Flytrex Live

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Flytrex Live
The Flytrex Live 3G

The Flytrex Live, coming in a variety of versions, is the world's leading live black box for drones and quadcopters, and offers support for a wide variety of flight controllers.

We are constantly updating this section with more information that we think is relevant, so check back for more updates. If you need any specific support not answered on this page, please reach out to us at support@flytrex.com.--Rebeccar (talk) 03:31, 21 January 2016 (PST)

General Features

The Flytrex Live is a black box for drones and quadcopters, and offers numerous features for the drone enthusiast and hobbiest. This includes:

  • Flight Tracker - Advanced Last Seen tool not only lets you find lost aircraft, but helps you analyze flight characteristics and identify possible problems.
  • Real Time Flight Telemetry - See flight data with Google Maps display in real time with your personal Live Flight Channel, share real-time flight with other pilots and more.
  • Logbook and Social - Flights are automatically logged in personal Flytrex profile. Analyze flights, personal records, complete challenges, compete with pilots worldwide and more.

To see exactly what data the Flytrex Live offers for your flights, we offer you to download a sample export file and explore it for yourself. You can download a sample CSV mission export file here, and a sample KML mission export here. Note that the voltage field in the exported file only exists if the mission was originally recorded using the Flytrex Live or Flytrex Live 3G.

Versions

For more information on the different versions of the Flytrex Live, here is a detailed blog post on the differences between the units.

The Flytrex Live 3G Plus vs. The Flytrex Live 3G

Flytrex Live 3G Plus

The Flytrex Live 3G Plus is the most recent version of the Flytrex Live series, and was released in August 2015. It comes with a wide array of upgrades, including:

Updated Processor.The Live 3G Plus has a new and stronger processor that is 10 times faster - This enables the Live Plus to work with the newer aircraft such as the Phantom 3, Inspire 1 and Solo. It also means the Live Plus have much better future compatibility with future aircraft systems since it can handle a much wider range of communication technologies than the previous Live 3G.

  • Built in CANBUS. The Live Plus includes built-in CANBUS processor and can handle both CANBUS and Serial data.
  • Single Port for Data and Power.
  • Better Quality Connector.
  • Improved Firmware OTA Capabilities.
  • No Soldering Required.

These changes allowed for the first time the support of new drones, including the Phantom 3, the Inspire 1.

Flytrex Live 3G

The Flytrex Live 3G was released in 2014, and significantly introduced the new and advanced 3G GSM module sitting at the core. This allowed users an easier way to setup a data plan with their local mobile carrier, and offered a broader variety of world-wide carriers and service.

Flytrex Live 2G

The Live 2G unit is no longer available, and was replaced by the Live 3G in 2014.

Supported Flight Controllers

Flight Controller Flytrex Live 3G Plus Flytrex Live 3G
DJI Phantom 3 Pro/Adv Yes No
DJI Phantom 2 / Vision / Vision+ Yes Yes
DJI Inspire 1 Yes No
3DR Solo Coming Soon! No
DJI A2 Yes Yes
DJI Wookang Yes Yes
DJI Naza N2 Yes Yes
Blade 350QX/1/2/3, Q500/Q500+ Coming soon! Yes
Phantom 1 No Yes
Iris+ No Yes
Naza 1/Lite No Yes

For any flight controllers that are not listed in this table, please get in touch with our support team at support@flytrex.com for any specific requests or development questions.

Installation Guides

Please note: all guides listed here are for the Flytrex Live 3G

Installation Guides for the Flytrex Live 3G Plus

Other Important Installation Guidance

SIM Card Installation

LED Reference

LED Successful Initialization Sequence

  • Solid red - The LED will light solid red right after the Live is powered up. During this stage Flytrex Live checks that all internal electronics are operating.
  • Quick blue flash followed by solid purple - Flytrex Live attempts to read data from the SIM card and establish data connection with the network.
  • Solid blue - Data connection established successfully. Flytrex Live performs initial authentication with Flytrex server.
  • Flashing green - Live connection established successfully. Your flight telemetry data is now streamed to your Flytrex account.

Troubleshooting Abnormal LED Sequences

Flashing red

  • Flashing red five (5) times: This LED sequence indicates that your Live device has not been registered to your Flytrex account, and it will continue to do so until it has been registered. To rectify, please register your Live device using either the QR code or the ID on the back of your Live device.
  • Flashing red six (6) times: This LED sequence indicates a server error. Please get in touch with the Flytrex support team.

