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Anyone used there Spark in cold (snow) conditions?
13898 27 2017-8-8
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larrymull
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Flight distance : 468668 ft
Australia
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Just wondering what the experiences have been, as I am headed to snowy conditions and would love to play around with it.


2017-8-8
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Indi91
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Following as i would like to know as well
2017-8-8
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Rawsome
First Officer
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Canada
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Like wise, there are some clips on you tube and the problem seems to be the batteries. As they aren't lithium ions - the cold temps aren't appreciated much by the current batteries.
I'm keen to test sparky in the winter but thinking reducing the flight time to half ish.
The scary thing is while out ice fishing, my phone can have a 100% battery and seconds after I pull it out it will suddenly die. That's on those harsh minus 30 days.
Thinking on a sunny -5 with no wind sparky should be alright.
The craft does produce quite a bit of heat which could be beneficial?

Maybe some mavic, phantom or inspire vets can share their wisdom?
2017-8-8
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DJI Thor
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The recommended operating temperature range is 32° to 104° F (0° to 40° C), a cold weather will affect the performance of the drone and cut its flight time.
2017-8-8
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larrymull
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Australia
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DJI Thor Posted at 2017-8-8 18:43
The recommended operating temperature range is 32° to 104° F (0° to 40° C), a cold weather will affect the performance of the drone and cut its flight time.

I would be happy with 0 degrees celsius as i'd most likely fly it in the middle of the day
2017-8-8
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DJI Thor
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larrymull Posted at 2017-8-8 21:30
I would be happy with 0 degrees celsius as i'd most likely fly it in the middle of the day

That might work. You can pay attention to the Aircraft Status.
2017-8-10
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ImHereToCrash
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last winter up in the mountains where my farm is, we got nearly 34 inches of snow in 1 storm, and temps during the day were between 8F - 16F for a couple of days...  8F - 16F is cold but that's not that terrible, we dealt with way colder.  but batteries really hate the cold...  but trust me, i plan on running drones out during the winter..   even if its single digits degrees F and snowy and blowy
2017-8-10
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Indi91
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I read around, stated that if you keep the battery warm throughout (keep in car insulated before use, using handwarmer wrapped in towel, etc) can help. And let the aircraft warm up for a bout 1 min-2min before going off. Keep watching the battery level. Plan ahead your shot as your time will be limited. Be careful when flying it far.
2017-8-10
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larrymull
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Indi91 Posted at 2017-8-10 20:02
I read around, stated that if you keep the battery warm throughout (keep in car insulated before use, using handwarmer wrapped in towel, etc) can help. And let the aircraft warm up for a bout 1 min-2min before going off. Keep watching the battery level. Plan ahead your shot as your time will be limited. Be careful when flying it far.

Good advice, that is my intention. I really just want it for shots I have in my mind.
2017-8-10
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ImHereToCrash
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I suggest never letting lithium batteries specially freeze.  I wouldn’t mind leaving my spark in frozen car, but I would pack batteries with me..   same thing when I take my Sony alpha out shooting, I pack batteries on my pockets inside my thick coat facing my body.. the camera it’s self can be ice cold but batteries aren’t and that makes all world of difference.  

My spark and in a few months my Mavic Pro (yes I’m going to have both hopefully) are going to be workhorses..  they well be treated like rest of my workhorses.. have to to survive severely cold starts, splashes of rain, snow, dust, and stuff..  batteries I will have sympathy for, the body I won’t.  My spark is already got a nice thick layer of road dust and grim on it.   It’s already survived a major major rain storm flying back at me full force sport mode in blinding rain and lightning for a full minute other day, and in about 10 hours she is going back out again this time, Meeting up with some people who asked me if I wouldn’t mind teaching them how to fly because they are interested in integrating drones into search and rescue efforts(cop friend referred them to me).  And it’s not going to be easy because where we will be flying it will likely storm 70-80% chance if storms.   But I have insurance, which will cover it, so no worries here.  They actually asked about rain and storms impacting it.   I said, let’s find out
2017-8-10
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larrymull
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Australia
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ImHereToCrash Posted at 2017-8-10 22:24
I suggest never letting lithium batteries specially freeze.  I wouldn’t mind leaving my spark in frozen car, but I would pack batteries with me..   same thing when I take my Sony alpha out shooting, I pack batteries on my pockets inside my thick coat facing my body.. the camera it’s self can be ice cold but batteries aren’t and that makes all world of difference.  

My spark and in a few months my Mavic Pro (yes I’m going to have both hopefully) are going to be workhorses..  they well be treated like rest of my workhorses.. have to to survive severely cold starts, splashes of rain, snow, dust, and stuff..  batteries I will have sympathy for, the body I won’t.  My spark is already got a nice thick layer of road dust and grim on it.   It’s already survived a major major rain storm flying back at me full force sport mode in blinding rain and lightning for a full minute other day, and in about 10 hours she is going back out again this time, Meeting up with some people who asked me if I wouldn’t mind teaching them how to fly because they are interested in integrating drones into search and rescue efforts(cop friend referred them to me).  And it’s not going to be easy because where we will be flying it will likely storm 70-80% chance if storms.   But I have insurance, which will cover it, so no worries here.  They actually asked about rain and storms impacting it.   I said, let’s find out

Great work, I look forward to future updates. Thanks for the tips!
2017-8-13
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larrymull
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Australia
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Just a follow up to this. The spark worked great in -3 degrees celsius conditions, my biggest issue was the fact the battery in the iPhone got very cold and was showing 1% of battery left (even though I knew there was much more than that), which made me a little nervous about flying the spark in case the phone completely shut down.

