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iOS Device Overheat, How to Overcome It?
3082 24 2017-6-12
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Henry M.Y.
First Officer
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Hong Kong
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Hi Folks,

With the approaching of the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere, my iOS device (an iPhone 6s) running DJI GO4 completely shut itself down when i flew my Mavic Pro in mid-day on yesterday. With only a black screen with a thermometer / warning words remained, all live video stream and flight telementary disappeared. I was shocked, and was lucky because my Mavic Pro was within sight. I waited and let the device cool itself down, restart the device and set off my Mavic Pro, and again the iOS device overheated again. The ambient temperature here in HK was 34 deg C (93 deg F) in these few days. I wondered how I could have brought it back with only the flight telementary on remote controller if it were out of sight instead!

Have you Fellow Pilots encountered the same situation before? What measures should I take to overcome device overheating problem? I hope I do not have to ground my Mavic throughout summer here.

Thanks in advance.

Henry
2017-6-12
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Xman1
Second Officer

United States
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Never had your problem, but this is a good scenario to understand how to fly home without your phone on.  

Emergency procedure if out of VLOS is to climb to max alt (400 ft), then start forward travel, then rotate the drone until the distance starts counting down the fastest.  Maintain this until the drone comes into visual line of sight.

Keep that in the back of your head in the event it happens in a more inconvenient spot.

If all else fails, you can try the automated return to home, but I prefer to maintain control as the RTH may have issues with objects that don't exist, and I have seen it travel really slowly before as well.
2017-6-12
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Henry M.Y.
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Xman1 Posted at 2017-6-12 07:37
Never had your problem, but this is a good scenario to understand how to fly home without your phone on.  

Emergency procedure if out of VLOS is to climb to max alt (400 ft), then start forward travel, then rotate the drone until the distance starts counting down the fastest.  Maintain this until the drone comes into visual line of sight.

Thank you, Xman1.

That would be the way to go in windless condition in case of device shut down due to overheating. When wind is factored in, it would be a little complicating to determine the correct home-coming orientation by this method.

But is there a way to avoid device overheating? Will shading of device from the sun by some kind of shade, e.g. Mavic Remote Controller Monitor Hood, sufficient to prevent device from overheating?

Henry



2017-6-12
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Heavysledz
Second Officer
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United States
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Was your phone in direct sunlight? If so, consider using a sunshade of some sort to help keep the direct sun off of it....but the main issue is you are taxing the processing power of the phone very hard while running the Go4 app....so it may be unavoidable with your current platform. You may want to consider upgrading to something a bit more powerful that will not be running at or near it's full capacity which should result in less heat generated.
2017-6-12
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Xman1
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United States
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Henry M.Y. Posted at 2017-6-12 07:42
Thank you, Xman1.

That would be the way to go in case of device shut down due to overheating. But is there a way to avoid device overheating? Will shading of device from the sun by some kind of shade, e.g. Mavic Remote Controller Monitor Hood, sufficient to prevent device from overheating?

I run android and I haven't had the issue, but my wife insist on having iPhones, and I have seen only her iPhone 5 do this just by being put down in the open sun for a bit.  She had to wait for it to cool off before she could use it again and it wasn't in the sun for very long.

She has an iPhone 7 Plus now and I have yet to see this one shut down due to heat but I have not seen it set down in the sun yet either.

So it looks like both 5 and 6 have a heat issue with the sun, but jury is still out on 7.

Possible solution - get a sun shade.

Edit:  Just an FYI - My Android gets warm running the Go App, but I haven't seen it get hot.

One other thing to try - Shut down all background tasks when running the app.  You don't want anything additional causing additional heat.
2017-6-12
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Nikon 1
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United States
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Or, carry a freezer pack in a cooler and placing the freezer pack against the back of the iPhone.  I think the sunshade would greatly help, but the ice pack might save the day.

Thanks @ Henry M.Y. For this post.  Will definitely keep this in mind as summer has hit here in the Northern Continentals.
2017-6-12
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Henry M.Y.
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Heavysledz Posted at 2017-6-12 07:45
Was your phone in direct sunlight? If so, consider using a sunshade of some sort to help keep the direct sun off of it....but the main issue is you are taxing the processing power of the phone very hard while running the Go4 app....so it may be unavoidable with your current platform. You may want to consider upgrading to something a bit more powerful that will not be running at or near it's full capacity which should result in less heat generated.

Thank you, Heavysledz.

It seems to me the demanding DJI GO4 was taxing too much processing power from my iOS device. The way I chose displaying hybrid satellite map which was continuously grabbing 4G data could have worsen the situation.

