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Beginners tips/experiences in M mode

thetechnobear

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I guess a few of us with the DJI FPV are new to fpv, and full manual mode - so perhaps we can share some tips, and our experiences.


I'll give the obvious ones to start...
(Im a noob, flew mavics, but new to fpv, but now flying M mode - still early days)

- Practice on a SIM first (!)
the DJI FPV is too expensive, fragile, takes too long to repair to attempt to learn to fly M with the drone (imho)

sure, sims feel different to flying the real drone... but they allowed me to build up muscle memory for the controls...
I started on the sim as soon as I got the fpv, flying it in the evenings... it was frustrating at first, but it comes to you.
after about 6 hours (?) in the sim, I was very confident with controls and knew i was ready to give it a go for real ... at high altitude, with little risk, ready to hit pause!
that sim practice made the first manual flight enjoyable!

- DJI Sim or another sim?
I found the goggles + dji sim gave me motion sickness,
I actually learnt using Velocidrone...so don't worry if you don't have an iOS device, you actually are not disadvantaged.
the DJI sim is good later, to get used to the goggles and M mode, but it not vital ( I think physics are not as good)
(I used Velocidrone, as I didnt want to install Steam, but Im sure Liftoff / DRL are also just as good)

- disable coordinated turns for S mode (settings)
automated coordinated turns are a nice feature, but you are not going to have them in M mode, so better get used to doing them yourself in S mode :)

- cruise control
Ive heard getting used to cruise control in S mode is a good step to M mode, since its closer to throttle/pitch in M mode.
however, I did not try this... but I can see the logic of it

- unsprung throttle
so as recommended , I made the throttle/altitude stick unsprung... as I found in the sim, it was hard to control with it still sprung.
Im sure you can make it work with it sprung, but as a beginner... I wanted as easy as possible !

at this point I was still flying in N/S mode (not M), so I used this time to get used to flying N/S with this unsprung throttle. this is important, as you need to get used to watching your altitude and climb/fall rates.
important tip: the drone does NOT show you +/- vsi (vertical speed indicator) , so when nearly centred 1.2 m/s could mean you are climbing or falling (!) at this rate. (the Sim does have +/-!)

this step in N/S mode, is actually very useful since in M mode, watching VSI/altitude is something Im very careful with.


- first manual flight
thats it... once your comfortable in the sim,
take it up high, put in M mode... and use what you've learnt in the sim.
keep it high, practice turns ... watch you dont lose height...

if in any doubt, press pause !

(oh, I always land/take off in N mode... thats probably never going to change... I see no reason to even try to use manual mode :) )

biggest tip... take it slow, easy... unlike a diy drone, the dji fpv is more like learning to drive a car/motorbike. you cant just crash n' burn till you get it right, its building skills one step at a time.

how long it takes depends on many factors - not only your skills, but how much time you have, what flying conditions are like where you are.
so it doesn't matter if it takes you one week, one month, one year... as long as you are having fun.


anyway, this is all pretty obvious stuff, but I thought useful to have in one place,
its how I learnt so far, there is no magic, its just practice, nice easy steps that anyone can do.

---------------------------------------------------------


on to some specific observations,


- wind
I live on a mountain side, so its often windy, and thru the valleys we can of course get high gusts.
in N/S mode, the drones just take it all in thier strides.... you often only notice it, becuase the drone tilts at a hover.

on my first M flight I took it high, and of course this meant higher winds
wow, was this noticable... everything felt a bit wierd initially, since Id not experience the wind before (in a sim or on the drone),
it was 'sliding' around, and turns were not as expected (downwind = faster/wider , upwind = slower/tighter)
now after a few M flights, Im getting used to it - but even today, I hit a really strong gust and felt like the drone went into a spin (more likely I over compensated?!)
no big worries, I hit pause, to just gather my thoughts.

I guess this is just one case where sim and reality differ. (Ive now tried wind on velocidrone, but its not really the same)

- altitude/attitude
this is the thing Im trying to improve , my first flights I found it really easy to be unintentionally lose or gain (a lot) of height rapidly. this has been worst in turns.
so now Im keeping an eye on it.... so i dont fly into the hillside ;)
this is going to be really important to 'master' before I can do lower level flights.

one thing, I do think that perhaps flying higher makes this a bit harder.... as you lose alot of the sense of height.
Ive been going a bit lower recently, as Ive gained more control/confidence - and its definitely easier for me to see climb/descent (rather than relying on VSI)

- camera tilt
It defaults to 15 deg, Ive changed it to 20 deg, as I think i was going a bit too slow at times... which was messing with my turning.
but not really sure... I know what it does (from the sim) but Im not confident enough to really mess with alot.

