FAQ

Q: What drones are compatible with DroneViewer?

A: I have tested DroneViewer with the Autel EVO, GPS-enabled GoPro HERO cameras (like the HERO 5 black), DJI Mavic Pro, Mavic Pro 2, Matrice 200,  Phantom 4 series, and Phantom 3 series. It will also work with the Phantom 2 as long as you have a FlyTrex Core 2 logger installed. It may work with the Inspire2, but I don’t have sample video to verify this. Remember to turn on Video Caption subtitle feature in your drone app to make your drone stores trajectory data.

Q: How do I reset DroneViewer?

If you’ve recently changed your monitor resolution or screen configuration, Dashcam Viewer may be drawing the windows offscreen. Try this “hard reset” procedure, I think it will fix it. Note that registered users will need to re-enter their registration code after performing this procedure:

  1. Quit DroneViewer
  2. Hold down the Shift key
  3. Start DroneViewer
  4. You will see a dialog box come up asking if you’d like to Reset All Settings. Click “Yes”.

Q: What are some best practices for running DroneViewer?

Here are some tips for getting the most out of DroneViewer. I’ll add to this list as time goes on:

  1. If DroneViewer’s windows don’t appear onscreen, see the reset procedure above.
  2. For best video exporting experience, replace the LGPL version of ffmpeg with the GPL version as described below.
  3. Simultaneous playback of multiple videos while updating maps and widgets can be CPU-intensive. If video playback appears to stutter, or DroneViewer issues the error “Time out has occurred while trying to load file…”, you can try the following:
    1. Use a fast, high-quality,  USB3  SD card reader if your Mac/PC doesn’t have have an internal SD card slot.
    2. Copy the video folder from your SD card to your internal hard drive. Then load the videos from the hard drive.
    3. Change your dash cam’s settings to produce lower-resolution videos.
  4. If you’re running Windows and Dashcam Viewer playback is slow or stuttering, try re-installing the K-Lite Codec Packand experimenting with the tick boxes in the Advanced Options. Users have reported improved playback performance by tweaking the options.
  5. If no GPS data is displayed, the problem could be that your files are on a Network Storage Device (NAS) or RAID system. Use the SD card or your local hard drive instead.

Q: Why won’t DroneViewer display my drone’s video?

A: The most likely cause is that the video is recorded using the H.265 (HEVC) codec. Videos created with this codec do not always playback correctly in DroneViewer for some platforms. I highly recommend using the H.264 codec, which is available as an option in DJI and GoPro settings.

Q: I have a Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 and I’ve turned on Video Captions in the Go App but SRT files are not created. Why?

A: The Phantom 4 Pro v2.0 embeds the SRT data into the movie itself. DroneViewer will detect this and decode the data. One difference between the SRT data in a separate file and embedded SRT data is that the embedded SRT data is not date/time stamped. Therefore the file creation date is used as the start date in the case of embedded SRT data.

Q: Will DroneViewer work with the Mavic Air?

A: Unfortunately the Mavic Air does not store trajectory data in the SRT file so DroneViewer will not display the drone’s route. I don’t know why DJI made that decision, but I can’t think of any reason why the lat/lon/alt/speed couldn’t be added. Mavic Air owners may want to contact DJI and request that flight log data be added to the SRT file.

Q: Will DroneViewer work with the DJI Spark?

A: No, the Spark does not store trajectory data.

Q: Why does my route look jagged? Why does my compass appear to spin erratically sometimes?

A: While it’s great that DJI logs the drone’s flight data into an SRT file, the speed of the drone is not recorded to the file and the latitude and longitude are not stored in high precision. DroneViewer uses the time-stamped lat/lon values to estimate the speed. The lack of precision means the drone speed and direction can be inaccurate and appear to vary wildly. DroneViewer applies a smoothing function to dampen the speed variations. While this helps, it’s not a perfect solution. Ideally, DJI would modify their SRT file data to include native drone speed and higher-precision latitude and longitude. (There are other ways to extract the flight data to higher-precision but they are not as convenient as the SRT file method).

Q: In macOS Catalina, when I try to run DroneViewer I see the following message: 
If you see this message, you can run DroneViewer by going to your Security & Privacy settings and selecting the “Open Anyway”.
More details here:
“How to open an app that hasn’t been notarized or is from an unidentified developer”: