DJI Groundstation Instructions for Flying an Octocopter on Autopilot





Introduction: DJI Groundstation Instructions for Flying an Octocopter on Autopilot

You can use the DJI wookong flight controller system, upgraded for use with GPS waypoint coordinates, to fly a helicopter on autopilot mode. It was somewhat hard for me to decipher the DJI wookong maual. SO here's how I did it.

Step 1: What You Need

I was flying the OctoKong, purchased from 
I got the DJI wookong flight controller multi-waypoint navigation system. This allows for setting many waypoints and controlling the UAV using pre programmed routes through your PC. 
You also need to have the WooKong -M flight control system with updated firmware calibrated for your own UAV and transmitter. I'm using the JR-XG8 8 Channel RC transmitter

Once you have been using the Wookong-m flight control platform with the transmitter and are somewhat comfortable flying your UAV, here's how to get started with the upgraded DJI Wookong-M multi waypoint navigation package:

Step 2: 1. Open the DJI GroundStation

1. Open the DJI GroundStation 4.0 on your PC.

Step 3: Connect the Datalink

2. Connect the DJI DataLink to the computer via the USB.
a. The RED light should go on (the red light has a label on the right of it that says DATA / POWER)
-make sure the antennas are connected to the datalink and to the microcontroller on the UAV.

Step 4: Turn It On

3. Turn on the power to the helicopter
a. Plug in both batteries to the via the YELLOW xt-60 connectors or whatever battery / on off mechanism you have on the octocopter
b. DO NOT MOVE the octocopter after plugging it in

Step 5: Turn on the Transmitter

4. Turn on the Transmitter (JR-XG8 Remote Control)

a. Flip all the switches AWAY from you (towards the ground, if you are holding it parallel to the ground)
b. Put the throttle (the LEFT gimble stick) downwards, towards you
c. Flip the silver ON/OFF switch in the center of the transmitter UPWARDS (away from you)
d. Put the transmitter in AUTOPILOT (GPS) MODE by flipping the switch in the TOP RIGHT of the transmitter, labeled (GPS / ATT / MANUAL), up towards you, to GPS MODE

Step 6: Connect to Your UAV

5. CONNECT the groundstation to the octocopter or whatever vehicle you are using

a. Click CONNECT on the TOP RIGHT.
b. This should successfully handshake the DJI software with the octocopter, after a successful GPS lock is established.
c. On the bottom left corner is the GPS status bar, that looks like the image in green when it is ready. 

6. If it is not ready, or if there is an error handshaking, it will look like the image in red instead. Check the connections between the Data Link from the computer and the Data Link on the helicopter.

Step 7: Set the Altitude Offset

7. Set the Altitude Offset

a. At the top, click the tab Sys_set, click Altitude Offset
b. Make sure “HEIGHT” is selected, then click OK

Step 8: Click and Go Mode

8. Put the flight controller in Click and Go mode:

a. At the topClick Toolbox, click and go

Step 9: Select Joystick

9. Select JOYSTICK

a. In the top left of the groundstation, click JOYSTICK then SELECT JOYSTICK 

Step 10:


a. At the top right of the screen, click SET HOME POSITION

Step 11: Set the Waypoints

11. Set the WAYPOINTS

a. To set the waypoints, open the EDITOR (click EDITOR, a square button at the top center)
b. Click NEW to set a new flight path
c. Click on the “+” button in the editor, then click to add points to the flight path
d. Set the altitude of each waypoint
i. If the line between waypoints is RED, there is a problem with the flight, most likely the altitude. Set the altitude to a higher number and click enter.
ii. Make sure the flight path (line between waypoints) is BLUE
e. Set the flight parameters by clicking on the “Editing Mission” Folder
i. Set the flight time limit in Seconds to 600: See “MissionTimeLmt”
ii. Set the ROUTE: StartToEnd
f. Click SAVE to save your flight path
g. Click UPLOAD, then click OK when the flight chart is displayed as a text chart


Step 12: FLY IT

12. Auto Takeoff: (to take off and hover above the home point)

a. At the top center of the screen, click One Key Takeoff
b. Put the throttle on the transmitter in CENTER position
c. The octocopter will takeoff and hover at about 12 feet

13. Once hovering, set the waypoint flight:

a. Click GO in the EDITOR
b. The octocopter will begin the waypoint flight
c. At the top of the editor screen, you can see the progress of the octocopter (ie. Waypoint 1 completed…)
d. Once finished, the octocopter will hover around the last waypoint.

14. Click “GO HOME” in the top right

a. The octocopter will fly to above home point

15. AutoLanding:

a. Click AutoLanding in the EDITOR
b. It will prompt you to click “PAUSE then KEYBOARD mode”
c. At the top right of the screen, click PAUSE
d. Click the KEYBOARD
e. Click AutoLanding at the bottom of the editor
f. The octocopter will land.