Stuck on purple

Stuck on blue

  • Solid blue LED sequence: This LED sequence indicates that your SIM card is failing to properly connect with the Live network. We recommend that you do a few things: (1) Check to ensure that your SIM card has a working plan on it and is activated, (2) Try a different network's SIM card in your Live device, (3) Confirm that your SIM card is supported by a 3G GSM network (or has a card that is 3G backwards compatible).

Solid green

No LED sequence

Custom APN

In order to customize your APN, please follow the instructions below:

1. Download the ZIP from this link and unpack zip file to a new directory: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-OiTUrZ8Xs7QmMtaHVXZkNSbEk/view?usp=sharing

The zip contains 4 files. 2. Right click on the "arduino.inf" file and select "install" from the menu. Ignore the other files!

3. Download the excebutable here with the APN changer: https://www.dropbox.com/s/rv0k5bma9z1laej/LivePlusAPNChanger.exe?dl=0

If all goes well, you should be able to customize your APN using the above instructions.

Firmware Update

Please note, these instructions are for the Flytrex Live 3G Plus. For information on how to update the firmware for the Live 3G, please check out the guide on our website here

Please see below for instructions on how to upgrade the firmware using a USB cable:

1. Download the ZIP from this link and unpack zip file to a new directory: https://drive.google.com/a/flytrex.com/file/d/0B-OiTUrZ8Xs7QTNpR1VvMjNfNTg/view?usp=sharing (V30)

The zip contains 4 files. 2. Right click on the "arduino.inf" file and select "install" from the menu - this will install the device driver needed for the USB port.

3. Double click on the LivePlusFirmwareUpdater file and follow instructions. During the firmware upgrade process you will first need to power up the Live (by powering up your quadcopter - which will feed the Live power) and then connect it using a USB cable to your PC. Please remove your SIM card prior to starting this phase.

4. Upon finishing, the LivePlus LED will turn off for 2-3 seconds and then back to red and purple.

5. This means the Firmware has been updated successfully - you can turn power off, insert back your SIM card and turn it on again. If all goes well it should get to green quite fast.

If all goes well, at the end of the process you should have the latest firmware flushed on your Live.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my Flytrex Live work in more than one country?

Yes and no, as there are indeed two versions of the Live 3G optimized for the local GSM frequency standards. The American version of the Flytrex Live 3G works with bands 850/1900 MHz while the European version of the Flytrex Live 3G works with bands 900/2100 UMTS. Since most users fly within one country (for the most part) we decided to produce two versions rather than make the Live 3G worldwide as the quad-band option for the device is indeed possible, but the hardware needed is significantly heavier, which would have caused a problem for this product specifically. In addition, it would have also made the Live 3G device more expensive for our customers. We decided, seeing as most of our users fly in one area or mostly in the same country, that this shouldn't pose a problem in most cases.

What is the best mobile network to use with my Flytrex Live?

That depends on what country you're located in. If you're located in the United States, we suggest you take a look at our [mobile carriers guide] for Americans. For all countries, you are looking for a few simple features from a mobile carrier:

  • micro SIM
  • data plan that uses 3G GSM

For more country specific details, look at our Mobile Networks page.

Will my Flytrex Live 3G work on my Phantom 3 / Inspire 1 / Solo?

While we have released many new adapters for many aircrafts, most of them are only applicable for use with the new Live 3G plus which was released a few months ago to support the Phantom 3, Inspire 1 and now Solo. You will need the new model to use with the new adapters, since we had to implement several hardware changes to support the new systems. We have redesigned the Live 3G plus both on the inside and out. It has built-in CAN-BUS processing so you no longer need to install the extra CAN-BUS Adapter, 10 times processing power for far improved performance and new data logging capabilities, we removed the red and black power wires in favor of a new single input port for both data and power, and 100% plug-n-play installation.

How can I upload my Flytrex Live missions?

With Flytrex Live your missions are automatically logged and stored in your Flytrex account. Every time you power up your aircraft Flytrex Live automatically starts recording your flight telemetry data and transmits this information to Flytrex servers and to your Flytrex account. After power-off, Flytrex servers automatically store all data collected and adds it as a new mission to your Flytrex account. It might take up to 10 minutes from the time you power-off your aircraft until the new mission shows in your Flytrex profile.

