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Kara Murphy

DJI has abandoned professionals

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More opinion than news, Digital Photography Review contributor Ty Audronis talks about how DJI's latest firmware update prevents drones from flying in restricted airspace, even if the operator has gotten approval.

I've seen my share of complaints from professionals on the forums. They get clearance to fly but they still can't take off, especially if they're using another 3rd party app outside of Go.

What are your thoughts? On one hand, I can understand them wanting to avoid liability. But have they gone too far?

https://www.dpreview.com/opinion/2028519692/has-dji-abandoned-professionals

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Liability is the excuse they used to begin this mess, yet no regulatory agency in any country requires it, there implementation of GEO Fencing makes it more difficult for commercial operators and I don't see how it limits their liability.  

 This appears to be more of a push for "pay-to-play."  People can debate the quality of their products and support but it's getting a lot more difficult to defend their position. 

Most of the noise lately is thier attempt to prevent the hacking of thier Go app.  It has not seemed to occur to them that once I purchase one of thier products it's mine to do with as I wish.  Also, I'm a professional and dont need DJI's permission to fly anywhere.  

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My take on the DJI geo no fly zones is we are seeing an international company setting policy consistent with their home country being poorly translated to other countries. Since DJI is based in China, they are creating their restriction policies consistent with Chinese government requirements consistent with their no fly zones as well as registration requirements. As one example, while in the United States, we have the policy of contacting the FAA to receive permission to fly in no fly zones in a variety of ways. I'm not sure how the system works in China to receive permission to fly in no fly zones.

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The following thread has discussed this extensively, specifically this linked post which shows how to get approval for fly your DJI drone almost anywhere, including their geo-fenced no fly zones: 

To answer your question though, yes they went too far.

 

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Unfortunately I don't believe this is simply about the process of unlocking a NFZ, what gives DJI the right to restrict my equipment?

I paid for it, I'm a professional and none of the way DJI implemented GEO fencing is required by the FAA?

Brendan Schulman and DJI can't have it both ways, they can't implement these types of "nanny" policies and then play the hero and complain about restrictive government regulations.  It was pointed out to Brendan Schulman very early on in the development of this policy what the unintended consequences might be and this is what happened:

https://www.cinema5d.com/canada-drafts-stricter-drone-regulations-dji-disappointed/

And for those that really want to dive into the details:

http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2017/2017-07-15/html/reg2-eng.php#contact

The problem is, this isn't about DJI, this effects all of us and DJI is screwing it up for the rest of us.  

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Since this is such a speculative thread, here a bit more to add to the drama that has become DJI.

Appaerently what has come to light is that the flight stack (software) DJI uses for its flight controllers was hacked/stolen/whatever word you'd like to use from open source.  I'm guessing that in the Chinese dictionary that's the definition of irony.

The author of that code has come forward and asked DJI to stop using it.  Now it will be interesting to see what DJI does.  Do they try to license it?  Start over? Or just attempt to keep going?  

They didn't even remove or change the name in the comments when they pirated it.  Not only are they terrible engineers, they're lazy.  You can't make this stuff up.  I have no way of knowing the validity of this, so I consider it gossip, but it's all over the web and it wouldn't surprise me in the least.  

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On 7/23/2017 at 8:22 PM, Kara Murphy said:

It has caught Brendan Schulman's attention and he's been responding to the more prominent Facebook posts going around.

 

DJI BS.png

I'm one of their "very few" customers who always fly there. As a certified remote pilot, I know to file for my authorization with the governing body (FAA) and also how my local tower wants me to keep them informed. So to Brendan I would say, thank you for covering your own rear but its really not your rear on the line, so kiss my rear and find some other way to feel good.

And for those of you who are having trouble with geo-fencing I have a sure-fire way of avoiding all the problems associated with the latest fiasco from DJI. Stick with the firmware you have that is working. Just because it the newest thing out there does not mean its the smart move to upgrade without giving it a teething period to work out the kinks....

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9 hours ago, Av8Chuck said:

Since this is such a speculative thread, here a bit more to add to the drama that has become DJI.

Appaerently what has come to light is that the flight stack (software) DJI uses for its flight controllers was hacked/stolen/whatever word you'd like to use from open source.  I'm guessing that in the Chinese dictionary that's the definition of irony.

 

Irony? Or karma?

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16 hours ago, R Martin said:

I'm one of their "very few" customers who always fly there. As a certified remote pilot, I know to file for my authorization with the governing body (FAA) and also how my local tower wants me to keep them informed. So to Brendan I would say, thank you for covering your own rear but its really not your rear on the line, so kiss my rear and find some other way to feel good.

And for those of you who are having trouble with geo-fencing I have a sure-fire way of avoiding all the problems associated with the latest fiasco from DJI. Stick with the firmware you have that is working. Just because it the newest thing out there does not mean its the smart move to upgrade without giving it a teething period to work out the kinks....

I agree, I haven't updated my firmware yet because everything is working so well on my P4 Pro.

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18 hours ago, Kara Murphy said:

I agree, I haven't updated my firmware yet because everything is working so well on my P4 Pro.

Kara,

 

My read is that this is localized to the I1 and not the latest versions; I2 and P4. I spoke with a few colleagues at a conference on UAss in GIS this week and they have not had any problems  with their Phantoms. Apparently there is a slider in the GO4 app that allows you to turn geofencing off.

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2 hours ago, R Martin said:

Apparently there is a slider in the GO4 app that allows you to turn geofencing off.

I doubt that's the case.  DJI's refusal to allow professional users to turn off or "opt out" of GEO is really what started this mess.

I think that if that were true everyone would be talking about it.  It might be that you can choose between GEO and NFZ, which is a more restrictive form of GEO fencing.  

I don't really know, I haven't upgraded either.  Then again I haven't taken the Phantom out of the case in over six months.  

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Well, I do have a Part 107 gig coming up this Monday with Intel. In the spirit of being professional, I'll need to make sure everything is up to date. We are flying in an area where there's no need to unlock permissions.

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On 7/23/2017 at 8:22 PM, Kara Murphy said:

It has caught Brendan Schulman's attention and he's been responding to the more prominent Facebook posts going around.

 

DJI BS.png

My issue is DJI is locking up uncontrolled airspace or beyond 5 miles from an class C airport .  They don't follow the FAA Sectional Chart.  It's overkill.  I shouldn't have to go on line and unlock airspace I can clearly fly in.  It's ridiculous.

Edited by JTE

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