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New MP4 owner questions/issues/legalities

Pendolino

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Jan 6, 2024
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Age
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Hey all,

I'm the proud owner of a brand spanking new Mini 4 Pro, and absolutely love it after only 6 km of flying!

Also, in the interests of maintaining the mandatory declaration to everybody by pilots that they are, indeed, pilots - I'm a former fixed wing CPL and used to fly for an aerial photography company, but now do a proper job and like to do the flying/photography thing on the side.

I do, however, know nothing about drones beyond what I learnt to get my Flyer and Operator IDs and reading through the CAA's drone code.

I have a couple of questions that I haven't seen posted anywhere else, so hopefully somebody can help...

1) I see lots of people mentioning the 1st Jan 2024 regarding altitude restrictions in the EU. What's the deal with that? I'm in the UK, and I can set the max altitude on my MP4 to 500 m, despite the 120 m height limit. Also, I am able to set the drone to CONTINUE following waypoints even upon signal loss. Is this correct? I bought the drone just a few days ago, well after the 1st Jan, and have performed all software updates. I'm very aware of the VLOS requirement and don't intend on operating beyond this - I'm just confused as I'm led to believe that this option shouldn't be available in the EU. And yes, technically we're no longer in it, but from a regulatory standpoint we do tend still to follow their lead.

2) If I have the drone powered up indoors to do some stuff on the controller, it will enter ECO mode after a while. When disabling this, a bunch of red error messages will appear momentarily... ESC errors, gimbal motor overload, requires repair, camera problems, all kinds. Disappears after a couple of seconds and everything back to normal. Have done a few long ish flights and drone is performing normally.

3) Obstacle avoidance. Regarding the bypass/brake/nothing options, it says that obstacle avoidance isn't possible during stick flight, and it is only active during RTH. Is this correct?

Apologies for the lengthy (first!) post, but these seem like fairly important considerations that I haven't found solid answers to yet.

Any help will be much appreciated, and hopefully it will help anybody searching for this in the future!

Cheers,

Jack
 
3) Obstacle avoidance. Regarding the bypass/brake/nothing options, it says that obstacle avoidance isn't possible during stick flight, and it is only active during RTH. Is this correct?
No ... that's definitely not correct.
But if you fly in Sport Mode, OA isn't available.
 
No ... that's definitely not correct.
But if you fly in Sport Mode, OA isn't available.

Cheers, was definitely in 'Normal'. Under the option, it literally says the words in grey - "Not available during stick flight" or words to that effect.

No active warnings at the time.
 
Cheers, was definitely in 'Normal'. Under the option, it literally says the words in grey - "Not available during stick flight" or words to that effect.
The actual words must have been something else.
Check again next time you fly.

Or the message might be seen in your recorded flight data
 
With regards to 3), wouldn't the thing "to do" be to 'try' to switch OA on and then fly the drone, SLOWLY, at a good solid object like a wall and see how it behaves?
 
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@Pendolino firstly welcome to the forum.
the restictions to the max height ,and the drone stopping during waypoints are at this time not applicable here in the UK ,but if you took your drone to an EU country then when the drone was powered up then you would see those appear
with regards to the drone issues if it is just sitting turned on as say during an update ,then it does get quite hot so to protect the inner workings it will shut down after a certain temperature is reached to overcome this just have a small desk type fan or indeed any type of fan blowing over the drone and this will prevent this from happening all the open class rules here in the UK are being looked at by the CAA at the moment and in the future there may well be some changes coming our way to match those in other countries
 
3) Obstacle avoidance. Regarding the bypass/brake/nothing options, it says that obstacle avoidance isn't possible during stick flight, and it is only active during RTH. Is this correct?

OA is always active, unless you set it to None or you are in Sports mode. I recommend using brake as bypass will make the drone flight unpredictable. Brake just decreases the speed of the drone but don't affect its trajectory at all.

If you have problems with the drone randomly stopping during dawn/dusk/blue hour just change to sport mode for a while.
 
if it is just sitting turned on as say during an update ,then it does get quite hot so to protect the inner workings it will shut down after a certain temperature is reached to overcome this just have a small desk type fan or indeed any type of fan blowing over the drone and this will prevent this from happening
And save your Drone from cooking itself! as soon as possible go out and get that fan- I like the little USB desk models
 
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Greetings from Birmingham Alabama USA, welcome to the forum! We look forward to hearing from you!
 
Has there been actual overheating damage with the Mini 4 Pro? Or is this a precautionary suggestion?
ANY Drone turned on and left without some sort of cooling such as a fan will eventually fry itself. Some drones only take a few min. Some like DJI a little more time, and while it may have some sort of safety shut-off, any excess heat is not good for your drone.
As this indeed may be a precautionary measure, It is not something I am willing to test for myself- But I have fried a few drone parts just by carelessly leaving the Battery hooked up.
 
