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Anybody use Litchi?
2332 13 2017-10-3
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Mark S
First Officer
Flight distance : 41801 ft
United States
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There are a few mentions for the Litchi app here on the forum but not much indepth info.  Does anybody use it regularly with a Spark?

I am trying to improve my ability to tell a "video story" and it looks like that app might be helpful in creating a smoother video as you navigate a landscape and focus on various objects.  I do have some good video editing software so putting together various clips with nice transitions is not very hard.

My current problem is jumpy videos as I try to circle an object and go up/down in altitude and need to adjust the gimbal view up/down.  If I use Tripod Mode the Spark flys pretty slow if you need to cover some distance and that can create some limitations.

Some of my questions:

1) I think there are still some limits on the Spark with Litchi.  No waypoints.  True?
2) If there are no waypoints what other features can help create smooth videos?
3) Is it safe?  With all of the fly away stories is the app reliable on a Spark?
4) Would a crash void the Warranty Refresh policy since it is not a DJI app?

Any other thoughts on shooting videos would be appreciated.

Thanks.
2017-10-3
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nottuppaware
First Officer
Flight distance : 70745 ft
Australia
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I had thought about buying Litchi myself, but haven't committed yet. But have investigated a few options - I can only answer the first one.

1. No waypoints in Litchi
I believe this is a limitation of the DJI API and software that both DJI have created. Litchi uses the developer pack that DJI makes, as out of the box Spark doesn't support waypoints. You can look at an app named Autopilot (on IOS) it does waypoints and focus selection, looks like a massive learning curve and much more complex app. It has its own engine to handle the waypoints which could be more risky if things go wrong.
2017-10-3
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Anuvis
First Officer
Flight distance : 1824783 ft
Greece
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Personal at the current version of litchi and dji go , I believe that this go is better.....I found only the piano mode better in litchi....
2017-10-3
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rarevfx_officia
Second Officer
Flight distance : 347503 ft
Germany
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1. ) This is not a limit. There are no Waypoints at the moment, but they will come for sure. Still, it's not a limit since DJI Go also can't do waypoints.

2. ) Waypoints won't help you to create smooth video, since the spark will simply follow a predefined path in a predefined speed. If you want to have smooth video just practise with the RC and the gimbal speed.

3. ) There are less fly away stories happened with Litchi than with DJI Go. Fly aways are mostly caused by compass errors, local influences like radio signals, pilor errors and stuff. And guess what, you don't even need a app to fly the Spark, means if the app fails you can still control it.

4. ) I asked DJI that question. Summed up, DJI does not recommend using 3rd party apps with their drones, but they don't forbit it. That means if you crash your drone, DJI will still investigate it. If they find out that the crash was caused because of the use of Litchi your warranty is void, but if it's an hardware error DJI will repair it under warranty.
So you fly with Litchi at your own risk (i don't know how DJI will see in the logs that you used litchi).


Shooting video with Litchi is the same experience like with GO. I don't really like the UI and the manual controls but you can manage it.
I bought litchi back then for 3 main reasons:
1. ) Advanced Panorama Mode: You can simply create 360 panos and define the number of rows and photos for that panorama.
2. ) VR: Flying with Goggles is fun. Just buy cheap Smartphone goggles, open litchi and switch to sport mode. As long as you don't fly far away its pretty awesome.

3. ) Singal strengh: I live in Germany, means i'm in the CE (500m) zone. When i fly with Go and 2,4Ghz ill lose the Image transmission after aroung 150m. When i fly with litchi from the same spot, same time, i can reach up to 350m. Don't know why but i've read it couple of times that litchi uses more channels than DJI Go.

4. ) Redundancy: I fly with my P3 commercially. If i come to the set and DJI Go won't start or crashes everytime (which happens "sometimes") i really need a backup that will help me do the stuff i'll be paid for.

25$ is a big investment for an app. If you're not into that vr or panorama game i wouldn't buy it since it really has its downside (warranty).





2017-10-3
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Jos A
Captain
Netherlands
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Litchi is save, its use the SDK firmware from SPARK.
You can only connect the spark and RC with WIFI, USB connecting is not possible yet(working on).

2017-10-3
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fansf0280671
Second Officer
Flight distance : 123064 ft
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Australia
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For smooth circling use active track on the stationary object you can adjust the height and diamond manually and the gimbal will keep the object centred then you can adjust circle speed to suit your needs.
2017-10-3
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fansf0280671
Second Officer
Flight distance : 123064 ft
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Australia
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Diameter not diamond that should have been
2017-10-4
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DJI Susan
Administrator

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As for claiming warranty of crash, we will conduct the data analysis based on the flight records(DJI GO 4) and Main Control data of the aircraft. As long as the MC data was not overwritten, it can be analyzed.

