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New restrictions in upcoming October Firmware release?
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4163 66 2015-9-28
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Phantom Menace
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DJI is taking full control of what third party developers can do with their copters by issuing a new firmware that can NOT be rolled back, and that will be automatically installed through the DJI Go app, and will not be compatable with any current third party apps.

I am assuming this is so that they can enforce restrictions on all the apps created to run the drone such as limited range so it can't be flown past visual contact, altitude restrictions, speed restrictions, restrictions on autonomous flight (such as having to fly the mission manually to set waypoints), and limitations on the number of video transmission channels, most of which have already been implemented in the Go App.

Not having these restrictions was one of the huge benefits from having a 3rd party app instead of the Go app.

Does anyone have any info on this new firmware?

I plan to stay away from it as long as possible!
2015-9-28
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suqsid.bobmail
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I am interested in what you are saying. I am a dev and they are talking about a new release "soon".

The SDK has always been technically "incompatible" with the public firmware release. We use a dev beta firmware.

Right now if a dev upgrades to 1.4.10, they cannot roll back to the dev firmware. That has caused many problems for people.

Can you refer me to where this is being discussed?
2015-9-28
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Phantom Menace
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It just got announced. I am making my own suppositions from the information in their email. All third party apps will have to be reworked in order to be compatible with the new REQUIRED firmware from which there will be no option to roll back from. The only reason to do things that way would be to enforce new controls and restrictions that developers and customers would not willingly adopt, so I am making assumptions based on that.


I got this email from DJI:

         
Dear DJI Developer:

A new encryption protocol will shortly be implemented. Please ensure that your app is updated to ensure continued use by downloading DJI Mobile SDK v2.4.0 at http://developer.dji.com/en/mobile-sdk/downloads/. Apps not updated to v2.4.0 will cease to be functional.

Besides some useful new features and bug fixes, DJI Mobile SDK v2.4.0 also includes an important security update that will significantly impact legacy applications starting from late October 2015. In other words, applications developed with earlier SDK versions will no longer be able to communicate with the Remote Controller. Please read the following for full details.
         
New iOS & Android SDK Features:
         
1. Access to Main Controller’s Serial Number
2. Access to aircraft type identification
3. Video hardware decoder library
4. New sync & download feature for the Inspire 1 and Phantom 3 Professional
         
Bug Fixes:
         
For a complete list of all bug fixes, please refer to the SDK and firmware release notes.
Of particular note, the Intelligent Navigation Waypoint mission feature has been fixed to allow uploading and execution directly from the ground.
         
IMPORTANT – New RC Encryption Method:

A new encryption method will be enabled in the next release of RC firmware scheduled for late October 2015. Only applications developed with SDK v2.4.0 will be able to communicate with RCs with the late October firmware. Applications developed with SDK v2.4.0 will be able to communicate with RCs that have either the current firmware or future firmware.

Beta RC firmware with the new encryption method is already available for testing. Please send an email with “Request RC new encryption firmware” in the subject line to dev@dji.com to request a copy. Once installed, the beta RC firmware cannot be rolled back to prior RC firmware versions.

New Github Page:

We have launched a new Github page:
iOS SDK: https://github.com/dji-sdk/Mobile-SDK-iOS
Android SDK: https://github.com/dji-sdk/Mobile-SDK-Android

         
Regards,
The DJI SDK Team


       
2015-9-28
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gregg1r
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Phantom Menace Posted at 2015-9-28 13:16
It just got announced. I am making my own suppositions from the information in their email. All thir ...

Sounds like someone has their panties in a wad over the possibility that a third party may develope software over riding the no fly zone exclusion areas.

So much for open source.  This is more closed than the IOS universe. At least with IOS, there is such a large installed base, if something is wrong, it get high lighted fast and a fix happens almost as fast once notified.

My new iPhone 6s with IOS 9.0.1 doesn't like the DJI Go app at all.
2015-9-28
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sploodge
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Nothing currently points to the restrictions you mention. The big change is in the encryption between the RC and the P3. Apps will just need to be updated to work with it.
2015-9-28
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Phantom Menace
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I will wait and see, but I fully expect to see new restrictions imposed on the third party apps and loss of functionality. I will not update until this is proven to not be the case, since there apparently will be no roll back from this update. I doubt they would advertise all the things they will be taking away from you. Also, in the DJI universe, the Go app already limits your video transmission channels (You no longer have the 32 channels), it already has an arbitrary cap on altitude, it already does not allow you to do autonomous flight without manually flying first, etc. Since none of these limitations are new to their own app (DJI Go), they would feel no need to mention them. Imposing these same limitations on third party apps is just something they will quietly do in the background. Since the only official app supported by DJI already has all these crippling limitations, why would it even come up?
2015-9-28
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sdharris
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I'm a little confused as like the rest I cannot see the restrictions, in fact the things they mention including hardware decode, aircraft identification and sync/download are welcome.

