Movi Pro controller Range is killing me!!!!! Please Help!!!

Discussion in 'MōVI Pro' started by Joshua Altamirano, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. Joshua Altamirano

    Joshua Altamirano New Member

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    We just bought a new movi pro, with red and alta 8. Took it on a shoot (will admit that it was a high wifi area, university to be exact, but living in Dubai, I cannot escape it) and got killed by the movi losing signal all the time!!!! this caused the gimbal, mid shot to just jump, or have 0 control.... DOP lost all confidence and i was left very disheartened. The distance on this was like 100m and less. The connex worked fine and had full control of the drone at all times, was only the movi controller.

    What made things worse was, later on we go and do plate shots in the courtyard in the centre of the university and gimbal would not get signal from literally 10m in the air!!!!! I am not sure what to do. We have just spent like $100 000 on the full set up (inc Red camera) and first shoot we have we get killed by range..... We are using a wifi booster but to no avail.

    Maybe the UAE has range issues or frequency issues that are bumping us out but ye, got a 5 day shoot coming up mid August and its a action film with explosions and stuff, so need to have this sorted by then. Please help.
     
  2. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Joshua: What Power Level did you have the MoVI Controller set to? (Page 22 of the manual.)

    Andy

    Forensic Software & sUAV / Drone Analyst : Photographer : Videographer : Pilot (Portland, Oregon, USA): Trees=2, Ground=1, Props=11. :(
    The Ground Is The Limit™
    ---------- Forensic Drone Analyst : Forensic sUAV Analyst : Forensic Unmanned Aircraft Analyst : Forensic Drone Expert
     
  3. SeBaStIaN BArrEtT

    SeBaStIaN BArrEtT Active Member

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    Gotta keep a spare Futaba/spektrum controller with you for gimbal control just in case! I have had range issues, controller failures, etc. . . having a spare controller has saved me multiple times. Spend the extra couple hundred for some backup controllers.

    I know many people have tried retro-fitting signal boosters onto their controllers.
     
  4. Mark Hoffman

    Mark Hoffman Member

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    It really is too bad that Freefly hasn't explored this issue more. If you've ever opened up the MoVI controller you'll realize that the rf portion is just an XBEE radio running custom firmware. The XBEEs do not have the best reputation (at least the 2.4ghz variant) as a robust link. I don't know if there are any off the shelf alternatives out there but they did find an alternative for the mimic so you would think they could come up with at least a diy kit for upgrading the MoVI Controller.
     
  5. Mark Hoffman

    Mark Hoffman Member

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    Hey Freefly how about this pDDL900-2.php as an alternative to the xbee?
     
  6. Joshua Altamirano

    Joshua Altamirano New Member

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    @Andy Johnson-Laird

    Thank you for the response. We have set the the power level to 4, which if I am not mistaken bumps its up from 10dbi to around 18dbi.

    We have also run a scan on the movi controller itself to test frequency traffic and come to the conclusion that channels 1 and 2 are useless while 4/5 are pretty good. Will only have an update for you once we actually go out and test it.

    @SeBaStIaN BArrEtT

    Thank you for the advice, I will definatly give it a try and let you know what results I get for this :) I do feel its a bit silly however to spend so much money on this controller and then have to swap it out for a futaba remote. Best case scenario I would really like to use the controller that we invested so much money into.

    @Mark Hoffman

    Since this is a new purchase and my knowledge of the inner workings of the controller are limited, I would like to stay away from opening up the actual controller and making changes to the hard ware as if anything goes wrong, our warranty will become null and void :(.

    I agree though, at the price tag of this piece of equipment I think it is wise for freefly to test these things and find a top of the line RF/TF for its consumers.

    On another note: I emailed FreeFly with the above listed concerns and the technical support was pretty helpful. One of the suggestions was to run a spectrum analysis on the surrounding area (a feature built into the movi controller) and adjust your channel accordingly based on noise.

    Another suggestion was to keep the antenna as far away as possible from the carbon fibre tubing of the Alta 8 as it suck up all the outputted radio signals. I went ahead and 3D printed a tube clamp which attached to the landing gear that gives about 8cm separation from the landing gear, which I hope will reduce the problem I am having. Will have to test and let you guys know the results. Please see attached image.

    Thank you for all your assistance guys and I am super happy to be apart of the community.

    Kind regards
    Joshua

    20180805_155311 smaller siz.jpg
     
  7. Joshua Altamirano

    Joshua Altamirano New Member

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    @SeBaStIaN BArrEtT

    Just on a side not, the Alta 8 runs two Futaba receivers stock standard for switching between the receives if one has better signal then the others.

    Will your solution not cause interference with this as, if I try this out will we not be running 3 futaba 2.4ghz transmitters/receivers on the Alta 8? Are you using the Alta 8 or do you have a different rig set up?
     
  8. Sean Haverstock

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    Hey Joshua,

    This might seem obvious, but it's an easy mistake to make. Confirm that you're MoVI is set up to be controlled via the Movi controller. You can actually control the MoVI with a Movi controller even if it's set to DSM2/DSMX 1024/2048. You will have severely limited range as you're describing, however.
     
  9. Joshua Altamirano

    Joshua Altamirano New Member

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    Hey Sean,

    Thank you for the response. unfortunately on this occasion it is not an easy mistake we made. I really think it has a lot to do with the wifi/cell phone frequencies in the UAE but will be conducting more harsher tests to really figure this out. Would be amazing if FreeFly took country locations into account. I understand that there are laws in USA preventing different frequencies but at least they could let us now that we may encounter issues and provide a trusted supplier to fix these issues.
     

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