Please select Into the mobile phone version | Continue to access the computer ver.
Lost connection, lost Spark. What next?
2001 25 2017-8-17
Uploading and Loding Picture ...(0/1)
o(^-^)o
PascalG
lvl.4
Flight distance : 274327 ft
Bahamas
Offline


34 flights, 4 1/2 hours, many in the 2500-3500' range, almost all glitch free until...

Lost connection a couple of days ago. First the video link, then got the red light on the RC and aircraft disconnected error. Spark was hovering at that time about 1900' away, line of sight, antennas pointed the right way. Should have RTH but didn't. Yes I made sure home point was set before take off and had 17 sats when connection was lost which is more than enough to RTH. Drone was over an empty section of the island so interference had to come from near the RC. I had not updated the firmware or app since I had no issues and didn't want to do it right before leaving on a trip.

While 1900' may seem far, I had never had issues before all the way to 4000'.  the only difference I can think of was that I was flying from the boat docked at a marina with a number of land based wifi hot spots using external antennas which probably affected the range. Once the connection was lost the RC couldn't reconnect
In any case the drone should have RTH. I ll contact customer service but not holding my breath... have limited connectivity here so I cant upload log yet.

Trying to decide what to do next...

1)- get another spark since I have the RC and 3 batteries although obviously this experience makes me feel the limited the range and connection issues of the spark make it not suited for my needs. Or I could just sell the RC and batteries and...

2)- get a Mavic. I used one a few months ago and like it. Better range, stabilized gimbal in sports mode, and just as portable and small as the spark. Downside is risking not $500 but $1000 in case of a problem. 90% of my use is from a boat, over water.

My main question about the Mavic is whether the occusync connection really make it more reliable and less vulnerable to interference and lost signal. And i won't be fligying it close to the max range, as I was with Spark making it safer.

3)- get the new splash drone 3.  It's waterproof, can land and take off from the water and can even shoot under water. Could get some really cool footage in the clear water of the Bahamas....  downsides: it's new, use regular wifi like Spark sosame range and interference issues. Also hasvery little feedback on line and at  $1600 it s even more money at stake!


IMG_8103.JPG
2017-8-17
Use props
Charles Adams
Second Officer
Flight distance : 294528 ft
United States
Offline

When I caused expensive damage to my P3S, I ended up replacing it because of all the money I had invested in accessories.  I also had the benefit of knowing that the damage was caused by human error.

I don't have additional details of your disappearing drone, on the surface it sounds like a "no human reason why it didn't return properly".  If that's your feeling, then there's a breach of confidence in the craft.  Buying another spark won't solve that.

I'd be curious to have additional details of the incident, if you are willing to share.
2017-8-17
Use props
Thor1
First Officer
Flight distance : 196837 ft
Canada
Offline

just read about the splash drone and it sounds awesome. the only thing is its super big and heavy.

i would 100% no questions asked go with the mavic. keep in mind there may be a new mavic in the near future so maybe wait for that and get the spark in the meantime?
2017-8-17
Use props
PascalG
lvl.4
Flight distance : 274327 ft
Bahamas
Offline

Charles Adams Posted at 2017-8-17 08:10
When I caused expensive damage to my P3S, I ended up replacing it because of all the money I had invested in accessories.  I also had the benefit of knowing that the damage was caused by human error.

I don't have additional details of your disappearing drone, on the surface it sounds like a "no human reason why it didn't return properly".  If that's your feeling, then there's a breach of confidence in the craft.  Buying another spark won't solve that.

Not much else I can share beyond my original post. Just lost connection at fairly close range and it didn't RTH.
2017-8-17
Use props
PascalG
lvl.4
Flight distance : 274327 ft
Bahamas
Offline

Thor1 Posted at 2017-8-17 08:13
just read about the splash drone and it sounds awesome. the only thing is its super big and heavy.

i would 100% no questions asked go with the mavic. keep in mind there may be a new mavic in the near future so maybe wait for that and get the spark in the meantime?

The size and weight isn't an issue since I fly from the boat and drone stays  on the boat.  What I don't like about it is the 1KM range which in the real world will be shorter.

That's why th Mavic appeals to me. Ocusync seems very reliable   I dont want to wait for a Mavic 2, no trim frame and I d rather not get a brand new possibly buggy drone
2017-8-17
Use props
Jptsrone
lvl.2
United States
Offline

Decision was a little harder for me when i wrecked my P3P but sparks are relatively inexpensive so I would buy a new one.
2017-8-17
Use props
Charles Adams
Second Officer
Flight distance : 294528 ft
United States
Offline

PascalG Posted at 2017-8-17 09:20
Not much else I can share beyond my original post. Just lost connection at fairly close range and it didn't RTH.

