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Extremely Aggravated by Beacon GPS Syncing Issues - Skydio 2+ & Beacon v2.0

Ridefreak

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I'm using a motorola moto phone. It wouldn't be the first time a phone model or setting has caused weird issues. Next time, just as a test leave the phone screen open till after you launch, check it's locked on to you and then mute the phone. See if that helps.

Take a look at this section of video, it's typical of the majority of my launches.
 

joseaugusto

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I received a new Skydio 2+ and the new version of the Beacon in June. First, I would like to state that when I'm able to actually launch the drone, it performs beautifully and the video footage is spectacular.

However, getting the drone to launch with the beacon is extremely difficult. The drone was purchased to film hiking, MTB rides, and moto rides. I do not want to fly this drone with my phone or a controller. I only want to fly with the beacon for now. From the very start, I've had nothing but issues trying to get the beacon to sync to the GPS satellites. Most of the time the drone will auto power off before it can get a GPS lock. I first contacted support in early July about the issue, and after providing coordinates, I was told that it was probably because I was in a basin. However, it was a desert basin, with mountains on all sides but they were 50 miles away and there was clear view in every direction.

Be that as it may I tried over and over from different locations around Las Vegas. Finally, Skydio decided to replace the beacon saying that it was defective. Before the new beacon even arrived, they also had me send back my drone for which they sent me a new one because they said log data showed the drone was defective too. Now here I am 2 months later with a new drone, new beacon, and I've traveled to many other locations, some up to 4 hours, away where I was at the highest point any where around and still I have the same issue. The beacon just cannot sync the GPS without 3 or more tries. Sometimes the beacon will get a GPS sync but when I start the launch count down it will loose sync and it will start all over again. It's extremely frustrating. First, if you are with anyone, they will have no patience waiting 15 minutes for you to keep trying to get your drone up. Further, I really don't want to waste 15-20 minutes every time trying to get the drone launched and then failing in many cases.

I've now emailed support 3x in this week and they now don't even respond at all about this issue. In my last exchange with them back in August they stated "We recommend pairing your Beacon to your phone to obtain a GPS lock quicker. I'd also recommend ensuring your drone and Beacon are in a clear area away from obstructions."

The fact is, again, I don't want to have my phone out, mounted on my handle bars, etc when I'm flying. This drone was purchased solely because of the beacon and the GPS tracking ability. Just for sake of argument, in few of the places that I was unable to get a GPS lock, I also tried connecting the beacon to the drone, then the my phone to the beacon and nearly instantly, the beacon gets a GPS sync. However, as soon as you shut off your phone screen, the beacon loses the GPS lock and starts syncing again. This is so aggravating. In my opinion, there is something seriously wrong with the technology in the beacon. It does not perform as it should. I would be maybe 40% less aggravated if I could connect my phone, get the GPS lock, and then be able to put the phone back in my pocket and the beacon would still stay connected to my phone and keep the GPS lock.

I don't know what the solution is here, but I'm ready to throw the drone off a mountain next time lug that huge carrying case, with 2 batteries up 8,000 ft to a mountain peek and I can't get GPS sync. This is problem, and I'm just one of many complaining about this issue. Skydio we really need this issue solved.

Further, Skydio doesn't really provide any detail on best ways to get GPS sync. When the beacon is searching for GPS sync, is it the drone trying to sync, or the beacon or both? Should I be holding my beacon up in the air and/or pointing it in a certain direction? What about the drone, should I be holding that up too?

One last thing I wanted to point out. A few days ago I installed the latest firmware update which also updated the beacon too. However, now when I first turn the drone and beacon on, it takes the beacon almost a full minute before it can even find my drone. Previously, the beacon would connect to the drones WIFI in a few seconds. So I'm not sure what the hell just happened with the last firmware update but now it's even worse than before....
Uau!!! Thanks God!!!! I am new here , and I am facing EXACTLY the same problem with my SD2+ and Beacon, and I live in Brazil, far away from you, so the point about clearance, location, that´s not make sense! I am speaking with skydio support, and I have just received this info:
"
ou will need to use the Skydio app on your phone to finish the GPS sync. After syncing the beacon with the Skydio app, you will need to acquire a GPS lock, then you will be able to fly with only the beacon.

To acquire a GPS Lock - Launch the drone and fly a few meters in a lateral motion (forward, backward, left, or right) to acquire a GPS lock.

How to confirm you have a GPS lock: If your drone can ascend beyond 33 ft (10 m) above ground when outdoors you have a GPS lock.

Again, once you have acquired a GPS Lock you can put your phone away and fly only using the beacon.

Please try the steps mentioned above and let me know if this resolves the issue. "

The point is: I never needed to use phone WITH beacon to sync, I used to flight ONLY with Beacon on previous version (Skydio 2) and since I upgraded to SK 2+ with the same beacon I could not sync without phone anymore!!!

I will try to the above procedure.. I´ll let you know!
 

joseaugusto

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Well, I tried the procedure above but no way!!! By the way I discover that when I launch drone syncing beacon + phone and try to "fly" with beacon, it simply does not "see" me, it just can not follow me, it´s like a bling flight!!!
I tried again to solve this with Skydio Support. I am waiting for a solution! (I think that is a Beacon´s software/version issue!)
 

kenmavic2zoom

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try this but it prob won't work because you're not really doing anything different. try to hand launch the drone, with it facing away from you, drone should fly off then turn around and face/lock onto you, then confirm gps? iirc
 

joseaugusto

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try this but it prob won't work because you're not really doing anything different. try to hand launch the drone, with it facing away from you, drone should fly off then turn around and face/lock onto you, then confirm gps? iirc
The main point is: I used to fly my SD2 only with Beacon, never needed to use app to "help" sync but nowdays it seems it does not work anymore! And Skydio Support team does not know the reason why. Simply like that.
 

