DJI RTK 210 First Impressions After a Week
Updated: Oct 15, 2019
So it arrived several months after its supposed release date. Is it cool? Is it sexy? Is it worth it?
So answers one and two YES, 3 eeehhhh not sure yet! Let me explain why!
It arrives in all its glory, with no RTK ground station! And with the Chinese Holidays no way of getting it til after the holiday - fortunately ours had shipped and just arrived 4 days later to the surprise of the dealer!
So flying the RTK why experienced pilots need apply - The drone is unstable not only because of payload but the size of the props causing so much dirty air and downdrafts that taking off or landing straight up will cause the aircraft to wobble - you need to fly forward and land coming in at an angle to give the pops the ability to grab enough air to create a stable and efficient ascent/descent. Rapid acceleration or decal will cause the aircraft to pitch side to side rather worryingly. This is not an I2!
The other challenge with the design is the top mount camera requiring the use when RTK isn't available of a standard (included) GPS puck with the too short cabling attached to the number one slot of the front of the aircraft. The challenge with the cabling is it's too short to tie down or wrap around. Consequently as we were pulling back to land the prop wash brought the cable up into the props they severed the cabling making the unit useless. The puck needs be used as the top mount blocks the aircrafts internal GPS receivers. See picture above. And necessary when doing a bridge inspection.
Another annoyanvce is the position of the sd card that cameras ie x5s or any unit plugged into the #1 camera mount must use. As it is super difficult to get to without loosening the RTK pucks to get access to! Hey DJI - there is a great rear dock you can use! They could have found a better placements for the sd card slot IMHO.
OKAY I lied I have another annoyance. The Radio RTK set up, was definitely an after thought even the dealer broke 2 antenna wires when assembling the bracket that goes on the back of the Cendance remote do it carefully very flimsy and the wires really dont fit and when you tighten everything will get pinched and snap be super careful!
May get us cm grade altitude accuracy?
Water resistant - oh but the cameras aren't
Top mounted camera ability
Did I say, it's cool looking! Especially with the top mounted Z30
Has Pilot Sense
RTK very glitchy and firmware updates needed to make it fully work.
Dual camera set up pan function cannot be slowed down
Top mounted camera set up cable needs to be longer so it can be wrapped and tucked away more securely.
Oh we need a real manual - current instruction manual -it's called figure it out yourself such as which camera works which way and with what sd cards yada yada.
If you have no RTK yet app has a bug preventing you from taking off even tho' the RTK switch is off on the drone - fix is tap GPS logo on app, slide switch on app off with the switch on the aircraft off
Flies like a tractor in any camera set up - we need new firmware ASAP
Battery time is horrid with the advertised TB55's we are getting 16 mins tops.
The Pilot app "beta" more like "ceta" buggy, crashes and useless for the 2 camera mode - it is horrid.
Remote is cool - only 25% customizable currently - zoom from the screen come on guys use the knob, and speed clamps don't give us the levers if they dont work!
RTK antennae bracket for the remote was clearly an afterthought
Battery consumption for the remote and crystal sky are not as advertised.
Crystal Sky is glitchy and the apps are buggy - FYI Trucolor mode only on Apple iOS apps for the x5s - not on android - really?????
Crystal sky gets hot and we get applesque video feed
Crystal Sky Monitors HDMI is only in currently an in only, not out - so you can't connect them as advertised for paired use for a DP on set.
OMG and why can't we save our camera settings every time we power cycle we are resetting the aperture time and again!
No Third Party App support using Crystal Sky - ie Drone Deploy or Litchi - leaves us GSPro - ick!
My question to DJI is what were you thinking? Prosumers have become used to the constant updates, having to troubleshot and think on our feet when you turn up and a new NFZ appears in class G airspace where you were filming the day before! But come on guys I'm your biggest or most notorious fan (epic crash that started the firmware updates back in the day).
But we "prosumers" are now dealing with engineers, architects, land surveyors where testing, retesting and accuracy, precision and reliability are the mainstays of their industry!. I had a surveyor show up with a panasonic tough book running windows 98 - why "because it's stabile, reliable and works every time!" he said looking at me like I was an idiot.
So where is my rant going DJI - your fans ~ your customers are gonna to have to bullshit their way out of situations you create, rely heavily on their deep relationships with their clients so they will forgive them! Your customers will lose some business along the way - but they will get through it. But will you? When you sell direct to municipalities, major firms, huge conglomerates like Exxon, Homeland Security, The National Power Grid? I doubt it.
So my point is keep up the innovation but perfect it before you tease everyone with what's coming soon. We will all put up with the delays if when it arrives it works as advertised - because currently I have a dead sexy 30k investment that I cannot use with my clients efficiently, effectively and precisely - until another firmware update arrives! Oh wait! But you guys are on a month long holiday........