could generate anything of that nature.
 
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Ridefreak

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It should be capable of operating inside the cockpit, I drove almost the entire length of Valley of the Gods using the beacon from inside my Tacoma, worked like a charm. If this were me, I'd connect the beacon to the drone, then connect the phone to the beacon (my usual method in that order) allow the gps to sync, as soon as it become ready tell it to take off, I watch to ensure it's tracking me, if not I check to see it's on a tracking mode (beacon screen) and wand it some with the blue button if it isn't. I clear the screen on my phone and stick it in my pocket at that time, not touching it for the rest of the flight. At this point I've not used the phone at all except to speed up the gps sync.

This has worked solid for me for a couple years but on the most recent flight I've see some weird behavior just after launching, it's like the drone was tracking something about 50 yards away, moving along with me but offset 50 yards. Landed, powered everything down (Drone/Beacon) restarted and all was good.

When flying the first few min makes all the difference, if it starts out bad like wierd behavior you saw pull it back and start over, cut your losses rather then wasting battery trying to get it working properly. I don't think at that point you can w/o power cycling the drone. That's what happened to me, I couldn't fix the issue using the phone or beacon but restarting it did correct the problem. Shouldn't have to do that and I never have had to do that before but the most recent updates and I suspect the software in the 2+ likely similar, this seems to be a newly created problem with the beacon and phone being used.

One test I'd make is connect the beacon to the drone, then connect the tablet to the beacon, (in that order) allow the gps to sync, when it's ready to launch, disconnect the phone from the beacon taking the phone/tablet out of the equation all together. Wand it around a little to make sure it's locked on and give it a try at tracking you.

It's good to get out in an open area, bring all your batteries and try some different things, much less likely to have an issue with nothing around to interfere. My current drone is new and not allot of flying on it but I'm convinced these get better at tracking you the more you use that function. I know, weird. I won't go as far as to call it learning but my theory is there's a table it's using that gets populated with data it uses on future flights. My last SD2 didn't do so well right at first but got progressively better the more I flew it, after having it for a year it became super rare for it to misbehave at all, almost never. Then the big update and it was like starting over, after a few problematic flights it got much better at tracking me and not loosing it's signal. It fell out of the sky for an unknown reason and skydio gave me another. The new one had some issues like I described above but it's doing allot better, unfortunately it's cold here and I've not flown much with the new drone. It's not the plus version though.
 

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