Tech UpdatesAgri Spray Drones Late July T30 User Updates

July 22, 2022by Aggregate Brian

First, we would like to thank you for choosing Agri Spray Drones! A few notable issues have become common across many T30 drones. We hope that the following information can provide some clarification and better understanding of what is happening and what can be done to hopefully mitigate these issues. Please know we are working with DJI to find solutions and hopefully the root cause of these issues.

The Short List (Longer explanations below)

  • ONLY fly with 6 gallons in the tank this summer.
    • Either reduce swath width or reduce carrier volume to 1.5-1.7 gal to make full rounds as needed.
  • If your level meter quits working, DO NOT do a level meter calibration.
  • DO NOT use the 0509 firmware.

0509 Firmware Issues For T30s

Recently, DJI has informed us that there are bugs within this new firmware version for the controller and drone. With this update we have noticed a few issues that seem to be of concern.

Liquid Level Meter
The number one issue we have been encountering is the liquid level meter (float gauge in tank) suddenly stops sensing payload in the tank. This issue seems to be random. DJI has informed us that there may be some bad coding in the update that is applied to the spraying system module (component that controls the spray system). If you encounter this issue here are some troubleshooting steps you can try.

  1. Ensure the float is not stuck.
    Watch this video for a tutorial on how to check and adjust the float. 
  2. Unplug liquid level meter signal cable. Turn off the drone, plug in the signal cable, turn drone back on.
  3. Inspect the cables that connect the tank to the distribution board. Look for damage to the wire, we have had some cables short out.
  4. Reinstall firmware on drone. Roll back firmware to later version. Then install current version on the drone
    Watch this video for a tutorial on how to upload new firmware and downgrade to the old firmware.
If the above does not solve your problem, please contact us. You may need a new spray module and/or distribution board. NEVER PERFORM THE LIQUID LEVEL METER CALIBRATION!! This calibration is messed up and can make the issue worse.

Communication Between Controller (RC) and Drone
The second issue that we have seen is, the communication between controller (RC) and drone is having issues. These issues manifest in a few different ways. We have seen a few drones randomly loose connection between the RC and the drone. We have also seen the drone do random actions at various stages of operation that include:

1. Drone does not return to home on signal loss when set to do so.
2. Drone flies to starting point, then returns to home rather than starting the mission.
a. Resending the drone to starting point seems to solve this issue.
3. Drone does not return at set altitudes.
4. Drone disconnects from RC and will not reconnect on some occasions.

We highly recommend users switch firmware on RC and drone back to the 0352 version.

High Temperature Operations/ Forced Landing Issues

Click this link to watch video for an explanation of this and what to do in order to prevent it from happening.

This a very common issue among T30 drones. The error you may see is “Battery Output Height.” We are currently working with DJI to find the cause and a solution to this issue. We have expressed that we would like the drone to do two things when this happens.

  1. For a warning to allow the pilot to take action and maneuver the drone to a suitable area to land.
  2. Have the drone return to home and land.

We have had customers confirm they have flown the drone back manually after experiencing this forced landing. If you experience this issue, please know that we are very aware this is happening and are trying to find the solution. If you would like to inform us that this happened, please know we need more information to help mitigate your issues. Some things to note when informing us that your drone forced landed:

  1. How much product was placed into the tank for the flight?
  2. Was it heavy product, like foliar fertilizer?
  3. What speed is your drone flying?
  4. What are the atmospheric conditions in your location? Temperature, wind speeds, altitude in your area
  5. Are you using any methods to cool batteries, and what temp are your batteries?
  6. Is the forced landing happening on all batteries or one specific battery?
  7. What phase of operation did this happen? Just started; Been flying for hours; Almost done with the field; Long straight passes; Small areas like fingers or small fields where drone is starting, stopping and moving over frequently
  8. How far is the drone flying with payload to get to starting point in the field?

Ways to mitigate this forced landing issue:  

  1. Only fill your tank to 6 gallons or less. (Especially when it is high temperatures)
    1. Our custom application team has implemented this method. (knock on wood we have not experienced this issue again since doing this)
    2. To get a full ½ mile pass down and ½ mile pass back with 6 gallons you can reduce your rate to 1.5 gal/ac or you can set your route spacing (ie. Swath) to 25 ft.
    3. We are having good success at a 1.5 gal/ac rate with our applications.
  2. Reduce the distance the drone has to fly to the starting point or the break point.
    1. Move with the drone along the field edge.
    2. Reduce your RTH altitude.
    3. If you need to increase altitude you can manually fly the drone higher or lower while the drone flies the path to or from the home point.
  3. Manually fly the drone from the home point, to the starting point or breakpoint.
    1. Take off manually on the “swipe right” screen. Fly the drone towards the start/break point. Then swipe to continue the mission.
  4. Reconsider operating during the peak of hot temperatures.
    1. Operate during mornings and late afternoons
    2. This is also good agronomic practice due to high evapotranspiration.

Conclusion

We recommend rolling back your drone and controller firmware versions to 0352.

It is our recommendation to all of our customers to roll back your drone and controller firmware versions to 0352. DJI has stated that it is a more stable version. We understand that these issues are very frustrating when encountered. Please know we are working to resolve them as quickly as possible. Please do not let these issues discourage you. We are here to help to the best of our abilities. Ultimately, we are subject to waiting on DJI for some answers. In the meantime, please contact us with the information above when you experience an issue so that we can better help and understand what may be causing your issues.

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