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Bluetooth GPS unit for iPad Air 2 wifi-only that works with DJI??

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by William Laven, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. William Laven

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    I have a wifi-only iPad Air 2 and I love the big screen for DJI Go, but the wifi version does not have a GPS chip so I don't have GPS capability for flying, mapping, etc. I know there are bluetooth GPS units that can communicate with the wifi iPad 2's, but don't know if that info is available to the DJI GO program. Many posts about Bluethooth GPS's comment on their limited functionality and that not all apps can access the GPS info. (Note: Bluetooth is necessary because the other GPS units for iPad use the Lightning Connector which I need to attach the controller.)

    So, has anyone actually used a Bluetooth GPS unit with their wifi-only iPad Air and confirmed that it makes that GPS data available to DJI GO.
     
  2. Stealth Tours

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    William Laven, I too have just the ipad air 2 wifi only because out of ignorance, I did not want a data plan to pay on, so I didn't get the cellular version. Then I purchased Autopilot to perform more advanced flying to generate better aerial video/photos. The first day I set up at a local park, my home position was placed 240 feet away from me on top of a church. Then I realized I needed a mobile GPS unit. I chose Dual Electronics XGPS160 which offered a few more features along with longer battery life. The first day of use, it placed me exactly where I was and allowed Autopilot to perform flawlessly.
     
  3. m0j0

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    I'll be completely honest with you and say.. You don't need it. I have an iPad Air 2 with cell/gps. I have yet to use any function that utilizes the gps while flying. All you need to do is get the maps before you go or use the wifi function to get the maps in the field.

    You don't need gps onboard the device just to fly it with maps... You can get the maps and save (cache) them before you fly. I even go as far as turning off the cellular data when I fly anyway.

    To be honest I only got the cell version to future proof my experience when I get beyond the basic putting about..


    Phantom 3 Pro / iPad Air 2
     
  4. Stealth Tours

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    Mojo, you can't use the "follow" mode on either go app. nor autopilot without GPS. The GPS doesn't get you map data. How do you take a boat ride and fly your P3?
     
  5. Sagebrush

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    "so I don't have GPS capability for flying, mapping, etc"

    You don't need a GPS enabled tablet for general flying or mapping –it's in the bird. Just need a GPS tablet for the tethered stuff.

    S
     
  6. m0j0

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    True.. But I don't think he's asking about that. He is speaking about mapping. You don't need a gps/cellular enabled iPad Air 2 for general flying and mapping. Cache the maps and fly it.

    Im responding to his comments only. I want him to know that for basic flying and operation of the AC you don't need a GPS enabled device for mapping return to home etc.

    Phantom 3 Pro / iPad Air 2
     
    #6 m0j0, Jan 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  7. Oso

    Oso

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    Dual, Bad Elf, and Garmin Glo are the units I see most on the forum. You'll find several threads about them. I have a Dual and it works perfectly with the GO app in the rare times I want to use it.
     
  8. CCDD

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    This is a great point that many, including myself often fail to realize. A GPS enabled iPad (without the cellular service activated) doesn't offer much more than an iPad or device without the GPS. If one doesn't have wifi or cellular connectivity while out flying and hadn't taken time to cache maps prior to flying an area away from such signal, maps don't appear since they're not stored on your device. Unless they're cached, it doesn't matter what iPad/device you're using unless of course one is planning on using "follow me" mode or something similar. A device with GPS and cellular activity is of course the most complete setup however, I often use my iPhone as a hotspot which provides the needed connection for obtaining maps while out flying.
     
  9. m0j0

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    Well this is just wrong. It does offer more than a wifi only iPad Air 2. It offers every functionality of a gps/cellular enabled device. You do not need the device activated. You just are required to cache maps by wifi before you fly. After getting the maps some turn off data anyway. I do. To avoid confusion the device being discussed is not a regular iPad which will not work. We are speaking of an iPad Air 2.



    Phantom 3 Pro / iPad Air 2
     
    #9 m0j0, Jan 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  10. William Laven

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    Yes, I have Autopilot also which I didn't mention in my original post so your answer helps a lot. Do you know Map Pilot? I'm assuming the Dual would supply GPS info to it, too. Do you know?

