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My 5 most useful accessories for the DJI Inspire 2 drone

December 01, 2018

My 5 most useful accessories for the DJI Inspire 2 drone

I have been flying my DJI inspire 2 commercially now for over two years with a flight time of over 80 hrs i have a fair bit of experience with this particular drone. 

We all love new kit, ive bought a fair amount of kit for the drone, some good and some bad find out what i rate and don't rate below.  I have rated these in how much use i have gotten out of these.  

 

5)   Hand Catching Grips

I live on the north west coast of the Scottish Highlands as working from boats you don't have much of a often normally apart from hand launching and catching.  I bought these from a chap in Norway, they are pretty rough 3D tooled but they do the job.  If you plan on using similar please please please remember to disable your vision sensors and keep your landing gear in raised state so you have more space between the grips and the props. I use these frequently, leave them attached to the drone at all times, just in case landing is an issue and someone has to catch.  

What i like 

  • Functionality 
    • They come with thumb screws allow you to slacken and adjust direction for going back in bag / tough case. 
  • Colours 
    • I went for grey but hind sight i think different colours would have be better to see especially in the dark 

What I don't 

  • Quality 
    • These are 3D tooled and they are rough.
  • Price
    • Expensive for 3D tooled 

 

4) Battery Hot swap Tool 

Anyone who owns and Inspire 2 will know the time it takes to setup its a bit more long winded that pulling a Phantom or Mavic out of your bag, however its far superior.  As the Inspire 2 has dual batteries when you land to swap you can swap a battery at time meaning you dont have to shut down the aircraft.  When you are on time critical shoots it can be the difference between capturing the next scene or not.  What did really annoy me was why DJI thought it would be a good way to make it near impossible to remove one battery at a time without having a tool to do it, oh and DJI dont make their own.   I use this on a regular basis, just to save time. 

What i like 

  • Speed
    • No need to shut down the inspire 2, just swap out batteries do safety checks and fly again no restarting. 
  • Keyring
    • Comes with a handy cord which i use to attach to my keys and keep a spare in the van. 

What I don't 

  • Quality 
    • These are 3D tooled and they are rough.
    • I've broke one already as the materials are poor 

3)   GPC Backpack   

Everyone says get a tough case a real tough case not the foam one that DJI supply, however for me what i found quickly was a backpack would benefit me more.  At the time there were was not much choice so i opted for the GPC backpack. 

Yeah it makes you look a bit like Buzz Light year, not the most ergonomic of designs but it offers good protection around the the drone and accessories and that is what is important. 

What i like 

  • Capacity
    • You can carry a lot (what i carry is below 
      • DJI Inspire 2 Travel Mode (2 bats installed)
      • Cendence Remote (had to cut into foam)
      • Cendence antennas (cut into the SSD slots a little) 
      • X5S box
      • Standard Remote (fits perfect) 
      • 4 more batteries 
      • SSD station  
      • The main pouch i carry lenses in small tough box. clearsky monitor in a pouch.
      • The smaller pocket i keep for storing memory card holders / filters and everything else i can fit in. 
      • 2 side pockets are for props and i keep two sets in each 

    • Much easier to carry longer distances that a tough box 
    • The external pockets i end up filling to maximum as you can never have enough. 

     What i don't 

    • Design
      • The main body of the drone and accessories are well protected, however the top of the motors are not covered, i understand this would make it deeper but does feel like they are exposed. 
      • If you fill the external pockets on the bag when you close the bag there is only a little foam between them and the motors.  
        • DJI Inspire 2 Travel Mode (2 bats installed)
    • Cendence 
      • Had to cut into the foam of the to make enough space for the larger remove.  No chance of having the patch antenna attached.  
    • Stitching
      • burst inside the top closure and getting worse 
    • Zip on main external compartment
      • is burst however that is probably my own fault by trying to fit too much in. 

    There have been other bags released since i bought the GPC, however the bag has served me well and still really happy with it, goes everywhere with me, even in my tough box (see below).  

     

    2)   Crystalsky / Cendence Combination  

    What i would like to point out is im pretty much 99% of the time operating solo pilot / lone wolf however you want to call it.  I need to be able to do as much as i possibly can with the camera while flying at the sometime, not very easy but practise makes perfect.    

