Litchi App -- 360 Panorama with DJI Mavic and Spark -- Image Composite Editor

Litchi App — 360 Panorama with DJI Mavic and Spark — Image Composite Editor

Today we’re going to be talking about doing 360 panoramas using the Litchi app flying the DJI Spark and the DJI Mavic pro.

*** Litchi Panorama Settings***
Row(s):4
Top Row Agle: +15degrees
Photos per Row: 8
Width: 360degrees
Nadirs: 2
Capture Strategy: Column by Column
Wait time before each photo: 0.00s
Wait time after each photo: 0.00s

Litchi App — 360 Panorama with DJI Mavic and Spark — Image Composite Editor

Image Composite Editor or (ICE) Link in the description below –https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/product/computational-photography-applications/image-composite-editor/

Here we have a pano shot in the afternoon around 400pm. There are little cast shadow and minimal clouds. Clouds add difficulty due to over exposure possibilities. As we pull the images into the image editor we can see a uniform image almost looking as if shot in a single image.
Now let’s walk through how I take my Panos. First I make sure all my camera settings are where I want them, prior to starting. Then I select the pano feature in the Litchi app and start the pano. It will take 34 photos in about 5 minutes, depending on the amount of overlap I put into the settings. Once it’s complete it is ok to land. Just make sure prior to leaving you pano area that all the photos have been taken. There have been times where the app for whatever reason only took half the amount of photos designated.

It will now start the stitching process. This may take a few minutes. Now that the image has been stitched together, look over it for any out of place photos or any type of issues. The projection should be default to Spherical but if it does not go ahead and select that. Let’s move on to crop, once the crop is complete check again that everything looks ok, don’t worry if there’s a slight gap at the top we will fix that now. Under image completion select auto-complete that should fill in any slim gap you may have had at the top. Let’s continue to export, Here, everything should be left default except under Image File, change the quality to 100 and select superb. Now export it to disk. Now you have a stitched 360 panorama that you can take and show off to your friends. If you want to put it on Facebook though, there are a few more steps… This will require Photoshop or your favorite photo editor to complete.

Let’s open our newly created panorama in Photoshop and select Image, scroll down to canvas size change the size units to pixels and put the height as ½ of width. And select the down arrow on anchor then select ok. Now, let’s go back into the image and select image size. Change the width to 10000, and height should be auto filled. Save and close.

At this point, We’re almost done! Go back into the file directory that you just saved your resized image, right click select properties. Go to the details tab and scroll down to Camera, In the camera maker text type Ricoh and camera model, Ricoh Theta S. This will tell Facebook that the image it is receiving is a 360 panorama. Now we can go on Facebook and Download the image.

DJI Mavic Pro Expo, Braking, Sensitivity, and Gain Explained!

DJI Mavic Pro Expo, Braking, Sensitivity, and Gain Explained!

DJI Mavic Pro Expo, Braking, Sensitivity, and Gain Explained!

Today we’re going to be talking about exponential curves and how they relate to the Mavic Pro’s performance. We will also be covering Sensitivity and gain as it relates to the Mavic as well. So let’s get into it.

We’ll start off with Expo. Expo or Exponential curves change the response curve from a straight line (linear) to an S-curve, flatter in the middle (less sensitive) and steeper at the extremes. This means you get more precise control in the range around neutral where most flying takes place, while still retaining full “throw” when needed. Expo is mainly an end-user or pilot preferred setting. Most use expo to make the sticks less sensitive at center. This allows for finger twitch or shakes to have less of an impact on your flying than it would if the control inputs were directly related to the aircraft output.

What other uses does this have? Well, for sports mode, where the yaw settings are jacked way up, it allows you to dumb down the movements to a more manageable setting.

Sensitivity

Stick sensitivity increases or decreases the RC control sticks sensitivity curve in all directions, the throttle stick can be set to how much power is delivered as you move the stick forwards too. It helps the Mavic Pro fly less aggressively, or more, as you become smooth and calm on the RC sticks. Sensitivity should be left alone if you are a novice pilot, and then played with more as you learn and progress as a pilot.

Braking reduces the amount of time it takes the Mavic to stop once the stick inputs are released. This setting can save you from a nasty crash if you’re flying up to an obstacle at a brisk pace and needing the bird to stop suddenly and not continue a slow, drifting halt… If you increase brakes to let’s say 130% the bird will stop a lot more aggressively if you let go of the stick. If you reduce the brakes to 70% the bird will brake the lot less, it will be a smoother option but also it will go way longer till it stops.

