Let us download. Let us upload. Let Us Drone. DJI Assistant 2 is a software for your Phantom 4 Pro that gives you access to additional settings, allows you to update the firmware, use a flight simulator, and obtain data information about recent flights.
I'll walk you through the process of downloading the software, followed by a walkthrough of how to connect your Phantom 4 Pro to the computer and how to navigate DJI Assistant 2. By the end of this article you will know how to update the drone's firmware, view and upload flight data, calibrate the vision sensors, and use the flight simulator.
Everything that you read in this post will be applicable to the Phantom 4, Phantom 4 Pro, Phantom 4 Pro, and the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0.
How to download DJI assistant 2
The first thing you need to do is download the software onto your Mac or Windows computer. Go to this link on the DJI website which will take you to the download center. “DJI Assistant 2 for Phantom” will be selected and you will see that DJI Assistant 2 is compatible with the Phantom 4, Phantom 4 Pro, Phantom 4 Advanced, and the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0.
Select your respective OS. I have a Mac so this walkthrough may look a little different on your windows computer. When I click on the downloaded files on my Macbook, I get this warning. By selecting the “?” you will be given instruction on how to open DJI Assistant 2.
You will need to locate DJI Assistant 2 in the Finder, not the Launchpad.
When you open the downloaded DJI Assistant 2 in the Finder, a prompt will appear asking if you want to open the software. When you click “open”, you will be allowed to access DJI Assistant 2 from the Launchpad in the future. After opening, proceed with the installation steps.
After DJI Assistant 2 has been successfully installed, I'll go to my Launchpad menu and select “DJI Assistant 2 For Phantom”.
What items you'll need to use DJI assistant 2
Before connecting the Phantom 4 Pro to your computer, make sure you have the following equipment ready and nearby:
- Phantom 4 Pro (or whichever Phantom 4 you own).
- One battery with at least 50% battery life.
- Micro USB cable that came with the drone.
- Remote controller (if you use the simulator).
Connecting the Phantom 4 Pro to your computer
It's very important that you remove the propellors and gimbal lock before you power anything on.
Plug the micro USB cable into the drone, connect it to the USB port on your computer, and power on the drone.
Go ahead and open DJI Assistant 2. When the drone is detected you will be taken to a screen that displays which Phantom 4 you have. Click on your Phantom 4 model and you will be taken to the main menu.
The main menu has a list of tabs on the left side which you can select and navigate through. What shows up in the middle of the screen is a firmware list as the “Firmware Update” tab is automatically selected when you open DJI Assistant 2.
Your current aircraft version will be displayed and you have the option to refresh it if you'd like. If you recently performed a firmware update and you notice the drone has since been acting funny, it would be a good idea to refresh the firmware.
Any available updates will be available in this section. Select the update and follow the prompts to successfully update your firmware. After the update is complete, be sure to reboot your Phantom 4 Pro to complete the process.
Reset Factory Defaults- Choosing this will revert any settings you've changed on the aircraft back to the original settings the drone had right out of the box.
Update Database- This will update your No-Fly Zone database. I highly recommend reading this article I wrote about this topic before updating the database.
Related post: Phantom 4 Pro Remote Beeping: Here’s The Solution – Remote controller error (D-D-D) beeping is usually caused by a drop of the RC, a stick not at its midpoint or a software problem. The solution (depending on the problem) will be to calibrate the RC, upgrade or rollback the firmware, or disconnect/reconnect the RC from the AC.
The data upload section allows you to upload your Phantom 4 Pro files from the drone to your computer or the DJI server.
DJI will request that you upload your flight logs when you tell them that there has been an error with your Phantom 4 Pro. This is the section you are able to do that it.
The files will be saved as .DAT files if saved to your computer, and will take up quite a bit of space if you have a lot of files to save. Opening up the .DAT file will look like gibberish if you don't have a special application that allows you to view the files.
If you are sending files to DJI regarding an error or issue you are currently experiencing with your drone it wouldn't hurt to save the files to your computer until the issue has been resolved so there isn't a problem if DJI happens to misplace your files.
When you click on data upload, a box will appear that informs you that DJI will have access to the uploaded data. Click “confirm” and a list of files will appear.
Unfortunately, there has been a lot of problems with people not being able to view the data. There is just a wheel that continues to spin indefinitely. You don't have to look far to find numerous complaints of people not being able to view the data, and I am one of them. I tried reinstalling DJI Assistant 2 (with a computer restart), refreshing the firmware, and using different cables.
People with Windows computers have this problem as well, and many Mavic users complain of not being able to use the data upload feature, in addition to not being able to access the “black box” feature.
This is obviously a software problem with DJI Assistant 2 and an update by DJI to resolve these issues would be fantastic as this is quite frustrating. If the data upload feature is working on your end, you would simply select the files you would like to upload and click “Save To Local” or “Report Data File”.
In the flight data section, you'll be able to open and view the .DAT data files that we were attempting to open above. I'll walk you through what it looks like when you open a file.
When you click on the flight data tab, you will be greeted by a blue “Open Data Viewer” button with a description of where to locate the aircraft flight data on the SD card.