BTW, if the drone flyaway and can not be found via the third party APP, I'm sorry to tell you that it is not available to analyze. Hope you could understand.
2017-10-4
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Joepub1
lvl.4
Flight distance : 557818 ft
United States
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The main reason, and really the only reason I use the Litchi app with the spark, is that I can fly wi-fi with it. I struggle to do so with the Go4 app, I need the OTG cable to run it, and DJI highly discourages that. Litcji also does not support OTG, and is somewhat crippled when you try. The flying experience otherwise is about the same. I end up using the Go4 app most of the time because the Mavic is OTG, so I'm already set up to use it.

I've never come close to having a flyaway, nor has Litchi ever crashed on me during a flight.
2017-10-4
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RJ70
lvl.1
Flight distance : 6001 ft
United States
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fansf0280671 Posted at 2017-10-3 23:59
For smooth circling use active track on the stationary object you can adjust the height and diamond manually and the gimbal will keep the object centred then you can adjust circle speed to suit your needs.

Hi This comment interests me, I have had issues with spark "locking on" or "recognizing" stationary objects unless they are very defined with the GO4 App. Relying on the vision system seems to be hit and miss.

I have noticed that the focus point set via gps in Litchi and Autopilot to be easier to use. My experience is with Hanger Autopilot and my sold P3. This was my favorite way to fly around my common subjects which are construction projects I manage.

If you have any other tricks of the trade in how you use the Active Track with Spark I would love to hear them. I really wish GO4 had POI. Seems very silly that it does not.

Also there are many Spark waypoint missions I have seen completed via video using Hanger Autopilot. So the ability is there but for some reason not yet supported by GO4.

I am a newbie so I use the GO4 app but I do own the others, I don't see the investment as that large to be honest. Is it just me or does it seem like the 3rd party developers are getting more done the DJI at times. To me the GO4 app could use some serious work to catch up, it does not seem to be a focus.

2017-10-4
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El Diablo
First Officer

Germany
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2017-10-4
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Joepub1
lvl.4
Flight distance : 557818 ft
United States
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RJ70 Posted at 2017-10-4 06:39
Hi This comment interests me, I have had issues with spark "locking on" or "recognizing" stationary objects unless they are very defined with the GO4 App. Relying on the vision system seems to be hit and miss.

I have noticed that the focus point set via gps in Litchi and Autopilot to be easier to use. My experience is with Hanger Autopilot and my sold P3. This was my favorite way to fly around my common subjects which are construction projects I manage.

A couple of thoughts....

1) the Litchi app runs better on wifi on more Android devices than the Go4 does. I've felt that way from the first time using it. It's not nearly a heavy drain on my phone or tablet as DJI's, therefore it tends to keep up better in real time flight. It's best when you disable Go4, before starting it. But one of the reasons why is.....

2) I don't think Litchi concerns itself with flyzones. I don't ever recall getting a "Zone D warning " when using it. I could be wrong, but I think its totally on the pilot to determine if it's safe to fly. But then how many pilots just dismiss those alerts and fly anyway.

3) I think the DJI go4 app trys to serve too many different aircraft. The Spark is a very different craft from the rest of group it's lumped in with. I thought of it as a 'mini Mavic' when I bought it, and have hoped it would do things that I now know may not be in it's best interest. The Mavic can just about do everything the Spark can do, including waving your hands at it if you feel like it. The Spark could do with it's own, lighter app.
2017-10-4
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Adriano Araujo
First Officer
Flight distance : 731565 ft
Brazil
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"For smooth circling use active track on the stationary object you can adjust the height and diamond manually and the gimbal will keep the object centred then you can adjust circle speed to suit your needs."
  
Definitively you can do this.
   
I do very often:


2017-10-4
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Mark S
First Officer
Flight distance : 41801 ft
United States
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Thanks to DJI Susan.  I do totally understand about 3rd party apps.

Thanks to those that recommended Active Track on a stationary object.

I am a pretty serious amateur photographer and I think about the Spark as my new "flying camera".  There are shots I want to go re-do with the Spark as a video or still from an arial perspective.  This one would be really cool to circle with the Spark.

Firetower

Firetower


I have not tried Active Track on a stationary object.  It appears that could partially solve my problem.  I figured waypoints could get me from point to point more smoothly and I could then edit some transitions to a stationary object then on to the next segment.

Maybe just more practice with smoother joystick movements.

I still may try Litchi or some other third party app but not after trying out Active Track.
2017-10-4
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