Gain

Gain is the amount of sensitivity the Mavic Pro to external conditions. (IE wind) And should only be adjusted if you really need it. Which you probably won’t.

DJI Mavic Pro IMU Calibration1

DJI Mavic Pro IMU Calibration

DJI Mavic Pro IMU Calibration

Today we are going to be talking about the DJI Mavic Pro. More specifically the IMU calibration of the Mavic.

The Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) is one of the most important sensors on the Mavis, but it is also the most vulnerable to interference. The IMU acquires the angle, speed, and acceleration of the Mavic, so if it functions abnormally, it could negatively affect flight. The compass is used to know where the drone is heading, ensuring it flies in the right direction, and allowing it to return to home automatically. Without the compass, the Mavic would lose its ability to navigate. This is why the Mavic has dual IMUs and dual compasses.

You shouldn’t have to calibrate the IMU often. It would be a good idea to recalibrate it if you crash and your Mavic is no longer stable. Also, for me…. I like to recalibrate all sensors after a firmware update which DJI has recent pushed out, so it has inspired me to make this video. That is not specified by DJI but it is something I like to do for peace of mind prior to flying for the first time after an update. The Calibration takes about 5 minutes from strart to finish so let’s get into it.

First we want to start off on a level dry and stable surface to prevent any chance of a faulty calibration. Here I have laid out some levels on the island in my house to ensure it’s level. If you don’t have a physical level you could always download an app for your phone or tablet and use it instead. I just chose the first one that came up in the search, but you can choose whichever one you’d like.

Now that we know our platform is level and stable lets ensure the Mavic pro is ready for calibration. The only thing the Mavic really needs in preparation for IMU Calibration is to remove the blades from all for corners. This ensures the Mavic will get the proper angles for calibration as well as a safety measure just in case the Mavic develops a mind of its own.

With the blades now removed we can start to connect to the Mavic via remote control using the DJI Go4 App. If this is your very first time turning on the DJI Mavic Pro, the initial setup process will walk you through the IMU calibration this. If you are coming back for a second go at calibration you can select the 3 dots at the upper right hand screen to go into General Settings, select the drone icon upper left and go into “MC Settings”. Select Advanced settings then Sensors state button and it will take you into the IMU and Compass sensor screen. I will be doing a similar video on Mavic Pro’s Compass calibration and will link it in this video once its uploaded.
Now that we have opened up the IMU sensor screen we can select the option to calibrate IMU about three quarters of the way down the screen.

Now, we have finally entered the IMU calibration. The initial pop up gives you the list of requirements needed to successfully perform the calibration. Ie Dismount Propellers first, Follow the instruction to calibrate. Do not move the aircraft unless to overturn the aircraft as indicated, and ensure the aircraft powered on. Do not start motor. This process doesn’t take long but it is wise to do this on a full battery to ensure power remains on the Mavic the whole time.
The first orientation of calibration is the normal flat and level stance the Mavic would have in the transport position. The calibration will take a few seconds and there’s 2 ways you’ll be able to tell once that particular orientation is complete. The first is by the screen on the phone or tablet, the Mavic will rotate orientation in the app to show the next position to place the Mavic for calibration. The second is by the lights on the Mavic. During calibration the lights on the Mavic are solid yellow and once it is complete the back led lights rapidly flash green to indicate it’s ready for a position change. There are 5 rotations to be performed. Flat, on it’s sides (both directions), vertical (nose up), and upside down. Once these have been complete the calibration process is complete and the app asks you to restart the Mavic.

And just like that the IMU calibration is over quickly and painlessly. If you run into any type of hangups don’t worry. Reset and try again. If it continues to fail go over all settings and verify there’s no severe angle or interference around and if all else fails go ahead and contact DJI support.
I hope you found this video helpful if you have any questions leave them in the comments below give me a thumbs up if you liked it and subscribe for more content we’ll see you next video.

DJI Spark Upgrade Downgrade Firmware DJI Assistant

DJI Spark Assistant 2 App Install Firmware upgrade and downgrade

DJI Spark Assistant 2 App Install Firmware upgrade and downgrade

Today we’re going to be talking about the DJI Assistant 2 App and how it relates to the Spark. We will also take a look at installing or downgrading firmware updates.So let’s get into it.

