Litchi Sorties Beyond Internet Reception Range

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Greetings and hallucinations fellow Phantom 3 Standard captains. Seeing as this is my first ever post here, I will endeavor to be concise in my inquiry. While creating a number of Litchi flight plans with the Mission Hub website in preparation for my first ever autonomous flights, I was impressed by the seamless linking of those flight plans to both of my mobile devices, without any input required from me, and I was also dazzled by the ease with which points of interest can be placed around the flight path, whereby the camera gimbal at the various way-points automatically orients itself to point at the closest points of interest I inserted along the way.

Now, my question concerns whether or not the satellite imagery that I see as a backdrop to my created flight paths will remain visible when I launch the drone in an area where there is poor or non-existent internet connectivity. I acquired an Apple ipad specifically for use in flying Litchi missions with my P3S, but the iPad is equipped with ONLY wifi connectivity, meaning that there will be NO internet connection when I go to launch flights beyond my home's wifi transmission range.

When I eventually gain the confidence to launch the drone on Litchi missions that commence just outside my home, whereby my launch point remains within range of my home's Wifi signal, I expect to see the satellite imagery generated by the Litchi Mission Hub with each flight plan, BUT I do intend to launch Litchi missions in areas over a mile from home, and given that the iPad will have NO internet connectivity beyond the reach of my home's Wifi signal range, I would like to inquire from the experts here, whether the satellite imagery now seen with each flight plan will be retained in the iPad's memory even when it is offline, or whether that aerial imagery will no longer be visible due to the total absence of an internet link.

I happen to reside in a remote rural area, and will be conducting most of my proposed Litchi flights over tropical jungle and swamp where there are no structures or people anywhere near my flight paths, so loss of the drone is the only risk associated with launching autonomous flights beyond visual range. With quite a few 10 minute round-trip flights mapped out, I am rearing to go, yet remain uncertain as to whether or not the satellite imagery, and indeed even the Litchi flight plans themselves, are going to remain visible on my iPad screen, when I take that big step of launching the drone on way-point missions, out where there is NO internet signal at all, down along the fringes of a tropical rain forest.

Any thoughts on this question of whether or not an internet signal is essential for the retention of satellite imagery seen in Litchi flight plans, would be enormously appreciated. Thanks in advance for any responses that can be offered to this rank novice who is about to dabble in the alchemy of autonomous Litchi flight planning.
 
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It just occurred to me that a work-around solution to ensure uninterrupted internet access while I fly Litchi way-point missions, would be that I acquire a battery-powered internet decoder/Wifi transmitter to fire up when I launch my Phantom 3S beyond the range of my home internet decoder, but that would be yet another bit of equipment I'd need to carry along and keep charged up.

If it turns out that internet access is not required for Litchi to fly way-point missions, and that the satellite images of the terrain overflown during my selected flight plans are routinely stored in the iPad that has been linked to the Litchi Mission Hub website, then I will be able to launch the drone from more remote locations where the cellphone signal is too weak for reliable internet access with a portable modem. Anyway, I'll stand by for any opinions regarding whether or not uninterrupted internet access is mandatory for autonomous way-point flight plans created with Litchi.
 
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The drone connects directly with the satellites with no dependency on WIFI. Your mission will successfully complete without WiFi.

You will loose the radar display on the tablet without WiFi.

Loosing the video downlink is quite unsettling when it happens.

Loosing the control uplink you loose some Litchi preprogrammed gimbal tilt angle executions.
 
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Thank you sir for this clarification. Thus far my video feedback starts to break up about a half mile out, so I've grown to depend on toggling the controller S2 (left) switch a few times, to trigger RTH on my Phantom 3S. It is a thing of beauty to see the drone soaring inbound and then slamming the brakes directly above me, to await further instructions.

I suppose even with an internet connection, I should still expect to spend the good part of any ten minute duration autonomous flight, as a virtual passenger essentially along for the ride, given the range limitations of an unmodified Phantom 3S controller, both in the video downlink and the control uplink.

Seeing that Phantom 3S currently sell for $200 more than I paid for mine new back in 2016, that first instance of allowing my drone to set sail under the exclusive pre-programmed control of Litchi, will take a leap of faith, so to play it safe, I have refrained from creating any flight plans whose duration exceeds a nominal ten minutes, to leave a generous margin of error that will compensate for any headwinds encountered on the inbound course.

It is odd that losing the control up-link could have an affect on gimbal tilt settings, since I'd assumed they would have been cast in stone once entered in the Litchi Mission Hub by way of right-click point-of-interest placements along the flight path. I've got a lot of homework to do fer sure.

