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What does "Course Mode" do?

dennyc39

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What I want to do (and expected would happen) was to constrain the Mavic Pro's movement to flying along a particular straight line, using right stick 12 o'clock / 6 o'clock inputs to adjust forward/backward speed along the line, while I used the left stick to yaw it around to point at and photograph objects. However, the flight path does not follow the set course after I set the heading and press "Apply". The drones flight path is drastically affected by the drone heading, much as though Course Mode has no effect.

The manual is not very clear on this, and the videos I've watched don't say exactly how the drone is supposed to react to stick movements in Course Mode. I experimented with a Mavic Air 2 and it seems to be the same way. It is scary to be framing the scene and have the drone moving in an unexpected direction. oIf this is how it is supposed to behave, the mode seems of little use.

Another discrepancy is that the numeric heading on the display seems to have little relation to the heading. I have seen a difference of about 150 degrees or so from what local geography would indicate. I'm not too worried about this and have not tried calibrating Compass, that otherwise seems to be OK.

Seems that I am doing something wrong. I've not seen others complaining about this.
 

Zbip57

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I don't have a Mavic Pro, so I'm only guessing here. My original Phantom-1 had a Course Lock mode, and it functioned exactly as you described. It recorded the "forward" direction as the direction it was facing at power up, or a new direction could be reset during flight. When activated, the right stick pressed up/down would move the Phantom forward/back in that recorded direction, regardless of which way (yaw) the Phantom was actually facing. Similarly right/left stick input would move the Phantom 90° to the right/left of that recorded course direction, regardless of which direction the Phantom was currently facing.

The math involved to do this boggles the mind. You could have the Phantom spinning in yaw, but still flying a straight line forward or backward.

In order for any of those advanced flight functions to be operable, you first had to enable the "Intelligent Flight" system. I think that was to prevent anyone inadvertently stumbling on these special flight modes, Home Lock, or Course Lock, as it's really confusing if you're not expecting it.

I had a quick search through the Mavic Pro user manual and it says something similar on page 62.

MultipleFlightMode.jpg
Be careful, as some of these special modes will only work in certain flight modes, for example maybe not in Sport Mode. I almost lost my Phantom on one of its first flights because I didn't know Home Lock won't work while flying in Atti mode, instead it operates in Course Lock mode. THAT was confusing.

A long time ago I did a video on Course Lock and Home Lock with my Phantom. The throttle stick on the Phantom's transmitter wasn't spring centred. So it was difficult to get the setting exactly mid-point for hover. While I was blabbering away on a long speech, I didn't notice the Phantom was gradually settling behind me and it almost landed itself it the snow. Oops.

 

Ralph thompson

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If the compass isnt reading correctly u should recalibrate it, also recalibrate the SC compass if u use the SC. Confirm the compass in yr smart phone is reading correctly. Otherwise it’s quite straight forward, u set the course and the RHS stick (pitch) directs the drone along the course you’ve selected regardless of the yaw angle. You control the yaw angle with the LHS stick (yaw or rudder), so this seems to be what yr looking for.
 

Zbip57

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What I want to do (and expected would happen) was to constrain the Mavic Pro's movement to flying along a particular straight line, using right stick 12 o'clock / 6 o'clock inputs to adjust forward/backward speed along the line,...
Also just to clarify, Course Lock records a particular direction as forward/backward, not a particular line on the ground.

For example, let's say your forward Course Lock direction is set as North. In Course Mode, moving the control stick up/down will always move the drone North/South. And stick left/right will fly the drone West/East, regardless of which direction the front of the drone is actually facing.
 

CareyL

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What I want to do (and expected would happen) was to constrain the Mavic Pro's movement to flying along a particular straight line, using right stick 12 o'clock / 6 o'clock inputs to adjust forward/backward speed along the line, while I used the left stick to yaw it around to point at and photograph objects. However, the flight path does not follow the set course after I set the heading and press "Apply". The drones flight path is drastically affected by the drone heading, much as though Course Mode has no effect.

The manual is not very clear on this, and the videos I've watched don't say exactly how the drone is supposed to react to stick movements in Course Mode. I experimented with a Mavic Air 2 and it seems to be the same way. It is scary to be framing the scene and have the drone moving in an unexpected direction. oIf this is how it is supposed to behave, the mode seems of little use.

Another discrepancy is that the numeric heading on the display seems to have little relation to the heading. I have seen a difference of about 150 degrees or so from what local geography would indicate. I'm not too worried about this and have not tried calibrating Compass, that otherwise seems to be OK.

Seems that I am doing something wrong. I've not seen others complaining about this.
How about Litchi? Let it fly the pro and you look after the photo/video. Except for follow, I prefer Litchi to Go4 for everything.
 
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dennyc39

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Thank you all for the answers. I conclude that my expectations of Course Lock agree with what you say should happen. For some reason, my drone is not behaving this way and I will have to look for an operator error. For now, if I yaw 90 degrees to flight path and push right stick forward (12 o'clock), the drone flies off at an angle to the set course.

Will begin with a Compass calibration.