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I've lurked in this forum for a year now, and greatly value the experience and continued patient input of the seniors, as well as the innocent questions and mistakes from the newbies. I feel the pain of the flames, but they appear to be mostly deserved. Here is my context:
1. I rented a Cessna with a commercial pilot for the past few years to take simple DSLR photos of crops in the Midwest USA.
2. I tried to make the 3DR Aero 1 and 3DR Iris+ work for me via a relationship with a start-up called Event 38 in Akron, OH. I really like those guys, and hope they do well-and I continue to work with them.
3. I was not very comfortable with all the required user interface and lack of mistake-proofing (some would call it idiot-proofing) of the Mission Planner/Aero/Camera/Iris+ interface. Thus I jumped into the Solo when it showed up. You all know that history. I have learned thru this forum that if one just puts the GPS upgrade and 3DR RF Shield on a basic bird, it will work reliably for my application (crop survey photos, not glamor photos) I now have a fleet of 4 Solo's one of which has a very expensive Parrot Sequoia multi-spectral camera mounted and integrated with it. But I have no first person view thru the Sequoia.
4. In the search for simple, Geo-referenced photos, I have evolved to a single DJI Phantom 4 with it's integrated camera, and Drone Deploy. It just seems to work, if I program the mission in Drone Deploy. So I'm happy-delighted, actually, with that package as my basic mapping system-not yet used this season, but my trial flights seem to work okay. But there is a problem:
5. One of my applications is to use both the natural light and multi-spectral camera to hover over a small plot, as small as 10 x 10 ft square, up to 100 ft by 100 ft square. I want to have a stored, repeated flight over several of these plots. The basic flight is what I call a "Flagpole flight," where the Solo is launched, goes straight up to about 200 ft, shifts to over the exact center of the plot, and then slowly descends, taking a still photo every few seconds, down to as low as a couple feet above the plot and then going straight up to 375 ft to get the broader perspective. This flight pattern should then repeated exactly thru the season, to capture changes in the crop, etc. With multiple plots, I need what I call a "Pollinator Flight" where the Solo does the hover/zoom mission over the first plot, then moves to the second one nearby, and repeats until all are done. None of these are very far away from my launch point.
6. My problem #1: It appears that I cannot pre-program a flight to a specific set of GPS coordinates and a vertical flight in Drone Deploy or DJI Go 4 in the PH4. I don't think I can even repeat an earlier stored flight log; correct me if I am wrong, please.
7. My problem #2: It appears that I cannot program a Solo via Tower to do the above or repeated flight either. The reason I'm intrigued with the repeated flight is that potentially I could use one of my simple Solo/GoPro rigs to do the flight, record it, and then repeat that flight with the Sequoia Solo. (I have to fly "blind" with the Sequoia because of the way the Sequoia is integrated into the Solo.)
8. I live and die by GPS coordinates. Most of the software for Solo and Phantom doesn't seem to want to use or give GPS coordinates other than geo-tagging them (Which is outstanding for stitching). It appears that the only feasible solution for me is to re-commit to using Mission Planner. Not as big a step for me now that I have a little flight time with these various platforms. So the new learning is somewhat less and thus lower risk of disasters.
9. My new plan: a) Use the Phantom to capture the GPS coordinates of the plots, verified in the images to be correct. b) Use the GPS coordinates and Mission Planner to program the flight for the Solo(s) c) Test fly the plan with the basic Solo to confirm the function and minimize loss if I screw up somewhere. d) For the rest of the season, use the same Flight Plan from Mission planner to fly both the GoPro Solo and the Sequoia Solo over the plots.
10. Finally, my Question: Is this the right solution for me? I gather that Solex is tuned a little more to glamor photography and not so much programed flights or mapping. I don't think Tower will do it for me. Ditto on the Phantom and drone deploy. I want to leverage the investment Sequoia, but not loose it in a cornfield somewhere. Your thoughts and advice are most welcome. Thank You!
11. If you want to see a little more of what I am up to, there is a dropbox link to a .pdf file and a recorded join.me webinar I did last week (16 Mar 2017) on my website at cedarvalleyinnovation.com In it I discuss satellite vs plane vs drone vs boots on the ground results for crop scouting. Really exciting if you like cornfields, not so much if you don't. Thanks, again.
 
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Rob,
Sounds like Mission Planner will do what you are hoping to do with Solo. Remember you can have MP up and running even while using the Solo app (or Solex). I believe MP can mark waypoints while you are flying, so you could fly your Solo with GoPro installed, to find the correct spot in the sky and save it in a mission for later.

Interested to hear what others think...
 
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I've lurked in this forum for a year now, and greatly value the experience and continued patient input of the seniors, as well as the innocent questions and mistakes from the newbies. I feel the pain of the flames, but they appear to be mostly deserved. Here is my context:
1. I rented a Cessna with a commercial pilot for the past few years to take simple DSLR photos of crops in the Midwest USA.
2. I tried to make the 3DR Aero 1 and 3DR Iris+ work for me via a relationship with a start-up called Event 38 in Akron, OH. I really like those guys, and hope they do well-and I continue to work with them.
3. I was not very comfortable with all the required user interface and lack of mistake-proofing (some would call it idiot-proofing) of the Mission Planner/Aero/Camera/Iris+ interface. Thus I jumped into the Solo when it showed up. You all know that history. I have learned thru this forum that if one just puts the GPS upgrade and 3DR RF Shield on a basic bird, it will work reliably for my application (crop survey photos, not glamor photos) I now have a fleet of 4 Solo's one of which has a very expensive Parrot Sequoia multi-spectral camera mounted and integrated with it. But I have no first person view thru the Sequoia.
Thanks, again.
_______________________
Hi Bob,
I had same "frustration" of flying blind, and built this mount (see pict).
Now, I fly much more comfortable even though I lost 3 minutes of flight.
It resolved also the issue of poor quality of Sequoia RGB captor. MySequoiaOnSolo.png
 
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_______________________
Hi Bob,
I had same "frustration" of flying blind, and built this mount (see pict).
Now, I fly much more comfortable even though I lost 3 minutes of flight.
It resolved also the issue of poor quality of Sequoia RGB captor. View attachment 5757
Just my opinion Michel, but you seemed to have went to a great deal of time & weight for your mount. I use just a small 1inch piece of commercial velcro on every battery with the opposite piece on the bottom of the sensor. On the bottom I have mounts for both the Mapir, GoPro and Sequoia cameras depending on mission.

 
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Just my opinion Michel, but you seemed to have went to a great deal of time & weight for your mount. I use just a small 1inch piece of commercial velcro on every battery with the opposite piece on the bottom of the sensor. On the bottom I have mounts for both the Mapir, GoPro and Sequoia cameras depending on mission.


True... But my pleasure to make it ...
Weight ? Mmmm ... 100 grams for all the kit (support, UBEC, wires, connectors...)
And my clients like this "serious" solution (;)).
 
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Problem #1: Have you looked into the Ground Station app for DJI? It's only available on iPads but it allows you to preprogram a flight and save it of repeated use later. I've used it with my Mavic to map a construction site and fly the same program at a later time. Ground Station Pro
 

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