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Is there a Max Altitude Take Off Limit?
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the_hefay
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Hello, I'm considering getting into drones.  I currently do not have one.  My concern, living in Peru, is take off altitude limits.  I don't know if they exist or not.  I do know that I will want the take off limit to be more that 15,000 ft above sea level.  I contaced DJI and the agent couldn't answer my question.  I'm hoping that someone here has some experience with high altitude take offs.  Please note that i am not asking about flight altitude, just take off altitude.  Does the Mavic Mini 2 have a take off altitude limit?
2021-4-1
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ranrick
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Yes actually. Its service ceiling altitude is at 4000m, which is just above 13000ft.
2021-4-1
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ranrick
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ranrick Posted at 4-1 08:22
Yes actually. Its service ceiling altitude is at 4000m, which is just above 13000ft.

You'd be better off with a Mavic Air 2, it has a service ceiling of 16400ft more or less. Or any of the other larger DJI drones. I guess the air at 15000 ft  would be too thin for the mini 2 to take off safely and fly well.
2021-4-1
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Labroides
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The Minis are lightweight drones and lack the power of larger models.
As a result they don't work as well at higher altitudes.
But other models have higher altitude limits.

Original Mavic pro   5000 m
Mavic 2 pro/Zoom   6000 m
Air 2                            5000 m
Phantom 4 pro        6000 m
2021-4-1
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steamship
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I contaced DJI and the agent couldn't answer my question.

You would think that they would that sort of information to hand.

Turns out it's the second point on the first page of the DJI 'Disclaimer and Safety Guidelines' PDF.
2021-4-1
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the_hefay
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Thanks everyone for the replies.  I didn't think about the thin air, but I understand how that could be a factor.  And it is usually windy at that altitude, which would also be a factor.  

It looks like I'll be looking for one of the bigger models.  I just like the idea of the small lightweight drone for my backpack.  I went ahead and downloaded the safety guidelines and it just says "don't fly above 3000 m."  So it still makes me wonder if it would actually take off and try to fly.  I would only need it to do so on a rare occasion and there are never people around at those places.  Most of the use would be at lower altitudes.
2021-4-1
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DJI Stephen
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Hello there the_hefay. Good day and thank you for the inquiry. As posted above the DJI Mini 2 has a maximum service ceiling above sea level of 4000 meters. In addition I will post a link where in you can check the specification of the DJI Mini 2 as well. Thank you and fly safe always.

https://www.dji.com/mini-2/specs
2021-4-1
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ranrick
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the_hefay Posted at 4-1 16:47
Thanks everyone for the replies.  I didn't think about the thin air, but I understand how that could be a factor.  And it is usually windy at that altitude, which would also be a factor.  

It looks like I'll be looking for one of the bigger models.  I just like the idea of the small lightweight drone for my backpack.  I went ahead and downloaded the safety guidelines and it just says "don't fly above 3000 m."  So it still makes me wonder if it would actually take off and try to fly.  I would only need it to do so on a rare occasion and there are never people around at those places.  Most of the use would be at lower altitudes.

Well the mavic air 2 just weights like just over 500 grams. Double the mini's but not too heavy I'd say. But if you plan to just fly in lower altitudes most of the time, then the mini 2 should do fine.

Simply put the mavic air 2 is a more well rounded and capable drone. But the mini 2 is more compact, and helps out a lot if you are gonna fly in places that have drone weight laws. Try to check if Peru has a drone weight restriction law too btw. If they do, the mini 2 would be less hassle since you don't need a registration for it.
2021-4-2
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SuperWinnieperruna
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the_hefay Posted at 4-1 16:47
Thanks everyone for the replies.  I didn't think about the thin air, but I understand how that could be a factor.  And it is usually windy at that altitude, which would also be a factor.  

It looks like I'll be looking for one of the bigger models.  I just like the idea of the small lightweight drone for my backpack.  I went ahead and downloaded the safety guidelines and it just says "don't fly above 3000 m."  So it still makes me wonder if it would actually take off and try to fly.  I would only need it to do so on a rare occasion and there are never people around at those places.  Most of the use would be at lower altitudes.

