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Who's given a friend the beacon, flown with controller, and Skydio goes out of range. What happens?

baksideDisasterFlicks

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So I was filming snowboarding from mountain top the other day and I tracking some friends going down a chute. I knew that Skydio would go out of range by the time it made it to the bottom of the chute cause well we all know range sucks. I wanted to give my buddy the beacon but I'm not sure what would happen once it goes out of range of the controller. I assumed it'll just keep tracking the beacon once it went out of range which would put Skydio in a place where my buddy would have to land and retrieve it. So I made the call to fly as far as I could with the controller and not give them the beacon which ended up blowing some of the shot.

Anyone have any experience here? I think it'll keep tracking the beacon. What would you do in this scenario? I plan to test this out soon in a better environment where loosing connection has lesser consequences and I can easily ride down the mountain to retrieve the drone. This particular scenario there was no way I could reach my friends as I had to pick them up at the bottom with my snowmobile. Video here for reference, I'm standing at the peak of this mountain flying manually in most of the shots:
 
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With.A.Map

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This is all I have done. I have had success with giving the Beacon to someone else. I also use the app to get Skydio to recognize the face although I am not sure that matters. I encountered a problem once when the App tried to reconnect with the drone (or beacon) and Skydio almost landed on the spot. I am still experimenting though.
 

With.A.Map

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I am about ready to experiment with this today. I am hoping that once the battery goes low, Skydio will go back home but it might just land on the spot like you said.
 

Ridefreak

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I am about ready to experiment with this today. I am hoping that once the battery goes low, Skydio will go back home but it might just land on the spot like you said.
It will not go home, it's going to land where the battery runs low at.
 

Chuggie Cuda

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So I was filming snowboarding from mountain top the other day and I tracking some friends going down a chute. I knew that Skydio would go out of range by the time it made it to the bottom of the chute cause well we all know range sucks. I wanted to give my buddy the beacon but I'm not sure what would happen once it goes out of range of the controller. I assumed it'll just keep tracking the beacon once it went out of range which would put Skydio in a place where my buddy would have to land and retrieve it. So I made the call to fly as far as I could with the controller and not give them the beacon which ended up blowing some of the shot.

Anyone have any experience here? I think it'll keep tracking the beacon. What would you do in this scenario? I plan to test this out soon in a better environment where loosing connection has lesser consequences and I can easily ride down the mountain to retrieve the drone. This particular scenario there was no way I could reach my friends as I had to pick them up at the bottom with my snowmobile. Video here for reference, I'm standing at the peak of this mountain flying manually in most of the shots:
Nice Video, I had to take off my board and hike up the hill a ways (1/3 to 1/2 a mile) to get my Skydio2 .
 

skydioconvert

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HUH !!!

Now that's quite an admission.... did a Skydio rep actually just say that??
 

Ridefreak

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I thought that (that the beacon is totally separate) was obvious. I've never read or heard of the two being used together.
 

baksideDisasterFlicks

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I thought that (that the beacon is totally separate) was obvious. I've never read or heard of the two being used together.
Why not? The use case seems obvious to me, beacon helps track subject, controller in case any manual piloting or shot changes are needed. You can do it with the phone and beacon, it's just way more awkward when it comes to manual piloting.
 
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Ridefreak

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Well mainly because I've read all the user documentation and it doesn't mention that and it for sure would if the system had that capability. I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice to have but we would have read about it.
 
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MauiMikey

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Well don't I feel stupid. I just bought the controller for just this scenario. I could have sworn I saw a video showing this combination. Oh well, I prefer a two stick controller and I believe it gives the best range.
Any chance a firmware update would allow the controller and beacon to play well together?
 
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SteveCJr

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Phone to Beacon to SD2.
Phone to controller to SD2.
You can't have two simultaneous connections to the drone, so it would either have to be the controller or the beacon, not both. Guess it's not as obvious as it would seem.
 

skydioconvert

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Interesting series of posts here regarding simultaneous use of the beacon and controller...

