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Setting up WAYPOINTS at home!! Really?
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rayrokni
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United States
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i have been trying to wrap my tiny brain around this "setting up waypoints at home "and "need to go further than 500M waypoints" thing, and i just cant! Can someone help me out here please?

here is my dillema:

Scenario 1: Never been on that location before
so, if ive never been on that location before, how do i know there is anything worth filming?
you may say, "it is not for filming, it is just to fly". i say if it is just to fly, then why do u want the .... thing to do it for you? why not fly it manually and actually enjoy flying?
lets say, hey just for the heck of seeing an autonomous flight. ok, thats fair enough, but how do you know where the obstacles are because you sure as ... cant tell from the map.

Scenario 2: you have been on location before
a lot of people want to be able to go further than 500m. for both scenarios i assume you would need to use, lets say, Litchi software cuz none of the scenarios are possible with DJI GO, hence a few uproars from annoyed phantomers.
So, ok, you have been on site, but unless you have a photographic memory you wont remeber where all the obstacles are exactly on the map and at what height, so when you are at home trying to setup the route, how are you going to do it safely, so that you wont break your p3. lets just forget people for now.
You say, well i would have flown the route and marked all the obstacles because i sure as .... dont see you guys walking 3miles or so around the path with a handheld gps to mark all the ....obstacles so you can safely do a route at home. So if you are going to fly it around the route first to survey the area, why wouldnt you use the DJI GO app at that moment and build your route????
You say because you want to go further than 500M. I say, read all the above again, twice!!! the distance is not the issue the issue is unless you are going to walk around using an accurate handheld gps marking all the, trees, electric lines, electric towers, tel lines, farmer john's silos, water towers, etc etc. its not practical. You still may be hard headed and say that is what you would do, i say your hand held gps variances, the google maps variances and finally the P3 gps variances are all going to be different. it may be +- 3' on one and +- 30' on the other, so you might as well not go through all the trouble and just wing it!

Unless you just want to video everything from a max height of 400' and make a really nice 4k video of either; water, trees or if lucky of water and trees. this is the only time i can see that pre planning your route maybe possible without any danger to p3 or others.

so unless i am totally missing something, can someone enlighten me as to why it is good or better to be able to sit at the comfort of your home and blindly pre plan a route and then send your p3 to its possible demise?

i have tried to write this in a light hearted way, so if you dont have a sense of humor you may want to change the channel.
2015-9-16
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DJI-Tim
DJI team

Hong Kong
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I totally agree with you, Ray.
2015-9-17
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xzgraham
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United Kingdom
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I would not imagine that folks would set a route that they did not know or even seen before .I regularly configure grounstation waypoints @ home for areas that i know or have been to look @ with the view of filming .The video is so much smoother than flying manual and prior to POI being available on the P3 it is a good way to say fly round a big castle  .As soon as a decent app becomes availble  for the P3 which offers groundstaion  i will be using it .
I dare say  there have been a few nutters who have blindly  entered waypoints  without even going to look @ the area but i would say they are in the minority ,I do know  a farmer who has 4/5  routes pre planned and he sends his p2v+ out from his front yard and it flys around  these areas then he just checks them out on the pc.
2015-9-17
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Joe Blow
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Here is my scenario:  I'm at a location where all obstacles are at or below 80 feet AGL (mission altitude will be 100 feet AGL) I'd like to fly from my present location to several land marks, then to a lake, and return to the home point.  All the points I want to chart are outside the 500 meter limit.  DJI Go Waypoint does not work for this mission.
2015-9-17
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nickcb
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Scenario. You are at home, it's raining or v windy, you have been thinking about a holiday somewhere nice and want to pre plan a flight maybe just to cheer you up. From what i understand Litchi will allow you to do this, however complicated you wish to make it and up to 99 way points. You set up camera moves etc at each way point and save your route. When you finally arrive on site a good look around and some editing of your way points can be carried out and you are ready to go. Might not be good for everyone but I can understand why some would enjoy the planning.
2015-9-17
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CaveDrone
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It can take a while to plan it all out like nickcb says  (99 way-points, LOL) and take a look around on arrival and maybe take a few vertical exploratory flights at certain obstacles to determine the Phantom "measured" height.  Or you may have flown there before and already know the maximum heights like Joe Blow says.  The point is most of the fun may just be the planning and the anticipation of the adventure!   Everybody remembers planning vacations, with excitement mounting as the day approaches. It's almost more fun than the actual trip it's self... WELL MAYBE,  LOL
2015-9-17
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rusty
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As I see it there are a couple of things going on. On one side personal preferences, some people enjoy planning a flight from their rocking chair and some like to fly the route first. I say as long as it is not illegal or immoral who am I to say which is "right" or "better" or even "correct". The other side I see as options, different consumer products offered by competing businesses, the selection of course is driven by the first. Pilots have a choice they can use either product to satisfy their flying needs, cool, I like that, I like options. What I do not like (but something I have dealt with my entire career) is not having choices. By that I mean having rules or limits imposed on the masses from the actions of a few. It is sad that DJI has determined it is in their best interest to place restrictions in their app but I understand it. The beauty of a free market is we have choices, if I feel the need to create my missions from the latrine I can if I want to wait to create a mission when I get to the field, I can or I can just go out and fly. Damn I love choices, safe flying everyone.   
2015-9-17
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pi-inthesky
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United Kingdom
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We have to remember that dji fore runners in uav development must be seen to design products that comply to flight rule regulations BORING as it might seem to some.VLOS applies to all with exception to qualified uav pilots with exemption PFAW certificate.Do we want to see HEADLINE DJI INNOVATIONS IMPORT LICENCE UNDER REVIEW no and we wont.Not quite the response to rayroknis thread but I can see whats coming dissatisfaction concerning waypoints
2015-9-17
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pi-inthesky
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Getting back to the subject of your thread  ray I have to agree,this should have been my first response
2015-9-17
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ag0n
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Not that everyone here cares, but 500M is barely VLOS, so would be illegal in the USA anyway.

