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Question: Beacon vs controller GPS tracking

Lifeisfun

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Can someone please tell me if the you still need the beacon if you have the controller to improve tracking the subject?
Thanks
 

Jim

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Er, I'm not sure I follow the question - I have not attempted to use the controller in this fashion. I have used the Beacon when, e.g., biking down the trail, but it did not occur to me to use the controller in this way, esp. because you need to have your phone plugged into it and carrying it like that seems breakage prone... am I misunderstanding you?
 
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Lifeisfun

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Thanks for reply Jim!
I probably don't need the beacon as tracking device if the controller will give the drone the same info about GPS location in case the tracking subject is lost. My case would be fishing/boating so I have no problem having the controller with phone around.
 

Jim

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Ah, I see, don't have the answer for you there - in theory you could experiment to see if it does this by launching and then moving into an area where it has trouble with subject tracking using the controller but using the controller in motion strikes me as an atypical use case! Also, something I honestly don't particularly like about the controller and that would impede this is the fact that unlike the Beacon, which communicates with the phone over WiFi, the controller requires the phone to be plugged in with a cable, and the cable plugs into the back so you can't actually set it down because the weight of the phone would then put the weight on the cable plug! This seems highly breakage prone to me, they should either be using WiFi for the phone/controller interface as with the Beacon or at least put the cable interface on the side of the controller. (I know they borrowed much of the controller but I hope they'll end up developing their own going forward.)
 
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leenanj

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I can't see how the drone would follow the controller, not set up that way but I could be wrong.
I know the DJI's will not follow controllers.
 

Lifeisfun

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Lucky you!
I can't believe that they can't have these made faster, it will be old news 6 months from now like everything else.
 

Lifeisfun

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I can't see how the drone would follow the controller, not set up that way but I could be wrong.
I know the DJI's will not follow controllers.
I don't see why not, but I'm just comparing this to DJI drones where you can set dynamic home point where clearly the controller sends GPS coordinates to the vehicle.
 

VEGASROBBI

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The controller does not have GPS so you need the beacon or device for Follow.

DJI uses pure optical tracking without GPS which does not perform well.
 

OldBlueHeron

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Also not all DJI drones have dynamic home point. OG Mavic Pro, and the Spark is all I can think of.
 

Jim

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The controller does not have GPS so you need the beacon or device for Follow.

DJI uses pure optical tracking without GPS which does not perform well.
Interesting. For the SD2, I think it could be set up to follow the phone when using the controller in theory, except they tell you to put your phone in Airplane Mode when using the controller which disables the GPS!

And I have definitely experienced interference with the controller, though I don't think it was from my phone (I live near both a power station and right next to a local cable operator/ISP so I'm... not shocked there was some interference, though it was interesting, I had the signal fluctuate from full down to near zero and back again repeatedly but it only lost connection once) - I lost connectivity on one of my flights and had it fly back to the starting point automatically as designed - luckily it hovered there and did not try to land, and I reconnected from the phone as it hovered there and landed it, though next time I will try reconnection from the controller once it arrives.
 
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VEGASROBBI

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It’s like Anafi where the controller gets GPS from the phone/tablet; or you can use just the phone/tablet or the beacon for follow.
 
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Jim

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It’s like Anafi where the controller gets GPS from the phone/tablet; or you can use just the phone/tablet or the beacon for follow.
What I was trying to say is that the controller manual says to avoid interference, you should at least disable WiFi or better yet put your phone in Airplane Mode (see Best Practices bullets near the end of the manual). But on iOS at least, the latter actually disables the GPS or at least used to, so it can’t get location from the phone if you do it.
 

Lifeisfun

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Also not all DJI drones have dynamic home point. OG Mavic Pro, and the Spark is all I can think of.
The controller does not have GPS so you need the beacon or device for Follow.

DJI uses pure optical tracking without GPS which does not perform well.
It must get GPS info from the phone.

Just noticed that
VEGASROBBI
did point this out :)
 

Lifeisfun

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I understand that $150 for the beacon is not that much but I would rather spend that money on extra battery :)
 

AntDX316

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It tracks without the beacon or the controller. It also tracks you when you are out of the main cameras view.
 

Lon Denard

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For what it's worth, I've done a half dozen tracking tests and I haven't used the beacon. I've used the phone and/or the controller. Both times it worked well but I was on foot. I'm getting comfortable before I go tearing down a wood lined road in my car. I've see WAY too many weird scenarios. I don't want to be in my car doing 35 when the drone decided to go off on one of it's adventures! I also don't KNOW if an iPhone can still pick up GPS in Airplane mode but my Samsung S10+ does. The Beacon isn't a bad idea but I'll probably never use mine past a test or two. When you initiate Return To Home, it let's you choose between take off point and your phone so... You could always get one later.
 

Jim

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For what it's worth, I've done a half dozen tracking tests and I haven't used the beacon. I've used the phone and/or the controller. Both times it worked well but I was on foot. I'm getting comfortable before I go tearing down a wood lined road in my car. I've see WAY too many weird scenarios. I don't want to be in my car doing 35 when the drone decided to go off on one of it's adventures! I also don't KNOW if an iPhone can still pick up GPS in Airplane mode but my Samsung S10+ does. The Beacon isn't a bad idea but I'll probably never use mine past a test or two. When you initiate Return To Home, it let's you choose between take off point and your phone so... You could always get one later.
FYI, I have gotten an error in iOS (years ago) that GPS was unavailable in Airplane Mode, though that makes no sense to me as it’s only receiving not transmitting, and I just tried it and it seems to work fine now.
 

Lon Denard

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FYI, I have gotten an error in iOS (years ago) that GPS was unavailable in Airplane Mode, though that makes no sense to me as it’s only receiving not transmitting, and I just tried it and it seems to work fine now.

Cool, I would imagine that to be the case with everyone relying on phones as navigation these days
 

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