This post is geared towards more of the new DJI flyer. If you’re an existing flyer and you have already flown a Mavic Pro or a Phantom before this would be really nothing new.
Now before we even get into setting up the drone itself there’s a couple topics we’ll talk about. And the first one is FAA. What you want to do is depending on where you live: every country has their different rules and regulations. So I really recommend just looking into what are the rules and regulations as far as FAA goes for you to fly both as a hobbyist or even as a commercial pilot. Official FAA website for the U.S. flyers.
The next we will talk about is the DJI Care Refresh Program (CRP). If you don’t know there’s a DJI Care Refresh program for the DJI Mavic Pro 2 and DJI Mavic 2 Zoom. CRP is like a protection plan for your drone. For instance if you were to crash it, if something were to break on it, you were to drop it and so on there’s a protection plan which is called the Care Refresh Program that I highly recommend. Mainly, because if something goes wrong with the drone what you have to do is send it back to DJI and for a small fee they’re able to actually look at it inspect it and send you a replacement if it needs one. For the first year you get up to two replacements.
The one thing a lot of people don’t know about the Care Refresh Program is you normally have to set it up within the first 48 hours of when you purchase and activate your account when you get your drone. Also, even if you bought a secondhand drone or a drone from other store, some other person you could technically still get the Care Refresh Program. They’re gonna ask you for some information about the drone itself but you can still technically get the DJI Care Refresh Program on a DJI drone even after that initial 48-hour activation.
The first step we’re gonna talk about is just charging up your batteries. So once you get your drone, the first thing you want to do is press on these side clips and pull the battery straight out. You’re always gonna want to charge your battery for the first time. More than likely when you got it it’ll be empty. When you have a full charge you’ll see all four bars lit up; half charge would just show half but what you’re gonna want to do is make sure that before you do anything on the drone you always want to make sure you have a full charge battery. So all you have to do is get the charger from the box and plug it in to the bottom of your battery.
Besides the battery you’re gonna want to charge the remote control. For this you have to grab the wire that comes out of the microUSB from the brick and you can actually plug that into the side of your remote. And then of course just plug this into your wall. You’re gonna want a full battery for this because more than likely, when you first get your drone you’re gonna have some firmware updates and software updates and you want to make sure that you have enough battery power to perform those updates.
The next thing we’ll do is remove the gimbal cover. A lot of people will just power it on and think they want to get up and flying right away. But just know that if you power the DJI Mavic 2 Pro or Zoom (or any other DJI drone) when the cover is on you might damage the camera and gimbal, because when you turn on the battery for the first time it actually goes through a sequence and if that gimbal cover is on there you’re going to be restricting the camera to go through that initial startup sequence. To remove the cover all I have to do is turn the drone over and just use your thumb to pull up a little flap at the very bottom of the drone.
To put it back on all you have to do is take the swivel part and push it right on top of the camera. First slide it through and then there’s gonna be two little clips up top which you’re gonna latch on.
Now you’re gonna want to actually take the time to inspect your drone. Of course this thing’s been shipped overseas and a lot of things get banged up. So you just don’t really know what your drone has been through to get to you. What you want to do is just go through and inspect your drone look for any thing that might look out of the ordinary. Just make sure that things aren’t rattling around. For example, I give my motors a free spin to make sure it doesn’t sound crunching inside. Just go through it and look for anything that might look out of the ordinary.
When you got your drone they didn’t have the propellers on there. So what we’ll want to do now is just install the propellers on all four arms. Some of them are gonna have a white ring around it and other ones will not have a white ring and it’ll just be solid black. What you want to do is look for the white ring on the propeller itself and then look at the motor and you’ll see a white ring on the motor. Those of course, go together, and the black one will go onto the motor without a ring. Put it right over on top of the motor, press down so it’s going to be spring-loaded. Then turn and make sure that they’re locked into place. Do that in all four and you will now have the propellers all set up.
The next thing you want to do is pick up another microSD card. I highly recommend a 64 gig card or higher. There is also eight gigs of storage built into the Mavic 2 drone but when you’re out there flying if you’re shooting in 4k and you’re taking a bunch of raw photos you will fill up that internal storage really fast. So you’re gonna want to make sure you have enough storage room for other photos and video.
As far as the drone goes we have the batteries charged, the gimbal covers off, the props installed and we have a memory card. Now turn the DJI Mavic 2 over to getting your phone or tablet ready to go as well as the software on both the remote control and on the drone ready.
What you wanna do now is pick a device that you’re going to be using when you fly your Mavic Pro 2. Once you choose your device whether it’s gonna be a phone or a tablet, all you have to do is get their corresponding cord from the case and plug into the remote controller. Then of course it in to the bottom of your phone and now you’ll be connected as far as the remote goes. You can aso use the USB connector that is located at the bottom of the remote.
So now that you got your device picked out the next you want to do is make sure you are downloading the latest DJI GO 4 App from either the Android or the iOS store. Make sure you download the latest one – that way you are up to date and this is the app that you’re going to be using to see all of your video and your footage in live view from the camera. Now that you’ve downloaded, install the most recent DJI GO 4 App onto your device.
Once you power on the remore first thing you gonna need to register your drone. The activation process is available here.
Once you have registered and your firmware all updated there’s a couple of things in the app that I’ll bring some attention to. That is calibrating your IMU and also calibrating your camera. IMU is the inertial measurement unit and it’s basically electronic devices inside of your drone such as accelerometer and gyroscope. Those are things that basically are keeping your drone balanced and in position. A lot of times if you hit something or accidentally crash it or you just seem like the drone is drifting just a little bit – a lot of times those are IMU issues. IMU calibration instructions for the DJI Mavic 2 are available on that page.
What you’re going to do now is a gimbal calibration. It is very similar to the IMU as far as the idea behind it. Click on the Camera in the DJI App menu and go for ‘Gimbal Auto calibration’. Click on that, hit okay and do the same things that you did when calibrating IMU. Make sure you’re on a flat surface! It’ll go through a gimbal calibration: the gimbal and camera will start moving and calibrating, so just leave it alone and don’t touch it. You’ll see your progress right on the screen.
So there it is! Those are the first steps that I may take when getting my drone ready to go. I just wanted to go through some of the core things that I think you’ll need to know before you take it out and I hope you find those steps useful for yourself.