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Taking Photos with the Mambo FPV?

The Parrot Mambo minidrone is full of surprises! Whether you equip it with the Cannon or the Grabber, it'll turn the sky into an amazing playground.
JClarkW
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Taking Photos with the Mambo FPV?

Post by JClarkW » 03 Jan 2019, 00:16

According to the Parrot Web site, you can take photos with the detachable FPV camera with the Flypad (no FreeFlight Mini) as follows: "Push the R1 button to take a photo with the MiniDrone's FPV camera. The memory of the MiniDrone can store several hundred photos. However, once the memory is full, you will not be able to take any more photos."

For me this just takes photos with the down-looking camera, whether or not the FPV camera is attached. What am I doing wrong? -- JClarkW

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Re: Taking Photos with the Mambo FPV?

Post by Dirk_ANAFI » 03 Jan 2019, 16:13

The reason is probably, that you are piloting your Mambo FPV only with FlyPad and not with a smartphone,- that means alone with a BT connection.

The typical and recommended constellation for flying/controlling Mambo is:
- Mambo Fly & Mission: smartphone (improved possibilities and flight range with additional FlyPad)
- Mambo FPV: smartphone and FlyPad

So if you bought Mambo FPV and want to fly it only with FlyPad, you will not be able to use all functions.
There are many cheap elder smartphones, that can be used for flying drones (also bigger ones like Anafi or Mavic). Perhaps it would be a good idea to buy one, if you begin to like drones?

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Re: Taking Photos with the Mambo FPV?

Post by JClarkW » 03 Jan 2019, 17:18

Dirk_ANAFI wrote:
03 Jan 2019, 16:13
The reason is probably, that you are piloting your Mambo FPV only with FlyPad and not with a smartphone,- that means alone with a BT connection.
I guess you are saying that the Parrot Web site (https://www.parrot.com/us/support/produ ... ing-photos) is lying (again). Reliable information on the product seems to be limited to this forum!
Dirk_ANAFI wrote:
03 Jan 2019, 16:13
There are many cheap elder smartphones, that can be used for flying drones (also bigger ones like Anafi or Mavic). Perhaps it would be a good idea to buy one, if you begin to like drones?
Point taken. I had asked previously (another thread) if you had any specific suggestions. Being new to smartphones as well, I'm having difficulty making sure they have the necessary cababilities... -- JClarkW

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Re: Taking Photos with the Mambo FPV?

Post by Dirk_ANAFI » 03 Jan 2019, 18:12

I don't know whether Parrot is lying on the linked page.
The page describes taking photos with Mambo FPV. But in your constellation (Mambo with mounted FPV cam and FlyPad, without smartphone) the whole thing is technically a Mambo Fly with more or less useless FPV cam. This is quite obvious, because the FPV cam has no connection (Wifi) to the world around.
What I also don't know is, whether the cam took pictures as you pressed R1, because I never used that constellation.
Perhaps have a look on the SD card.

Smartphone: I will answer later.

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Re: Taking Photos with the Mambo FPV?

Post by Dirk_ANAFI » 03 Jan 2019, 23:00

Smartphone for Mambo with a bit reserve for better drones:
Android: Xiaomi A2; Samsung Galaxy J7, S6, A5, Note 4 ; Oneplus 6; Sony Xperia XA1; ...
iOS: iPhone SE, 6, 7, 8+; ...

Else: cheaper and older phones will also do well with Mambo.

General requirement profile:
- Screen 5.x", bright to be seen good at daylight
- Wifi onboard
- Bluetooth on board
- Reserve for better drones: GPS, barometer on board
- min. 4 x 1.2 GHz processor; reserve: 8 x 1.5 GHz
- 16 GB Storage; reserve: 32 GB
- RAM 2 GB; reserve 3 GB

You don't need a sim card for 3G/4G access.

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Re: Taking Photos with the Mambo FPV?

Post by JClarkW » 04 Jan 2019, 00:26

Dirk_ANAFI wrote:
03 Jan 2019, 18:12
I don't know whether Parrot is lying on the linked page...
What I also don't know is, whether the cam took pictures as you pressed R1, because I never used that constellation.
Perhaps have a look on the SD card.
Thanks, Dirk -- Right again! The only files on the onboard Mambo memory after my testing were corresponding pictures from the down-looking camera. The FPV camera will not snap pictures to the Mambo onboard memory, at least not without a smartphone running FreeFlight Mini and maybe never. Probably as you said, no Wi-Fi connection. I spoke on the telephone today with Parrot tech support -- they had never answered online -- and, after considerable explaining, the tech admitted that this does not work, in apparent contradiction to the aforementioned Web page. -- JClarkW

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Re: Taking Photos with the Mambo FPV?

