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Altitude limit: how can I do this?

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Jean, Dec 9, 2015.

  1. Jean

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    I want to film the almost vertical side of a mountain. My starting point near the base is 1250m. The summit is at 1980m.... So theoretically the 500m limit will quick in way below the summit. Is there a way to bypass this and make the drone ascend another 200m?

    Another option (that I am not too keen about because I'd have to carry the Phantom up but there is a route that's walkable) would be to start the copter from the summit, descend 700m and reascend. Will I have a problem with the software doing this?
     
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  2. msinger

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    No.

    No. It'll work.
     
  3. moswissa

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    get the phantom 2 and the altitude is unlimited.
     
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  4. ParsnipHysorter

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    Ugh this ticks me off. You should be able to override the 500 m limit, the same way you can override the 120 m limit.
     
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  5. Jean

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    I know, it's hugely annoying. And yes, i know that I could get a Phantom 2 to do it but I don't really see why I should when i already spent a fair bit on a Phantom 3 pro.
     
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  6. GadgetGuy

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    ....and the P2 is no P3P!
     
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  7. huntjock

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    Option 1: No. DJI's "500m ascent above takeoff" limitation is so that you don't fly into airspace where it could interfere with other aircraft. "Safety" reasons. ;)

    Option 2: No. DJI's "200m descent below takeoff" limitation is...also probably for "safety" reasons. Uh huh.

    Option 3: Help DJI understand that the world is NOT flat, and that they should not limit the ascent or descent of their quadcopters to altitudes based on takeoff point, but they should provide a solution/option that sets boundaries based on map datum available to the RC/P3 at the time of the flight or at the time of planning a flight in the case of autonomous (waypoint) flights. If they can implement "no fly zones" as they have, then they can certainly implement "smart boundaries"
     
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  8. moswissa

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    There were too many idiots flying way above the clouds and can interfere with commerical aircrafts. That would be really ugly. DJI didnt want to take blame for that so this was a smart move by them. When I had my P2 I was all about range and max altitude, I took mine up so far I even see passenger planes and it would scare the crap out of me. THose days are over and I even regret my past.

    If you wanna break the rules you can do so, just build your own quadcopter.
     
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  9. ovyyus

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    I thought Litchi allowed 2000m height?
     
  10. huntjock

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    The outer limits are not a function of the app on your device (such as Litchi, Autopilot, etc), but enforced by the firmware hosted in the bird. [Edit: this +500m/-200m limit applies to the P3 platform; I am not sure about the limits of the P2 or other DJI platforms] According to direct responses from DJI and confirmed by a couple of app developers, the max height above the home point is 500m and the max height (drop) below the home point is 200m, regardless of terrain and regardless of the actual distance the bird is above ground level. In other words, you can fly over a surface at 500m above the ground in any direction for great distances. Yet, if you try flying at a mere 30m above the ground that has a 27 degree upward slope, after your bird travels about 940m (less than .6 miles) along that slope it will go head first into the ground - because it has reached the "500m above home point" limit, argued by some that proceeding further would put it into commercial air space.
     
    #10 huntjock, Dec 9, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
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  11. ovyyus

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    Do all firmware versions of phantom 3 impose a 500m height limit? Why does Litchi allow a 2000m limit?
     
  12. huntjock

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    Nobody is suggesting breaking any rules. The "one size fits all" smart move by DJI was actually the wrong move for the right reason. For you, it works. It keeps you from doing idiotic things you admit to doing. I am suggesting that there are smarter ways to accomplish the bounds/limits. Take your time and read it slowly. If it doesn't make sense to you, then move along. But please try not to project someone's rule-breaking past or tendencies onto others who truly need certain "smarter" functionality and who have no intentions of trying the kinds of stunts that would classify as idiotic.
     
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  13. huntjock

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    That is a question for DJI. A legitimate question. Litchi (and others) will tell you that they support what the firmware allows.

    One of the app vendors who supports both platforms wondered the same thing in a recent email to me.
     