- rates/exp (and other settings)
Ive just left as-is, Ive seen some comments off adjusting them to be a bit less sensitive/jittery.
but again, I thought id leave this until I build up more confidence/experience


I think whilst we need the same skills to fly the DJI FPV as other FPVs, I think its features and 'qualities' require a different approach to aquire them, so it'll be interesting to hear how others make that move.
(of course, not all will want to use M mode... thats cool, the drone is fantastic fun in N/S mode too !)


anyway, Id love to hear others thoughts, and tips ...


also Id love to hear more on 'where next', once you are flying M mode .... what are good things to practice?

my current thoughts are...
slowly get lower, then fly between objects (trees) , also to try to make all movements smoother/more cinematic , learn to hover.
I suspect this will take some time... which is ok, Im in no rush :)
 

A.O.

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(of course, not all will want to use M mode... thats cool, the drone is fantastic fun in N/S mode too !)

So what are the differences between mavic flying and the N/S modes on this guy?

Nice write up, thanks.
 
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JoostGT3

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Nice write-up indeed! I think you covered most aspects. It is only now that I start appreciating the stability of my M2P to the fullest!

A.O., it is mainly the fact that the gimbal is only one axis, so you actually see the roll angle. The other is that -if you released the spingload of the throttle- the FPV will not hold it's altitude automatically. If the stick is not centered, you might be in a constant ascent/descent. This can be a bit tricky if you are not paying attention. Also, I flew my Mavics in a custom mode, where the left stick was for altitude and sideways motion (strafe) and the right stick was for fwd/aft tilt and yaw. This mode is not possible on the FPV, as you can only select modes 1, 2 or 3 and no custom modes.
 

thetechnobear

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So what are the differences between mavic flying and the N/S modes on this guy?

as @JoostGT3 said, (optionally) unsprung throttle, fpv, fpv roll (though you can enable an fpv gimbal mode on MA, which is not dissimilar)

apart from that...
N/S
- pause/air-brake feature
- no rear sensors
- will not avoid obstacles, will only (N mode only) brake when it sees an obstruction - not stop!

S only
- has a co-ordinated turn feature (you can turn just with yaw , and it'll roll for you)
- cruise control - so fixed speed.
- much faster :)

on a practical side, for me the biggest difference is that FPV googles give you enough perspective to fly places that I couldn't with a mavic. e.g. I can fly lower or around objects.
also I get a much better idea of what Im actually recording.
the thing about flying lower and with objects around is it gives a really nice sense of speed, a feeling of movement - even when its not fast.


perhaps to be complete,
why use M at all?
- acro if you want, though not something im that terribly interested in.
- It feels like it flows more, perhaps because things are not auto-levelling...
that said until I get more practice, M mode is not as smooth - that'll take practice.

this is what I love about this drone, its great for both relaxed flying around, or getting a bit of a buzz.

ok, I like many do wish the remote did something a little different in N/S mode when its not sprung, a deadzone perhaps ... and also Id love to see a better VSI in the display.
just seen my dads mini2 , and the compass with attitude display would be perfect for the fpv !
 
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A.O.

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as @JoostGT3 said, (optionally) unsprung throttle, fpv, fpv roll (though you can enable an fpv gimbal mode on MA, which is not dissimilar)

apart from that...
N/S
- pause/air-brake feature
- no rear sensors
- will not avoid obstacles, will only (N mode only) brake when it sees an obstruction - not stop!