One note for your consideration when selecting the drone.. DJI MINI 2 doesnt include HYPERLAPSE although they claim for it on the press release
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2021-4-2
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the_hefay
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At the risk of being accused of wanting to break laws or act in an unsafe manner, I submit the following question.  If I buy the mini 2, are there software settings that I can change that would increase the take off altitude to 15,000 ft or higher.  I would love to fly the drone at a 16,000 ft pass.   It wouldn't be a regular thing, but this pass is surrounded by a large flat area well over 15,000 ft.  The planes don't fly there.  The highway passes (yes at 16,000 ft) but the people don't get out of their car and so I would be completely left alone.  If the service limit of 4000m (13124 ft) is a hard setting that can not in anyway be adjusted, then I really can't use the mini 2.  The Andes are just to tall.

Here in Peru the fly more mini 2 combo is over $800 and the fly more air 2 is $1300.  I really don't think that I can justify the $1300 for a mavic air 2.
2021-4-15
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videoeditman
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the_hefay, The altitude limits are not adjustable. I believe they are hard coded into the software. The larger drones have more power so they can do higher altitudes. Maybe you could look at a used Air 2 as the Air 2S was just released yesterday. So the used price of the Air 2 should have come down. Also the mini 2 has a low temperature range of 0C, I believe the Air 2 is -10C.
2021-4-16
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Labroides
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the_hefay Posted at 4-15 20:11
At the risk of being accused of wanting to break laws or act in an unsafe manner, I submit the following question.  If I buy the mini 2, are there software settings that I can change that would increase the take off altitude to 15,000 ft or higher.  I would love to fly the drone at a 16,000 ft pass.   It wouldn't be a regular thing, but this pass is surrounded by a large flat area well over 15,000 ft.  The planes don't fly there.  The highway passes (yes at 16,000 ft) but the people don't get out of their car and so I would be completely left alone.  If the service limit of 4000m (13124 ft) is a hard setting that can not in anyway be adjusted, then I really can't use the mini 2.  The Andes are just to tall.

Here in Peru the fly more mini 2 combo is over $800 and the fly more air 2 is $1300.  I really don't think that I can justify the $1300 for a mavic air 2.

are there software settings that I can change that would increase the take off altitude to 15,000 ft or higher.
No, it's a physical limitation of the ability of the propulsion system to lift the weight of the drone in thin air.
It might be able to fly a little higher (with reduced performance) but that's not guaranteed.
2021-4-16
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starbutt
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I have the same concern. In my case, I want to buy the air 2. my intention, among other things, is to be able to use it in the Andes, over 6000 meters, as a navigation aid on 4x4 offroad routes and to take photos. When looking for information on how to modify the service ceiling in google, only information about the maximum height limitation from the ground appears, and no DIY modifications (I want to modify the hardware, not  software). Why do I want to modify an air 2? Because in 2020 I saw a video where a professional climber self  recorded climbing in very high mountain, with tracking system, and  mentions  had to modify his drone to reach those heights (modification of motors, bigger propellers ... .). he used  a small drone because at that level every gram counts .. So my idea was to be able to access an "official" kit and of course waiving any guarantee, but normally those things are not given by the manufacturer so i want to find external suppliers. . thing that I have not been able to find so far...and buy a more expensive model  for me is not  reasonable, and not portable.  
2021-5-23
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steamship
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starbutt Posted at 5-23 18:27
I have the same concern. In my case, I want to buy the air 2. my intention, among other things, is to be able to use it in the Andes, over 6000 meters, as a navigation aid on 4x4 offroad routes and to take photos. When looking for information on how to modify the service ceiling in google, only information about the maximum height limitation from the ground appears, and no DIY modifications (I want to modify the hardware, not  software). Why do I want to modify an air 2? Because in 2020 I saw a video where a professional climber self  recorded climbing in very high mountain, with tracking system, and  mentions  had to modify his drone to reach those heights (modification of motors, bigger propellers ... .). he used  a small drone because at that level every gram counts .. So my idea was to be able to access an "official" kit and of course waiving any guarantee, but normally those things are not given by the manufacturer so i want to find external suppliers. . thing that I have not been able to find so far...and buy a more expensive model  for me is not  reasonable, and not portable.

