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Not taking photos on automated flight plan: Copterix and Map Pilot

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Sep 17, 2022
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I'm guessing this might be addressed in another post, but I can't find it. If someone can direct me, that would be awesome. We have had a lot of trouble with our Inspire 1 not capturing photos on automated flight line plans. I switched to Copterix from Map Pilot because it seemed to support the I-1 better and I loved it. Map Pilot was kind of a joke. I used it last week in Nevada to fly a number of topo surveys (typical flight lines) but when I got back to camp, no photos. Or only a few. The drone flew the surveys beautifully, but no photos. I'm using the Zenmuse X3 and it works fine when grabbing photos using DJI Go and I can get it to fly the surveys and take video. But I cannot get it to take sequential photos and store the camera/location data. I would really appreciate any help out there.

Tom
 
I'm guessing this might be addressed in another post, but I can't find it. If someone can direct me, that would be awesome. We have had a lot of trouble with our Inspire 1 not capturing photos on automated flight line plans. I switched to Copterix from Map Pilot because it seemed to support the I-1 better and I loved it. Map Pilot was kind of a joke. I used it last week in Nevada to fly a number of topo surveys (typical flight lines) but when I got back to camp, no photos. Or only a few. The drone flew the surveys beautifully, but no photos. I'm using the Zenmuse X3 and it works fine when grabbing photos using DJI Go and I can get it to fly the surveys and take video. But I cannot get it to take sequential photos and store the camera/location data. I would really appreciate any help out there.

Tom
Which MicroSD card are you using? How dense is your front-to-back overlap? At what altitude are you flying your missions? And finally, what is your shutter speed? I assume you fly your missions at the max speed (velocity) allowed by MapPilot.

D
 
Last edited:
Which MicroSD card are you using? How dense is your front-to-back overlap? And finally, at what altitude are you flying your missions? What is your shutter speed? I assume you fly them at the max speed allowed by MapPilot.

D
I don't have the MicroSD card in front of me, but I can get that info. It sounds like, from my peek at the web, that the card can make a big difference. What do you recommend? I was flying at 30-40 m with 80% overlap. Shutter speed was set to auto. I didn't use MapPilot because it was giving us so many problems, so I changed to Copterix. However, I'm willing to go back to MapPilot if you think it can work...
Tom
 
I don't have the MicroSD card in front of me, but I can get that info.
With all due respect, this alone kind of raises a flag. Your entire mission (dare I say your livelihood) hinges on the quality of that card. The fact that you don't know off of the top of your head exactly the brand and model suggests the purchase of just any old Best Buy MicroSD card with enough capacity to complete the mission. But let's move on.



It sounds like, from my peek at the web, that the card can make a big difference.
Absolutely.



What do you recommend?
SanDisk Extreme Pro. Settle for nothing less. Purchase 2, as they're not infallible. I've RMA'd 4 or 5 of them over the years. SanDisk always sends a free replacement. Even when I crashed a drone and physically damaged the card in the crash, they replaced it. I was frankly quite surprised.

I generally use 128GB cards, but DO use my 64GB cards for small-medium size mapping missions.



I was flying at 30-40 m with 80% overlap.
That's very, very low and a lot of overlap. Any low-medium quality MicroSD card would be overwhelmed.



Shutter speed was set to auto.
Though this isn't really part of your problem, I recommend using Shutter Priority. And at that altitude, I would probably lock it in at 1/1000. If I recall, the X3 has a fixed aperture, which is real disadvantage for mapping (IMHO). A high shutter speed will insure against motion blur, which is your worst enemy in the mapping game. I normally set ISO @ 200, but since the X3 has a fixed aperture, I imagine Shutter Priority adjusts ISO on the fly to compensate for changing lighting conditions. Honestly, the Inspire 1 is not the bird I would use for Mapping. But if you're only doing the occasional job, and that's the bird you have, it certainly is a robust platform that you can rely on.




I didn't use MapPilot because it was giving us so many problems, so I changed to Copterix.
I've been using MapPilot for years. Agreed, it's not without its problems. I use a legacy version 4.1.7, which is not perfect, but is relatively stable and reliable. These bugs have been minor inconveniences. Nothing that couldn't be worked around. I've never had to re-fly a mission because of these occasional bugs. So I continued to use it for years.



However, I'm willing to go back to MapPilot if you think it can work...
Tom
I would be interested to know which version you have and which bugs/issues you're experiencing.

D
 
With all due respect, this alone kind of raises a flag. Your entire mission (dare I say your livelihood) hinges on the quality of that card. The fact that you don't know off of the top of your head exactly the brand and model suggests the purchase of just any old Best Buy MicroSD card with enough capacity to complete the mission. But let's move on.




Absolutely.




SanDisk Extreme Pro. Settle for nothing less. Purchase 2, as they're not infallible. I've RMA'd 4 or 5 of them over the years. SanDisk always sends a free replacement. Even when I crashed a drone and physically damaged the card in the crash, they replaced it. I was frankly quite surprised.

I generally use 128GB cards, but DO use my 64GB cards for small-medium size mapping missions.




That's very, very low and a lot of overlap. Any low-medium quality MicroSD card would be overwhelmed.




Though this isn't really part of your problem, I recommend using Shutter Priority. And at that altitude, I would probably lock it in at 1/1000. If I recall, the X3 has a fixed aperture, which is real disadvantage for mapping (IMHO). A high shutter speed will insure against motion blur, which is your worst enemy in the mapping game. I normally set ISO @ 200, but since the X3 has a fixed aperture, I imagine Shutter Priority adjusts ISO on the fly to compensate for changing lighting conditions. Honestly, the Inspire 1 is not the bird I would use for Mapping. But if you're only doing the occasional job, and that's the bird you have, it certainly is a robust platform that you can rely on.





I've been using MapPilot for years. Agreed, it's not without its problems. I use a legacy version 4.1.7, which is not perfect, but is relatively stable and reliable. These bugs have been minor inconveniences. Nothing that couldn't be worked around. I've never had to re-fly a mission because of these occasional bugs. So I continued to use it for years.




I would be interested to know which version you have and which bugs/issues you're experiencing.

D
Wow, D, thank you so much for the detailed response. You are right that I don't fly enough to know all of these details. I'm an academic geologist that uses drone mapping mainly for DEM extraction, with some CIR work with another camera. So it's really great to get some help from you and this forum. I live in Minnesota, so I won't be flying for awhile. Too cold. But I'll certainly try out a better card and your suggestions re. shutter.
Yours,
T
 
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Wow, D, thank you so much for the detailed response. You are right that I don't fly enough to know all of these details. I'm an academic geologist that uses drone mapping mainly for DEM extraction, with some CIR work with another camera. So it's really great to get some help from you and this forum. I live in Minnesota, so I won't be flying for awhile. Too cold. But I'll certainly try out a better card and your suggestions re. shutter.
Yours,
T
My pleasure. If you're not getting the results you want with the Inspire 1, I suggest a P4P for mapping.

D
 

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