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Spark's issue...Your fault's or DJI's
2540 31 2017-8-18
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Phuong Do
Second Officer
Flight distance : 29800 ft
Vietnam
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Hi guys,
I am not blaming anyone here. Of course there are cases that are not pilot's fault, but if you give some time to read the Disclaimer and Guidelines document, you will see that maybe you have made the mistake without knowing it...I myself did actually make a few.
Again, those information is for reference, not to blame the fault to anyone. If you think they are informative, note them down. If you think Spark issue is the product itself, walk away and don't have to explain in this thread because I am not working for DJI.


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2017-8-18
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Phuong Do
Second Officer
Flight distance : 29800 ft
Vietnam
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Adding a few more
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2017-8-18
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Kyokushin
Captain
Flight distance : 296378 ft
Poland
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I belive the falling sparks are hardware defect, but flyaways and compass issues are caused by compass calibrations with bad conditions.
2017-8-19
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fans7666527f
lvl.2
Luxembourg
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13 is against European law according to which in case of malfunction within 6 months upon purchase it is the seller who has to prove that the item was NOT defective. DJI requires that the buyer proves that the item WAS defective.
2017-8-19
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hallmark007
Captain
Flight distance : 8434554 ft
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Ireland
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fans7666527f Posted at 2017-8-19 01:14
13 is against European law according to which in case of malfunction within 6 months upon purchase it is the seller who has to prove that the item was NOT defective. DJI requires that the buyer proves that the item WAS defective.

I understand where your coming from, there were many that seemed to have exact same problems, where they just seemed to fall.
But dji did issue notice to those to say they couldn't find fault with aircraft, this is the way they seem to cover themselves, and coupled with flying in unsuitable environments decided not to offer warranty, so they seem to be applying very strict criteria on those who were unlucky not to recover their aircraft.
It's a shame because in the scheme of things it didn't seem there were to many that lost their aircraft.
2017-8-19
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hallmark007
Captain
Flight distance : 8434554 ft
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Ireland
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Good job, phuong Do, many don't seem to read this advice, but all should be aware of all above before flying, and I for one believe if they were we would see less people getting into trouble.
2017-8-19
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PascalG
lvl.4
Flight distance : 274327 ft
United States
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This is a good reminder and there are certainly some valid warnings in there. Some though are pretty much CYA material (cover your behind for those not familiar with the tragic  out of controls legalese epidemic spreading around the world)

For instance if a warning to maintain visual line of sight at all times warrants the use of all caps, then why the heck are they making drones capable of flying 20 times or more beyond VLOS?

But over all, yes some good reminders.
2017-8-19
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HomePoint
First Officer
Flight distance : 776007 ft
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United Kingdom
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Interesting, and good for all to read at the least the highlighted points by the OP.
The one that sticks out to me is "only use Return to Home in emergency cases".  I very rarely use it, unless I am feeling lazy.
2017-8-19
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eylneb
Second Officer
Flight distance : 122477 ft
Malaysia
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great "writeup"
2017-8-19
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ix3lplix
lvl.3
Flight distance : 145846 ft
United States
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Those are all great, but no one reads them. Have you read the safety guidelines for your microwave? What about your lawnmower or your power drill? Probably not.

Don't get me wrong, I love my spark and it has not let me down yet (knock on wood), but if your market your product as "The Easy And Fun Camera Drone For Everyone" (quote directly from DJI), it needs to be dummy proof.

The spark is an amazing RC aircraft that at a hobby-level is one of the most carefree and fun things to fly. But as a "drone for everyone", it has some room for improvement.
2017-8-19
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HomePoint
First Officer
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ix3lplix Posted at 2017-8-19 07:48
Those are all great, but no one reads them. Have you read the safety guidelines for your microwave? What about your lawnmower or your power drill? Probably not.

Don't get me wrong, I love my spark and it has not let me down yet (knock on wood), but if your market your product as "The Easy And Fun Camera Drone For Everyone" (quote directly from DJI), it needs to be dummy proof.

