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Video stream range vs. controls range / Vonets VAP11S repeater

Valrani

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Hello,

I'm the happy owner of a Tello since last week. As it's my first drone, I try to be careful with it, so I installed TelloFPV app and put a goefence to 40 meters, so I'm sure to not go too far and lose the signal.
But I'd like to test this little drone a little bit further. My question is :
When the video stream become very weak/ the video totally freeze, does that mean that I also lose the controls ?
If not, can I continue to fly on sight and how far can I go safely then ? Can I initiate a Return To Home with the TelloFPV app, even if the video stream is broken ?

Thanks in advance, I hope my English is not too bad 😁

Valrani
 

Hacky

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As command & control uses the same radio connection as the video stream, disturbances in the live stream will be a good indicator for the link quality. There is also a RSSI indicator. The command protocol may be a bit more robust than the video stream but I do not have detailed experience, how far you can fly safely further after the video stream is getting corrupted. It also may depend on the environment, but I would not stress it too much...

However: If you plan to go distances beyound 50m, you should consider a range extender (WiFi repeater / bridge). You find lots of threads here with experiments like this.
 
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Valrani

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Hey man, thanks for your resonse.
Im effectively trying to find a wifi extender because I think it will be safer if I want to go higher and further. I’m planing to buy this one
TP-link N300
I found a guy on YouTube that successfully used it so it should be compatible
 

Hacky

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Valrani

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Hello,
You seems to know what you are doing !
I found the same model in Amazon fr
VAP11S
My only fears is to have difficulties to set it up. There is a manual or something you followed to connect it to my drone ? Then I could buy this model instead (y)
 

Hacky

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There is some kind of manual, but do not expect too much help from it...

The user interface provides a wizard that should bring you through the main tasks. There you should select the "repeater/bridge" mode and not the "router" mode. After that you get a list with detected networks. One of them should be the Tello (of course it should run at that time). All other settings should be left default (e.g. DHCP provided by the Tello and not by the repeater). The password can be set to the same password like you have (hopefully) set up for the Tello before (using the Tello app).

When successfull, you can see another 2.4 GHz network afterwards, using the name of the Tello with an extension. In order to use the extended range, you must connect your phone to the new network and not directly to the Tello.

If you are brave, you can apply a firmware upgrade to the device before configuring it as repeater. For this, it must have a connection to the internet. The easiest way to get this, is by using the ethernet connection to an existing router/switch. In the user interface you can select, which of the two ethernet connectors should act as WAN connection.

If something goes wrong, you can always return to factory settings using the reset switch. Good luck!
 
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Valrani

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Thank you very much, that’s all I wanted to know. I will try this wifi extender and hope it will be a successful operation ;)
Last question. I need a power bank to use with the router, I don’t know if it consume a lot of power, will 5000maH be enough ?

Again thanks for your help
 

volate!lo

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As command & control uses the same radio connection as the video stream, disturbances in the live stream will be a good indicator for the link quality. There is also a RSSI indicator. The command protocol may be a bit more robust than the video stream but I do not have detailed experience, how far you can fly safely further after the video stream is getting corrupted. It also may depend on the environment, but I would not stress it too much...

However: If you plan to go distances beyound 50m, you should consider a range extender (WiFi repeater / bridge). You find lots of threads here with experiments like this.

The command protocol is in fact a bit more robust than the video protocol and will work (with delays) where the video no longer works.
In a plain view LOS scenario video will typically drop out before control is lost, so you may be able to get back. RTH will typically also still work, depending on how often valid telemetry data is still received by the app. The home indicator is typically still doing OK, but with delays so rotate slowly.

But there is no guarantee for all that. If the wifi link just drops, it's gone for both video and control at the same time. This happens if you fly behind a wifi blocking obstacle for example.
 
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Valrani

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Thanks for theses details ! I should receive the wifi extender tomorrow I’m looking forward to see if it’s as good as everyone says
 
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Valrani

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Hello everyone,
I have difficulties to setup the wifi repeater unfortunately.

I powered on the repeater, connected to it and went on http://vonets.cfg.
I used the wizzard to set the repeater to "bridge/repeater", then powered on the Tello and I indicated theses information (see image below).

After that I saw the drone (ANTELLO) with the extended name (ANTELLO_2_4G_BC) like excpected, and I tried to fly the drone at home from my kitchen to my bedroom, all was working fine !