Lets start out by downloading the Assistant 2 app to our PC or MAC. You can find the link in the description below or on DJI’s website.

Simply google search assistant 2 app and select the link to the correct DJI link. From here we will scroll to Software section on the page and select the appropriate executable file for your PC or Mac. You can also download the release notes here as well. Since I am running a PC I will select the Zip and .exe files. For PC users I recommend holding off on the download because you may have an extra step. We will cover that step now. For MAC users you should be good to go for the download.

If you are a PC user and running any form of windows 8.1 or windows 10 you may run into a driver issue if you install the Assistant 2 app direct to your machine. The driver issue will appear when you try to connect your DJI drone to the Assistant 2 app, it will show a connection error. The problem relates to the way Windows handles unsigned drivers, it will prompt if you would like to install them but will not properly install or will not load the drivers leaving the computer unable to read the data from the Drone to the app cause connectivity errors. If that’s the case then follow these steps to correct the issue.
First step is to reboot into advanced features by holding down the shift key and selecting reboot. Select the option to troubleshoot, Advanced options, AND START UP SETTINGS. This will reboot the computer into the settings screen we will need. Second step once the Computer has rebooted into Startup settings you want to select the option for Disable Driver signature enforcement. Thiswill allow the Assistant 2 app to load all the necessary drivers onto the computer for the App to fully work with you DJI drones. Third step is to let the computer reboot and log in as usual. Now we can install the DJI Assistant 2 App.

From here we take the dot exe file that we downloaded from the DJI website and double =-click to start the program. The App will walk you through the install process for a simple and easy to use experience. Once the installation is complete it will ask if you would like to open the DJI Spark Assistant 2 App.
Now that we have the DJI Spark Assistant 2 App installed let’s get the Spark ready. First, We want to remove the props from all four corners since we will be plugging the Spark in uncontrolled. Secondly, we lift up the back cover to reveal the microUSB and SD card slot holder. Then connect your micro usb to the spark and connect it to the computer. Now it is safe to power on the Spark

With the difficult part behind us we can now upgrade or downgrade the Firmware on the Spark. With the Spark powered on and connected the Spark will now show up in the App. Once selected it will open up into the main panel where you can view the tools available for the Spark. The very top option is Firmware Update so let’s select that. Here in the Firmware Update page it will display your current Firmware on the top left in blue and it will list the 3 most current firmware updates. It gives you the option to refresh your current firmware, in case it somehow gets corrupted or it lists the 2 firmware’s that are available to downgrade. So let’s downgrade first and see what happens. Select the downgrade button and it will pop up with a to-do list. Make sure your connected to the internet and the Spark is powered on and has enough battery life for the procedure. Also, that the USB is connected throughout the entirety of the process.

The downgrade process goes in three phases download transmitting and updating phases and takes about 10-15 minutes to complete with no user intervention from me at all.

Once the downgrade is complete, the app will prompt you Update complete and it is safe to return to the firmware update screen. You can do this by selecting the back button or the Firmware Update in the Menu. Once you return to the update menu you can see that the downgrade is complete and you are now running a outdated version of firmware. Now lets update it to the latest and see how that goes.
Upgrading the firmware is the exact same process as the downgrade. Be sure to follow the process carefully and keep the Spark connected throughout the whole process. Once the upgrade is complete ensure that the Sparks current firmware is displaying the firmware that you just upgraded to. At this point it is safe to disconnect the Spark and go out and fly. Just remember to reset the IMU and compass to ensure your day of flying is full of fun!

Prevent Fly-A-Ways check your DJI Spark WiFi Interference and Sensors State

DJI Spark WiFi Interference

Today we’re going to be talking about the DJI Spark WiFi Interference and how much it is susceptible too. I have a eero TrueMesh WiFi system that offers tri-band WiFi signals and it covers the same spectrum as the DJI Spark. We’re going to use this as a means to test interference and show what the Spark can or can not handle.

So whenever you go to a new flying field you definitely want to check for interference.

Not only the IMU and Compass interference, which you can find here in sensor state, click the 3 dots go into general settings

then MC settings

and scroll down to advanced settings at the bottom.

From here you can see where it says sensor state.

The IMU and Compass Sensor readings are found here.

You have 4 color options that are used to show the state of the sensors.