Here's a few links for you. Unfortunately they won't tell you how to hack the firmware, but it shows what can be done.

Link to story about Rick Allen rescue aided by a drone: https://www.wired.com/story/here ... rone-mount-everest/

Link to video about the Rick Allen rescue:

Link to video about man skiing down K2 with the aid of a drone:

The common denominator in all three is Bartek Bargiel, the drone pilot and the person who hacked the firmware to allow the drone to fly in those altitudes.
2021-5-26
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the_hefay
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Well I have some interesting news.  A friend of mine here in Peru bought the mini 2.  Recently he and I took a trip up to a village that sits at 4,800 m (15,750 ft).  The drone flew just fine.  The only problem he noticed was a little less power and slower stopping due to the lack of air.  He even followed the pickup with the drone.  The pickup was at 5,000 m (16,400 ft) and the drone another 50-100 m (160-320 ft) above the ground.  We were driving about 50 km/h (30 m/h).  He only lost the signal once but it connected again pretty quick.  He hasn't posted the videos online yet.  If and when he does that, I will try to remember to post a link here in the forum.
2021-9-10
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the_hefay Posted at 9-10 09:00
Well I have some interesting news.  A friend of mine here in Peru bought the mini 2.  Recently he and I took a trip up to a village that sits at 4,800 m (15,750 ft).  The drone flew just fine.  The only problem he noticed was a little less power and slower stopping due to the lack of air.  He even followed the pickup with the drone.  The pickup was at 5,000 m (16,400 ft) and the drone another 50-100 m (160-320 ft) above the ground.  We were driving about 50 km/h (30 m/h).  He only lost the signal once but it connected again pretty quick.  He hasn't posted the videos online yet.  If and when he does that, I will try to remember to post a link here in the forum.

Great new Hefay!

Can you confirm that the 4000m limit for the Mini 2 is not something hard-coded (like the drone refuses to try to fly), but simply a performance limitation?

I am also considering the Mini 2 for high altitude climbing due to its lower weight. Maybe could try to 3d print new propellers.
2021-9-23
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the_hefay
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riparise Posted at 9-23 23:32
Great new Hefay!

Can you confirm that the 4000m limit for the Mini 2 is not something hard-coded (like the drone refuses to try to fly), but simply a performance limitation?

Here´s what I know.  My friend bought the mini 2 here in Peru.  He didn't hack any settings or firmware.  The drone took off from a ground altitude of 4800 meters above sea level. He flew the drone between 50 and 150 meters above ground level.  There was zero wind. He said it wasn't quite as responsive at that altitude, especially when stopping/braking. That being said, he never had any mishaps and flew used at least 6 battery charges during the three days that we were there.

One question that I have is  whether or not the DJI software/firmware or hard coded limits are different depending on location via GPS or perhaps location as in country of purchase. That to me seems a little complicated and I have to think that all mini 2 drones will respond more or less the same way as my friends drone.

He did upload a video to facebook but not to YouTube yet. All I know is that I{m currently putting money in a jar so that I can buy my mini 2 also.
2021-9-24
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Bashy
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the_hefay Posted at 9-24 09:55
Here´s what I know.  My friend bought the mini 2 here in Peru.  He didn't hack any settings or firmware.  The drone took off from a ground altitude of 4800 meters above sea level. He flew the drone between 50 and 150 meters above ground level.  There was zero wind. He said it wasn't quite as responsive at that altitude, especially when stopping/braking. That being said, he never had any mishaps and flew used at least 6 battery charges during the three days that we were there.

One question that I have is  whether or not the DJI software/firmware or hard coded limits are different depending on location via GPS or perhaps location as in country of purchase. That to me seems a little complicated and I have to think that all mini 2 drones will respond more or less the same way as my friends drone.

