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Firmware 1.4 Assessment: Waypoints

Discussion in 'News' started by Mopar Bob, Sep 7, 2015.

  1. Mopar Bob

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    You know the saying: the early Christians get the hungry lions? Well the lions must have been well fed because I flew the 1.4 firmware without any significant issues. Normally I hold off on testing new upgrades, but I was really interested in the waypoint feature. Here is my assessment:

    I tested both the home lock and waypoint features. In both cases the Inspire flew in a really jerky fashion with overly quick stops and abrupt turns. I checked the gain controls and found everything had been reset to 100%. So I lowered them and things got a bit better, but there is still room for improvement there. The home lock worked just like the P2 but the startup is different. It’s not just a simple switch setting but rather a switch setting followed by some on-screen tapping. But I am sure we will get used to it after using the feature more often. Canceling home lock is like the P2 in that you just return the switch to the P setting.

    I put the waypoint feature through its paces and found it works quite well. I know there are a lot of Inspire users that are complaining about the fact that you have to fly the mission in order to record it. Everyone is different with different needs, but this man’s opinion is, it works very smoothly. Yes, you have to fly the route to record it, but all you do is press the C1 button every time you want to record a waypoint. It couldn’t be much simpler in my opinion. Furthermore, I like the idea that I need to fly the mission first because it lets me focus on the flying as I would under normal flying conditions. It then records the altitude you are currently flying, or you can change it if you desire. Once the initial route is recorded, the mission is flown. The Inspire automatically saves the 3 most current missions, but you can force it to save any mission for the future.

    There are two features of this implementation of the waypoints that are superior to the P2. First, you can record the mission and re-fly it any time in the future. Second, you can now control the camera pan and tilt as the mission is flown. There are a couple things I did not like about it: First, if you select a waypoint, then yaw, then fly to the next waypoint, that yaw doesn’t happen like it did on the initial flight. It uses the length of the new leg of the mission to make that yaw. So, if you yaw 90 degrees hovering in one spot, that 90 degree yaw happens over the length of the next leg during playback. And like the P2, altitude changes work the same way. So, if I change my altitude by 100 feet while hovering in one spot, that 100 feet is actually changed over the course of the next waypoint leg. Perhaps in the future, DJI will have an option to do either operation while in a hover or in transit. Meanwhile, it’s the kind of thing you can easily adjust to when you make your filming pass. The second thing I did not like is the fact that the mission just recorded automatically started replay as soon as I completed recording the mission. Now, I would rather have it record as a finite step and playback as another finite step. That said, it could have been something I did without knowing it that caused the instant replay.

    Bottom line is I like it. When I flew the P2, the waypoint function was just a toy. Nice to have to show off the capability of the craft. With the Inspire, it will become very useful for those that see a need to replay a mission over and over.
     
    jon b and Midnightrider like this.
  2. Bham Jack

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    Could you not record two waypoints at same x=y to get the hover ascent or descent affect?
     
  3. Scotflieger

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    Hi Bob
    I am glad you liked the waypoint mode and thank you for the write up. The point you made regarding the application of yaw and height changes over the course between 2 waypoints. It took me some time to work out how it was designed to work. What I found is that if you want a step change in height or direction you need to place 2 waypoints near each other and the changes will take place over a shorter distance. For example, I have power lines across the fields I train over. I found I could fly part of the route at low level on one side finishing in a safe position. I then set another waypoint at a height to pass safely over the lines to another of equal height on the other side and then drop a short distance to a third waypoint at a working height on the far side of the line.
     
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  4. Mopar Bob

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    Yes, I will try that. It seems like a reasonable solution.
     
  5. Farnk666

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    I upgraded and put the Inspire through my usual post firmware change shakedown test today.
    Flew a couple of batteries in standard flight, then used a third to explore POI and waypoints.

    Have to say that the implementation of waypoints is underwhelming - putting aside the need to manually capture them, no tasking at or between waypoints makes them pretty much useless. Why bother setting an autonomous Nav course if you have to manually operate the camera en route?

    The April announcement stated: "Plan and execute autonomous flight paths by telling your Inspire 1 where to go and what to do at up to 100 points on a map." Whilst we can tell the inspire where to go - we are unable to tell it what to do at any point on a waypoint flight.
     
  6. Scotflieger

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    @Farnk666 I would not believe everything the marketers claim. The reality of implementing the latest updates may have been curtailed by the perceived risk in the growing anti-drone clammer from the media and regulators.

    I too am disappointed by some of the implemented features and would like to see improvements like tapping the map to define the POI target (because you cannot always overfly the point) and the need to name and modify (position/height/direction) waypoints.
     
  7. Farnk666

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    That's a furphy Scot - no such issue exists for 3DR, Walkera, Parrot, et al who sell many units into California, just as DJI does. This is DJI marketing spin. They overpromised at launch and couldn't deliver, gave themselves a few months to catchup but were unable to make it work. So now we have this 'feature' that is as useful and relevant to productive flight ops with the Inspire as the DJI Director and Youtube live streaming.

    The quality issues with the last few firmware releases, cutback of radio channels (effectively killing video feed to the slave controller) and the debacle that is DJI GO all point to a lack of basic engineering capability.

    I'll just keep flying manually, maybe use POI once in a while and keep the occasional eye open for a decent flight planning and Nav solution from a 3rd Party.

    Fly safe everyone.
     
  8. JoeyJoe

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    No, never heard that saying but it’s quite disturbing that you would openly/jokingly mock the suffering of another human being.
    Beyond that, thanks for your tests with the new FW and features.
     
  9. Mopar Bob

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    I am not mocking or joking about anyone's suffering. What's disturbing is that anyone would get upset over such a mondane comment!
     
    Maurice likes this.
  10. steelkite

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    :laughing:
     
  11. Mopar Bob

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    I tried this today for the yaw change and found it didn't work when the 2 waypoint are close together. I was hoping that I could set a waypoint, yaw in place, then set another waypoint in the same spot. I guess there has to be enough length to the leg for the yaw to complete. I didn't try it with the altitude change yet.
     
  12. Scotflieger

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    No there is a minimum distance required between waypoints (5-6m rings a bell).