While the WaterStrider will work with the default setting in the DJI Go App, there are some settings which will improve the overall performance and experience. The points below are general recommendations while the sections that follow indicate any specific settings which are helpful for certain operations.
Disable the forward facing Obstacle Sensing System for improved speed and handling.
When operating with the system turned on, the software limits the speed and handling of the drone. Since WaterStrider has some impacts on performance (especially at higher speeds where drag comes into play) as well, the overall impact is more pronounced.
Note that this is only a recommendation, not a requirement, and the Pilot in Command should utilize their own best judgement based on the specific situation and surroundings.
For even more sensitive handling, Sport Mode (S-mode on the controller Flight Mode Switch) can be utilized.
Take care any time when flying on Sport Mode as the drone is much faster and more sensitive to control inputs.
Use gently and progressive (as opposed to abrupt) inputs on the pitch and roll control stick (right stick when using default Mode 2 controller settings) when starting and stopping motion.
The WaterStrider adds some extra drag and mass to the drone. Rapid starts and stops can lead to more dramatic flight angles. Progressively increasing and decreasing to full control travel will reduce this tendency and result in better camera footage.
- Fast descents should be combined with lateral motion (forward/backward or to the side) to minimize potential instablities caused by the disruption of air passing over the landing pods before reaching the propellers.
- This is commonly known as the Vortex Ring State and is known to affect even the stock drone, especially on calm days. (Side note, check out some of the videos on YouTube about this. It’s actually pretty interesting if it doesn’t cause you to lose your drone!)
water Takeoffs and landings
- Disable the downward facing Vision Positioning System (VPS).
- The VPS is generally only needed when operating indoors or where a GPS signal is unavailable and a stable, low altitude hover is needed.
- DJI recommends turning off the VPS system when operating over water.
- Ripples on the water from the propeller downwash as well as reflections can cause some hesitation and unexpected behaviors near the water, including drifting downstream while intending to hover in place.
Do not use Auto Takeoff or Auto Landing functionality.
After touchdown on the water, immediately shut down the motors. This can be done in two ways.
(Recommended) Pull the left stick down for 3 seconds to stop the motors. Be sure to keep the stick exactly in the middle so that yaw control is not simultaneously input.
Pull the left stick down and then conduct the Combination Stick Command (CSC) that is used to start the motors.
For takeoffs, immediately add throttle for a positive takeoff after conducting the CSC to start the motors.
The Phantom 4 is sensitive to the movements on the water and may try to throttle up on its own after the motors start. This can lead to instability on or near the water.
Consider manually setting the Home Point if you need to control the Return To Home (RTH) location. This might be important if, for example, you are launching from land but landing the drone on the water.
The DJI Go app has a function to manually set the home point to the location of the controller. This only works if you have it connected to a phone or tablet with GPS. Also, the location is *not* dynamic. It only records the home point location of the controller at the time when it was manually set and does not update automatically if the controller moves to a new location.
Land Takeoffs and Landings
THE WATERSTRIDER ALLOWS FOR LANDINGS ON ALMOST ANY SURFACE. IF THE LANDING SURFACE IS EXTREMELY UNEVEN OR SLOPED, THE PHANTOM 4 MAY NOT REGISTER THAT IT HAS ACTUALLY LANDED AND MAY CONTINUE TO ADJUST THE THROTTLE TO TRY TO CONTINUE HOVERING. SHUT DOWN THE MOTOR IN ONE OF THE FOLLOWING WAYS.
PULL THE LEFT STICK DOWN FOR 3 SECONDS TO STOP THE MOTORS. BE SURE TO KEEP THE STICK EXACTLY IN THE MIDDLE SO THAT YAW CONTROL IS NOT SIMULTANEOUSLY INPUT.
PULL THE LEFT STICK DOWN AND THEN CONDUCT THE COMBINATION STICK COMMAND (CSC) THAT IS USED TO START THE MOTORS.
IF NEITHER OF THE ABOVE PROCEDURES WORK AND THE MOTORS STILL WILL NOT STOP, CONDUCT THE MID-FLIGHT MOTOR STOP PROCEDURE. PULL THE LEFT STICK TO THE BOTTOM, INSIDE CORNER AND SIMULTANEOUSLY PRESS THE RETURN TO HOME (RTH) BUTTON ON THE CONTROLLER. THIS WILL IMMEDIATELY STOP THE MOTORS.
WARNING: THIS CONTOLLER SEQUENCE WILL SHUT DOWN THE MOTORS EVEN IF THE DRONE IS HIGH ABOVE THE GROUND.