The newest model of DJI, the Mini 3 Pro, has been causing a sensation among pilots. Its fame is thanks to its sub-250-gram weight, compact style, and 34 to 47-minute flight time.
Even though DJI keeps releasing new models and has made great progress with this one, it is important to say that the DJI Mini 3 Pro is not waterproof, just like the rest.
It is recommended to avoid flying the Mini 3 in cloudy weather and high ambient humidity since even drizzle could induce a short circuit, initiating the aircraft to crash.
In this article, I will discuss how this model handles rain, wind, and weather, as well as some things you can do to protect your drone and increase its safety in general when flying.
Mini 3 Pro and rain
Let’s go back to basic concepts and remember that waterproof literally means a full submersion in water with the ability to still be useful and work perfectly after that.
For ourselves as pilots, we clearly do not want to throw our $1k drone into the water. We simply want to be able to fly it with a little rain and still be able to be cool about it without having a panic attack.
Also, in the worst cases or in extreme situations where we want to fly over the ocean or a cool river trying to get the most awesome shots, of course, we would like to know what happens if accidentally the drone loses control and lands on water.
Would it be a total loss, or is there still hope for us enthusiasts?
DJI has stated that users can not fly their aircraft while it is raining.
Well, it’s obvious; I happen to know that manufacturers like to play it safe and tell their customers far below what their product is capable of in order to avoid complications and possible lawsuits or online reputation attacks.
Then again, according to my experience and trust issues, I still would not recommend flying your Mini 3 even in light rain.
Why? Because remember that you not only have a drone, you literally have an aircraft that could cause a serious incident if it loses power and falls on something or someone.
So is important not to be egocentric but instead think in a community state of mind in those types of situations. That’s my position.
Having said so, there are several pilots and content creators that took the risk and flew in the rain with no problem at all. You can watch them on youtube if you want a sense of reality.
From a more technical aspect, the drone itself is not the problem when talking about water, but the vent is what makes it sensitive to the rain.
As you may know, the vent is the part of the aircraft that is responsible for controlling the heat, so it’s quite a big deal to protect it.
If you don’t know where the vent is, it is typically based on the frontal part, more protected than if it was at the top.
However, I’m sorry to tell you this, but on the DJI Mini 3 Pro, the vent is placed at the top, so it’s seriously more vulnerable to rain harm than even many other DJI drones.
So if you still want to take the risk, here are some aspects to keep in mind when deciding to fly in the rain:
- Fly at a low velocity and avoid having a steep angle to the rain, always with low wind and avoiding stunts at all costs.
- If flying in high winds, it is possible that the raindrops will disperse into smaller particles than can go inside the sensors of your drone.
- Maintain your aircraft in visual line of sight – that is, a maximum of 500 meters from you.
Understanding the mechanics of your aircraft related to moisture
These sensors serve as optical sensors and are the ones that help you have a clear image with obstacle avoidance and stabilize your drone.
If there is an external object that could also lead to a possible crash, the rain will make it harder for the sensors to operate properly.
The most important thing inside your drone (besides the camera) is the motherboard electronic speed controller. This works as an electronic circuit that controls and regulates the speed of an electric motor.
If this component is not working due to water ingress, then your drone is nearly guaranteed to crash.
Is there a way to waterproof your DJI Mini 3 Pro?
What I love about the drone community is that everyone is so creative and always finds a reliable solution to any issue that could exist.
Even though you just cannot overprotect your drone, just like cellphones, there are ways to arrange flights in the rain.
There are wetsuits out there that are gaining popularity.
It is important to take into consideration that probably this wetsuit will add weight to your aircraft, so be cautious about how much weight it can stand, and if it changes the registration requirement.
The other way to do this, and probably the best one, is to use silicone conformal coating; however, just keep in mind that it is possible to void your warranty in case you have one.
And what about wind?
DJI publicly advertises that this drone has a level 5 wind resistance, so it’s able to confront a wind speed of 24 mph (10 m/s).
If you’re like me and you have no idea of what wind of 24 mph looks like, don’t worry, I got you.
Let’s say that in weather like this, small trees will move, leaves will rustle, and probably you’ll feel a breeze on your face. It’s commonly called a “Fresh Breeze.”
Also, just to be clear, this level is before the one called “Strong Breeze,” in which large branches are in continuous motion, whistling sounds are heard, and umbrellas are used with difficulty.
If you find any of these hints before flying, just so you know, it may not be wise to fly your drone.
Otherwise, you will risk crashing or even losing your aircraft. This doesn’t always mean that you can’t fly your drone, just that it probably be a little riskier.
These are common situations that could happen when you’re fighting again unpredicted wind.
To avoid this, I recommend the following:
- Use the Beaufort scale chart (image below) to test and identify the possible threat of blowing winds without having to use a physical object.
- The first time you see a small tree moving fiercely, immediately land, or even better, do not take off if you’re still on the ground.
- Some advanced pilots like to use an anemometer to be confident about how the wind is behaving.
Even though the brand recommends level 5, some pilots mention they have flown above 35% percent over the listed level with no negative consequences at all.
You might want to consider the max speed specification metric too.
In this case, the DJI Mini 3 Pro can go to a max speed of 36 mph (16 m/s) when it’s in sports mode, so it should be able to remain in place.
I should say that if you’re a beginner or you are still not used to flying, do not take off in these weather conditions.
- DJI Mini 3 Pro’s official wind resistance level is 5, with a limit of 24 mph (10 m/s).
- With evidence from some brave pilots, the drone can fight as much as 36 mph (16 m/s). It’s your decision if you try it or not.
- The higher you go, the windier it will get.
- If you fly at 100 ft, the wind will be stronger than flying at ground level.
- In perfect weather, the only force that will act on the controls is gravity and the rotating propellers, but when flying with the wind, you’ll fight with external forces.
- Calibrate your drone to enhance the IMU and be able to detect these winds for the propellers to develop sufficient force against it.
- Perform all routine maintenance so the IMU will continue working and calculating wind speeds and tilt angles in real-time.
To summarize, remember to evaluate these aspects before ordering your Mini DJI 3 Pro, which is an amazing model for creating content.
I believe it has a high-value offer for all the aspects it includes, like 4k video, follow me features, vertical video, etc.
You just need to evaluate what kind of flights you’ll be doing and how well you believe your aircraft will behave with the weather conditions you expect to use it in.