Is the Sky Viper Journey SE copter/transmitter pair user upgradeable to Ardupilot?

Amazon shipped me a Sky Viper Journey SE w/o Ardupilot instead of the non-SE Journey with Ardupilot that I ordered.

Is it possible to upgrade the SE kit to Ardupilot? Is the hardware identical? Does the transmitter require firmware upgrading as well? Has anyone tried and succeeded or failed?

I’m waiting for them to ship me what I ordered but if it turns out to be not available I’m just wondering if the SE I have already will work. I’d rather have factory Ardupilot unit so that I can play around with it first before I void the warranty by upgrading but if Amazon can’t get one for me I would like to know if this alternate path to Ardupilot is doable. Others may be curious, as well.

Thanks in advance!

This is the first time I hear about Journey SE, maybe you got a knockoff?
Your should ask SkyRocket or the seller.

Hmmm yes, that hadn’t even occurred to me! Amazon has authorised return of this unit but has just pushed delivery of a replacement 2 weeks until Dec 23rd. I would imagine they’re wondering what they’ve been selling as the Journey Pro, too! The special viewer app for this SE is no longer available on Google Play, either. I’ll try contacting SkyRocket and follow up with a progress message.

Here’s what Amazon delivered (ArduPilot labelling is missing) and a screen shot of what I ordered (although the price has gone up and no longer free shipping).

That’s odd, there no mentions of 1849 nor SE on the website.
No Ardupilot labelling in the box, but are you sure it does not run Ardupilot? Does it publish a WiFi hotspot? Can you access ?
The hardware looks like the same on the outside but the guts may be different?
Please post everything you can about the device before (if) you send it back.
Are those US dollars? I’ve bought a Journey last year for about half that price.

I got the same SE edition (by mistake from Amazon) and it doesn’t have the web interface, but it does have the Wi-Fi hotspot and it has IP As far as I can see it exposes 3 ports: TCP 21, TCP 554 and TCP 8080. I only got it working with the Sky Viper SE Video Viewer app. Maybe it’s possible to upgrade to Ardupilot firmware with the memory card? I have the same questions as the OP and so far no answer from Sky Viper.

Does it broadcast mavlink? If so what does MissionPlanner say about software version?

I don’t think so. I was unable to get mavlink to work.

I was under the impression that Sky Viper SE Video Viewer app could do waypoint navigation. It seems that it is not the case then. Without waypoint navigation this drone is crap.
It looks then like SE is a skimmed down reduced bugdet version of the original Journey without ArduPilot, shame on SkyRocket for this scammy move.
The targeted audience were always casual toy buyers who couldn’t care less about ArduPilot but surely a non-dismissable percentage of the 2500GPS and Journey sales were from tinkerers and hackers who want to play with the software, it’s sad that they don’t care about those customers.

Do you think the difference is only software or the hardware too? At least from the outside there’s no visible difference. I can try to open it and check the board though. If the hardware is OK then there’s still hope to get Ardupilot to run.
Meanwhile, can you recommend an alternative with similar price so I can consider it? For me what matters the most is support for Ardupilot and Mavlink.

There is no point in reducing functionality if the hardware is capable to. It is more than probable that the hardware is also reduced.
Bear in mind that the APWeb frontend runs on the Sonix board, not the flight controller.
I wonder if the controller is compatible.

My point (or hope) would be that they may have dumbed down their software and kept the same hardware to avoid using a new platform. In fact, even the price was not reduced. I can open it and post some pictures here later.

What do you mean by “to avoid using a new platform”? There is no point in dumbing down a product if not for reducing costs.
Thank you for the willingness to share pics. I would just return it.

even if doesn’t have the ardupilot feature of mavlink, if i can get the source code from de app video viwer from sky viper, can i use it to stream live video feed and gps to another api?

Do you receive grone’s GPS coordinates in the app?
If it uses the same protocol as the Journey then try:
as per

The real cost might be the customer support for a product that is too configurable (ArduPilot) for the market that actually exists in volume (kids). It makes sense that the bean counters might question keeping a product that isn’t making money and the team may be forced to try and cut corners just to save the product line. Assuming SkyRocket pays at least something, somehow for ArduPilot, a few bucks difference per unit might matter.

Nothing has changed on the status of delivery. Still saying ordered and delivery on Thursday, but not yet shipped.

I’m very tempted to try the sdcard firmware upgrade but I’d rather wait to see if Amazon delivers an ArduPilot version. As it stands I haven’t even unboxed it. @gomes it would be great if you were willing to try and compare the hardware. Maybe some pix uploaded here to compare with some pix from someone else, maybe you, @grone? It would be nice to know. I’ll probably just wait as long as it takes to get the original because it’s too cold to fly where I live now anyway lol

Will not be able to take pictures of the hardware for 2 weeks as I’m out of office, but can do it later if you are able to wait. Would be nice to know if we can just flash it with the SD card.

Anyway, I got the answer from SkyRocket and it was not helpful:

“The SE is the latest version, and is meant to be just like the Journey Pro. The SE was produced in a different factory and required a different app to support it. The app is more straightforward than the previous version, focusing on essential features for flight.”

When I replied back asking if the hardware supported Ardupilot and could use more complex software, I got a not so helpful answer again:

“Our apps are the only options at the moment.
The compatible app for the Journey PRO is Sky Viper Video Viewer 2.0 and for the Journey SE PRO the compatible app Sky Viper SE Video Viewer”

Ahhh, well, it seems that officially they are saying that the versions are indeed incompatible. I can’t see any reason not to believe them but maybe it would be good to get a photo or two up here anyway for show. I’ll wait patiently for Amazon but I’m thinking the answer will be that I already have the only unit (the SE) that they are able to source. I’ll have to send the SE back and buy used, I guess. Thanks for getting through to SkyRocket and saving me the trouble!

Daaaang. The exact thing happened to me, I ordered the Skyviper for the same reason and wondering why the heck I couldn’t get it to work with Mission Planner.

Now I notice my box ALSO doesn’t have Ardupilot listed (unlike the photos in the Amazon listiing). >:|

Thanks for sharing this, it’s good to know I need to return this.

It would still be nice to know if the SE is upgradeable via sdcard. The SkyRocket response above didn’t really say it specifically that it wasn’t. And if I look at what they sent me, the discoloration of the plastic (caused by bromine added for impact resistance, I think) and the packing etc. make me think that the firmware was upgraded and the outer packaging was changed but these old 720P units are exactly the same old hardware as it always has been. What might have changed, though, is the name of the firmware file that the current firmware looks for, if it even looks at all. I would think it hasn’t changed and that, for those that want to, I’m now thinking the SE would be indeed upgradeable. Maybe I’ll end up trying it on the new one I have. If it’s like some of the other toys I own, better two than just one, right?

But good luck for me, this just showed up on Kijiji and it’s on its way! Probably needs a battery and the prop guards seem to be missing. What a great way to get one’s feet wet with UAV tech these units are!