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Mavic Air Won't Exceed 98.4 feet Altitude and Won't Fly Litchi Mission

Conservative Nihilist

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I recently bought a Maic Air 1 and took it outside just a moment ago for its first test flight. It called for a compass calibration which I successfully completed with the usual circular dance steps. But then, when I went to launch the drone, it seemed unusually sluggish in its ascent which ended at a ceiling of precisely 98.4 feet above ground level, regardless of my applying full throttle. Assuming I'd accidentally set the drone in beginner mode, I checked that option and found that it was NOT in beginner mode, which deepened the mystery of why the drone refused to ascend any higher than 98.4 feet.

Since the trees in my rural location tower up to well above 140 feet, I obviously could not fly the drone with its odd altitude restriction, so I tried to override that limit by starting up a Litchi waypoint mission whose altitude I'd set to 160 feet. I then got a Litchi error message that I'd never seen before, indicating that Litchi had "timed out" and that I'd need to log out and log in to use Litchi. Having long ago forgotten my Litchi password since I never had a need to log out, I decided to refrain from logging out to avoid getting locked out of Litchi.

After several launch attempts that all ended at the bizarre altitude of 98.4 feet, I gave up and decided to ask in this forum if anyone could figure out what might be amiss. Thanks in advance for any insights that can be offered. I must add that this is my second Mavic Air 1, and that the first one performs flawlessly and completers Litchi missions without any anomalies.
 
I recently bought a Maic Air 1 and took it outside just a moment ago for its first test flight. It called for a compass calibration which I successfully completed with the usual circular dance steps. But then, when I went to launch the drone, it seemed unusually sluggish in its ascent which ended at a ceiling of precisely 98.4 feet above ground level, regardless of my applying full throttle. Assuming I'd accidentally set the drone in beginner mode, I checked that option and found that it was NOT in beginner mode, which deepened the mystery of why the drone refused to ascend any higher than 98.4 feet.

Since the trees in my rural location tower up to well above 140 feet, I obviously could not fly the drone with its odd altitude restriction, so I tried to override that limit by starting up a Litchi waypoint mission whose altitude I'd set to 160 feet. I then got a Litchi error message that I'd never seen before, indicating that Litchi had "timed out" and that I'd need to log out and log in to use Litchi. Having long ago forgotten my Litchi password since I never had a need to log out, I decided to refrain from logging out to avoid getting locked out of Litchi.

After several launch attempts that all ended at the bizarre altitude of 98.4 feet, I gave up and decided to ask in this forum if anyone could figure out what might be amiss. Thanks in advance for any insights that can be offered. I must add that this is my second Mavic Air 1, and that the first one performs flawlessly and completers Litchi missions without any anomalies.
Using my mini 3 pro, just lately I've noticed some bizarre restrictions that seem to pop up out of the blue. They inhibit the drone height and distance. Worked out that it's down to the flight app not being logged in to my DJI account. Boot your drone and controller before you go out (using your home WiFi network to connect you to the internet) log in to your account and then go outside, see if this sorts the problem out.
 
I'd never have guessed that registration of the drone would cause this issue. I thank you kindly for this pointer. I will give this a shot and report back
It's been like this for ages on all DJI drones... & it's not the drone that needs to be registered, it's you that need a DJI account and use it to log into the flight app. Imagine it's the same for Litchi... you need a account & use it to log into the app.

You have this info already in page 2 in the user manual...

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Download the manual here --> https://dl.djicdn.com/downloads/Mavic Air/Mavic Air User Manual v1.0.pdf
 
Well, I'll be dipped. I can honestly say I've never encountered this dog leash predicament in the past, and I own several DJI drones of which I bought just one, a Mavic Mini 3 brand new.

My fleet includes a Phantom 3 Pro, a Phantom 3 Standard, a Mavic 1 Pro, a Mavic Pro Platinum, a Mavic 2 Pro, and a second Mavic Air 1, none of which were restricted this way when I first flew them. Oh well, I learned something new today and will be more diligent about this DJI registration process in the future. At least it is good to know there is nothing amiss with the drone.

I've always used Litchi exclusively and steered clear of DJI Go 4 because of those updates that all seem designed to restrict the drone's capabilities in a sneaky underhanded way. Looks like I'll have no choice but to use DJI Go 4 this once while hoping I'll be able to duck those incoming update alerts as I've done so well thus far.
 
Hmm I powered up the drone and controller, opened DJI Go4, and found no means by which to register or log into my DJI account, It is odd that I've never been presented with this registration hoop to jump through in the past, and thus I haven't the foggiest idea what the necessary steps might be.

I went to the DJI.com website and found nothing useful there either. I sure would appreciate any further clues about how I can go about getting qualified to fly my own drone, which is a concept that I find irksome and baffling in equal measure.
 
Ok, I stopped ranting for long enough to engage enough of my long-suffering brain cells to dig up my old DJI and Litchi passwords and thereby found that in the process of logging into my DJI account, Litchi automatically logged me out, upon which I logged back into Litchi and found that the cryptic error message asking me to log out and back into Litchi is no longer there.

