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Info/FAQ

Covert Drones Basics

WHAT WILL MY EXPECTED RANGE BE AFTER AN ANTENNA INSTALLATION?

The transmitter that comes with consumer drones have a typically have between a 2-4 mile range and operate. However, the practical control range is influenced by several factors such as noise and obstacles. Because everyone’s situation is different it would be impossible for us to determine the exact range you will gain. Practically, you can expect to see a range increase of 30% to 50%

 

WHICH ANTENNA IS BETTER FOR ME TO USE?

Whip antennas are an “Omni-directional antenna”. Omni-directional antennas “shine” their radio waves equally in all directions. It will radiate radio waves in all directions without bias, like an uncovered light bulb. These antennas do very well in tight neighborhood settings that have a lot of Wi-Fi congestion. 

Directional antennas will better in an open area where there are minimal obstructions between you and the drone.  Directional antennas radiate preferentially, choosing to partially or fully ignore coverage of an area behind them in favor of boosting the strength of the radio waves right in front of them. It will focus its beam in a single direction, gaining a significant range bonus, similar to a flashlight. They also need to be aimed at the drone at all times.

The ideal way to receive live video is to use both the directional antenna to get the maximum video in one direction. Then use an Omni-directional antenna when you move outside and behind the directional antenna. Covert Drones offers multiple options in both Omni-directional and Directional Antenna's. The Switch being the most diverse when looking for the ideal way to receive live video.

 

DO YOU OFFER AN INSTALLATION SERVICE?

Yes, if you are looking for a fast & economical way to install your antenna, Covert Drones offers a professional installation service at a competitive price. We will get you back up and running quickly! It’s as simple as shipping us your drone’s remote so that we may modify it. We will even pay for the return ground shipping, within the Continental United States. We also offer international installations. Please message us for more details.

 

WHAT IS THE TURNAROUND TIME ON YOUR REMOTE INSTALLATION SERVICE?

1 day!  If we get your remote on a Monday, we guarantee it will go out Tuesday. Even If we get your remote on Friday we WILL ship it out Saturday. The only day of the week we can’t ship out is Sunday, due to parcel carriers being closed.

 

ISN'T THIS ILLEGAL?

No, upgrading your controller’s antenna is not illegal, as long as you know and follow your local drone flying laws. Below are a few rules to keep in mind.

  • As a word of caution, boosting the control range past 1.6km (or 1 mile), would put your drone beyond your line-of-sight. Be sure to check the local laws in your country before extending your drone flying range.
  • You can extend your drone range by lowering the control frequency band. Though this is relatively easy to do, you need to again check your local laws to see if the lower frequency is allowed for public access. Some lower frequencies are used for air traffic control, or even by the military so be sure do to your homework.
  • Also, check that your longer flight path does not come near airports or sensitive installations such as communication towers. It is easy to overlook this.
  • Always know your local flying rules before you put your drone into the air. If caught, you could lose your drone, or get stuck with a hefty fine.

 

WHAT IS THE TYPICAL RESPONSE TIME TO A CUSTOMER INQUIRY?

Every customer inquiry is important to us, and we strive to have your questions or concerns resolved as promptly as possible. Response time is usually within 24 hours. If you wish to speak with a customer representative, please call 1.612.816.0039 or email info@covertdrones.com. Our business hours are 8AM – 7PM (CST) Monday – Sunday.

 

WHERE ARE YOU BASED?

We are based in the United States, Minnesota to be exact.

 

SHIPPING & RETURNS

 

DO YOU SHIP INTERNATIONALLY?

Covert Drones ships worldwide with the exception of a few select countries. For international orders, once your parcel clears customs, it will be handed over to your local shipping carrier for final delivery. Once received by the destination country, more detailed tracking information can often be found by tracing your parcel on the website of your local shipping carrier (i.e. USPS, China Post, UK Post, etc.).

Please note that international orders may be subject to customs fees levied by the destination country. We have no control over if, or how much you will be charged for customs, and we are not responsible for any additional charges the destination country imposes on you.

 

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET MY ORDER?

It's coming, promise! We ship orders Monday-Saturday, during office hours only, and we don't operate on public holidays. We always aim to post your order as quickly as possible (usually within 48 hours) but there might be some delays. Your patience is appreciated.

Once we ship your gear, it'll get there in about this long: 

  • US and Canada: 5 – 16 days*
  • Australia and New Zealand: 7 – 19 days*
  • Europe**: 9 – 17 days*
  • Latin America: 10 – 25 days*\
  • Africa**: 10 – 25 days*
  • Other countries: 14 – 30 days*

Please Note* USPS/DHL usually deliver between the hours of 9am-5pm and will request a signature. If you aren't available when your parcel is delivered, the delivery driver will leave a card with instructions on how to pick up.