Ridefreak

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The main point is: I used to fly my SD2 only with Beacon, never needed to use app to "help" sync but nowdays it seems it does not work anymore! And Skydio Support team does not know the reason why. Simply like that.
I would tend to agree, Since the update the drone seems to be more dependent on an external gps signal like from a phone. I'm not sure that I've had a successful beacon only GPS Sync since the update, the few times I tried I ether got tired of waiting or the drone times out. Before the update I flew beacon only many times.
 

kenmavic2zoom

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The main point is: I used to fly my SD2 only with Beacon, never needed to use app to "help" sync but nowdays it seems it does not work anymore! And Skydio Support team does not know the reason why. Simply like that.
i agree, the help sync is always popping up way more frequently. i never used to see it, im wondering if this is intentional.
 

XtremeMTB

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How to confirm you have a GPS lock: If your drone can ascend beyond 33 ft (10 m) above ground when outdoors you have a GPS lock.

Again, once you have acquired a GPS Lock you can put your phone away and fly only using the beacon.

Please try the steps mentioned above and let me know if this resolves the issue. "
My issue is the same as BikeRidez showed in the video that started this thread. I can use my phone to get a fast GPS lock, but as soon as I put the phone back to into lock screen mode, the drone or beacon (not sure which) looses they GPS lock and goes back into Sync mode again. So, I can't launch. I just read someone else reply that states I should wait until after the launch before I put phone in lock mode. Although Skydio states that the drone won't fly over above 30 ft without a GPS lock, this really scares me to test launching the drone, locking my phone, and then take a chance that the drone won't fly off (as many have reported) with only visual tracking....
 

joseaugusto

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My issue is the same as BikeRidez showed in the video that started this thread. I can use my phone to get a fast GPS lock, but as soon as I put the phone back to into lock screen mode, the drone or beacon (not sure which) looses they GPS lock and goes back into Sync mode again. So, I can't launch. I just read someone else reply that states I should wait until after the launch before I put phone in lock mode. Although Skydio states that the drone won't fly over above 30 ft without a GPS lock, this really scares me to test launching the drone, locking my phone, and then take a chance that the drone won't fly off (as many have reported) with only visual tracking....
Today I flew SD2+ with Beacon + phone:
1) turned on [email protected]+
2) turned on Beacon
3) on iPhone Wifi = Beacon and app launched
4) SD2+ starts to fly with Beacon
5) iPhone into lock screen mode (and inside my pocket) >>>>>>> YES! Beacon controlled SD2+ (via image not GPS) and everything was fine.
But... for me it is a new behavior, I will try again tomorrow turn app off after SD2+ has launched.
 

bikeridez

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Sorry it's been a while since my last update but I finally got back out to a location that I've never previously gotten a GPS sync and I tested the procedure:

1) Turn on Skydio 2+
2) Turn on Beacon and wait for it to start trying to sync
3) Connect Iphone to Beacon's WIFI (this results in an instant GPS sync and ready to fly showing on beacon)
4) Launch Skydio 2+, wait for it to turn around and lock on me
5) Put Iphone back on lockscreen and start moving

I tried this twice and it works perfectly! Just as important, the freakin' footage from those two rides is incredible! It really is an amazing product!

So, I want to mark the headline of this topic as SOLVED, but I'm still disappointed that the beacon can't get this instant GPS sync without the use of a phone. It's obvious, that it can be done in small device like phone, so why wasn't this tech put into the beacon when the released the new version?

What do you guys think, should I mark the issue as resolved?
 
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VEGASROBBI

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I'd put a few more flights on it before you declare it resolved.

I've gone two or three flawless flights; then to be plagued with the beacon disconnect issues again.

But here's to hoping it is resolved, like ridefreak says the more you fly it the better it seems to get.

And you're correct, the launch and forget ability of this drone is unmatched and the reason I take the bad with the good.
 

Ridefreak

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Sorry it's been a while since my last update but I finally got back out to a location that I've never previously gotten a GPS sync and I tested the procedure:

1) Turn on Skydio 2+
2) Turn on Beacon and wait for it to start trying to sync
3) Connect Iphone to Beacon's WIFI (this results in an instant GPS sync and ready to fly showing on beacon)
4) Launch Skydio 2+, wait for it to turn around and lock on me
5) Put Iphone back on lockscreen and start moving

I tried this twice and it works perfectly! Just as important, the freakin' footage from those two rides is incredible! It really is an amazing product!

So, I want to mark the headline of this topic as SOLVED, but I'm still disappointed that the beacon can't get this instant GPS sync without the use of a phone. It's obvious, that it can be done in small device like phone, so why wasn't this tech put into the beacon when the released the new version?

What do you guys think, should I mark the issue as resolved?
I don't know that I'd call it resolved, we'd like all like to see it sync in a reasonable amount of time using only the beacon. I've pretty much always used the phone to speed up the sync, otherwise it wastes too much battery sitting there trying, that's not really new. The beacon and app responds a little differently now but overall it's not changed allot. Since there's a few other benefits to using the phone along with the beacon I'll just continue as I am now. It's obvious, to some extent the phone improves the SD2s GPS so there's that.
 

joseaugusto

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I'd put a few more flights on it before you declare it resolved.

I've gone two or three flawless flights; then to be plagued with the beacon disconnect issues again.

But here's to hoping it is resolved, like ridefreak says the more you fly it the better it seems to get.

And you're correct, the launch and forget ability of this drone is unmatched and the reason I take the bad with the good.
I´ll agree with regarding to declare it resolved! Let´s wait more reports....
 

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