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Am I getting too worried ?

Storyline

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Hello all :)


Tomorrow my third drone arrives. The first was an early Phantom and although it was only 7 years ago (I just had to check) it feels like an age ago. The Phantom was sold and replaced by a Mavic as I was desperate for a gimbal - not just a 3 axis gimbal but any gimbal ;)


There is some waffle now which can be ignored. The question which I would be so grateful to have answers for is at the end .....



Things have moved on a lot since the Phantom when concepts like geofencing had not yet got involved. I tried always to be sensible when flying though. I had flown a variety of r/c aircraft and helicopters and realised that these things can damage people & property if things were to spiral out of control. Saying that though, I will never forget the heart in mouth feeling when I decided to see how much altitude I could achieve using half of available battery power. It was not blind stupidity though or a feeling of lack of control as the Phantom had the useful ability (which should be on every drone imo - maybe my Mini 2 will have it) of being able to be put into ATTI mode at the flick of a switch. This basically disengages the GPS leaving the vehicle drifting in the airflow and makes it easy to work out what the wind was doing overhead and so I checked this every 1000ft of the ascent. It meant I knew approximately which way to descend should I lose GPS which happened occasionally.

Anyway, now it feels like maybe DJI, the App and the Mini 2 might be in control rather than me.

THE QUESTION (Finally)

Specifically, I have just read someone complaining on Amazon that the Mini 2 cannot even be activated unless I buy the after sales Care Refresh package. Is there any truth in this and am I likely to encounter any unexpected problems that will stop me flying ?

I am particularly concerned as we go on holiday on the day after the Mini 2 arrives and it might be a bit of a headache trying to address problems (mainly due to iffy Internet) while away. I am hoping it arrives fairly handy tomorrow so I can activate it when I have use of our FTTP connection if needed.
 

Storyline

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I've got a Moto G6 as my main phone and couldn't download the Fly app. It worked with the GO 4 app, so was able to use it for my Mavic Air, but not with the Mini 2. I run my Mini 2 with an old iphone 7 I picked up from a relative, which I just use for the drone.
Hi - I was just about to post about my story of woe when I saw your post a moment ago.
Same with me - I got my phone out this morning full of enthusiasm only to discover connection issues which I wrestled with for an hour or so until I asked Google and found that Moto G6 is a no go.

However - just as luck would have it I grabbed an old 8" tablet as we left the house to go on holiday - I don't know what made me do it but it was a good move as it runs the app a treat and with a bit of old action camera attachments and gaffer tape it fits the controller a treat so now I have a great screen and factory reset tablet for a fast stable (and large) display.

Happy days :)
 
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Kentucky Ranger

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Have you seen mention of this" need to buy care refresh in order to activate the drone" anywhere else other that Amazon? It seems to me people would be screaming about it.
Could they perhaps have misunderstand the fact that in general it is easier to buy the care refresh within 48hrs of activatio? Out side the 48hr window it is necessary to prove the drone is full functional and air worthy via a video etc. I forget all that is was necessary, see Buy DJI Care Refresh 1-Year Plan (DJI Mini 2) - DJI Store the links on that page can lead you to DJI . If the links do not work google "DJI verification video".
When I got my Mavic 2 Pro, I had 48 hours after the first time I activated it, to get DJI Care Refresh.
after that, I could fly it all I wanted, but was ineligible to get the Care Refresh insurance.
so, to answer your question, you’ll be fine to fly all you want, but after 48 hours, you’ll no longer be able to get the insurance.
 

brew99

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When I got my Mavic 2 Pro, I had 48 hours after the first time I activated it, to get DJI Care Refresh.
after that, I could fly it all I wanted, but was ineligible to get the Care Refresh insurance.
so, to answer your question, you’ll be fine to fly all you want, but after 48 hours, you’ll no longer be able to get the insurance.

That is not quite right. After 48h you could possibly get Care Refresh, but will have to "jump through more hoops" in order to prove the eligibility.
 

Kentucky Ranger

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That is not quite right. After 48h you could possibly get Care Refresh, but will have to "jump through more hoops" in order to prove the eligibility.
I’m not sure how rigid DJI is on registering a drone for Care Refresh.
I just remember reading that I had 48 hours after initial activation to register.
I’m not sure, because I got it when I purchased the M2P, and activated it as soon as I turned it on the first time.
I’d say DJI does that, because I can see someone crashing their drone a week after buying it, then try to get the insurance after the fact, LOL!!!
 

Storyline

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I have owned close to 20 drones and find the Mini 2 is my go to bird. I do use a Smart Controller with the Mini and Air 2 which makes flying is more fun especially in the bright sun. The Mini handles as well or better than any drone I have owned. You will love it. If I had to keep just one, it would be the Mini 2. Go slowly, follow the instructions and have fun.
I have just got home from hols and just wanted to post a last thank you type post and a holiday shot (only one, I promise :)).

