Comprehensive Documentation?

I’ve been demonstrating the Journey, and observers are extremely impressed – the potentials for this “toy” are really quite extraordinary. One question that kept coming up – that I couldn’t adequately answer – is the lack of comprehensive documentation – not so much for the hardware (the design is already pretty wonderful, note the lack of significant interference between magnetometer, GPS [I routinely lock on 16 sats indoors!], and FPV) – but in terms of user instructions for flight and the SV app.

An incredible amount of sophistication is present in this system, but it isn’t practical (for example) to point most people at the ArduCopter docs.

I immediately received questions about the app UI. It tends to assume a level of knowledge that many users will not have at hand. For example, the presumed battery indicator seems to always show 100% in my testing so far (as opposed to showing a battery voltage). When asked what that indicator really represents, I don’t have a ready answer. There is what appears to be a “distance from home” indicator, but its values do not necessarily lead clearly to user understanding of what its actual representation of “home” is – sometimes it seems to show decreasing values as you move away from the assumed home position (from power on? arming?).

Selecting the “follow me” mode immediately asks the user to arm the flyer – but the existing documentation doesn’t explicitly explain what “arming” means in this context (though we know what it means of course in the typical ArduCopter context). If the user momentarily raises the throttle from the center position (and quickly allows it to return to the center), the flyer goes into the presumed armed state with props spinning, but their speed gradually increases and if not quickly throttled up to launch or powered down will become unstable and potentially flop over on the ground.

Let me be clear that I do not view these sorts of issues as defects in the physical system, but rather of note because there does not currently exist (AFAIK!) comprehensive documentation that explains these issues, suitable lets say for a sophisticated amateur.

So, do we know of any more comprehensive documentation around that I’ve missed? I’ve done a pretty good search around the Net and on the support site of course. I don’t really relish the idea of having to write up this kind of documentation myself, but if I really have to I can – I’ve done this sort of writing plenty of times over my career.

Thanks all.

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So, you’re right, for the most part the documentation for how the “Journey” works is not comprehensive…though the “advertised features” are probably explained at the bare minimum to make it so you can use it.

That said, it should (emphasis on should) be good enough for a consumer to understand the “toy features” of the craft. Also, some of the messages you see in the App are probably just MAVlink alerts being displayed directly, so the App would have to translate that to amateur language.

But, you’re going to have two different types of Journey buyers.
#1 Typical: Wants a toy for his kid. Figures, if the kid can figure out a Smartphone, he/she can figure out how this app works. And besides, people don’t read manuals anyways.
#2 Enthusiast looking for a cheap AP drone: Already knows where to find the AP documentation, and typically, already knows all the AP lingo.

There is a potential #3 buyer.
#3 Typical, but COULD be an enthusiasts convert if he/she finds AP to be awesome. This person looks at the box and the big fold out instruction sheet and says “Hey what is this ArduPilot thang” and googles it and then becomes interested in reading the documentation.

All of your comments are valid, but for a $100 toy, you can’t really expect a 5 page manual telling you about all the features of the App, Drone, etc

All understood. And I’m really not talking about anything formal, just something to provide additional help to minimize searching around for folks looking for a bit more depth. I’ve gone ahead and created a Google Doc, open for anyone to edit for the time being, where various information can be collected along these lines. I volunteer to keep it organized, and everyone is invited to contribute. Thanks! -

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This is a good spot for the info once you have it compiled.

I’ll do that. BTW, can anyone tell me what that battery indicator is really supposed to be showing? Mine is always at 100, and I see no display of the actual current battery voltage, which would be a very useful metric! I can get that from some other Android apps – unfortunately they don’t have split screen FPV goggle modes. Thanks.

I should add that the existing FPV mode is not very useful, since while there is an adjustment to move the images left and right, there is no adjustment for their sizes which is a key necessary adjustment for making apps work in arbitrary goggles, and that most FPV apps do include.