Join Jim Heid for an in-depth discussion in this video Accessorizing and traveling, part of DJI Mavic Pro: Tips, Tricks, & Techniques.
- As we wind down our time together, I wanted to share with you some accessories that I bought for my Mavic Pro and also pass along some tips for taking particularly airline trips. Let's start up by working our way through this happy little buffet that's in front of me. Sprint propellers and more batteries? I don't have those out. Of course you'll want those and you know why. Let's move on to this bracket. This is called the MavMount and it slips into the remote control wrist grips and let's you position your phone or tablet at a more convenient angle. It also gets the device further away from the controller's magnetic strips which as, I mentioned earlier, can help compass accuracy.
A few companies sell these. Some are cheap 3D printed deals. I like this one because it's heavy machined aluminum. To make the connection to the remote controller's USB port, I got one of these short lightning cables. This is from a company called Cambond and I got it on Amazon. A bracket like the MavMount also makes it possible to use a hood like this one which you saw me use in the field. A couple of companies sell these. I bought mine from DJI and it helps make the screen easier to see on bright days. Next up, more power-related accessories.
The battery charging hub lets you charge up to three batteries. It does not, unfortunately, charge them all at once though. Instead, it charges them in a sequence that begins with the least discharged battery. The idea being let's get you back in the air as soon as possible. The next item can also help on that front. It's DJI's car adaptor so you can charge batteries in the field. And this little item from DJI is also very handy in the field. Plug it into a Mavic battery and you get a couple of USB ports that allow you to charge your phone or tablet and even power a USB flashlight if you want to.
Another DJI accessory I bought was a second remote controller. With the Mavic, you can set up a second controller to be what's called a slave controller and it lets flying become a two-person operation. One person can fly the drone while the other person controls the gimbal and the camera. This has typically helped professional drone pilot's work in the movie business. In the Mavic's world, it's more of a teaching aid. The person holding the slave controller can fly the drone too, but if the sticks move on the master controller, it immediately takes over. Kind of like those driving training cars that have a brake pedal on the passenger side.
And finally, we have these things. They're called LIPO bags and they're what you need in order to carry a Mavic's lithium polymer battery on board an airplane. They're designed to contain any sparks or fire that a dying battery might emit, which brings us to the subject of travel. You already know the Mavic is a fantastic road warrior. I've flown through mine and it always flies right through security. A few tips though. First, you must take the drone and the batteries as carry-on baggage. In the US, and I suspect in most other places, you can't legally baggage check a lithium polymer battery.
In the US, you're also limited to a maximum of two carry-on batteries. When I took my Mavic to Hawaii, my wife carried my third battery. Second, to prevent your batteries from being damaged by the sudden changes in air pressure that happen in air travel, discharge them to less than 50% full. Plan some flying before you leave or just leave the drone powered on until its battery drains, then repeat that with your remaining batteries. Third, if you're in the US, be sure you register with the FAA and print out a copy of your registration certificate and carry it with your drone.
Finally, you'll want a case of some kind. DJI sells them as do many other companies in all shapes and sizes. I lucked out. I have this bag from Thinktank. It's called the Mirrorless Mover 20 and I actually got it for my Fuji Mirrorless Camera and the Mavic happens to fit it perfectly. There's even room in the front pocket for an extra battery. The drone snugs right into the bottom of the case. Then I use one of my Velcro dividers that comes with it to cushion the top of the drone and then the controller goes on top.
Now, you'll also want something that protects the sticks from being snapped off, you can buy these little protectors on eBay and elsewhere. But someone on one of the Mavic groups on Facebook had a better and cheaper idea. The Mavic's box has some foam-fitted lining on the inside. If you cut out the part where the controller goes and then rubber band it to the controller, your sticks will be protected. Really, it even provides better protection than one of these.
When I want maximum portability, I travel with this and my iPhone for running DJI Go. Yes, the big hard shell cases are great and hold a lot more, but the portability of this right here is really what the Mavic is all about.
- Safety checks
- App settings
- Startup, takeoff, and landing
- In-flight data displays
- DJI GO tips
- Flight modes
- Streaming live
- Adjusting focus
- Exposure and white balance
- Still photography and panoramas
- Shutter speed
- Aerial video
- Using the gimbal
- Using the remote controller