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This DJI nanny stuff needs to stop!

Robert Mitchell

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This week we went to the coast for a vacation, and as usual to get some shots of the area. I knew before leaving that the area was full of NFZs and chose my locations as carefully as possible to minimize conflicts.

After doing my due diligence, and making my obligatory calls to the airports nearby, I self authorized, in a yellow authorization zone, (not the first flight at this location BTW) Authorization was successful, so I launched and held a hover about 20 feet up and 30 feet out.

Just before starting out over the pier and ocean, I received an alert and red notice, "YOU ARE IN AN UNAUTHORIZED ZONE, LAND IMMEDIATELY!" Then "FORCED LANDING... LANDING IN 15, 14, 13..." at which point I simply walked over and waited to do a hand catch as I was over deep sand and didn't want it burying itself.

Admittedly a benign ending, but it could've been much worse if I had just buzzed off over the ocean instead of hovering over the beach.

I have been flying drones for several years now and this trend of taking control of a legally purchased product away from the owner is getting to the point of eroding confidence and one of the reasons I was originally hesitant of purchasing a DJI product.

Dont get me wrong, IMO this is still the best product for the price out there, but I'm really thinking this needs to be bether thought through.

Has anyone else had a similar experience, and if so were you able to prevent a bad outcome?
 
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My bet is that being a Chinese company that probably does not give a rats arse about this authorization stuff, they are being told to put it in place or your stuff will be banned in certain countries. Between the ridiculous government regulations like the ones we now enjoy in Canada and the zone nanny, it is going to become a sport in itself to find a place to fly that isn't some farmers field....
 
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My bet is that being a Chinese company that probably does not give a rats arse about this authorization stuff, they are being told to put it in place or your stuff will be banned in certain countries. Between the ridiculous government regulations like the ones we now enjoy in Canada and the zone nanny, it is going to become a sport in itself to find a place to fly that isn't some farmers field....
I do get that, and I agree with what you say, except at some point, users, especially the ones making a living off these things will begin to demand more authority for their own fate, or some other company will rise to fill that gap.
 
I had to turn Geo Fencing off on mine. An area I fly often, along with many other RC-ers, is at the edge of a NFZ. But, it's in a deep canyon. The air strip is over 500 feet above the canyon, and the NFZ just touches the furthest edge of the canyon, about a mile from where I launch (ie, I'm 6 miles away from the air strip). If a plane were flying in this canyon, the pilot would be mumbling something about, "Jesus please receive my soul into heaven", as this is no place for aircraft to be. I kept getting warnings, and just decided to **** down the Geo Fencing feature.
 
I had to turn Geo Fencing off on mine. An area I fly often, along with many other RC-ers, is at the edge of a NFZ. But, it's in a deep canyon. The air strip is over 500 feet above the canyon, and the NFZ just touches the furthest edge of the canyon, about a mile from where I launch (ie, I'm 6 miles away from the air strip). If a plane were flying in this canyon, the pilot would be mumbling something about, "Jesus please receive my soul into heaven", as this is no place for aircraft to be. I kept getting warnings, and just decided to **** down the Geo Fencing feature.
I always understood that if you turn off the GEO and you are in what the Mavic considers a NFZ you can't take off, OR self authorize.
 
I thought the same thing - but it did stop nagging me in this particular location when I crossed into the NFZ. Keeping in mind that I launch from outside of the zone.
 
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I thought the same thing - but it did stop nagging me in this particular location when I crossed into the NFZ. Keeping in mind that I launch from outside of the zone.
Hmmm, that might be a tactic, even in a NFZ. Maybe once you have authorization, you could turn off GEO to prevent further nanny action on Mavics part.

Would be interesting to know how this might work in reality. Wondering if it might actually have prevented my scenario.
 
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I had to turn Geo Fencing off on mine. An area I fly often, along with many other RC-ers, is at the edge of a NFZ. But, it's in a deep canyon. The air strip is over 500 feet above the canyon, and the NFZ just touches the furthest edge of the canyon, about a mile from where I launch (ie, I'm 6 miles away from the air strip). If a plane were flying in this canyon, the pilot would be mumbling something about, "Jesus please receive my soul into heaven", as this is no place for aircraft to be. I kept getting warnings, and just decided to **** down the Geo Fencing feature.
How do you turn off GEO Fencing? What FW version are you running? I'm reading more and more NFZ issues due to FW updates, and how some are resolved and some aren't. Does it switch modes or anything when you do this? Are you agreeing that your breaking the rules with the slider option before take off?

