Pssst...don't tell anyone, but- sshhhh- I fly the NLD-patched DJI Go4

Discussion in 'Mavic Modifications (All Models)' started by Bruce, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. Bruce SNCO

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    No, not because I want to fly my Mavic at 30,000 feet AGL! No, not because I want exercise my "right" to fly any old place I want!

    I came to learn a long time ago that being an American came with a responsibility to live my life in a manner whereby I cared and looked out for others as much- if not more than- I looked out for myself. That is the "law" that I have written on my heart, and I truly do my best to act accordingly. I don't always obey the "letter" of the speed limit for example, but I ALWAYS obey the "spirit" of the speed limit as it relates to the safety of others and myself.

    All that to say, I fly the NLD-patched DJI Go 4 app simply because I do not need or desire DJI to write the "law" into my firmware that is already written on my heart. And I absolutely do not like the idea of DJI having the ability to monitor and modify my firmware at their pleasure. Plus I like the simplicity of how I can modify my parameters. And, finally, when I finally took the leap to modify to the NLD patch, I was stunned by how smoothly it works on my phone. When I first stated flying DJI Go 4, I was plagued with dropped signals and disconnect issues. I finally installed Litchi and I flew Litchi EXCLUSIVELY for several months until I tried the NLD app. Now I've been flying the NLD app exclusively and glitch free.

    BTW...this is NOT a "pitch" for NLD and, quite frankly, NLD is NOT for everyone for the same reason that there are laws. My point is simple: NLD is to the drone pilot as 760 horsepower is to the Corvette lover! There are wise men and there are fools in this world. We decide to play wisely or foolishly. And we remember that, in the end, it will be the LETTER of the law that convicts us when charged!
     
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  2. Modbuilder NCO

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    Hey Bruce -- A Litchi driver here as well as a NLD fan for MP and P4P firmware mods. Same reasons as you stated -- I don't want to have to play "Mother May I" when I want to fly. I guess the NLD flight app you're talking about is a NLD modified GO4 (?) Would be interested in what you like about it more than Litchi. Regards................ R
     
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  3. Bruce SNCO

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    Yes, it's the NLD-patched version of DJI Go.

    The reason I might have said I preferred the NLD-DJI Go App over Litchi is related to Flight Records rather than performance. Let me explain...

    When I first started flying MPP last year, I went through an agonizing period of frequent "Disconnect issues" which I related to the necessity of flying with an Android phone- after $1200 Fly Mor expense, no way "Momma" was gonna let spend another $xxx.00 for an iPhone LOL. I did a LOT of reading and learned the whys and how to fix the disconnect issues. One final issue remained and that was the SIZE of the DJI Go App and the phone resourses it required. Litchi was the BIGGEST part of the solution. When I began flying Litchi, my disconnect issues ALMOST completely vanished.

    Now I was having a NEW issue that has to do with Flight Records. I had a BIG event last September up in Christian County Kentucky when I had two consecutive flights in which I experienced the dreaded "TBE" (toilet bowl effect for the benefit any newdies).

    When I got back home to St. Augustine, I desperately wanted to find out what happened in my bird that caused the loss of GPS and subsequent ATTI mode and loss of control of the bird. It was NOT Controller signal disconnect...I had SOME control input to the bird but it was erratic, especially when the thing started its TBE.

    With the help of someone on the Forum, I was guided to locate and send Flight Record for analysis. I was informed that the data ended when the GPS signal dropped. They asked me for the V3 file...and I was unable to find ANY V3 files SINCE I'D BEGUN TO FLY LITCHI!

    I continued to fly Litchi, always fearful of an event in which the V3 data would have been crucial to solving a problem. Then NLD came along.

    When I completed the NLD Patched Go App, I still preferred flying Litchi because, by this time I'd come to trust the performance. (And ALWAYS love the Waypoints!!)...but I continued to be uncomfortable with the Flight Records issue. I flight tested the NLD-patched Go App- and was pleasantly surprised that, as I continued to fly it, I had rare incidents of disconnect, same as Litchi.

    Soooooo...a VERY long story to answer your question. I PREFER flying the NLD-Patched Go App because it saves those V3 files whereas Litchi does not.

    But, I prefer Litchi when I want to use Waypoints!

    BTW, my LAST Litchi Waypoint (early June) flight ended with a pretty serious signal-loss just after the start of the mission in which the bird was NOT responding to control inputs. I cancelled the mission and still had control issues until I hit RTH. I haven't flown Litchi since. No V3 data to be found. Flight data ended when signal loss started. I was VERY frustrated.
     
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  4. Modbuilder NCO

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    Hmmm......... I've flown a ton of Litchi, but all as WP missions. Never had a RC/Bird disconnect. Have had a few RC/iPad non-connects, but that was not a function of Litchi, and it always happened on startup so it was easily corrected. Have you been able to distinguish between a total RC/Bird disconnect as opposed to a loss of downlink versus control signal loss? Rough idea of distance when disconnect?
     
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  5. Bruce SNCO

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    RC/Bird disconnect bad news. Bird and RC lost contact with other; thus AC completely out of control, correct? Never had one of those.

    Loss of downlink is when the phone loses connection with RC. Not so disastrous; sometimes USB, sometimes something in phone drops the connection, sometimes witchcraft...hard to tell which sometimes.