Much obliged for your having taken a moment to respond to my novice questions. Hopefully as time goes on, my inquiries will reflect that I've gained a working knowledge of all things Litchi, as I muddle along here.
 
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Also be aware that besides your gimbal tilt setting you'll also loose the drone speed setting once you lost the control up link, this is just in case you set up different speeds between your waypoints. I spent hrs and hrs to try to figure this out till I read a posting on this forum the other day.
 
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I sure appreciate for this alert about gimbal tilt settings, which I have appended to my growing file of conventional wisdom regarding Litchi. It is odd that while gimbal tilt (pitch) relies on a signal link to the controller, gimbal yaw, in terms of the direction the drone orients the camera toward designated Points of Interest, presumably remains as programmed in the Litchi Mission Hub, even in the event of signal loss between the controller and the drone. This is a quirk I am encountering for the first time, and it is well worth knowing about.

For programming simplicity as I learn the ropes, I left my speeds at the default "cruise" value of 17 mph in the settings of all my flight plans, so I hope that uniform default speed is retained when the signal drops out over longer distances. Today I saw the 3D depiction of a flight plan I created, transposed unto Google Earth to show altitude above the terrain being overflown, and my jaw dropped. Litchi and Google Earth add up to one formidable navigation suite that transforms the lowly Phantom 3S into an precision aerial survey platform. There I go rambling again ha ha.
 
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The drone connects directly with the satellites with no dependency on WIFI. Your mission will successfully complete without WiFi.

You will loose the radar display on the tablet without WiFi.

Loosing the video downlink is quite unsettling when it happens.

Loosing the control uplink you loose some Litchi preprogrammed gimbal tilt angle executions.

Especially if a screw becomes lose and you loose it....<;^)

Sorry....I can ignore a spelling mistake once, twice...but three times and you demand correction...<;^)

D
 
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Greetings and hallucinations fellow Phantom 3 Standard captains. Seeing as this is my first ever post here, I will endeavor to be concise in my inquiry. While creating a number of Litchi flight plans with the Mission Hub website in preparation for my first ever autonomous flights, I was impressed by the seamless linking of those flight plans to both of my mobile devices, without any input required from me, and I was also dazzled by the ease with which points of interest can be placed around the flight path, whereby the camera gimbal at the various way-points automatically orients itself to point at the closest points of interest I inserted along the way.

Now, my question concerns whether or not the satellite imagery that I see as a backdrop to my created flight paths will remain visible when I launch the drone in an area where there is poor or non-existent internet connectivity. I acquired an Apple ipad specifically for use in flying Litchi missions with my P3S, but the iPad is equipped with ONLY wifi connectivity, meaning that there will be NO internet connection when I go to launch flights beyond my home's wifi transmission range.

When I eventually gain the confidence to launch the drone on Litchi missions that commence just outside my home, whereby my launch point remains within range of my home's Wifi signal, I expect to see the satellite imagery generated by the Litchi Mission Hub with each flight plan, BUT I do intend to launch Litchi missions in areas over a mile from home, and given that the iPad will have NO internet connectivity beyond the reach of my home's Wifi signal range, I would like to inquire from the experts here, whether the satellite imagery now seen with each flight plan will be retained in the iPad's memory even when it is offline, or whether that aerial imagery will no longer be visible due to the total absence of an internet link.

I happen to reside in a remote rural area, and will be conducting most of my proposed Litchi flights over tropical jungle and swamp where there are no structures or people anywhere near my flight paths, so loss of the drone is the only risk associated with launching autonomous flights beyond visual range. With quite a few 10 minute round-trip flights mapped out, I am rearing to go, yet remain uncertain as to whether or not the satellite imagery, and indeed even the Litchi flight plans themselves, are going to remain visible on my iPad screen, when I take that big step of launching the drone on way-point missions, out where there is NO internet signal at all, down along the fringes of a tropical rain forest.

Any thoughts on this question of whether or not an internet signal is essential for the retention of satellite imagery seen in Litchi flight plans, would be enormously appreciated. Thanks in advance for any responses that can be offered to this rank novice who is about to dabble in the alchemy of autonomous Litchi flight planning.

Cache your maps before you leave Internet access. You don't have to be connected to the bird or controller. Just open the mission to a map view and move it around a bit. I do this for all my missions, which are mostly certainly sans Internet connection.

Note: Your software my have a setting as to how much disk space to allocate to map caching. Even with my lowly Air 1 (WiFi Only) 16GB, I allow the maximum map caching, which is 2GB for DJI products (if memory serves).

