The purpose of this article is to familiarize you with Vivitar’s recently released 360 Skeyeview Video Drone’s main features; how to assemble the various parts that are included in the box; and to walk you through the various calibrations required before you can actually fly the drone.
Included in the box, you get the drone itself, four protective attachments for the propellers, a pair of landing rails, a high definition 360° camera, a mount for your smartphone, a remote control, four spare propellers, a battery and its charger and, believe it or not, a screwdriver, as well, for loosening the screw on the battery compartment of the remote.
What Vivitar has missed, however, are the four AA-size batteries needed for the remote, which would have been nice to have in the box, as well, but, I guess, they can be forgiven for this minor oversight.
So, before you start assembling the parts, make sure you have the four AA batteries handy.
Then, start by inserting each of the propeller guards into its corresponding slot at the end of each arm. Double check all the four guards to see they fit in snugly, to ensure proper protection of the rotor blades.
Next, flip the drone over to access its underside, where you will first connect the camera to the camera port and then slide the camera into its designated slot. Again, check to see if the fitting is snug enough.
While you’re still on the underside of the body, attach the two landing rails, snapping in the front and back leg of each rail into its dedicated niche.
With the guards, camera and landing gear attached, it’s time now to charge up the battery – your next step towards flying that quadcopter drone.
So, connect the included charging cable into the charging port, located on the side of the battery and, then, plug in the USB end of the cable to a USB power source, like you would do with your phone.
It will take a couple of hours of charging to fully juice up the battery, which is then good to give you 15 minutes in the air – give or take – before you get a low battery notification.
Like the rest of the parts, installing the battery on the drone is as simple as pushing it in into its dedicated slot on the drone’s rear; the reassuring click will confirm it’s nestled snugly in place.
Alright; it’s time, now, to look at the included remote control unit.
On the face-up side of the remote, you have two stubby control sticks, two large buttons and four small buttons, with four buttons on the shoulders and two on the back, plus a pair of antennas and a mount for your smartphone.
Here’s what each button controls.
The left control stick is for altitude control, allowing you to take the drone higher when pushed forward, reducing its altitude when pulled backward.
The right one controls the lateral movement of the quadcopter-drone – left and right; forward and backward.
The large button on the lower left is the ON/OFF button of the remote, while the one on the lower right controls the GPS Follow Me mode.
The two small buttons on the left of the remote are for speed control, allowing you to fly your machine on low, medium, or high.
Their opposite numbers on the right are the drone’s trim – buttons that help you adjust roll, pitch, yaw, and throttle, when necessary.
The shoulder buttons include the one key return, GPS Surround mode, and the compass calibration buttons, while on the underside of the remote you have your one-key take-off and one-key landing buttons.
Use the included screwdriver to remove the lone screw on the battery cover and install the four AA batteries you were smart enough to keep within reach. The markings inside the battery compartment will guide you in aligning your AAs correctly
With the AAs in place and the battery cover screwed back on, you must, now, calibrate the drone.
To start the process you need to power on, both, the drone and the remote.
You’ll find the drone’s power button on the underside of its body, while the remote can be turned on using the button located on the lower left of the remote face.
Next comes the pairing of the remote with the drone, for which you need to press up then down on the left control stick.
Confirmation that connection between the two devices is established will be indicated by the solid red and blue lights on the bottom of the drone.
To calibrate the drone’s compass, you need to press compass calibration button on the top right corner (shoulder) of your remote.
Next, rotate the drone laterally several times until the blinking front lights turn red, after which you need to rotate it vertically a few times until the rear lights turn blue.
Now, press both control sticks down and left simultaneously to initiate the GPS calibration and wait until the lights on the bottom of the drone are solid red and green to indicate full calibration.
A solid red light underneath the remote’s power button means the remote is also receiving full GPS signal.
Finally, it’s time to fly the Vivitar 360 Skeyeview Video Drone!
There are two ways of getting your drone airborne: you can either press up on the left control-stick to lift it off the ground, or you can take the easy route and, simply, press the take-off button on the rear left of your remote.
You are now free to use all the different buttons on your remote, explained earlier, to control the drone’s altitude, directions of lateral movement, and all of the other features this VIVITAR drone has to offer.
Talking about extra features, pressing the lower right button on the remote activates the Follow Me flight mode, making the drone follow you around until you deactivate the mode.
There is a GPS Surround mode as well, which can be activated by pressing the inner button on the remote’s right shoulder.
In this mode, the drone will not only follow you but circle around you as well, giving you excellent footages for you to not only share but live stream to Android or iOS devices, as well.
Pressing the inner button on the left shoulder initiates the Smart Return functionality of the drone, making it return to you while pressing both the inner buttons, simultaneously, activates the emergency stop mode, useful when the drone behaves erratically.
The Vivitar 360 Skeye View Follow Me Drone is retailing at $179.00 online and at local Walmart stores.