Blue- Channel In Use Green- Excellent Yellow- Good or Red- Poor. It is my personal opinion that Red should be labeled DO NOT FLY, but that’s just me. DJI uses this color scheme throughout the spark to show either signal strength or sensor state as stated previously.

 

 

…..But you also need to check the WiFi interference too…..

 

 

We’re going to go into WiFi channels…. Pay attention to this… This is important! You have your 2.4 GHz and your 5.8GHz, this is referencing the WiFi channels you have available to use.

These are the WiFi channels which connect your remote control to your drone or your phone to your drone. There are 2 bands used here with the Spark: 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz. These are the same WiFi ranges used in the IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n standards.

 

If you notice I am using the 5.8 GHz range right now and it has available the 149, 153, 157, 161, and 165. Notice 161 and 165 are fluctuating between green and red… This is going to make me NOT use these channels it’s going to make me stay away from these channels. Right now I am on the 149 band. If you are ever going to change these channels you want to do it on the ground and never in flight. The Spark Disconnects while changing channels and to avoid the risk of fly away you want to be grounded. I have my propellers off on the spark right now just in case anything were to happen. So I am going to choose channel index 153 and hit apply, and you will see the channel get “busy” and settle back down once the channel change has completed.

DJI Spark WiFi Interference

RSSI or Received Signal Strength Indicator is a common name for the received radio signal power level in a wireless network. It is often measured in either decibel (DB) or simply numbers between 0 and 100. RSSI can be expressed as either a negative or positive value, however, in both instances, smaller values closer to zero indicate a stronger signal. In this case, as it relates to the spark the RSSI is measuring the interference in the channels from -60 to -100 and the lower the interference is towards the -100 scales the better quality the controller is to the spark

The point I’m trying to drive home is 1 be aware of your surroundings, 2 monitor your WiFi channels, and 3 If you fly in a new area check double check and triple check all you sensor states and WiFi channel congestion.

New XHover Stingy FPV Freestyle Frame Unboxing — A Noobs first fpv quad build!

A NOOBS first FPV quad build! That’s right the XHover Stingy Freestyle FPV frame has finally arrived! The reasons for choosing the XHover Stingy FPV Freestyle Frame are that I liked the looks and compactness of the quad. The airframe has that WOW factor for sure! The frame is a TrueX frame (all 4 corners measure equal distance) which should offer an all-around consistent feel at different attitudes. Offering more predictable flight characteristics.

I feel that it will have a great center of gravity and offer the stability that I am looking for.

Rotor Riot team pilot Kevin Dougherty – also known as StingersSwarm, or “Stingy” for short has been working with XHover to develop his new frame.

 

What’s in the box!?

XHover Stingy FPV Freestyle Frame1x 2mm Carbon Fiber Top Plate

1x 2mm Carbon Fiber Main Plate with Press Nuts

1x 1.5mm Carbon Fiber Bottom Plate

2x 2mm Carbon Fiber Camera Plates  

4x 4mm Carbon Fiber Arms

26x 8mm Titanium Button Head Screws

8x 20mm Black Knurled Standoffs

1x 28mm Gunmetal Knurled Standoff

1x Small Battery Strap

1x Medium Battery Strap

1x ESC Sticker Sheet

4x Foam Landing Pads

1x Rubberized Battery Pad

 

XHover Stingy FPV Freestyle Frame

 

Titanium hardware is a great and welcome addition to this kit. Strength and light weight nature of Titanium makes these screws near indestructible.

 

XHover Stingy FPV Freestyle Frame

XHover Stingy FPV Freestyle Frame

XHover Stingy FPV Freestyle Frame

XHover Stingy FPV Freestyle Frame

XHover Stingy FPV Freestyle Frame

XHover Stingy FPV Freestyle FrameDon’t forget the FPV camera plates. They sandwich between the top and bottom plates at the front of the quad.

XHover Stingy FPV Freestyle Frame

Planned Electronics:
Betaflight F3 Flight Controller — HERE

DYS XSD 30A — HERE

Runcam Swift — HERE

Antennas – TBS Triumph — HERE

Video Reciever Laforge — HERE

VTX TBS Unify HV — HERE

This airframe build took me about 30 minutes to piece together… Yes, I’m new at the FPV quad build thing, but hey, it’s a start! I will be posting more updates on the build as it progresses.