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New Mavic Air: Should I Download the Latest Firmware?

Ray&Paula

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Hi, Receiving my Mavic Air today!! I came across the following video that has me concerned about the current firmware V01.00.0400. Does anyone here know if I have to download this buggy firmware for my new Mavic Air or can I choose an earlier one? If I can choose an earlier version, could you please let me know how? I would sincerely appreciate any help. I'd like to add, I'm a newbie. Thanks, Ray

 

TVEngineer77

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I just received mine Wednesday and it came with .0300. I decided to leave it on there for now until the issues from .0400 are addressed. I know not everyone has these issues, but being brand new to drone flying, I don't want any potential issues to occur that I didn't cause myself.
 

Ray&Paula

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I just received mine Wednesday and it came with .0300. I decided to leave it on there for now until the issues from .0400 are addressed. I know not everyone has these issues, but being brand new to drone flying, I don't want any potential issues to occur that I didn't cause myself.

Great! Mine will be here today. Hopefully mine will have the same firmware as yours. I've read in several posts in general, that it's not a good idea to update to new firmware because of these types of problems. Thanks again, Ray
 

CanadaDrone

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Mine is rock solid on .0400 - about 6 batteries through using multiple flight modes and zero issues. YMMV - I can understand why there may be some hesitation given some people's posts about it, but I am also of the opinion that you typically only hear from the 1% of people with a problem, not the 99% of happy ones. The issues really don't seem to be too widespread, at least based on forum activity. Whether that is true or not in this case I do not know for sure :) It is also dangerous to fly with inconsistent firmware versions between your remote/batteries/drone, so just make sure you aren't causing yourself other problems by trying to avoid a certain FW.
 
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Ray&Paula

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Mine is rock solid on .0400 - about 6 batteries through using multiple flight modes and zero issues. YMMV - I can understand why there may be some hesitation given some people's posts about it, but I am also of the opinion that you typically only hear from the 1% of people with a problem, not the 99% of happy ones. The issues really don't seem to be too widespread, at least based on forum activity. Whether that is true or not in this case I do not know for sure :) It is also dangerous to fly with inconsistent firmware versions between your remote/batteries/drone, so just make sure you aren't causing yourself other problems by trying to avoid a certain FW.

I agree.... as a Newbie, I don't want to be part of the 1%. There certainly two sides to this. On a different note, is it true that the batteries receive updates as well? Thanks, Ray
 

Rampage

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I agree.... as a Newbie, I don't want to be part of the 1%. There certainly two sides to this. On a different note, is it true that the batteries receive updates as well? Thanks, Ray

They do, you need to put in your aircraft and update every battery separately if you see the update request on the DJI GO app
 

CanadaDrone

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I agree.... as a Newbie, I don't want to be part of the 1%. There certainly two sides to this. On a different note, is it true that the batteries receive updates as well? Thanks, Ray

Totally understandable - better safe than sorry, especially while learning.

Yes, the batteries, remote, and aircraft all receive separate firmware updates that may or may not be released simultaneously from DJI (i.e. there may be an aircraft update, but no updates to the remote or batteries at that time).

The one you really need to watch out for are the battery firmware updates - most people have the Fly More combo and therefore have at least 3 batteries. If there is a battery FW update, you will need to update each battery separately and individually by shutting down the aircraft, swapping batteries, and turning everything back on again. That will force a firmware check through the DJI GO app, and it will prompt you to update the battery each time. This can all be done wirelessly in your home, no need to hook it up to the computer or anything, but you will need everything hooked up almost as if you were ready to fly. It's not difficult, it just takes a few extra minutes and you need to remember to do it :)
 
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Ray&Paula

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Totally understandable - better safe than sorry, especially while learning.

Yes, the batteries, remote, and aircraft all receive separate firmware updates that may or may not be released simultaneously from DJI (i.e. there may be an aircraft update, but no updates to the remote or batteries at that time).

The one you really need to watch out for are the battery firmware updates - most people have the Fly More combo and therefore have at least 3 batteries. If there is a battery FW update, you will need to update each battery separately and individually by shutting down the aircraft, swapping batteries, and turning everything back on again. That will force a firmware check through the DJI GO app, and it will prompt you to update the battery each time. This can all be done wirelessly in your home, no need to hook it up to the computer or anything, but you will need everything hooked up almost as if you were ready to fly. It's not difficult, it just takes a few extra minutes and you need to remember to do it :)

Thanks for all the great info. I'll probably do it wirelessly at home. Are there any clear directions to do both ways.......? Thanks again and have a great Holiday weekend. :)
 

CanadaDrone

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Thanks for all the great info. I'll probably do it wirelessly at home. Are there any clear directions to do both ways.......? Thanks again and have a great Holiday weekend. :)

If you do it wirelessly through the app, it will prompt you - when you start up the app each time, you will notice it says "checking firmware versions" or something to that effect every single time, whether or not it has an update to install.

