The lightweight Mini 3 line, with its small footprint and agile handling, is one of the more fun GPS camera drones to fly.
While the Mini 3 is a fun drone to fly, some new to drones may feel slightly intimidated when trying to understand and learn the map and radar functions on the initial flight.
This article and the included YouTube video will act as a tutorial discussing the various aspects of the map and radar and should help new Mini 3 owners understand and use both tools in the DJI Fly app.
When you first go into live view, you’ll see a map in the lower left-hand corner of the screen.
For most, it is an exact representation of the surrounding area. Whereas for some, it appears like a tiny 1×1 icon, simply tap the icon to get it into map view.
Once in map view, you’ll see these various symbols:
Blue Arrow – shows the direction of the drone. If you turn the drone in any direction, you’ll see this represented onscreen.
Blue Dot – represents the current position of the Remote Controller. Because the RC is being held, wherever you move, this blue dot will move, as long as the RC is in-hand.
Yellow Circle with H – represents the home point where the GPS signal locked in and the Mini 3 took off from.
The blue dot and yellow circle will normally be fairly close together unless you are walking or biking away around the general area, after which you’ll see an increase in distance between the blue circle and the H.
For this section, we’ll look at the map in its expanded mode.
To get into this mode, which essentially swaps the live view screen with the map, tap the map and it will go into an expanded map view.
As you fly the Mini 3 out some distance, you’ll see a blue line. If you begin to move the drone, in this instance, sideways, you’ll begin to notice there are now two developing lines.
The blue line is the path of the drone and the reddish line is the path directly back to the home point (yellow circle with the H).
This is especially useful if you lose sight of the Mini 3 and need help determining the direct path back to the home point.
While in the standard smaller view you can tap the tiny – or + to change the zoom view of the map.
Radar view is an interesting tool, as it removes the map and brings you into a view that shows the position, orientation, and level of the Mini 3 without any sort of map data.
To get into the radar view, you must be in the standard map view.
If you are currently in the expanded map view, to get back into the standard map view tap on the live view screen.
Once in normal view, on the bottom right of the map screen, press the small circle with an arrow in the middle of it.
Like with map view, the following symbols apply:
- Blue Dot
- Blue Arrow
- Yellow Circle with the H
In addition to those symbols, you’ll also see the four compass directions: North, South, East, and West.
Something that might stand out is the half-blueish-green semicircle on the bottom of the radar. This is the horizon level.
When the Mini 3 is maneuvering or even hovering in wind, you’ll see this area move based on the pitch of the drone.
Because of the compact setup of the radar screen, you will always know the Mini 3s direction, home point, and location of the RC.
To Read the Radar
Reading the radar is not as complex as it might initially seem.
In the standard view, the drone operator (you) is in the center of the screen and the drone rotates around you.
When you are behind the drone and it is facing out, the blue arrow (representing the Mini 3) will be at the top of the radar screen.
As you physically turn away from the Mini 3, let’s say left, you’ll see that arrow is on the right of the screen and vice versa as you continue to turn.
If you turn all the way around, the blue arrow will be at the bottom, showing that it is now behind you.
If you’d like, you can change the view to have the Mini 3 in the center of the screen. To do this tap on the little arrow on the top left of the radar screen.
Now the home point and RC are shown in relation to the Mini 3. Most operators disregard this particular option and use the standard radar view previously mentioned.
TO RETURN HOME
Although there are no lines to guide the Mini 3 back to you, getting back to the home point is quite simple if the Mini 3 is ever out of your line of sight.
To return home manually, while in the radar standard view, simply turn the drone around so that the arrow faces you and proceed to fly towards the blue dot or home point. That’s it. Nice and simple.
Whether in Map view or the Radar Map, if you have an understanding of what the various symbols mean, you should always be able to navigate back to your home position.