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Pix4Dcapture - Slow Turns

I am not sure if this is because of the iOS app or the M600 drone but it happens on every mission now that the custom camera option is available for the M600.

The issue is the first 6-10 turns in a mapping mission has the drone wait for exactly 0.0 ft/sec speed before turning to go to the next waypoint.  Later on in the mission it happens much faster so it might be the drone thinking it isn’t perfectly still until it “warms up” the GPS.  The time it waits is not consistent every mission but the waiting does happen the first few turns on every single mission.

No matter if it is the app or the drone, it is wasting 1-2 minutes each battery set and over the course of a few days of flying that is very significant.  I am hoping Pix4Dcapture can be changed to say anything under 0.5 ft/sec is good enough to allow the next turn (even if it is just an advanced option).

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I’ve had this happen quite a bit, usually, it is because it is windy outside and for some reason, the UAV will wander ever so slightly around the waypoint prior to reaching it and making its turn towards the next WP.

I had about 5 mph winds…certainly not “windy” at all. Just seemed odd that it did it every mission but just the first 20% of the mission.

The 1-2 minutes lost is huge since Pix4Dcapture doesn’t handle battery changes so a large mapping area requires a bunch of individual missions designed to maximize battery use but the time estimate is always low because of this pausing at the first few turns.

@Adam, thank you very much for the detailed description of your M600’s behavior and for your patience.

My understanding of DJI’s latest SDK is that Pix4Dcapture does not have the ability to determine the navigation tolerances associated with the drone’s flight characteristics in any meaningful way. Including how “close” the drone must be to a waypoint before it is able to move on with the mission or, more importantly, how long the drone will hover at a waypoint before it is satisfied that it has “reached” the waypoint.

This is not the case with other Pix4Dcapture-supported drones, whose SDK provide third-party applications the option to specify waypoint distance, buffer, or tolerance, depending on how you refer to it.

I anticipate that it is not a coincidence that the drone’s flight characteristics changed around the time that Pix4Dcapture first supported custom cameras, because it is likely that an update to DJI’s SDK and firmware was released that enabled third party applications to support custom cameras. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have reason to believe that this is not the case.

There is no doubt in my mind that it is difficult to watch your drone hover for extended periods of time at each waypoint, especially if the behavior only recently manifested itself. For this reason I have taken the opportunity to report your concerns about efficiently managing your flight time with respect to the amount of time that the drone spends at the beginning and end of each flight line. I cannot make any predictions or guarantees about when changes will be made to the time that the drone spends at each waypoint, but can assure you that the responsible parties have been notified about your concerns.

Please let us know if you experience any unexpected changes in the way that your drone flies while in the immediate vicinity of the beginning or end of a flight line.

@Thomas, thank you for your contribution.

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Andrew, thank you for the detailed response.  I feel like it is a DJI issue and I can’t compare to earlier versions as the M600 never worked for me since I only fly with a non-DJI camera.

I will be happy to go out and test if you find a potential fix.

@Adam, thank you very much for offering your support. This is not to say that we are actively pursuing decreasing wait times at each waypoint at this time, but I will definitely keep you in mind.

If you notice any dramatic changes in your drone’s flight behavior with respect to the amount of time spent at the beginning and end of each flight line, please let us know.