Please select Into the mobile phone version | Continue to access the computer ver.
How to lose your Spark
1576 12 2017-9-21
Uploading and Loding Picture ...(0/1)
o(^-^)o
Hotwire
lvl.2
Flight distance : 10719 ft
Australia
Offline

This is not a complaint but it is something to note.
I lost my Spark after only 2 weeks and it was very upseting. It took really great images and for the short time I had it, the pics were epic.

The thing is, for the same reason the Spark is so very portable it is also easy to lose. It goes out of visual range fast. But if you just wanted a GoPro on a pole you wouldn't spend $1000AUD. It's also very quiet, which is great as it doesn't alarm people that you actually using a drone. The idea that you're using drone can sometimes get people upset, even if they're at no risk from this tiny thing.

When you're filming you usually watch the screen, to see what it is that your taking. If the Spark is out of sight you probably don't know exactly where it is, even if you can see to the camera. It's easy to get in the immersed in the photography and forget the battery life is only 10 minutes or a bit more. If the drone is higher than about 50 m it's very hard to see, so even when you hit return launch you may not be able to see it or hear it. The app will say "returning to home" and then "landing". You still may not be able to see it or hear it depending on the level of background noise. If this was a Mavic or a Phantom you'd be able to see it and most likely, hear it.

As I have learned the hard way, when using Spark return-to-home it needs to be observed with instruments. Line of sight really doesn't work here at all. My Spark was flying at 88 m, I couldn't hear it or see it. But I thought I was flying at 8 m and expected to be able to see the craft returning. If you assume anything about the aircraft's position or orientation and try to avoid water, trees or anything else, you can adversly effect the return to home. For the Spark, return-to-home is a trust thing. Also, make sure your Spark has a GPS lock before you launch.

In my case I directed the aircraft 2 m on the wet side of the shorebreak. It stopped the expected Half metre from the landing surface and then the screen was blacked out with the slider. This so adds pain to trauma, as you can't see the aircraft line of sight and you have no vision from the camera. This is why I have posted this thread under software issue.

How use the map and not the camera, this situation would never have occurred. I have my experience can be of benefit to others.

  • Last points: I am not a beginner but I am a beginner with the DJI Spark. If you're unfamiliar with the spark use beginner mode to get use to its limitations.
  • DJI, please put the slider on a clear panel, so you can see the camera image even when landing.

2017-9-21
Use props
DJI Elektra
Administrator
Hong Kong
Offline

Hotwire, I know you are upset about the accident and we are willing to help you find out the reason. Did you contact our support and start a case? I would recommend you export the flight data and let us analyze the situation. Here is the link: http://www.dji.com/support.
2017-9-21
Use props
Hotwire
lvl.2
Flight distance : 10719 ft
Australia
Offline

Hi Elektra
Didn't mean this post to be a complain but helpful to others and a request to make changes to the App. My previous imaging drones have been large and easy to see from almost any reasonable distance  but Spark is a bit different. It also has a very short flight time and not much time to make decisions. This was mostly what I wanted to say.

I am not a newcomer. I fly FPV miniquads a lot and have been building and flying multirotors for 4 + years. For years before that, I designed, make and sold RC model kits, manufactured by CNC. DJI Spark is a much more convenient way to take aerial photos, so it's a first RTF for me.

I have put in a claim. Turns out after applying for a replacement with Care Refresh, the App had another bug. It registered me for the UK, even though the UK was not mentioned and currency was in AUD. The reason may have been linked to the QR code not working but why the UK?  None the less, this and the black landing-slider-screen, were unforeseen issues in the App that  I was trying to point out. No-one could reasonably expect an App this complicated to be perfect  but I'm sure these can be fixed. The flight data really doesn't tell the story because what is visible and whats recorded are different. However I have posted all the data from my experience.

Learning to use the App is also difficult because you need to be flying to even see most of the flight features. A simulator was listed but didn't appear to work, so I can't be sure that would help. Flying and investigating or remembering the software features is a bit like writing with both hands at once. it's all a bit rushed. You can also go through a heap of batteries just setting up the Spark. In comparision, you can spend hours setting up Betaflight on a miniquad because the USB is powering everything.

I hope this is helpful.

Cheers.
2017-9-26
Use props
DJI Elektra
Administrator
Hong Kong
Offline

Hotwire Posted at 2017-9-26 00:43
Hi Elektra
Didn't mean this post to be a complain but helpful to others and a request to make changes to the App. My previous imaging drones have been large and easy to see from almost any reasonable distance  but Spark is a bit different. It also has a very short flight time and not much time to make decisions. This was mostly what I wanted to say.