From what I've seen, the altitude is not all that accurate for planning anyway.  Do remember also that vertical resolution of GPS is 1/3 that of horizontal resolution.  It's the nature of the beast.  I don't know if GLONASS adds any improvement to that or not.

I still favor the ability to put in waypoints from a map though.  I'm not saying to fly it from that original plan, but at least be able to lay it out before you go fly it manually for a safety check.
2015-9-17
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HunterBrooks
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United States
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When you want to do mapping, it will become critical to be able to plan ahead, mostly from an "efficiency of route" perspective .  Whether you fly the same fixed route east-west, or north-south will determine the duration of the flight, as well as how many photos you need to take, and thus how much your map will cost to render in the 3rd party mapping software (you upload your pictures to their website, and their software stitches the photos together, then creates 3D maps).  So if you charge a construction company $500 per map, your margin will depend on how much the map cost to make.  I'm beta testing a mapping app now, and by adjusting the way-points by just a little can change the number of required photos and flight duration to cover the same area by quite a lot.   

See the screen shot below.  By simply adjusting only the take-off point (purple dot), you can save 2 minutes of flight time and 23 photos.  Over a much larger area and numerous jobs, this could add up to quite a lot of savings.  I'd rather spend the time planning my routes at home than actually onsite burning daylight.  Once onsite, I can make small height adjustments to my route in seconds.

Offline Mapping Example.jpg
2015-9-17
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stvnvicbc
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Canada
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Well Ray, not everyone is as hard a ticket as you.  It gets cold outside sometimes, and by the time i've actually had to fly the route and trudge thru the mud following my AC to make sure there are no obstacles in the route, my fingers get cold and my nose starts running.  I can't wait to get back to the car, and guess what?  Now i have to walk 2.5 miles back to my car.  Which is no longer warm.  All the time i'm out there i'm thinking .... that rayrokni guy, this is all his ....... fault!!!

I come home, trek mud thru the house, my wife yells at me!  Just makes for a ..... day man.

Now on the other hand, i'm sitting at my dining room table, sipping a large glass of shiraz, having a smoke, listening to A Perfect Circle, marking waypoints on my tablet, all toasty and warm with my cat on my lap.  And once it gets really nice outside, i can go flying!

Nah, i'm with you Ray.  Although, the shiraz....
2015-9-17
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HunterBrooks
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LOL .... "change the channel"

I think the key to the discussion is that just because you pre-plan a course ahead of time using the app at home, it doesn't mean that you are locked into the final route once onsite and you see things you didn't see before (if the app is written properly).  So, you plan your route, you go onsite, and you notice a powerline you didn't see before.  In a least one app I know, you simply change the height by dragging a slider back and forth to change the altitude of the mission.  It literally takes seconds.  Without that feature, yes, Way-point flying kinda doesn't make sense cause you would have to re-enter the entire  flight again based on new information.  

From a logistics perspective, a good offline way-point app will let you see the planned duration, # of batteries required, even storage space for planned video or photos so you know whether to buy another SDcard before heading out the door.  

