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And it happened! My Spark flew away!
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4810 71 2017-12-7
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Jos A
Captain
Flight distance : 73209 ft
Netherlands
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Garmin has only a passive GPS and a bluetooth, i don't think so
2017-12-12
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Bright Spark
First Officer
Flight distance : 22129 ft
United Kingdom
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I've always thought bluetooth was guaranteed to wreck things.
2017-12-12
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choban
First Officer
Flight distance : 30784 ft
Germany
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A bit offtopic. Just received this small fireproof label (required in Germany) which I ordered before my Spark flew away. The company is called Laseric (laseric.de) in case someone is interested in getting something similar.




It's been 7 days already. Hope to hear some "good news" (DJI Elektra's words) soon!!
2017-12-14
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Wachtberger
Captain
Flight distance : 261509 ft
Germany
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choban Posted at 2017-12-14 02:51
A bit offtopic. Just received this small fireproof label (required in Germany) which I ordered before my Spark flew away. The company is called Laseric (laseric.de) in case someone is interested in getting something similar.

I have the same in red from the same company. Afterwards I found out that you can also get them significantly cheaper. But I am happy with mine. And I cross my fingers that you will soon receive the "good news".
2017-12-14
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choban
First Officer
Flight distance : 30784 ft
Germany
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Wachtberger Posted at 2017-12-14 02:56
I have the same in red from the same company. Afterwards I found out that you can also get them significantly cheaper. But I am happy with mine. And I cross my fingers that you will soon receive the "good news".

Really? I was trying to find them cheaper, but almost all offers were at around 10 EUR. It's too late now anyway .
2017-12-14
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Wachtberger
Captain
Flight distance : 261509 ft
Germany
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choban Posted at 2017-12-14 03:02
Really? I was trying to find them cheaper, but almost all offers were at around 10 EUR. It's too late now anyway .

I have paid 12,89 including shipment. Later I found some around 5 plus shipment costs but can't say of course if the quality is the same.
2017-12-14
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choban
First Officer
Flight distance : 30784 ft
Germany
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It's been 9 days already and no news from DJI yet. I'm flying off to New Zealand on Wednesday and it's highly unlikely this will be resolved by then, unfortunately.

That's why I just pulled the trigger and after days of thinking about it, I bought another Spark (my wife is going to kill me, but this is something that I just had to do). This means that we'll have to skip some additional activities there to offset this expense, but what can you do...priorities .

I still hope to hear some good news from DJI soon.
2017-12-16
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Wachtberger
Captain
Flight distance : 261509 ft
Germany
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choban Posted at 2017-12-16 11:01
It's been 9 days already and no news from DJI yet. I'm flying off to New Zealand on Wednesday and it's highly unlikely this will be resolved by then, unfortunately.

That's why I just pulled the trigger and after days of thinking about it, I bought another Spark (my wife is going to kill me, but this is something that I just had to do). This means that we'll have to skip some additional activities there to offset this expense, but what can you do...priorities .

A man has to do what he has to do I wish you a great time over there in summer weather and please bring back many great pictures and videos! And you can always sell one of the spare Sparks.
2017-12-16
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choban
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Flight distance : 30784 ft
Germany
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Wachtberger Posted at 2017-12-16 13:49
A man has to do what he has to do  I wish you a great time over there in summer weather and please bring back many great pictures and videos! And you can always sell one of the spare Sparks.

Exactly!!

And thank you! Really looking forward to this trip. I am sure there will be something worth sharing when I return.
2017-12-16
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hallmark007
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Flight distance : 9812789 ft
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choban Posted at 2017-12-16 11:01
It's been 9 days already and no news from DJI yet. I'm flying off to New Zealand on Wednesday and it's highly unlikely this will be resolved by then, unfortunately.

That's why I just pulled the trigger and after days of thinking about it, I bought another Spark (my wife is going to kill me, but this is something that I just had to do). This means that we'll have to skip some additional activities there to offset this expense, but what can you do...priorities .

Don’t tell the wife, you won’t enjoy the trip. I never divulge what my toys cost to my wife, although I do worry if I die she will sell them for the price I told her I bought them. Lol. Enjoy the holiday.
2017-12-16
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choban
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Flight distance : 30784 ft
Germany
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-12-16 14:22
Don’t tell the wife, you won’t enjoy the trip. I never divulge what my toys cost to my wife, although I do worry if I die she will sell them for the price I told her I bought them. Lol. Enjoy the holiday.

Hahaha, good one!! It would be great if all shops had something like this: https://i.redd.it/idicd8ogqzhz.jpg
2017-12-16
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hallmark007
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choban Posted at 2017-12-16 14:37
Hahaha, good one!! It would be great if all shops had something like this: https://i.redd.it/idicd8ogqzhz.jpg

The simple ideas are the best. Hehe
2017-12-16
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S.J
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Flight distance : 322454 ft
Kuwait
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choban Posted at 2017-12-7 08:43
Thank you for your help. When it got disconnected I've seen it drifting further away. I went to the last known coordinates and started my search from there in direction of where it drifted away, but no luck.