What is everyone missing?
2015-9-28
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Mad_Angler1
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It seems 2+2= 500.


2015-9-28
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Willie Wonka
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I am selling tinfoil hats for cheap, anyone wants some ?
2015-9-28
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jayhkr
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Willie Wonka Posted at 2015-9-29 06:50
I am selling tinfoil hats for cheap, anyone wants some ?

Is it pointy or dual shapped? I'll take 2 for my multi personality please!
2015-9-28
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Willie Wonka
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jayhkr Posted at 2015-9-28 18:56
Is it pointy or dual shapped? I'll take 2 for my multi personality please!

Sure thing, would you like a super duper Geiger counter with that order ?
2015-9-28
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Joe Blow
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I will pass on the tinfoil and wait to see what happens on the next update.  One issue I really dislike is the 500M restriction on waypoint distance.  This restriction is about as stupid as it gets. I imagine even a clown zombie could build and program a quad copter to fly via waypoints further then 500M.  I love my DJI3P and A and understand some restrictions are reasonable for safe flight.  
2015-9-28
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Willie Wonka
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Joe Blow Posted at 2015-9-28 19:01
I will pass on the tinfoil and wait to see what happens on the next update.  One issue I really disl ...

Yeah BUT when litchi gets crippled i will be one pissed off DJI customer.
2015-9-28
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joeyjoe
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I tend to agree with what others are saying here. I do not see how you derived all of these limitations you mention from the DJI email.
Can you give a hint? Seriously, I'm wanting to see but maybe me not being a dev is causing me to not see it?
2015-9-28
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jjejfjf
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Tip: the author has been banned or deleted automatically shield
2015-9-28
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gregg1r
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Phantom Menace Posted at 2015-9-28 15:35
I will wait and see, but I fully expect to see new restrictions imposed on the third party apps and  ...

You haven't officially had 32 channels since the early days of 1.1.6 or 1.1.8. Remember, they weren't licensed for use and just so happened they got caught.

I've seen the hack for getting them back, but I fear the FCC more than the FAA when it comes to big brother and enforcement.

Not sure what encryption is required for between the Phantom and the RC though. Not running any of the SDK apps, I don't know what I'm missing. Then again, if you don't know then you can't be missing a thing.

As for DJI having to repair SDK apps, I guess it depends on whose responsibility it falls to. I imagine the SDK developer owns the problem, sort of like Apple with the IOS apps.
2015-9-28
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Rocket_Aus
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Willie Wonka Posted at 2015-9-29 08:50
I am selling tinfoil hats for cheap, anyone wants some ?

I'll take two thanks
2015-9-28
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Willie Wonka
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Very good choice mate ! free shipping too LOL
2015-9-28
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mtnmaddman
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I told you all that you dont own these things anyway you are only leasing the bird until your gods decide to end it, they can and they will as soon as enough idiots buy them. look at the repair scene you do not own these machines and you have no control over them. send me a couple of the damn hats
2015-9-28
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jayhkr
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Willie Wonka Posted at 2015-9-28 18:04
Yeah BUT when litchi gets crippled i will be one pissed off DJI customer.

Agreed, same here. It's almost like they want a "monopoly" on their products.
2015-9-28
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Rigworker
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Willie Wonka Posted at 2015-9-28 16:50
I am selling tinfoil hats for cheap, anyone wants some ?

I found it is easier to make my own. I can also then decide if I want the shiny side facing in or out.
http://zapatopi.net/afdb/
2015-9-28
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jayhkr
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Willie Wonka Posted at 2015-9-28 18:01
Sure thing, would you like a super duper Geiger counter with that order ?

Trying to upcharge me eh.........ok I'm a sucker for a good deal! Can mine also have a face shield too!
2015-9-28
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Willie Wonka
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jayhkr Posted at 2015-9-28 23:31
Agreed, same here. It's almost like they want a "monopoly" on their products.

It is becoming that way i think, we will see what this update does, if it is going this way I WILL sell mine and never use DJI products ever again.
2015-9-28
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Willie Wonka
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Rigworker Posted at 2015-9-28 23:34
I found it is easier to make my own. I can also then decide if I want the shiny side facing in or  ...