S only
- has a co-ordinated turn feature (you can turn just with yaw , and it'll roll for you)
- cruise control - so fixed speed.
- much faster :)

on a practical side, for me the biggest difference is that FPV googles give you enough perspective to fly places that I couldn't with a mavic. e.g. I can fly lower or around objects.
also I get a much better idea of what Im actually recording.
the thing about flying lower and with objects around is it gives a really nice sense of speed, a feeling of movement - even when its not fast.


perhaps to be complete,
why use M at all?
- acro if you want, though not something im that terribly interested in.
- It feels like it flows more, perhaps because things are not auto-levelling...
that said until I get more practice, M mode is not as smooth - that'll take practice.

this is what I love about this drone, its great for both relaxed flying around, or getting a bit of a buzz.

ok, I like many do wish the remote did something a little different in N/S mode when its not sprung, a deadzone perhaps ... and also Id love to see a better VSI in the display.
just seen my dads mini2 , and the compass with attitude display would be perfect for the fpv !
I did fly some with my MA2 in the FPV view which I liked... seemed more like "real" flying.
If you have ever seen any of my Weird/amateurish videos you would know I like flying low and around obstacles, I kind of pride my self on flying through the woods instead of over them! The second one is actually in that FPV mode . They are not very good and I cannot edit worth a hoot, but it gives you an idea of what I like to do.

Like this...

or this..

oh, one more..
 

thetechnobear

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cool @A.O. , fpv will be perfect for you :)


--------------------------------------

oh, another thing I forgot to mention....

whilst practicing on the sim, I realised I needed finer control, so I switched to holding the controller in a pinch style (*)

I then forced myself to fly this way in N/S mode (before I flew M) to get used to it.
it felt a bit unnatural at first, but I do feel a bit more in control - than just using your thumb on top of the stick.

(I say forced, as I still naturally pick up the controller and use thumbs, until I correct myself... I think the size of the controller does make thumb seem the natural choice.)

I know some fpv-ers are fine with thumbs, rather than pinch, but it seems with short sticks on the dji remote that might be more difficult.


are other flying pinch or thumbs?



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(*) so you hold stick with thumb and first finger.
 
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JoostGT3

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I always try to fly pinch, as when flying thumbs only, I feel that they tend to "walk" off the sticks, that is after moving for some time, they go to the sides too much. Pinching is something that doesn't come naturally to me with the Mavics, but with the FPV controller it IS natural for me. Maybe because I don't need as much attention for the gimbal, or because of the different shape of the controller, but I really adjusted easily to the pinching style.
 

EdH

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I guess a few of us with the DJI FPV are new to fpv, and full manual mode - so perhaps we can share some tips, and our experiences.


I'll give the obvious ones to start...
(Im a noob, flew mavics, but new to fpv, but now flying M mode - still early days)

- Practice on a SIM first (!)
the DJI FPV is too expensive, fragile, takes too long to repair to attempt to learn to fly M with the drone (imho)

sure, sims feel different to flying the real drone... but they allowed me to build up muscle memory for the controls...
I started on the sim as soon as I got the fpv, flying it in the evenings... it was frustrating at first, but it comes to you.
after about 6 hours (?) in the sim, I was very confident with controls and knew i was ready to give it a go for real ... at high altitude, with little risk, ready to hit pause!
that sim practice made the first manual flight enjoyable!

- DJI Sim or another sim?
I found the goggles + dji sim gave me motion sickness,
I actually learnt using Velocidrone...so don't worry if you don't have an iOS device, you actually are not disadvantaged.
the DJI sim is good later, to get used to the goggles and M mode, but it not vital ( I think physics are not as good)
(I used Velocidrone, as I didnt want to install Steam, but Im sure Liftoff / DRL are also just as good)

- disable coordinated turns for S mode (settings)
automated coordinated turns are a nice feature, but you are not going to have them in M mode, so better get used to doing them yourself in S mode :)

- cruise control
Ive heard getting used to cruise control in S mode is a good step to M mode, since its closer to throttle/pitch in M mode.
however, I did not try this... but I can see the logic of it

- unsprung throttle
so as recommended , I made the throttle/altitude stick unsprung... as I found in the sim, it was hard to control with it still sprung.
Im sure you can make it work with it sprung, but as a beginner... I wanted as easy as possible !

at this point I was still flying in N/S mode (not M), so I used this time to get used to flying N/S with this unsprung throttle. this is important, as you need to get used to watching your altitude and climb/fall rates.
important tip: the drone does NOT show you +/- vsi (vertical speed indicator) , so when nearly centred 1.2 m/s could mean you are climbing or falling (!) at this rate. (the Sim does have +/-!)

this step in N/S mode, is actually very useful since in M mode, watching VSI/altitude is something Im very careful with.