Opening the data viewer will bring up a new interface that doesn't look all that welcoming or intuitive. To load a file, click on the folder in the top lefthand corner with the green arrow.
You can see the list of .DAT files, but I never did see where it say “resource manager”? Maybe I'm missing something. Anyhow, go ahead and open one of the .DAT files to load it onto the viewer.
After you select one of the .DAT files it will be loaded to the viewer, you will have a list of metrics on the righthand side. To bring one or more of those metrics to the center viewing screen you will need to double click on them.
Loading those metrics onto the center screen will look pretty confusing unless you have a background in graph data analysis. If you have any tips on how to better view and decipher the information loaded onto the default viewer, please let me know in the comment section below!
One particular company took note of how difficult it was to view and understand the flight data using the default viewer, so they made their own data viewer which is infinitely easier to use and understand. That company is called Airdata UAV, and their software is free to use.
I created an in-depth walkthrough of how to use Airdata AUV which you can view at Airdata UAV – View & Share Drone Flight Logs [Coupon]. If you decide to upgrade to a paid account to unlock more features, readers of Let Us Drone receive a 20% discount. Details on how to receive that discount are on the post.
Once you've signed up for a free account you can begin uploading flight logs. The interface is incredibly easy to understand and navigate when you are viewing one of your logs.
Under the “general” tab you are provided with information such as the max distance, max speed, max battery temp, total mileage, and more. You can also navigate through some more of the flight information via the tabs on the left-hand side which are: power, sensors, controls, weather, and media.
Just look at how much more intuitive that interface is compared to the default viewer from the DJI Assistant 2 software! I use Airdata UAV whenever I need to view my flight logs and I suggest you do the same.
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The next tab we come to is the calibration tab, where we can calibrate the vision sensors on the Phantom 4 Pro. This is the section to visit if you have been getting vision sensor errors on your Phantom 4 Pro.
I already wrote a step-by-step post on how to calibrate the vision sensors using DJI Assistant 2, which you can find here. I discuss common reasons for getting vision sensor errors and tips for when you're calibrating the sensors. I highly recommend that you check that post out!
Related post: Phantom 4 Pro Vision System Errors: How to Calibrate – In this post, we will talk about common reasons for vision system errors on the Phantom 4 Pro (applicable to the other Phantom 4's) and how to calibrate the vision system to eradicate those errors.
The last tab is a flight simulator section, where we get to play video games…yay!
If you have never flown a drone before, it would be good to practice while the drone is still on the ground. As to limit the number of returns they receive from people crashing their drones, DJI created a flight simulator which allows the pilot to get acquainted with the controls on the RC and how the drone behaves.
When you select the simulator tab, you will be given a short description of what the simulator is, along with helpful notes.
You won't need to use the DJI GO 4 app or have your phone on, but you will need to have the RC on.
Click on “Open” to bring up the simulator settings. You can adjust the latitude and longitude, as well as the wind speed to make it more realistic. Click “Start Simulating” when you want to open the simulator.
When you start the simulator you will be taken to the screen where you can launch the drone and fly around, which looks like this.
Cons of simulator
- The simulator can be glitchy, and sometimes fails to load altogether. If would be nice to see an update from DJI that resolves this issue.
- The controls are very limited. It really is for the beginner that hasn't flown before, but it would be nice if more advanced settings were available to access so flying skills could continue to be honed at any experience level.
- It gets old quick. It would be nice to fly through a real city or park. The green grass and the blue sky are pretty, but they put you to sleep if you stare at them long enough.
It looks like DJI also agreed that the limited simulator needed an update.
Enter the new and improved DJI flight simulator. With more and more industrial applications for drones being relevant, it's important that those pilots really know what they're doing before they take their heavily modified Matrice 200 up in the air.
DJI Simulator comes in a free trial version, enterprise version, and a customized version. Visit the website here for more information on which drones you can fly in the simulator, what parameters are customizable, and what kind of real-world applications are available.
At this time the flight simulator is only available for PC users. Us Mac users are patiently waiting for the day when this software is made available for us as well.
I am very glad that DJI created DJI Assistant 2 because it expands what we are capable to do with our already incredibly advanced drones. DJI Assistant allows us to review flight logs, upload data to our computers and to DJI, practice with a flight simulator and calibrate the ever so important vision sensors on the Phantom 4 series.
What I don't like is that the software is limited, glitchy, and often not all that intuitive to use. I would like to be positive and think that DJI would continue to make updates to the Phantom 4 series portion of DJI Assistant 2, but the realist in me comes out when I think about all of the new drones that have come out (and will continue to come out) since the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 was released. My guess is that any future feature updates would be made applicable to the new drones, and the Phantom 4 series will be stuck with the current version of DJI Assistant 2. Now, there may be overall software updates with DJI Assistant 2 that decreases some glitches, but I wouldn't think that changes to the UX (user experience) would be made for the Phantom 4 users. Here's to hoping I am wrong!
Have you played around with DJI Assistant 2? Have you experienced some of the problems that I've encountered along the way? Let us hear about it below, and thanks for being a part of Let Us Drone!