 

WILL MY ORDER BE TRACKED?

Yes! No matter what shipping option you go for you will receive a tracking number in your shipping confirmation email so you can stalk your new gear all the way to your front door!

 

WHERE IS MY ORDER?

Hasn’t it turned up yet? What a bummer. If you haven’t received a shipping confirmation email from us yet then just drop an email to info@covertdrones.com and we’ll investigate. If you have received a shipping notification just consult your tracking number for the latest update on where your package of goodies are.

 

HOW DOES YOUR DELIVERY PROCESS WORK?

Once your order has been shipped you will receive a shipping confirmation email! Your shipping confirmation will also contain your tracking number, so you can stalk your shiny new gear all the way to your door.

All products are packaged using protective packaging for safe arrival. If there is any damage to the package content, we may request that you provide us with a picture of the damaged products.

Just a few things you need to know...

  • Delivery times may vary due to your chosen courier’s network, and/or the time it takes to be processed through Customs (if international).
  • Please allow an additional business day for the team to process your order if it was placed on a weekend or a US public holiday. Even packing ninjas need a break every now and then!
  • There may be delivery delays during peak times (e.g. Christmas, Boxing Day) and after major releases – please be patient, we promise it will be worth it!
  • Orders placed after 12pm CST will require an additional business day to be shipped.

Orders will be delivered by your nominated courier service. If you’re not present when delivery is attempted, your parcel will either be safe dropped (i.e. left in a safe location), or you will receive information from the courier service on how to collect your gear.

Once your order has been shipped from our warehouse, all risk passes to you as per our Terms & Conditions. We are not responsible for any damages or loss incurred once it leaves our premises, and enters the care of the elected third party courier.

 

HOW DO I CHANGE MY ADDRESS FOR DELIVERY?

Goods will be delivered to the address specified on the order. Please make sure we have the right shipping address for you, as we cannot be held responsible for an incorrect address being entered on your order. We reserve the right not to deliver an order if it is believed that the address is not secure.

You will be able to check the shipping address on the Review page while you are going through the checkout process on the site. If you notice an error after your order is finalised, please contact us immediately at info@covertdrones.com

All tracking information for your item can be found at the elected courier’s website.

 

WHAT IS YOUR RETURN POLICY?

Covert Drones will gladly offer a store credit or refund for items you wish to return back to us on the following conditions:

(i)  the products are received back to us within:

Domestic orders – 30 days from dispatch (As detailed on shipment email)

International orders – 45 days from delivery (As documented by relevant courier)

(ii)  the products have not opened, used, installed or damaged;

(iii)  the original tags/labels are attached;

(iv)  you present proof of purchase; and

All returns will go through an assessment once they arrive at Covert Drones, and we may refuse any returns that don’t meet the above conditions. 

Special Exceptions

There are a few products that are unable to be returned: sale items, custom made, personalised, or altered products, unless the good is faulty or where otherwise required by law. 

Products purchased as part of a promotion are eligible for return providing the return meets the conditions of our Returns Policy and the specific promotion T&C’s.

 

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO RETURN SOMETHING?

We want you to love your purchase! If you are not completely satisfied, let us know and we will work with you to make it right.

  • Full priced items may be returned for refund, exchange, or store credit. Please email us at info@covertdrones.com so that we may assist you in sending your purchase back.
  • ITEMS MUST BE RETURNED WITHIN 14 DAYS FROM THE DELIVERY DATE.
  • Items marked down in price:
    • Purchased without the use of an additional discount or promotion code may be exchanged for a similar item or for  online store credit only.
    • If purchased with an additional discount or promotion code are a final sale and will not be accepted for return, exchange, or ecomm store credit.
  • Items must not be altered in any way in order to be accepted for exchange or credit.
  • Customers are responsible for the cost of return shipping on any return or exchange not due to an incorrect or damaged item; however, we will ship your replacement at no additional change.
  • Gift cards are not eligible under our refund policy.
  • We do not offer price adjustments or rainchecks on any of our products.\

 

 

HOW DO I RETURN SOMETHING?

Easy peasy! Just email us at info@covertdrones.com and send the item/s back to us at the address at the bottom of this page.

Please include a note with your name and your order number to ensure your return can be identified when it arrives.

In line with our Terms and Conditions, all postage costs for returns must be covered by you. We recommend using a trackable postage service. That way you can make sure your gear is safely on its way to us!

The products are your responsibility until they reach our office, so please ensure everything is packed securely. You may want to use a postal service that insures you for the value of the items you are posting. Unfortunately, Covert Drones cannot be responsible for lost parcels being returned.

Store credits are valid for 12 months from issue.

