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Warning- New Firmware 1.5 Limits Drone Altitudes to 120m or 360 Feet.
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6294 62 2015-12-1
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FlyboyNC
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United States
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Just wanted to make everyone aware, this new DJI firmware update will limit your drone altitude to 360 feet above take off area. I notice all the specs on the Phantom drones changed as of 11-25-15 when the firmware was released so I called technical support at DJI. The guy told me the only thing this new firmware release does is limit the altitude of the drone. He said the FAA is putting more pressure on drone manufacturers to keep their drones below 400 feet. So DJI released this firmware update doing just that. You will no longer have a choice to set your maximum altitudes from 20-500m.

See picture below or view the new drone specs online at DJI.

120 m.jpg
2015-12-1
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Paniza
First Officer
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Canada
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Aren't we supposed to have an option to overload if we sign up some where?
2015-12-1
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aaron.ferguson
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1641332 ft
United Kingdom
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I wish DJI would post more comprehensive release notes and not have people discovering nasty surprises like that!
2015-12-1
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sploodge
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Don't panic, untwist your knickers.. You can change the 120m and a popup appears and you need to acknowledge that you want to fly higher..

It's worded a bit oddly on the site/spec, something I hope they change soon..
2015-12-1
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Kyokushin
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sploodge Posted at 2015-12-1 15:24
Don't panic, untwist your knickers.. You can change the 120m and a popup appears and you need to ack ...

Good move. And in that way every limitation of potentially danger options should be done, the FCC/EU switch and no-fly zone.

User will read warning and make own decision.

In most of countries planes have to fly over 150m, so DJI is trying to keep 30m separation and this sounds reasonable in a case of unexperienced user.
2015-12-1
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FlyboyNC
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sploodge Posted at 2015-12-1 09:24
Don't panic, untwist your knickers.. You can change the 120m and a popup appears and you need to ack ...

So help educate me. After this firmware update is complete, you STILL have the option of set the maximum above ground flight altitude to 500 meters? The tech guy told me it would not longer be an option.

I have the Phantom 3 Standard right now. I bought the Phantom 3 Pro last Friday online from DJI. I was concerned it would arrive with the firmware update already installed. I was assured it would have the 1.4 version installed. I was not going to do the update because of the altitude limiting update.

2015-12-1
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FlyboyNC
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United States
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sploodge Posted at 2015-12-1 09:24
Don't panic, untwist your knickers.. You can change the 120m and a popup appears and you need to ack ...

And are you sure it's not just models sold here in the US?
2015-12-1
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pi-inthesky
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Paniza Posted at 2015-12-1 13:30
Aren't we supposed to have an option to overload if we sign up some where?

As i understand it signing up is for requesting to lift geomapping restriction zones to enable flight within these zones.Whether this will apply to blanket height restrictions dont know .We need a clear answer from DJI  
2015-12-1
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sploodge
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The "drone" community would be a buzz if this firmware added a 120m ceiling to the P3 ( even inspire had a firmware update same day ).. There is no buzz. including here  have seen about 4 mentions of this across multiple forums ( mention of the new updated spec ), not ONE person has come back to say they cannot fly higher.

Update it and try, you can always downgrade to 1.4
2015-12-1
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FlyboyNC
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sploodge Posted at 2015-12-1 09:44
The "drone" community would be a buzz if this firmware added a 120m ceiling to the P3 ( even inspire ...

Okay. Thanks for the information. I guess I keep getting bad info from DJI when I call. I called back and spoke to another tech that told me downgrading to a previous version of firmware will "brick" your PS3. I assume that was incorrect as well. Maybe they tell people that to discourage rolling back to previous versions.

Thanks again.
2015-12-1
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sploodge
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Thanks to IMI193 for this image..
7y6bRvs.png
2015-12-1
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coleslaw
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Kyokushin Posted at 2015-12-1 07:30
Good move. And in that way every limitation of potentially danger options should be done, the FCC/E ...

I believe in Canada, unless taking off or landing, planes have to stay at 1000 feet (305 meters) or higher.  BUT, I routinely see small planes flying below 1000 feet, which is breaking the law set forth by Transport Canada, and a concern for UAV pilots.
2015-12-1
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AG0N-Gary
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sploodge Posted at 2015-12-1 10:23
Thanks to IMI193 for this image..

