Does DroneDeploy require signal during mission?

I am wondering if I can sit down and have a cup of tea (still keeping VLOS) during the mission. Currently, I keep the RC controller pointed towards the drone. It’s kinda tiring on a long mission. :wink:

Does DD really take off, fly to the start point, complete the mission regardless of the signal, then comes home and land? I am afraid to try it without a few more “yup, it does!” from the DD experts. Thank in advance.

Hello @JamesChung as much as having a cup of tea sounds relaxing as your drone flies, we recommend having full control of your drone at all times. This can be equivalent to driving in a car and having the cruise control on but not having hands on the wheel!

Please do reach out if you have any more questions! :slight_smile:

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I have found that if you lose signal between the drone and the RC, the drone will continue the mission flight plan, but will not take any photos while disconnected. Although the waypoints are uploaded to the aircraft before takeoff, it appears that the photos are triggered by the app during the flight.

I usually set the RC down on my knee or a table (or dashboard during the summer), but always keep one hand on the RC to be ready to flip the switch to kill the mission and drop altitude when one of those pesky helicopters appear out of nowhere.

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Thanks @HawkViewAerial for the reply. That’s disappointing that the DD stops taking the picture. Which tells me that when doing a large mission, I need to keep the RC pointed and follow the drone in order to avoid the possible photo loss.

Is this documented more clearly by DD? For example, if there is a signal loss (temporarily) and the photo is not being taken, is that evident in the DD software (alarm, etc.)? And once the signal is restored, does it resume taking the photos? Or is the whole mission flopped?

@JamesChung - I apologize, the large quarry site I had this occur at has a 500’ elevation change (the big hill in the middle was responsible for the signal loss), so I use Map Pilot every month there, and that is the app that I had the experience with.

But since they both use the DJI SDK, I am willing to bet that they both will behave the same way.

@JamesChung Hello James, if you have updated our application to the latest version, there should be a message that pops up in your dashboard indicating that you lost signal.


Thanks Yusuf. It’s good to hear that the dashboard will indicate the lost signal.

What I am really asking (I don’t want to find out by doing so) is if the planned mission has spots where the drone loses the signal, would it continue it’s path and take the photos until it comes back into the range? In other words, all is good…relax. OR will it panic and do the RTH? Thanks.

I would get my drone checked out. If you are in VLOS on a P4P or newer you should never lose signal. You’ve either gone too far or have an obstruction.

Thanks @MichaelL. Let me clarify my question. Let’s say a mission’s area to be mapped is large, and like you said there maybe some obstructions in the long enough to block signals for 10 seconds. I am trying to see if there is way to do two flights and combine them into one stitched photo. Or what happens during the moments without the signal loss.

Got you. Yes sir, you can do a manual upload from the icons at the bottom and upload all the photos from those two flights together. The only time I’ve ever experienced a full up interruption they drone crash so I can’t help you there. I have flickering video occasionally, but never lose signal. I always try to place myself as close to the center of the subject as possible.

@MichaelL Great feedback! To add:

The application is intended to be used within visual line of sight. The drone can lose signal and depending on your settings, the drone well RTH after 3 seconds of lost connection. However, I would double check with your DJI Hardware settings as DroneDeploy.

Something to also note is the device you are using. I just lost my drone because the rc lost connection and it just stayed in place on it’s path until the battery died, which was over a location I could not retrieve it from. I tried moving a lot and never regained connection. That phone is also not supported for the mavic 2 pro, so I was asking for trouble, but wanted to spread the word for future flyers. In this mission I had already flown much father away, but I believe my issues was electrical interference, as there were charging stations on the parking garage I was flying from. This is unfortunate because I had done a successful test flight at a smaller scale before hand with no issues.

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Sounds like your DJI settings didn’t take effect? Do you recall them being correct or unchanged? You are correct that if it is in an autonomous mission that it will keep going, but at some point though DJI should kick in on low-battery and either hover or RTH.