Join Jim Heid for an in-depth discussion in this video Understand in-flight data displays, part of DJI Mavic Pro: Tips, Tricks, & Techniques.
- In this next set of videos, we're going to explore the DJI GO app and we're going to start with a look at the information the app displays when you're in flight. Some of it, like altitude and speed, is self-explanatory. We're going to look at some of the stuff that isn't. To go over these displays, we're going to use screenshots and video of some flights I've already done. Let's check 'em out and go over a few things. We talked about some of the information at the very top of the display in the previous movie. The drone status appears here, and you can tap on it to display the aircraft status screen.
This gives you a nice at-a-glance look at a bunch of key systems. It isn't a bad idea to take a glance at this while your drone is warming up before a flight. We'll take a look at some of its options later in the course. Moving along, this area shows the current flight mode. Position is telling us we're in GPS mode, and indeed you can see to its immediate right that we're picking up lots of satellites and have a strong GPS signal. Moving to the right, this little icon shows you the status of the drone's vision system. Not its camera, but its object detection vision system.
If it's red, that means the vision system is off. Maybe it's too dark, maybe the drone is in sport mode where the vision system's turned off, or maybe you've turned it off manually. Sometimes you'll want to to that. For example, when you're flying in tight quarters and don't want the drone to suddenly stop as it approaches something in the scene. To the right of the vision system status are two items that deal with the remote controller. The one on the left reports on the signal strength between the drone and the controller. If the signal gets weak due to interference or distance you might see this one blank.
If the signal quality gets really bad the DJI GO app will display a warning in the main status area. The indicator on the right shows the strength of the video downlink between the drone and controller. The difference between these two is the difference between fight control and video display. The left-hand one is the more critical of the two. Lose contact with the controller, and your drone is on its own with only the return to home feature to save you. The right-hand one just indicates the strength of the video feed that the drone is sending back. You can have a glitchy video feed but still not lose control of the drone.
To the right of the downlink status is the current battery level of the drone. We'll talk about battery power more shortly. Now, you've probably already discovered this, but just in case you haven't it's worth mentioning that you can tap on each of these status displays to jump to the settings that correspond to them. For example, tapping on the remote control status takes you to the settings panel for the remote controller. And notice that the options are in the same left-to-right order as they appear here from top to bottom. Our last stop on the top row of the app is the little three dot icon.
When you tap it, you get to the general settings screen. We already talked about the measurement unit option and we'll encounter some of the other settings later in this course. Next, let's take a close look at the battery status line. This is the fuel gauge in DJI GO. It tells you roughly how much flight time you have left and it gives you a couple of important pieces of information as you fly. At the right edge of the gauge is the remaining flight time. And it counts down and marches from right to left as the battery drains. The fight time is always approximate and it'll obviously go down as you fly, but you'll see it jump up now and then too.
Because the app is always estimating how much time you have left. If you're flying into a headwind the gauge may drop fairly quickly. But if you then turn around and fly with the wind, the app will recalculate the amount of time remaining and you may see the gauge go up. Needless to say, you should always keep an eye on your battery capacity. Not only the estimated flight time remaining but also the percentage. That value also appears on the Mavic's remote controller screen. The other information on the battery gauge can also help. Let's take a look.
Check out these dots here. They also move as you fly and they're telling you different things. This little one on the right indicates when the drone displays its low battery warning. If you see the gauge approaching that dot, you know it's time to think about heading home. The dot with the H you can think of as the return to home fail-safe point. It's the point where you have enough power to return to the drone's home point. Though, again, that's an estimate based on how you've been flying in this particular flight. If you get within this yellow zone the status light on the back of the drone will also flash red.
And the dot here in the red zone, well that's the critical warning. If you get to this point, the drone's status light will flash red rapidly and the drone will start to land. You can push the left stick up to have the drone hover so you can fine-tune the landing spot but you won't have a lot of power to do so. By the way, you can customize when those low and critically low warning messages appear by using the aircraft battery settings. If you want to be very conservative, you might want to increase those values. Again, I'll have more to say about batteries later on, but suffice it to say that keeping an eye on your fuel gauge is a critical part of keeping your drone in the air.
Another very useful tool for safe flight is the radar display in the lower left corner. Now, it really isn't a radar. DJI calls it the attitude indicator but on most forums you'll see it called the radar and/or compass. Whatever you want to call it, it tells you a couple of important pieces of information that are really useful when the drone is far away from you and difficult, if not impossible, to see. First, it shows the drone's pitch and roll as you fly. The horizon line bobs up and down as the drone pitches forward and backward and left and right as it rolls left and right.
Because the drone's gimbal does such an amazing job of keeping the video feed stable, this display can be a useful way of knowing what the drone is actually doing up there. The other really useful function of the radar compass, is that it shows which direction the drone is pointing in relation to the home point. Again, when the drone is far away, it can be hard to tell which direction it's pointing in. By looking at the display, you can tell whether the drone is pointed toward the home point, that spot that the drone recorded when you took off, or somewhere else.
If the drone is a good distance away, and you want to manually bring it closer to home, just use the yaw stick, that's the left stick on the controller, to turn the drone so that the red arrow is pointing toward the H, then fly straight. Oh and one last, but important thing about the radar. If you're running DJI GO on a smartphone with a small screen the radar won't automatically appear on the lower left corner. The map appears there instead. To switch between the map and the radar, tap the little crosshair icon in the upper right corner of the map display.
- 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