Saturday, July 29, 2017

DJI Mavic Pro: The Missing Handbook: Active Track, Follow Me Mode, and Gesture Mode

Another week, another deep dive into some Mavic Pro operations!  This week is particularly exciting - I'm talking about Active Track, which is one of the big standout features of the DJI products.  It tracks things, and can automagically follow them around!  This set of modes allows for some really interesting action shots as the drone can fly like it's tethered to a moving object.  Since they're related, I also cover Follow Me (GPS-based Active Track), and Gesture Mode (waving at the drone in a manner that convinces it to take a photo).


And, as is usual, these modes are very poorly documented beyond "Hey!  They exist!"  The video "tutorials" aren't much better (I've yet to find one that exercises the full range of capabilities in Active Track), and watching first person video doesn't do a great job of explaining how the various modes work.

So, me being me, I've spent far too long (I have over 11 hours of flight time logged on my Mavic Pro at this point) experimenting with the various modes, understanding them, and, of course, documenting them!  Interested?  Keep reading!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

DJI Mavic Pro: The Missing Handbook: Waypoints

Continuing my series on Mavic Pro operations, this week involves a deep dive into the Waypoints feature of the DJI Go 4 app.  It's quite powerful, but it also has some significant things it can't do.  Once you understand the capabilities and limitations, though, the built in Waypoints feature is a wonderful tool for capturing some very interesting shots in the sky, because it allows you to focus on capturing the scene and not flying the drone.


So, join me for a pre-plotted trip through Waypoints!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

DJI Mavic Pro: The Missing Handbook: Intelligent Flight Modes

Continuing my Missing Handbook series for the DJI Mavic Pro, this week I dig into a number of the "Intelligent Flight Modes" - Tripod, Cinematic, Sport, Terrain Follow, Home Lock, and Course Lock.

If you missed last week's post, I covered preflight checks and basic operation.  It would be a good idea to read that if you haven't, because I build on that this week.


All the modes I'm covering this week are still "manual flying" modes - the drone won't move unless you command it to, though some of the modes radically change how control stick motions translate into movement through the sky!

So, join me as I dive into some of the various Mavic Pro operating modes!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

DJI Mavic Pro: The Missing Handbook: Basic Operations

So, you bought a Mavic Pro?  What a coincidence!  So did I!


And if you've done much reading on it, you've probably determined two things: The manual covers the bare minimum, and there's a serious lack of non-video information on how to use these - or, even with the videos, details of operating modes and limitations.  This series of posts (probably 4, possibly a few more) is my attempt to resolve this problem - to write a useful operating manual for the Mavic Pro (and other DJI products with similar operating modes, though this is purely focused on the Mavic Pro).

If you have one, or even if you're just curious about drone operation, read on!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Transient Tester Software: Button Based Menus

Last week, I posted about a little transient tester I built for analyzing USB power supplies and battery packs.  I wrote what I consider to be a reasonably interesting little button based menu for setting values and running tests.  It supports setting current and time for two stages of operation (high and low current) with a set of 4 buttons, running tests and reporting data, and does this with quite a small memory footprint.  It also supports setting the current by the 0.05A steps that the hardware supports.


It also shows off some techniques that I feel are quite appropriate for any sort of embedded programming - bit packed structs, hard coding some of the screen attributes (only two rows), etc.

So, come on along for the journey!