Skydio's comment earlier in this thread discourages trying it because you might lose connectivity.

My take.... take Skydio's comment seriously and don't try to use both during the same flight.
 

kellmyster

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I got this in response to this very question to Skydio:
From Willie at Skydio Jan 13th 2021
"You'd connect the Controller to the drone, and the Beacon (wirelessly) to the drone as well. Give the rider the Beacon, move away from the rider so that it's very obvious for the drone which target to track. Make sure you see the blue GPS tracker in the app screen on your Controller, set the drone into one of the tracking skills, select the rider, and let it rip. At that point you should have the benefit of being able to manually call off the drone whenever you wish, and get the added tracking security of the Beacon.

The reason why the Beacon is important is so that the drone can find the rider again if it loses signal. While filming in the sand dunes, I noticed that when riders do a very quick turn and rapidly change directions, it can be difficult for the drone to keep them in frame. With the Beacon, that doesn't matter and the drone can track the subject with or without visual identification."

This last weekend I lost signal with controller and thought it went down but soon got it back when rider with beacon popped back up on top of distant dune. It continued to follow rider. new here...can I post my video?
 
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CrazyReggie

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Ugh yeah this is my worry filming in the mountains, it gets stuck or disconnects behind you up hill and you're screwed.
I hate that as well! One thing I tell all the Guys when you fly out line of sight and if something happens to the Bird, you have to go and get it! That usually Sucks!
 

baksideDisasterFlicks

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I hate that as well! One thing I tell all the Guys when you fly out line of sight and if something happens to the Bird, you have to go and get it! That usually Sucks!
Yep I've had to do that way to much this season. When actively snowboarding down a mountain you aren't looking over your shoulder to see it it's following, if you do that blows the shot anyways. With rapidly changing elevation and thick trees it gets stuck a lot.

Last one was pretty freaky cause I was filming my buddies climb up a chute with snowmobiles. I was standing on the top of the ridge with Skydio below me when I lost connection. Everything went dark and it wasn't returning to home after 5 minutes or so. So I had to quickly run, grab my snowboard, then ride down the mountain controller in hand hoping I'd get within range to pick up a signal.

About halfway down the slope I heard it, sounded really close and it connected back up, but I had no idea where it was from the video feed. It was trapped in a tree well at bottom of a tree, hovering a few feet above the snow with battery at 22%. I kept trying to get it out but obstacle avoidance wouldn't move forward. After a bit of panic trying multiple directions I managed to find a hole which must have been the way it went in. Luckily I instantly regained line of sight as it wasn't to far away so I was able to land it before it ran out of battery but it was really close. I wouldn't never found it if I did emergency land in that tree well.
 

arctair

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Unless I'm insane, I've done this. Fire up and launch with beacon, then turn on the Controller and it connects to the Skydio as well. Boom — you've just created an ad-hoc 5 Ghz network, as common as people who think Covid vaccines will turn them into aliens. So it may not be "supported", but I'm 99% it works. Try it somewhere a little safer and see if it does. (Mine is in transit right now, or I'd already be outside confirming it with my neighbor).

As someone mentioned, you're not seeing mountain bikers taking one hand off the bars to change the Beacon settings in the promo videos, yet the follow position changes, and it says in the corner ("shot using Skydio Beacon").
 

VEGASROBBI

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I have a Halo drone which actually is a good follow drone, not an S2 though.

One cool thing is has is a small puck maybe 1.5" x 2". The puck has GPS and a barometer built-in for dynamic altitude control. In addition the puck is water proof.

Halo follows the puck and can be controlled by the transmitter or a watch controller.

At the start of each flight Halo can be set to three different return modes. Return to home(take off), return to the last known position of the puck or return to the last known position of the controller.

It's good to have options and having a puck separate of the controller/beacon has benefits.
 

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