You were flying LOS (though 2K is still a good distance).  Do you have any visual clues?  Did it float down?  Fly away?  Do you have any logs you are willing to publicly share?

I frequently fly from my boats, but very rarely do I fly from the marina.  I've found that there's too much metal (interference) to get good compass and gps locks.

I'm taking a guess that you were flying in sport mode.  There's a lot of battery life left and you had gotten near 2K away.  May not be relevant, but I'm trying to get data.

The purpose of your forum post was not a post-mortem for the flight.  It was to help you decide on what you should buy next.  I, however, have a very personal interest in understanding your flight and your loss, as my use case is remarkably similar to yours.
2017-8-17
Use props
Thor1
First Officer
Flight distance : 196837 ft
Canada
Offline

PascalG Posted at 2017-8-17 09:19
The size and weight isn't an issue since I fly from the boat and drone stays  on the boat.  What I don't like about it is the 1KM range which in the real world will be shorter.

That's why th Mavic appeals to me. Ocusync seems very reliable   I dont want to wait for a Mavic 2, no trim frame and I d rather not get a brand new possibly buggy drone

that's a good point. i couldn't find the range online although 1K is enough for me. the mavic is definitely the ultimate choice. i have wanted one since release date but then the spark came out and i got that. i would rather the mavic but i will wait for mavic 2!

good luck with your new purchase!
2017-8-17
Use props
hallmark007
Captain
Flight distance : 6059744 ft
  • >>>
Ireland
Offline

PascalG Posted at 2017-8-17 09:20
Not much else I can share beyond my original post. Just lost connection at fairly close range and it didn't RTH.

You could upload your flight log to link below and come back here and post the link. Just click on link and follow instructions might help you understand what happened.

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
2017-8-17
Use props
Kyokushin
Captain
Flight distance : 296378 ft
Poland
Offline

What firmware and app versions you had?
2017-8-17
Use props
PascalG
lvl.4
Flight distance : 274327 ft
United States
Offline

I will post the log tonight or tomorrow. Just getting back to Miami now and had marginal connections

I m also interested in finding out what happened.

I wasn't in sports mode and no as mentioned earlier I had decided not to upgrade firmware or app because of issues some seemed the have after updates. I don't care for Jedi mode and so far the spark had been 100% reliable.

I agree about interference in marinas but I figured we were the last boat and none within 100'. I didn't realize the office had a bunch of routers and antennas 250' away
2017-8-17
Use props
Jeff7577
First Officer
Flight distance : 1916821 ft
United States
Offline

The most recent update improved RC to Spark connectivity and decreased disconnects. Bummer.
2017-8-17
Use props
DJI Susan
Administrator

Offline

Have you contacted our Support Team via support.us@dji.com to report the accident? If yes, please PM me your case number, I'd like to look into it.
2017-8-17
Use props
PascalG
lvl.4
Flight distance : 274327 ft
United States
Offline

Susan, no I haven't yet. will do today.

here is the flight log from the app  http://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/8WML4QU738FB3FEYO53P/#

I don't see any red flags in there,  home point was recorded, rth set at 50m which is way higher than any obstacle. started with 13 sats and picked up a few more. only thing but it could just be the sat pic being off a little is the home point is shown about 50' north of actual position. it is shown on land whereas I took off from the boat, tied to the dock. not an issue since it never rth

at this point i have pretty much decided to go with a Mavic, mostly for the Ocusynch and better range/reliability but also for the stabilized gimbal in sports mode.
2017-8-18
Use props
hallmark007
Captain
Flight distance : 6059744 ft
  • >>>
Ireland
Offline

PascalG Posted at 2017-8-18 05:32
Susan, no I haven't yet. will do today.

here is the flight log from the app  http://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/8WML4QU738FB3FEYO53P/#

I'm not to sure you had VLOS at almost 600 metres distance and 81 metres high, it takes a great pair of eyes to be able to spot spark that far.
Your log doesn't show anything about loosing radio control, although you say you were hovering log shows you pushing throttle and aircraft rising , then log just stops, no warnings normally it would say downlink lost on the log, but nothing, it looks like all the other drop outs I've seen, where log just ends no warnings.
2017-8-18
Use props
PascalG
lvl.4
Flight distance : 274327 ft
United States
Offline

