Firmware 1.3 Pros & Cons

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OK had my first real play with the Solo on android with firmware V1.3 and App at V1.3.

First of all once I got it going this thing is seriously stable and fun to fly. V1.3 fixes most of the shitty flight characteristics I had previously so Thanks 3DR and hope there is more to come.
Now for the reality.

Pros.
1) finally we have some GP control. I think there are a few more controls needed to complete this 'little' set. Others will list them over time but this is a good start.
2) obviously the stable flight (when GPS has lock) and even in manual this thing is fun to fly. I flew it through a giant fig tree in it came out the other side spitting leaves like a daemon and just kept going.

Cons.
1) GoPro only works in NTSC mode and using only NTSC settings. if the GP is set to PAL Solo does not recognize the camera. We need to use PAL settings as well and this needs to be added pronto.
2) constantly getting update firmware when I turn GP on for the first time. cycle GP and it goes away (most times). this is a bit annoying after several times.
3) video displays well on tablet until you go into a flight mode (selfe etc) then is distorts the crap out of the video on the tablet. not sure why this is - didn't do it before.
4) AND OF COURSE THAT SHITTY GPS that looses lock at the drop of a hat. Seriously, a bird flew past and it lost lock for about 5 seconds. It seams to me that a solution would be to place the antenna on top of the metal housing under the plastic cover. Also using an ACTIVE 32mm patch antenna with LNA Gain and a SAW filter (and possibly using the metal bracket as a solid ground plane to reduce multipath) AND moving to the uBlox M8N would provide a better solution. I speak from nearly 30 years of GPS/GNSS integration into consumer/survey grade systems. I have at least 50 GPS at hand and the only time I have seen a GPS behave like this is when either the antenna is faulty or the coax cable from the antenna to the board is faulty. 3DR needs to stop talking around this with nonsense PDOP/HPDOP blah blah blah and provide a physical modification to the current assembly - its just bad engineering. all this claptrap about the M8N being to sensitive is primarily due to crapy antenna. All my millimeter accurate Survey Grade GNSS use multi constellation and I have no problems - why, cause they have decent, well designed, antennas. Come On 3DR!
5) Not sure I like that the GP starts recording when you select a flight mode. I think I prefer to start it when I am ready to record after I have setup the flight characteristics.
6) In Follow me mode the GPS update rate from the tablet in the Solo App (i use an external blue tooth GPS for better accuracy) is too slow. it appears to update your position every 2-4 seconds. Again on an android tablet and at V1.3 this is the first time this feature has worked for me. Previously it could not see the tablets GPS even though other applications can. Also the other applications have a 1 second update rate or better. having a slow update rate means you have to move slowly or you will move out of shot. Also, the Solo is very jerky/twitchy in the Yaw when catching up to your current position. this is partially due to the slow GPS update rate but I think there needs to be some tuning to dampen the yawing to not be so jerky.

Will these are my first thoughts. This is kind of getting to what I expected to get when i bought this thing. but there is still a long way to go. 3DR did a seriously big sell before the release and now its catch up time!
 
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you might want to contact support, solo has always flown smooth for most.
maybe you have something defective going on
 
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3) If you are referring to the video distortion that occurs only when recording and only in 4K, and in 2.7 @ 30fps, and in WVGA modes, then it's a bug in the GoPro that both 3DR and GoPro are aware of; it sends out its video feed warped in those modes while recording. GoPro is working on a fix. More info here: Wrong aspect ratio on iPad while GoPro is recording | 3D Robotics Drone Forum. If you mean something other than those specific modes and/or while not recording, then something else is amiss.

5) Recording only starts automatically during Smart Shots if you turn on that option. In the current version of the app, tap below the record button, then tap the Settings button that appears. See "Record during shots" as the bottom option. You and I both prefer to leave that option turned off, but some folks like it because it prevents tragically forgetting to press Record.

-Joe-
 
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Joe
Thanks for the useful information re video distortion and recording.

On another note. I voided my warranty today after several flights where the GPS took forever to get lock and then lost it when a bee farted nearby. I put a piece of cardboard in between the copper tape and the GPS board. The Copper tape was stuck to the back of the GPS battery, battery terminals as well as the ublox chip and other circuitry - the cardboard isolated this from happening. When I put it all back together again and tested - presto. I got 8 sats locked in 20 seconds and 10 after 30 seconds. I placed my hand over the GPS and lost a few sats (down to 7) but maintained lock. I will test more tomorrow as too bloody hot here at the moment. If this fixes the GPS problem then 3DR may need to fix this engineering flaw ASAP as 'GPS Glitch" is no longer a valid reason.