    Also, I'm curious if you hang the Dual around your neck or attach it somehow to the controller.
     
  11. Stealth Tours

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    William Laven: I am unfamiliar with Map Pilot but will look into it. I have been trying to get questions answered by AIRMAP in Santa Monica, Calif. that convinced DJI & 3DR to be the world supplier/controller of airspace starting in the USA then beyond. I set up an account, but never answers any email through their system, someone picks up the phone and hangs it up, then when you get the answering machine, never return a call.

    About your question, I just set the Dual near my stuff, check the Dual app. you download free to verify all the sat's (both kinds) are active, it gives lots of additional information, Bluetooth is enabled on the Autopilot settings, the home point is correct.

    Concerning caching map data to just the ipad air2, I am a BOZO or the system fails. Never has happened yet. I'm told that using the DJI go app. , select the cache map button and that might work, haven't tried it. I can tell you, when using Autopilot and you think you have saved maps, if you don't get them to pop up at the flight location, DO NOT LAUNCH. My world was clocked 90 deg. from what I wanted....bad story after that. I'm told now that you can plan a mission and save it with a name, you can call up that name and that is a way for things to happen properly. Haven't done that yet.
     
    #11 Stealth Tours, Jan 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  12. William Laven

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    A friend recommended MapPilot. It allows you to designate waypoints on an onscreen map and it creates a flight that'll fly that route and automatically take pics and create a 3D map of the area. Seems like an intuitive program. I need the GPS because when I tried it w/o one it didn't work correctly. See info here.
     
  13. CCDD

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    Perhaps you miss understood what I said, I didn't say an iPad with built in GPS doesn't offer more than a "wifi only" iPad air 2. As you're aware, the only iPads that include the GPS module are those that are cellular ready. Even if one doesn't activate their cellular service, the GPS enabled iPad still provides and active GPS signal however, without the cellular service activated, it has no way of downloading the maps for wherever one might be therefore, one needs to cache their maps while on a wifi network before venturing out to fly. One option is to use their iPhone as a hotspot in order to download such maps. Many believe that all maps are on their devices therefore, no need to download each time, all they think they need is the GPS enabled iPad.
     
  14. Larry56

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    Hi William,

    Just wondering if anyone ever gave you any usable advice on what you were asking to do. I also have a wifi-only iPad Air 2 and I can tether it to my iPhone for both cellular and GPS. I was originally using wifi to tether it to my iPhone but someone on this or another forum suggested NOT to use wifi as it could interefere. Ok...well, iPhone's hotspot feature also has the option of using bluetooth to tether to the iPad so can't I just tether it to my iPhone using bluetooth and turn wifi off completely? Same thing you can do, likely.

    In this setup, wouldn't the iPhone in my pocket act like the Bad Elf Pro? Bad Elf Pro is nothing more than a GPS reciever you can connect with your iPad (through bluetooth) to add GPS. I'm thinking the same thing can be accomplished using a bluetooth-tethered iPhone to add GPS and give you cellular access to maps as well. I keep my iPhone in my pocket which is obviously close enough to the iPad at all times.

    Did you ever get a satisfactory answer to your question or does anyone on this forum have any advice on this?

    ~ Larry
     
  15. Oso

    Oso

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    Tethering to an iPhone doesn't share the iPhone's GPS data.

    If you are looking for info for research, this post might be helpful.
    Tablets and phones that work well with DJI GO
     
  16. RedHotPoker

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    The best option, if it was one, would be sell or gift that iPad Air 2 and buy the iPad Air 2 Cellular... No plan is needed, but all the bell and loud whistles are there for your enjoyment. ;-)

    The iPad Air 2 64gb Cellular my unit, is the reigning king of paired devices. Well at least until iPad Air 3 128gb Cellular gets released...

    RedHotPoker
     
  17. Grimbart55

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    A GNS2000 works very well. Very small, just keep it in your pocket. Connects automatically to the iPad via Bluetooth.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  18. Prometric

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    I use the iPad 2 mini with Retina display cached maps and garmin glo, works with no issues.