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Troubleshooting Map Pilot Crashes or Slow Operation

Zane -

In recent months, DJI has added a bunch of behind the scenes logging that is a bit of a CPU hog. While this is barely noticeable on the most recent iOS devices, it can cause big issues on older devices like the iPad Mini 2 or iPhone 5s. The increased processor load can cause communications between Map Pilot and the aircraft to become laggy. This may manifest itself in the form of dropped images, lagging video, and jumpy position updates. 

We always try to keep things optimized to work best with the latest gear while maintaining support for older devices. With updates to iOS and DJI's Software Development Kit (SDK) requiring more and more computing power this can be a nearly impossible task.  

There will likely come a time where the devices that were initially supported by Map Pilot may no longer operate successfully. The good news is, that isn't the case yet...

If you are experiencing slowness or crashing with Map Pilot, try the following steps in this order to try to regain proper performance.

 

Close all Drone Related Apps

Map Pilot requires the drone's full attention. While some other apps may say it is OK to run in the background with other apps, Map Pilot will not perform well or may cause aircraft damage if other apps are running at the same time.

Think of it this way: if you have two bosses, which one do you listen to? Also, listening to two people telling you what to do will drive you crazy and you will start making mistakes.

Bottom Line: One drone app at a time.

 

Inspect your iOS Lightening Cable

We know this sounds dumb, but we have had quite a few reports of people fixing crashing issues by using a genuine Apple cable instead of a cheapo knockoff one. They had tried all sorts of things to debug what might be causing Map Pilot to crash and replacing their off-brand cable with a new Apple one fixed it immediately. 

Also, frayed ends or black corrosion on the contacts is bad.

 

Use the highest quality SD card possible

Make sure you are using a real/authentic name brand SD card. Slow, low quality, or knockoff SD cards can say all sorts of high ratings on the labels but they don't meet the performance spec or will write data with too many errors. 

 

Minimize the Impact of Map Pilot

Some of the advanced features in Map Pilot require a lot of processing power. The Image Footprint Display feature that shows a green box on the ground that represents where the camera is looking is doing a lot of processing to achieve this. If you are having CPU related issues, make sure this feature is turned off in the Settings menu. Terrain Awareness may not be able to be used on older, CPU limited, devices.

Also, turn off the the drone following mode if you are using it. It causes the map to be redrawn frequently and takes a lot of CPU.

 

Close other Apps

Older iOS devices have limited RAM (memory) in addition to being more limited in processing capabilities. Closing other apps that are running is the easiest way to free up both RAM and CPU. This can be done by double clicking the Home button on your iOS device and then swiping upwards on all the app preview panels.

 

Free up the CPU

If all else fails, it may be time to start turning off some of your device's services. The iOS Notifications and Location Services system takes up a surprisingly large amount of resources. We recommend using a profiling app such as "System Status Lite" to take a before and after picture of your baseline CPU load so you can see for yourself the impact your changes make. 

For example, on an iPad Mini 2 before turning off Notification and Location Services the CPU load was ~30% with all apps closed. After heavily thinning the number of system Notifications and turning off Location Services that number went down to 7-8%.

 

Use Connectionless Mode

If issues continue, you can make it so the mobile device is no longer in charge of taking the images by using the Connectionless Mapping mode. This mode uses a distance or time based trigger for collecting the imagery and will guarantee that the data will be taken for a given flight.

For Active Connect triggering, the aircraft is in charge of flying and the mobile device is tasked with triggering the camera. Offloading the camera triggering to the aircraft should make things more stable. 

 

 

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