Join Jim Heid for an in-depth discussion in this video A few important app settings, part of DJI Mavic Pro: Tips, Tricks, & Techniques.
- As I said at the outset, this course assumes you've already flown your Mavic around a bit. Still, there are a couple of important settings in the DJI GO app that I want to cover. These are settings that can help you as you're learning to fly, and save your drone when the worst happens. Right now, we've got the drone across the studio because its fan is on and it's a little bit loud. And you may also see at the top of the screen the drone is giving us an error message saying "cannot take off (No GPS)." That's because it's in a TV studio. You won't see that when we get outside and you certainly won't see it when you're flying your own drone.
A brand new Mavic Pro was set up to fly in what DJI calls beginner mode. In this mode, the drone's maximum speed is reduced and the drone won't fly any further than about 100 feet, or 30 meters away from you. After a while, probably a short while, you'll want to take those training wheels off and fly farther. There's another option you can use that will still keep your drone on a shorter leash but also let you get farther away than 100 feet. It's called enable max distance and it lets you control how far away the drone can fly, how long that leash is.
Let's check it out. To enable it, go into the main controller settings, tap the little drone, and I will first turn off beginner mode. And after I get this little warning, and tap OK, I get a bunch of additional options. I can enable max distance, and then type a value that I want in this field. Then I'll choose 100 meters, which is about the size of an American football field. I can also adjust the maximum altitude if I want.
In the US, the legal altitude is 400 feet, which is about 120 meters. And you can see that value is set here. Lowering the maximum distance from its factory setting, which is about three miles, by the way, is a nice way to ease out of beginner mode. It lets you fly the drone for real, but also keep its maximum distance to a more reasonable amount. Another important setting you may want to fine-tune, is the return-to-home altitude. In case you haven't yet explored return-to-home, or RTH, it's the feature that enables the drone to drive itself home under a few difference circumstances.
When you press the return-to-home button on the remote controller, when the drone loses contact with the remote controller, as in you've flown too far away or behind a mountain or a building, or when the battery power reaches a critically low level and the drone takes matters into its own hands in order to save its own life. When RTH kicks in, the drone climbs to an altitude that's preset in the DJI GO app. From the drone's perspective, the whole idea is uh-oh, I need to go home right away. I'd better climb nice and high so I don't hit anything on the way back.
The preset RTH altitude is 30 meters, or about 100 feet. To change that, use the general settings section of DJI GO. Tap the little drone. And then in the return-to-home altitude enter the value that you want. I'll change this to 40 meters. If you're flying in an area that has trees or other obstacles that are higher than this, you might consider upping that value. The drone's obstacle sensing features are supposed to automatically increase the altitude if necessary, but the sensors don't always see things like power lines and the thin twigs at the tops of trees.
You can give yourself a little extra insurance and increase the RTH altitude to match your surroundings. Now you don't want to go too high. Remember, climbing uses battery power. Just do this. If you've arrived at a spot where there are tall obstacles, increase the RTH altitude to a value that's taller than those obstacles. Return-to-home is a feature that sometimes confuses inexperienced pilots, and that confusion can result in lost drones. We'll take a closer look at RTH in the next video. Finally, a word about measuring systems.
Depending on where you live, you might be more comfortable thinking in feet rather than in meters. You can change the measuring system in the DJI GO app. Just tap the three dots at the upper right corner, and then in the measurement unit section, tap imperial. Now the in-flight data that the app displays will be imperial, not metric. Unfortunately, the preferences settings in the app, things like maximum altitude and distance are always in metric. So if you think and dream in imperial just remember a meter is three feet.
Strictly speaking, it's a little over 39 inches, but thinking of it as a yard will make it easy to do the mental math when you're adjusting these settings.
- 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