The DJI Mini 2 is still one of the most cost-effective drones available. It can record in 4K, shoot still photographs in RAW format, and has many of the same intelligent features seen in much more expensive aircraft. Its Return to Home function is one of them.
The Return to Home feature is a failsafe mechanism that allows your drone to safely go back to a preset home point when it loses connection to the remote controller, the battery is getting too low, or the user chooses to do so.
This characteristic of your DJI mini 2 can save you from losing your precious little one, but if done incorrectly, it can also lead to disaster.
Let’s see what it does and how to use it!
What is the drone’s home point?
One of the most important features of your DJI Mini 2 is its ability to set a home point. This is the place where the aircraft first received a strong or moderately strong GPS signal.
Making the drone take off without enabling it to establish a home point is a typical beginner mistake that can have disastrous consequences.
If your drone loses contact with the remote controller, having a home point allows it to automatically return to that location.
The importance of a home point
If you don’t give your drone enough time to receive a strong GPS signal to set the home point, it will be recorded elsewhere while you are flying it.
For example, if you take off without a home point and fly over a lake, the drone will assume that the place is the home point if it first establishes a GPS signal there.
The danger arises when the home point is set in a location where the drone cannot land safely. As a result, always take the time to set the home point before taking off.
Home Point Notification
When the drone has set a home point, DJI Fly will display an on-screen notification, together with a voice message that states “the home point has been updated”.
In addition, the aircraft status indicator will blink green.
How to manually set the Home Point
If your home point has been set in a location that you think may cause some problems, you can manually establish it following the next steps:
- While in DJI Fly’s camera view, tap on the ellipsis (three dots) on the top right corner of the screen (this will open the settings menu).
- On the safety tab, scroll down to find the “Update Home Point” option, then tap on it.
- A map of your current location will be displayed.
- Tap on the remote icon to establish the home point based on the remote’s current location
- Tap on the aircraft icon (arrow) to establish the home point where the aircraft is currently located.
- Tap and hold the home point to drag it to the position in which you want it to be set.
- Tap ok once you are happy with your selection.
How does Return to Home work?
The Return to Home feature is simple to use: when activated, it will make the drone return to the last recorded home point, landing it automatically if you don’t take control before it does so.
Keep in mind that the drone needs a strong GPS signal to establish the home point, and also to automatically land.
Types of Return to Home (RTH)
There are three types of Return to Home that your DJI Mini 2 can perform. Let’s take a closer look at each one individually.
Whenever the GPS signal is sufficient, the Smart RTH can be used to bring back the aircraft to the previously established Home Point.
To initiate Smart RTH, tap on the RTH button displayed in the camera view while on the DJI Fly app. Alternatively, you can press and hold the RTH button on your remote controller.
To exit Smart RTH, tap on the icon displayed on the screen, or by pressing the RTH button once again.
Low Battery RTH
The drone can detect if the current battery level is sufficient to return to the Home Point depending on its current location, all thanks to DJI’s intelligent flight batteries.
When the battery is drained to the extent that the safe return of the aircraft is threatened, the Low Battery RTH is activated.
You can cancel the Low Battery RTH by pressing the RTH button on the remote controller, or through the warning button displayed on the screen.
Note: The drone will automatically land whenever the battery level is too low for the aircraft to continue flying. This is dangerous to the aircraft’s safety, for example, when flying over water.
Failsafe RTH is another important feature in ensuring the safety of your drone operations. When the aircraft loses a signal with the remote controller for more than 11 seconds, this feature will automatically activate.
Failsafe RTH requires two things to function: a successfully recorded home point and a properly functioning compass.
You must adequately set the RTH height in the DJI Fly settings to prevent any crashes. For example, if you are flying in an area with a lot of trees, make sure that your RTH height is way above the highest of them.
Note: In DJI Fly, you may adjust the aircraft’s behavior when it loses signal with the remote controller. If the drone is set to “land” or “hover”, the Failsafe RTH will not be executed.
Other RTH Scenarios
RTH will be triggered if the video connection signal is lost during flight while the remote controller can still control the aircraft.
You can deactivate the RTH and control the drone using the controller if the aircraft is in your line of sight.
RTH Procedure (Straight Line)
Now, we are going to explain how RTH works in a straight line.
- The drone records the home point when it achieves a strong GPS signal.
- RTH gets triggered (either manually or automatically).
- If the aircraft is 65 feet (20 m) away from the home point, it will return home at a speed of 23 mph.
- The aircraft will land autonomously after it has reached the home point position and will turn off the motors once the maneuver is completed.
Return to Home Precautions
- If the GPS signal is weak or unavailable, the aircraft will be unable to begin the Return to Home process. In this case, the drone will hover.
- You can stop the aircraft from ascending if it is at or above 65 feet (20 meters) and has not yet reached the RTH height. It will then fly to the Home Point at its present altitude. This feature is only accessible in firmware version 18.104.22.168.
- As long as the remote controller signal is normal, you may control the drone’s speed, altitude, and direction as it returns to the home point. However, you cannot pan left or right.
- By pulling the control stick entirely in the opposite direction of where the drone is flying, the RTH may be canceled. This will make it hover.
- The RTH feature is affected by DJI’s GEO zones. Due to height restrictions, the aircraft will either descend to exit a GEO zone and continue flying to the home point, or it will hover in place.
- The aircraft may not be able to use the RTH feature if the wind is too strong.
What is Landing Protection?
The ability of DJI drones to land safely on their own, due to sensors in their belly, is a fascinating feature.
During Smart Return to Home, Landing Protection will self-activate, completing the autonomous system that securely returns your Mini 2 to the assigned home point.
All you have to do now is watch and dry your forehead sweat! But hey, there was never any reason to be concerned!
Here is how Landing Protection works:
- Once the aircraft has reached the home point location, it will automatically initiate a landing maneuver.
- The drone will independently find a suitable landing spot during Landing Protection.
- If the plane detects that the ground is not suitable for landing, it will hover and wait for the pilot to act.
- If Landing Protection is not operational, you will get a notification in the DJI Fly app when the aircraft drops below 1.6 feet (.05 m).
- To begin the landing, press the ‘Confirm‘ button or pull down on the throttle stick.
DJI Mini 2 Return to Home Accuracy
To be honest, we can’t expect the Mini 2 to have the same level of quality and precision as much more costly and heavier drones. There are advantages and disadvantages to weighing less than 250g.
Having said that, the Return to Home function on this drone is fantastic. I’ve done it many times with mine and have always been pleased with the results. Though it was never perfect.
The DJI Mini 2 should land within 6.5 feet (2 meters) from the take-off point. As a result, your home point should be in a somewhat flat area.
You may, however, bring the drone home automatically and then land it manually (as I do sometimes).
You can check an accuracy test in the video below:
How To Prevent Flyaways Using RTH
A very common cause of Flyaways is not having set a Return to Home properly. Even with DJI’s Care Refresh, this is by far the most expensive way to lose your drone, therefore, you should always double-check that it is configured properly.
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind if you don’t want to lose your drone permanently!
- Always double-check that the Home Point is set. This implies that you either heard the voice notification “your home point has been modified”, or saw the warning on the app. Remember that a strong GPS signal is required to establish a Home Point.
- If you need to move from your initial Home Point for whatever reason, make sure to change it in the DJI Fly app.
- Set the Return to Home altitude appropriately. Make sure to choose an RTH height that is high enough to avoid trees, buildings, and other obstacles in your location. Because the Mini 2 lacks eyes, you must look for it!
That’s all I’ve got for now, pilot. Have you found this article interesting? You may return after sharing the love by showing it to your friends. Here at Droneblog, there’s always more to read!