Most of us wouldn't have purchased it if it had been a simple, foolproof, dronie.  DJI did the right thing trying to make it interesting for all people, even us experienced flyers.
2017-8-19
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DJI Susan
Administrator

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A good post. Thanks for sharing with us. Hopefully more beginners could read this timely.
2017-8-27
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Indi91
lvl.3
Flight distance : 103973 ft
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Great job pointing these out! I do read them myself, but rereading them here is good to refresh.
2017-8-28
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OneMatt
lvl.4
Flight distance : 155984 ft
Canada
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Anyone else see a contradiction with Point 9, for Vision Position System? It says it works from 0.3-30M in the first part, then says it wont work above 8m in the second part.....??
2017-8-28
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Montfrooij
Captain
Flight distance : 2399075 ft
Netherlands
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Thanks for the reminder!
2017-8-28
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Charles Adams
First Officer
Flight distance : 3821312 ft
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United States
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DJI Susan Posted at 2017-8-27 23:06
A good post. Thanks for sharing with us. Hopefully more beginners could read this timely.

Hi DJI Susan, I'm hoping you can clear up something for me.

Page 12 of the manual says to "Please be vigilant when operating the spark in the following situations:" and then lists one of the situations as "Flying over water or transparent surfaces".

There is also this portion that is pasted above which says "DO NOT fly closely above reflective surfaces such as water or snow".

Both those indicate to me that flying over water is an acceptable use case, just to be cautious and to not fly too closely.

But there's page 46 of the manual, which in part 3 of the "Flight Environment Requirements" says To "Avoid obstacles, crowds, high voltage power lines, trees, and bodies of water."

Can you (DJI Susan) help me resolve these statements?  Page 46 seems to conflict with other documentation from DJI.
2017-8-28
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Sparky_17
Captain
Flight distance : 62349 ft
Canada
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Thanks for posting this, i for one have had no issues with my spark as i'm cautious and do fly beyond me expertise.  Baby Steps is what everyone here should be doing unless you've done this before.  Maybe there are issues with some of the Sparks but i don't think its a  huge number of owners.  Thanks again.
2017-8-28
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Sparky_17
Captain
Flight distance : 62349 ft
Canada
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Charles Adams Posted at 2017-8-28 12:25
Hi DJI Susan, I'm hoping you can clear up something for me.

Page 12 of the manual says to "Please be vigilant when operating the spark in the following situations:" and then lists one of the situations as "Flying over water or transparent surfaces".

I'd like to see the answer to that one .. thanks for asking for clarification
2017-8-28
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OneMatt
lvl.4
Flight distance : 155984 ft
Canada
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Charles Adams Posted at 2017-8-28 12:25
Hi DJI Susan, I'm hoping you can clear up something for me.

Page 12 of the manual says to "Please be vigilant when operating the spark in the following situations:" and then lists one of the situations as "Flying over water or transparent surfaces".

As I recall from my P3A, the issue has to do with the VPS and how it reacts to the reflections.

Spark VPS uses cameras to determine position and height. When a surface such as water is wavy, the reflections will confuse the position camera with motion, so it won't know how to hold a position. Similar, the waves and reflected light may create the illusion of gaining or losing altitude, causing it to potentially dunk into the water.

When a surface is transparent, it cannot see that surface to adequately determine height, and may get confused. Example: perfectly flat water on a pool, it may see through the water and decide the bottom of the pool is the ground, leading to splashdown.

Same reason why they advise against flying over snowy surfaces, as they lack contrast for the VPS to determine anything.

If you are flying above whatever the VPS max altitude is (8M? 30M?) the Spark uses GPS and barometer for position and altitude. Those sensors alone however are not very precise, so if you are 2M above the water, and the VPS is confused enough to revert to GPS/Baro, you may have a crash.
2017-8-28
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Charles Adams
First Officer
Flight distance : 3821312 ft
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OneMatt Posted at 2017-8-28 12:44
As I recall from my P3A, the issue has to do with the VPS and how it reacts to the reflections.

Spark VPS uses cameras to determine position and height. When a surface such as water is wavy, the reflections will confuse the position camera with motion, so it won't know how to hold a position. Similar, the waves and reflected light may create the illusion of gaining or losing altitude, causing it to potentially dunk into the water.

And that does explain the manual's instructions "DO NOT fly closely above reflective surfaces such as water or snow".