When this blazing Equatorial sun simmers down a bit later today, I'll step outside and re-launch this Mavic Air. I don't anticipate any problems now and will report back here once that test flight is complete. I doff my hat to fellow Mavic Air fliers Slup and Felix who responded here with helpful advice that enabled me to resolve this minor hitch that initially loomed so large on account of my own ignorance regarding DJI protocol.
 
Ok, I stopped ranting for long enough to engage enough of my long-suffering brain cells to dig up my old DJI and Litchi passwords and thereby found that in the process of logging into my DJI account, Litchi automatically logged me out, upon which I logged back into Litchi and found that the cryptic error message asking me to log out and back into Litchi is no longer there.

When this blazing Equatorial sun simmers down a bit later today, I'll step outside and re-launch this Mavic Air. I don't anticipate any problems now and will report back here once that test flight is complete. I doff my hat to fellow Mavic Air fliers Slup and Felix who responded here with helpful advice that enabled me to resolve this minor hitch that initially loomed so large on account of my own ignorance regarding DJI protocol.
You are most welcome.
.. and just in case you might require one of the older versions of the DJI GO flight app: try the following link. You'll find archived copies of DJI GO: GO4 and DJI FLY - it can be quite difficult to track down a safe version after DJI removes the older versions from their download centre.
So far (touch wood) I haven't encountered a single problem with any of the DJI APK's downloaded from this site, although it is second nature for me to run a virus check anyway.


 
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You are most welcome.
.. and just in case you might require one of the older versions of the DJI GO flight app: try the following link. You'll find archived copies of DJI GO: GO4 and DJI FLY - it can be quite difficult to track down a safe version after DJI removes the older versions from their download centre.
So far (touch wood) I haven't encountered a single problem with any of the DJI APK's downloaded from this site, although it is second nature for me to run a virus check anyway.


These links are appreciated, Felix. I am now arriving at a tentative conclusion that DJI might be taking aim at Litchi with the intention of putting Litchi out of business. This is pure conjecture on my part, and I will only be able to say for sure after I conduct further Litchi waypoint mission test flights with my other DJI drones, besides the Mavic Air 1.

The reason I am reluctantly reaching this speculative conclusion is that even after logging in with DJI Go4, which duly recognized my drone as a Mavic Air, while also logging out and back in as instructed by Litchi's error message, the crippling limitations of 98.4 feet maximum attainable altitude AND a complete failure of the drone to depart on a Litchi waypoint mission, remained in effect while I used Litchi for the test flight.

The instant I switched back to using DJI Go4, however, the drone proceeded to rise far above the previous height limitation imposed within Litchi of 98.4 feet, and continued right on up to my usual cruise altitude of 160 feet without a hitch. I then tried to switch back to Litchi on the fly, as it were, and once again the Lithci waypoint mission would not start at all, with an error message saying Litchi had "timed out".

In short, Litchi is effectively DISABLED for this Mavic Air 1, which flies perfectly well with DJI Go4. I loathe DJI Go4 with a passion and have studiously avoided using it over the more than 3,000 miles of Litchi waypoint missions that my drone fleet has covered thus far, so finding out that DJI might be out to disable Litchi is devastating to me. I will try my other drones now to see if Litchi has been disabled for them as well and will report back here after those further tests.
 
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These links are appreciated, Felix. I am now arriving at a tentative conclusion that DJI might be taking aim at Litchi with the intention of putting Litchi out of business. This is pure conjecture on my part, and I will only be able to say for sure after I conduct further Litchi waypoint mission test flights with my other DJI drones, besides the Mavic Air 1.

The reason I am reluctantly reaching this speculative conclusion is that even after logging in with DJI Go4, which duly recognized my drone as a Mavic Air, while also logging out and back in as instructed by Litchi's error message, the crippling limitations of 98.4 feet maximum attainable altitude AND a complete failure of the drone to depart on a Litchi waypoint mission, remained in effect while I used Litchi for the test flight.

The instant I switched back to using DJI Go4, however, the drone proceeded to rise far above the previous height limitation imposed within Litchi of 98.4 feet, and continued right on up to my usual cruise altitude of 160 feet without a hitch. I then tried to switch back to Litchi on the fly, as it were, and once again the Lithci waypoint mission would not start at all, with an error message saying Litchi had "timed out".

In short, Litchi is effectively DISABLED for this Mavic Air 1, which flies perfectly well with DJI Go4. I loathe DJI Go4 with a passion and have studiously avoided using it over the more than 3,000 miles of Litchi waypoint missions that my drone fleet has covered thus far, so finding out that DJI might be out to disable Litchi is devastating to me. I will try my other drones now to see if Litchi has been disabled for them as well and will report back here after those further tests.
You are too conspiratorially minded.
There will be a simple explanation and solution.
You just have to find it.
 
In short, Litchi is effectively DISABLED for this Mavic Air 1...
Well... my own Air 1 flies totally without any height or distance limitation, both with Go4 & Litchi. Don't think DJI tries to target your drone only...

