I am having a new home built on a good sized lot (2.5 acres). I had the great idea that I would like to take picture as the construction progressed. First the thought was just stills, the still aerials, and after investigating drones…Videos. As of today the foundation framing, the plumbing rough-in are done and shortly the foundation pour should take place next week.
I feel as if I am in a house of mirrors. I started with DJI knowing that still photos and videos were needed. A GPS & waypoint execcution. Alone the way I would the flylitchi hub and it seemed perfect. Not knowing that there were unbelievable number of dependancies between which drone model, which controller, which mobile device (Android, iOS)…
Off I go. Buying a Mini 3 Pro with the RC controller. Strike one. No third party app support for the controller, No iOS support. No way to build exact waypoints by Lat/Lon with DJI software. Return the Mini Pro. But not after purchasing Litchi app for iOS.
Next, Purchase a Mini 4 Pro locally (time is running out) with RC controller Mostly the same problems as above. Thinking too much, I buy another Mini 4 Pro with the RC-N2 controller hoping that with an Android controller would make the Litchi hub work. I also ordered an Amazon Fire HD 10 I’m an Apple guy and it hurt to buy Android but I want this to work, sacrifices have to be made. BTW, This was the only way to get the RC-N2. Oh purchased another copy of the litchi app for the fire.
Now I can’t get the RC-N2 with the Fire to connect to the Mini 4 pro. I can load the plan and it is exactly as I want.
I can return all of this (except the software) If I need to move to a different drone and having invested close to 2 grand, I’m not attempting to find a cheap solution just one that will work and that I get working fast before the opportunity is gone.
I would greatly appreciate any advise that can be given.
I understand your frustration not being able to accomplish what you visualize. And time does not seem to be on your side.
Here is a website put together by one of the forum members here that will provide some information as to which DJI models are compatible with Litchi. The reason that some models are not supported by Litchi is because of DJI’s decision (or procrastination) to release a Software Development Kit (SDK) for those models. The SDK is a set of commands that 3rd party vendors (Litchi, DroneDeploy, etc) can use to write programs that will control the actions of a drone.
Here is the info:
Right now, the main items for you to pay attention to are:
Drone Model and Litchi Support
The ‘Beta’ version that is mention on that website is in development, but it hasnt been released as of yet. It has a number of users that are permitted to use and test the Litchi version and provide feedback. There arent available slots for new Beta testers, just to let you know.
It is not completely fair to assume I did not look hard and long. I spent hours in research, how do you think I found the flylitchi hub and the Android/iOS litchi apps?
I could not find any clear info on what works with what. The DJI product names are extremely confusing and it seems to me that DJI spends their time and $ on flashy marketing vs clear and consistent product documentation. Forward and backward product compatibility appears to be non-existent.
I have worked in what is now call IT for over 52 years, first with IBM and 15 years at Apple and the remainder at Lockheed Martin Space. That is maybe why I have ‘trust but verify’ in my DNA. So, get it test it like you would fly and if it doesn’t function send it back.
I wish I would have known to take your advice, which I have now done that and since getting the info I needed from Sam_G I have ordered an open box DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone on Ebay & I have more Apple gear than 10 people need. I may keep the Mini 4 Pro with the Android/iOS controller because the still and video quality is outstanding.
It is just unfortunate that DJI has limited (not supporting them with SDK access) the newer drones and third parties like Litchi and stuck with the mess this makes.
For automated flight, the best DJI drones would be either a Mavic 2 Pro which is the last DJI drone that is compatible with Litchi AND capable of fully autonomous flight beyond the range of the RC controller, or a Mavic 3 which flies autonomously under the control of DJI’s proprietary waypoint mission facility.
Since price tags are enviably of little or no concern to you, I would recommend the Mavic 3, which runs about $1,600 USD new, while a used Mavic 2 Pro sells for about $1K. This bud’s fer you sir.
John, I was in the same boat, had not ordered but I did end up getting Mavic 2 Pro off of eBay. The story ends well thanks to Sam & Tribar and ultimately DJI support, but the drone I got had a problem with the gimbal. I bought it for $850, but it came with 4 batteries, and extra remote and a bunch of accessories. I was really disappointed when the gimbal started having problems, but the seller gave me $200 refund and DJI ended up replacing the drone for $254. It was gone for total of 5 days, DJI communicated by email and website every step of the repair, and it was a different serial number bird they sent back. I read semi-nightmare stories about DJI support on their forum and website, was scared to death to send it in, but gladly saw Tri bar reply here and send it off. All their pricing is straightforward and listed on the site for repair. Hopefully you won’t need it, I’m really enjoying using Litchi with Mavic pro 2.
According to the page by Wes Barris the Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom is the newest DJI drone that has all of the boxes check. The VSC column for the newer drones seemed like a band-aid but I don’t know that. Besides I found an open box never used Mavic 2 Pro on Ebay that took only two work days to receive and I could not be more delighted. I flew my first mission and it worked exactly as I wanted.
I think you have probably gotten the problem solved now, but just to let you know…
I bought a DJI Mini 2 with the RC-1 and it works beautifully with Litchi. I bought a Phantom 3 Professional about 6 years ago and found Litchi and fell in love with it. Mostly for the waypoint features like you did.
I am using my original purchase of Litchi with my Mini 2. I also bought a Mini 3 Pro with the original RC controller with the hope that Litchi would release an update to work with the Mini 3 Pro. I knew I would have to use my RC-1 controller (or buy an additional one) to use Litchi with the Mini 3 Pro, because the all in one RC controllers will not work with an external program. It looks like I will have to buy the Pilot version AND an Android device to control it – if and when they release it – for the Mini 3 Pro. I bought the RC controller with its built in screen, because it was a “all in one” solution. I knew that the RC controller would not run an external program like Litchi or Litchi Pilot, but i wanted to try the all in one solution. It looks like I will probably have to keep both the DJI Mini 2 and DJI Mini 3 Pro to experience the features of obstacle avoidance AND Litchi.
Speaking of obstacle avoidance, I found that I had to disable those features on my Mavic Pro and Mavic 2 Pro in order for the drone to attain the cruising speed of 27mph which is crucial for maximizing distance covered during Litchi waypoint missions.
On the rare occasion, I forgot to disable obstacle avoidance when launching my drones on autonomous waypoint missions but then noticed that the Mavics’ cruising speed maxed out at about 21 mph despite my setting it to 27 mph in Litchi. This of course resulted in aborted waypoint missions and reduced range.
DJI has stated numerous times that no future sdks are planned for any current or future consumer drones; future sdks will only be issued for their Enterprise drones, and only in android; no longer any ios sdks in the future.