Refunds may take up to 10 business days to appear in your account, depending on your bank.

Returns address:

ATTN: RETURNS

Covert Drones

967 Vine Circle

Jordan, MN 55352

United States

 

HOW WILL MY MONEY BE RETURNED?

We will refund using your original payment method. Special conditions apply in respect of payments made using PayPal (as set out below).

Refunds will be returned to your PayPal account.

 

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR MY REFUND TO BE PROCESSED?

Once we’ve received the gear back, please allow 2–5 business days for your return to undergo a quality check, and for your request to be fully processed. Once we’ve dotted the I's and crossed the T's, you will receive an email notification from the Customer Experience Team letting you know if the return has been accepted.

 

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I RECEIVE A FAULTY ITEM?

If you believe you have received a faulty item, please contact the us at info@covertdrones.com straight away to discuss your options for repair, replacement or refund. Repair, replacement or refund of faulty products are subject to our Terms & Conditions.

 

WHY IS MY TRACKING NUMBER NOT UPDATING?

If the tracking has not updated, it might mean the package hasn’t yet been picked up.

  • Orders are generally processed and shipped within 48 hours.
  • Our daily pickups are generally towards the end of the day.
  • Tracking information will be updated once the packages have been scanned into the system at the carrier’s distribution center.
  • There is step by step tracking for USPS Priority packages, but the USPS site does not always update immediately.
  • It may take up to 48 hours for tracking to display on the carrier’s site. There may be several days when it appears your package is not moving to its destination. This occurs when your package is on a long haul truck or on a train. The tracking of your package is only updated when it reaches the next distribution center. It can take several days for a truck or train to arrive its destination.
  • If the tracking has updated and suddenly stopped, it might be caused by a delay (weather, traffic, etc.) and should resume within a day or so.
  • If you cannot track your package within a few days after you have received the shipping confirmation, please contact us by emailing info@covertdrones.com or call us at 1.612.816.0039

If the tracking has updated and suddenly stopped but does not continue updating within a day or two, it can mean:

  • Package is stuck and requires further assistance (incorrect/ missing address).
  • Package is damaged or lost.

 

I ORDERED TWO PRODUCTS, BUT HAVE RECEIVED ONLY ONE … WHAT’S HAPPENING?

Since we have a large assortment of products that are not stored in the same warehouse, it is possible that some products get shipped separately. Do not worry, it is quite normal that you receive a product a few days before the other.

 

ORDERING

HOW DO I ORDER?

Just go to www.covertdrones.com (hint: you’re already here) and click on a product you like and add to cart. Then just follow the easy checkout process and soon you’ll own some badass toys!

 

I'M GETTING AN ERROR WHEN I'M TRYING TO PLACE MY ORDER, HELP!?

First and foremost... remember to breathe. Cos if you don't, you'll faint and then it'll take even longer to get your Covert Drones order, and that's no good. Secondly, check you've filled all the details out properly including your name, address and payment info. Still not working? It might be the computer system. Be patient and remember, computers are people too. Email us at info@covertdrones.com (with screenshots if possible!) and we'll see if we can track down the problem. 

 

HOW DO I MAKE CHANGES TO MY ORDER?

Just email info@covertdrones.com with your order number and the changes you need to make. We are extremely flexible and are willing to accommodate any changes up until the time that we ship out your order.

 

HOW DO I CANCEL MY ORDER?

It’s the same deal as changing an order, you can email us at info@covertdrones.com to let us know you would like to cancel. 

 

PRICING & PAYMENT

WHAT FORM OF PAYMENT WILL YOU ACCEPT?

We accept all major credit cards (American Express, Discover, Visa and MasterCard) in addition to PayPal, and Apple Pay. 

Is it safe? 
Absolutely - nothing to be worried about! We have bunches of super nerdy encryption thingmos in place so that your payment is secure and your details remain 'secret squirrel'. For the techno geeks out there – we us the Secure Sockets Layer protocol (SSL) with an encryption key length of 256-bits (the highest level commercially available).

HOW DO CUSTOMS AND DUTIES WORK?

Customs duty is a tax that is determined by the customs authority of your country based on product type, known as commodity, value, weight and dimensions. Customs duty is established by your customs authority. The carrier may also charge handling fees for processing your parcel through customs. Sorry, we have no control over this and it's your responsibility to pay for any fees. We suggest you find out what fees are applicable in your country BEFORE you order. 

Why would customs delay the delivery of my package?

Customs may inspect your package due to a product name, description, commodity type, and/or value.

Do I pay VAT?

Yes. A 20% VAT charge is included in the price of each item to abide by European Union tax law. You are not required to pay any additional taxes at checkout.