Can't you let a small fish swim in the ocean full of sharks ?????
2015-9-28
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Willie Wonka
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jayhkr Posted at 2015-9-28 23:35
Trying to upcharge me eh.........ok I'm a sucker for a good deal! Can mine also have a face shield ...

Ill include a catalog of all our new and exciting zombie apocalypse prepping material.
2015-9-28
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aburkefl
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mtnmaddman Posted at 2015-9-28 23:23
I told you all that you dont own these things anyway you are only leasing the bird until your gods d ...

I don't know whether to join Group A (the sky is falling) or Group B (the sky is not falling, it just looks that way.) LOL

Regardless, I've been suspicious from almost day one. My experience with flying model planes goes back to the 50s. Not too many years ago, the advancement in batteries *and* the use of spread spectrum technology was a godsend for RC pilots - literally hundreds of RC planes can fly in the same airspace without serious interference problems.

When the Phantom 3 came along, whatever technique DJI is using does NOT provide that same protection. When asked specifically, DJI recommends that no more than a few (four or five seems to be the common answer) Phantoms fly in the same area at the same time.

Now, it's possible that the FPV aspect of the transmission/reception is the real problem (cuz that's a real problem with RC planes as well), but DJI has been pretty mum about exactly what their systems do and how they do it.

We're obviously "...at their mercy..."

Art Burke - N4PJ
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2015-9-29
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apsphoto
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sploodge Posted at 2015-9-28 11:01
Nothing currently points to the restrictions you mention. The big change is in the encryption betwee ...

I agree with sploodge, I see nothing about restrictions just changes in how it communicates with the controller.

Alan
2015-9-29
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Phantom Menace
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gregg1r Posted at 2015-9-28 19:22
You haven't officially had 32 channels since the early days of 1.1.6 or 1.1.8. Remember, they were ...

I've had 32 channels since I started using Litchi. If the new firmware prevents them from accessing them, I will lose them again. I live in a difficult area and my range is severely limited already because of interference. I want to keep those channels and the other limitations I gained back since going with a third party app.
2015-9-29
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Phantom Menace
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Willie Wonka Posted at 2015-9-29 00:16
Ill include a catalog of all our new and exciting zombie apocalypse prepping material.

Very funny with all the tin foil hat jokes and Apocalypse jokes.

The fact is that each major revision of either the Firmware or the app has come with new restrictions and limitations.

I don't want to move on to an irreversible upgrade and find out I have lost more features. I don't want to be forced to fly my autonomous flight missions manually before I can fly them automatically. I don't have to with Litchi.

I am concerned that DJI is seeing litigation in their future and will create this new firmware that they will force on everyone which will limit all the third party apps with the same restrictions that DJI has built into the Go app.

I don't want that. I will wait and see and block the go app from automatically giving me something I don't want.

Why would DJI report that their new firmware will take away features. It won't for the Go app. That's the only app they support. Those limitations are already in the Go App now, so there's no reason for them to mention it. Just because they don't report that they will be limiting the ability of third party apps to do things that they have chosen to restrict in the Go app does not mean they won't do it.

This is a valid concern, and judging from past behavior, it is quite likely that they will implement the same restrictions they have set for themselves in the firmware so that no one using their product can get around them.
2015-9-29
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Willie Wonka
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Phantom Menace Posted at 2015-9-29 19:34
Very funny with all the tin foil hat jokes and Apocalypse jokes.

The fact is that each major revi ...

I too love litchi and its developer very much i wana kiss him or her.

RANT ON // And to see DJI limiting me from enjoying what a third party brought out and made me enjoy something I OWN more IS a very bad thing and I and YOU and OTHERS should notice and boycott such actions with extreme prejudice towards such party affecting our freedom of enjoying our ownership of such item. The day such a crippling or limiting action BY DJI will be the day we all DUMP them and go to the other team as in 3DR SOLO, as i have flown a SOLO and i can say they are starting to get there shit together and there firmware is open source so no way in hell there will be a crippling effect. // RANT OFF

Ahem,  can you hear me now DJI ?
Boys and girls start backing up your apps and stop auto updates on your IOS devices as the under hand is doing some nasty work.
2015-9-29
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daviskw2004
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sploodge Posted at 2015-9-28 13:01
Nothing currently points to the restrictions you mention. The big change is in the encryption betwee ...

Out of my league here and I'm sure this is obvious to most...but what do you think the below means?

Of particular note, the Intelligent Navigation Waypoint mission feature has been fixed to allow uploading and execution directly from the ground.

