Preventing battery depletion by setting a fixed position of GPS

Here you can post all things you think are missing within in the app – we really appreciate your input.
Post Reply
Unfoolishly
Posts: 297
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

September 15th, 2021, 4:24 pm

Hi All,

Is it possible to set up the Unleashed to use a fixed position of GPS coordinates when your photo shooting situation is on the same location the whole day?
Nowadays the Unleashed remembers the location when the GPS data drops, and is remembered for about 30min (settings).
But it came to my thought that you can save battery life by feeding the Unleashed only once a fixed position of GPS data and then turn off the smartphone or external GPS device, and configure the Unleashed in the App to hold that location for a period of time (also configurable), so that the BT connection between Unleashed and external GPS device can be dropped completely.
I know that BLE doesn't use much energy, but dropping the BLE connection sure makes it use even less energy.

You could configure the Unleashed and Unleashed App to do the following:
1. Set the location data once using a smartphone or external GPS device and leave the Unleashed operating stand-alone (without a smartphone or external GPS device attached with BT) so that it has the exact GPS location, but never drops it until the user changes the App settings again, or an timer in the App reminds the user of this fixed position to not forget the Unleashed is set in a fixed location situation.
2. Set the location data every 30 min (for example) and let the Unleashed fetch the location data once in a while over BT, not having a constant BT connection. So that the battery saving comes from having no or not so frequent BT connection all the time. You could set a timer with the Unleashed to get every 30 min a new location data just before the expire time of the location data is reached. That way you let the Unleashed contact the external GPS device over BT to fetch the latest location data, while the external GPS device still has a fix. This saves battery life on both sides: Unleashed and external GPS device, or Unleashed and smartphone, because the BT connection is not established, or a lower battery consuming BT connection is established.

This way the Unleashed can save on BT connection time and thus save battery energy. It would require a App trigger/reminder and a LED color combination in the Unleashed to remind the user that the Unleashed is not getting live fresh data, but that the data is fixed or is fetched delayed.

Thus three options:
1. Live data (as it is now). With an expire time of 30min (configurable) before data is marked as invalid and no longer is fed to the camera.
2. Semi live data. Pending / Timed / Polled data. With a configurable fetch time, not being the expire time. So that the fetch time can be any time and the expire time be the same as above. Example: set the expire time to 30min, and the fetch time to 2 hours. Meaning: every 2 hours the Unleashed has no BT connection to the external GPS device, but just after 2 hours it establishes a new BT connection, fetches the latest GPS data and drops the BT connection again. And repeats this over and over every 2 hours. Until it cannot fetch new GPS data and the expire time starts running. And when the expire time is running it tries several repeated fetch moments to outrun the expire time, so it can reset the expire timer before it runs out and the GPS data becomes marked as invalid.
3. Fixed data. The Unleashed connects once to the external GPS device (which has already a GPS fix) or to the smartphone, and then gets programmed to hold that location position for a fixed time (let's assume 1 day). After that specific fixed time, the Unleashed automatically falls back to the data acquisition method described in #1. The location data does not expire within 30min, but in the time the data is marked as valid within the App (for 1 day for example). This way, the Unleashed does feed the camera with GPS data and can keep the lowest profile concerning the battery usage of the camera (and of the external GPS device and/or the smartphone). The GPS time can then be extracted from the camera instead of from the satellite info. The syncing of the camera time and GPS time can be determined by the diff on both times. Same as with the date.

This way, the Unleashed can save even more energy and becomes extremely efficient in power management. Especially in occasions where the camera is residing at a fixed location/position, there is less need for a fulltime BT connection.

Just an idea.

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Retired customer of the Unleashed. I have given up on this project, it's a never-ending story of bugs. Goodbye everyone!
Oliver
Posts: 694
Joined: October 9th, 2018, 4:17 pm

September 16th, 2021, 12:54 pm

In the new Unleashed settings, you can extend the duration of GPS Validity up to 10 hours. That means if you stop getting new GPS data from your phone or GPS, the Unleashed will keep sending the last known location to the camera for 10 hours (we do update the Timestamp in the Unleashed).
Also, for Timelapses, we already automatically extend the GPS Validity time until the end of the timelapse. We figured that in the rare occasion that you're moving the camera during a timelapse, you might as well also take care that your GPS Source remains connected and moves along with the camera (ie it won't go out of range).

for 2, you can set the GPS Interval in the App to the longest possible - that's currently 300 seconds, or 5 minutes. That'll save some Phone battery, but doesn't apply to the Bluetooth GPS, which transmits the location at a fixed rate.

You need to stop worrying about the Battery usage of Bluetooth. Keeping the connection alive for a long time uses virtually no battery. In fact, it uses less power to keep the connection alive than it does to disconnect and reconnect frequently.
Founder & CEO of Foolography, Hardware & Firmware developer.
Unfoolishly
Posts: 297
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

September 16th, 2021, 4:13 pm

Ok, clearly explained. Stop worrying about battery life.
Well it was my concern due to the battery drainage in the 1.4.2 FW, that's still lingering in my mind: is now everything fixed/solved with this 2.0.0 FW? I hope so.
Retired customer of the Unleashed. I have given up on this project, it's a never-ending story of bugs. Goodbye everyone!
Oliver
Posts: 694
Joined: October 9th, 2018, 4:17 pm

September 16th, 2021, 6:06 pm

The battery drain you saw was definitely not in due to 5-10 second Bluetooth scanning every few days. It was due to a bug, causing the Unleashed to try to communicate with the camera while it was off, and being stuck in endless loops of trying and trying. Bluetooth Low Energy (when implemented correctly) has an extremely low power usage.
Founder & CEO of Foolography, Hardware & Firmware developer.
Unfoolishly
Posts: 297
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

September 16th, 2021, 9:10 pm

Oliver wrote:
September 16th, 2021, 6:06 pm
The battery drain you saw was definitely not in due to 5-10 second Bluetooth scanning every few days. It was due to a bug, causing the Unleashed to try to communicate with the camera while it was off, and being stuck in endless loops of trying and trying. Bluetooth Low Energy (when implemented correctly) has an extremely low power usage.
If I remember correctly I thought there were three bugs causing battery draining:
1. Smartphone being able to connect to Unleashed while camera off for a while.
2. Unleashed not really going into deep sleep, or not shutting off BT connections when off for a while (accessory).
3. Unleashed stuck in endless loop communicating with camera, even when camera was off.

Or was this all caused by this one bug?

Bluetooth discover does take more energy than an established connection, if you consider the same time frame for both. In the long run, an established connection sure will consume more over time. I am glad the bugs were found and solved. The battery draining was pretty rapid for a BLE device :(
Retired customer of the Unleashed. I have given up on this project, it's a never-ending story of bugs. Goodbye everyone!
Post Reply