If this is your first drone, you will probably be surprised to learn that before you can fly it, you will have to spend time updating the firmware. This approach ensures that your quadcopter complies with all safety protocols, and has a full set of updates that have been released since the product left the manufacturer’s walls.
Firmware is the fixed software found in most electronic devices. It could be a digital camera, navigation devices, or even remote controls, and drones are no exception. There are many models of household UAVs on the market, among which the lightweight DJI Mini 2 is considered to be the most popular GPS hobby drone today, which allowed many to enjoy such powerful performance, reliability and ease of operation. However, if you do not know how to update the firmware correctly, then you will not be able to experience positive emotions immediately after unpacking.
So, in order to make the path to the sky as fast as possible, we decided to tell the user in detail about what to pay attention to before starting the firmware update, how to properly update the software of the drone, intelligent battery and remote control, and also clarify when and why you need to update the software. Let’s fly!
Preparing for a software update
To update the DJI Mini 2 quadcopter software, you first need to make sure that the battery level of the aircraft and the remote control is above 50%. You must also have the DJI Fly app installed before updating. In addition, an Internet connection must be available to update the software.
Drone software update
New firmware updates are released from time to time. To take advantage of the full potential of the drone, you must use the latest firmware version. Below is a step by step guide to update the DJI Mini 2 firmware:
- Ensure that the battery level of the aircraft and control equipment is at least 50%.
- Install the smartphone in the remote control holder and connect the cable laid under the holder to it. If it does not fit your smartphone, choose the one you need in the kit.
- Launch the DJI Fly mobile app and make sure your smartphone has a stable internet connection
- Remove the gimbal and camera transport protection
- Turn on the drone, then the remote control (both devices are turned on by double pressing – the first is short, the second is long).
- Make sure that the drone and the remote control are paired with each other (usually there is no problem at this stage, since the developer has carried out the process of pairing these components at the factory. However, it is rare, but it happens that the drone and the bullet are not paired. The pairing process itself is simple, do everything as in this video).
- Allow the application to access the photo gallery of your smartphone for the correct operation of all services.
- The DJI Fly app will automatically search for available firmware updates for the remote controller and aircraft. If an update is available, an Update icon will appear. Click on it to start the software update process.
- Do not turn off the power or exit the DJI Fly app during the update. The remote controller and the aircraft will reboot automatically during the update process, but don’t let that worry you. When the update is completed, the aircraft will automatically turn off and the remote controller will remain on.
Battery software update
It is very easy to update the Mini 2 battery firmware. When you update your Mini 2, the installed battery will also be updated with the appropriate firmware updates. If the battery software needs to be updated, after turning on the aircraft, remote controller, and launching the DJI Fly app, a notification with a firmware update icon will appear on the screen. Stay on the home screen and the system will automatically update the firmware of the drone’s battery.
Note! If you have multiple batteries, you will need to update each one to the latest firmware separately. This can be done by installing each battery in the drone and doing all the above steps again.
Remote control software update
Updating the DJI Mini 2 controller software is done in the same way as updating the aircraft software, and usually happens at the same time. After turning on all components and launching the DJI Fly app, the system will automatically check the remote for firmware updates. If any updates are available, a notification will appear on the screen. Just tap on the “Update” icon and follow the instructions on the screen.
DJI Smart Controller Activation
The DJI Mini 2 is known to be compatible with the DJI Smart Controller. To get the smart controller to work with the Mini 2, you first need to update the firmware of the drone and the smart controller itself to the latest version. And since you have already completed this step, then, accordingly, your drone is already ready to connect the universal controller.
In this section, we will walk you through updating the smart controller using the DJI Assistant 2 software for PCs and laptops and the DJI GO 4 mobile app.
Smart Controller software update via DJI GO 4:
- Turn on the smart controller and click on the refresh icon on the right side of the screen. Make sure the controller is connected to Wi-Fi before starting the update process.
- Enter the controller system settings page and scroll to the bottom of the page, then tap the system update icon. The software update will start automatically.
- Follow the system instructions to update the software.
- When the update is completed, the controller will automatically reboot.
Updating the smart controller via DJI Assistant 2:
- Turn off the remote control.
- Use the USB cable to connect the smart controller to the PC/Laptop, then turn on the DJI Smart controller.
- Launch the DJI Assistant 2 software (downloaded from the DJI website).
- Use your account to login, select the main interface and login.
- Click the DJI smart controller icon, select and click the firmware icon on the left side of the screen.
- Click the update button, which is usually displayed at the end of the latest firmware.
- Click the “Start” icon to start the update.
- Assistant 2 will automatically download, install and update the firmware.
- After the update is completed, the controller will automatically restart.
When do you need to update the software?
Software updates are an important part of aircraft/component maintenance in the field and are usually a simple and intuitive process. The need for updating is set by the malfunctions identified during the operation of the drone. Also, new updates are released to correct security issues. From which it follows that the firmware should be updated only when the drone system asks for it.
However, as practice shows, the new firmware does not always bring improvements to the operation of devices and can sometimes be accompanied by its own errors. Therefore, if possible, it is recommended to refrain from the software update process until the new firmware has been confirmed to be correct for some time. This is because it can cause even more damage or render your drone unusable.
Why should you update the firmware?
Firmware is the backbone of all your drone operations. There are many reasons why drone pilots need to update their device firmware. Some of them are legal, others are personal. Here are some of the main reasons why you should update your firmware regularly.
The firmware controls all aircraft components, functions and operations, including batteries and incoming flight data from controllers. In particular, a firmware update provides the correct programming that your aircraft needs to perform its basic functions and ensure safety. Therefore, drone pilots, for whom the declared operational functionality of the copter is extremely important, are not recommended to abandon the firmware update process.
Firmware updates may improve the fail-safe landing feature, which can add reliability for emergency piloting. Drones are not cheap devices, and the last thing you want is to lose them. It follows that these updates address issues that affect the stability of your drone in flight and control, which increases the chances of a positive outcome in critical situations.
Drone manufacturers are constantly improving the software side of their products, and DJI is a prime example. For example, they have optimized their compass calibration program, thereby improving the flight reliability of drones.
Compliance with No-Fly Zones
This is one of the main reasons UAV pilots need to update their firmware regularly. From time to time, the developer more accurately adjusts the flight and no-fly zones, which allows the pilot to learn about their presence and boundaries in a timely manner. In particular, DJI has developed a firmware update in which the no-fly zone boundary received multidirectional extensions so that users would get into trouble with government agencies responsible for the operation of the airspace as little as possible.
- Updates significantly reduce the cost of repairing or fixing problems.
- Updates help bring hardware usage to optimal performance levels and allow algorithms to be decoded.
- The updates eliminate delays in the drone system and significantly improve overall performance.
- Firmware updates speed up the execution time of commands, which also has a positive effect on the operation of devices.
Recommendations before software update
- Make sure the drone/remote batteries are more than 50% charged.
- Make sure you have a strong internet connection to avoid hitches during installation.
- Remove the propellers.
- Always check the settings (those you changed manually) after the update is completed.
What to do if the update fails?
Sometimes an update may fail, and this is not a cause for concern. In this case, simply restart the devices (aircraft/remote controller), DJI Fly app/DJI Assistant 2 software, and the system will automatically prompt you to update the software again.
Your drone is a long-term investment. Whether you are using it commercially or otherwise, you need to be sure that you are getting the most out of the product, and to ensure this kind of guarantee, you need to update the firmware in a timely manner.
In this article, we have detailed the step-by-step process for updating the software of the DJI Mini 2 and its components (battery and controllers), and explained why it is important to keep the drone software up to date. We hope this will help you enjoy your drone more.