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Finally got your first drone? Or are you an experienced pilot who traded in that old Mavic Mini for the Mini 3? Either way, welcome to the club!
In today’s article, we’ll get you prepared for a safe and fun first flight with your new DJI Mini 3. Ahead, we’ll take you through all the steps needed to set up, start-up, and also shut down your drone.
**When turning on the Mini 3, first make sure to remove the gimbal cover. To power the drone on press the power button once, then press and hold the power button (towards the rear of the Mini 3 Pro). The RC and the RC-N1 are also powered on the same way – press the power button once, then immediately press and hold the power button. **
Hopefully, after reading this guide, as a new Mini 3 Pro owner, you’ll have all of the tools needed to get up in the air quickly and safely!
Pre-flight safety checklist #
Let’s look at the steps to take before starting up your drone.
The first thing to do is a pre-flight check for your hardware, either at home or when you get to the flying area, but definitely before you switch on and take off.
Here is a simple checklist you can use to guide you through inspecting your hardware.
- Remove your drone from its case and inspect the propellers and airframe to ensure they’re in good condition and there are no loose parts. If you notice any cracks or deformation of the propellers, replace them. If the airframe is cracked, loose, or deformed, do not take off (refer to a technician or DJI support instead).
- Make sure the drone gimbal/camera, drone arms, propellers, and battery are properly mounted or installed.
- Make sure your aircraft battery and remote controller are fully charged.
- Make sure your SD card is installed correctly.
- Make sure the DJI Fly software and firmware are up to date
- Calibrate your drone compass before every flight or at least when prompted.
- Calibrate IMU if prompted.
- Refer to Airmap or NavCanada for airspace information, restrictions, and air traffic control contact details.
- Study your mission area (simultaneously referencing AirMap or NavCanada) and gain permission from the appropriate authorities.
- Safety check – look around your immediate surroundings (it’s a rule of thumb for pilots to yell “clear” before takeoff, regardless of the aircraft).
Charging your batteries #
When it comes to charging your drone batteries, there are two ways to go:
Direct Plug-in #
This is the only option for those who buy the standard package, as it does not come with the charging hub. You connect the Type-C to Type-C PD Cable to an adapter, preferably 30 watts or more for faster charging.
At the tail of your drone, above the power button, you will see led lights that indicate the drone’s charging status and battery level. Charge till all four lights are lit and stop blinking.
Charging Hub #
If you purchased a package with the Fly More Combo, you can charge all three batteries by placing them in the Charging Hub. The batteries are charged in succession and not simultaneously. Install each battery in the hub and connect the USB type-C PD cable to a 30-watt (or more) adapter.
Note: The DJI Mini 3 does not come with a charging adapter, so you will have to purchase one separately.
When it comes to your remote controllers, the charging process is pretty simple.
You can either plug it into the charging hub using a USB-type-A to type-C PD cable or plug either a type-C to type-C or type-A to type-C cable directly to the controller using a charging adapter (remember 30 watts or more).
We advise you to charge the controller separately from the Hub because it’s also charged in succession and only after the drone batteries are charged.
DJI Fly #
The next thing you need to set up is the DJI Fly software, which is the flight software compatible with the DJI Mini 3.
You can use the DJI Fly app to control the drone, adjust settings, perform calibrations, and for content storage, editing, and sharing.
If you’re using the DJI RC-N1 controller, you will need to download the software on your mobile device via the appropriate app store and connect the device to the controller.
Android users will need to follow this link here.
** If you have a DJI RC controller, the DJI Fly app is pre-loaded on the remote.**
Once you’ve downloaded the software, the next thing is to set up your DJI account. Here’s how you do that.
- Launch the DJI Fly app and go into Profile.
- Once in the Profile Screen, go to Log In.
- Input your desired contact details, either your phone number or email address.
- Create your DJI Account, set up the password, and click Submit.
You will be given a generic DJI username upon landing on the main profile page. You can change the username if you wish, and you can also upload a profile picture.
At the top right of your DJI Fly opening page, right next to “DJI MINI 3,” you will see an open book icon that has tutorials and guides on how to navigate the app and operate the drone.
Take your time to go through it all and familiarize yourself with your controller and app before flight. For the RC manual, check here.
Note: The “Flysafe Requires Update” tab is where you will see all required firmware updates, should you need to update the Mini 3.
Starting up your drone #
Before starting up your Mini 3, it is imperative you remove the gimbal cover on the camera. If this step is forgotten too many times, the gimbal may eventually suffer from gimbal failure and break.
To power on the DJI Mini 3, press the power button once, then immediately press+hold the power button.
The first short press on the power button will display the battery charge via the LED lights.
The second press+hold then powers on the remote controller. You will also get an ascending audible tone, letting you know the controller is powered on.
The process of powering on the RC and the RC-N1 is the same: press the power button once, then immediately press+hold the power button. Again, you will hear a tone letting you know that the device has powered on.
Post-flight shutdown procedures #
- Upon landing, inspect your drone propellers and airframe for damage.
- Power off the drone.
- Power down the remote controller.
- Install a gimbal guard.
- Fold the aircraft and store it in your carrying case/bag.
To power on/off your controller, press the power button once, then long press and hold until the RC makes a power-off signal.
The lights will also flash, and all four will light up.
In the case of powering off your controller, you also press the power button once, then a long press until all four lights flash and go off.
Note: In the startup and shutdown process, as seen in the checklist, it’s advisable to start up your remote controller first, then the drone, and vice versa during the shutdown process, in which you power off your drone first, then the remote controller.
We hope these guidelines will be very helpful in getting you set up for your first flight with the DJI Mini 3, especially now that you’ve been educated more on the steps to take to ensure a safe and error-free startup and flight.
For help and guides on how to update firmware and calibrate your drone watch video below.