- first manual flight
thats it... once your comfortable in the sim,
take it up high, put in M mode... and use what you've learnt in the sim.
keep it high, practice turns ... watch you dont lose height...

if in any doubt, press pause !

(oh, I always land/take off in N mode... thats probably never going to change... I see no reason to even try to use manual mode :) )

biggest tip... take it slow, easy... unlike a diy drone, the dji fpv is more like learning to drive a car/motorbike. you cant just crash n' burn till you get it right, its building skills one step at a time.

how long it takes depends on many factors - not only your skills, but how much time you have, what flying conditions are like where you are.
so it doesn't matter if it takes you one week, one month, one year... as long as you are having fun.


anyway, this is all pretty obvious stuff, but I thought useful to have in one place,
its how I learnt so far, there is no magic, its just practice, nice easy steps that anyone can do.

---------------------------------------------------------


on to some specific observations,


- wind
I live on a mountain side, so its often windy, and thru the valleys we can of course get high gusts.
in N/S mode, the drones just take it all in thier strides.... you often only notice it, becuase the drone tilts at a hover.

on my first M flight I took it high, and of course this meant higher winds
wow, was this noticable... everything felt a bit wierd initially, since Id not experience the wind before (in a sim or on the drone),
it was 'sliding' around, and turns were not as expected (downwind = faster/wider , upwind = slower/tighter)
now after a few M flights, Im getting used to it - but even today, I hit a really strong gust and felt like the drone went into a spin (more likely I over compensated?!)
no big worries, I hit pause, to just gather my thoughts.

I guess this is just one case where sim and reality differ. (Ive now tried wind on velocidrone, but its not really the same)

- altitude/attitude
this is the thing Im trying to improve , my first flights I found it really easy to be unintentionally lose or gain (a lot) of height rapidly. this has been worst in turns.
so now Im keeping an eye on it.... so i dont fly into the hillside ;)
this is going to be really important to 'master' before I can do lower level flights.

one thing, I do think that perhaps flying higher makes this a bit harder.... as you lose alot of the sense of height.
Ive been going a bit lower recently, as Ive gained more control/confidence - and its definitely easier for me to see climb/descent (rather than relying on VSI)

- camera tilt
It defaults to 15 deg, Ive changed it to 20 deg, as I think i was going a bit too slow at times... which was messing with my turning.
but not really sure... I know what it does (from the sim) but Im not confident enough to really mess with alot.

- rates/exp (and other settings)
Ive just left as-is, Ive seen some comments off adjusting them to be a bit less sensitive/jittery.
but again, I thought id leave this until I build up more confidence/experience


I think whilst we need the same skills to fly the DJI FPV as other FPVs, I think its features and 'qualities' require a different approach to aquire them, so it'll be interesting to hear how others make that move.
(of course, not all will want to use M mode... thats cool, the drone is fantastic fun in N/S mode too !)


anyway, Id love to hear others thoughts, and tips ...


also Id love to hear more on 'where next', once you are flying M mode .... what are good things to practice?

my current thoughts are...
slowly get lower, then fly between objects (trees) , also to try to make all movements smoother/more cinematic , learn to hover.
I suspect this will take some time... which is ok, Im in no rush :)
Great right up. I have been flying my M2Zoom with Re-goggles in FPV gimbal mode for a couple hundred hours. It is the closest thing to being a bird. I like the FPV goggles, lighter good resolution, so I am used to the visual change of flying with goggles but right now I am fighting the problem of the drone saying “can’t fly in M mode” or something to that effect. I will be flying along working on speed, altitude control a few turns and then boom, takes me out of M mode. The only thing that I don’t know about (excuse me there are many things)but it is telling me there is other aircraft in the area. Could that do it?
 

thetechnobear

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takes me out of M mode. The only thing that I don’t know about (excuse me there are many things)but it is telling me there is other aircraft in the area. Could that do it?

hmm, I've not had it bump me out of M mode....
I guess it could bump you out of M , if you get an adbs warning (Ive never had one so dont know :) )
I heard it will bump you out if you hit your max altitude or max distance (set in settings / safety, can't remember the defaults)
Id also assume it'll bump you out if you hit the max 500m altitude (from start alt) or a geofence area.
... after all it can only enforce its rules, if it takes over the drone into GPS mode, and doesnt allow you back out until its 'safe'

perhaps if you upload to airdata, in the tips/warnings section it'll tell you what happened?

