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500m height limit
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lvl.1
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Spain
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The maximum height limit for the Phantom 3 in the pilot app is 500m. I know this will be enough for most people and I am aware of the legal limits in some countries, but I often use my P2 in remote countries without restrictions, over ocean, out of air traffic, to take photos of small islands and I need to get higher than 500m to get the perspective I need.
¿is there any way around this height limit?
Will future apps be more flexible with this limit.
2015-4-24
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Tahoe_Ed
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Unfortunately it is unlikely.  
2015-4-24
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lvl.1
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Then, will DJI consider removing this limit, or at least increase it to 800-1000m. There are quite a few people who don't like this limit, and some are canceling pre-orders.
What's the reason behind this limit? I don't think it is an attempt to comply with some countries' regulations as it is already way beyond those (in distance and height).

The only thing I can think about is the time it takes to descend from high heights. But even at -2m/s it wold only take a bit more than 6,5 minutes to go down from 800m. So we would have plenty of battery to go up, film and go down.
2015-4-24
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Tahoe_Ed
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I am sorry, it is a policy set by DJI HQ.  Also note that if you loose GPS signal then the altitude is limited to 120m until lock is reestablished.
2015-4-24
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lvl.1
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ok, thank you for your answer.
I hope they change their mind in the future, it's the only drawback I find in the P3
2015-4-24
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barry.j.anderso
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I really don't intend to fly anywhere near the 500m height limit, but just curious as to why the Phantom 3 specs say the altitude limit is 6000m if the app limits it to 500m?  
2015-4-24
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taneks
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Is the limit based on 500m above mean sea level, or from home position?

What happens in the following scenarios:
a.  if we launch from the side of the mountain, descent 600m, then try to ascent 500m back to launch point?
b. set home point at base camp, trek to 2000m, then try to send DJI back to home point with messages, will it take off?

I understand that these situations are not common, but whenever there are restrictions in the flight behaviour, as pilots, we need to be clear about what will happen.
2015-4-24
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ntfa
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My assumption is that it records initial barometric pressure, then sets the limit
2015-4-24
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Tahoe_Ed
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taneks@gmail.co Posted at 2015-4-25 12:21
Is the limit based on 500m above mean sea level, or from home position?

What happens in the followi ...

It is above the take off point.  The 6000m is the maximum service altitude AMSL.
2015-4-24
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taneks
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Tahoe_Ed Posted at 2015-4-25 12:29
It is above the take off point.  The 6000m is the maximum service altitude AMSL.

Thanks for clarifying.
2015-4-24
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grangerfx
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Nevermind. I was tired and got meters and feet mixed up in my head. 500m will do nicely. I was concerned about flying above hills. That 120m limit when it loses GPS is a bit of a concern. I presume it won't drop to 120m if it loses GPS but won't increase altitude above that, correct?
2015-4-25
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labroides
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How do you think you'll lose GPS - unless you fly under tree cover, in a canyon etc?
The P2s didn't go losing sat cover and the P3 will have near twice as many sats to play with.
If you're 120 metres up and out in the open, you're not going to be losing GPS.
2015-4-25
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lvl.1
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I wonder how many people asking for no height limit would it take to make DJI change their mind about this subject...
2015-4-25
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maxverschr
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You lucky basterds ... In Belgium in 2 months a new law concerning multicopters will arrive and the max height for amateur multicopters flights wil be 30m and for professional use 90m. And you are discussing about 500m
2015-4-26
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grangerfx
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2015-4-25 16:46
How do you think you'll lose GPS - unless you fly under tree cover, in a canyon etc?
The P2s didn't  ...

