Just for Fun

Pond south of JD's home

JD sent his DJI Air 3 on a Waypoint Mission to the pond south of his home this morning. The mission was planned on the RC-2 controller unconnected to the aircraft using the GPS map. The center of the pond was marked as the point of interest to which waypoints 2, 3, and 4 were linked so the Air 3 would point its camera and tilt its gimbal in that direction when it arrived at the pond. Altitude for most of the flight was set to about 360 feet, dropping down to 164 feet at the last waypoint just across the street from the takeoff home point. The mission was set to automatically return to home and land upon completion. It would also return home if it lost the control signal for any longer than a few seconds. 4K video, with an HD overlay of the controller's FPV video. Edited with Cyberlink PowerDirector 365, which also provided the music.

JD has flown his Yuneec Typhoon H and Autel Robotics EVO II 6K Pro drones over the cell tower off O'Neal Lane near Magnolia Parkway on Baton Rouge. It was time to try the DJI Air 3. It's always a little scary to fly an untried drone in a high RF environment. But all three drones have now been tried and have proved to handle it well. We used the Spotlight mode to perform a few orbits of the cell tower in both Normal and Cine flight modes. We found no big birds resting atop the tower this time. 4K video.

JD and his drone haven't been out to Grassy Lake in a while. It's a nice-looking development off South Harrell's Ferry Road in Baton Rouge. Multiple little lakes, complete with fish, ducks, and birds swooping past. Aeration fountains in the lakes make good targets for Spotlight tracking with the DJI Air 3. 4K video. ND16 filter.

Another run of JD's DJI Air 3 (#3) using Cruise Control. To Lake Shadow, St. Michael's HS, and s pasture in Baton Rouge's Shenandoah subdivision (now part of the new City of St. George, LA). 4K video.

Here's the second flight of JD's DJI Air 3 #3. Two objectives for this test: (1) try out Cruise Control; (2) check Return to Home landing accuracy. Verdict: Cruise Control is nice. Customized a back button to toggle it on and off. Tried two different speed: 4 mph and 21 mph. The auto-landing was dead on this time. It missed by a foot and a half the first time. No compass calibration performed either time. Air 3 #3 looks good so far! 4K video, edited with Cyberlink PowerDirector 365, which also furnished the music.

JD stepped on his #1 Air 3, crashed his #2 Air 3 on its first flight, and now flies Air 3 #3, his third, on its first flight. Narration for this video tells all the stories. And you can watch what happened to #2 in the next video below. If there ever was a case for buying DJI Care Refresh, this is it!

JD's DJI Air 3 #2 didn't last long. He crashed it into a river birch on its maiden test flight, putting too much faith in the craft's obstacle avoidance capability. It thought it could navigate through the heart of the foliage, but it gave up and alerted JD that the space was too narrow. By the time he got around to the stopped drone's side of the tree, a wind gust blew a branch into one of the props, sending the Air 3 tumbling to the ground. The prop was damaged, and so was the camera gimbal, permanently stuck and inoperative.

The DJI Care Refresh program is a wonderful thing. JD's first Air 3 flew just fine for neaarly 7 months until he accidentally stepped on it and cracked a propeller arm. In four days, he had this replacement, which, unfortunately, didn't complete its first flight.

JD now has a second replacement Air 3 (#3) which he has yet to test. That test will likely not involve this particular river birch. As fellow YouTube drone pilot Ken Heron is wont to say, "Trees are dicks!" Stay tuned!

JD did something stupid with his DJI Air 3 drone: he accidentally stepped on it while it was in its carry case on the floor. Oops! Fortunately, he had DJI Care Refresh coverage and DJI cross-shipped him a new Air 3 while JD returned the broken one with a cracked propeller arm.

This created an opportunity to fly the old Autel Robotics EVO II V2 Pro and try out the new firmware and Autel Explorer V2 app. The app has several new features, including Coordinate Turns for Waypoint Missions. Before, the drone had to stop at each waypoint and turn to the new heading. Now, the pilot can set a turn radius at each waypoint and the drone flies the whole mission continuously, pausing only if programmed to hover at a waypoint.

This video is a brief demo of the new capability. Turn radii were set to 50 feet for a flight around a rather large block with curving streets. EVO flew it perfectly , landing accurately where it took off. The mission was planned on an iPhone with the Explorer V2 App by tapping waypoints onto the map, setting the altitude (120 feet) and turn radius for each. The aircraft did not need to be turned on or connected.

This mission used:
Firmware: 2.4.43 for V2 Standard RC
Control App: V2.0.21 for iOS - Autel Explorer V2

© 2024 - J. Douglas, JDtheDJ.com