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Litchi Questions
2793 12 2016-7-1
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skipilot1
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Flight distance : 1557398 ft
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I enjoy my P3P because there is so much to learn and explore. Now the time has come to try Litchi so I downloaded the app to play with while I read more about it.

Waypoints sound cool because you can send it on a mission, fly lower than normal around hills and dense trees because the mission will continue even if you lose contact with the remote and set it to RTH when the mission is finished. So far, so good.

Now I have read about Orbit mode and I am a little dissapointed. I am using Litchi for IOS. According to what I read, if you lose contact with the remote it will continue to orbit until it reaches the battery failsafe. But instead of RTH, it will land even if RTH is set. This is not a good thing. I can do orbits with the GO app. The advantage of Litchi would be setting up the orbit in advance so I don't have to waste battery time AND being at a lower altitude which gives more interesting video. So Orbit mode is basically a recipe for a crash because you can never guarantee constant contact between the drone and the remote. If you are flying over water, which makes for more interesting video, then you have an even worse problem.

Is my understanding of the Orbit mode correct? Does anyone have any suggestions for getting the most out of Litchi?

Any help would be appreciated.

2016-7-1
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Chris512
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The thing about Orbit is that you have to be in contact with the aircraft, in flight, to activate it.  So that means that if you for some reason lose contact with the aircraft during the orbit, it eventually comes back around to where you had contact with it when you initiated the Orbit and you get contact back.  So as a pilot it's your responsibility to fly to your subject you want to orbit and check it out to make sure you got a nice signal.  If you do, the failsafe is that you must be in contact with the aircraft to initiate it.

The way to get the most out of Litchi is to always remember that you are Pilot In Command of the aircraft.  A computer can never be Pilot in Command.  The computer and software is a tool that you, as PIC, can use.  But you still have to make the decisions that every good pilot makes to safely fly an aircraft.  If you rely on computers and software to fly the aircraft for you, and don't have the ability to take control of the aircraft in an emergency, it's no different than flying a manned aircraft - you're gonna crash.
2016-7-1
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skipilot1
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Flight distance : 1557398 ft
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Chris512 Posted at 2016-7-2 12:44
The thing about Orbit is that you have to be in contact with the aircraft, in flight, to activate it ...

Ok. That makes sense about the Orbit that it won't start without a decent signal and you would lose it only when goes behind the POI. Thank you for clearing that up. I had thought you sent it out on a waypoint mission and created orbits that started automatically.

I guess the best thing to do is go to a high school field, set up mini-waypoint missions and orbits until I understand clearly how to control things before moving it out into the wider world just as I would advise any new DJI owner.

As far as autonomous flying, I am not talking about flying below the tallest obstruction in the area. However, I do live in Atlanta, which has a lot of interesting geographical features but I have to be at 300 to 500 meters in order to get a clear LOS and maintain a signal. This is not an optimal height for videography. I would just like to be able to video from 60 to 80 meters high.

2016-7-2
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Chris512
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skipilot1 Posted at 2016-7-2 23:44
Ok. That makes sense about the Orbit that it won't start without a decent signal and you would los ...

It's a good idea to scout your terrain and obstructions prior to an autonomous flight.  DJI has a good idea with having to fly it first and record the waypoints to ensure that it can be done under control of a human pilot before you let software do it.  I think that Litchi COULD get you into trouble in that respect.

I see the main advantage with Litchi being the fact that it has more options to set waypoint actions, which can provide precise control of the aircraft yaw angle and gimbal angle at various points along the route, and it provides the ability to change speed at a waypoint like ArduPilot does.  There's a lot of things to watch when doing aerial photography or video work, and Litchi flies the aircraft so you can concentrate on making sure your camera settings are correct.
2016-7-3
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skipilot1
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Chris512 Posted at 2016-7-4 12:52
It's a good idea to scout your terrain and obstructions prior to an autonomous flight.  DJI has a  ...

Thank you for the posts. They have been invaluable and I understand the balance between autonomous flight and safety in Litchi. I believe I will be using the GO app and Litchi (not at the same time) for different activities and it is great that so many options are available.

Here is the link to today's first serious Litchi flight at a local lake that merges a waypoint mission with an Orbit mission. I did lose contact during the Orbit mission, but I manually flew to the entry of the Orbit mission with enough altitude to maintain a strong signal. After losing the signal I simply waited (nervously) until it regained contact and then brought the bird home. A lot of fun.