Butch
2015-9-29
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Willie Wonka
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sploodge Posted at 2015-9-28 14:01
Nothing currently points to the restrictions you mention. The big change is in the encryption betwee ...

Just incase you did not read it correctly, let me explain it to you better :

1 - Any APP needs a key to open the door and can go in the R/C and speak to the phantom and tell it where to go as in API calls for Ground station actions.

2 - Once the R/C and phantom get updated to a newer firmware, the current APP does not have the key anymore and the new key in the new SDK does not open the same door and let you in on the goodies.

3 - So old SDK offers 1-32 channels, fooling the R/C that the waypoints were pre flown but they were just made on paper.

4 - New SDK says hell no to these and the land lord changed the locks and now you can't use the old keys with that third party app to open the doors and get the goodies.


Ohh and just wanted to let you know there is new phantom parts in the dji store.....
2015-9-29
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suqsid.bobmail
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Willie Wonka Posted at 2015-9-29 20:37
Just incase you did not read it correctly, let me explain it to you better :

1 - Any APP needs a k ...

Yes, this is all correct. But there is even a nastier trick involved.

I just went though the SDK. The bonus feature they are forcing on all third party apps is a firmware check/upgrade in the SDK.

Therefore you will be forced to accept DJI's restrictions/firmwares as they come up with new ones even if you are using a third party app and never install GO.
2015-9-29
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Willie Wonka
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daviskw2004 Posted at 2015-9-29 20:30
Out of my league here and I'm sure this is obvious to most...but what do you think the below means ...

I was blind to that sentence, BUT how litchi managed to get it done while in the GO app its not being done, wouldn't it be just possible to do it in the GO app after fixing it without making a new firmware to "fix" it.
2015-9-29
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Willie Wonka
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suqsid.bobmail Posted at 2015-9-29 21:21
Yes, this is all correct. But there is even a nastier trick involved.

I just went though the SDK. ...

I need to dive into the SDK and look for potential restrictions. And the upgrade OR don't run approach is a deal breaker.
2015-9-29
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Phantom Menace
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I have blocked the Go app from getting access to the internet. It can not check to see what version is the latest and can not download a new one. I am still running FW ver 1.4.10, so the upcoming (assumed) restrictions are not present on my system. I have the latest Litchi to date. If I discover that my fears are real, and Litchi as well as all other third party apps will be forced to only run on the latest FW and will force their users to download it, I will block that app from accessing the internet as well and just stay where I am with the current Firmware and app version. That way, I keep all my goodies.

I heard talk on the Litchi forum that he might split the app off into two flavors. The legacy version for those people who do not want to upgrade to this new Firmware from DJI, and the main version for everyone else that takes the upgrade and puts up with whatever comes their way in restrictions.

The legacy owners will still get bug fixes, and new features, but not be forced to upgrade the FW. I hope I heard right, but either way, unless I'm completely wrong and the new firmware has no new limitations forced on third party apps, I will stay where I am and keep internet access blocked to everything related to the drone.
2015-9-29
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FlappyBird
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Willie Wonka Posted at 2015-9-29 20:34
I need to dive into the SDK and look for potential restrictions. And the upgrade OR don't run appro ...

I bet you, you will find out just that....

What we really need, is open source for the DJI platform. I pay for the hardware, not for for privileges how to use that hardware. If I stick to the rules and law is my business. I don't need a company to be a pre-emptive law-enforcement agency. Many companies forget that these days.
2015-9-29
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Cessna172
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Let's not forget the FAA is in fact working on an entirely new set of rules for sUAV's.

Perhaps the FAA has already contacted DJI and let them know that their products 'as is' may not meet requirements for hobby UAV's in those upcoming changes.
Is it possible DJI is pre emptively preparing for those changes?

Regardless....I've always felt that allowing just anyone to operate an airborne object thousands of feet UP into the National Airspace or miles away from the visual range of the NOT ONBOARD "operator" would not sit pretty for long.   Rest assured the FAA has poured over the long list of videos proudly proclaiming high altitude flights and LONG distance flights.

It might boil down to whether or not our government would be willing to put restrictions on a foreign made product so that it "makes us all safer".    I think the answer to that is painfully clear.

I expect restrictions to altitude and distance to come down the pike for ALL hobby sUAVs.  Maybe not right now, but eventually.  Phantom Menace is simply "ahead of our time"  (by at most a year to 18 months imo)
2015-9-29
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boxerman
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I heard that the October firmware will only let you fly your P3 on Saturday and only above your yard.  Dang.
2015-9-29
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ksunsingh
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all my bananas are green, damn it
2015-9-29
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