Hello Tello Pilot!
Join our DJI Tello community & remove this banner.
Sign up

Flying over water

4x4

Active member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
33
Reaction score
10
Hi has anybody had much experience with flying there tello over water ?
 
Is it safe to take a short flight from the shore or a boat in no wind over the water ?
 
Is it safe to take a short flight from the shore or a boat in no wind over the water ?

no.
I tried it and it was a near disaster. At least using the stock app, as it wanted to autoland all the time because the VPS shuts off over water. It was a constant fight to get the drone back onboard so no photos or video were made. I was happy to have Tello back onboard.

There is two things you can try. First is to put some tape over the downfacing pinhole camera. VPS will be off but short indoor test flights did not trigger the autoland. Or maybe they have updated the firmware to no longer autoland on VPS lost? Need to try a bit more.

Second, if you are a TelloFpv user: I just added an option that cancels any landing if you use the throttle. Maybe I will change that to cancel any autolanding that I can get hold off. That feature is not yet release, will go into the next release.


What seems to work is flying over shallow, totally flat (0.0kn wind) and crystal clear water as Tello seems to use the seabed then. But I bet distance & position calculation will be wrong so RTH won't work well
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bob Suval
Is it safe to take a short flight from the shore or a boat in no wind over the water ?
You should be allright as long as you don't stop to hover. It will not hold position and some have reported that it starts to autoland. I suggest you practice at the beach/lake before taking it out on a boat.
 
Thanks for the replies it gives me some options to try.
 
no.
I tried it and it was a near disaster. At least using the stock app, as it wanted to autoland all the time because the VPS shuts off over water. It was a constant fight to get the drone back onboard so no photos or video were made. I was happy to have Tello back onboard.

There is two things you can try. First is to put some tape over the downfacing pinhole camera. VPS will be off but short indoor test flights did not trigger the autoland. Or maybe they have updated the firmware to no longer autoland on VPS lost? Need to try a bit more.

Second, if you are a TelloFpv user: I just added an option that cancels any landing if you use the throttle. Maybe I will change that to cancel any autolanding that I can get hold off. That feature is not yet release, will go into the next release.


What seems to work is flying over shallow, totally flat (0.0kn wind) and crystal clear water as Tello seems to use the seabed then. But I bet distance & position calculation will be wrong so RTH won't work well
Tello does not have RTH.
 
Interesting. It must be based on telemetries. I wound't depend on it for tello has no gps.
Somewhere he confirmed something like this.
But IMHO under normal conditions even the most basic RTH is better than none - it will get the drone at least closer to you, even if it misses the takeoff point by a few meters.
 
I can confirm from my own experience that Tello doesn't like flying over lakes. It suddenly goes down unexpectedly, you need to get rid of VPS by already flying >10m before going over water for example and always be prepared to manually control altitude in case of sudden sinking. I now know what I need to be prepared for, but first time really was a moment of slight panic when Tello seemed to try to go swimming without (at least to me in this early phase with only little experience) any apparent reason.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bob Suval
Thanks yes I have had similar experiences and almost lost it . I do find if the water is clear a calm it is ok. However I don't take the risk anymore.
 
Hi there, living in The Netherlands, we have a lot of water, everywhere. Its like humans are living between the water and not vice versa. Anyway, is there a special reason why this happens? Why does the VPS shuts off over water? Is it a physical thing?
 
Hi there, living in The Netherlands, we have a lot of water, everywhere. Its like humans are living between the water and not vice versa. Anyway, is there a special reason why this happens? Why does the VPS shuts off over water? Is it a physical thing?
Imagine you are sitting in a train that is standing in a railway station directly beneath another train and all you have is the view on the other train. when the other train starts to move, without any other references, how you know if it is you who moves or the other one? that is the effect on the VPS as well when it tries to track a surface that moves - because of willows or non-static reflections. VPS tries to orientate itself on structures in the view area and how they change position. When seeing on the water and having no other reference like GPS, Tello cannot know if it is carried away from the wind or if the ground is moving. By default I assume it will try to compensate a hypothetic wind drift and start going anywhere across the water surface until it gets something fixed into view
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bob Suval
I have heard the Tello is not great over water so I was thinking of adding foam golf balls to the feet of the tello just in case it was to land on the water unexpectedly, do you think this will work ? or will this not work as the tello will be sitting higher with the extended feet?
 
There was some guy on youtube and he drowned his mavic air with this floaties.
Skip to 8 min ;)
 
Last edited:
I often fly over boats and water. A couple things I have learned. Flying high 50 feet plus, is better. Having a shoreline, docks, or boats below Tello seem to allow VPS to hover the Tello. Moving high and fast over water, say across a small river also works for me. Anything below about 50 feet, with just water to view, and any attempt to hover...better hold on to the sticks! Tello goes crazy, most often decreasing altitude and going Into auto land mode. Up throttle, forward motion gets me back to shore. I have nearly lost it a few times over water, so only do this if you are willing to risk losing the little guy. Me? I always carry a spare and love to push the envelope, wind, water, dark, rain... two weeks ago, I lost a Tello in a soybean field...at night, in wind and rain. I found it after two more days of rain. TelloFPV app pointed me in the direction it was headed when I lost contact. Put it in a Tupperware with desiccant and all is well.
 

Attachments

  • 4DC3A803-5D2D-4DDD-AF51-0238564C3868.jpeg
    4DC3A803-5D2D-4DDD-AF51-0238564C3868.jpeg
    1.1 MB · Views: 37
  • C7C0F22D-40F3-439E-94A7-0659B5FB13E1.jpeg
    C7C0F22D-40F3-439E-94A7-0659B5FB13E1.jpeg
    955.6 KB · Views: 38
It's not flying, it's sailing, 80 grams is very good for floating from what I've experienced.


But I had no spare propellers and could'nt fly at that time. Now I have propellers and not much time left so I did not toy with water since then :)

IMG_20200726_123538_web_thumb.jpg
 

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Threads
5,716
Messages
40,020
Members
17,157
Latest member
rigocbr