Post by JClarkW » 04 Jan 2019, 08:05

Dirk_ANAFI wrote:
03 Jan 2019, 23:00
Smartphone for Mambo with a bit reserve for better drones:
Android: Xiaomi A2; Samsung Galaxy J7, S6, A5, Note 4 ; Oneplus 6; Sony Xperia XA1; ...
iOS: iPhone SE, 6, 7, 8+; ...

Else: cheaper and older phones will also do well with Mambo.

General requirement profile:
- Screen 5.x", bright to be seen good at daylight
- Wifi onboard
- Bluetooth on board
- Reserve for better drones: GPS, barometer on board
- min. 4 x 1.2 GHz processor; reserve: 8 x 1.5 GHz
- 16 GB Storage; reserve: 32 GB
- RAM 2 GB; reserve 3 GB
Great information (although it appears that the iPhone SE has only a 4" screen). Thanks!
Dirk_ANAFI wrote:
03 Jan 2019, 23:00
You don't need a sim card for 3G/4G access.
Not sure I understand here. You are right that I don't want to pay for a cellphone subscription, so I would likely go for an unlocked phone. How do I install an app, however, if I don't have Internet connectivity? Is it possible (in the Android world at least) to download the app to a PC and then transfer to the smartphone over the USB? Something else? -- JClarkW

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Re: Taking Photos with the Mambo FPV?

Post by Dirk_ANAFI » 04 Jan 2019, 08:16

Yes, you need an internet connectivity for:
- installing the app
- installing firmware or app updates
- [other items with better drones like maps, GPS satellite data, flight restriction zones...]

As I have WLAN at home with internet access and an account (mail address) for the Android "AppStore" Google Play, I can do this without having a sim card for that special smartphone.

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Re: Taking Photos with the Mambo FPV?

Post by JClarkW » 12 Jan 2019, 05:15

Dirk_ANAFI wrote:
03 Jan 2019, 23:00
Smartphone for Mambo with a bit reserve for better drones:
...
You don't need a sim card for 3G/4G access.
CORRECTION TO THIS POST (I don't know how to delete it -- sorry for any confusion):

Afraid I need more help, now with Bluetooth connection on a new phone. After researching the older phones you mentioned, I concluded that the new Motorola (Lenovo) G6 (running Android 8) is selling at comparable cost but has much greater capabilities, so I bought one from Amazon. Now here's the problem:

I CAN NOW CONNECT EVENTUALLY (don't know what changed), BUT WITH IT SEEMS TO BE HIT OR MISS. I cannot get the G6 to connect to the Mambo via Bluetooth. I've downloaded and installed the FreeFlight Mini app, given it (apparently) the necessary permissions (location and storage), turned on Bluetooth, and verified that it sees and pairs with the Mambo. Nevertheless, FreeFlight Mini continues to tell me to turn on the drone, and the Mambo's green front LEDs keep flashing.

I had previously been able to connect successfully with my wife's iPhone 6S, but I can't count on its being available when I want to fly -- I need my own. Any suggestions to troubleshoot this problem? ANY TIPS FOR MORE RELIABLE CONNECTION?

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Re: Taking Photos with the Mambo FPV?

Post by Dirk_ANAFI » 13 Jan 2019, 20:31

Your drone seems to be ok, because it was able to connect to the S6.
Try:
- No FPV cam
- No controller
- Reset Mambo (press and hold the reset button until LEDs begin flashing yellow/orange) with fresh battery
- Wait until Mambo reboot and both LEDs blinking green
- Smartphone: BT on, start FF Mini
- wait until connect (Mambo LEDs constant green, FF Mini: FLY box green)

If no connect:
Do the same again. Before starting de- and re-install FF Mini.

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Re: Taking Photos with the Mambo FPV?

Post by JClarkW » 16 Jan 2019, 23:48

Dirk_ANAFI wrote:
13 Jan 2019, 20:31
Your drone seems to be ok, because it was able to connect to the S6...
Dirk -- This is very helpful. I did the resets as recommended.

Some observations to bounce off you: When I "follow the prompts" in FreeFlight Mini (start app; turn on Mambo/FPVcam and wait; eventually turn on controller), it usually takes a long time to connect FFM to the Mambo (Bluetooth), although the FPV camera (wi-fi) connects promptly.