In people's experience when your phone shuts down does the spark automatically return to home?
2017-8-20
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Indi91
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larrymull Posted at 2017-8-20 16:00
Just a follow up to this. The spark worked great in -3 degrees celsius conditions, my biggest issue was the fact the battery in the iPhone got very cold and was showing 1% of battery left (even though I knew there was much more than that), which made me a little nervous about flying the spark in case the phone completely shut down.

In people's experience when your phone shuts down does the spark automatically return to home?

Ok so, i never have the opportunity to experience that, but, i had the opposite experience and i would not ever repeat that. I was in a very hot day, flying my spark for a site survey. It was like 34C~. And i was standing directly under the sunlight full blaze. Flew the spark 300m away on WiFi and brought it back and just when i want to land it (already in my LOS), my iPhone gave "iPhone is too hot, iphone needs to cool down before you can use it) and nothing i can see anymore. Am using RC and brought it down manually. For fun, i took some pics while nothing can be seen in the phone screen and landed it. Noticed that the flight record ended, no additional photos saved in cache. Basically the phone shut down. And if this happened 30 sec earlier, i would had to use RTH manually as 300m away will be out of sight.
Edit: Photos were in SD card.
2017-8-20
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rschubring
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Just tried it out with the snow coming down pretty heavy here in CO. I was a little sketched out about it but it seemed to handle it fine.
2017-10-9
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larrymull
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Australia
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rschubring Posted at 2017-10-9 10:09
Just tried it out with the snow coming down pretty heavy here in CO. I was a little sketched out about it but it seemed to handle it fine.

Agreed that was my assessment, the big things that I struggled with was keeping the iPhone warm as the battery dies pretty quickly in cold weather.
2017-10-9
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fans205b06e5
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United States
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I flew DJI spark with extreme condition (-11 degree Celcius / 12 F) and didn't had any issue.
2018-1-6
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Firehawk989
First Officer
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Canada
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My first 2 flights were at -15c but straight out of a warm car, no problem. Next few flights it had been in my backpack all day at around -3 to -5c and again no problem. Flight time was around 10min with around 20% battery remaining on landing.
2018-1-6
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Bing Err
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The Spark does just fine. And I'm actually reversing my first thought that the cold limits the battery. I think the cold doesn't do much in battery reduction. But if you're flying fast then the WIND does cool the drone and battery down. Check out my vid with  -10 degrees below conditions.
2018-1-6
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Bing Err
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Indi91 Posted at 2017-8-20 18:28
Ok so, i never have the opportunity to experience that, but, i had the opposite experience and i would not ever repeat that. I was in a very hot day, flying my spark for a site survey. It was like 34C~. And i was standing directly under the sunlight full blaze. Flew the spark 300m away on WiFi and brought it back and just when i want to land it (already in my LOS), my iPhone gave "iPhone is too hot, iphone needs to cool down before you can use it) and nothing i can see anymore. Am using RC and brought it down manually. For fun, i took some pics while nothing can be seen in the phone screen and landed it. Noticed that the flight record ended, no additional photos saved in cache. Basically the phone shut down. And if this happened 30 sec earlier, i would had to use RTH manually as 300m away will be out of sight.
Edit: Photos were in SD card.

Interesting. Seems like the Iphone doesn't handle head or cold very well.
2018-1-6
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Dans79Vet
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France
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I put the Spark batteries in my pocket. Warms them up enough that i dont get error messages in flight.
2018-1-6
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Dans79Vet
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Also watchout in fog, the proximity sensors sometimes give errors and stop forward flight.
2018-1-6
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EverGrump
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Belgium
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In December I was flying in Lapland with temperatures between  -16°C  -  -20°C.   Was only once unable to liftoff due to a notification in the app.
I was surprised how well the Spark flew in these conditions. (windy, cold,+- 250 Km north of the arctic circle in winter,...)
2019-1-10
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ssylca44
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Here in Canada one would stop flying from November to April if snow was a problem. Just watch out for the temperature.
2019-1-10
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skierman64
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Bing Err Posted at 2018-1-6 15:17
The Spark does just fine. And I'm actually reversing my first thought that the cold limits the battery. I think the cold doesn't do much in battery reduction. But if you're flying fast then the WIND does cool the drone and battery down. Check out my vid with  -10 degrees below conditions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kw68Nb0bmAU

Great video of snowy Minnesota.  

I'm not sure that windy conditions would cool the battery more than the downwash from the rotors and/or the Sparks speed across the ground.  If you're flying 20-30 mph that would cool the battery just as much as a 20-30 mph wind.  
2019-1-10
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skierman64
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Here's some snowy video from the St Louis region.  
2019-1-10
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ssylca44
Captain
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Very nice video skierman64.
2019-1-10
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Soiboy
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Just tested the DJI Spark out while it was still snowing.It performed like a champ, but I took it down quickly as it was getting buffeted by the wind up at 400 feet or so.

2019-1-16
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ssylca44
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Very nice video Soiboy, thanks.
2019-1-16
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