To prevent any testing power cycle from showing as a new mission on your Flytrex profile, Flytrex algorithm checks if actual flight characteristics were identified with each data received by the server and will store the data as new mission only if it determined that the data represents an actual flight. To determine if the data received represents an actual flight Flytrex algorithm looks for parameters such as ascent, distance, speed and more during the length of telemetry data received. If my multirotor crashed or I experienced a "fly-away", can I use Flytrex Live to locate my lost multirotor?

Yes. Providing a safety net that helps you locate a lost multirotor in such situations is one of the main features Flytrex Live offers. To locate a lost aircraft login to your Flytrex Account, click on the link at the top-right corner that shows your account username, enter Account Settings, and select Live from the left side menu. Here you will find a list of all your active Live devices. Press the Last Seen tool for the Live device you need to locate. The Last Seen tool gives you information of the exact location where your multirotor was last seen, when was the last successful transmission received from it, a Google map display where it is currently located and more. Using this information you can easily find and rescue your multirotor.

We have many success stories from our pilots who were able to recover thousands of dollars worth of equipment thanks to Flytrex Live and the Last Seen tool.

I just did a test mission, my Flytrex Live is flashing green properly, yet I can't see the new mission in my Flytrex Profile.

Flytrex Live automatically starts recording your flight data each time your multirotor is powered up. To prevent testing power cycles from showing as missions in your profile, for example when configuring your multirotor at home etc., Flytrex algorithm examines each flight characteristic and only adds actual flights to your Flytrex Profile. To determine if the recorded data represents an actual flight, Flytrex algorithms looks at parameters such as the flight ascent, distance and max speed.

If you ran a test power cycle at home, or on the ground with very little movement, and can't see the new mission on your Flytrex Profile even though the Flytrex Live LED was flashing green, most likely this mission was considered as a test run by Flytrex algorithm. Try performing a new test flight, this time moving a few meters and gaining a 3-4 meters altitude to have it shown as a new flight mission on your Flytrex Profile.

I installed Flytrex Live but I'm asked for an activation key when trying to upload my first mission. Where can I find my activation key?

When using Flytrex Live you don't need an activation key and there is need to use the Upload Mission button. The Upload Mission button is only needed when using Flytrex Core and used to upload missions manually. After registering your Flytrex Live for the first time, missions are automatically streamed to your account and will show several minutes after your multirotor is powered off.

I completed a flight several minutes ago, how come it isn't showing in my Flytrex Profile?

With Flytrex Live a new flight mission is created each time you power your multirotor and closed when you turn off your multirotor. After a mission is closed, it might take up to 10 minutes to show in your Flytrex Profile. Although it can take several minutes to show in your Flytrex Profile, the Last Seen information is updated instantly.

When ordering a SIM card for my new Flytrex Live my mobile carrier is asking for the Live's IMEI number. Where can I find it?

To locate your Live IMEI number you first need to register your Live device, if you haven't already. Once registered, enter your Flytrex Account Settings -> Live and click on the Manage option for your Live device. Your Live IMEI number is listed at the bottom of this page.

I'd like to use Flytrex but without sharing my flights with everyone else. Is it possible?

Yes. For each mission you upload you can set its privacy level: Public or Private. Public missions are shared across the Flytrex site and are visible to all other pilots and site visitors. Setting a mission as private will keep it that way. Private missions are only visible to you, on your personal Profile tab. Private missions are not shown in any of the public views, the Explore and Globe views, nor is it listed in any of the badge statistics in the Badges view. Select the desired mission privacy level is done in the mission preview view, just after selecting the mission file to upload and before hitting the Publish Mission button. In addition to setting up mission privacy for each mission you upload you can also configure the default mission privacy for newly uploaded missions through your account settings. To access your account settings click your account username on the top-right corner.

How can I determine the privacy level of a published mission and toggle its privacy?

You can check whether a published mission is public or private by checking the bottom right corner of your mission's box in your Flytrex Profile page. If the mission is private, you'll see a small padlock icon at the bottom right corner. If it's public, the bottom right corner will be icon-free. To toggle the privacy of your mission find the mission you'd wish to change on your Flytrex Profile page. There you'll see a small triangle in the top right corner of this mission's box. Click this triangle to open the mission drop-down menu. Select 'Set Mission as Public/Private' to toggle this missions privacy level. You'll notice the private pad-lock icon visibility changes as you toggle this mission's privacy status.