Where I live, we have these things called hills. We have these other things called trees. Both of them can block WiFi signals especially at a distance. The thing I am really concerned about is range and interference. Say you flew your drone up a hill and then something interfered with the WiFi signal. You would not want it descending to 120 meters and crashing. I seriously doubt that the firmware does this though. I think DJI does a pretty good job with their software and this would be an obvious error.
2015-4-26
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jmtw000
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Let me get this straight, there's a 500m (from home point) altitude limit in the P3 firmware which cannot be increased? That is just silly. What if I am launching from the base of a mountain which is higher than 500m and need to get above it to film? Could I just fly up to 500m and reset the home point there giving me another 500m? If 500m really is a hard limit that cannot be increased on the P3 I most certainly will not be purchasing one. I generally don't need to fly that high, but sometimes it is necessary to get the shots I want and I don't want to be limited when there's no good reason for it aside from some suits at DJI HQ deciding an arbitrary number is good enough for everyone in all situations.
2015-4-27
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maxtam
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Could this limit be ridethrough?
2015-4-27
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lvl.1
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jmtw000, you understood well, there is a 500m ceiling above home point that can't be passed. And, yes, it's totally nonsense. No, you cannot set a new home point at 500m to gain another 500mm.
maxtam, no, you can't change the top limit.
It is possible to configure a maximum height limit on the app, but always below 500m.
2015-4-27
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labroides
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grangerfx@gmail Posted at 2015-4-27 04:05
Where I live, we have these things called hills. We have these other things called trees. Both of  ...

"Say you flew your drone up a hill and then something interfered with the WiFi signal. You would not want it descending to 120 meters and crashing. "
If you lose control signal, your Phantom would RISE to whatever RTH height you have set and come home.
If you lose GPS (and how's that going to happen out in the open?)  you are limited to 120 metres.
2015-4-27
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grangerfx
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2015-4-28 05:55
"Say you flew your drone up a hill and then something interfered with the WiFi signal. You would n ...

You did not tell me anything I did not already know. Tell me what happens if the drone is at 200 meters, the RTH height is 50 meters and it loses the control signal?
2015-4-27
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john.lambert4
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Australia
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the RTH height should always be 0m (0ft) relative to the drone - UNLESS the drone has taken off from a different height to where you are (hill, building, bottom of a cliff, etc.), would that be right?  If that's the case, then the drone will always return back to where it took off from, not where you are physically standing with the controller?
2015-4-27
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talinthis
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Canada
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Tahoe_Ed Posted at 2015-4-25 09:42
Unfortunately it is unlikely.

cant you just change the height in the assistant program or has this option been removed? if so then i guess i will not upgrade like i was planning
2015-4-27
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Tahoe_Ed
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grangerfx@gmail Posted at 2015-4-28 07:48
You did not tell me anything I did not already know. Tell me what happens if the drone is at 200 m ...

It will RTH at 200m and then descend.
2015-4-27
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Tahoe_Ed
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john.lambert4@o Posted at 2015-4-28 08:57
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the RTH height should always be 0m (0ft) relative to the drone - UNLESS ...

No the RTH height should be higher than any objet that you are flying around.  You want it to ascend then RTH not descend and crash into what it is round.
2015-4-27
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john.lambert4
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Tahoe_Ed Posted at 2015-4-28 12:45
No the RTH height should be higher than any objet that you are flying around.  You want it to asce ...

Sorry, I thought RTH height was the altitude it took off from - not the height it climbs to before landing.  Even so I thought that was 20 metres?
2015-4-27
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lvl.1
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I found this in the DJI developer website:
https://dev.dji.com/api-doc-andr ... LimitParameter.html

it seems like developers might be able to set the the heightLimit  distanceLimit parameters in future apps, I really hope so
2015-4-28
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Tahoe_Ed
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john.lambert4@o Posted at 2015-4-28 13:18
Sorry, I thought RTH height was the altitude it took off from - not the height it climbs to before ...

It is user selectable.
2015-4-28
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s.slaton
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I just wanted to also express my disappointment with DJI to make this arbitrary decision on height limitation. I also fly around mountain areas in which the local mountain ridges exceed 2000 feet, above the 500 meter limitation. I start at zero elevation and like to film at or above the peaks, which is still complying with FAA proposed regulations which allow you to fly 400 feet AGL. I know those living in the Alps and other mountainous areas are extremely disappointed and unhappy with this restriction. DJI should reconsider and allow the user to make this decision based upon their needs. These are great products that are limiting their capabilities with these types of arbitrary restrictions.
2015-4-28
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lvl.1
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Good to hear I am not alone. This would be such a good opportunity for DJI to show they listen to customers' concerns at zero cost, and start to build a brand name that cares about customers' needs. They just have to change a line of code in the app.
2015-4-28
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justadivebum
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I too am disappointed.  I want to use this to film up mountainsides where the 500m limit will be an issue.  The use of the P3 in such areas is within proposed regulations of the FAA so DJI should make a change to the system to allow such use as determining this level arbitrarily effects users negatively.  
2015-4-28
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Kdurree
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What he heck DJI!? You guys made no mention of such restrictions on the specs page. There are PLENTY of scenarios that would require climbing above 500m. There are already government entities that apply their own local restrictions, why are you castrating the P3's performance based on some arbitrary number? If it was 1,000 m I would understand (although still silly), but 500 m is not high enough if you live near mountains or large rock faces.

