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My insights after 24 hours with the Tello

Joined
Apr 15, 2018
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#1
My wife brought me home a Tello a few days ago, after I had been looking at drones. It paired easily with my phone on the first attempt but I had less success in subsequent attempts. I was using an iPhone X. I found that force closing the app, entering settings, connecting wifi, and then launching the app worked flawlessly. I thought it was a little arduous that I had to do this each time I powered on the drone, as opposed to my phone recognizing and connecting to the wifi.
The drone hovered nicely and was control able using the on phone controls, but I found it somewhat clunky to control in that manner. I connected a Horipad Ultimate that I already owned to my phone via bluetooth and it worked perfectly for controlling the drone. The only draw back was that there is no way to mount your phone to the controller and it was cumbersome to manage them both. Range seemed to decrease if I would stick the phone in my shirt pocket. I used a 64' Nite Ize Gear Tie to fashion a phone mount and despite looking hideous it worked surprisingly well. (I'll attach the picture for your amusement.) IMG_4472.jpg
Pictures and videos were OK for a $100 drone. Much better than most toy camera drones, much worse than most photography drones. Think standard cellphone quality for images, a little worse for video. The videos and pictures saved to a file in the app and could easily transfer to your phone library. The bumpers on my Horipad worked to control video and the camera shutter, much like DJI's more expensive offerings.
The drone was stable and responsive. I was able to fly the drone up a stair case, through hallways, and into other rooms using FPV from my living room. Outdoors I removed the prop guards as there was opened space and I hoped to minimize weight and wind resistance. In sport mode it was quick. I was able to fly it above the tree line before needing to come back due to increased winds. I flew it approximately 75 meters away before encountering signal issues. I was in my neighborhood and am sure there was a large amount of interference from wifi and other electronics. Despite this, I was able to fly it back and felt 75 meters was plenty of distance for a drone of this size.
In my 24 hours with the drone I believe I managed 10 flights. I had a couple small crashes my first couple flights with no apparent damage. On my final flight I had the prop guards on and was indoors,. I was close to the drone using it to take videos of my children. I got too close to a wall and the prop wash sucked it up against the wall. It fell approximately 4 feet to the floor. A motor laid unattached on the floor beside the drone. The wire sheared off even with the rear casing of the motor. Re-soldering the connection was not an option due to it shearing flush with the housing. Even if that had not been the case it would have been very difficult to solder the wire due to the motor just pressing into the frame. I'm not sure if this was a fluke or an indication of low build quality.
I really liked the Tello while it was operational and found it fun and easy to fly. I doubt any other drone can compete with it's "fun factor" indoors. I had forgot to mention that it's '8-D flips' worked nicely (as long as you had over 50% battery). I replaced the my broken Tello with a Spark, but now find myself wanting another Tello for indoors on rainy days.

If you're looking into a Tello I hope my experiences can be of help to you. Happy flying.
 

Tellojockey

Active member
Joined
Apr 13, 2018
Messages
30
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11
#3
I appreciated your review as I yet have to fly outside knowing the Tello can't handle a lot of air movement from reading some of the posts.
Thank you.
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2018
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#4
It performed really well close to ground level on a lightly breezy day. Ideally you would only want to fly it on the calmest of days though. It zipped across the backyard very nicely, and flew through and under singlets and trampolines with ease. It didn’t take much wind though before the drone physically couldn’t progress against it. I had to wait out a couple gusts.

I appreciated your review as I yet have to fly outside knowing the Tello can't handle a lot of air movement from reading some of the posts.
Thank you.
 

Xtian

Active member
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
25
Likes
13
#5
The props sucked mine up into the ceiling! 🤣
I've crashed a few times inside and no damage to the drone at all. I bought it so I can fly inside when weather is crap and I think it has potential for custom mods. Fun little drone so far and I'm looking forward to connecting a controller as the app controls will get it flying but I have to keep checking the screen for thumb placement. Sticks will make it a lot more fun to fly.
 

Tellojockey

Active member
Joined
Apr 13, 2018
Messages
30
Likes
11
#6
It performed really well close to ground level on a lightly breezy day. Ideally you would only want to fly it on the calmest of days though. It zipped across the backyard very nicely, and flew through and under singlets and trampolines with ease. It didn’t take much wind though before the drone physically couldn’t progress against it. I had to wait out a couple gusts.
Had it out myself today fighting a pretty good breeze here in sunny MO.
It struggled pretty good but didn't let me down. I launched off my buddy's flatbed trailer and it actually worked pretty good trying to keep itself flying steady. It's cool to note that once away from the trailer, it landed perfectly on ground 5 feet lower than the trailer on the "land" command, and I think that's because it was still within its "vision" range of about 30-33' feet vertical.
Toward the end of battery life it gave me the heads up for low battery again, but I wanted to find out how it would behave on a declining battery so I kept low to the ground and mistakenly (end of line of vision, not able to see heading and the screen not visible because of the bright sun) flew too close to a small schrub at about 6 feet high but at a snails clip. It sucked into the green, tangled with the small leaves and immediately shut down and hung wating for a resque like a cat on a pole.
Once back on the ground and re-started to fly the remainder of usable power, it flew for another 5 minutes or so before it started to look to bed down.
It truly did that in an unrealistic animal like way doing two 180's on its own and some back and forth, at a foot off the ground, and then gently set down on a clear patch about a foot and a half diameter with no grass in it still fighting wind.
It made me think of a dog doing circles to find the "spot".
So...we know it isn't an animal but it showed me what it will and can do with its electronics in a situation not quite favorable to Its capability including a near dead battery.
I'm impressed!
 
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