Data Tethering

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Hi

Bough my Solo on the weekend direct from 3DR, and am anxiously awaiting it's arrival.

While I patiently wait and study the manual, I am in the process of accessory shopping.

I have decided to purchase a GoPro Black for the 3 axis gimbal, but am on the fence in regards to a tablet.

Question: Has anyone used a wifi only tablet tethered to their cell phone for access to cellular data?

I realize the downside of this setup is yet another battery / network connection to worry about.

Just working out the most economical options at this time.

What are the most common / suitable tablets used for this application, considering weight, battery life, signal strength, price, etc.

Thanks in advance,
 
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Hey welcome to the forum! Tablets while aren't necessary are nice, it does work well with a your phone. However if you are looking for a tablet you have a few different options, from what I know not all smart shots are available on Android devices like they are on iOS. However if you are looking for more professional type stuff Android is the only platform that has the Tower app a near fully autonomous point and click flying system. As for needing data I don't think that is needed, there is a way that you can cache the maps onto your tablet while you have an internet connection so you don't need the data connection while you are on site. The holder that comes with the controller only supports phones and small and mini size tablets like the Ipad Mini or the Samsung Galaxy Tablet A 7".
 
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Which GoPro Black - "4" I hope - or you're shooting yourself in the foot... IMO.

There is an approved Tablet list hanging out somewhere - perhaps a search will find it. I, and a couple of others on here have the Galaxy Tab S2 8" (new processor model 713) and it is working well for us. It's thin, has great battery life, and is as bright as can ever be expected - but you will still probably be looking at a hood. YMMV

Smart Shots are just around the corner for Android and are already available on a Beta version of the App - if you are a masochist and not shooting anything mission-critical.

There are at least 2 options for caching map data - Google and MapBox, so cellular shouldn't be needed unless you go to a site prior to caching the maps you'll need at that site. Then tethering and using your cell for an access point 'should' work fine - but I have never tried it... yet.
 
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If you do not need mission planner style functionality, I recommend iPad! Huge screen, very bright outdoors, zero issues. Now, there is also QGC for autonomous flight on iOS and it's being actively developed.
Edit to add: almost forgot, I have the cellular version so I do not need to cache maps! Big plus.
 
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i use a wifi only galaxy tab s with my solo. i also use an iphone and ipad air 2 w/data. its nice to have internet out in the field, but its not necessary.

you can tether your tablet to a phone but depending on the make/model you may not be able to tether and connect to solo wifi at the same time. me personally, i think jumping through hoops for data out in the field is a waste of time and energy. having internet with solo only gets you satellite map tiles, the ability to submit tickets on immediately and ability to post photos, videos to social media immediately.

if you have wifi only you can simply cache maps before hand, tickets are queued and you can always post to social media later.
 
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Thanks everyone for your thoughtful responses. Very helpful.

Curious, does any of you insure your drone for loss or liability?
 
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Hey welcome to the forum! Tablets while aren't necessary are nice, it does work well with a your phone. However if you are looking for a tablet you have a few different options, from what I know not all smart shots are available on Android devices like they are on iOS. However if you are looking for more professional type stuff Android is the only platform that has the Tower app a near fully autonomous point and click flying system. As for needing data I don't think that is needed, there is a way that you can cache the maps onto your tablet while you have an internet connection so you don't need the data connection while you are on site. The holder that comes with the controller only supports phones and small and mini size tablets like the Ipad Mini or the Samsung Galaxy Tablet A 7".

all of those smart shots are going to be available in android soon
the only think missing is geofence and Augmented home position in the display
 
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...Curious, does any of you insure your drone for loss or liability?
My 'loss' insurance includes:
  1. 3dr Solo Warranty
  2. My secondary Solo
  3. My tertiary Solo

You could check, but I imagine an insurance company's replacement value of a used $600 drone is about nil and often involves an Adjuster to make a determination.
 
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My 'loss' insurance includes:
  1. 3dr Solo Warranty
  2. My secondary Solo
  3. My tertiary Solo

You could check, but I imagine an insurance company's replacement value of a used $600 drone is about nil and often involves an Adjuster to make a determination.

Im more concerned with a lawsuit should the drone end up hurting someone or causing property damage due to operator error or malfunction.
 
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IIRC some homeowners insurance covers it if you're not engaged in a commercial application, or it can be added. YMMV.
 
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Im more concerned with a lawsuit should the drone end up hurting someone or causing property damage due to operator error or malfunction.
Lot's of threads on liability insurance...

ETA: Indeed, check with your homeowners' on any liability offered for non-commercial.
 
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Check out Academy of Model Aeronautics

I'm an AMA member and being a member you're provided with liability insurance for hobby recreation use and even if you're not flying at an AMA field. It also helps our hobby as they lobby for us in Washington. You do have to follow safe flying rules which we all should be doing anyways.
 

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