Sploodge -

The statement "You are solely responsible and liable for the operation of the aircraft after altering these settings." is misleading.  It implies that you, the pilot, are NOT responsible if you don't alter the settings.
2015-12-1
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Rebel
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2015-12-1
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Rebel
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2015-12-1
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AG0N-Gary
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Meaning?  
2015-12-1
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aburkefl
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FlyboyNC Posted at 2015-12-1 10:03
Okay. Thanks for the information. I guess I keep getting bad info from DJI when I call. I called b ...

I believe that will happen eventually. If DJI wants to help the FAA (or other, foreign entities) to enforce altitude and no-fly-zones (and whatever else), they certainly wouldn't want owners to possess the capability to "roll back" to a more "free-flying" version of firmware.

Just my personal opinion.

Art - N4PJ
Leesburg, FL
2015-12-1
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quanthonytrang
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Don't panic everyone.
I think the OP may have gotten it all wrong.
The excerpt is specifications just stating the max operating altitude. It is saying that the Phantom can't take off or fly properly 6000m above sea level. I think DJI have tested the props+motors and may think the air is too thin to fly there.
Just remember that the P3 has an altimeter/barometer sensor that measures the altitude above sea level and it would know when you are above 6000m.  
2015-12-1
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aburkefl
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AG0N-Gary Posted at 2015-12-1 18:17
Sploodge -

The statement "You are solely responsible and liable for the operation of the aircraft  ...

If you alter the settings to more than 400 feet (in the U.S.) you are accepting full responsibility.

If you enter numbers equivalent to 400 feet or less (the entry actually has to be in meters regardless of your settings) you don't see that message at all. You *only* see the message if you enter a number equivalent to greater than 400 feet. *Then* you have to agree that flying it is *your* responsibility.
2015-12-1
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DJI-Tim
DJI team

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well, that is right, in fact you can fly higher by just accepting the note. It's like a car, you allowed to drive 80 mph but if you drive faster it's your responsibility, but not a car factory's .
same here FAA allows you to fly 400ft high, but if your flying higher, it's your responsibility, but not a DJI's
2015-12-1
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Rebel
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2015-12-1
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Rebel
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2015-12-1
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pi-inthesky
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AGON dont take the bait mate its just another unwanted remark the forum can do without from this guy .Some say ITS BETTER TO BE THOUGHT AN IDIOT THEN OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND REMOVE ALL DOUBT
2015-12-1
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Kyokushin
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aburkefl@gmail. Posted at 2015-12-2 02:15
I believe that will happen eventually. If DJI wants to help the FAA (or other, foreign entities) t ...

Yes. And we need to have eyes open.
2015-12-1
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Kyokushin
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DJI-Tim Posted at 2015-12-2 03:12
well, that is right, in fact you can fly higher by just accepting the note. It's like a car, you all ...

The same is in a no-fly zone or any other case.

Only UAV operator is always responslible, not manufacturer. Operator is obligated to follow a local air law.
2015-12-1
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jdpeagle
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New to this board, but this is the "umpteenth" time I've read something about someone(s) wanting to fly over 400 feet AGL in the U.S. NAS.  Out of curiosity, why do you want to go over 400'?  Unless you have explicit approval from the controlling authority (center or FAA), filed and published a NOTAM, and ensured that you are able to meet the "see and avoid" standards of VFR flight, it is illegal (and as the aircraft's PIC, it is irrelevant what verbiage/disclaimer is flashed on a screen/app).

Not meaning to start an argument or "debate of morality," I am sincerely curious as to why you would want to knowingly do this (with or without the permission of an app).

(FYI - I am a licensed commercial pilot in both fixed and rotor wing manned aircraft.  I am also a §333 exempt commercial UAS operator working in the film and agricultural industries)

Safe flying!

2015-12-6
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labroides
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jdpeagle Posted at 2015-12-7 14:30
New to this board, but this is the "umpteenth" time I've read something about someone(s) wanting to  ...

A few possible (legitimate) reasons ...
Not everyone is in the USA
Not all land is level - there are lots of places where you can go higher than 400 ft above launch point without exceeding 400 ft AGL.
2015-12-6
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Phantom Menace
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jdpeagle Posted at 2015-12-6 22:30
New to this board, but this is the "umpteenth" time I've read something about someone(s) wanting to  ...

I want to fly over 400 feet because I live in the mountains. I like to start at the base of the mountain and fly over the peak. At no time during my flight will I be more than 400 feet over the ground that is directly below my Phantom, but I will be way more than 400 feet above the point I took off from.

