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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW STABLE IS THE ANCHOR LOCATION?

The drone buoys use multiple GPS modules to increase location determination accuracy.  The buoys do move about a zone of a few feet, very slowly, as they adjust to updating GPS solutions.  The station-keeping algorithm used prevents the buoy from making any fast and sudden adjustments to its location.  Their motion is certainly within the realm or better than an anchored buoy, which also moves about with changing wind and current conditions.

WHAT IS THE RANGE OF BLUETOOTH LOW ENERGY?

Testing results show a range of about 400 feet.

HOW LONG DOES THE BATTERY LAST?

The batteries are sized to power a buoy for six hours of operation in 20kt winds.  In less wind they will last longer because motoring against the wind is the primary drain on the batteries.  With no wind the batteries will last over 30 hours.

WHAT KIND OF BATTERY IS USED, IS IT RECHARGEABLE?

Drone buoys use LiPo batteries commonly used in radio-controlled airplanes.  The 32" drone buoy uses a single 5000mAh 2S battery and the 48" buoy uses three 5000mAh 2S batteries in parallel.  LiFePO4 batteries can also be substituted.  It is easy to change out batteries.  LiPo and LiFePO4 are rechargeable.

HOW MANY DRONE BUOYS CAN MY PHONE CONTROL?

There isn't a known limit to the number of buoys a single phone can control.  It is certainly more than would typically be needed (at least ten).  Because the phone and buoys are using BLE, they share the 2.4GHz spectrum and use frequency hopping to support large numbers of simultaneous links.

DOES IT WORK WITH IOS AND ANDROID?

Yes!

HOW DO I KNOW WHICH BUOY I'M CONTROLLING

You can create a custom name for each buoy using the App.  You build up the name one character at a time and then save the name.  The buoy will then be shown with that name in the list of BLE connections available and when sending its data.

DOES THE BUOY SEND DATA TO MY PHONE?

Yes!  The buoy sends health information including battery voltage, GPS fix status of each module, and the mode it is in (moving, anchored etc.).  It also sends its name.

ARE THERE MONTHLY DATA SERVICE FEES/CONTRACTS?

No!  BLE communicates directly between the buoy and your phone--no cellular companies are involved.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I LOSE THE BLE CONNECTION?

Often drone buoys are deployed near the range limit of the BLE connection.  The connection is not needed once the buoy has been commanded to anchor at a given location.  If the connection is lost, the drone buoy will re-advertise itself as a BLE connectable device for your phone to see.  It will re-advertise five minutes following the last command it received.

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