    The standard remote is fine but there are a few things that have bugged me ever since i bought the Inspire 2

    • Cant tilt and pan the camera at the same time (single operator) 
    • Navigating through the menu system to quickly check battery levels
    • Navigating through the menu system to quickly change to map mode, can be good if you loose video transmission
    • Not being able to change frequency from 5 to 2 ghz channel 
    • Change batteries, does not sound like much but on a full day shoot its very important  

    I live in north west of Scotland, surely the sun is not going to cause me that many problems, you would be surprised....  I was flying with iPad Air 1st gen and with full brightness on the sun was causing major issues.  I bought one of those hoods that i got so frustrated putting it on and taking it off, that much i ended up only using the bottom piece which make it about 50% less good at its job.  The fact it looks like a chimney and trying to access the ipad through the gap, grrr im getting angry just typing this. 

    I looked for another option and it was a bloody expensive option, the crystalsky monitor, i went for the std brightness as the ultra bright i could not justify.   Well it works well however there are issues, see below my Pros / Cons. 

    DJI are the experts at offering you enough of the product to make you buy it then slowly release accessories they know you will want further down the line to get some more money out of your pocket.  

     What i like 

    • Cendence 
      • Ability to bind buttons to functions, for me these are the most useful 
        • Pan Tilt one one remote 
        • Frequency changer 
        • Vision sensor disable (hand catching etc)
        • Battery status 
        • Map mode change  
        • Standard Remote (fits perfect) 
        • 4 more batteries 
        • SSD station  
        • The main pouch i carry lenses in small tough box. clearsky monitor in a pouch.
        • The smaller pocket i keep for storing memory card holders / filters and everything else i can fit in. 
        • 2 side pockets are for props and i keep two sets in each
        • Change batteries a lifesaver at times 

     What i don't 

    • Size 
      • I like the fact the RC is a bit bigger but it took a little getting used to and now thing i would struggle going back to a std RC.  
    • Travel 
      • The backpack i bought did not fit so i had to manually cut bits out   
    • Customisation 
      • Could do with more functions on the RC more control. 
    • Price 
      • I would have loved DJI to supply these RCs with their professional series of drones but they prefer to bleed us of all our money.

     

    What i like 

    • Crystalsky
      • Being able to see the screen its that simple 
      • Small but big enough 7.5" is smaller than my ipad but big enough for using. 
      • Much quicker to attach and go
      • Shares same batteries as cendence RC, replaceable 
      • Looks much better to a client that putting a iPad on then a big chimney hood on.

      What i don't 

      • Price 
        • Expensive for what it is. 
        • Limited app access 
        • Does not write directly to micro SD cards
        • No bloody case / cover supplied with monitor (extremely poor DJI) 
        • I paid for the sun hood simply because it protects the screen when not in use, should be supplied with it DJI.
        • Adapter to fit my standard RC.... seriously i have to buy an adapter, DJI stop bleeding your customers of money.  
        • Did i mention price? 

       

      1)   Whitetail 5ft Reversible Take Off Mat    

      Well what can i say my number one accessory is a take off mat, yup its that simple the one thing i use the most and would not be without.    When i first stared flying the Inspire 2 i went and bought a rubber take off mat from Amazon, trying to save money as i had spent a lot already.  I should have known better, i've done it in the past, "its unwise to pay too much but its worse to pay too little"   

      I got my first big TV client (CH4) and it was filming a documentary in the highlands in winter, only a days work but was going to be a full on day and to top it off it had been snowing.  I carried all my gear up Stac Pollaidh, having the odd heat attack here and there (must get fitter) to get to near the top and start to get the drone ready.  Only snow on the ground so i lay the rubber matt down and take off, notice straight away that the drone mat with the prop wash has flicked up and now have no where to land...... This was rather embarrassing i got one of the crew to lay the mat out again but when trying to land the edges did the same so had no option but to hand catch.     

      I started to hunt for around for a better solution and found whitetail on amazon, they were a bit cheaper than the US alternative so i bought from them.  I have used this mat pretty much every flight unless ive been on a boat.   

       

      What i like 

      • Design
        • Edges are weighed down so prop wash or wind does not flick the mat up. 
      • Reversible. 
        • Honestly thought i would only ever use orange, but being in the highlands the orange side blends into the browns and ive found im using the blue side more.  
      • Surfaces 
        • I've used this on grass / gravel / pebble beaches / sand beaches / snow oh and tarmac (tarmac might look great but i bet you will crack hopefully only a filter from the prop wash, been there done that).

      What i don't like 

      • Weight 
        • Its another thing to carry 

       

      You can buy the drone mat from Amazon here
      Ultimateaddons Whitetail 5ft Diameter Weighted Drone Take Off Landing Mat for Inspire 2

       


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