    The incident which I wrote of was less than 1000 feet, very early in the Waypoint mission. The mission was running normally for the first 15-20 seconds when the AC just stopped and remained in a hover. Looked at the screen and saw "aircraft disconnected". I said something like "huh?" Since I had plenty of battery, was not in any panic, so I was very conscious of what was and what was not happening, and that made this flight incident a real mystery. The bird was ACTING like there was RC/Bird disconnect, as my stick inputs were being ignored, yet I had altitude readout on the RC, but no distance readout.

    This one really puzzled me because, once the AC is in Waypoint mode, it's totally autonomous.
     
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  6. Modbuilder NCO

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    Here's a thought. No idea if this is related to what you observed:
    -- I've had more than one Litchi WP mission get to a photo position and just stop and wait. It was seemingly "stuck" in the autonomous mission waiting for something to clear. Sometimes would self-correct, take the photo and move on, sometimes not. Various durations of stuck. When the flight would not self-correct, I had to switch in/out of Sport mode to exit the mission and then would re-acquire normal manual control. While it was "stuck", I had no control, because it was still in WP autonomous flight. Happened more than once.
    -- I did lots of trials trying to find out how to reproduce the problem. Never did prove a cause, but I did find a clue in the flight data. My programmed action steps at a WP were to WAIT 2 sec, then Take Picture. The flight data showed that the drone sometimes didn't think it achieved zero speed. All the WP's that achieved zero speed, proceeded as normal. All the ones that did not achieve zero indicated ground speed initially, would wait until the zero speed would be achieved, then take the photo and continue. If it didn't find zero, it wouldn't complete the step. The non-zero examples would have stopped at 1mph.
    -- I re-calibrated all the sensors and started calibrating the compass prior to each launch. The problem went away. Still don't know a root cause or even if I've corrected the issue.

    Your description could fit all this except for the lack of distance readout. One problem I've had when switching back and forth between Litchi and GO4 is that the telemetry readouts are in different places on the display. I've been known to look at one readout and think I was looking at the other.

    Repeat - no idea if this experience is related to your situation. Hope there's an idea in there somewhere that'll help. Regards............... R
     
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  7. Bruce SNCO

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    Wow...THAT'S interesting!

    What makes this interesting is that prior to this particular mission, I stayed in my "learning curve" and kept missions simple doing only video, staying at a constant altitude, and very minimal "actions". I'd grown confident in Litchi's performance by this time, and THIS mission was my most "complex".

    This was my FIRST mission that involved starting video, stopping video to take pictures, and changing altitudes to navigate around and over the Vilano Bridge crossing the Intercoastal.

    The point of the incidence, as I mentioned, was less than 1000 feet, and it was at the point of the FIRST photograph!! Was flying in perhaps a 10 - 12 MPH breeze at an altitude of perhaps 75', over WATER, to take a snapshot of the Vilano Fishing Pier, during an OUTGOING tide!!

    R, my friend, I do believe you might have nailed it!!! Between air movement, and water movement below, THAT makes a lot of sense if bird was waiting for zero "ground" speed when the "ground" was in a southerly constant motion! Hmmmm...
     
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  8. Bruce SNCO

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    So, R... any thoughts about why I'm not able to find V3 DAT files when I fly Litchi?
     
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  9. Modbuilder NCO

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    Don't have a clue about the missing file. I'm not much of a techie, so I quickly run out of ammo for trouble shooting problems like that.

    However, I think the ground speed used by the AC is a GPS based measure. But then, I don't spend time in ATTI mode to have noticed how the lack of GPS affects reported ground speed. I do know that flying around a lot of steel (Vilano Bridge) can compromise the bird's GPS and compass info, and flying over water can hose up the downward cameras and accompanying obstacle avoidance.

    Another very likely cause of the MP to just stop/hover is the obstacle avoidance system. I've had so many false triggers of the OA system from light reflecting off of shiny surfaces, that I disable OA on all my waypoint photo missions except the very first ones where the mission remains to be "qualified" safe to fly in autonomous mode. I've had it stop for a perceived obstacle from sun reflecting off of tall office building windows 15 miles away as well as just turning into the general direction of the sun. I can only imagine what reflections from water surfaces would do to it. If you feel confident enough with your skills to fly without the OA system and have good line of sight to the craft, you might retry your flight with OA turned off, but be aware of the potential for dropping out of GPS-aided control. That combined with the potential for compass confusion would make me keep a decent distance from the bridge, especially if there's much wind that will kick into your control world when you lose GPS control.
     
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  10. Bruce SNCO

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    My concern with turning off OA is all of the above...PLUS birds! VLOS helps in the bird department, but I have trouble re-acquiring VLOS after checking screen. And these salt-water fowl- gulls, osprey, hawks, and "herds" of pigeons around the pier- can materialize out of thin air.

    I get an adrenalin-rush fling sideways and backwards thinking about a bird sneaking into my airspace uninvited LOL! No, I'll stick with my OA-training wheels for awhile. Momma isn't gonna buy me another MP1 if I lose this one bein' stupid LOL!

    Hey R, thanks much for all the insight and help. Much appreciated!!
     
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  11. Aaron Arce NCO

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    Well put my friend
     
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  12. Aaron Arce NCO

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    I just got the no fly zone to work it was weird my uncle lives about a mile from a small airport and when I thought I had the hack enabled it only let me fly 94ft high and only about 164 feet away in a big circle it was really annoying but I reinstalled it and it works perfectly now I’m really enjoying the nld mod it gives you complete freedom but it’s not to be abused for sure
     
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  13. Aaron Arce NCO

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    I wish the had the zoom hack for altitude that would be awesome
     
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