It was so nice to see your post above and although I have less experience with different drones than you I have also come to the same conclusion. The original phantom was a brilliant discovery as a completely new experience but even when I got fully confident flying it I still only flew from our garden a small number of times as it was quite a frisky flyer. The Mavic Pro was a huge leap forward and I had no qualms flying from the garden and did a lot of practice with waypoint/photography using Litchi despite having quite a few huge mature beech trees on both sides of our house.

The Mini 2 is another huge leap forward as you say. The diminutive size somehow just gives you confidence to fly anywhere. I never flew in situations when I needed the collision avoidance systems in the Mavic so do not miss them. After just two short flights with the Mini 2 I started to take off and land from our boat which is something I would not have done even with the Mavic. There is reasonable clear vertical space but lots of hazards such as the boom, the mast with it's supporting standing rigging and various halyards used with the sails. I have got one of those 'pop out' landing pad things and I found a spot near the back of the boat where it would fit with clear air above and at least 2 feet sideways all round it. The first flight went perfectly (I used auto take-off and then quickly moved the aircraft clear) but when I landed after the second flight one of the props came very close to a bit of wood and I suddenly saw a risk I had not spotted as the Mini 2 might have spun uncontrollably over the side should a prop hit something when touching down. I can land fairly accurately on the mat but the boat can move sideways with the slightest gust of wind. I then found I would wedge the round 'helipad' down inside the cockpit beneath the level of the coamings so any accident might write off a prop or two but the aircraft itself could not end up overboard. From then on it was game on as much as possible :)

Because of the countless hours I have spent trying to fly model helicopters with a radio control tx in Mode 2 like the default Mini 2 controller (note the word 'trying') I can manoeuvre the Mini 2 without thought. Nevertheless, because of the added jeopardy of flying over water I was constantly a little bit nervous and certainly had my heart in my mouth to some extent every time I brought her in to land. It tickles me that I can't use rational argument to stop my brain from being worried about losing a relatively low cost bit of tech. I did not buy the 'Fly More' package and I guess the controller is the slightly more expensive bit of the system so the drone itself, whilst not exactly cheap, would not be a huge amount of cash to lose. The anxiety adds a bit of excitement and I have to say that I enjoyed my time with the Mini 2 hugely.

I've just had a look at the Smart Controller that you mention and I can see how it useful it would be. I was lucky in that my rubbish phone forced me to look for alternatives and my 8" tablet whilst better than a phone still lacks brightness outdoors with 442 cd/m2 compared to the 1000 cd/m2 that your controller has. I did have one good thing in that one end of our cockpit has a sprayhood designed to keep wind and spray off when sailing and I was able to sit in the shade under that when flying which helped greatly. Also, because I'm mainly interested in photography I try to fly in the evening 'golden hour' when the sun is low and everything is less bright. A Smart Controller is definitely on the wish list now for next year though.

I was quite disappointed when I saw the absolutely tiny lens on the Mini 2 camera despite all the claims for 4k quality but it is quite extraordinary how good the imaging is - I suppose we benefit from the vast sums spent developing cameras and lenses for mobile phones because it is scarcely believable how well it can focus. Chasing image quality and sharpness is an classic pitfall and I learned from the Mavic that the cameraman is nearly always the weak link in the chain not the camera. I had forgotten just how hard it is to get good exposure as you fly around with light levels all over the place. The small dynamic range makes things even more difficult but I had fun trying to get better. One thing that I found amazing is the performance of the gimbal. In the stock normal settings it is uncannily stable and I used the drone quite a bit as a hand held video recorder - even in quite sloppy lumpy seas the horizon remains rock solid and really gives a feeling as to the motion of the boat as it pitches up and down - I have never been able to capture that before. I found a likeable Danish guy on Youtube who showed me how best adjust the speed and damping of the gimbal in cine mode - this helped a lot but scared me first time I tried it as my slow brain had not grasped that the much reduced yaw speed would have such a slowing effect as I flew about - I had just taken some nice slow video but when I tried to fly to the next location I couldn't understand why the aircraft was not responding properly and just wanted to fly straight - I then twigged I was still in cine mode ;).

So, the Mini 2 is much, much better than I expected. For me, 90% of that comes from it's tiny size and low noise levels. I gives you the feeling that drones have finally come of age and you can almost throw them up at will (sensible locations and safety issues foremost obviously).

(Small clip enclosed from the first flight I have ever made from a boat which shows the risky position of the landing pad before I moved it)

I cannot seem to link to my clip - from what I remember the forum does not (understandably) host media so I uploaded the clip to a personal website and the link works Ok but when I use the 'insert link' option above it look like it should work but it doesn't ! FWIW here is the url if anyone is desperate enough to watch someone else's holiday snaps ....

 
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