Bottom line, a good offline way-point app will allow you to easily adjust each flight component on the fly (pun intended), once you are onsite and survey the area for unforeseen obstacles.
2015-9-17
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HunterBrooks
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In general, when thinking about why someone would want to override an option in the app (break the rules), we all tend to think in terms of the knuckleheads out there who are doing stupid stuff just because they want to, or feel they are entitled to cause no one should be able to tell them what to do.  I know I do, and I get annoyed, and even start to go down the path of, "your gonna ruin it for everyone."  

But if you only concentrate your thoughts on us "good guys", the ones who are responsible and care about our hobby, having the ability to temporarily override an option is a legitimate request - again, in the hands of a responsible person.  We can all come up with 100 examples of when temporarily flying above 500M isn't a crazy thing to do.  If my son was a rock climber and he wanted me to video him breaking his personal record, and the peak was 550M, I'd want to be able to override the 500M limit for a short time to capture the moment, then fly back down again.  if I'm a responsible flyer, I would consider the area, people, other aircraft, etc. before doing it.  But if all was fine, I would like the option to "break the rules" for a moment.  

Think about how annoying it would be if car manufacturers put devices in every car to keep them from driving over the speed limit.  We'd all go crazy.  Ninety-nine percent of the time, we are all good drivers and act responsibly.  But in reality, we have the option to drive faster if we occasionally need to - like simply passing the a-hole driving 40mph in the fast lane - or worse yet, the HOV lane.  : )

Irresponsible jerks are going to do whatever they want regardless.  I personally would like the ability to override an option in those rare moments where just a little bit higher or farther would give me that perfect shot.     
2015-9-17
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rayrokni
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HunterBrooks Posted at 2015-9-17 16:04
In general, when thinking about why someone would want to override an option in the app (break the r ...

I am not really replying only to hunter, just using your post as it was the last in the list!!

in all honesty the point of this thread was  and is not to force my views on anyone, as i believe everyone has a right to do as they wish whether i agree with it or not.

the point of the thread is for people to give the whole idea of waypoints more thought than they perhaps normally would, especially geared towards new comers.

i for one will be using Litchi and pre programming the route from my home and then fine tune it once out there
2015-9-17
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Kit Walker
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Australia
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Not that it bothers me.., but I do enjoy playing devil's advocate.

The pre-planning thing, sitting at home, and setting up waypoints. I can see that it could;
1) Save time. Don't need to wait for that day, use up your daylight setting up routes. May have 10 employees standing around waiting for you to set up. $200 per hour each head.
2) Can plan at home, or at an office with other people. Don't need to make 10 people travel to the same location just to set up a basic route. Again, saves time and money. Very handy.
3) Most people won't set a route, and fly blind. Even with DJI GO's current waypoint system;
-I will fly the route once.., to set the waypoints.
-Then.., I will run the autonomous flight and watch that it works correctly.
-Then.., I will run the autonomous flight again to film freely.
That's 2 flights before I'm confident enough to actually use the waypoints for their desired use.
4) Planning on site can be rushed, or hard to see in sunlight. Setting up at home/office in a relaxed atmosphere may reduce mistakes.

The 500m limit thing? This does annoy me.
I actually want this limit removed for IFC, because there are objects I want to film, that are beyond 500m. I'm sure the obvious answer is.., just walk there.., but that is not always possible.
I do see the risk of allowing everyone to set a waypoint beyond 500m. But I also see the value.
2015-9-17
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pi-inthesky
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HunterBrooks Posted at 2015-9-17 21:04
In general, when thinking about why someone would want to override an option in the app (break the r ...

Exellent well rounded reply
2015-9-17
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markfrank
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France
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pi-inthesky@hot Posted at 2015-9-18 01:02
Exellent well rounded reply

Hello all,
In France the Security Direction of Civil Aviation (DSAC) permit to fly "Scenarion S2" : in an uninhabited area, you can go 1Km away from you and have to stay under 50m over ground or natural or artificial obstacles.
It is mostly for agricultural or mapping needs, but can be useful for filming and shooting too
Pre-planning mission and 1km distance is needed, its legal, DJI go app  dont authorize it.
The legal solution: a disclaimer you have to sign before overriding the 500 m horizontal limit.
For 500m vertical limit I dont know, it seems to me more dangerous (helos, planes) and less useful.
MF
2015-9-21
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Willie Wonka
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stvnvicbc Posted at 2015-9-17 12:45
Well Ray, not everyone is as hard a ticket as you.  It gets cold outside sometimes, and by the time  ...

