Here’s a few little tips I wrote up for those who are thinking of buying a Dji Mavic Pro. Some tips may apply for other Dji quads as well.

Buy a Mavic combo if you haven’t already as they’re an awesome beginners quad! Once bought. Place it in the front seat and secure it with the seat belt. On the way home buy yourself some ear plugs and put them on just before you enter the house. Safety first as some wives can and will lose their mind when Mavic first arrives home. Once wife calms down, explain to her that for the next week she’ll be sleeping in the guest room as Mavic must sleep next to you for at least a week. Can be more. All depends on your circumstances.

Once the air settles at home. Read the UAV rules then Dmdownload the Mavic user manual from the Mavic downloads section on the Dji website. Read through thoroughly then jump on youtube and watch as many Mavic beginners tutorials you can or until you feel comfortable to go out and take off for your maiden flight. Dji has lots of tutorials as well. They can be found in the Dji Go 4 app or directly on youtube.

Whatever you do, do NOT update the firmware when prompted during the registration process. The firmware that comes with the Mavic is generally bug free and does not give you any problems.
I’ve experienced many dodgy firmware updates with my inspire 1 V1 which I bought when they were first released just over 2 years ago and I learnt very quickly that if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it.

Once comfortable and confident, charge up all your batteries. Preferably in a dry and cool area such as the middle of a garage and NEVER charge batteries unsupervised. When charging the remote controller, make sure you insert the charging cable correctly. It only goes in one way. Do NOT force it in.

Once everything is charged up, connect your phone or tablet via the usb port thats underneath the remote controller. Try and avoid connecting to the left side port unless you’re charging the remote controller. Download the Dji Go 4 app and also the UAV Forecast app. Always check the UAV Forecast app before you fly. And only fly if it says its safe to fly. Next, remove the gimbal cover then the gimbal lock then fire up the remote controller and then the Mavic and then the Dji Go 4 app. Find the battery tab and set your batteries to discharge in 2 days. Repeat this process for all batteries. This way your batteries will automatically begin to discharge to storage level (50%) after 2 days. Once in storage, (in a cool dry area) Do NOT press the power button as the discharge process will reset and you will prolong the discharge process. Whilst in this section, set your low battery warning at 30% and critical battery warning at 15%. Please always try and land in between 20 and 30% battery. This will assure you batteries will remain healthy. Next, switch on your remote controller and calibrate your controller sticks by following the onscreen instructions. Then find a level surface such as the kitchen bench and calibrate the IMU by again following the onscreen instructions or YT videos. (Plenty of videos on youtube on how to do this)
IMU calibration need only be done when first brought home or after a firmware update.

Once the IMU is calibrated, next step is to calibrate your camera gimbal. Again on a level surface. You’re almost ready to leave the house! Check over your little Mavic and make sure that your propellers are on tight and locked correctly. Again, check that all your batteries are fully charged. Including the remote controller! Now, place the gimbal lock and gimbal cover back onto the Mavic. Then drive little Mavic to your nearest EMPTY cricket/football oval or a huge open field and away from high voltage power lines and phone towers.

Once there, walk out to the middle of the field and get yourself ready as you’re a few steps away from taking your maiden flight!!! Make sure that there’s more than 30 meters from the take off point to the nearest obstacle. The further you are from obstacles the better!

Place your Mavic on the ground and make sure sports mode is not on. Switch must be down. First remove the gimbal cover then the gimbal lock then fire up the remote controller and then the Mavic and then the Dji Go 4 app. Next, Check in the Dji Go 4 app that beginner mode is definitely enabled as this mode will be the mode that you’ll be flying with until your confident enough to fly without it. Beginner mode restricts the Mavic from flying fast and creates a virtual circular wall around you. 30 meter diameter to be exact. Next you will need to calibrate the compass. Follow the onscreen instructions. Compass calibration is successfully performed anti clockwise. Calibrate the compass only in places you’ve never flown before. There’s no need to perform a compass calibration in an area where you’ve calibrated it before.
Once the compass is successful calibrated, place Mavic on the ground and switch it off and back on again. Once back on, wait untill you hear that the home point has been set and the the app states that it is safe to fly.

NOW! There’s 2 ways you can take off. One way is via the auto take off feature which will arm the motors and lift up to 1.2 meters and hover or, by pushing both sticks down and in the middle. Once in the air, fly the Mavic as high as high as the beginner mode will allow it to go. Remember one thing, altitude is your friend. Once there, get yourself use to the controls. I recommend learning to fly with the Mavic facing away from you and once that’s mastered, learn to fly it facing towards you. That way, if you’re ever in a sticky position you’ll be able to save it from hitting anything. Don’t forget to land in between 20 and 30 percent!

Once you’ve learnt to fly, then there’s the camera! And WOW does it get even more exciting from there!

Sorry for the long post!

Have fun and fly safe!

Nick Bellios

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