I've never done it manually via PC and cable - I'm sure it's straightforward but it seems like a lot of extra effort.
 

Ray&Paula

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If you do it wirelessly through the app, it will prompt you - when you start up the app each time, you will notice it says "checking firmware versions" or something to that effect every single time, whether or not it has an update to install.

I've never done it manually via PC and cable - I'm sure it's straightforward but it seems like a lot of extra effort.
Well...... I don't want it asking me all the time therefore, and please correct me if I'm wrong, I should do it connected to the Mavic Air to eliminate the constant message upon start up? Or, Am I missing something? Thanks again for all your help. Ray
 

CanadaDrone

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Well...... I don't want it asking me all the time therefore, and please correct me if I'm wrong, I should do it connected to the Mavic Air to eliminate the constant message upon start up? Or, Am I missing something? Thanks again for all your help. Ray

The app will ALWAYS do a firmware check when you launch the app or after a power cycle, that is unavoidable as far as I know. In the status bar at the top, it will briefly tell you that it's checking FW - if it's up to date, it tells you so and then it disappears automatically in a couple seconds, if it's not, it alerts you and prompts the update. What you don't really want is to be in the middle of nowhere with no data connection and have it tell you that a FW update is necessary, but if that happens, presumably you are on whatever previous stable FW version there was and it's not the end of the world - it's more important to avoid inconsistent FW versions. You can update in the field, but the files are big and it will eat up your cellular data.

You can keep an eye on the forums and DJI's website for new firmware, but ideally you would fire up the drone quickly before leaving the house (you don't need to fly it - just hook up the remote, smartphone or tablet, launch the app, and power on the drone) and let it check for firmware. At this time it will check the aircraft, battery, and remote all at once. If there is an update, quickly apply it before heading out. If there isn't, pack up and head out. As far as I know there is no way to disable the FW checks, but I don't think you would want to do that anyway.

Hope that is clear - it can be a little confusing at first how it all comes together. Bottom line is that you want it to be checking the FW for you and letting you know if there's updates. You don't have to install it if you don't want to, but it will always check and alert you (or tell you everything is up to date) when you launch the app before it lets you fly.
 

Ray&Paula

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The app will ALWAYS do a firmware check when you launch the app or after a power cycle, that is unavoidable as far as I know. In the status bar at the top, it will briefly tell you that it's checking FW - if it's up to date, it tells you so and then it disappears automatically in a couple seconds, if it's not, it alerts you and prompts the update. What you don't really want is to be in the middle of nowhere with no data connection and have it tell you that a FW update is necessary, but if that happens, presumably you are on whatever previous stable FW version there was and it's not the end of the world - it's more important to avoid inconsistent FW versions. You can update in the field, but the files are big and it will eat up your cellular data.

You can keep an eye on the forums and DJI's website for new firmware, but ideally you would fire up the drone quickly before leaving the house (you don't need to fly it - just hook up the remote, smartphone or tablet, launch the app, and power on the drone) and let it check for firmware. At this time it will check the aircraft, battery, and remote all at once. If there is an update, quickly apply it before heading out. If there isn't, pack up and head out. As far as I know there is no way to disable the FW checks, but I don't think you would want to do that anyway.

Hope that is clear - it can be a little confusing at first how it all comes together. Bottom line is that you want it to be checking the FW for you and letting you know if there's updates. You don't have to install it if you don't want to, but it will always check and alert you (or tell you everything is up to date) when you launch the app before it lets you fly.

Thank you for all the great info. I just received the Mavic Air this afternoon and haven't done anything yet....been to busy sadly :( I feel the same as TVEngineer77 stated earlier in post #2 with sticking with FW .0300 for now. The only question now is if I'm flying and I'm asked to update do I have to bring it down and update? In my situation, I will be using an iPad Air 2 with WiFi only (no cellular). I know I can use my iPhone as a hotspot, but doing it that way would be a P.I.A.. Updating from my MacBook Pro at home would be I.M.O. be much easier. When there is a FW update, does the prompt keep bugging you "constantly" while flying? I believe the updates are important, but I hate to as soon as they are released. Thanks again for your help. Ray
 

