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Which GPS Location Controls Restricted Area? Drone or Mobile Device?

jclarkw

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I have two different mobile phones with which I operate my Mavic Air 2 via an RC 231:

1) iPhone 13 Pro -- iOS 16.6.1 with DJI Fly 1.12.0 -- both slightly out of date I now see (maybe that's the difference?)
2) Used LG G6 -- Android 8.0.0 (seriously out of date but maybe the newest it supports) with DJI Fly just updated to 1.12.3.

I live in the DC Metro area's huge no-fly zone; so for testing behavior even indoors, I have to tape aluminum foil over the GPS antenna on top of the drone -- see attached photo.

20231122-IMG_1231.jpg

This allows me at least to take off. Or it does so with the iPhone... I just discovered that it won't take off at all with the LG. It immediately reports it's in a restricted zone, even though the drone itself doesn't actually know this.

Has anyone else noticed this highly annoying behavior? Perhaps DJI "fixed" this "problem" with the latest app update? Do I have to downgrade DJI Fly to 1.12.0 on my LG in order to allow takeoff (and avoid updating my iPhone)?

If a downgrade is necessary, can anyone please remind my how this is done, both finding the "obsolete" app version for Android and then installing it on the LG? -- jclarkw
 
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I am not 100% sure but I think that it uses the drone GPS when it is available, but if it isn't available, it tries to use your phone's GPS.
 
Old android versions of the app = Download DJI Fly APKs for Android - APKMirror

As an experiment try switching location services on the phone off.

The primary source of location data for the drone comes from the drone, otherwise the drone would be lost if disconnected from the phone/controller.
However, if the app couldn't access the phone's location data it surely couldn't plot the position of the controller on the map so it must also have access to the phone's location data for some purposes at least.
With that in mind it may well be that the App can use both sources in the context of this thread, hence the above "As an...." suggestion.
 
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obsolete android versions of the app = Download DJI Fly APKs for Android - APKMirror

As an experiment try switching location services on the phone off.

The primary source of location data for the drone comes from the drone, otherwise the drone would be lost if disconnected from the phone/controller.
However, if the app couldn't access the phone's location data it surely couldn't plot the position of the controller on the map so it must also have access to the phone's location data for some purposes at least.
With that in mind it may well be that the App can use both sources in the context of this thread, hence the above "As an...." suggestion.
Good idea, Y_P, but it didn't work! It still won't take off with the LG phone because of "Remote ID Error." Tapping the error message indicates, "...Make sure DJI Fly can access mobile device location..."

This makes it seem even more likely that DJI Fly 1.12.0 had a "bug" that didn't check the mobile-device location data for a restricted area. This was, after all, the first version that came out (on a rush-rush basis) after the RID firmware became available. Apparently they've now "fixed" this "bug"... -- jclarkw
 
It doesn't matter where the controller is as far as controlled airspace. Drone only, after all, that's what's flying.
One would think, but from the above details it would seem that you are wrong.

DJI Fly has always (as long as I've used it) required permission to access location information from the mobile device in order to run, but recently there's another reason, now that we all have the RID firmware: The FAA requires that not only the drone's location, but also that of the controller, be broadcast, presumably so that law enforcement can track down the violating operator. -- jclarkw
 
Good idea, Y_P, but it didn't work! It still won't take off with the LG phone because of "Remote ID Error." Tapping the error message indicates, "...Make sure DJI Fly can access mobile device location...
That's a pity.
 
Old android versions of the app = Download DJI Fly APKs for Android - APKMirror

As an experiment try switching location services on the phone off.

The primary source of location data for the drone comes from the drone, otherwise the drone would be lost if disconnected from the phone/controller.
However, if the app couldn't access the phone's location data it surely couldn't plot the position of the controller on the map so it must also have access to the phone's location data for some purposes at least.
With that in mind it may well be that the App can use both sources in the context of this thread, hence the above "As an...."
Update Since my Last Reply: On the LG phone I removed DJI Fly 1.12.3 and installed 1.12.0 from the mirror site. This version still requires GPS access on the phone, but it behaves the same as the same version on the iPhone. In other words, it lets me take off as long as the GPS antenna on the drone is covered. Hooray!

Conclusion: It's not anything to do with the LG vs. iPhone. It must be that DJI Fly 1.12.3 (and perhaps earlier) has "fixed" this "problem" with RID, as suspected. You won't see me upgrading the iPhone anytime soon!

Cheers! -- jclarkw
 
Update Since my Last Reply: On the LG phone I removed DJI Fly 1.12.3 and installed 1.12.0 from the mirror site. This version still requires GPS access on the phone, but it behaves the same as the same version on the iPhone. In other words, it lets me take off as long as the GPS antenna on the drone is covered. Hooray!

Conclusion: It's not anything to do with the LG vs. iPhone. It must be that DJI Fly 1.12.3 (and perhaps earlier) has "fixed" this "problem" with RID, as suspected. You won't see me upgrading the iPhone anytime soon!

Cheers! -- jclarkw
Disclaimer -- Of course I'm not trying to get away with flying outdoors in a restricted zone -- probably wouldn't work anyhow, as the drone would likely get enough GPS signal in open air to refuse -- and trying this is definitely NOT recommended.

But the FAA CAN'T mind if I fly inside my own home for experimental purposes... -- jclarkw
 
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One would think, but from the above details it would seem that you are wrong.

DJI Fly has always (as long as I've used it) required permission to access location information from the mobile device in order to run, but recently there's another reason, now that we all have the RID firmware: The FAA requires that not only the drone's location, but also that of the controller, be broadcast, presumably so that law enforcement can track down the violating operator. -- jclarkw
This is the correct answer.
 