Step 13: In Case of Emergency, Switch Back to the Transmitter


16.  On the transmitter, see the GPS switch on the top right (it has a piece of tape that says “MAN / ATT / GPS”
17.  Flip the switch down one notch to ATT then back up to GPS



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    DJI manual is very difficult to read, I hope this can help me to fly

    Now that's an interesting topic. I agree totally that a multicopter is not suited... Take one standard FPV airframe, APM 2.xx, suitable video gear, flying at a safe height, problem solved... Total cost around 400 Sterling. Cannot beat DJI for multiprop though, it is almost foolproof and simple to set up.

    wat is the full project cost plz tell me yaarrrrr!!!!!!!

    Great i'ble!
    and great pictures.. Top picture in step 13 looks like the octocopter's emitting steam.. :)
    Thanks for sharing..

    thanck you

    hey do you think I could get this to fly 4 x daily from my house 10 miles down
    the beach and back with a camera for a visual beach, surf and pier report, while I'm at work and dock itself at a solar battery charging station,

    yes you can. in your situation radio control range is irrelevant since your using autonomous GPS control which is "onboard"

    be warned. if for commercial purposes the FAA (illegally without authority in my opinion) has decreed any use of RC for commercial purposes to be illegal. Flat out.

    you also need to be careful. 10 miles is no small distance. even at 20miles per hour that is MINIMUM 1 hour 30 minutes of battery power. that is a VERY VERY heavy model.

    you need 30 minutes to get their 30 minutes to get back 10 minutes to loiter and 20 minutes of reserve power (in case of delay or headwinds etc..)

    if that model "HITS" someone it will likely kill them or at the minimum injur them quite badly. I would program it to go out over the ocean go up shore and work in (but not over land) slowly. this way if it goes down it does so in the drink and is far far less likely to hit someone.

    and YOU WILL have a failure eventually. a motor will fail an ESC will fail a prop will fail (though in theory an octo has some redundancy if its design right IE switch to 4 motor mode kill the offending string of 4 motors if a motor esc prop fails. AFAIK none are designed to do this.???

    We have different rules in the UK for UAV flying, Air Navigation Order 166(3) which is part of British Law says that the pilot of the aircraft must have direct, un-aided visual of the aircraft at all times. The exemption to this order is that if the aircraft is less than 1.8kg all up including airframe, motors and fuel, then a trained observer, who must remain close to the pilot, must then have the line-of-site of the aircraft in order to warn the pilot of hazards. It is highly unlikely that anyone is going to be able to clearly see a small model at a range of 10 miles.

    On the point of equipment failure; an octocopter is normally designed for heavy lift. Surely if one of the eight axes fails, it is better to leave all of the other seven in operation. I have seen an hexcopter return safely after losing a single motor, albeit slightly erractically. The additional motors on an octocopter are closer together on the same radius and must therefore be steadier in flight on the failure of one motor. Another consideration must be that octocopter propellers may not have sufficient thrust to lift the vehicle with only 4 working and also the remaining 4 motors will have to work that much harder to maintain altitude, which in turn, may cause further failure. Especially over a long distance.

    Hmmm maybe its just me but designing it to be within its safe flight envelope on 4 motors would be a mandatory design requirements.

    ie if you loaded it down enough that 4 motors can't fly it your doing it wrong in my book (for what he wants to do !!)

    to me the whole point of using an oct for this specific endeavor is higher top speed and redundancy. ie safety.

    Personally I don't see this happening. VERY expensive. very very expensive.

    the 10th amendment (US law) makes it clear flying rc drones for my own use is a right not a privilege and the FAA and Government are exceeding their authority in trying to "ban" it and set silly requirements like line of sight.

    plus line of sight only applies to PILOTED RC craft.

    remove the RC gear and that rule evaporates. now its just a free flight aircraft.

    People fly those (including rockets) out of line of sight all the time.

    I can sympathise with your reasoning but 100% redundancy is far too much overkill when you consider the additional cost for larger motors, props and ESCs. Of course, there is a considerable weight penalty also as apart from the larger sized drive parts, there would need to be much more battery weight to consider for long flights. 8 slow running motors calibrated to achieve reasonable flight with 7 or even 6 motors would be much more viable.

    Higher top speed can be achieved with a quadcopter fitted with higher power motors and large, high pitch props together with a lighter airframe which would also reduce inertia compared to the much bigger octocopter and probably make it more maneuverable.

    Octocopters are sexy but were generally developed to give higher lift capability for large camera FPV and aerial survey