D
 
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HarleyRider, if you are saying that internet access is not required for map views to be stored and retrieved unto the device screen out in the field, then I must say this is very good news, for which I thank you kindly. Knowing I won't need to take along an internet decoder/wifi box is reassuring.

Regarding the minor spelling inaccuracies posted now and then by various writers, I tend to read past them without spotting them, probably because I am convinced that I experience bouts of dyslexia, where I find myself utterly confounded trying to recall whether the letter "i" comes before, or after the letter "e", in such mundane words as "friend", and "retrieve", among others.

To paraphrase the lyrics to an old BB King tune, " If it wasn't for spell-checker, I wouldn't have no literacy at all" . Anyway, I am grateful for this explanation, because now I can look forward to seeing the landscape backdrop to my flight paths, rather than a blank screen with a curved line showing the flight trajectory in Litchi.
 
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HarleyRider, if you are saying that internet access is not required for map views to be stored and retrieved unto the device screen out in the field, then I must say this is very good news, for which I thank you kindly. Knowing I won't need to take along an internet decoder/wifi box is reassuring.

But just to clarify, you DO need Internet access at the time of map acquisition, which I think you understand. The secret is to simply acquire the maps before you leave the house.




Regarding the minor spelling inaccuracies posted now and then by various writers, I tend to read past them without spotting them, probably because I am convinced that I experience bouts of dyslexia, where I find myself utterly confounded trying to recall whether the letter "i" comes before, or after the letter "e", in such mundane words as "friend", and "retrieve", among others.

Honestly, I'm not the greatest speller, either. But if I consistently misspell a word, I like to have it pointed out to me. Conversely, when I see the same word misspelled over and over, I point it out to people. I do the same if they have a chive in their teeth....<;^)




To paraphrase the lyrics to an old BB King tune, " If it wasn't for spell-checker, I wouldn't have no literacy at all" . Anyway, I am grateful for this explanation, because now I can look forward to seeing the landscape backdrop to my flight paths, rather than a blank screen with a curved line showing the flight trajectory in Litchi.

Yep...having the map is an amazing piece of technology.

In other news...

I have Xfinity. So all my iPads are configured to connect to Xfinity hotspots, which seem to be everywhere these days. While pretty much all my mapping gigs are outside WiFi reception, my Traffic Analysis gigs and Construction Progress gigs are all within WiFi access. That said, I never count on that. I still cache maps in redundancy before I leave for any job.

D
 
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Here is what I do.
Camera settings: interpolate and angle -15 degrees. This will give you a good framing for photos and videos most of the time. The camera will remain tilted at this angle regardless if you fly out of range.
Safe altitude about 80-90 meters above ground using online elevation but very careful set the waypoints. If you set 2 points in low areas with a steep hill in between ...bye-bye P3S. Add many waypoints especially when you still learn. Warning! Cell phone towers do not look much on the map!!! Best is to survey/know where you are going to fly.
I fly mostly curved turns so how many waypoints I have doesn't matter but, make sure you give them some curve. If the curve is set to 0 the drone will still almost stop at the waypoint. Flying curved turns give you a much more efficient flight, smoother video and you can go longer distances in faster times than Litchi predicts. Always! The speed I set is about 45 km/h. Combined with the fact that I never fly missions in winds stronger than 15 Km/h will reduce the risk of getting the propellers in the frame and also gives smoother video panning. The faster the drone goes or when fights the wind the more it tilts/pitch.
The P3S will not take pictures with the newer automatic modes in Litchi (photo capture interval) but you can still do this using interval in-camera settings,(max. a photo every 2 seconds JPEG) If you have enough light for shutter speeds over 1/200 seconds your images will be just fine.
Do not forget to start the video or photo capture :) !
Load the mission where you have internet and leave Litchi on will preserve the map in the no coverage area, but if you load a new mission while out there, you will have no map.
 
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These words of drone wisdom are much appreciated, Mr. Hermann sir, and I have copied this response to my file of Phantom 3 knowledge. Regarding camera angle, I didn't realize that one could set the downward angle to be determined either by interpolation based on the lay of the land, or by a pre-set default of minus 15 degrees, that would be adopted in the event of signal loss en-route.

Prior to reading this clarification, I assumed that setting the camera angle to be assigned by interpolation, effectively precluded the assignment of a specific camera angle. Regarding the importance of curved flight paths, I have always drawn all of my flight paths with gentle curves, simply because I found them to be more aesthetically pleasing to look at on the map, but not realizing at all that battery power is preserved, and flight time enhanced, when curved turns are used instead of abrupt sharp corners.