  14. ParsnipHysorter

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    But why is 500 m the magic number, and why code a hard limit at all? You say "DJI didnt want to take blame for that", but with their new Geo system coming out they will allow the operator to over-ride restricted areas because they believe their responsibility ends with providing a warning to the pilot/operator before allowing the drone to be flown in these areas, because they believe ultimate responsibility rests in the hands of the pilot/operator. This is their stated position as discussed by their NA attorney at Drone World in 2015 regarding the Geo system. If they "dont want to take the blame" for anything, they would simply hobble their drones to operate no more then 50 feet from the pilot.
     
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  15. tcope

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    Most all are different animals. Why 500m? Because they had to pick a number? You could ask the same of any number then chose. 500m seems to be a nice even number. It's hardcoded so that DJI could appease the powers that be. Have no doubt... DJI and the various governments are talking and making compromises. Geo fencing has nothing to do with flying too high. The user can only over-ride areas that they should be able to fly within anyway... with no restrictions. DJI would not really be giving a person anything that they should not have been entitled to already.
     
  16. GadgetGuy

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    My understanding is that updating the firmware to 1.5 also cripples the Litchi app to the same 500m because of a change to the SDK by DJI that Litchi requires to control the aircraft.
     
  17. ovyyus

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    I find it hard to believe there isn't a sensible hack to work around a lousy 500m firmware coded height limit? Someone isn't trying hard enough :rolleyes:

    PS: less than firmware version 1.5 has no limit for Litchi? I haven't updated to v1.5 yet, please tell me it's true!
     
    #17 ovyyus, Dec 10, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
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  18. GadgetGuy

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    I was unaware, until now, that there is also a 200m below takeoff limitation! Thank you for that clarification. So much for solving the 500m ascent limitation by flying from the top of the mountain down! That's even more restrictive than the 500m ascent limitation from the base.:eek: I am lucky that, so far, I have run into neither of them, but I soon would have, on flights I had already planned. Now I will have to restrategize to try and work around them.:( Not happy about this revelation. The best location for clear LOS flight is from the peak down. Now, I'll have to get out my altimeter and launch from no higher than 200m above sea level from the each side of the peak to be able to reach sea level, as now the mountain behind me blocks the LOS! I can't just turn around and have control in every direction beyond 200m below the peak! Bummer!
     
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  19. huntjock

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    @tcope i am in your neighborhood, rocky mountains just outside my doorstep :)

    perhaps you have noticed that i have argued for "smarter" limits to replace the one size fits all "hardcoded" limits. i am not sure who the "powers that be" are, but the current magic numbers for the P3 are 500m ABOVE and 200m BELOW the take off point. rationale for these values is yet to be explained with any certainty. so, until we know, we can only agree that they are somewhat arbitrary and arcane. i'm sure they made some people feel good, though. i can shoot down the "safety" argument with some simple examples. i argue that a "smart" implementation was too complicated for what some developers could pull off in the short time that some attorneys wanted, so the compromise was a simple hardcoded implementation with some "reasonable" values.

    i really have no intention of ever flying in anybody else's business, especially commercial airspace. if i could just fly over some hills/mountains that exceeded 1000m - while never flying above ground level by more than 50m - and descend into locations where I could capture some video of stock, feed, water, fences, etc - then i would be happy. however, this would require DJI to do any of 3 things: 1) increasing their hardcoded values carte blanche, 2) allowing end-users to exceed the limits but only after agreeing to certain terms and conditions (verifiable registration of drone, accept liability for whatever legal mumbo jumbo), 3) a truly smart implementation where current hardcoded limits are imposed, but (speaking of the height limit) if valid map datum is available to the app then the drone can travel within the limits AGL (above ground level) instead of above home point elevation.

    #1 is simplest to developers, but may upset some attorneys/governments
    #2 is relatively simple for developers and should be appeasing to attorneys/governments
    #3 is really quite complex for developers and could not be argued by governments and would (hopefully) put some attorneys out of work

    this is still oversimplifying a pretty complex problem, but i believe that if DJI can do what they are doing with no fly zones then they should be able to do this with other flight limits. at least start with the #2 solution while working toward #3

    man, i can get long-winded. sorry.

    (Utes or Cougs?)
     
  20. GadgetGuy

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    I believe that is correct, but I don't have Litchi (it just was released for iOS) myself. Don't update to 1.5 was the Litchi warning, as I recall, without fully understanding all the consequences. Check with Litchi directly to get the full skinny.