I'm using a DJI Inspire 1 Pro and both the 15 mm and 25 mm lenses. Since DJI haven't made the ability to control focus available via their SDK, (apparently the beta version out now does!), I've been looking for ways to ensure I'm getting proper focus during photogrammetry missions. First, some background on what I've found with these lenses:

The 15 mm lens, even when set to Manual on the lens itself, resets to some not quite at infinity setting each time you power on. So, for longer missions with battery changes, you need to ensure that focus is correct each time you continue the mission.

The 25 mm lens has no auto/manual focus switch on it, so there is no way that I can find to control that.

It would be nice if at least the two lenses would default focus to infinity at start up, but I haven't figured out how to accomplish that.

So, based on what I've heard from other pilots on other software platforms, their solution is to launch and fly to altitude with the DJI Go app, set focus and exposure, then exit DJI Go, launch their flight survey software, and fly the mission.

This makes me nervous, since there is a time when no app is controlling the UAV, and you need to make REALLY certain that DJI Go has completely exited prior to launching UGCS.

Here is my question. Is anyone here using this approach with a DJI Inspire 1 Pro? My preference is to use the 25 mm lens, because it just about guarantees that I won't be anywhere near power line towers and possible electrical interference and also gives me a cleaner straight down view for stitching.

Thanks!

Mark

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I've always take okk with dji go up, and then switch to litchi, ugcs, dronepan, or whatever software I need. No problem at all, your drone will be completely responsive.

Thanks Pablo - that's great to know!

Mark, you can also upload mission from UgCS, start it, pause, then switch to DJI GO, make all necessary settings and continue mission under DJI GO control. Just checked this scenario using emulator. Main drawback - you will not have telemetry log in UgCS.

BTW we will implement focus control in UgCS in near future. 

Alexey, that sounds very interesting. I want to make sure I understand fully.

  1. Start UGCS on my laptop, (obviously)
  2. Launch UGCS on my Android
  3. Upload the mission to the Android
  4. Initiate the mission on the Android, (maybe put a wait parameter in the mission when it reaches altitude?)
  5. Pause the mission
  6. Exit UGCS on the Android or leave it running? My guess is leave it running, otherwise it would lose the mission parameters.
  7. Launch DJI GO on the Android
  8. Adjust focus and any other settings in DJI GO
  9. Switch to UGCS on Android, (still running in the background?)
  10. Resume the mission in UGCS on Android
  11. Rinse and repeat for battery changes

Looking forward to confirming the details!

Mark

Mark, this sequence looks right.

To switch between android applications (UgCS for DJI and DJI GO) you will need to detach/attach USB cable and carefully select "Just once" option when Android will prompt to select application.

Also I recommend to train all workflow in emulation mode with connected Inspire.

I understand that it's not very comfortable scenario, we will add focus control to UgCS for DJI soon.

Alexey,

OK, I'll do some testing this weekend in emulation mode, then up in the air. Thanks again for the suggestion!

Mark

I've done some testing, both in simulator mode and in the field. After success in simulator mode, I went out to a nearby field and flew a mission. There wasn't quite enough battery capacity for the full mission, so I landed, swapped batteries, and then realized that I hadn't tested THAT part of the equation - a battery change. I couldn't figure out how to do that, so I went back home to do some simulator testing.

What I've found is that, while it certainly works to first start DJI GO, set your focus and exposure, then launch UGCS, it doesn't survive a battery change. At least, I can't figure out how to do that. Once I power down the Inspire 1, the UGCS app loses the mission, so I can't resume it from where it took off. I requires uploading again from the laptop to the app.

This is where a persistent instance of the mission(s) on the app would be really helpful. I've seen other mission apps do this, allowing you to come back days or weeks later and resume a mission where it left off.

However, I think once the focus and full exposure controls are available in the UGCS app, then this will become a non-issue. Sooooo, how soon until those are available in the app? I'm more than willing to be a beta tester!

Thanks,

Mark

Hi, UgCS 2.11 beta will be available in few weeks. We finished development and new version is under tests currently.

In new version we implemented full exposure control and zoom control for Z3/Z30 cameras. Regarding focus there are nothing good - we still trying to make it work. May be in next update of UgCS for DJI app.

Thanks for the update. I'm sorry to hear that focus control is being difficult to implement.

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