About the Parrot AR Drone 2.0 and its Modifications
I thank Lon.TV for his lovely information and video
The Parrot AR 2.0 is a quadcopter that functions like any other drone, but comes with a fun array of modifications you can purchase and install. The manufacturer’s at Parrot have made it easy to swap stock accessories (like cameras and propellers) for better quality ones. This element of personification allows pilots to create a drone that suits their needs, right down to its battery. You can add blinking LEDs for night flying, a flight recorder for stabilization, an upgraded battery for longer flight life, and extend your WiFi range just to name a few.
Before we dive into the modifications, let’s see how the Parrot AR 2.0 comes stock.
Features and Specifications
Here are the stock specifications for your AR Parrot Drone 2.0:
The drone comes with a sturdy frame that is made of fiber charged nylon plastic and carbon fiber tubes. These materials help to enhance the strength of the drone and make it stable in the air, even on a windy day. The stability is also maximized by the foam-coated engine that limits vibration during flight. Many reviewers claim that the Parrot 2.0 holds up well when it comes to wind, bumps, and crashes.
Size and Weight
The quadcopter is a medium size, measuring 23 by 5 by 23 inches. It weighs approximately 4 pounds.
This drone comes with a 32-bit 1GHz processor and a 1 GB RAM.The Parrot AR Drone is also equipped with a USB 2.0 port to let you transfer files faster. The AR 2.0 comes with an inbuilt WiFi for easy connection to your device.
The AR drone is equipped with a 3-axis gyroscope, which enhances its mobility when in the air. To top that, this device is loaded with four motors. These motors run at 28,000 RPM, which offer enough strength to carry the 4-pound unit. They can also be programmed to maneuver according to
your preference, and most reviews do praise how well the 2.0 maintains in the air.
Although Parrot boasts about the 720p quality media the 2.0 produces, both the reviewers and I were not impressed. The footage captured almost always appeared grainy and pixelated, with the occasional second of kinda-high-quality clarity. With that being said, it does come with one of my favorite video features – the ability to live stream, real time, right to your smartphone or tablet. This capability has helped me capture stunning views and impressive aerial snapshots.
The unit comes fitted with a 1500mAh Li-Ion polymer rechargeable battery of 11.1 volts. In laments terms, this battery can fly the drone for about 12 minutes. With that amount of time, it means that the drone can cover about 1.3 miles.
Continuing, the company offers an upgraded 1500mAh Li-Ion Polymer battery that comes with a discharge capacity and a Protection Circuit Module to prevent an overcharge, and can last 18 minutes.
Getting the Best Out of Your Parrot AR 2.0 Drone
The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 comes as a standard, well-rounded drone – but modifying its parts can optimize performance. Here are a few of my favorite ways to maximize its functionality:
This drone captures eh-quality images and videos. Luckily, the Parrot 2.0’s ingenious design gives pilots the opportunity to attach a better camera of their liking, like a GoPro Hero 3+. I chose this camera model because of its compatibility with the Parrot 2.0, and the high quality media produced is stunning. You’ll be impressed with how much value an upgrade like this will show.
To attach the GoPro Hero 3+, you will have to use the flat adhesive mount for a firm grip. You might want to add some pieces of plywood to prevent the camera from hitting the ground when the drone is landing.
If you’re interested in purchasing a Hero 3+, I’ve attached a link right here.
If you need assistance attaching your GoPro 3+, I’ve added a Youtube tutorial video here.
A flight recorder upgrade gives the pilot new methods of control. For example, you can view the predetermined flight paths in 3D, add a GPS feature, and utilize a return-to-home function. It is also fitted with a 4GB memory capable of recording all your feeds.
This upgrade also adds more stabilization to your drone. This is possible thanks to the GPS receiver, which calculates where your drone is and prevents it from drifting in the wind. This makes flying high, 50 to 100 meters high, a breeze.
If you’re interested in purchasing a flight recorder for your drone, here is a link to the best price I could find.
Thanks to ARDroneShow.com, I’ve uploaded a helpful Parrot 2.0 Flight Recorder Tutorial/Review.
Enable after-dark flying
With an LED light strap kit that can be easily attached, your drone is more visible during night flights. This helps the pilot maintain orientation, thus making it less likely for him to crash. It is very sample, and yet very effective if you enjoy flying at night.
I have found a red LED light strap for the Parrot 2.0, here is the link on Amazon.com
The Parrot 2.0, stock, can fly for no longer than 12 minutes. With an upgraded battery, you can increase this time up to 50%.
I have added a link to the most recommended battery produced by Parrot, check it out here. It adds an additional 6 minutes of flight time for a total of 18 minutes.
Extend the Wi-Fi Range
This drone comes with Wi-Fi connectivity, which can cover a range of about 100 meters when in the air. While this might seem comfortable to some users, it might not be enough to others. So if you want to boost the range, you might want to purchase a range extender or attach a Wi-Fi antenna to your drone. If you were to install a Wi-Fi antenna to the drone, it would need you to dismantle the original motherboard then install the antenna.
Thanks to a helpful youtuber, I found a perfect video that explains how to use a range extender for your drone here.
I had no idea how much quality propellers made a difference until the Parrot 2.0. They are made to optimize power consumption and thrust, while aiding the pilot with easier flight and less “jell-o” in captured media. Many reviewers also claimed in added flight time from this simple upgrade.
I do caution that you familiarize yourself with pitch, straightening, and balancing your new propellers – you don’t want your drone to flip over on you!
The ones I’ve linked in this section were actually created by a team of who won the French Army Mico Drone Contest, and are the best ones I’ve been able to locate. Here is the link to the upgraded propellers.
Enjoy your modifications, and happy flying!
Have modifications you’d like to recommend? Please comment below, I’d love to hear what works for you and what doesn’t.