I may have to add shade as you suggested, and cache map in advance, to see if situation can be improved.

Thanks.

Henry
2017-6-12
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Henry M.Y.
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Nikon 1 Posted at 2017-6-12 07:54
Or, carry a freezer pack in a cooler and placing the freezer pack against the back of the iPhone.  I think the sunshade would greatly help, but the ice pack might save the day.

Thanks @ Henry M.Y. For this post.  Will definitely keep this in mind as summer has hit here in the Northern Continentals.

Excellent suggestion - ice pack! Thank you so much, Nikon 1.

I often brought ice pack with me inside an ice bag with cold drinks when out in summer. I just need to dump in a smaller ice pack (those for fever-relieve) and it will be fine for a day's flight! Had never thought about this in helping to cool my iPhone 6s.

A big thank you, Nikon 1.

Henry
2017-6-12
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Ex Machina
Captain
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United States
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Henry M.Y. Posted at 2017-6-12 07:56
Thank you, Heavysledz.

It seems to me the demanding DJI GO4 was taxing too much processing power from my iOS device. The way I chose displaying hybrid satellite map which was continuously grabbing 4G data could have worsen the situation.

This is a good heads up as the weather warms in my part of the world, glad you got it back and thanks for sharing. If you think it's safe to do so, initiating RTH on the RC should take care of things, but Xman's advice on watching the distance counter is a really good technique.

Fwiw, I think it's unlikely that your processor itself was being overtaxed, more likely that you had the brightness of the LCD turned all the way up and then were in direct sunlight for an extended period of time. That LCD requires a lot of juice and heats up very quickly, probably the battery is also heating up while discharging faster than normal.

This used to happen with my iPhone 4 all the time on hot summer days, running the GPS for geocaching and having the phone sit in direct sun in a dash holder with the top down. And yeah, a black phone in direct sun heats up super quickly, even when not powered-on! On really hot days I now take the phone off the dash when there's direct sun.

As for the radio, I know in areas where signal is poor, the radio will work harder, which depletes the battery faster and might also cause some additional heat. I often switch to airplane mode to extend my phone's battery life.
2017-6-12
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Henry M.Y.
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Ex Machina Posted at 2017-6-12 08:43
This is a good heads up as the weather warms in my part of the world, glad you got it back and thanks for sharing. If you think it's safe to do so, initiating RTH on the RC should take care of things, but Xman's advice on watching the distance counter is a really good technique.

Fwiw, I think it's unlikely that your processor itself was being overtaxed, more likely that you had the brightness of the LCD turned all the way up and then were in direct sunlight for an extended period of time. That LCD requires a lot of juice and heats up very quickly, probably the battery is also heating up while discharging faster than normal.

Thank you, Ex Machina.

It seems adding shade, tuning down LCD brightness, caching map in advance, closing background apps and ultimately attaching an ice-pack will be the way to go in summer time.

Henry
2017-6-12
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GIdoc
lvl.2
United States
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Henry.. this just happened to me... yes, scary when screen went black with big temperature warning.  Thank God drone was close to me.
Iphone 6 with 128g.

Xman1... can you explain that procedure again?  I'm a newbie. Thanks.
2017-7-4
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UCBarkeeper
lvl.4
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Switzerland
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are you guys using a case for the iphone? if yes, don't.
2017-7-4
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MARSAN
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Flight distance : 966978 ft
Belgium
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Gee, 34°C ambient temperature is pretty hot to fly a drone.
I flew my Mavic in a similar temperature and its battery heated up to just under 65°C. That's too hot for me!

For your iPhone, I would suggest that you make sure that only DJI GO 4 is running, turn off Wi-Fi and the cellphone, i.e. put it into fly mode - after all, you're flying, aren't you... -, and don't put your hands around the phone.
2017-7-5
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fanscdfb5121
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United States
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I have a similar issue with my iPhone 7+

I have never had the phone turn off but while flying the iPhone gets very hot. I can only get about 2 flights in before it's too hot to touch. Average summer temp here in Texas is mid 90s even at night.
2017-7-5
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Henry M.Y.
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GIdoc Posted at 2017-7-4 13:02
Henry.. this just happened to me... yes, scary when screen went black with big temperature warning.  Thank God drone was close to me.
Iphone 6 with 128g.

Hi Gldoc,

Advice from Xman1 from his replying post #2:-

"Emergency procedure if out of VLOS is to climb to max alt (400 ft), then start forward travel, then rotate the drone until the distance starts counting down the fastest.  Maintain this until the drone comes into visual line of sight.

Keep that in the back of your head in the event it happens in a more inconvenient spot.

