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Initial questions

Hikerguy

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Dear all: My Skydio 2 sport with beacon, is scheduled for delivery soon. My plan is to clip the beacon to a backpack so it would be easily visible. And, this is mountainous terrain with no cell coverage. My needs are to follow me; but also to fly over the trail, on each side of the trail (which runs roughly north and south) to see what the steep terrain looks like. So I would want the drone to fly east or west around the trail. I don’t have to look too far off the trail, maybe only 100 to 200 meters, and I don’t need to be too high either, maybe 50 meters of altitude. I doubt there are tall trees, but there is plenty of vegetation. Also, when up high in the mountains, there are winds!

As I have no experience with drones, please help with five questions: first, about how long is the learning curve to use the drone for hiking? Second, does the drone send live video to my cellphone or tablet? Three, does the drone fly, take video, and then the video is viewable by placing the SD card in a tablet or laptop? Four, my hiking maps are downloaded currently on a cell phone app, Gaia GPS. As they are downloaded, there is no need for cell phone coverage. Would you recommend a tablet, and if yes why and which tablets would you recommend? Five, any special issues about flying in mountains or in windy areas? Thank you!
 

ETdronehome

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Dear all: My Skydio 2 sport with beacon, is scheduled for delivery soon. My plan is to clip the beacon to a backpack so it would be easily visible. And, this is mountainous terrain with no cell coverage. My needs are to follow me; but also to fly over the trail, on each side of the trail (which runs roughly north and south) to see what the steep terrain looks like. So I would want the drone to fly east or west around the trail. I don’t have to look too far off the trail, maybe only 100 to 200 meters, and I don’t need to be too high either, maybe 50 meters of altitude. I doubt there are tall trees, but there is plenty of vegetation. Also, when up high in the mountains, there are winds!

As I have no experience with drones, please help with five questions: first, about how long is the learning curve to use the drone for hiking? Second, does the drone send live video to my cellphone or tablet? Three, does the drone fly, take video, and then the video is viewable by placing the SD card in a tablet or laptop? Four, my hiking maps are downloaded currently on a cell phone app, Gaia GPS. As they are downloaded, there is no need for cell phone coverage. Would you recommend a tablet, and if yes why and which tablets would you recommend? Five, any special issues about flying in mountains or in windy areas? Thank you!
I’m new here but not new to drones so perhaps I can help.
So my first piece of advice (after reading the manuals) would be to initially fly your new drone in a very controlled manner. Wide open area away from people or anything else that might distract you. Keep the drone within a radius of 100 ft, don’t get the battery level below 30%, practice take off and landing and experiment with the RTH function so you understand it.

To answer some of your questions:
Yes the drone will send a live video feed of whatever the camera is pointing at to your phone. If you want to play it back you have two options. Review the recording on the SD card of the drone (multiple ways to do that) AND/OR you can have your phone record whatever is displayed on the screen as you fly the drone. This second method is a great learning tool as it helps you recall what you actually did to get the drone to move a certain way.

You can control the flight of the drone with either the phone or the beacon. Having the beacon clipped to your backpack might make that awkward. Again practice flying with the beacon in a controlled area so you are confident in how it all works.

Your planned use is well within the scope of Skydio 2.

The wind can be an issue especially in mountainous terrain as the wind is typically less consistent and subject to rapid changes. Most modern drones like the Skydio 2 sense when they are in high wind and will present warnings that they are having difficulty maintaining control. Push it too hard and bad things happen.

I don’t fly with a tablet so can’t comment other than ensure the device is capable of running the Skydio app, a number of products won’t. I believe there is an approved list on the Skydio site.

EDIT: Just found this link about approved devices.


Hope this helps. Have fun!
 
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Hikerguy

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I’m new here but not new to drones so perhaps I can help.
So my first piece of advice (after reading the manuals) would be to initially fly your new drone in a very controlled manner. Wide open area away from people or anything else that might distract you. Keep the drone within a radius of 100 ft, don’t get the battery level below 30%, practice take off and landing and experiment with the RTH function so you understand it.

To answer some of your questions:
Yes the drone will send a live video feed of whatever the camera is pointing at to your phone. If you want to play it back you have two options. Review the recording on the SD card of the drone (multiple ways to do that) AND/OR you can have your phone record whatever is displayed on the screen as you fly the drone. This second method is a great learning tool as it helps you recall what you actually did to get the drone to move a certain way.

You can control the flight of the drone with either the phone or the beacon. Having the beacon clipped to your backpack might make that awkward. Again practice flying with the beacon in a controlled area so you are confident in how it all works.

Your planned use is well within the scope of Skydio 2.

The wind can be an issue especially in mountainous terrain as the wind is typically less consistent and subject to rapid changes. Most modern drones like the Skydio 2 sense when they are in high wind and will present warnings that they are having difficulty maintaining control. Push it too hard and bad things happen.

I don’t fly with a tablet so can’t comment other than ensure the device is capable of running the Skydio app, a number of products won’t. I believe there is an approved list on the Skydio site.

EDIT: Just found this link about approved devices.


Hope this helps. Have fun!
Thank you! There's so much insight in your comments, that it will tae some time to read again and digest it all. Thanks!
 
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ETdronehome

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Happy I could help a bit 😊

I found the Skydio Flight School is a great tool for visual learners.


The terrain you plan to hike in sounds challenging in itself.. interesting idea to let the drone scout ahead for you, will likely save having to backtrack a bunch.
 

Hikerguy

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Yes, you hit the nail on the head "scout ahead". The hike is in western Panama, an area known for three dangers: cannibals; jaguars; and snakes (constrictor & venomous). The first two are low risk, while the last is real. If you have seen Indiana Jones in ROTLA, the snake scene in the temple with 4,000 live snakes, is apt. So I was hoping to use the drone to scout a little ahead of me, and not too far off the ground. (Also wearing snake gaiters). Good luck to me! :)
 
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ETdronehome

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Yes, you hit the nail on the head "scout ahead". The hike is in western Panama, an area known for three dangers: cannibals; jaguars; and snakes (constrictor & venomous). The first two are low risk, while the last is real. If you have seen Indiana Jones in ROTLA, the snake scene in the temple with 4,000 live snakes, is apt. So I was hoping to use the drone to scout a little ahead of me, and not too far off the ground. (Also wearing snake gaiters). Good luck to me! :)
Wow that sounds like an adventure!! Would the gaiters help if an anaconda grabbed you😳?

Watch out for those aquaceros 😆 as the drone and other components don’t like getting wet!!!

Actually all kidding aside I hope you are aware that the SD2 won’t fly if certain criteria that impact its “vision” aren’t in place

If anything - dirt, rain drops etc obscure the vision of the cameras enough the drone won’t launch or if already flying will sort of encourage you to land SOON and deal with it.

The other criteria to keep in mind is light level. If the drone decides it’s too dark it will again not launch or insist you land.
 

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