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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ca smartone View Post
Love it, now all I need is a smartphone
I believe you can control it with a tablet as well. Better than a smart phone, IMO.

I'm wondering, is it possible to increase the range substantially? I've seen a number of YouTube videos where they went out of range. And, it didn't seem like they were that far away. I read 100 meters. If that's right, I'd want more, LOL.

But, all pipe dreams at the moment, since I'm unemployed.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 10:20 PM
 
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Range is extended to 1.2 miles with the $400 controller.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-24-2014, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by NCC1701 View Post
I believe you can control it with a tablet as well. Better than a smart phone, IMO.

I'm wondering, is it possible to increase the range substantially? I've seen a number of YouTube videos where they went out of range. And, it didn't seem like they were that far away. I read 100 meters. If that's right, I'd want more, LOL.

But, all pipe dreams at the moment, since I'm unemployed.
Do what I did with my AR.Drone 1.0: Extend the antenna. The internal antenna is adorably tiny. It's a wonder it can even get the range it gets with the standard antenna.

I've seen some antenna modded drones achieve well over a mile and all it took was a little backyard engineering and a few dollars (as opposed to the new $400 controller).

I've also seen some interesting lighting and battery mods. Since the drones run Linux, it appears they adapt to user changes pretty well (though at the same time, are equally prone to irreversible bricking).
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-24-2014, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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The 100M range limit for the basic unit is 328 feet. There is some debate if this will end up being 200 feet is solid performance and 200 feet --> 328 feet is questionable connection performance. This appears to be untested as far as YouTube Videos go and every day I look for new videos.

Some are extending the range using battery powered WiFi Range extenders. I have no ideal how well that works, but at least it doesn't require you get inside the unit to modify it. At least with a WiFi Range extender, you can install better antennas on the Extender.

I am going in loops deciding between the BeBop and the DJI FC40. Both cost $499 and both come with cameras. The BeBop has the image stabilization built in, is smaller/more portable, and makes less noise. The DJI FC40 has a real nice RF controller, holds up very well to crashes, the control range is about 1,500+ feet, and allows for more options. However, it does NOT have any image stabilization. Thus you have to either add your own gimbal to stabilize the image (added cost and easily damaged) OR use image stabilization software. As a test I used the YouTube image stabilization feature. The link is a hidden link because the video is not mine.


This link is after YouTube did its image stabilization:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKJb2zBrgEY


Here's the source video I used for the test:





Decisions .... decisions .....



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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-25-2014, 07:31 AM
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For the record, the Parrot drones will take untold amounts of abuse as well. One of the last times I flew mine, the wind started taking it up and away very fast; and I was already on the edge of range.

With some luck, it briefly reconnected and I didn't waste any time hitting the "EMERGENCY" button. The thing dropped from the sky like a brick and landed on hard packed dirt. Other than a chipped rotor the thing was ready to take to the skies again.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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The user reviews are starting to show up.

Parrot Bebop Drone Red 44265BBR - Best Buy

Parrot Bebop Drone Blue 44266BBR - Best Buy

For Best-buy, looking at Red & Blue (only one review for Blue), out of 18 reviews, 11 give it 4 or 5 stars and 7 give it 2 or 1 stars.


Customer Reviews: Parrot Bebop Drone - Apple Store for Education (U.S.)

For Apple, 4 out of 11 give it 1 star and 7 give it 4 or 5 stars.

Out of a total of 29 reviews, 11 give it low marks; roughly 38%. Now people who are unhappy tend to speak out more than people who are happy, but the number seems a bit high anyway.

This makes me believe that the product was rushed to market before everything was worked out. They didn't even enclose a user guide in the box. It should be interesting to see after 6 months what the happy/unhappy ratio turns out to be. For now it appears they have a QA problem.


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