But when I went outside in a desert place to try it, I connected the repeater to my powerbank, and nothing. The thing refused to power on.
I though my powerbank has no battery so I returned home to charge it, but I realized it was full... ?

Then I understood : the repeater seems to work only when I'm at home, more precisely when I'm on the range of my personal home Wi-Fi. When I go to the garden, the VAP11S instantly shut down, even if it's plugged in the powerbank !

I don't know what I messed up during the setup... here is a screenshot of one of the step with the wizzard...
Do you have any idea of what's going on ? I can provide more info if needed :/

A disapointed Tello owner 😁

Capture d’écran 2021-08-13 à 19.25.13.png
 

Hacky

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That's pretty strange. Did you configure only the Tello to be bridged or did you add further networks?

What do you mean with "refused to power on"? No LED lights on the repeater at all? Or did you see the light signals (first yellow, later blue blinking slowly) but it did not connect to the Tello?

If there is only a problem connecting to the Tello outside, perhaps the Tello chooses another channel? I did not test different environment conditions so far. Perhaps I find some time tommorrow...
 
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Valrani

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233221777_3110747565825213_2753761742954187851_n.jpg

Hey, a little update. This photo I made was the first with the repeater working 😁

I managed to make it work, but I don't know what happend first time. Very strange. I only connected the Tello.
I will try tomorrow again and see... I just resetted it to factory settings then tried again, after my unsuccessful attempt.
But I'm glad I managed to make it work :)

I'm starting to believe that I was blinded by the sun when I tried outside, maybe I couldn't see the LEDs and all was fine... but the Wi-Fi of the repeater (ANTELLO_2.4G_BC in my case) wasn't showing on my iPhone. I added it manually (iPhone settings > Wifi > Other... > set the name and password manually) and now it seems to be good

I'll test tomorrow again far away from my house and see how it works !
 
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InHumanForm

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View attachment 6946

Hey, a little update. This photo I made was the first with the repeater working 😁

I managed to make it work, but I don't know what happend first time. Very strange. I only connected the Tello.
I will try tomorrow again and see... I just resetted it to factory settings then tried again, after my unsuccessful attempt.
But I'm glad I managed to make it work :)

I'm starting to believe that I was blinded by the sun when I tried outside, maybe I couldn't see the LEDs and all was fine... but the Wi-Fi of the repeater (ANTELLO_2.4G_BC in my case) wasn't showing on my iPhone. I added it manually (iPhone settings > Wifi > Other... > set the name and password manually) and now it seems to be good

I'll test tomorrow again far away from my house and see how it works !
Wow such a sick photo. How high are you there?
 
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Hacky

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Good to know that it is working now.

I guess, next step will be range tests...
As discussed already: Control will last a little longer than the video stream but if you really want to find out, how much further, you may risk little Tello...
 
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Valrani

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Wow such a sick photo. How high are you there?
Hello, I'm at the max height I could be with this drone, 30 meters 😁 there was no wind this evening !

The photos of this little drone are awesome if the light conditions are good.
This is my neighborhood (Belgium).
 

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Valrani

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Good to know that it is working now.

I guess, next step will be range tests...
As discussed already: Control will last a little longer than the video stream but if you really want to find out, how much further, you may risk little Tello...
Yes my goal is to be safer with the repeater than without it, so I'm not going to do a world record like 400 meters or more :D if I can keep a good signal with 100-150 meters I'm the happiest man on earth lol
 

InHumanForm

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Hello, I'm at the max height I could be with this drone, 30 meters 😁 there was no wind this evening !

The photos of this little drone are awesome if the light conditions are good.
This is my neighborhood (Belgium).
wow the photos are very very cool. What an amzing Drone Tello is... Im so in love,,, Seems you are really enjoying yours too..
 
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Valrani

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Hi everyone,

I feel stupid right now, it was working yesterday and it was effectively because of the sun that I couldn’t see the LEDs flashing on both the powerbank and the Wi-Fi extender. So I though it was not working.

Anyway, thank you very much for your help
 

Hacky

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Little hint: If you fly in a country, where more than 20 dBm are allowed for 2.4 Ghz, you can set the VAP11S also to 23 dBm. Together with the exposed antennas, this should give a good range. Problem ist the little antenna on the Tello.
 
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