COUNTRIES NOT SUBJECT TO VAT

United States            Canada          China

 

COUNTRIES SUBJECT TO VAT

Andorra          Austria           Belgium         Bulgaria

Denmark        Estonia          Finland          France

Gibraltar         Greenland     Hungary        Iceland

Ireland            Latvia Luxembourg Malta

Monaco          Norway          Poland           Portugal

Réunion        Slovakia         Sweden         Switzerland

United Kingdom      

 

HOW DO I CHANGE CURRENCY?

Covert Drones processes and charges orders in US currency (USD). Note that the currency conversions provided on our website are approximations based on the most current exchange rates. These rates may differ from those actually used by your card provider. Purchases may also be subject to currency conversion fees levied by your bank.

 

TECHNICAL QUESTIONS

 

WHY WAS MY CREDIT CARD CHARGED MULTIPLE TIMES?

This money has not been paid to Covert Drones, rather your card company has put a hold on it for you while you check out. If your address information then fails to validate (maybe your shipping and billing addresses aren't the same), then your payment will be declined. Your credit card company will release the Authorization between 2-7 business days after it is made depending on your bank.

Note that if you attempt to checkout multiple times, your card will be authorized multiple times.

 

HOW CAN I GET THE BEST RANGE OUT OF MY ANTENNA?

The following recommendations will help you in achieving maximum range

  • The Position of the Control relative to the Drone
  • Intuitively, one would think that the best transmission path between the controller and the drone is direct line of sight. An object that is even partially in the line of sight may deteriorate the signal. The transmitter to receiver zone forms the shape of an ellipsoid and is called the Fresnel zone.
  • The Fresnel Zone is an area that is the shape of an ellipsoid between the transmitter and receiver. The best communications link scenario is when this area is free of obstacles.
  • As obstacles are introduced into this region, the link strength decreases. Obstacles that are in the direct line of sight between the transmitter and receiver cause the greatest interference        
Transmitter Power
  • o Increasing the transmitter power of the controller or drone also increases the control range of the drone. However, it is a common misconception that doubling the power will double the control range. One actually needs to increase the transmission power by 4 times in order to get double the distance. Radio waves propagate in the shape of a sphere, and the power density changes proportionally to the square of the radius

RF Interference

  • Signal interference can occur when unwanted radio frequency signals disrupt communications between your controller and drone. Interference may even prevent signal reception, cause temporary loss of signal, or the quality of the communications link to your drone. Interference can happen if another radio signal has:
  • The same frequency as yours
  • Overlaps with your radiation pattern
  • A higher power than your transmitter

CAN I INSTALL THE ANTENNA MYSELF?

Yes, if you are comfortable taking apart your remote and working around sensitive electronic components.  Disassembly of the controller is necessary to complete many of our installations. This will expose the internal components to hazards, like static electricity. If you decide to modify your own controller, be sure to employ as many antistatic measures as possible. There are multiple YouTube tutorials you can look up that will walk you through the process.

WHY AM I NOT GETTING THE RANGE I THOUGHT I WOULD GET?

If you own a newer DJI drone i.e. Spark, Air, Mavic 2, Phantom 4 pro, you have a dual band drone.  What this means is your drone has the ability to run 2.4ghz or 5.8ghz. You have bought a 2.4ghz system. If you don’t switch to the correct band before taking off your drone will go into 5.8ghz this will cause the drone to loose signal much sooner than even with stock antenna’s.  You need to force the drone into 2.4ghz every time you reboot the drone.

SHOULD I BE IN 2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz?

The common control frequencies used for drone control are 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz.The main differences between the two frequencies are the range and the bandwidth. The 2.4 GHz transmits data at slower speeds but provides coverage at a longer range. The 5.8 GHz frequency transmits at faster speeds but provides less coverage.

The 5.8 GHz frequency has a lower range because the higher frequencies can’t penetrate solid objects. However, the higher frequencies allow faster transmission of data.

Your connection with your drone can also be faster or slower due to interference from other devices. Many common household devices such as cordless cellphones, and garage door openers use the 2.4 GHz band. Overcrowding can occur when multiple devices try to use the same radio space. The 5 GHz frequency band tends to be less crowded than the 2.4 GHz band because there are fewer devices that operate on this frequency.

Also, the 5.8 GHz band has 23 channels, while the 2.4 GHz band only has 11 channels. If you are experiencing a lot of interference on the 2.4 GHz band, consider changing to the 5 GHz band, but expect to see a reduction in your control range.

The higher the control frequency, the shorter the range. Therefore, 2.4 GHz wireless signals cover a larger range over a 5.8 GHz signal.

However, many devices use the 2.4 GHz frequency, so you may experience more interference. Contrary to this, fewer devices use the 5 GHz frequency, so there is a lower chance of signal interference.