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Old Dec 29, 2014, 09:26 PM
mdgrubb is offline
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Mini-HowTo
Parrot Bebop, The Other Controller

I picked up a Parrot Bebop over Thanksgiving and so far have been quite pleased with it, but haven't embraced touchscreen controls. Instead I paired an Xbox One controller to my Android phone, and use it to pilot the quadcopter.


My setup:
1.) Parrot Bebop quadcopter
2.) Moto X (1st gen) rooted android phone
3.) Xbox One controller
4.) OTG Micro USB cable
5.) Nyko Smart Clip - Xbox One
6.) Ape Cases ACWP6025 watertight hard case


Controller selection:
When researching controller options for the Bebop I came across a couple obvious options and a few less obvious ones.
1.) Parrot Skycontroller: Presumably the best controls experience for the Bebop however it is large and expensive.
2.) Gaming controller paired to your Android phone: Provides a compact solution however it does require some familiarity to rooting an android device. There are many gaming controller options out there to choose from with the most common being either a Playstation or Xbox controller. The Playstation controllers have better support on Android and can be connected either wired or wireless, however I can't get used to their joystick placement. Xbox One controller has the highest quality joysticks in my opinion and can be connected wired over a USB OTG cable, but they do not seem to support a wireless connection to an android phone.
3.) Trouchscreen joystick: The Brick Joystick Bend Type looks to be the best option on the market. On Amazon: here
4.) Invisible Gamepad: Provides at least some tactile edges to reference your fingers to. On Amazon: here
5.) NVIDIA Shield: If you don't already have an Android phone or don't want to root it then the Shield provides a compact alternative to the Skycontroller. Check out this post.


Attaching an external controller to your Android phone:
There are a number of methods to accomplish this. I will rough out the steps that I used to connect a wired Xbox controller to an Android phone.
1.) Install USB/BT Joystick Center from the Google Play store here (app FAQ's here; alternate download here)
2.) Research how to root your phone without bricking it. Many phones have one click options over on the XDA Developer Forums, however there are still pitfalls, so understand the risks you are taking.
3.) Root you phone.
4.) Connect your controller using the micro USB on your phone and the controller. You will need an OTG USB cable and a normal micro USB cable to accomplish this.
5.) Launch the BT Joystick app.
6.) Search normal - Your controller should be detected. Verify the button mappings look correct and adjust if needed.
7.) Change IME to JoyFree.
8.) Turn J>T on.
9.) Click Joy> two more times to be in 360 emulation mode.
10.) Launch FreeFlight 3. Your screen should now look like the attached image. No more onscreen control icons, however the onscreen controls are still active so don't accidentally maneuver your quad when you are trying to use two fingers to pan the camera.


Control Inputs:
Left Stick: Up/Down, Turn Left/Right
Right Stick: Move Forward/Back/Left/Right
A: Launch/Land
B: Flip - if selected
Y: Take Photo


For anyone worried about an obscure APK download here is some additional info on the app.
USB/BT Joystick Center 2015 by Poke64738
Updated: September 29, 2014
Version: 3.0100
APK: com.free.usbjoyfree.apk at http://apps4htc.com/usbbt-joystick-c...15-391510-apk/
sha1sum: 06fd39b460a22f72fcc9079a603f9a316cebb404 this matches the APK I got from Google Play


Travel Case:
On a side note, if you are looking for a compact case to house your Bebop the smallest that I found was a 9"x9" cake pan (squishes the vibration isolators some) or a two pistol case.

I have been using a slightly larger case from Ape Case, the ACWP6025. And almost went with the roomier Nanuk 910 case.
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Last edited by mdgrubb; Feb 28, 2015 at 04:58 PM.
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Old Dec 29, 2014, 09:50 PM
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Dude I really appreciate your time and trouble doing this, BUT from my understanding Wi-Fi video has so much lag that it isn't usable for FPV anything and there are many cheaper 2.4 Ghz controller/video quads why would I want to spend this much for what isn't acceptable to what I want?
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Old Dec 29, 2014, 09:50 PM
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This Parrot Bebop is the first quad that draw my attention and start learning this thing. The Inspire one is nice but just way too rich for my blood.

Edmond
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Old Dec 31, 2014, 06:10 PM
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The video latency can be rather varied. Sometimes I will get a bad connection and have about 2 seconds of latency, but this can usually be fixed by rebooting FreeFlight 3.

I just took some better video latency measurements and posted the videos to YouTube.

Moto X - .911, .800, .167, and .168 seconds. Video

iPhone 4 - .706, 1.696, .892, and 1.000 seconds. Video

The latency on my Moto X of .17s has so far been bearable, but I haven't tried it with glasses yet. I'm guessing the latency has more to do with the software then the hardware. Hopefully someone will be able to use the SDK to make a low latency google cardboard app.
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Old Jan 04, 2015, 10:03 AM
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thanks for this post. im looking to get one these guys. how you like flying it?
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Old Jan 06, 2015, 10:46 PM
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In general I'm quite pleased with it. Been having fun flying it around. Taken a couple hard landings and it is still goes strong. I tried flying it last weekend up at 10,000 ft and it was behaving a little funny. I'm hoping everything will be back to normal when I fly it next at lower elevation.
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Old Jan 07, 2015, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdgrubb View Post
Hopefully someone will be able to use the SDK to make a low latency google cardboard app.
Now that would be cool, mdgrubb! I wonder what we will be able to do first: (a) fly FPV via Google Carboard, or (b) fly FPV with an Oculus Rift?
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Old Jan 07, 2015, 08:44 PM
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I use my nvidia shield to fly my ar 2.0 my friend borrowed it and flew his beebop worked great once the software was updated
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Old Jan 16, 2015, 01:43 PM
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I saw the Sky Controller Red in stock at online hobby distributor-
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Old Jan 29, 2015, 10:52 AM
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I cant seem to find the app you speak of, and the link you posted is dead... a little help please.
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Old Jan 29, 2015, 05:28 PM
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Try Amazon, you need an account and download their app for android.
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Old Feb 02, 2015, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hideff View Post
I cant seem to find the app you speak of, and the link you posted is dead... a little help please.
I'm not sure what happened to it. The apk link on their FAQ also seems to be gone. The app was "USB/BT Joystick Center 2015" by Poke64738. Maybe a different app like "Game Controller 2 Touch" will work for you.

FAQ link: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!to...ps/J12KxiaE21I
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Old Feb 02, 2015, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdgrubb View Post
I'm not sure what happened to it. The apk link on their FAQ also seems to be gone. The app was "USB/BT Joystick Center 2015" by Poke64738. Maybe a different app like "Game Controller 2 Touch" will work for you.

FAQ link: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!to...ps/J12KxiaE21I

Thanks but it looks like it will not work for my phone. Has anyone ever tried a bluetooth controller?
Something like this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...f_rd_i=desktop
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Old Feb 02, 2015, 09:25 PM
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I know quite a few people fly with Nvidia Shields. I have heard the ipega 9023 works. I imagine with most controllers it comes down to how you map the buttons into FreeFlight. The Shield has the most robust button mapping options, I can't say too much about the other products.
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Old Feb 04, 2015, 11:02 AM
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my ipega 9021 works perfectly
http://www.amazon.com/PG-9021-Blueto...keywords=ipega
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