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SD2 Pro Tip: Make Sure You Have Enough Space on Card Before Takeoff

Jim

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If your card runs out of space while flying, it will force land. You can cancel but it will immediately and repeatedly try to land, which gets tricky if you’re in a place without a good landing location, and if you’re doing an action sport and not watching the screen continuously you might not notice it’s suddenly landing behind you. Yesterday I was bicycling in follow-me mode and suddenly the drone was landing for didn’t-know-why with no error message or anything and I cancelled but it then repeatedly entered landing mode and if I hadn’t intervened, it looks like it would have landed in a bush next to the trail.

I’m going to suggest to Skydio that they should check the SD card free space before takeoff and prompt you if there’s not enough space on the card to accept a full battery’s worth of video, but in the meantime, something to keep in mind.
 

Jim

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Yeah, honestly this is... not the choice I would have made, but seems readily correctable and hopefully they will update.
 

Ridefreak

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I've had it tell me there wasn't enough SD memory for the drone to take off and it wouldn't let me take off no matter what, at the time I didn't realize you could format from the app. Rode home with one of the batteries still charged :(

I don't know how it evaluates the that but I suspect since I was in video mode and getting ready to take off it knew enough to figure out there wasn't 25min of space left @ the resolution I was using. Did you change filming modes after it was up in the air? I could see that causing you to run up against capacity mid flight. After riding home with a charged battery that time I always carry a spare 128G card in the SD case.
 

Jim

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No, I didn’t change anything, and the only reason to believe this is the cause is that as soon as I landed it (after it was force landing on a moderately full battery with no other errors) it said out of space.
 

Ridefreak

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That's when I got the notice, when I went to take off after a battery change.
 

Jim

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That's when I got the notice, when I went to take off after a battery change.
I never even tried to take off again. It gave me the message as soon as it force landed without explanation, so I’m assuming that was the issue. I suppose it’s possible it force landed for some other reason and didn’t give me a message of any kind as to why at the same time it ran out of space, but that would be a surprising coincidence.
 

Ridefreak

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When we film it's after riding 10-20 miles off road carrying the drone out to the filming area. I've got caught up with SD issues before and after going to all that work and not getting video now I format before I take off for the first time that day and I know there's more recording time than the batteries will allow.
 
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Jim

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When we film it's after riding 10-20 miles off road carrying the drone out to the filming area. I've got caught up with SD issues before and after going to all that work and not getting video now I format before I take off for the first time that day and I know there's more recording time than the batteries will allow.
Yeah, I just pulled the 128GB card and put back in the 1TB card which has 22 hours of capacity at 4K/30fps so I don’t have to worry about this again. :)

But the landing thing was a surprise reaction to this - it should just stop recording in this situation, the fact that it went into landing mode with no warning and when I cancelled, just restarted landing over and over until I landed manually, is something folks need to keep track of, as you aren’t always operating in a manner and location where it’s safe for the drone to land spontaneously and with no warning period. (If it had been over water when this occurred I wonder what it would have done, and if I had not been looking even on the trail it could have been a problem...)
 
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Ridefreak

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That's concerning. They've been really good about answering my questions, I'd ask them about it.
 
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Jim

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That's concerning. They've been really good about answering my questions, I'd ask them about it.
Absolutely, their support has been SUPER responsive and helpful and I’m confident they’ll address it.
 

skydioconvert

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Good conversation.... learning that there's a lot to learn about the S2.

Adding need to verify that the SD card has ample free space before takeoff to my pre-flight checklist.
 
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Jafemu

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What if you run out of space on the SD card the moment your Skydio2 is over a pond? It will land? That cat can’t be. Tying
 

Jafemu

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Sounds ridiculous that flight is tied to SD card capacity! That must be changed! From several comments above, it sounds like you can format the SD card in the app. Can anyone tell me how?
 

Ridefreak

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The drone checks to make sure it has the needed space before takeoff based on the shooting mode selected. In photo mode it will let you take off with much less space than in video mode. It goes beyond having free space on the card. To format you go into the app, connect to the SD2 then in the settings select the drone name, then manage media. It lets you format the card at that point.
 
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Jim

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The drone checks to make sure it has the needed space before takeoff based on the shooting mode selected. In photo mode it will let you take off with much less space than in video mode. It goes beyond having free space on the card. To format you go into the app, connect to the SD2 then in the settings select the drone name, then manage media. It lets you format the card at that point.
The issue I experienced perhaps indicated to the contrary, thus the warning - the drone in my case did a sudden forced landing (which I was able to abort only to have it forced land repeatedly until I let it) with no explanation and gave an out of space message immediately after it landed.
 

Ridefreak

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I've got about 30 + flights if you consider a battery switch another flight. I've not see it do what you described but that's pretty concerning, it could have been over water and dunked the drone. I'd ask them about it. Once thing I started doing early on is formatting the card before the first flight of the day, I bring 4 batteries along and a 128G card will hold four flights filmed @ 4k/60. Once I started doing that I don't have any SD card drama anymore.
 

Jim

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Yeah, mine was trying to land on a surface (in bushes) that would likely not have permitted a smooth landing. I now use a 1TB card and don’t have the concern anymore...
 

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