If all else fails, you can try the automated return to home, but I prefer to maintain control as the RTH may have issues with objects that don't exist, and I have seen it travel really slowly before as well."

Hope this help.

Henry
2017-7-5
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GIdoc
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Henry M.Y. Posted at 2017-7-5 05:44
Hi Gldoc,

Advice from Xman1 from his replying post #2:-

Thanks Henry.  I just don't exactly know what this means:  Emergency procedure if out of VLOS is to climb to max alt (400 ft), then start forward travel, then rotate the drone until the distance starts counting down the fastest.  Maintain this until the drone comes into visual line of sight.

So if out of sight... climb to 400ft.  Then I'm lost... what the rest of that means?  Rotate drone until distance starts counting down? What does that mean exactly?  
Thanks.
2017-7-5
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Juanreta_garcia
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Spain
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Xman1 Posted at 2017-6-12 07:37
Never had your problem, but this is a good scenario to understand how to fly home without your phone on.  

Emergency procedure if out of VLOS is to climb to max alt (400 ft), then start forward travel, then rotate the drone until the distance starts counting down the fastest.  Maintain this until the drone comes into visual line of sight.

Great advice!!!

"Emergency procedure if out of VLOS is to climb to max alt (400 ft), then start forward travel, then rotate the drone until the distance starts counting down the fastest.  Maintain this until the drone comes into visual line of sight."
2017-7-5
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Henry M.Y.
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GIdoc Posted at 2017-7-5 10:59
Thanks Henry.  I just don't exactly know what this means:  Emergency procedure if out of VLOS is to climb to max alt (400 ft), then start forward travel, then rotate the drone until the distance starts counting down the fastest.  Maintain this until the drone comes into visual line of sight.

So if out of sight... climb to 400ft.  Then I'm lost... what the rest of that means?  Rotate drone until distance starts counting down? What does that mean exactly?  

What Xman1 suggested was when you don't have any video downlink nor any flight telemetry to read on your device, you will still have telemetry to read on your RC, and you can judge the aircraft's orientation with respect to you even though it is beyond line of sight by flying the aircraft in circle and carefully analysing the change in distance figure shown on RC - if it is counting down, it is flying closer to you, i.e. heading back to you.

Henry
2017-7-5
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GIdoc
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Henry M.Y. Posted at 2017-7-5 15:12
What Xman1 suggested was when you don't have any video downlink nor any flight telemetry to read on your device, you will still have telemetry to read on your RC, and you can judge the aircraft's orientation with respect to you even though it is beyond line of sight by flying the aircraft in circle and carefully analysing the change in distance figure shown on RC - if it is counting down, it is flying closer to you, i.e. heading back to you.

Henry

Maybe you are talking about Mavic?  I have Spark... nothing to read on RC right? Thanks again.
2017-7-6
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alinajetly
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India
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Working full of DJI GO4 running my iOS device (an iPhone 7) Then I updated the 11 IOS on the iOS, after that, my iPhone's temperature looked hotter. then I was searching on Google and got a useful solution (https://www.howtoisolve.com/ios-11-overheating-on-iphone/)
2017-9-1
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Gregbella
Captain
Australia
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As you can see I'm in NSW Australia it gets bloody hot here. Have never had my iPhone 6 get hot
Or overheat but I don't have it in any type of cover
2017-9-1
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R&L Aerial
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Use a third party app like" litchi" to control your quad, your device will run cooler...
2017-9-1
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paraviz02
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United States
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Did any of you have issues with iOS overheating prior to June firmwares?

On our Inspire 2, everything was just fine until we updated to the June 2017 firmware. After that, iOS device overheats extremely quickly and video feed becomes complete garbage.

And we had just purchased a new iPad mini 4 specifically for flying, which worked perfectly ... and now it struggles like a first generation iPhone. No other apps cause this type of behavior.

I am curious if you all have noticed this same change on Mavic?
2017-9-1
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Flying for Fun
lvl.1
United States
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Oh yes! Down on vacation in Turks and Caicos. Drone out about 3/4mi. Iphone 7plus connected. Error of overheating. Cooled down twice via ice bag, tried of waiting since we had limited time on island. Dipped extremely hot phone into water..... BAD IDEA! Never survived. Inside melted. Apple Care not honored (4mo old phone). Lost cause. This is an issue. Not sure it is a DJI or iphone issue. Beware!
2017-9-23
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UAVTom
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Wow, I've not heard of that issue.  Do you have any other apps running in the background that may result in too much load on the CPU.   Check what apps you have running, or you can just trade that wimpy iPhone for an 2.5 Ghz octa-core processor Android powerhouse .  That will solve your problem.   
2017-9-23
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