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Firmware updates changing settings

ScottJD

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This discussion came up on another thread that was closed, but I believe it's a topic that still needs discussion. So I'm opening a thread about this topic only.

Let's stay away from calling the people who program the code and firmware certain names even if it's acceptable to some these days.
Example:
You can call these people Devs, or developers, or coders.
You can not call them geeks or nerds or anything along those stereo type names
.

So after a few firmware updates I was shocked to find that DJI is turning on setting this I had previously turned off.

This is simple tech update.
1: test in the lab multiple times to make sure it doesn't break any current function or features before rolling out to customers. This should include keeping the users settings.
2: Take a backup of current configuration and user settings.
3: Apply update
4: Load restore of system configured and user settings after the firmware update is completed restoring to the users prefered settings from the backup before the update.
5: Their is always a blackout plan that includes rolling backward to old confirms and old settings incase of a failed update.

I say this say this not only as a mavic owner, but someone who works in tech and had for 20 year. I have fired people for not doing proper backups before a big change control, it doesn't matter if it was an update or a patch. Everything gets tested first before allowed into production and backed up first before the update is applied.
Then setting are restored. If I told a bank that it lost millions because of a system update on the network that didn't have proper backup or a roll back procedure I would have been fired.

In my opinion the firmware from DJI is coming out to fast. It's not being properly tested before release, then they are being rushed to fix faults and release more updates before drones crash and the reputation is tarnished and hit the news.
Proper testing, proper settings backed up and restored would be a better way to protect the reputation of the company and takes little more time before pushing updates out.

The reason DJI sells is because they make them easy to fly. It's also the reason the FAA has laws and new regulations now. DJI can not count on the user knowing that the firmware changes settings.

At the very least a message at the end of the firmware update should says:
"NOTICE! Setting may have changed. Please power the drone and controller on to check all your settings."
 

Strafe1

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I'm not sure why this has to be discussed at all. Even if DJI said that updates from now on will retain settings, I would be double checking them anyway, because it is ultimately my responsibility as a pilot. FWIW, most of my settings ARE retained after firmware updates. Maybe because many of them are default settings anyways. But my RTH , sensors, cache settings, gimbal ajustments, and stick sensitivity adjustments remain in place. It's a minor issue in my opinion. And for me, a non-issue.
 
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ScottJD

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It's more of a continuation of a topic that was brought up on another thread that was shut down.
But I think one reason I wanted to continue it is because I personally did a lot of research regarding DJI products, updated, bugs and never saw anything about the setting changing. So as a new DJI user it did surprise me.

And well you have to admit their are two hobbiest flying DJI products currently not including licensed pilots.
One set of responsible hobbiest that know the rules and regulations and follow them when flying, the other set that doesn't. Half the crashes are people that didn't read the manual and set up or check things first, and the other half have and it was caused by a hardware/software failure.
DJI seems to attract both kinds, the professionals for video quality and camera options available for ones like the inspire. And the beginners because the ease of use and ease of flying. I think they at least need to have that warning to let the new people know that the setting might change.

I know I read the whole manual and watched many videos, studied the FAA's web site and could probably pass my part 107 if I wanted to. But I still never saw anything or expected a firmware update to change settings on me. Of all the years updating professional network equipment, home wifi routers, and the other 25 things in the house that seem to need constant firmware updated either for bug fixes or security reasons I've never seen a firmware update change my settings. Ok, maybe once if the company removed a feature for security concerns, but then this was noted in the release notes and since I read them I expected the change after the update.

Some have argued the memory chip didn't have enough space, but when a phone is on the controller it can use the phone memory for setting backup. And the drone can use the mounted MicroSD card for the backup settings. If its update with a computer then it had access to the hard drive for extra space to backup settings. I just can't understand why any setting need changed at all, or why it doesn't at least want to check after the update is completed.
 

gixxerbill

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Best Buy should be boycotted for their "Geek Squad" division.

I of course agree with you that the firmware should NOT reset everything. It can't be that hard if cell companies can upgrade software without resetting settings.
 

SRJ_Mavic_PRO

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Having been on the Phantom site and now here it seems DJI would have been better off waiting until April 1st to release this update.......
 

ScottJD

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Having been on the Phantom site and now here it seems DJI would have been better off waiting until April 1st to release this update.......
I wasn't talking about a specific update. I've updated my mavic 4 or 5 times now since late January. Twice I had to revert back to older firmware and then try again because of rocky flight.

But I'm curious, what update are you taking about. What are they saying on the phantom site?
 

SRJ_Mavic_PRO

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I am talking about the firmware update release on March 7th. Boatload of issues with it on the P4P side, some I am sure are user error but others are the wizards at DJI FUBAR the software.
 

Kilrah

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As a good operator you should be checking your settings on every flight, so having to do so after an update is not a problem.
Given that, it's easier to do a factory reset than for devs to try and bother with settings conversion.

I work as a dev on a product where we have to either maintain compatibility or properly upgrade settings (said settings take many hours to enter unlike 5 minutes for the Mavic), it's a tremendous amount of work and I can tell you that if I was working on something like the Mavic I would NOT bother. Much better to have people reenter their few settings than risk doing an error during conversion. Forcing them to go through all settings will help them notice any new ones or changes too.

Personally knowing how things work in the background I prefer things that do a reset after an upgrade, even if it means some time to set things up again at least I know there won't be a stray setting that causes a problem in something that isn't even necessarily visible anymore or a conversion error.
 

ScottJD

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Did I mention this is my first DJI product. So it's bad enough I'm still learning what each setting is for (and yes I've read the manual more then once) but also now trying to rember what setting I changed to make it fly to my style when every time I've taken it out (only 4 times, weather issues) I've had to do an update that either reset or changed something.
How can someone learn something when it keeps resetting itself.
User settings for each sub menu on the app such as drone, camera, controller should be stored in a separate file written in a standard format. So no converting should be needed to restore the same settings. If it's a new setting then it can append to the users submenu configuration file like in an xml format.
I know if I didn't backup certain firewalls or routing tables on routers I would be working for 5 days restoring settings. But all these firewall rules and tables are in a different file so when the main OS is updated or patched it just reads that file and imports the same rules and tables. A lot of apps in windows and on Mac work the same way, and on iOS Apple mobile devices and Andriod apps. Even wireless home routers don't make you enter all your settings again for a firmware update.

If it's a complete overhaul and change of formate for the file storing the setting then this is usually noted in the release notes and I know to work it differently, maybe convert the files myself before the update. But we don't have this ability on some devices like most cell phones. I wish we did, after all we paid for them.
Either way it never stated in the manual to check setting after a firmware update, or in the firmware release notes. A message at the end of the update letting people know to check the setting would be a simple nice touch.
Just my opinion.