Connecting DJI Drone to PrecisionFlight Pro
Once you have Planned your Mission you are ready to begin flying the drone in PrecisionFlight Pro. To do this you will need your drone along with a tablet and laptop with current versions of PrecisionFlight Pro installed. Currently you are unable to use the PrecisionFlight Pro app on an IOS/Apple device, you will need an Android phone or tablet for this operation. The connection between your drone and the laptop will take place over a WiFi signal so you must have the laptop and tablet connected to the same WiFi source.
1. Choose an ideal location at your area of interest. Account for takeoff, landing, and any emergency procedures that may be necessary during your flight.
2. With any necessary sensors connected, setup the drone with charged batteries installed. Have RC controller and tablet ready. Power on the drone and then the RC controller by tapping the power button once quickly and holding down on the second push until the drone powers up. Wait for the green light to illuminate on the controller signifying a successful connection between the drone and RC.
3. Close out of all other applications on your tablet before running the PrecisionFlight app. Connect the tablet to the RC using the provided USB cable. In the popup that appears select "PrecisionFlight Pro for DJI" and tap "Just Once". This will allow you to use the DJI Go app when required. At this point your drone should connect to the PrecisionFlight Pro app, you should see the live camera view of the drone in the app.
4. Open up the PrecisionFlight Pro application on your Laptop computer. If it is on the same WiFi source as the tablet, the drone will be connected and your drone status will show up on the upper right corner of the program.
Flying Your Mission
Now that you are connected to the drone you are ready to fly the PrecisionFlight Pro mission. Below are the steps you will need to take to load and fly your mission in PrecisionFlight Pro.
1. First load an existing mission or create a new one within PrecisionFlight Pro. To open an existing Mission select the button in the upper left corner of the software and select "Open Mission"
2. Once your Mission is loaded to the software all the routes within that mission will be populated in the PrecisionFlight Pro viewer. Select the route you want to fly first by clicking on one of the routes in the upper right corner.
3. On your laptop you will click the "Upload" button in the bottom right corner of PrecisionFlight Pro. This will transfer the route over to the drones memory.
Check the message log in the bottom right corner to see that the route was successfully uploaded. You will also see an indication of successful upload within the PrecisionFlight Pro app on your tablet.
4. Now that your mission has successfully uploaded to your tablet you are ready to takeoff. In order to take off you'll need to first "Arm" your drone using the buttons int he bottom left corner. To get the drone to take off select "Auto".
5. Once the drone takes off it will follow the flight path that you created until the battery runs low or the mission is complete. Throughout the mission you should be monitoring the status of your drone on the PrecisionFlight app. Also be sure that you have clear visual line of sight of the drone throughout the flight.
Commands in PrecisionFlight Pro
If you look to the bottom right hand corner you can see a commands tab displayed. You have already used this command window to arm the drone and upload your mission. But there are a few other commands that you should know and understand from this menu.
- Click and Go will allow you to command the drone to go to a specific location
- Hold will tell your drone to pause the mission, while continue will have the drone proceed with its mission
- Land tells the drone to land exactly where it is at
- Return Home will tell the drone to return to the home location and land
Monitoring Your Drone Through Flight
Your Heads Up Display in the upper right corner will give you detailed information on the drones status throughout the flight. The three most important readings seen in the heads up display is the Battery percentage, GPS, and Telemetry strength.
If you think the drone is acting strangely during the flight it is important to check this Heads Up Display to find the root cause.
We have a couple of Altitudes displayed here- Raw, AGL (Above Ground Level), and AMSL (Above Mean Sea Level). And finally you will see the vertical speed for the drone displayed in meters per second. If you have a positive number then your drone is climbing in altitude if negative then you are losing altitude.
As mentioned earlier there are some emergency functions in PrecisionFlight Pro that you can take advantage of. Some of these emergency procedures are located in the application and some on your controller. We will first talk about the emergency buttons on PrecisionFlight Pro. The four emergency functions that you can use include "Click and Go, Hold, Land, and Return Home." With click and go you are telling the drone to go to a desired waypoint. If you would like for your drone to pause use "Hold." If you are in a really dangerous situation I would recommend using Land or Return Home. Land will make the drone land at its current location. Return to home will send the drone back to the home location.
DJI controllers have some built in emergency functions that can also be useful. If you are ever in a situation where you need to switch over to manual mode simply flip the mode switch from "F" Function mode to "P" Position mode. This will give you manual control so fly with caution. There is also a Return to Home button located on the RC. If you click, click hold this button then it will return the drone to its home location.
Procedures for Battery Swap
If you are flying a mission that will need a battery swap, there are a couple of things you'll need to pay attention to. Make sure that you note the drone's last waypoint before it returns home for a battery swap. Once you have changed the batteries and are ready to fly your second half, click on "Change start point." A screenshot of this is displayed below.
- When you notice your battery getting close to the fail safe keep an eye on the last waypoint you completed.
- Let the drone return home and land safely. Swap out the batteries once the propellers have stopped.
- Power your drone back on and check all of your readings before taking off.
- You'll now need to change your start point to the last waypoint your drone completed.
- Click "Arm" to fly to the previous waypoint.
- Once you change the start point you can arm and put in auto mode like normal to pick up where you left off.
Your logs are located in the bottom right hand corner just click on the arrow tab. This is a live feed of your logs and will tell you what is wrong when uploading a mission or the current statues of your flight. The logs bar is a good source of information to resolve problems. If you are unable to upload a mission it will typically give you an error message on how to resolve this.
Looking at the logs you can see that the mission was successfully uploaded and then a low voltage signal comes through as gray for the first 4 messages. The battery is dropping significantly so it is now being displayed as red.