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Adding an External PCB to TELLO and bypassing Wi-Fi communication

cemoke

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Hello,

I want to design a new PCB that can act as an I/O expander for the TELLO’s PCB.

For that purpose, I plan to power my PCB from the TELLO's battery by hacking to the 5V and GND lines available on the TELLO's PCB.

As it is pointed out in this forum, we have also access to the Wi-Fi antenna receive and transmit lines. Would it be possible to give TELLO high-level flight commands and get the video stream just by hacking those lines?

If it is possible I would like to add some ToF sensors and an MCU in order to be able to perform a real autonomous flight by using only the onboard resources.

However, I don’t know what kind of signals (serial maybe ?) that I would have and how I am going to interpret them, even if I access those receive and transmit lines going to the antenna.

Any help will be appreciated.
 
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cemoke

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I hadn't heard about it so, thank you for mentioning. It seems very nice.

However, it is not a mod on the existing drone and you should by a new drone right ?

For that reason, I think modding our available drones with an Open Source cheap PCB still sounds promising.
 

volate!lo

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From their description its sounds like their "Talent add-on" module facilitates the communication between the phone and the tello. There is two ways how they could do this.
1) The module connects Tello's wifi and creates it's own wifi for the phone to connect to. It would just forward the data between these two networks. But that doesn't sound smart IMO.
2) As a much smarter alternative they could use some undisclosed USB connection to control the Tello without using Tello's wifi at all.

If they went route (1) then Tello Talent isn't worth any further investigation (for me)

In case of (2) all data (control commands, but also telemetry and video / photo data) would go through this USB connection so NO interference issues. Some smart module could not only allow autonomous flights but actually save the video stream on SD card, removing all interference issues: no dropped frames and no pixel garbage at all


I am no hardware guy but if I was interested in this I'd buy a Tello Talent and analyze what it does, and if it uses USB analyze that traffic. Also try and see if the normal Tello has the same USB connectivity.

But as said, I'm no hardware guy
 

cemoke

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Thank you for your detailed response.

I agree with you in the case of (1) it does not add any value to the existing hardware.

But for the case (2) is it really possible to communicate to TELLO via using its onboard usb port?

I always thought that only purpose of the usb port is to supply power for battery charging.

And finally, do you think Tello talent is a device which can be used with the original TELLO drone? If it does there is no other option than (1) and (2) but if it comes with its own new drone hardware there are endless possibilities for the communication interface.
 

cemoke

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Also I want to point out that I am not particularly interested in using TELLO talent and seek a solution which is applicable to the existing TELLO drones.

This is why I try to hack through Wi-Fi antenna lines and get data from there.

Probably I am going to use an oscilloscope in order to get what kind of a signal I have there for particular messages and I will try to imitate those in order to send at least some flight commands.
 

volate!lo

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Also I want to point out that I am not particularly interested in using TELLO talent and seek a solution which is applicable to the existing TELLO drones.

This is why I try to hack through Wi-Fi antenna lines and get data from there.

Probably I am going to use an oscilloscope in order to get what kind of a signal I have there for particular messages and I will try to imitate those in order to send at least some flight commands.
This is digital data. No way to analyze with an oszilloscope, you need wireshark.
I have no internal knowledge about tello bit I do know that the USB can do more than just charge. Try and plug a usb stick...
 

Dan

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Interesting discussion It appears the new Robotmaster Tello Talent takes the micro-drone into the world of STEAM rather than just STEM. in education by adding the arts. That is why it is called talent probably. Also is now part of a new line called Robomaster by DJI. For those who follow the drone industry, it appears that this Tello is a runoff of the chip used for the drone swarm show by Intel. not much available at present other than two good videos to demonstrate uses. Probably will be ready for Christmas market like last years, with a few released leaks. Looking at the video, looks like they may used some USB for the attachment. they have also a new WIFi type chip. i think the telemetry and or video goes to a different port and not the 9000 ports..There have been many in Asia and some in the USA have done this swarm concepts with attaching a HALOCODE device. for colorful lighting when flying. We are not much into high power hacking, but have 3D printed drone top attachments to hold a coin battery and LED, also tossing devices for eggs, etc. Firefighters are now using Dragon Eggs from a drone to fight forest fires. The race is on for payload attachments on top and bottom, such as speakers, release devices, and lighting effects. our biggest problems is short battery life, and poor WiFi using the old n WiFi protocol. We are working somewhat with with teetering electricity.. This new drone will probably be a runoff the new land Robomaster vehicle built for the educational market. Any knowledge of the Robomaster Tello Talent would be appreciated, as these new dimensions are what we did in last years curriculum. We are also working with the Mavic Mini and the new software such as Dronelinks.
 
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ckears

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Why don't you strap a esp32 and socket connect to the tellos wifi, let the esp act as the server and the tello as the client?
 

slater0013

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Hey, Having the ESP32 connected to Tello WiFi is no big deal, but then You need to communicate with you ESP32 ! Could be achieved via RF433 or any other wireless protocols.

Would it be possible to record the video stream on a SD card on the ESP32 ! That's the question. ESP32-CAM module comes with a micro SD card reader and a (poor) photo sensor.

One other way would be upgrading the photo sensor on the ESP32-CAM to a fullHD one and record directly on SDcard.

(just bought one Tello yesterday... starting to think about this...)

GS.
 

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