I have two different mobile phones with which I operate my Mavic Air 2 via an RC 231:

1) iPhone 13 Pro -- iOS 16.6.1 with DJI Fly 1.12.0 -- both slightly out of date I now see (maybe that's the difference?)
2) Used LG G6 -- Android 8.0.0 (seriously out of date but maybe the newest it supports) with DJI Fly just updated to 1.12.3.

I live in the DC Metro area's huge no-fly zone; so for testing behavior even indoors, I have to tape aluminum foil over the GPS antenna on top of the drone -- see attached photo.

View attachment 170551

This allows me at least to take off. Or it does so with the iPhone... I just discovered that it won't take off at all with the LG. It immediately reports it's in a restricted zone, even though the drone itself doesn't actually know this.

Has anyone else noticed this highly annoying behavior? Perhaps DJI "fixed" this "problem" with the latest app update? Do I have to downgrade DJI Fly to 1.12.0 on my LG in order to allow takeoff (and avoid updating my iPhone)?

If a downgrade is necessary, can anyone please remind my how this is done, both finding the "obsolete" app version for Android and then installing it on the LG? -- jclarkw
First off, China doesn't care about U.S. airspace (or is ignorant of it), so DJI will heave upon the unweary pilot erroneous No Fly Zones. This is why all of my drones are hacked. This has saved my client THOUSANDS of dollars in wasted man hours (because often my flights include a very expensive survey crew). That said...

It pisses me off to no end that DJI doesn't share in ANY information of HOW the whole NFZ Geofencing handshaking works. Fortunately for all of us, I think I have it figured out...which I'm sharing for the first time.

What I am pretty sure of....

The iPad knows where the NFZ's are (or it THINKS it knows), but it doesn't know where it is in space (NONE of my iPads have GPS chips on purpose). Conversely, the drone knows where it is in space, but it doesn't know if it's in an NFZ until the iPad tells it so. This is easily confirmed by flying sans iPad. But beware, once the iPad is connected to the drone, that NFZ information is immediately uploaded and STORED in the drone (OR the controller).

What I'm not completely sure of....

The good news is that (at least for the Inspire 1), memory is volatile. So powering off the drone and removing the battery SHOULD delete all NFZ information (I haven't fully tested this). I believe NFZ information is NOT stored in the controller. So, in theory, if you are GeoFenced at a given location, you should be able to disconnect your iPad, power off your drone, remove the battery, reinstall the battery, power up the drone, and fly SANS iPad.

What I am 100% sure of...

I keep two iPads with me (one as a spare). The spare iPad is never connected to the Internet. Because it is never connected to the Internet, I does not receive NFZ information.

If, for any reason, my drone is GeoFenced, I can RESET (remove) the GeoFencing with the spare iPad. I have to power down the drone, remove the battery, change out the iPad, reinstall the drone battery, power up the drone, and then I can fly. If I decide to reconnect the "spoiled" iPad, the drone will be grounded. By switching back and forth between iPads, I can turn GeoFencing on and off like a light switch. Again, this is for the Inspire 1. My Mavic Pro is fully hacked. My P4P is MOSTLY hacked. While I can fly the P4P manually anywhere in the world, it will not fly in Intelligent Mode within 1 mile of an airport. I still haven't found a workaround for that.

Armed with this information, I invite you to do your own experimentation.

Worth noting, I use all legacy iPads, legacy iOS, legacy Go App and legacy Go 4 App. All my drones are loaded with legacy firmware. So if you have the latest/greatest everything, your results may vary. I occasionally use DJI's Ground Station Pro (version 1), but not for waypoint flying. I do NOT use "Pilot" or any other DJI apps for my Inspire, Mavic Pro or P4P. We DO occasionally use the Pilot App for my business partner's M300, but only for the purpose of gaining flight permission (permissions can not be granted via the 3rd-party app we use for waypoint flying).

D
 
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I have two different mobile phones with which I operate my Mavic Air 2 via an RC 231:

1) iPhone 13 Pro -- iOS 16.6.1 with DJI Fly 1.12.0 -- both slightly out of date I now see (maybe that's the difference?)
2) Used LG G6 -- Android 8.0.0 (seriously out of date but maybe the newest it supports) with DJI Fly just updated to 1.12.3.

I live in the DC Metro area's huge no-fly zone; so for testing behavior even indoors, I have to tape aluminum foil over the GPS antenna on top of the drone -- see attached photo.

View attachment 170551

This allows me at least to take off. Or it does so with the iPhone... I just discovered that it won't take off at all with the LG. It immediately reports it's in a restricted zone, even though the drone itself doesn't actually know this.

Has anyone else noticed this highly annoying behavior? Perhaps DJI "fixed" this "problem" with the latest app update? Do I have to downgrade DJI Fly to 1.12.0 on my LG in order to allow takeoff (and avoid updating my iPhone)?

If a downgrade is necessary, can anyone please remind my how this is done, both finding the "obsolete" app version for Android and then installing it on the LG? -- jclarkw
I use this and avoid all these issues. nolimitdronez.com
 
I personally have the Mavic Pro, however the Mavic Air 2 and 2S can be modified to fly anywhere.
Riteguy -- I must be missing something then. Their compatibility table indicates that all of the recent FW versions are only amenable to "Speed Boost" and not Downgradable. -- jclarkw
 
Riteguy -- I must be missing something then. Their compatibility table indicates that all of the recent FW versions are only amenable to "Speed Boost" and not Downgradable. -- jclarkw
My error, after looking at the table I see your issue if you are on 02.04.1640. These guys are out of England and are always updating their product. You might send them an email and ask when they might be able to help you out. They are very friendly with their customers.
 
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