Newbie Question

Hello From South Carolina and 1st time poster – am a 107 pilot working construction aerial photo progress updates and also doing aerial and ground photos for real estate MLS listings. Have known about DD for quite awhile but didn’t pursue it because of the cost. Am now looking at working with grading contractors doing site work on capital projects (schools, gov’t office buildings, etc).

I’m sure this must have been asked before, but I didn’t find it in a quick look around the forum. So apologies if this is totally a do-over.

I fly the Mavic Pro (original) and have kept all of them at the GO4 revision level prior to DJI imposing NFZ restrictions. I do all my FAA and airfield authorizations when flying in restricted air space and don’t intend to let DJI insert themselves into the discussion. I’m also looking at getting a MP2, and of course that will come with DJI’s restrictions. I can use NoLimitDronez to remove those restrictions, but that raises my question:

Does DD work with DJI firmware that has been modified or is otherwise not the current rev level?

Thanks for your patience… Bob R.

DD hooks into the DJI SDK’s (Software Developer Kit) API (Application Programming Interface) to send DD requests to DJI’s software. Example DD tells DJI to take off, then DD tells DJI to go to a XYZ location, DD tells DJI to take a photo.

So as long as the firmware and SDK are compatible then it will work. In some cases new SDK are required for new firmware. In some cases old SDK API calls become obsolete and can no longer work so the new SDK removes that functionality. DD will stay up to current DJI SDK/Firmware standards. As Part 107 the drone is supposed to be up to date with the latest firmware, this is why DD and other apps like Litchi and Pix4D constantly update their flight software.

There have been many reports of not being able to fly in NFZ’s in DroneDeploy, so I would sign up for a free account, unlock the necessary items and give it a try. It is horrible with my P4P.

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Good info. I guess the only way to know is to run it and see. And if it runs OK now, it’s probably only a matter of time until it doesn’t. Sounds like I’m ultimately going to have to go along to get along. But for now, I’m in the camp of staying away from DJI restrictions as long as possible.

Relevant to nothing - My latest-greatest Litchi still runs fine with the old DJI FW.

Thanks all… R

I regularly fly a P4P that is on older firmware and has DJI NFZ.s disabled. It will fly just fine in any of DJI’s NFZ area using my older ios version of Go4. But in DD, it will fly in all but Red DJI zones because DD must pull the geo database into their app and Red zones are still restricted.

So, in answer to your question about disabling DJI’s NFZ in firmware, it will work on all but Red zones, probably. For Red Zones, you can get unlocks from DJI and I believe they are stored within the memory of the craft itself and should work with all apps after the unlock is stored. But it seems that DD does not yet have a way to abide by those unlocks. Supposedly, this functionality was resolved in the SDK in Nov. 2018. But as far as I know, it still does not work in DD.

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Last time I went into trouble I was in an intermediate zone with a cap of 300. I obviously fly less than that. I unlocked through DJI go submitted LAANC through Airmap, but most importantly I had filed an online waiver the week before and DroneDeploy still would not fly. I ended up completing the mission with Litchi.


MichaelL - I’m at risk here of hijacking my own thread, but I have to ask. Does DD run with Litchi?

They are two different flight apps. Any correctly geotagged images can be processed with DroneDeploy so it doesn’t really matter what you use to capture the photos.

DD is has two processes, there is the DD App (Front-end) which sets up/fly missions to take photos and then there’s DD the processing photo engine (Back-end) that stitches everything together.

As @MichaelL said you can use any Front End app like DD, Litchi, Pix4D, Drone Harmony etc to take the photos, as long as they are geotagged with the GPS location.

The Back-end process doesn’t care where the images came from, it just chugs along to get a final product out.

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