Hotwire, thanks for you suggestion. I would reflect those problem and give advice to the designated department. Any question, feel free to talk.
2017-9-26
Use props
Sassafras4me
lvl.2
United States
Offline

Return to home is something that sounds like a "safe idea", but at best is a crap shoot. There is conflicting information in the manual(s) on the expected RTH behavior, and considering the riskiness of initiating it, I kind of question the prominence of the main app screen. In my opinion, unless you are dead on low on battery, I would never casually initiate RTH again – you would be way better served trying to land manually. I also am WAY more cautious about choosing my launch points, making sure there is a large margin of error with no wires or trees, and there is a clear swath of land around in case I get so desperate to use it.
2017-9-26
Use props
Sparky_17
Captain
Flight distance : 62349 ft
Canada
Offline

HI and thanks for sharing your experience.  Kloo Gee has put together a great video (youtube) on the RTH function and does a great job at explaining it.  Might be something you can watch, I have and it makes more sense to me now on how RTH works.
2017-9-26
Use props
Charles Adams
Second Officer
Flight distance : 294528 ft
United States
Offline

Sparky_17 Posted at 2017-9-26 06:18
HI and thanks for sharing your experience.  Kloo Gee has put together a great video (youtube) on the RTH function and does a great job at explaining it.  Might be something you can watch, I have and it makes more sense to me now on how RTH works.

You beat me to the punch (to advertise Kloo Gee's fine work), but I'll add the link

2017-9-26
Use props
Sparky_17
Captain
Flight distance : 62349 ft
Canada
Offline

Charles Adams Posted at 2017-9-26 08:19
You beat me to the punch (to advertise Kloo Gee's fine work), but I'll add the link

https://youtu.be/ghRZNUbV0s4

great minds think alike .. LOL

Thanks for posting the link.  I'm at work and block youtube so couldn't get the link.
2017-9-26
Use props
Hotwire
lvl.2
Flight distance : 10719 ft
Australia
Offline

Thanks for the video. I have plenty of experience in this area as I have been building my own large UAVs for some years (never lost one). I agree it is sensible to direct lands yourself , if you can see the aircraft but if you can't then some trust is involved. If the aircraft had a good GPS lock at takeoff you should be able to trust the instruments however telemetry is not the aircraft. So what you see on the App is not necessarily the truth. This is the dilemma,  a few days before I downed my Spark, this Spark lost connection and went to RTH failsafe , twice.

If you cannot see your UAV, the instruments are all you have but you can't watch the sky and the App at the same time. My suggestion is, if you can't see that UAV after a few seconds of RTH then you need to switch the app to the navigation view. This way, you have some idea where the aircraft thinks it is. This will also give you some idea where to look. Once the aircraft's interview I would suggest switching off the RTH and landing it yourself. There isn't much time to think about this when you're flying, so it probably pays to practice this one a couple of times.

With GPS lock at takeoff, I have never had of failure to RTH.

I hope that my mistake Will be helpful to others.
Cheers.
2017-9-27
Use props
Hotwire
lvl.2
Flight distance : 10719 ft
Australia
Offline

So after many firmware updates and 3 App updates Spark is usable without the looseable factor. Even yesterday the APP update had a bug (didn't maintain controller connection info, which still needs work because the App doesn't contain a list of controllers its been connected to) but today the APP was again upgraded and the bug, thank someone at DJI, was gone.

I would be happy to beta test for you, DJI. Just send me the gear and I will give you back your stuff and a to-do list!
I'm sure that won't happen but that's my offer.
2018-1-25
Use props
S.J
Captain
Flight distance : 322454 ft
India
Offline

Hotwire Posted at 2018-1-25 18:15
So after many firmware updates and 3 App updates Spark is usable without the looseable factor. Even yesterday the APP update had a bug (didn't maintain controller connection info, which still needs work because the App doesn't contain a list of controllers its been connected to) but today the APP was again upgraded and the bug, thank someone at DJI, was gone.

I would be happy to beta test for you, DJI. Just send me the gear and I will give you back your stuff and a to-do list!

Before you fly any other drones, you must practice first using the DJI SPARK.  This will give us the  fundamental training required to fly any other high powered drones.
The knowledge we get from flying the SPARK with all its shortcomings, flight controller information  and good photography will define our ability to fly other branded drones.
2018-1-25
Use props
Rustic17
Captain
Flight distance : 1217336 ft
United States
Offline

I think the idea of once losing sight (which can happen if you are checking battery level, wifi signal strength, messages, etc) and going to map mode is an excellent technique.  You can immediately turn the aircraft symbol to point to home and get it heading back your way.  A quick check of altitude and distance can verify if you're safe and how long to expect the return flight.  Then you can go back to camera mode and see if anything looks familiar.
2018-1-25
Use props
Hotwire
lvl.2
Flight distance : 10719 ft
Australia
Offline

The other thing to be weary of is screen visibility. Its usually easier to see battery and elevation information in map mode.
Because I mostly fly mini-quads I usually don't think about maps etc. But maps screen is very much easier the view in sun glare.
2018-1-29
Use props
Advanced
You need to log in before you can reply Login | Register now

Credit Rules