Join Jim Heid for an in-depth discussion in this video Flight modes: Course Lock and Home Lock, part of DJI Mavic Pro: Tips, Tricks, & Techniques.
- Next, we're going to check out the course lock and home lock intelligent flight modes. Both are useful for a lot of video shooting tasks, especially course lock. Let's check them out. Course lock is a set of railroad tracks in the sky. It lets you lock the direction of the drone while being able to change its yaw. Normally when you make a yaw adjustment with the left stick, the drone changes course accordingly, curving to the left or the right for example. Course lock changes that. When it's active, the drone continues straight even when you make a yaw adjustment.
This makes it easier to do camera moves where the drone is doing a slow rotate as it flies past something. We're airborne now and first, let's just do a yaw movement to show that yes, the drone changes course accordingly. You can see this on the map and in the little compass radar. Now, I'll activate course lock and do a similar yaw move. There's that railroad track in the sky. The drone is yawing. It's rotating but it's still on its original heading. When course lock is active, the right-hand stick on your remote controller behaves a bit differently.
Forward and reverse, in other words pitch control, works normally, but left and right moves that entire railroad track to the left or to the right. The drone always stays on a straight path, but the path itself moves. This is useful when you want to adjust the overall positioning of that virtual railroad track. When you're in course lock mode, you'll notice that a colored line appears in the map and on the radar compass. That's your railroad track in the sky and you can use that as a guide for flying and for planning yaw moves along the track.
Another useful adjustment is this reset direction option. It basically lets you rotate that railroad track in the sky so that it's aligned with whatever direction the drone is pointing in. I'll do that now and notice that the colored line immediately snaps to a new position that's aligned with the drone's current heading. When I tap that, you might have noticed that a little successfully set IOC message appeared. If you're curious, IOC stands for Intelligent Orientation Control. I'll cancel out of course lock mode now by holding down the pause button on my remote controller.
Now I'm going to bring the drone back to change batteries then we'll check out home lock. Okay, let's look at the home lock intelligent flight mode. If course lock is a railroad track in the sky, home lock is a tether between the home point and the drone, an invisible rope that connects the home point with wherever the drone is. Let's check it out. I'm already in the sky here so I'll go right into home lock mode. Now, if I pull down on the right-hand stick, the pitch stick, the drone comes closer to the home point.
If I push up, the drone goes further from the home point. I can make the drone circle the home point by pushing the pitch stick to the left or to the right and I can combine the two. If I push down and to the left or right, the drone comes closer to the home point while continuing to circle it. Home lock is potentially useful when you want to get a shot where you fly straight toward a point and then rotate around it. If that point isn't where you took off from, you can reset the home point while you're in the air.
Just swipe left and you'll get to this screen. Tap home point aircraft and then confirm. Now this new location is the home point and I can orbit around it and do all of the other good home lock things. But, here's an important caution. When you've reset the home point, you've reset the home point. That means a return to home operation won't get the drone back to the point where you originally took off. If the home point is far away or over water, you'll want to make sure you can manually fly back to your location.
You can also change your home point to where you're located, though this only works if your mobile device has GPS and is picking up a strong signal. Swipe left again then tap home point me. If your mobile device is picking up a good GPS signal, the DJI GO app will update the home point to where you're standing. If you get an error message saying the GPS signal was too weak, then fly the drone back to you by hand, relying on the compass radar and the video feed to get it there. That's home lock at a glance.
If you imagine an invisible rope tied between the drone and its home point, you're well on your way to understanding how it works. One last tip and it actually has nothing to do with course lock or home lock. Changing the drone's home point during a flight like I just did can be useful in other circumstances. Say you've taken off from a boat in the middle of a lake, a risky proposition that a lot of pilots do not recommend by the way, you boat your way back to shore and now you want to land the drone or maybe the drone's battery is getting critically low and about to trigger a return to home operation.
But if the drone goes home now, it'll land itself right in the water. The solution, if you want to use any return to home feature, is to update the home position to your location using the technique I just showed. And by the way, in a scenario like this, you might also want to change the return to home setting so that the drone simply hovers instead of lands when it gets back to the home point. That way if something happens, you lose contact with the drone for example, the drone will hover at the home point instead of going for a swim. It's a way to buy a little time.
These things aren't guarantees that disaster won't strike when you're taking off from a boat, but they can at least improve your odds.
- 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