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Experiment in practice- Alternating ipad and VR


Well-Known Member
Jun 21, 2020
Democratic Peoples Republic of Crook County
My flying is rusty, and I had some time to go practice. Over the last weeks/months I have acquired an iPad Mini6 and some DroneMask/MagiMask goggles. I have also had a cheap pair of VR goggles, plus Litchi and dronelink. I ran into a few issues, one of which someone might help me with (ipad Mini 6 issue).

When trying to fly "cheap VR" while it is pretty cool there are some drawbacks that I've encountered. The main drawback is that, especially with the drones that use DJI standard controller, every time you need to change things you have to go into the goggles and do it on your phone. The Mavic 2 controller has many more programmable buttons which eases the problem of accessing the phone, at least a bit. Additionally, in any flight I don't want to be in the goggles 100% of the time.

And so I thought, what if I had an iPad mounted on the controller, the phone in the goggles and was able to go back and forth while the Mini 2 (or Mavic 2) was in the air???

While not the most elegant way to switch, I figured out that I could start off with either goggles or the iPad plugged into the controller and then unplug one and replug the other. Actually it worked. And going that way allowed me to use DJI Fly or Litchi on my iPad and Litchi in my VR goggles and either in my DroneMask. The only caveat was unplugging one and replugging the other, not like there was a separate A/B switch available (but that would be super cool).

The DroneMask ($170) was the easiest to use because it doesn't use a split screen, but some sort of internal optic to split the screen for each eye. The only advantage that Litchi (or DroneVR) have is that you can turn your head where you want the gimbal to look and it follows your head movement. DroneMask can't do that, but all I have to do is open DJI Fly or Litchi and set it up in the regular mode. Unfortunately, unlike the Mavic 2 controller that has a second scroll wheel which can adjust exposure without utilizing the screen all those settings have to be set up in the goggle mounted phone. But if the parameters for the Fly app or Litchi are set up correctly, the DroneMask works really well. I did a lengthy comparison of DroneMask vs VR goggles on another thread.

The VR goggles are exponentially cheaper, under $30, some around $20. They do require a split screen, but work well with Litchi. The advantage of the VR goggles is that with LItchi you have the ability to set it up to "head gesture" allowing the gimbal to point up or down. I think in one of the modes a left or right gesture turns the Mini 2. With the Mavic 2 Pro it can pan the camera left/right, up or down, unlike the DroneMask where all of that is manual from the controller. It would be hard to do quick shots because you need access to the screen.

ONE PROBLEM THAT I ENCOUNTERED WITH MY IPAD MINI 6... I had trouble getting it to connect to the controller. While the connection to the iPhone with the Lightning plug had no isses, the i Pad Mini 6 (USB-C only) I had to find the right combination of one side plugging in the controller the other side in the iPad, then trying all the combination of plug orientation, rotating the cable, inverting the way the USB plugs in, etc. I finally figured out the combination or orientation of the plugs in the controller. What a pain. It took almost 10 minutes just to fix that.

But, overall my idea was a success as I could have my iPad mounted in the controller and the phone in one of the goggles, fly FPV when I wanted, the by changing the cable to the other device now fly "normally" within the monitor screen.

Just thought I'd put that out there for information or comments. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

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I was wondering the exact same thing. Thanks for testing.

The only drawback, at least for my interests, you will lose flight telemetry records during the switch. But if you don’t follow that data, it’s no big deal.
I think flying FPV is a gas, but there are times within a given flight that I want to see the drone and quickly look down at the device.

The other thing is, that while an iPad Mini 6 doesn't have the nits that a Tripltek tablet does, having that extra screen real estate is SO much better than a phone size device. I wish that DJI made a universal smart controller that spanned many models that they produce.
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