The only difference between countries is CE and FCC mode, the latter is a stronger powered radio so can fly further or better in built-up locations
There maybe some with coded limits, I think India was limited to 15m high at one time, but i believe that's been removed now.
There is a 500m height restriction above the take off point in the code though

2021-9-24
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jodijodi
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the_hefay Posted at 2021-9-24 09:55
Here´s what I know.  My friend bought the mini 2 here in Peru.  He didn't hack any settings or firmware.  The drone took off from a ground altitude of 4800 meters above sea level. He flew the drone between 50 and 150 meters above ground level.  There was zero wind. He said it wasn't quite as responsive at that altitude, especially when stopping/braking. That being said, he never had any mishaps and flew used at least 6 battery charges during the three days that we were there.

One question that I have is  whether or not the DJI software/firmware or hard coded limits are different depending on location via GPS or perhaps location as in country of purchase. That to me seems a little complicated and I have to think that all mini 2 drones will respond more or less the same way as my friends drone.

Hefay, any news or updates or additional experiences here?
Or from anyone else?

My wife is from Ecuador and we visit the family there about every two years, so I have the same “problem”.
I have a Mavic Pro 2 which I already used up to 5600 (myself on 5100m), just with some slight performance and flight time reduction and a few more warnings as usual.

I'm thinking of switching to a Mini 2, as it seems to fulfill all my needs. Except the height… :-(
I found two websites with some good explanations for the Mini 2 especially in greater heights:
DJI Mini 2 Max Altitude – How High Can It Go? | FlyThatDrone
What Is the DJI Mini 2 Max Altitude? Let's Find Out! (extremefliers.com)
Both say, Mini 2 height limit is 4000 for the start plus 500m, so 4500m overall. Not much for the Andes…
On the other hand, even if it would start and hover at 5000 or 6000m, as these websites say, motors and assistance system would be at their limits and even a slight wind/breeze could cause a crash. So a bigger drone like the MP2 would be muich better&safer there. But to carry it to that height is much harder. When I was using the MP2 standing at 5100m, we could drive with the car up to 4800m. So just 300m to climb, not 1500m…
2022-1-17
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the_hefay
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All I can say is that my friend took off with his mini 2 from 4800 meters.  It flew. It followed us in the pickup. Unless his mini 2 was special, I expect all mini 2's to act similar.  He didn't hack or adjust any firmware.
2022-1-17
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jodijodi
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ok, thank you Hefay.
Yes I read this part before, I was just hoping to get some more and newer experiences from you or others. As you did not add your own experiences with YOUR Mini2 yet, I was thinking maybe you're still not that sure about the height limit. The two websites I mentioned above both say limit is 4000/4500m.
For myself I can’t try flying it in such heights for the next 2 years, so no chance to test it myself before being binded to a Mini 2.

I found some videos obviously with Mavic Pro 2 flying at Everest and K2 at 8500-8600m:


In the K2 video he says, he removed height limits and changed drive/speed. I guess they did the same at the Everest.
If a MP2 is capable of 8600, a Mini 2 should manage 2000-2500m less in the Andes… But changes may be necessary.

To the DJI mods here: If there is really a 4000m limit, what happens if a would ask DJI to remove the limit (not the +500m over starting point), that I can start over 4000m when climbing higher mountains? Or removing the  6000m limit for an MP2 to climb with it up to the highest mountains in the Andes? Accepting any risk for failures.
2022-1-18
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the_hefay
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"As you did not add your own experiences with YOUR Mini2 yet, I was thinking maybe you're still not that sure about the height limit."


Still haven't bought my mini 2 yet. I have flown my friend's mini 2 a little and am in the process of saving up to buy mine.


My questions now are:
  • Can it damage the motor to fly 20-25 minutes in such thin air?
  • Will the lack of air resistance cause over reving of the motors?
  • Does putting the drone in cine mode place a limit on motor rpm's or does it just put a limit on flight speed?
  • Could a different prop size or shape help with this?

