Troubleshooting Phantom 4 RTK


Click one of these options to jump directly to a section. Or scroll down to review all troubleshooting for DJI’s Phantom 4 RTK (P4RTK).

 

Firmware

The most common errors with DJI products involve outdated aircraft or remote control firmware. Ensure you have the most recent firmware update before attempting other troubleshooting methods.

 

How to Check Your Devices’ Firmware Versions

 

How to Update DJI Firmware

 

After updating your aircraft, DJI Assistant 2 will prompt you to update the DJI Fly Safe database. This is crucial for the aircraft to function correctly when flying in restricted airspace.

 

RTK Positioning Error

Propeller’s PPK processing workflow does not require using the drone’s onboard RTK positioning unit. If you see errors at takeoff related to a weak RTK signal, enter the device settings to disable aircraft RTK positioning.

 

Magnetic Interference

This error usually means that the drone was powered on too close to a large metallic object. 

 

Move the drone away from sources of interference such as base stations, radio transmission towers, power lines, site vehicles, and even your mobile phone.

 

Perform a compass calibration to realign the compass without interference.

 

Always do the compass calibration on the job site where you’re about to fly. Calibrating the compass in an office and then moving it to a site will cause errors when the drone powers on. 

 

SD Card—Missing or Incomplete Data

We recommend using a high-performance microSD card for capturing photos. 

 

Before a new flight, reformat your microSD card to minimize potential storage errors. Only reformat a microSD card after you’ve backed up the images onto another storage device. 

 

Photo vs. Video Mode

DJI’s Phantom 4 RTK can capture data as images or video. For photogrammetry, we use still images. If you plan a photogrammetry mission, you may get an error but have the camera set to record video at takeoff.

 

Enter the Fly menu and press the Photo/Video Button on the right side of the screen to toggle between still images and video. Go back to your planned mission to resume flight.

 

 

Images are Too Light or Dark

Two settings could cause images to appear too light or dark: White Balance and Shutter Priority.

 

You should set White Balance based on the weather during flight operations. The most common choices would be Sunny or Cloudy.

 

Shutter Priority will also depend on the weather. We recommend starting with a shutter speed of 1000 on sunny days. In low light conditions, change the shutter speed to about 700-800 and reduce the aircraft’s speed.

 

Review all of our recommendations for 2D photogrammetry mission planning.

 

Basemap

A base map will only display on the remote control when connected to the internet. This is important for planning photogrammetry missions since planning a mission in the field without the internet would be impossible. 

 

If you need to plan a mission without the internet, we’d recommend planning the mission boundary as a KML in Google Earth Pro before arriving on site. 

 

There is no way to change the base map source. DJI uses Mapbox data for their base maps.

 

Batteries

Batteries charge consecutively while in the included white charging hub, starting with the one with the most power.

 

Be sure to set the white charging hub to charging mode before use. 

 

Charging batteries one at a time by connecting them directly to the black power adapter is also possible. This method charges batteries faster than the hub.

 

The batteries will not charge if they are too hot or too cold. If you flew recently, let them cool down before charging.

 

If you store fully charged batteries for an extended period, they will automatically discharge to 65% as a safety measure. During this time, the battery will be warm to the touch.

 

Low Battery vs Critical Battery Warning

During a flight, if your battery reaches a low battery level, it will display a warning message, and the aircraft will automatically return to the home point and hover two meters above the ground.

 

If your battery reaches the critical battery level during flight, it will land immediately and ignore new commands from the pilot. It’s important to monitor the battery level and remaining flight time so you never reach a critical level. This could cause the aircraft to land in an unsafe environment and will probably result in a crash.

 

You can control the levels these alerts trigger in the Aircraft Battery settings. We recommend leaving these in their default state. If you adjust them, please be conservative to avoid the drone needing to land unexpectedly.

 

Unlinked Remote Control

The controller will beep when it becomes unlinked from the aircraft. You’ll need a small pin to complete the linking procedure

 

Not all remote controls are compatible with all models of DJI aircraft.

 

Remote Control Calibration

Occasionally, you will be prompted to calibrate the remote control. The controller will beep continuously when a calibration is required.

 

Follow these steps to complete the calibration. It will have you move both joysticks and the gimbal dial through their full range of motion. 

 

No Internet on Remote Control

Delete any saved networks and then rejoin them. Switch to a different wireless network to check the controller’s wireless functionality. 

 

If you still can’t get online, we have more tips on our Wi-Fi help page for P4R.

 

Remote Control Antennas

DO: Adjust the antennas so their direction is always perpendicular to the aircraft.

DO NOT:  Point the antennas directly towards the aircraft.

 

DO: Adjust the antennas to point in separate directions (like the letter V) or parallel to each other (like the number 11).

DO NOT: Cross the antennas (like the letter X).

 

DO: Keep the aircraft in direct line of sight at all times.

DO NOT: Fly the aircraft behind buildings, trees, or hills, or the aircraft may lose signal. In the U.S., the FAA’s Part 107 regulations require that you keep the aircraft in a visible line of sight.

 

IMU

You must occasionally calibrate the aircraft’s onboard Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). The drone will prompt you when it requires this.

 

For the calibration to be successful, you must carefully place the aircraft onto a flat surface in unique positions. Our help article on this process will walk you through these positions.

 

Vision System

Check that the vision sensors are clean and free of debris.

 

Perform a vision system calibration using DJI Assistant 2 on your computer. 

 

Settings

While it’s possible to plan photogrammetry missions on the controller while the aircraft is powered off, several settings require it to be powered on for you to adjust them. 

 

Two examples of these settings are Obstacle Avoidance and Return to Home Altitude

 

Log Files

DJI or Propeller Support might ask that you export the log files from your remote control. These files are often helpful in troubleshooting and diagnosing problems.

 

Please follow these steps to copy the logs to your microSD card before transferring them to your computer. 

 

Avoiding Crashes

Review the weather before heading to a site. If it’s too windy or the cloud base is too low, consider rescheduling your operation for another day. UAV Forecast is a helpful weather service that’s geared toward drone pilots.

 

Research airspace around your planned flight operation. Airspace is challenging and could cause flight delays if you don’t plan. We recommend using DJI’s Fly Safe website with Airmap to get a complete picture of restrictions. Our help center includes instructions for performing a self-unlock or custom unlock with DJI.

 

Always keep the drone in direct line of sight during flight. Failure to do so is dangerous and could cause communication problems between the aircraft and the remote control. 

 

Before launching the drone on a new site, review the return-to-home height in the settings. Set this high enough to clear all obstacles on your site.

 

Create a plan for drone emergencies. Who will take which action if something goes awry? Practice changing the home point during a mission to land the aircraft away from the launch area safely.

 

Secure the propellers fully to the aircraft. They should pop into place when spun correctly based on the arrows printed on them.

 


 

I still can't do it!

We wrote these articles to equip you with everything you need to get the job done on your own, but we understand that sometimes this isn't sufficient.

 

If you're stuck, the Propeller Hardware Support team can help. You can contact our support team by emailing hardwaresupport@propelleraero.com.au.