I'm seriously considering canceling my order of the P3 pro. How would I go about this?
2015-4-28
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Kdurree
lvl.1

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Failing to disclose this information until after purchase and noticing it in the app is misrepresentation. This has lawsuit written all over it. You can't display 6,000 m as the ceiling on the spec page, and then throttle it on the back end unbenownst to purchasers.
2015-4-28
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grangerfx
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Tahoe_Ed Posted at 2015-4-28 12:44
It will RTH at 200m and then descend.

Perfect! Thanks. That is what I thought it should do.
I do wish that the RTH height had an option to simply ascend the specified height from the current position when it loses connection (unless that is lower than the home point plus the RTH height). That would have prevented the crash I had in which the drone was already 100 feet above the home point when it lost connection due to flying behind some rocks. If it had actually ascended the 100 feet I had specified it would have sailed over the rocks easily. It is common to be flying above the start altitude. Roads are in valleys. Scenery is higher up. The DJI software seems to think that the world is flat.
2015-4-28
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Tahoe_Ed
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grangerfx@gmail Posted at 2015-4-29 03:06
Perfect! Thanks. That is what I thought it should do.
I do wish that the RTH height had an option  ...

Sometimes you have to override what the system thinks it needs to do.  Going up a hill, add that to your RTH height.  The pilot is the real brains behind the system.
2015-4-28
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grangerfx
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Tahoe_Ed Posted at 2015-4-29 03:36
Sometimes you have to override what the system thinks it needs to do.  Going up a hill, add that t ...

Sure but you are left to guess the relative altitude which is hard to do at a distance. You also have to remember to do it manually. This could all be made automatic inside the drone by simply going up a relative distance rather than absolute one as it is currently coded.
2015-4-29
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lvl.1
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Yeap, it's a big problem for many users. The only hope so far is to wait for a smart programmer that develops a new app that frees all the potential of the P3. But I am not sure if it will be possible to turn off this limitation using the SDK
2015-4-29
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Nguyễn Thắng
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maxverschr@gmai Posted at 2015-4-27 03:06
You lucky basterds ... In Belgium in 2 months a new law concerning multicopters will arrive and the  ...

hahahahah! 30m height limits. Even I jump higher than that. Good luck.
2015-4-29
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Gustave
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maxverschr@gmai Posted at 2015-4-27 03:06
You lucky basterds ... In Belgium in 2 months a new law concerning multicopters will arrive and the  ...

You got to be kidding me.
2015-4-29
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bactrimforte
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Italy
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Hi all, I've read hundreds of threads over the net but still having some question about height. I live in a place that from sea 0m aslm reach >1.400m (>4.700ft). I understood height limit from taking off is 500m and can't do a "one way" to the peak. My question is: if I start from 500m go down to the beach (0m) then it should be possible to reach 1.000m, it is right or I misunderstood something?


Thanks guys
2015-5-1
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grangerfx
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The FAA person I talked to at NAB gave me the deer in the headlights look when I explained the problem with 400 feet being relative to the take off altitude rather than above ground level (AGL) like all other FAA rules. It was clear they had never considered this. I gave two scenarios (note these examples are in feet rather than meters due to the FAA regulations but applies to the 400 meter restriction):
1. You take off at the bottom of a 1000 foot high hill and attempt to fly it over the hill. The drone is limited to 400 feet and crashes into the hill. This not only can wreck the drone, it puts people on the ground at risk. Any time a drone becomes uncontrollable (you cannot fly it over an obstruction) that is an extremely serious design flaw.
2. You take off from the top of a 1000 foot high hill and ascend to the 400 foot limit. You now fly over the valley below. Your drone is at 1400 feet AGL. The FAA minimum altitude for small planes is 1000 foot AGL. You are now putting pilots at risk of crashing into your drone but all is good because you are following the FAA regulations to the T.
This situation is insane. Please fix it before someone gets hurt.
2015-5-1
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