If instead I connect the Mambo to the controller first (turn on Mambo/FPV; turn on controller and wait) and then start FFM, everything gets connected much more quickly. In this latter case, however, the FPV often disconnects from FFM during flight and the video is lost. Make any sense to you?

Overall I'm still not clear what is the most efficient sequence of power-ons and FFM-button pushes in to get fully connected... -- JClarkW

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Re: Taking Photos with the Mambo FPV?

Post by Dirk_ANAFI » 18 Jan 2019, 11:12

To start with Mambo FPV I found this way:

- Switch on Mambo and wait for both LEDs blinking slowly green.
- Start FF Mini with Wifi and BT ON.
- Wait until "FLY" becomes green in FF Mini.
- Switch ON Flypad and wait until the small dot near "Flypad" in the FF Mini app becomes red and the power button of Flypad is constant green.

Then I do a Level Trim (in settings) and start flying.

As you said, the BT and Wifi connection(s) with Mambo FPV (question: how are smartphone, Flypad, drone really connected?) are not totally clear for me.
You may test this outside your house:
After connecting everything like described above, switch BT of your smartphone OFF without leaving the FF Mini app.
You will see: everything works fine, you can see the life-feed of the FPV cam and you can pilot your drone with your Flypad (with Wifi alone, though Flypad has no Wifi transmitter/receiver at all!).

My opinion: the smartphone connects to the Wifi network of the FPV cam, Flypad and drone connect with BT. So you have a double connection.

Any other opinion would help me to understand …!

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Re: Taking Photos with the Mambo FPV?

Post by JClarkW » 28 Jan 2019, 00:20

Dirk_ANAFI wrote:
18 Jan 2019, 11:12
To start with Mambo FPV I found this way:

- Switch on Mambo and wait for both LEDs blinking slowly green.
- Start FF Mini with Wifi and BT ON.
- Wait until "FLY" becomes green in FF Mini.
- Switch ON Flypad and wait until the small dot near "Flypad" in the FF Mini app becomes red and the power button of Flypad is constant green.

Then I do a Level Trim (in settings) and start flying.
Dirk -- I'm still plagued by the problem of getting the Flypad to connect after connecting FreeFlight Mini to the Mambo. Following your instructions, I can easily get FFM to connect. After turning on Flypad, however, half the time its light just keeps flashing green, the other half it goes steady green but the Mambo ignores Flypad anyhow (although it will fly from the FFM). Very occasionally it works as you described... Other suggestions? -- JClarkW

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Re: Taking Photos with the Mambo FPV?

Post by Dirk_ANAFI » 28 Jan 2019, 17:23

Ideas?
Not really ...
Questions:
1. If Flypad shows connection (constant green power button): do the soft-jogs on the smartphone disappear immediately? Can you pilot with Flypad?
2. If Flypad shows connection and then obviously looses it: is FlyPad still connected read from the infos on the starting page of FF Mini?
3. Are there any other BT devices near you (smart watch, other smartphones with BT on...)?
4. If you pilot without smartphone: is the BT connection always stable?

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Re: Taking Photos with the Mambo FPV?

Post by JClarkW » 28 Jan 2019, 18:25

Dirk_ANAFI wrote:
28 Jan 2019, 17:23
Ideas?
Not really ...
Questions:
1. If Flypad shows connection (constant green power button): do the soft-jogs on the smartphone disappear immediately? Can you pilot with Flypad?
2. If Flypad shows connection and then obviously looses it: is FlyPad still connected read from the infos on the starting page of FF Mini?
3. Are there any other BT devices near you (smart watch, other smartphones with BT on...)?
4. If you pilot without smartphone: is the BT connection always stable?
1) I don't know what "soft-jogs" are, but I don't see anything disappear. I cannot fly with the Flypad in these most common cases (it seems to be ignored), but I can fly with the FFM.
2) This isn't my problem (so far).
3) Yes. I can't completely avoid them, as I must fly indoors (drone-restricted region and too many trees anyhow), but I can get a couple of walls away.
4) Yes. Everything works fine in that case (except of course I cannot use the FPV camera).

At least (now that I understand the L2 button and know that the piloting settings are stored onboard the Mambo) I can now experiment with "Drift" and "Racing" modes by setting them in FFM and then turning off the phone and connecting the Flypad -- a major step forward! -- JClarkW

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