CanadaDrone

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Thank you for all the great info. I just received the Mavic Air this afternoon and haven't done anything yet....been to busy sadly :( I feel the same as TVEngineer77 stated earlier in post #2 with sticking with FW .0300 for now. The only question now is if I'm flying and I'm asked to update do I have to bring it down and update? In my situation, I will be using an iPad Air 2 with WiFi only (no cellular). I know I can use my iPhone as a hotspot, but doing it that way would be a P.I.A.. Updating from my MacBook Pro at home would be I.M.O. be much easier. When there is a FW update, does the prompt keep bugging you "constantly" while flying? I believe the updates are important, but I hate to as soon as they are released. Thanks again for your help. Ray

You cannot update the firmware while flying - the aircraft needs a power cycle to complete the firmware update as well. If you aren't connected to WiFi or a cellular network, I don't think it has any way of checking for an update - I am actually not sure what message it gives you in that case. Most people update at home over WiFi, I don't think many people are waiting to do it in the field over cellular data - you might be sitting around waiting for a long time too, wasting your battery (the drone has to stay on while the FW is downloaded and applied).

No the FW prompt does not keep bugging you - it is a brief notification when you launch the app, and you can manually trigger a FW check in the settings menu as well.

For you, if you do not wish to update the FW, I would just leave everything as-is to avoid inconsistent FW versions until you decide you want to update everything. I am not sure what FW your drone ships with, but in previous FW's they did make some significant improvements and bug fixes, so it's something to consider. Not everyone is having problems with .0400 (I am not, yet), but a few definitely are. You could probably update to .0300, but I am not sure if that would cause any FW inconsistency issues with the remote or batteries. That would probably have to be done manually via your Mac but I have never done that so I don't want to try tell you what to do there. I am guessing you could manually use the latest FW for remote and batteries, and then one version previous for the aircraft - the best way to achieve that, I am not sure.

Normally, if I were you, I would quickly check at home over WiFi with everything hooked up to your iPad and powered on for FW updates. Update if necessary, and then pack up and head out to where you want to fly. Don't worry about it once you're in the field.

Also note the drone has a cooling fan with 2 speeds (low and high) that you will hear when you are updating firmware - totally normal, no need to worry about those noises or if you hear it kick into 'high gear'.
 

Ray&Paula

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You cannot update the firmware while flying - the aircraft needs a power cycle to complete the firmware update as well. If you aren't connected to WiFi or a cellular network, I don't think it has any way of checking for an update - I am actually not sure what message it gives you in that case. Most people update at home over WiFi, I don't think many people are waiting to do it in the field over cellular data - you might be sitting around waiting for a long time too, wasting your battery (the drone has to stay on while the FW is downloaded and applied).

No the FW prompt does not keep bugging you - it is a brief notification when you launch the app, and you can manually trigger a FW check in the settings menu as well.

For you, if you do not wish to update the FW, I would just leave everything as-is to avoid inconsistent FW versions until you decide you want to update everything. I am not sure what FW your drone ships with, but in previous FW's they did make some significant improvements and bug fixes, so it's something to consider. Not everyone is having problems with .0400 (I am not, yet), but a few definitely are. You could probably update to .0300, but I am not sure if that would cause any FW inconsistency issues with the remote or batteries. That would probably have to be done manually via your Mac but I have never done that so I don't want to try tell you what to do there. I am guessing you could manually use the latest FW for remote and batteries, and then one version previous for the aircraft - the best way to achieve that, I am not sure.

Normally, if I were you, I would quickly check at home over WiFi with everything hooked up to your iPad and powered on for FW updates. Update if necessary, and then pack up and head out to where you want to fly. Don't worry about it once you're in the field.

Also note the drone has a cooling fan with 2 speeds (low and high) that you will hear when you are updating firmware - totally normal, no need to worry about those noises or if you hear it kick into 'high gear'.

Thank you for taking the time in explaining these procedures. I'll be going through these steps within the next few days or so on my MacBook. You've been a tremendous amount of help and I sincerely appreciate it. It's nice to know that there are great members here to lend a hand. Thanks again, Ray :)
 

groovadelic

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If you are going to modify your drone, you should look here before you upgrade.
BirdMap-nolimitdronez.com
With some version, you can not downgrade.

Such great advice. I wish I had done that before I blindly let my new Air update.
I actually "thought" about checking for hacks, but my excitement to get up and flying quickly took over. :p
 

CanadaDrone

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Thank you for taking the time in explaining these procedures. I'll be going through these steps within the next few days or so on my MacBook. You've been a tremendous amount of help and I sincerely appreciate it. It's nice to know that there are great members here to lend a hand. Thanks again, Ray :)

Happy to help, Ray.
 

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