February 25, 2018 3 min read
Most people that get their first drone are usually ecstatic to get their hands on the remote and start the maiden voyage on their bird. With that being said, many people tend to skip the manuals and leave it up to their intuition to get their drone up in the air. However, setting up a DJI drone may not always be a walk in the park for the average joe. If you plan to skip the manual, here are 5 things you must know before flying your drone.
Update your firmware, always.
99% of the time, the drone doesn't launch or connect is due to mismatching firmware between the components (usually the aircraft and remote controller). To remedy this, the firmware must be updated to the latest edition. This step is pivotal when you want to start flying while your finger itches to launch up the bad boy. The update takes around 15-30 minutes. It is recommended to have a good internet connection when updating the firmware in addition to having your battery and controller fully charged. If the battery dies while updating, it my cause further complications. The update is not only for the drone, but the controller alongside the battery might require a firmware update to ensure that everything is compatible and ready to go.
When calibrating, you must physically move the drone.
When calibrating your drone, the instruction indicates the drone has to be tilted and placed in a particular direction and position, this done in to properly complete the calibration. When calibrating, be sure the follow what the instruction shows and the direction and way the drone is placed is exactly as shown. Once the calibration is completed for the IMU, you will have to go outside to calibrate the compass. Ensure that you are not in an area where there are a lot of metal as magnetic interference could hinder this process. If done indoors, compass calibrations will usually be unsuccessful. When there is a green sign indicating the GPS is good, the drone is ready for flight.
Make sure propellers are on properly
Some individuals out there make the common mistake of attaching the propellers in the wrong place. The propellers with the rings around the middle should be retrofitted diagonally from one another. Reason being is that the blades are designed to curve on different slants. Having the same curve diagonal to one another allows for the aircraft to fly the way they do. Some people that put the propellers on the wrong way may cause the drone to crash upon launch.
Make sure you have open space
When starting up your drone, many people first try to fly them inside the house. However, this is a common misconception. Even the models like the Spark, Mavic, Mavic Air, and the Phantom may seem small enough to be able to fly it indoors. To an untrained individual, things can go south really fast. Most people tend to have the inclination to try to hover it in a tight space, even though it is possible to just have the drone hover, it can cause some issue due to GPS or compass error. So if you have an itch to fly the bad boy, ensure you have sufficient space as there are certain variables that may cause your drone to not fly completely still indoors.
Beginner mode will not let you fly inside, Sport mode deactivates obstacle avoidance
After having everything updated to the latest firmware, and your drone fully calibrated. People will try to fly inside assuming space if sufficient. 99% of the time people have issues and it will not let them take off indoors. The drone is not broken or malfunctioning, you have to turn off beginner mode to fly indoors. However be aware of the space you have indoor, that way you can gauge how and how fast you want to fly indoors.
For those that do deactivate the beginner mode:
Once deactivated, the drone opens you up to a whole new plethora of features. One particular feature is Sport Mode. Shifting the button into Sport Mode unlocks the true speed of your DJI drone. Once Sport Mode is on, any obstacle avoidance is completely turned off. So the sensors you have on your drone, they are now inactive. Protip: have a spotter (someone to look out) when you're flying in Sport Mode. Also keep an eye on the drone from time to time so you are not completely focused on the image feed from the drone's camera.
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