2016-7-5
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DJI-H.C
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Autonomous flight can be dangerous, that's why current version of DJI GO discard that function.  If you want to do it with Litchi, be very careful with the calculation and scout the place in person before you fly.
2016-7-5
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skipilot1
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DJI-H.C Posted at 2016-7-5 18:03
Autonomous flight can be dangerous, that's why current version of DJI GO discard that function.  If  ...

Good advice.
2016-7-5
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PhanFran
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skipilot1 Posted at 2016-7-5 16:19
Thank you for the posts. They have been invaluable and I understand the balance between autonomous ...

I did not know you can 'mix' waypointmissions with orbits in Litchi and wouldn't know how to do it. After all an orbit can be programmed into your waypoint-mission which will give you the extra safety that the AC will return and will return the way you want, as an RTH not a landing at critical battery. So in WP-missions I don't care too much about losing signal because, if your WP-mission is carefully planned, the AC will come out from behind anything in a harmless way and return to you.

Furthermore I use Litchi every single time I fly my P4 or P3A, (almost) never DJI GO
2016-7-5
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skipilot1
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PhanFran Posted at 2016-7-6 05:20
I did not know you can 'mix' waypointmissions with orbits in Litchi and wouldn't know how to do it ...

I did not combine them. They are separate missions that were combined in the video. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I flew a mission over the lake and RTH at the end of the mission which I stopped and let the bird hover. I planned the Orbit while it hovered and sent it back for the Orbit.

All I had to do was clear the map, touch the POI. Litchi used the height from the mission and set the default radius which was perfect. I am a novice at Litchi and it was so easy and fast. I was south of the lake so I just moved toward the radius and made sure I had a strong signal. It was moving counter clockwise over the lake so I had a good signal for at least half of the turn. That gave me the confidence not to flip out when I lost contact behind the tree line.

Oddly enough, I have flown far from home with the video feed lost and eventually the signal and have had great confidence in the smart RTH. Perhaps because Litchi is not from DJI and the bird will continue to orbit with no way to stop it, it bothers me. The best thing to do is not be too far away and make sure I fly the area first at the planned altitude so I have confidence that a fair portion of the orbit will have a strong signal.

I am not as concerned about waypoint missions since RTH will kick in at the end.

It may not be the most interesting or beautiful video on the web, but it is best and most stable I have done yet.

Any more tips, advice or experiences would be much appreciated.
2016-7-5
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skipilot1
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Flight distance : 1557398 ft
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skipilot1 Posted at 2016-7-6 06:26
I did not combine them. They are separate missions that were combined in the video. Sorry for the  ...

Forgot. That is a really good idea about putting a circle into the waypoint mission. I will have to play with that one.
2016-7-5
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Chris512
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skipilot1 Posted at 2016-7-5 16:19
Thank you for the posts. They have been invaluable and I understand the balance between autonomous ...

Very nice implementation of learning what Litchi can do.  DJI Go, in my opinion, is too limited for professional pilots.  It tries to make the decisions for you, and limits the capabilities of the aircraft, because a lot of people are buying them and flying them irresponsibly.  People are using them with Litchi to send them on long distance flights where control of the aircraft from the ground is lost deliberately, which I don't agree with.  If you are flying a fully autonomous waypoint flight and signal is lost momentarily due to unforeseen circumstances that scatters the signal, but control is regained again, I don't see anything wrong with that.

I enjoy my Phantom 3 Standard flying with Litchi.  DJI Go is a little too intrusive and limiting for my tastes.  For that reason, I am transitioning my commercial use of my UAV's to the ArduPilot system, which has considerably more capabilities than what DJI has presently.  But for now, I have found DJI's implementation of hardware to be 100% reliable flying with Litchi with not a single failure in hundreds of flights here.  However, if it were not for Litchi I would not be flying a DJI product at all.
2016-7-7
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UCLABruins
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Flight distance : 488904 ft

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If it was not for DJI, there would not be Litchi product.
2016-7-7
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frank_novak
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Canada
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I was wondering if the pilot of an Inspire 1 Pro can use the dji go app and the cameraman can use the vr setup in litchi and the head tracking?  As in can the pilot control the camera settings and fly using the trusted dji go app to pilot the inspire 1 pro but the camerman controller can use a different app to do fpv...this way the camerman can be a client using the vr and head tracking to do the visual inspection of their product while i have full control with the dji go app and don't have to worry about the co pilots controller or app controlling the piloting of the inspire 1

Can pilot be running dji go on an ipad air 2 while the camerman running litchi use an android phone for the vr and head tracking?
2016-7-7
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