I said the spark was in LOS as in no obstacle whatsoever.  obviously at that distance I didn't have VLOS. beyond a couple of hundred feet I don't even bother looking at the drone, id rather focus on the screen and telemetry

I was also surprised to see no error message in the log. I was indeed hovering for a few seconds and may have been trying to go up when contact was lost. the flight record in the app does show throttle up 97%, where do you see it in the online log at phantomhelp?

here is the video recorded in the app, it ends when the RC disconnected. for all I know it could have just shut down altogether and dropped like a stone although I went there with the tender and didn't find it

2017-8-18
Use props
hallmark007
Captain
Flight distance : 6059744 ft
  • >>>
Ireland
Offline

PascalG Posted at 2017-8-18 08:20
I said the spark was in LOS as in no obstacle whatsoever.  obviously at that distance I didn't have VLOS. beyond a couple of hundred feet I don't even bother looking at the drone, id rather focus on the screen and telemetry

I was also surprised to see no error message in the log. I was indeed hovering for a few seconds and may have been trying to go up when contact was lost. the flight record in the app does show throttle up 97%, where do you see it in the online log at phantomhelp?


You need to download the csv file in your PH log all the info is in there.

It looks like it did just drop out of the air for no reason.
2017-8-18
Use props
PascalG
lvl.4
Flight distance : 274327 ft
United States
Offline

I see that now in the csv. Thanks

Initially I thought it was a lost connection due to interference but I m now indeed wondering if it just didn't shut down and fell. Didn't find  it though even though I went right to the last know position.
2017-8-18
Use props
paulhummerman
lvl.4
Flight distance : 114915 ft
United States
Offline

PascalG Posted at 2017-8-18 09:07
I see that now in the csv. Thanks

Initially I thought it was a lost connection due to interference but I m now indeed wondering if it just didn't shut down and fell. Didn't find  it though even though I went right to the last know position.

The map shows at the point of disconnection there appears to be the remains of a bridge. It would be ironic  (given the name of the island) if there were hidden metal structures at that position.
2017-8-18
Use props
PascalG
lvl.4
Flight distance : 274327 ft
United States
Offline

Indeed name is ironic but I ve been at that spot, it s just a bunch of wooden pilings. No metal
2017-8-18
Use props
DJI Susan
Administrator

Offline

PascalG Posted at 2017-8-18 05:32
Susan, no I haven't yet. will do today.

here is the flight log from the app  http://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/8WML4QU738FB3FEYO53P/#

Noted with thanks! Please PM me your case number once you got it, I'd like to check the exact status. Thanks in advance.
2017-8-19
Use props
PascalG
lvl.4
Flight distance : 274327 ft
United States
Offline

I PM'd your u the number yesterday, it's  695309.

Thanks !
2017-8-19
Use props
Bradders
Second Officer
Flight distance : 862283 ft
United Kingdom
Offline

What that using OTG Cable like this http://amzn.to/2xdEEnI
2017-8-19
Use props
PascalG
lvl.4
Flight distance : 274327 ft
United States
Offline

I guess the above wasn't a case number. Just got one by email

CAS-923424-R2B0D0
2017-8-23
Use props
DJI Susan
Administrator

Offline

PascalG Posted at 2017-8-23 11:03
I guess the above wasn't a case number. Just got one by email

CAS-923424-R2B0D0

Well received, I have checked the case status and the data analysis has been submitted. We will keep followed up for you. Our colleagues will contact you as soon as there is any update.
2017-8-23
Use props
PascalG
lvl.4
Flight distance : 274327 ft
United States
Offline

Well, dji is offering a 30% coupon on a new spark... I guess it's better than nothing since I couldn't retrieve the drone.  That said, the explanation leaves a lot to be desired.
---
result is as follows:

1. The aircraft worked in GPS mode, and responded to pilot's control well;
2. The pilot was pushing throttle stick upward(97%), then at flight time 02:38, H=81 m, D=579.2 m, the flight record ended;
3. The home point : 24.2615063 -76.5133729; the last point: 24.2657238 -76.5167435.

With the record ended without any sign of abnormality, we could not verify what happened afterwards.
----
Sure it worked well until it basically shut down for no reason whatsoever... and thank you for stating the obvious  about the record ending without sign of abnormality. That's obviously what's goign to happen when the drone stops transmitting!!

A little frustrated, I guess I have no choice but to accept and hope the next one will not be defective.  
2017-8-28
Use props
Advanced
You need to log in before you can reply Login | Register now

Credit Rules