Cheers
 
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SERIOUSLY!!!
Can you (or anyone else) please confirm that if the GP4 black is set to PAL then Solo does not recognize the camera.
I have not updated to 1.3 yet (as I am away at work) but if this is the case then this is a deal breaker.
I wont be updating to 1.3 as PAL is the home spoken language of video for me and it may as well not be able to carry a camera if this is truly the case.
Somebody please tell me this is not the situation.
I dont care that I may have to wait for full control of the GP in PAL in a future app update, so long as I can still fly in PAL, but if a PAL camera is not even recognised in 1.3 then that is just a B.S. update.
 
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I'm flying in PAL in NZ on 1.3 with an iPhone 6s & GoPro 4 Black.. As long as you don't touch the GoPro settings via the app, the GoPro stays in PAL. Been flying in 2.7k 50p with no issue with the latest iOS app & solo firmware.
 
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Awesome, thankyou Chris, that is exactly what I wanted to know.
Scriff had me going there for a minute.
 
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Version 1.3 does NOT recognise the GoPro when Set to PAL. It will constantly give messages stating it does not recognise the selected camera. Also none of the camera settings are available when the Camera is set to PAL. I'm not sure if you can still record to the GoPro if it is set to PAL as constantly getting error messages and not having any of the settings available was enough for me to question the functionality and investigate the issue. When the GP is set to NTSC, you don't get the error messages, all the settings are available and thus I presume that the camera will function properly (and it doe).

It would be good if 3DR fixed this problem so that we can use PAL without the error messages and with the full functionality available in the Solo App.
 
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So opening up the solo and putting a cardboard shield between the GPS and copper foil will void the warranty?
 
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I'm flying in PAL in NZ on 1.3 with an iPhone 6s & GoPro 4 Black.. As long as you don't touch the GoPro settings via the app, the GoPro stays in PAL. Been flying in 2.7k 50p with no issue with the latest iOS app & solo firmware.
Version 1.3 does NOT recognise the GoPro when Set to PAL. It will constantly give messages stating it does not recognise the selected camera. Also none of the camera settings are available when the Camera is set to PAL. I'm not sure if you can still record to the GoPro if it is set to PAL as constantly getting error messages and not having any of the settings available was enough for me to question the functionality and investigate the issue. When the GP is set to NTSC, you don't get the error messages, all the settings are available and thus I presume that the camera will function properly (and it doe).

It would be good if 3DR fixed this problem so that we can use PAL without the error messages and with the full functionality available in the Solo App.
So who do I believe?
Dont really want to upgrade and lose GP functionality, especially with the filming I want to do on Christmas holiday. If I commit to the upgrade and it doesnt recognize the GP on PAL after that, Im stuffed.
 
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So who do I believe?
Dont really want to upgrade and lose GP functionality, especially with the filming I want to do on Christmas holiday. If I commit to the upgrade and it doesnt recognize the GP on PAL after that, Im stuffed.
I'm in Austrailia I have had no problems using PAL with a GP silver with to new update.
 
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I have GP 4 Black with Android. As soon as you go into settings or try to change between video or still you get error messages. Again I have not tried to record anyway as in my books if you start getting error messages then you need to stop and fix it. It works fine in NTSC and nearly all modern TV, BD, DVD, Digital device will switch automatically between PAL,& NTSC. So I use NTSC now with no error messages but will change back to PAL as soon as 3DR fix the issue. There are benefits of having the GP settings available in the App - big time saving benefits.
 
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WANTED:
Somebody who has
1. done the 1.3 update,
2. uses a GP4 black, in PAL mode,
3. with Android,
4. who has actually made a recording in flight.

Given the above conversation, I just want to confirm that v1.3/GP4B PAL/Android will actually record.

(Im not worried about changing settings, I know I cant do that in PAL)
 
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OK
Having now extensively tested this with both Android and Ipad with GP4 Black, I can confirm that
1) there are NO issues with PAL and iPad version of Solo APP V1.3 and all the GP settings area available
2) there are issues with using PAL on Android version of Solo App V1.3 in that you can't change any of the settings if in PAL. Yes, you can still however record video to the GP when it is set to PAL in Android just no settings and error messages.

Hope that helps and hope 3DR fix this Android issues - clearly a problem with the Android Solo App and not the GP?
 
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OK, thanks @scriffij sounds good enough for me to go ahead with the 1.3 update.
I assume at this point that when you say you can record in PAL on Android v1.3, that the downlink is unaffected.
So essentially, as far as camera and video transmisson is concerned, the v1.3 update has left PAL functionality unchanged.
 
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I only record to the GP not to the tablet as I want good quality video without the artefacts. You still see what the camera sees on your tablet while recording. I have not flown while recording with pal on v1.3 just tested while on the ground.
 
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I'm disappointed and a little frustrated that the EV comp isn't there as they have stated would be (including a photo of it on their blog post). That is one of the most needed features and leaving it off is surprising to say the least.
 

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