But that doesn't resolve the discrepancy with page 46, which seems to politely say "don't fly over water period".  Avoid.  Cease.  Desist.  Prevent.
2017-8-28
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koko_
lvl.2
Norway
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I just want to qualify rule #2 ("only calibrate if prompted"): following this rule I never re-calibrated sparks compass, but encountered increasingly compass errors during flight (especially in sports mode) and a yaw offset at straight flying between track and cameras view direction. Although the DJI Go app never told me to recalibrate I entered the sensors menu and encountered high interference values (between 300 and 500). I just executed the compass calibration, the interference value went down to <50, now yaw offset and no compass errors anymore even in sports mode at 50km/h.
2017-8-28
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lafoto
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1402680 ft
Portugal
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Only shoot video in P mode?!? why?
video quality or safety!!!!
2017-8-28
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hallmark007
Captain
Flight distance : 8434554 ft
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lafoto Posted at 2017-8-28 14:02
Only shoot video in P mode?!? why?
video quality or safety!!!!

To insure good quality video. No other reason.
2017-8-28
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PascalG
lvl.4
Flight distance : 274327 ft
United States
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I can tell you I followed every single guideline and yet my spark vanished. Did it fly away or just came crashing down, I have no idea.

DJI obviously knows there is a problem with the spark, otherwise they woudl not have taken the fairly rare action to mandate firmware update by grounding all sparks. Yet, after reviewing th flight records I submitted all they see offering is 30% off a new one. Better than nothing I guess but not enough since they ve basically admitted to a deck in the spark.

I just wish I could find another drone with decent range.. sadly it seems that dji is the only game in town if you want to fly a mile or two away for less than $1500.
2017-8-28
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lafoto
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1402680 ft
Portugal
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-8-28 14:29
To insure good quality video. No other reason.

But you can get good quality video in sport mode going in a strait line.

Going backwards the props never get in the way...

2017-8-28
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LeeWireless
Second Officer
United States
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lafoto Posted at 2017-8-28 16:21
But you can get good quality video in sport mode going in a strait line.

Going backwards the props never get in the way...

Cool video and music....
2017-8-28
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hallmark007
Captain
Flight distance : 8434554 ft
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lafoto Posted at 2017-8-28 16:21
But you can get good quality video in sport mode going in a strait line.

Going backwards the props never get in the way...

Nice video, yes you sure can, but I'm not so sure travelling at 50kph it would be so good.
2017-8-28
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DJI Susan
Administrator

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Charles Adams Posted at 2017-8-28 12:25
Hi DJI Susan, I'm hoping you can clear up something for me.

Page 12 of the manual says to "Please be vigilant when operating the spark in the following situations:" and then lists one of the situations as "Flying over water or transparent surfaces".

As OneMatt mentioned, we do not suggest to fly closely above water as the VPS will not work well. No need to over-interpret.
2017-8-31
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DJI Susan
Administrator

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koko_ Posted at 2017-8-28 13:07
I just want to qualify rule #2 ("only calibrate if prompted"): following this rule I never re-calibrated sparks compass, but encountered increasingly compass errors during flight (especially in sports mode) and a yaw offset at straight flying between track and cameras view direction. Although the DJI Go app never told me to recalibrate I entered the sensors menu and encountered high interference values (between 300 and 500). I just executed the compass calibration, the interference value went down to

I would recommend you to calibrate the compass every time, this is only for Spark.
2017-8-31
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DJI Susan
Administrator

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lafoto Posted at 2017-8-28 14:02
Only shoot video in P mode?!? why?
video quality or safety!!!!

Hallmark007 is correct. You will see the propellers shadow in Sport mode.
2017-9-1
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lafoto
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1402680 ft
Portugal
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DJI Susan Posted at 2017-9-1 00:05
Hallmark007 is correct. You will see the propellers shadow in Sport mode.
Correct if you are going forward!...
You don't have propellers shadows going backwards!... and it is a great image!...
I will post a video!...
2017-9-1
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agonzarn
lvl.3
Flight distance : 84993 ft
United States
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Great write up...only most people buy drones for scenic footage of one type or another, and generally don't fly in a wide open field with nothing metal, magnetic field etc around.  Good luck even finding such a setting.  I don't believe that drones falling from the sky and flying away without returning to the point you set has much to do with anything you mentioned.  I don't see as many horror stories from the other models or similar drones.  Of course the company is going to list everything they can to protect them from warranty and issues such as these.  Feel free to repost your recommendations after your drone takes off from the open field you're flying it in.  
2017-9-1
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