In my case i would be sitting down sipping on a nice black arabic coffee while smoking shisha and crafting my waypoints on litchi !!!!!
2015-9-21
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rayrokni
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Willie Wonka Posted at 2015-9-22 13:36
In my case i would be sitting down sipping on a nice black arabic coffee while smoking shisha and  ...

see you in a a minute!!!
2015-9-21
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GDS
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Willie Wonka Posted at 2015-9-22 01:36
In my case i would be sitting down sipping on a nice black arabic coffee while smoking shisha and  ...

I'm doing exactly that right now... well drinking a nice cold G & T as it happens ;)

...and yes, the route will be checked and re-checked in the stone cold sober light of the morning ;)
Litchi 2.2.1 now with camera controls
2015-10-2
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Willie Wonka
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GDS Posted at 2015-10-2 09:53
I'm doing exactly that right now... well drinking a nice cold G & T as it happens ;)

...and yes,  ...

Great news thanks , i am a hermit at home because of hurricane joaquin visiting us. will update litchi and see whats new.
2015-10-3
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DJI-Dave
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Great points Ray. I agree.
2016-1-14
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SHamers
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I think you are all true! But there are more ways to Rome. I like to prepare my route at home and of course I check the mission before I start on the "go" button (flying or walking). For me it it part of the fun....also making a video plan. (Nice on the sofa)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4shim6lgutd773t/Castelluccio.mp4?dl=0

2016-1-14
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SHamers
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https://www.dropbox.com/s/z9x95y ... ber%292015.mp4?dl=0

I just want to show a few video's with (FPV Camera) waypoint/mission flying made offline and local check - to keep flying save. It is just part of the hobby not only fun on the fly moment but also at home!


But like the the DJI go app  for all the other function :-) very
2016-1-14
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countrysidegard
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HunterBrooks Posted at 2015-9-17 11:40
LOL .... "change the channel"

I think the key to the discussion is that just because you pre-plan a ...

Which app do you use and prefer? This seems like the most logical answer to this problem
2016-1-17
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martyotheii
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HunterBrooks Posted at 2015-9-17 11:30
When you want to do mapping, it will become critical to be able to plan ahead, mostly from an "effic ...

Hunter,

I just found your post, and I wanted to send you a message to ask you how you are planning your routes and loading them into your phantom.

I am research faculty at a university, and have been flying a Microdrone md4-1000 ( https://www.microdrones.com/en/products/md4-1000/ ) for the past several years. We would like to switch to using DJI drones for our work.

The work you are doing with your phantom sounds very similar to what we have been doing with our md4-1000. We have been selecting areas we would like to fly over, building waypoint routes to program the drone to collect images with a specific overlap, and then using 3D reconstruction software to build DSMs and orthoimages. Our application areas have been primarily focused on environmental and archaeological research.

We recently purchased a Phantom 3 Standard as an entry into the DJI platform to experiment with the DJI software to see if it had the same capabilities as the md4-1000. Once we have figured out how to get the DJI software to perform the tasks we need, we would like to purchase either an Inspire or a Matrice to continue our work.

What software are you using to calculate your waypoints and build your flight plan? Then, once you have this plan built, how are you importing the waypoints to make the phantom actually fly the route and collect the pictures and x,y,z locations required to automatically generate a geographically rectified orthophoto and DSM?

Thank you for your help,

Marty

2016-3-24
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Kilted Flyer (D
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You can with the Litchi App. Ive done it already. Preplan at home, go to flight area, load, and takeoff. It works just like the P2 series. Just make sure your switch is in "f" mode or fully down.
2016-3-24
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martyotheii
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Kilted Flyer (D Posted at 2016-3-24 12:27
You can with the Litchi App. Ive done it already. Preplan at home, go to flight area, load, and take ...

From what I can see with the Litchi app, it looks like you can import waypoints. However, will this also allow you to compute waypoints based on altitude, desired overlap, and the specs of the camera?
2016-3-24
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Kilted Flyer (D
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martyotheii Posted at 2016-3-25 02:57
From what I can see with the Litchi app, it looks like you can import waypoints. However, will thi ...

You can change adjust altitude, speed, direction, banked turns, etc. You can also change camera settings.
2016-3-25
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quaddron3
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Canada
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Everyone's needs are different.

True. The GPS positioning isn't perfect. There is issue with precision and accuracy of position. All the other sensors the phantom relies on are also iffy. E.g. the altitude sensors etc. So what you program versus what the drone is capable of doing will vary widely as the sensors are not actually very reliable in that sense.

There are also elevation changes from "home/office" vs "location of autonomous flying". So its easy to program mistakes, especially with respect to altitude sensors and programming in absolute altitude mode.