2022-1-18
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the_hefay
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Here's a photo taken from the mini2. The gps data in the photo says 16145 ft (4921 m).


pcaDJI_0801.jpg
2022-1-18
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jodijodi
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the_hefay Posted at 1-18 07:01
"As you did not add your own experiences with YOUR Mini2 yet, I was thinking maybe you're still not that sure about the height limit."

>Can it damage the motor to fly 20-25 minutes in such thin air?
>Does putting the drone in cine mode place a limit on motor rpm's or does it just put a limit on flight speed?

Of course I do not know exactly for the Mini2, but DJI drones have become very smart over the last 7 years. While a P2 was more or less 'dumb', P3 in 2015 already started quite smart and later received lots of extra security features and controls which warn or already act before something bad happens. Such as battery to cold or voltage to low for full power or motor rpm to high/at it's limits, etc.
So I think there won't be any immediate damage to a motor. Motor and battery maybe save also in these heights with the factory settings. But this doesn't mean there is no danger for our drones... If motor or propeller doesn't deliver sufficient thrust in a critcial situation and donre flips over or if the security feature says 'My motors or too hot, I will start to reduce power...' and the drone sinks just when it is near a the last peak to pass to come back home, we don't win much... ;-)

>Will the lack of air resistance cause over reving of the motors?

Easy to answer, yes it will, if air is too thin or wind/gusts to strong... ;-)
You don't need 5000-6000m to get there, in the last weeks flying only around 2000m I encountered several dangerous areas, where it's easy to lose also a MP2. For example in narrow valleys or at sharp cliffs there's often a very strong wind directly at the edge which you should avoid. If you simply fly 40m above the edges it is often safe.

>Could a different prop size or shape help with this?

Yes, definitely. As the size is normally limited, you usually change the angle/the thread of each propeller or the number of blades. So it can “grab” more air at the same rpm (what would be too much for the motors in “thick air”). But for a hightech camera drone you need well balanced propellers from the factory and fitting to your propeller mount. You can’t use or just shorten other propellers like you can do for simple RC fun drones. Also foldable propellers are much more difficult to balance. Also more blades is difficult for foldable ones.
For DJI P3 and Inspire there have been such propellers, I think also for P4. But I don’t know if also for Mavics or already for Mini2, but I haven’t really searched yet…



2022-1-18
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jodijodi
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I started searching around a little bit and there are quite several props from different brands for the Mini 2. I haven't seen yet two blades with increased angle/thread for high altitudes. But a lot of three blades and some videos on Youtube where the pilot states faster response/acceleration, what should also work help for high altitudes. Living near the Andes I would just order a few types and try them at 5000m...
2022-1-18
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jodijodi
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If I see the progress with each generation of DJI drones I think it's also worth to wait for the Mini 3 if you're not in a hurry. There is a good chance for a little more power and maybe 5000 instead of 4000m official limit (as it raised from 3000 to 4000 from Mini to Mini 2).
2022-1-19
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Neil_Kings
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Hello, I just flew the AIR2S this weekend above 4k. I know this is not the drone you are asking for, but I mention it just for reference. It brought up a warning message, saying the drone can loose altitude and warned to "fly at your own risk", but the drone flew just fine.
As mentioned before by other people, thin air is an issue, so due to inertia it was hard to stop (and therefore easy to crash) so pay attention to that. I would suggest not to use sport mode, by the way. I will publish a new video in YouTube with the tips to flight at high altitude, since it's an interesting topic to discuss about.
2022-2-28
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Neil_Kings
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Bodkins Best Photography Posted at 2-28 23:30
I have lifted off at 3700 feet and didn't notice much of a difference in control.  Also didn't get any warnings.

at 3700 feet you will notice nothing. I have took off at 10,000 feet with no issues. Things change starting at 13,000 f.
2022-3-1
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TWStories
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This is very interesting information.  I had no idea that drones have ceiling limits.   Thanks for sharing.









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2022-3-31
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Sean-bumble-bee
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the_hefay Posted at 1-18 07:01
" My questions now are:
  • Can it damage t......"

