Easy Q:s about the Drone 2.0

Discussion in 'AR Drone by Parrot' started by Tommy5547, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. Tommy5547

    Tommy5547 New Member

    Hi guys!
    My first post here, yay!

    I just received a AR Drone 2.0 which I'm flying a lot.

    I was wondering... Would it be more battery-efficient to have the recorded data transferred with WIFI or just save it down on a USB-stick attached to the Drone? I know USB actually draw some power and so is WIFI but WIFI is enabled anyways for the controlling so...

    Also, my recorded film is tearing a bit. When looking on video from Drones on YouTube is does not. Weird?

    And last... I have a pretty old Samsung 10.1 Tablet and a brand new Samsung S3 phone. Which one would have best WIFI-range/strength for use with the Drone?

  2. webman

    webman Administrator Staff Member

    ICE knows a lot about them, so hopefully he will jump in.

    My first take is that it is much more efficient to never record the video to your pad or phone. This takes up a lot of bandwidth and also probably makes the control of the drone slower - as well as creates worse video.

    If you don't find one of your devices handier (because of size), you could simply do some experiments by placing the drone on your driveway or street and seeing what the distance was where you could still take off and land. The real answer is probably more technical than that - that being that the actual way an antenna works is often with a bulb that extends out in various directions. It could be that one device works further away when the AR is at certain angles from you and another words better at others.

    There are various schemes for extending the range of the AR - many people use battery powered routers or repeaters to do so.

    This guy sells and installs some mods, one of which claims to stop video dropouts...
  3. RanTalbott

    RanTalbott New Member

    The power used by the USB drive is very small: on the same order as the LEDs. Recording to USB shouldn't change your flight times by as much as 1%.
    I've seen claims that the video recorded to USB is higher quality that the transmitted video, but I don't know whether that's really true.
    There's a free Android app called "ARDrone Flight" that shows you the drone's perception of signal quality on the status display (but you have to enable it through the settings menu). You can do some testing with that to find out which device gets through to the drone better.
    It's extremely easy to damage the $115 main PCB beyond repair when trying to connect an external antenna. Lukily for me, I learned this from someone else's sad experience.
    There's an optional filter you can apply when uploading ARDrone video to youtube that improves the quality. Don't know more than that: I just happened to overhear the friend with the trashed PCB mention it to someone.

  4. IceFyre13th

    IceFyre13th Guest

    Easy question first, flight time with USB stick is barely effected.....10-20 seconds worth. Video is better recorded to the USB too.

    Range, I use a Galaxy Note II, my ARD 2.0 has an on board WiFi booster added to it with an external 3db antenna. I can fly past 1 Km (been as far as 1.5km) and still have video and flight control.


    The booster is http://www.amazon.com/Alfa-designed-increase-performance-Bluetooth/sim/B002BFOCO2/2

    Removed the case and heavy connectors, added the small connector / wire to the input side, antenna mod has to be done to the main board.


    From main board to booster connection.


    The servo lead is to power from the five volt USB connections in the Drone (pins 9 and 10 of the black connector on the drones main board)


    The Booster took 30 seconds of flight time from me hooked up directly to the main board, originally I had a BEC circuit to power directly from the battery....this added 20 grams of weight and took lots of power.....flight times dropped by 3 minutes that way.

    The booster I used boosts both the transmit and receive distance. Depending upon WiFi noise in your area will determine your extra distance.
    Always do a manual range check by having someone walk away from the drone while not flying it and see where you lose video signal. I had the drone on the roof of my house while a friend walked away from me with the phone, we then measured the distance. This simulated flight height and horizontal distance traveled.
  5. webman

    webman Administrator Staff Member

    So, ICE, for regular civilians not ready to cut and solder - are there services that will do this for people if they send their drone in?

    Or, will just an antenna (easier connection?) get a range which would satisfy most people - that being perhaps 500 feet?
  6. IceFyre13th

    IceFyre13th Guest

    I know of one, and you linked them earlier too...... http://shop.dronemod.com/ under Mod Services..

    The antenna mod will get you out to 150-200 meters alone. That is probably enough for most people.......my booster mod will prevent most WiFi drop out while flying and increase range. It also allows for a "cheap" FPV aircraft for those who would like to see if they want to get into this type of flying....
  7. RanTalbott

    RanTalbott New Member

    There's a good chance you could find someone locally who could do the antenna mod. But it has to be someone with experience and the right tools to work with high-density surface-mount boards. I've been tinkering with "old-fashioned" through-hole electronics for about 50 years, but wouldn't attempt it on someone else's board unless they were really desperate and I could use the fancy soldering iron in a client's shop: my lack of experience with surface mount and the crude soldering iron I use on large components make the risk of damaging the board like my friend did too high. Ask the person if he (or she: many of the best techs are women whose smaller hands make it easier to do precision work) will replace the board if the job goes wrong. That'll give you a strong indication of experience and equipment.

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