But all of this goes back to the programmer/operator. If they are aware of the risks and limitations, they ought to be able to do something if they accept the risk involved.

There are genuine reasons why you'd want to program at home/office, instead of doing it in the field and flying to each position and pressing "record". The latter DJI variant is just silly. Being able to pre-plan at home means you can do and strategize the route properly. Maybe you have coworkers who have input. All of this can be done in the office. Then you can take the plan and go on site and press "go" after some on-site modifications and tuning. Saves time and money.

Seriously, who wants to waste multiple battery charges or more setting up, by having to hover over 100 positions or more depending on what you do, and 'recording' the position of the waypoints? What a waste of time and you might lose your golden opportunity to take photos/videos while the weather is nice or other limitations such as time allowance to use the site. Why can't you have planned everything at home, went on site, made a few quick changes and press go and be done with it?
2016-3-25
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topherbabcock
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HunterBrooks Posted at 2015-9-18 00:30
When you want to do mapping, it will become critical to be able to plan ahead, mostly from an "effic ...

Is this Airware? We are looking at cost difference from Airware to Litchi for an ipad mini 2 Cellular setup with the Phantom 3 Pro. We will be operating in many areas where there is no cell or wifi service and I want to be able to design the flights (primarily for real estate), on the app or some kind of program on a laptop, setting waypoints on top of an aerial view map. In this way we will be able to plan a "mission" prior to ever flying these waypoints. Upon arrival, the mission that has been uploaded or already exists in the app will know that the copter is at the start point - or that start point can be adjusted - then the flight path with the waypoints, camera movements, etc, can be executed autonomously. Obviously the airware platform is much much more expensive but how much more? Is there any hardware that needs to go onboard? Is it even compatible with DJI P3P? Do you have any experience with Litchi? How was your experience with this software?
2016-6-30
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Chris512
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Some of us use our UAV for commercial flights like aerial survey work.  Consider one of my flights below in the photo:

flight.jpg

I set this up in the office then go out and fly it.  Aircraft position accuracy must be +/- 2 meters.  I fly it from a central location where the VLOS rules are met, although I don't necessarily actually watch the aircraft during the flight.  It gets up to a little over a half mile away on some waypoints.  This flight was within 2 miles of a helipad for a hospital, which means I have to notify the medical flight personnel prior to takeoff, and notify them that all is clear when I land.

Using waypoint pre-planning at the office, the flight is done efficiently in 19 minutes of flight time.  And safely.  Without the ability to do the waypoint pre-planning I would have to go out to the field and fart around burning up most of two batteries to record waypoints, then actually fly the flight at the correct speed to get the imagery.  I would likely never get clearance to spend that much time in the air to make the flight that close to a busy helipad.  With the pre-planning I can call their flight dispatch and tell them I'll be in the air for 21 minutes at 328 feet altitude 1.1 miles SE of the helipad and I either have to wait to get clearance to fly, or they tell me nothing is coming in or going out - go ahead and make the flight.

I enjoy just going out to fly "seat of the pants" sometimes too.  But the ability to use pre-flight planning for precision flights is also an invaluable tool.
2016-6-30
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topherbabcock
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Chris512 Posted at 2016-7-1 01:10
Some of us use our UAV for commercial flights like aerial survey work.  Consider one of my flights b ...

How does your screen look if you are flying a preplanned waypoint flight on site where there is no cell or wifi service? Can you still see the aerial footage or does the "map" become featureless white blank canvas?
2016-6-30
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Chris512
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topherbabcock@g Posted at 2016-7-1 08:59
How does your screen look if you are flying a preplanned waypoint flight on site where there is no ...

Litchi caches the satellite images when you have internet connection.  So when I arrive at the site to fly, open the flight file ("mission") and the images are there with no cell service or internet required in the field.
2016-6-30
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Thad L
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Flight distance : 13 ft
United States
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Perhaps an ignorant question, but why doesn't Litchi or DJ Go 4 have the ability to "re-calibrate" the waypoint plan to current GPS/compass conditions onsite?  Program a start/calibration waypoint, X Feet / direction from a known physical landmark from the online planning pointed at another known landmark and then put the drone physically there at flight initiation, re-home the drone and use the compass reading as it points at the second known location and then the software would determine the variance at that waypoint from the planned waypoints and alter all of the planned waypoints by the now present and known variance.  This would account for mapping skew, etc. from the satellite images available online.  Full function onsite with little more than lon/lat/altitude/compass calculations.  

Seems non-functional now, with a relatively simple programming fix.  
2017-8-25
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