----------------------------------------------------------------------

so.... 13 days in, and Ive removed all the 'training wheels' ... my first day out with full-acro, and some attempts at some rolls/flips.
Its not really my focus, but rather I want to feel the (probably my own) limits, so that I can get some more dynamic video... rather than any kind of freestyling.


after a week of M, i can see really I now need to really focus on being smoother (perhaps I may look at the rates/exp... but I think its mainly the pilot ;) )

as for the acro, I realise I need to do these slower (as in roll slowly), at the right height, there is no rush, so better to be smooth and precise, than frantically 'get it over with'...
I think thats partly confidence, in both myself and the drone... in my next set of batteries (after this video) , I did slow it down and it felt better.

I also need to start getting lower in M mode, again its confidence...

finally, I need to improve my throttle/pitch control... e.g. so I can speed up but without jolting the camera angle around.


anyway, much more confident flying around casually in M mode, and I am starting to flow more.
what I love most I think is the way, your controlling the camera view with your flight path - this is quite different from my mavic air.
(ok, kind of obvious, as this is what fpv is about... but still its great to feel it whilst flying !)
 
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Kilrah

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I have been flying my M2Zoom with Re-goggles in FPV gimbal mode for a couple hundred hours. It is the closest thing to being a bird.
Well it WAS, now the FPV is :p

As mentioned somewhere else I've had it kick me out of M and show the "unable to switch to M mode" when crossing the boundary of a geo zone, moving a few meters either side and I can again. Look at the map to see if there's one where you fly and avoid the boundary.
 
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EdH

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Well it WAS, now the FPV is :p

As mentioned somewhere else I've had it kick me out of M and show the "unable to switch to M mode" when crossing the boundary of a geo zone, moving a few meters either side and I can again. Look at the map to see if there's one where you fly and avoid the boundary.
Thanks for the input. There was no problem with altitude don’t really know about the Geo zone it does limit my height to about 392 because it is in line with the runway of NSA Jacksonville. I was keeping the altitude around 200 I’ll figure it out
 

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Nice movie, you’re making progress! It’s fun to discover M and a bit of acro, isn’t it? I have been looking at youtube movies of freestyle pikots and noticed two things:
1. They often fly really flowing lines
2. These lines partly are the result of very abrupt/resolute control inputs. The good pilots do a roll and have the aircraft come out of it perfectly level... I figure this will take a lot of practise! At least I found that my movies don’t look that fluent yet!
 
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thetechnobear

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yeah good pilots are really smooth...

this is something Im now starting to work on, its alot harder than it looks... the drone is so agile, it moves with the slightest of touches.

I am wondering about rates/exp... I think for more cinematic flying, perhaps they could be a bit slower, and a bit more exp.
though, I think I'd like to improve my technique before I start down this route... so use its skittish-ness to help fine tune my inputs.
 

EdH

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yeah good pilots are really smooth...

this is something Im now starting to work on, its alot harder than it looks... the drone is so agile, it moves with the slightest of touches.

I am wondering about rates/exp... I think for more cinematic flying, perhaps they could be a bit slower, and a bit more exp.
though, I think I'd like to improve my technique before I start down this route... so use its skittish-ness to help fine tune my inputs.
Not sure how the rest of y’all feel but flying the drone in a M mode with some attitude is easier than the simulator. It doesn’t seem to have the quirky responses that are similar has.
 
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EdH

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Good job, nice flight. I live on a golf course, so when I get enough nerve, I'll try flying a little lower.
 

EdH

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Not sure how the rest of y’all feel but flying the drone in a M mode with some attitude is easier than the simulator. It doesn’t seem to have the quirky responses that are similar has.
I meant it to say simulator. Spell check at work again.
 

thetechnobear

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I meant it to say simulator. Spell check at work again.
yeah, general flying does feel a bit easier - I think the rates in the sims are all a bit faster.

I so find flips and rolls a bit more disorientating in real life than they were in the sim.
similarly when closer to the ground/close to objects its feels easier in the sim.

thats said, it could just be with a real drone/landscape there is a real risk to crashing, so perhaps its confidence.

also Ive been using velocidrone mostly as a sim, and the drones are much more agile/lighter there than the dji fpv (even if you crank up the weight settings)
 

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