With regards to
1) In thin air the motors have to turn faster to produce the necessary lift, I would have some concerns that sustained extreme speeds may get the ESC's etc. a bit hot, bear in mind that the cooling effect of the air flow is probably reduced because the air is thinner. But I am pretty sure I have read of 'long' high altitude flights with a Mini 2 without detriment to the drone, I think the flight times were slightly reduced but not cripplingly.
I have held a Mini 2 at sea level and given if full throttle for maybe up to 1 minute but probably more like 30sec, when I stopped the motors I got an ESC warning. I switched the drone off and let it sit for a while and all was ok. I do not know if the comparison is valid but it is something you might want to look into.
2) I very much doubt it, these drones actively govern individual motor speed. As far as I know that's how they remain stable, constanly changing the individual motor speeds as required. As such they should not overspeed the motors, besides I think the drone gives a warning if the motors are reaching their speed limits.
3) I believe flight modes mainly limits drone speed. Horizontal speed is a function of the angle of tilt of the drone rather than pure motor speed, though the motor speed does have to increase some what to compensate for the loss of vertical thrust caused by the drones angle of tilt. Climb?? that I do not know about but if climbing is climb-rate governed then the motor speeds would be limited to comply with the rate of climb limits. That suggests to me that the actual motor speed necessary to maintain a rate of climb presumably increases as the height above sea level increases.
4) differing props probably could help but it's a balancing act, weight and drag against thrust.
2022-3-31
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HUNkisvex
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Gonna test tomorrow with my Mini 2, Rainbow mountains top around 5200m (I doubt it will take off but hope for the best) and the base camp which is above 4000m with few hundred meters, mostly just hoping to be able to start from here do a quick round.
2022-5-16
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the_hefay
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Let us know how it turns out.
2022-5-16
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HUNkisvex
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MINI 2 above 5000m - 16470feet
Location: Rainbow mountain
First take off: 4850m - 15912feet
Highest take off: 5020m - 16470feet
Highest altitude: 5250m - 17224feet

Differences:
Battery life instead of 30min it's just 10min
Even in cinematic movement everything moves as in a sport mode

Dji Mavic mini 2 CAN take off above 4000m - 13123feet and can fly pretty well (I even did some 360 photos around 5250m -17224feet, the cutting is great so no big movement)
https://www.klapty.com/tour/NfY0h4zg5S
2022-5-17
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the_hefay
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Thanks for the info; especially for the battery life.  I figured it would be less, but 66% less is quite a bit.

And that's a really cool 360 photo.

On another note, I just bought my friend's mini 2 and so I can't wait to get some shots of my own.
2022-5-17
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HUNkisvex
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the_hefay Posted at 5-17 16:35
Thanks for the info; especially for the battery life.  I figured it would be less, but 66% less is quite a bit.

And that's a really cool 360 photo.

Safe flight, be careful at this altitude the smallest wind can blow away the drone.
At 4600m there was some stronger wind movement, the mini 2 handled it very well but, I didn't dare to fly it far. (it was 150m from me and maybe 40m above from the starting point, with a 600m gap underneath)
2022-5-17
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HUNkisvex
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The final video from the Rainbow Mountains, the beginning was around 4600-4800m while in the end 5020-5250m.
Keep in mind not all the video was made by the drone (mini 2)
2022-5-20
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the_hefay
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Nice video. I really like the reveal at 2:15.
2022-5-21
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djiuser_Jnvs90eohrnq
New

United States
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What about mini 3? Can it do the same?)
2022-10-28
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Labroides
Core User of DJI
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
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Australia
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djiuser_Jnvs90eohrnq Posted at 10-28 10:35
What about mini 3? Can it do the same?)

The Mini 3 has a service ceiling of 4000 metres.
2022-10-28
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fans58e60d2b
lvl.1
Flight distance : 36667 ft
Singapore
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I have a question. What happen if I set my max altitude limited (e.g 60m above sea level) and I am taking off at 3000m above sea level because I am at a mountain area ?

What will happen to the drone ?
2023-4-19
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