The new firmware does include an altitude restriction of 500m (1650 feet) that wasn't there before. The DJI app did have that restriction, but third party apps like Ultimate Flight and Litchi did not. Since the latest release of the firmware (ver. 1.5.XXXX) this restriction was added to the firmware forcing all third party apps to adopt this restriction.

You are probably saying, "Who the hell needs to fly higher than 1650 feet?". Again, I do and for the same reason. Many mountains in my area are well over 3000 feet, which means that using the new firmware, I would not be able to fly more than halfway up.

I have resisted upgrading for this reason (and others that are not related to this thread). I can easily fly in my area over 3000 feet in altitude and never be out of compliance with a single FAA regulation.

Hopefully, that will answer your question.
2015-12-7
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Kneepuck
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Phantom Menace Posted at 2015-12-7 11:30
I want to fly over 400 feet because I live in the mountains. I like to start at the base of the mo ...

No need to worry on that score. I live at 3900 feet and regularly fly 800 to 1000 feet above that. No problems.
2015-12-7
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DJI-Ken
DJI team
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Hello,
The previous firmware was also restricted to 500m AGL, so the new firmware did not change that restriction. It's restricted to 500m AGL from your home point. So if you take off and fly over a cliff technically your AGL will be whatever the height from your Phantom to the bottom of the cliff would be but your Phantom will still fly the same.
2015-12-7
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jackamick
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Phantom Menace Posted at 2015-12-7 14:30
I want to fly over 400 feet because I live in the mountains. I like to start at the base of the mo ...

You could start at the top instead?
2015-12-7
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Phantom Menace
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2015-12-7 15:54
Hello,
The previous firmware was also restricted to 500m AGL, so the new firmware did not change tha ...

That's not exactly the case. The DJI app limited you to 500m, not the firmware. Now, with ver. 1.5.XXX the firmware limits you. To people who have always been using the DJI app, nothing changes. To people like me who use third party apps like Litchi, it's a brand new restriction that wasn't there before.
2015-12-8
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DJI-Ken
DJI team
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I see what your saying, I've only used the GO app so I don't know about the others.
2015-12-8
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[RCG]Balthazar
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jdpeagle Posted at 2015-12-7 04:30
New to this board, but this is the "umpteenth" time I've read something about someone(s) wanting to  ...

Above takeoff point is ok as long as youre standing on top of things like I did here:



If youre staning in the valley below or similar it's gonna take some altitude to get in any plane's way..

2015-12-8
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PolakPola
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[RCG]Balthazar Posted at 2015-12-8 17:34
Above takeoff point is ok as long as youre standing on top of things like I did here:

Straumshorn ...

Beautiful place to takeoff. How did you get up there?
2015-12-8
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[RCG]Balthazar
Second Officer
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A couple hours "walking" from the valley below to (little light green patch to the far left on the preview pic)


More pics from that trip on my Phantom Blog

straumshorn_fpv.jpg
2015-12-8
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Barney Rubbel
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sploodge Posted at 2015-12-1 08:44
The "drone" community would be a buzz if this firmware added a 120m ceiling to the P3 ( even inspire ...

Yeah, no kidding. My knickers would twist up pretty bad if they limited me to 350'. I rarely fly over 50', but there are times where you need to fly higher than the "suggested" 400' to get a shot, but it would still be safe because no airplane could possibly fly there. Until mine starts having issues, however, I will not change firmware on any of it. I've been down that road with my P2V+. It flies excellent the way it is so I'm going to leave it that way.

Barney
2015-12-8
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angelpilot4u
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That is not what this means. That means that the aircraft max altitude of 6000meters is defined by a take of and a climb to 120 meters after that, 6120 meter is then the maximum altitude the hardware can handle, this statement from DJI should be completed with standard pressure settings and temperature also as they will affect directly this limitation.

Philippe jogjasky.com
2016-5-28
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Mark Weiss
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United States
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Thanks for the heads up. No more firmware updates for me. I do not appreciate DJI crippling MY property.
2018-11-5
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RedHotPoker
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Canada
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Mark Weiss Posted at 11-5 11:29
Thanks for the heads up. No more firmware updates for me. I do not appreciate DJI crippling MY property.

How about bringing up more current posts, or starting a new one? ;-)

These old click bait threads are hilarious.

It’s 2018, nearly 2019, I still fly up, out of sight, less my Lume Cubes to help keep me focused...  ha

You guys need to get a new hobby. Aside from RC, take a break once, every so often.  All wound up.


RedHotPoker
2018-11-5
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