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New to Skydio - Had weird issues on maiden flight. Insights appreciated!

RiverEagle

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Hi folks,

Just got my new Skydio 2 and am STOKED to get flying with it. : )

The day before I charged up all the batteries and then updated everything (drone, beacon, controller, and dual charger). I also made sure to "sync" the Beacon and Controller to the Skydio successfully.

Went into the skies today but had some strange glitches:

- Before flight after I connected the iPhone to the controller the app kept asking me to connect via WIFI and wouldn't give me any other option so I let it then it would ask me to disable WIFI to use the controller. It kept looping through that a few times until it finally recognized the controller through the cable and didn't bug about WIFI.

- Around the first ten minutes things went smoothly then for a few seconds the app would say communication was lost then it would reconnect. This was even though the drone wasn't all that far (300 feet?) in a wide open field. I brought the drone closer anyway and as it got closer communications would still drop and resume. Then as it got within ten feet of me communications with the drone was completely dropped and would not reconnect no matter what I did - kept saying Skydio not found.

No matter what I did, the controller would not reconnect.

I pulled out the Beacon to see if it would connect and it could not locate the Skydio (it did connect before and earlier when I updated the beacon). Kept saying no Skydio to connect to.

I pulled the phone off the Controller to see if I could connect through the phones WIFI and that didn't work either. It's as if the Skydio was completely invisible to all.

I noticed the lights on the Skydio were blinking yellow.

I also noticed I could still steer the Skydio using the controller even though it was no longer connected to the phone (and even though earlier it said no connection to Skydio!) so I tried to bring it down to land and it would not budge after 4 feet. Pressed the return to home button on controller, no go...

At an impasse I simply reached out and grabbed it and unplugged the battery from it and it finally stopped.

Any idea what went wrong or what operator error I might have done and what I can do to fix/sort/avoid this?

BTW I did set the app to Narrow band communication before flight to extend the range of it, dunno if that may have had something to do with it?

Thanks for your insights and I'm looking forward to so much more flying!

Ray
 
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Trailryder42

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From what I understand, The wifi it wants you to disable is the phones wifi. The controller has it's own wifi that works with the app via the cable.

I'm surprised the controllers wifi alone got you 300 ft..

So, at the initial launch using the controller and phone app, did you hand launch, or take off from the ground? If you hand launch, the drone raises up, turns around and acquires visual track of you. If you ground launch, it does not. So you have to select yourself on the app screen for it to visually acquire and track you.

If you didn't make sure it had visual track of you, then you flew it 300 ft away, it may have lost both forms of tracking. Then couldn't re-acquire either. That's when it would have been good if you'd have also connected the beacon and drone via gps before launch.

From everything I've read, I'm also always going to connect the drone via the GPS link of the Beacon, before launch.

I'm a newbie too, so lets see what the others here have to say.
 

ETdronehome

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First of all Wecome😀

i‘m not sure why you lost connection at that distance but thats around the limit where you might have trouble if you were flying with ONLY the phone.

The SkydioPilots 2 has a myriad of connection possibilities so it’s challenging to get your head around but in this case the Controller connects and controls the drone and the phone is more like the viewfinder etc.

It’s advisable to turn phone WiFi OFF when using the controller as you can encounter interference issues.

The lights flashing like that means OA is off and that happens during a “normal” landing or a RTH scenario.


I had to refer to the manual pages 34-35 but they offer some clues as to some of the behaviour you describe.
 
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Ridefreak

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The beacon isn't needed if you're flying with the phone/controller. I don't think it's recommended although I heard someone mention that it's possible to connect the 3 devices. From what I understand the beacon wants to be the primary controller if it's powered on.

Try it with narrowband turned off, that's what SD recommended to me when I experienced connection problems right after the update when I activated narrow band. Since that flight and turning off narrowband the connection issues when away.
 
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RiverEagle

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Thanks for all your input on this.

To clarify I did have my phone in airplane mode when I took off.

I forgot to add that the communication anomalies occurred when I had the Skydio do a dronie -- it shot up 8 feet and aborted, just hovering there. That was when I tried all manner of reconnecting and such to no avail. I only turned on the beacon afterwards to try to reconnect and rescue the drone.

I'm chalking it up to narrowband issues per @Ridefreak so we'll see how things go next time. Fingers crossed : )

Much appreciated!
Ray
 
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RiverEagle

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It just occurred to me that I should turn off low power mode on the iPhone when using the Skydio app. That may have had something to do with the issues above...

Ray
 
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ETdronehome

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It just occurred to me that I should turn off low power mode on the iPhone when using the Skydio app. That may have had something to do with the issues above...

Ray
I’m curious why you think this might be a contributing factor?

8746A446-340A-4285-B34A-146590F5505B.png
 

RiverEagle

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No specific reason, really. I've read elsewhere it was advised to turn it off and on here there is another post referencing this: #5

Am just going through a process of eliminating problems/issues.

Ray
 

Ridefreak

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No specific reason, really. I've read elsewhere it was advised to turn it off and on here there is another post referencing this: #5

Am just going through a process of eliminating problems/issues.

Ray
I hate that LP mode anyway, you probably couldn't see the screen in direct sunlight, I have an android now but I'd always turn that off on my apple devices, too hard to see outside.
 

Saladshooter

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I am sure you have the official cable but iPhones only connect properly to the controller using Skydio's own cable so make sure you are using it. Android phones don't have this issue.
 
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RiverEagle

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I am sure you have the official cable but iPhones only connect properly to the controller using Skydio's own cable so make sure you are using it. Android phones don't have this issue.
Ayup using the cable that came with it.

Early yet but I haven’t had further issues since turning off narrowband option…
 
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Ridefreak

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If you are actively using the controls on the phone, beacon or controller that's basically the primary controller at that time and it can switch simply by starting to use the other connected device to control the drone. In the scenerio I was referring to was connecting up the beacon, then the phone to the beacon and sliding the phone in my pocket, it's not needed but it's connected just to record LKP info. All the control is a product of the beacon and drone working together, all the phone is adding is recording that position info. If the phone shuts off or looses connection the flight is the exact same since the phone is not being used as the controller. If I use the beacon as a range extender and fly using the phone controls then the phone is the primary controller.
 

ksdehoff

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I would add my experience - my drone is over a year old but I have started having the same issue as reported by the original poster. Using the controller it has become very unreliable in connecting and staying connected. The only way I can get the controller to connect to the drone is to have the phone wired to the controller before I open the controller up and turn it on. Then the controller will disconnect from the drone after a short time on the app and I have to redo this nonsense while the drone hovers. Once this second reconnect is done it resumes working 'properly'. Seems something has changed. I've been flying the drone several times per week in all of 2021 - this behavior started in january.
 
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Sky Cyclist

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I would add my experience - my drone is over a year old but I have started having the same issue as reported by the original poster. Using the controller it has become very unreliable in connecting and staying connected. The only way I can get the controller to connect to the drone is to have the phone wired to the controller before I open the controller up and turn it on. Then the controller will disconnect from the drone after a short time on the app and I have to redo this nonsense while the drone hovers. Once this second reconnect is done it resumes working 'properly'. Seems something has changed. I've been flying the drone several times per week in all of 2021 - this behavior started in january.

If there is something changed, the most possible is the Wifi channel, check if it is helpful to switch over from 5G to 2.4G.

Part of the last two major updates is related to 2.4G/5G.

Otherwise, there should not be any technical changes.

(Hope that helps, but I'm a newbie and I have not used a controller,)
 

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