ANY Drone turned on and left without some sort of cooling such as a fan will eventually fry itself. Some drones only take a few min. Some like DJI a little more time, and while it may have some sort of safety shut-off, any excess heat is not good for your drone.
As this indeed may be a precautionary measure, It is not something I am willing to test for myself- But I have fried a few drone parts just by carelessly leaving the Battery hooked up.
So no reports of particular overheating problems and damage with the Mini 4 Pro.

But, a small fan is a good idea for any of the models without internal cooling fans if they're to be powered on on the desk for more than a few minutes.
 
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Hey all,

I'm the proud owner of a brand spanking new Mini 4 Pro, and absolutely love it after only 6 km of flying!

Also, in the interests of maintaining the mandatory declaration to everybody by pilots that they are, indeed, pilots - I'm a former fixed wing CPL and used to fly for an aerial photography company, but now do a proper job and like to do the flying/photography thing on the side.

I do, however, know nothing about drones beyond what I learnt to get my Flyer and Operator IDs and reading through the CAA's drone code.

I have a couple of questions that I haven't seen posted anywhere else, so hopefully somebody can help...

1) I see lots of people mentioning the 1st Jan 2024 regarding altitude restrictions in the EU. What's the deal with that? I'm in the UK, and I can set the max altitude on my MP4 to 500 m, despite the 120 m height limit. Also, I am able to set the drone to CONTINUE following waypoints even upon signal loss. Is this correct? I bought the drone just a few days ago, well after the 1st Jan, and have performed all software updates. I'm very aware of the VLOS requirement and don't intend on operating beyond this - I'm just confused as I'm led to believe that this option shouldn't be available in the EU. And yes, technically we're no longer in it, but from a regulatory standpoint we do tend still to follow their lead.

2) If I have the drone powered up indoors to do some stuff on the controller, it will enter ECO mode after a while. When disabling this, a bunch of red error messages will appear momentarily... ESC errors, gimbal motor overload, requires repair, camera problems, all kinds. Disappears after a couple of seconds and everything back to normal. Have done a few long ish flights and drone is performing normally.

3) Obstacle avoidance. Regarding the bypass/brake/nothing options, it says that obstacle avoidance isn't possible during stick flight, and it is only active during RTH. Is this correct?

Apologies for the lengthy (first!) post, but these seem like fairly important considerations that I haven't found solid answers to yet.

Any help will be much appreciated, and hopefully it will help anybody searching for this in the future!

Cheers,

Jack
Probably the best current source of reliable information on the UK regulations and how they are about to change is the CAA consultation paper of Nov 2023. Every UK pilot should read it imho.
 
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I have an awful fear that CAA sub 250g category drones laws are on the cards to be tightened thanks to the antics of the so called "Auditors" who provoke building owners and the authorities, especially the Police into confrontation.

Flying over a building, exercising "lawful” flight, and then defending that legal precedent if challenged is one thing, but going into the building to tell them that you ARE going to over fly their space, regardless of any of their concerns is completely another and an unnecessary attempt to goad confrontation for effect.

It will all end in tears, but not for them, but us more considerate hobby flyers.
 
Thanks for all the replies - I've settled into it a bit more now, having performed a few more flights.

I've figured out the obstacle avoidance issue, and it wasn't an issue at all. My first few flights just happened to be in low light conditions... A few in the late Winter afternoon and a couple of night flights. Had the drone out today in the Fens - it was white across the board and refused to fly into me, not for lack of trying!

I noticed the gimbal 'kicking' today on some stationary -90 degree shots, presumably due to it hitting the stop on account of the drone's pitch in the quartering tailwind I had. I guess it's better to do these type of shots into wind so the gimbal has as much freedom as it likes to 'pitch up', as it were?

Interesting reading regarding the CAA's consultation - I suppose like many things, increased popularity = increased regulation.

Thanks for all the kind welcome messages!
 
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So no reports of particular overheating problems and damage with the Mini 4 Pro.

But, a small fan is a good idea for any of the models without internal cooling fans if they're to be powered on on the desk for more than a few minutes.

The Mini 4 Pro will go into what I call "Update" or "Low Power" mode when it's sitting and starts getting hot.
 
Has there been actual overheating damage with the Mini 4 Pro? Or is this a precautionary suggestion?

Haven't seen any reports yet (which simply means I haven't seen any reports yet 😁), but given the design constraints that cause the Mini3P to overheat, that are present with the M4P, it's a reasonable assumption.

That said, using more efficient electronics, like switching regulators rather than splitters and so forth could tip the balance the other way.

We'll see...
 
Haven't seen any reports yet (which simply means I haven't seen any reports yet 😁), but given the design constraints that cause the Mini3P to overheat, that are present with the M4P, it's a reasonable assumption.

That said, using more efficient electronics, like switching regulators rather than splitters and so forth could tip the balance the other way.

We'll see...
No reports showing up here or the DJI forum with thousands of units in operation for more than three months. I think it's safe to say it's not a characteristic problem of the Mini 4 Pro.
 
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