...even after logging in with DJI Go4, which duly recognized my drone as a Mavic Air, while also logging out and back in as instructed by Litchi's error message
And just to be sure... you're logging out & in again in the Litchi app? Because that's what you should do... The Go4 have nothing to do with this message in Litchi.
 
Well, I tested Litchi with my Mavic 2 Pro and it worked flawlessly. Sent the drone on a 6-mile round trip fully autonomous waypoint mission with a cruise speed of 27 mph, and precisely 20 minutes later the drone buzzed into view and executed a textbook auto-land dead center on my plywood landing platform.

This test affirmed that there is absolutely nothing amiss with Litchi and that the problem I encountered with the Mavic Air was most likely related to the registration of that used drone as belonging to a new owner. I will run through the DJI drone registration steps again tomorrow, and see if I can't resolve the problem I encountered with that drone and Litchi which was not encountered when I switched over to DJI Go4.
 
Your mileage may vary since my experience is with a MA2/2S but when I do not have GPS lock and the home point has not been set the drone will be limited to 98-99 ft. altitude. Once "the home point" is "found" I can proceed flying normally. Something to look at is are you getting GPS signal from device-remote-drone. It was my assumption the MA1 used WI-FI instead of occusync thereby limiting range but since I haven't operated that particular drone I could be off base, but this behavior does happen when the home point is not set with Occusync 2-3.
 
...my experience is with a MA2/2S but when I do not have GPS lock and the home point has not been set the drone will be limited to 98-99 ft. altitude. Once "the home point" is "found" I can proceed flying normally.
Lack of a GPS lock & a recorded HP have absolutely nothing to do with any possible height limitation... the height comes from a barometric sensor in the drone that is reset when taking off, not from the GPS.

The reason for the height & distance limitation the OP notices is clearly described on page 2 in the user manual (see post #4)... & this limitation applies to both the Air2 & Air2S also (again on page 2 in those user manuals).

...Something to look at is are you getting GPS signal from device-remote-drone.
This is confusing, not sure what you mean here... the screen device doesn't relay it's GPS position to the drone via the RC. The drone have it's own GPS chip & gets the position from there.

It was my assumption the MA1 used WI-FI instead of occusync thereby limiting range
The Air 1 uses DJI "Enhanced WiFi" & Air2's uses DJI "Occusync 2.0"... both are WiFi, but with the difference that Occusync is less sensitive to interference.

Enhanced WiFi usually gives less total range due to this... but the system isn't using any "hardcoded" limitation for either heigh or distance just because the used transmission protocol. A Air 1 can reach a height of 500m above the take off location as any other DJI drone... & (in FCC mode) reach 4km out if flown in a rural environment (WiFi disturbance free), & if kept within LOS. If the flight time of a Air 1 was longer it could probably reach even further out, but now the 4km is pretty much the maximum if you should be able to return without depleting the battery totally.

...this behavior does happen when the home point is not set with Occusync 2-3.
GPS lock, A recorded HP or the use of different Transmission systems will not induce any 98ft height limitation... the reason is something else. Share a flight log from where you're limited in height, that will most probably reveal the true reason.
 
...this behavior does happen when the home point is not set with Occusync 2-3.
GPS lock, A recorded HP or the use of different Transmission systems will not induce any 98ft height limitation... the reason is something else. Share a flight log from where you're limited in height, that will most probably reveal the true reason.

********************

Try to make it a habit to not take off before enough sats are located after experiencing this behavior (and in general) but I can tell you this does happen and I highly suspect the issue in somewhere in a line of code within firmware and or app.....although this was a couple firmware/app updates past (May-June?). In these instances I was very near an overpass that was covering a good portion of the sky and dense layers of concrete can and will occult GPS locking. Once I got enough sats locked and the "home point updated" remote cue the aircraft flew normally, but had to remain in a hover just under 100ft. (15-20 seconds) for the sats to acquire. Hence my initial suggestion (thinking code issue) of reloading an app. It could be possible the GPS issue is manifesting itself as an altitude restriction which was my purpose for sharing my experience. Something for CN to investigate at least since he was getting issues with Litchi.

A good question to ask here is there a dependable sat acquisition and home point set with the MA1?
 
GPS lock, A recorded HP or the use of different Transmission systems will not induce any 98ft height limitation... the reason is something else. Share a flight log from where you're limited in height, that will most probably reveal the true reason.

********************

Try to make it a habit to not take off before enough sats are located after experiencing this behavior (and in general) but I can tell you this does happen
It doesn't.
You may be confusing what happens if you try to fly without GPS at all.
In that case your height is restricted to 10 feet if VPS is activated and 98 feet if VPS is switched off.
See page 48 of the DJI air manual.

A good question to ask here is there a dependable sat acquisition and home point set with the MA1?
Yes and you should get it every time you fly out in the open.

But if you are asking if there's a magic number of sats to have GPS and record a homepoint, the answer is no.

There is no single number of sats that guarantees GPS and homepoint.
Wait for teh drone to tell you that it has what it needs and has recorded a homepoint.
Look for the green GPS Ready to Go in the top right of your screen.
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