Having spent more hours than I care to admit flying the virtual skies of Microsoft Flight simulator 2004, at the helm of the venerable Level D Boeing 767-300ER, and programming the FMC/CDU with short, curved flight plans to facilitate touch-and-go landings, the habit of making gradual turns that require gentle standard rate 20-degree rolls to follow, has been ingrained in me, and this habit carried over to my Litchi flight planning for the Phantom 3S.

The confirmation from HarleyRider, and from yourself, that satellite imagery of the flight path that has been downloaded via internet link, is preserved once downloaded into a mobile device before venturing out in the field where there is no internet connection, is icing on the cake, and with that knowledge discovered, I spent a good deal more time creating ten to twelve-minute flight plans in Litchi, in preparation for the time when I am ready to get the drone airborne, after resolving the "black screen" syndrome I am still experiencing with Litchi, despite force-closing DJI.

Before I ramble on any further, let me conclude by thanking you sir, for improving my knowledge base in this very immersive hobby I will now be able to enjoy to the fullest.
 
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These words of drone wisdom are much appreciated, Mr. Hermann sir, and I have copied this response to my file of Phantom 3 knowledge. Regarding camera angle, I didn't realize that one could set the downward angle to be determined either by interpolation based on the lay of the land, or by a pre-set default of minus 15 degrees, that would be adopted in the event of signal loss en-route.

Prior to reading this clarification, I assumed that setting the camera angle to be assigned by interpolation, effectively precluded the assignment of a specific camera angle. Regarding the importance of curved flight paths, I have always drawn all of my flight paths with gentle curves, simply because I found them to be more aesthetically pleasing to look at on the map, but not realizing at all that battery power is preserved, and flight time enhanced, when curved turns are used instead of abrupt sharp corners.

Having spent more hours than I care to admit flying the virtual skies of Microsoft Flight simulator 2004, at the helm of the venerable Level D Boeing 767-300ER, and programming the FMC/CDU with short, curved flight plans to facilitate touch-and-go landings, the habit of making gradual turns that require gentle standard rate 20-degree rolls to follow, has been ingrained in me, and this habit carried over to my Litchi flight planning for the Phantom 3S.

The confirmation from HarleyRider, and from yourself, that satellite imagery of the flight path that has been downloaded via internet link, is preserved once downloaded into a mobile device before venturing out in the field where there is no internet connection, is icing on the cake, and with that knowledge discovered, I spent a good deal more time creating ten to twelve-minute flight plans in Litchi, in preparation for the time when I am ready to get the drone airborne, after resolving the "black screen" syndrome I am still experiencing with Litchi, despite force-closing DJI.

Before I ramble on any further, let me conclude by thanking you sir, for improving my knowledge base in this very immersive hobby I will now be able to enjoy to the fullest.
Thank you for your very nice words. I am quite happy if I could help a little bit. Also do not forget the 4 "essential" apps. UAV forecast, Sun Calc, Datcon and CSV view, all are free. The first one is for the weather forecast, concerning especially our main "enemy", the wind. With the next one you can find where the sun is going to be at the time and chosen flight location and the last 2 will give you an in-depth report of the flights and craft condition by reading the DAT aircraft files.
 
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I tip my hat with gratitude for these additional flight preparation websites, Hermann sir, and I will make full use of them all, particularly the UAV forecast website that will enable me to keep the drone grounded whenever the winds are likely to kick up. Sun Calc will also prove useful when I plan my flights using the Litchi Mission Hub, whereby I will be able to plan my camera angles and points of interest, so as to minimize sun glare.

Dacton and CSV are new names to me, and for this budget-conscious hobbyist, free online tools are appreciated. Much thanks for these timely insights that will certainly help preserve my precious drone both from the elements, and from my own operator error.
 
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Hi Hermann, I'm also not familiar Datcon. I've looked on Google Play and apple app store but to no avail. Could you point me in the right direction please? Thank you.
 
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Hermann has not been back to this site since September 25, so I'll answer the question for you.

Datcon and CSV view are computer programs, not mobile apps. Sorry, dont have the download links. A quick search of this site should find them though.
 
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Hermann has not been back to this site since September 25, so I'll answer the question for you.

Datcon and CSV view are computer programs, not mobile apps. Sorry, dont have the download links. A quick search of this site should find them though.
Datcon 5 is the lowest state of drone readiness - from what I've read....<:^0

D
 
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