Parrot Bebop Drone And Skycontroller: HD Video Eye In The Sky

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Free Flight 3 Connection Issues

Once you get the batteries charged and installed, you're almost ready to fly. You've just got to power up the drone, Skycontroller, and your mobile device, but there are also some setting in the FreeFlight 3 application you may want to tweak. I'd recommend getting that done before heading out, though, because every moment spent tweaking settings means less actual flight time. The key for me was to ensure that the FreeFlight 3 application was connecting directly to the Skycontroller and not to the ‘Bebop Drone…’  I wasted a lot of time thinking that the battery on my drone was defective or dead because of this strange anomaly I will explain next.

You have to connect your mobile device to Wi-Fi to be able to check for updates using Free Flight 3.  Once an update is found you then have to connect your device to your drone via the drone’s built-in Wi-Fi hotspot.  You will see ‘Bebop Drone …’ listed on Wi-Fi devices.  The key is realizing that if you have the Skycontroller you want the Free Flight 3 application to connect to the Skycontroller, not to the drone for flying.  If I updated the drone over Wi-Fi, then neglected to ‘forget’ the Bebop Drone Wi-Fi hotspot, the application would connect directly to the drone and bypass the Skycontroller.  Doing this is not a big deal, but certain functions just do not work properly.  Those handicapped functions would include the battery indicator lights on the Skycontroller and the extended Wi-Fi ranged granted by making a direct mobile device Free Flight 3 connection to the Skycontroller.

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Simply remember to ‘forget’ your Bebop Drone Wi-Fi hotspot on your mobile device after updating.  This will allow the drone to connect directly to the Skycontroller and the mobile device to connect directly to the Skycontroller.  That way you will always get an accurate readout on the Skycontroller’s indicator LEDs and those LEDs will match what you see on the FreeFlight 3 application in the lower right hand corner.  If you know the battery is charged, the battery reading on the FreeFlight 3 application indicates it is charged, but the Skycontroller’s indicator lights on the bottom right hand side have a single red light illuminated indicating a dead battery, fix the aforementioned Wi-Fi issue first and you'll have the correct indicators lit up.

When ready to fly the first thing you should do is to perform the three axis calibration within the FreeFlight 3 application.  It is recommended to calibrate every time you change locations. Failing to do so does result in some notable drift when hovering.  Calibrating does not take more than a minute or two and it is very easy to do.  A whole slew of factors can vary the influence on the myriad of sensors in the Bebop and the Skycontroller and recalibrating serves to baseline these factors from one location to the next.

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