I just started using Flytrex but pressing the Upload Mission doesn't seems to work. Other parts of the site also doesn't seem to work.

Our site uses HTML5 technology. When visiting Flytrex site with an older browser, without HTML5 support, parts of the site won't operate properly. For the best user experience you should use a browser with HTML5 support. The latest versions of all major browsers includes HTML5 support, including Chrome, Firefox, IE10, Opera and Safari. Visit HTML5 readiness for latest status.

How can I edit an existing mission details? Add or update mission video? Change title or update the aircraft linked with the mission?

In many cases you might need to update some details of an existing mission, such as adding a new flight video to your mission, update it's title or set missing aircraft details. To do so, visit the Profile tab and navigate to the desired mission. Then click on the mission-menu button (small down arrow on the right side of each mission title), and select "Edit Mission". Using the Edit Mission dialog you can update the mission title, update mission video, set mission aircraft and change mission privacy settings.

I just uploaded a new mission and the Max Altitude seems much higher than my actual flight. What is the difference between Max Altitude and Max Ascent?

With every flight mission you upload you will see two altitude related values: Max Altitude and Max Ascent. Max Altitude shows the max altitude you reached relative to sea level, so if you're located on a hill or high mountain your Max Altitude will reflect this. The second value, Max Ascent, shows the maximum ascent you reached in your actual flight mission and is relative to your starting altitude.

Is it possible to use my Flytrex data with other apps such as Google Earth?

Yes. Flytrex offers exporting options to Google Earth KML format and to CSV format for use with different applications such as Excel, Dashware and others. To export your Flytrex mission visit your Flytrex Profile page and find the mission you wish to export. Press the down arrow shown on the right side of the mission title. From the popup menu that opens select the Export Mission option to open the Mission Export tool. Use this tool to easily export your mission data to either KML or CSV format.

You can download a sample CSV mission export file here, and a sample KML mission export here. Note that the voltage field in the exported file only exists if the mission was originally recorded using the Flytrex Live or Flytrex Live 3G.

I just finished a long distance flight with Flytrex, however, the max-distance is showing a shorter distance than the actual distance to the furthest point of my flight. What is the cause for this?

In most cases this happens if your landing point is different from your take-off point. Since Flytrex is all about multirotors and challenges, Flytrex algorithms measure the max-distance as the longest round-trip performed in a single mission, and is designed to ignore one-side trip. This means that is you landed half way back from your take-off point, the max-distance value will only be half of the absolute max-distance of your flight. This max-distance definition is designed to eliminate one-direction flights and defining the max-distance challenge to measure the longest round-trip flight.

How can I delete an aircraft from my profile?

Enter your Gear page by clicking on the aircraft image on the left side panel of your Profile page. Hover the image box of the aircraft you wish to delete and two buttons will show on the right-top corner of the image: "Delete" and "Edit". Press the Delete button to completely delete the aircraft.

Although deleting an aircraft is possible, it is not recommended to delete an aircraft. Deleting an aircraft will un-link all existing missions currently assigned to this aircraft and will list those missions without any aircraft. Instead, we recommend editing the aircraft and marking it as "Retired". Marking an aircraft as retired will no longer show it in your profile, but will still keep old missions linked with the retired aircraft and maintain stats that were collected for this aircraft. To mark an aircraft as Retired click the Edit button instead and change the Aircraft Status selection box to Retired.

Flytrex Live uses GSM network to transmit real-time flight data. What size of data plan should I get? How much data consumption should I expect?

Flytrex Live data protocols have been extensively optimized and consume very little data when compared to other common applications available today. Using a data plan of 100mb/month will allow you to fly for several hours daily without reaching the data plan limits. We recommend getting a 100mb/month data plan for Flytrex Live, although most chances 100mb will be sufficient for even 3-4 months of flying for most pilots.

Is there any service fee using Flytrex Live?

No. Flytrex Live does not require any service fee for Flytrex and the only cost is the initial cost of the system. However, since Flytrex Live uses a 3G data connection you will need a data SIM card from a local carrier. Since Flytrex Live uses highly optimized protocols, the overall usage of your data plan will remain very low and the smallest data plan should be more than enough for your needs. Click here to read more about Flytrex Live data usage and supported carriers.