I'm a newb so I'm trying to learn everything I possibly can to prevent crashes or worse a waste of my time on a vacation.

Thanks,
Rob
 
I am vehemently agreeing with you ;-)

I also agree.
Lousy customer service and bad batches are one thing but when you own a solid Mavic and it gets deliberetly crippled by an update, that IMO crosses the line.
 
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I do get that, and I agree with what you say, except at some point, users, especially the ones making a living off these things will begin to demand more authority for their own fate, or some other company will rise to fill that gap.
If only.
In reality I doubt anyone has the balls to try their luck at making something more permissive at this point... actually some of the machines I've used that could compete with DJI are more restricted, e.g. 400ft alt limit and LOS-enforcing max distance from pilot that are unconditional and cannot be lifted in any way.
The other company would have to either do just the same to make sure to protect their investment, or take years to make sure to do exactly the right thing so as not to risk being sued.

So users can demand whatever they want, but at this point no one wants to take the liability of giving them what they demand.
 
You know, the motorcycle industry does the same thing with EFI programming and certain components required to hit efficiency and emissions standards. The only difference, we have an entire aftermarket of parts to fix the factory "defects" :)
I see the similarities, but the difference is, it doesn't completely take away your bikes functionality, you can still ride at any time or place of your choosing. It doesn't stop your ride at a random time or place, or force you to the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.

I think that is where they cross the line.
 
If only.
In reality I doubt anyone has the balls to try their luck at making something more permissive at this point... actually some of the machines I've used that could compete with DJI are more restricted, e.g. 400ft alt limit and LOS-enforcing max distance from pilot that are unconditional and cannot be lifted in any way.
The other company would have to either do just the same to make sure to protect their investment, or take years to make sure to do exactly the right thing so as not to risk being sued.

So users can demand whatever they want, but at this point no one wants to risk giving them what they demand.
Interesting points, I wasn't aware of the restrictions on other brands. I've flown other advanced drones with DJI components and never had similar restrictions, but they were older.

So, I'm most worried about the TREND and where it is going, and the flawed attention to detail in administering the restrictions. If you're going to keep me from flying, or force me to land (potentially in a dangerous or unsafe location) you need to have your s*** correct.
 
If only.
In reality I doubt anyone has the balls to try their luck at making something more permissive at this point... actually some of the machines I've used that could compete with DJI are more restricted, e.g. 400ft alt limit and LOS-enforcing max distance from pilot that are unconditional and cannot be lifted in any way.
The other company would have to either do just the same to make sure to protect their investment, or take years to make sure to do exactly the right thing so as not to risk being sued.

So users can demand whatever they want, but at this point no one wants to take the liability of giving them what they demand.
And it's not even so much the fact I am being restricted, as much as the mistakes they are making as the basis for those restrictions. I'm not trying to get around the rules, but being frustrated while trying to operate within them.
 
And it's not even so much the fact I am being restricted, as much as the mistakes they are making as the basis for those restrictions. I'm not trying to get around the rules, but being frustrated while trying to operate within them.
Solidarity brother!
 
So who is going to be the first person that comes up with a way of "telling" the Mavic to do what they want it to do ? I remember a time when computers first arrived in automobiles and everyone said Hot Rodding was over ! Then some guy developed the Hypertech chip that could re-program or over ride the onboard computer :)
 
So who is going to be the first person that comes up with a way of "telling" the Mavic to do what they want it to do ? I remember a time when computers first arrived in automobiles and everyone said Hot Rodding was over ! Then some guy developed the Hypertech chip that could re-program or over ride the onboard computer :)
there is already a mod for the phantom and inspire that does a "man in the middle" on the GPS and flight controller, but the Mavic is a lot more tightly integrated so no idea if that is possible without cutting traces and soldering.
 
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