As much as DJI tried to simplify FPV drones with their newest release, the Avata, setting it up may still be challenging, especially if you’ve never used drones before or are used to Mavics.
You get three components: a controller, drone, and goggles (unlike the Mavic, where you get the controller and the drone, which are often bound together during shipping).
How do you activate the DJI Avata?
You will get a prompt to log in when you first connect your drone to the goggles and controller. After that, the device will ask you to activate it. You can’t use the drone without activation, so follow all the setup steps correctly.
Keep reading for a detailed process of setting up and activating your new drone, taking your first flight, and some tips on getting the most out of the DJI Avata.
Unboxing the DJI Avata
In the package, you should find the following items (depending on the package you got):
- Motion controller (if you want the DJI FPV controller, you have to purchase it separately)
- DJI Goggles 2 or Goggles V2
- Three pairs of propellers
- A gimbal cover
- A battery for the goggles
- Eyeglass frames for the goggles
- Power adapter
- Type C to Type C cable
- Headband, OTG cable, screen protector, and power cable for the goggles
Charging the batteries
To activate the Avata, you need to power it on, but when you try that for the first time, it won’t work since the batteries are in hibernation mode. You have to charge them first.
Plug in the controller, drone battery (using the power adapter), and goggles’ battery to a power source and give them some time to charge.
The drone and goggles’ batteries should take at least 50 minutes to charge to 100 percent, but the motion controller can take up to 2.5 hours.
The DJI Fly App
The Avata uses a newer version of the DJI Fly App. If you don’t already have the app, you can download it from DJI’s official website in the downloads section.
If you use other DJI drones and already have the DJI Fly App, it would be better to uninstall and reinstall it to ensure you have the latest version that will support the Avata.
The DJI Avata activation process
The DJI Avata and the Goggles 2 must be activated before you can fly. Luckily, you can activate them simultaneously.
- Connect the goggles’ battery to the goggles using the cables provided.
- Connect your smartphone to the goggles using the OTG and USB-C cable.
- Power up the goggles by pressing once, then a second time, and hold.
- You may get a prompt to set the USB device to transfer files.
- Power up your drone by pressing once, hold for a few seconds, and do the same for the controller you will use.
- Open the DJI Fly App.
- You will be asked to create one if you don’t already have a DJI account. If you already have one, you will be asked to log in. Ensure to check your email for the activation of the account.
- Once logged in, if the app detects the goggles, you will get a prompt to activate the device. The activation process should take a few seconds, and it will update all the devices together.
- If you have the DJI Care Refresh, bind and activate it after the activation process or within 48 hours.
Connecting the DJI Avata
Once you power up the drone and open the app for the first time, you will see a Connection Guide at the bottom left.
Click on it and scroll to your drone model. It should guide you to connect to your drone as it searches for it at the bottom.
If it doesn’t find it, you will get the notification “Unable to connect to aircraft.” Click on this notification, then tap “Pair” to reattempt the connection and follow the prompts.
Below is how you manually pair your Avata to the controller and goggles.
- Tap the Unable to Connect the Aircraft notification.
- Tap and hold the drone’s power button for four seconds, then click on Pair.
- Once it’s done, a screen with the controllers will pop up. Select the controller you’re using.
- For the Motion controller, press the Power button and hold and tap and hold on the drone for four seconds and tap Pair on the screen.
- Do the same for the goggles. The connection button for the DJI Goggles 2 is in the goggles between the lenses, but in the Goggles V2, it’s on the lower right section.
Firmware updates for the DJI Avata
Before you go flying, updating your drone’s firmware to the latest version is always advisable. After connecting, the app will prompt you to update the firmware if there are any inconsistencies with the firmware versions between the drone, controller, and goggles.
It’s best to always update the DJI Avata’s firmware within 10 minutes of powering the drone up. The drone will shut down or go into power-saving mode if you wait too long to prevent overheating.
If you don’t get any prompt to update the firmware, you can check for any new versions and update using the DJI Assistant 2.
Ensure all devices are fully charged before starting the update, and do not power any off before the update process is complete.
DJI Avata flight preparations
Below is how to get started flying the DJI Avata.
- Make sure the SD card and USB ports on the drone are covered.
- Detach the gimbal cover and insert the drone battery.
- Confirm the battery is fully charged and power up the drone.
- Check the battery level of the controller and power it up.
- Ensure the goggles’ battery is fully charged, connect it to the goggles, and switch them on.
Prepare the goggles:
- Unfold the goggles, remove the protector, add the head strap, and adjust it so it fits comfortably.
- You should also adjust the dials to make sure you can see the live footage clearly.
- The goggles have an adjustable diopter range from -8 to +2.0 to accommodate nearsighted or farsighted people.
- To adjust the distance between the lenses, twist them slightly to the left, then toggle them until you achieve an aligned image.
- Next, adjust the diopter knob with each eye closed at a time.
- To avoid visual fatigue, after achieving the ideal setting, turn the knobs in reverse slightly to achieve a slight blur.
- After you’re done, press the knobs back and twist them to lock them.
- On the right edge of the goggles is the touch panel that allows you to access and scroll through the available settings.
- Check for any notifications or errors on the screen. If there aren’t any, you should be able to take off.
DJI Avata flight safety tips
The Avata comes with a Motion Controller, which has an intuitive and immersive design and a learning curve since it’s different from other controllers.
The main features include the following:
- Lock button – This is the red button on the front. It’s the button to arm the drone, disarm, take off, and land.
- Brake – The large black button to the right of the lock button makes the aircraft stop and hover immediately.
- Mode button – It’s below the lock button and allows you to switch between Normal and Sport Modes.
- Accelerator – This is the large button that looks like a trigger on the back of the controller. You’ll use it to increase or decrease the drone’s speed.
- Tilt – The button to adjust the gimbal’s tilt is on the left.
- Shutter button – Below the Tilt button is the Shutter record button.
- On the right is the Power button.
Below is how you fly the DJI Avata with the Motion Controller.
- Press the Lock button twice to arm the drone, then press and hold, and the drone will take off and hover at about three feet from the ground.
- To pitch forward, press the accelerator button. To turn sideways or up and down, turn the motion controller with your hand. Look for a circle dot in the goggles; that guides you in directing the drone where to go.
- When pressing the accelerator, lift your arm, and the drone will ascend, and when you lower your arm, the drone will descend.
- You can stop the drone by releasing the accelerator or pressing the brake button.
- Pressing and holding the Brake button initiates RTH. Pressing it once will cancel the RTH.
- After every flight, clean the drone of any dirt or debris to prevent blockages in the vent.