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Bluetooth Controllers and the Drone = BAD IDEA! no joke!

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Jayson Hanes
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Bluetooth Controllers and the Drone = BAD IDEA! no joke!

Post by Jayson Hanes » 15 Aug 2013, 01:37

Okay, I'm posting this as a public service announcement.. I was fooled, and I was a fool.. and I didn't listen to other advice and thought I was right.. and I spent $50 on a wireless controller and probably have many more gray hairs because of it.

I got into flying the AR 2.0's about 4 months ago, and I quickly got sick of the touch controls, and since I'm on android, I jumped up to ARDrone Flight Pro.. and within *days* I decided to buy a Moga Pro bluetooth controller -- a nice clip to hold my phone, and no wires -- perfect!

I was hooked! Now there's the ability to disable hover lock! awesome!

I flew and flew, and crashed, and flew, and crashed.. and learned (that's the point, right??)

I did the Wheel antenna mod.. repeater mod.. bearings etc.. etc... and still I learned and had fun.. and alllllll that time I was searching for reasons of why I had control lag issues and weird wifi related anomalies that just didn't make sense!... was it my drone? my cell phone? my wheel antenna? the app I was using??

ARDFP has the ability to record HUD info on the local recording, and I can display good #'s about my wifi stats.. and I was almost always down near 0% quality even with decent dBm #'s.. even with a repeater!! - and even when standing NEXT to the repeater!

I thought.. it's my PHONE! my samsung galaxy nexus SUCKS for wifi!! and my neighborhood is tooo congested with other wifi! There's just too much interference! ARGH!

The bottom line -- it is TRUE what is published everywhere. I learned for myself today what I shouldn't have ignored months ago:

Bluetooth DOES INTERFERE WITH WIFI. They are both on 2.4ghz, and the bandwidth is such that there is enough overlap no matter what wifi channel you are on. I DID read this months ago.. It DOES make sense... but I thought they were wrong.

Alas, they simply CANNOT work at the same time in close proximity -- with good results.

So, for flying the AR.Drone this simply means it is NOT A GOOD IDEA to use a bluetooth controller, period.

Will it "work"? yes... but it's just NOTHING at all compared to how well things work when they are wired.

So, oh so fluid.. responsive.. and lag free. I feel like I got a new drone tonight.

...Who knows what range I can get now?? sigh.. its dark now.

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Re: Bluetooth Controllers and the Drone = BAD IDEA! no joke!

Post by Musicman » 15 Aug 2013, 12:44

I always prefer wires over bluetooth. So i went for the controller plus wire plus gameklip.

But thanks for the head's up!
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Re: Bluetooth Controllers and the Drone = BAD IDEA! no joke!

Post by delacius » 15 Aug 2013, 14:10

I did the same, gameklip - wire - cell... no bluetooth!!! :)

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Re: Bluetooth Controllers and the Drone = BAD IDEA! no joke!

Post by garrock » 15 Aug 2013, 14:27

When I bought my Android SnakeByte oDroid Game Controller, I thought it was both Bluetooth and USB. Turns out it is only Bluetooth.

I have used it a lot for deep downrange flights and not really had this kind of problem.
However, I was using and standing near my WiFi Range Extender setup.

Perhaps in that configuration there is far less chance for interference between BT and WiFi.
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Re: Bluetooth Controllers and the Drone = BAD IDEA! no joke!

Post by DBS » 15 Aug 2013, 17:19

Yeah.... there ain't gonna be a standard answer here... it really differs case by case... I used to fly with my Motorola Droid Bionic and PS3 controller on bluetooth and had the odd result of increased range when the bluetooth was on... yes... easily an extra hundred feet when using the bluetooth controller :shock:

Then I got my Nexus 7 tablet and things were no where near the same story... lots of drop outs and video freezups and very poor range when the bluetooth was enabled.... :roll: .... go figure

2.4GHz is a strange beast... never can tell what you're gonna run into :ugeek:
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Bluetooth Controllers and the Drone = BAD IDEA! no joke!

Post by sergeykofanov » 15 Aug 2013, 18:08

DBS wrote:Yeah.... there ain't gonna be a standard answer here... it really differs case by case... I used to fly with my Motorola Droid Bionic and PS3 controller on bluetooth and had the odd result of increased range when the bluetooth was on... yes... easily an extra hundred feet when using the bluetooth controller :shock:

Then I got my Nexus 7 tablet and things were no where near the same story... lots of drop outs and video freezups and very poor range when the bluetooth was enabled.... :roll: .... go figure

2.4GHz is a strange beast... never can tell what you're gonna run into :ugeek:
It depends on the RF filter and the design of the receiver circuits closest to its input, basically on the RF chip quality. Motorola is the best RF chip manufacturer and has always been. There's plenty of distance between the channels. Good device is needed to handle it smartly.

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Re: Bluetooth Controllers and the Drone = BAD IDEA! no joke!

Post by Plews » 16 Aug 2013, 10:55

FYI - no issues with the Onlive wireless controller (bluetooth) and a nexus 4, range is as good as without and it's fantastic at flying using the ARDrone Flight Pro app. Then again, the Onlive controller is specifically designed for high bandwidth streaming, perhaps they took that into account with the design.

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Re: Bluetooth Controllers and the Drone = BAD IDEA! no joke!

Post by Zealocracy » 24 Aug 2013, 08:07

After finding out that bluetooth may interfere with signal, I decided to use the wire to connect my n7 to ps3 controller.
everything wass working great for the last few weeks, but recently I got a problem with the connecting cable.

If it gets bumped while plugged in, there is a good change my n7 will shut off.
also, it wont turn back on until it is plugged into a charger.

anyone else have this happen? I think i have to go back to bluetooth now. :(

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