I took off from a dirt (small rocks) path and that building was approximately 10 meters away. That's still too close?

next time you fly a spark, dont forget to manually update the home point RTH .
This is the most imporyant parameter in the event of a catastrophe
2017-12-17
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choban
First Officer
Flight distance : 30784 ft
Germany
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S.J Posted at 2017-12-17 02:33
next time you fly a spark, dont forget to manually update the home point RTH .
This is the most imporyant parameter in the event of a catastrophe

Thank you for your suggestion. I did set the RTH point on my last flight, but that really doesn't help if drone switches to ATTI mode later on, i.e. if your drone doesn't know how to get back due to compass and other errors. Your only chance to save it is to fly back manually.

I was unfortunate that at the moment of compass failure my Spark was 280 m away and I had almost non-existent video transmission. As I mentioned before in this thread, I was flying blind, but somehow I did manage to get it closer (at 130 m away) and then for some reason it got disconnected and I was just watching it fly away...

So, RTH will not help you if your drone decides to switch to ATTI mode for any reason, unfortunately...
2017-12-17
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DJI Thor
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Flight distance : 13602 ft
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choban Posted at 2017-12-16 11:01
It's been 9 days already and no news from DJI yet. I'm flying off to New Zealand on Wednesday and it's highly unlikely this will be resolved by then, unfortunately.

That's why I just pulled the trigger and after days of thinking about it, I bought another Spark (my wife is going to kill me, but this is something that I just had to do). This means that we'll have to skip some additional activities there to offset this expense, but what can you do...priorities .

Hi Choban, I checked the case status, the result has been come out. Have you received the feedback on the email? Please check, and let me know if you haven't received the analysis result. Thank you so much.
2017-12-18
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choban
First Officer
Flight distance : 30784 ft
Germany
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DJI Thor Posted at 2017-12-18 00:37
Hi Choban, I checked the case status, the result has been come out. Have you received the feedback on the email? Please check, and let me know if you haven't received the analysis result. Thank you so much.

Hi DJI Thor, thank you so much for letting me know. I haven't received any messages yet. So excited now, but on the other hand, I don't want to have my hopes too high up.
2017-12-18
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DJI Thor
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choban Posted at 2017-12-18 00:51
Hi DJI Thor, thank you so much for letting me know. I haven't received any messages yet. So excited now, but on the other hand, I don't want to have my hopes too high up.

I will inform the local team to contact you asap. Thank you for waiting.
2017-12-18
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DJI Thor
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Flight distance : 13602 ft
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choban Posted at 2017-12-18 00:51
Hi DJI Thor, thank you so much for letting me know. I haven't received any messages yet. So excited now, but on the other hand, I don't want to have my hopes too high up.

Hi there, an update, I checked the email again. It seems the related had informed you the result on the last Thursday. Have you got the email? Please check again. And I had forwarded to the local team to take care of the case. Thank you for your patience.
2017-12-18
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choban
First Officer
Flight distance : 30784 ft
Germany
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DJI Thor Posted at 2017-12-18 02:38
Hi there, an update, I checked the email again. It seems the related had informed you the result on the last Thursday. Have you got the email? Please check again. And I had forwarded to the local team to take care of the case. Thank you for your patience.

Hi DJI Thor, I checked again and couldn't find any emails. I also checked my spam folder and still nothing. I was refreshing my email client every few minutes for last 10 days expecting an email from DJI and I would be really surprised that I actually managed to miss it.

The last email I received was on Dec 8 where I was informed that my case was forwarded to your engineers for further investigation.
2017-12-18
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S.J
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Kuwait
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choban Posted at 2017-12-17 02:53
Thank you for your suggestion. I did set the RTH point on my last flight, but that really doesn't help if drone switches to ATTI mode later on, i.e. if your drone doesn't know how to get back due to compass and other errors. Your only chance to save it is to fly back manually.

I was unfortunate that at the moment of compass failure my Spark was 280 m away and I had almost non-existent video transmission. As I mentioned before in this thread, I was flying blind, but somehow I did manage to get it closer (at 130 m away) and then for some reason it got disconnected and I was just watching it fly away...

If compass error is your case, then i think was you were flying very low may be within 50 meters altitude.  You must set the home point and fly at a minimum height of 80 meters or even more to safe guard the SPARK flight from any issues related to compass or GPS or other interference.

The higher you fly ( not distance ) , the safer and more precise will be your SPARK RTH mode.
2017-12-18
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choban
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Flight distance : 30784 ft
Germany
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S.J Posted at 2017-12-18 03:04
If compass error is your case, then i think was you were flying very low may be within 50 meters altitude.  You must set the home point and fly at a minimum height of 80 meters or even more to safe guard the SPARK flight from any issues related to compass or GPS or other interference.

The higher you fly ( not distance ) , the safer and more precise will be your SPARK RTH mode.

Thank you S.J. for your input. My drone was at 120 m of altitude when this happened. All details can be found in my first post here. It's probably that I picked some interference somewhere else, but who knows for sure. Maybe DJI will tell me more when I receive an email from them...
2017-12-18
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choban
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Flight distance : 30784 ft
Germany
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DJI Thor Posted at 2017-12-18 02:38
Hi there, an update, I checked the email again. It seems the related had informed you the result on the last Thursday. Have you got the email? Please check again. And I had forwarded to the local team to take care of the case. Thank you for your patience.

Just received an email from DJI saying that my case has been escalated with management. Hm...sounds serious. Hope to hear their final verdict soon...
2017-12-18
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DJI Thor
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Flight distance : 13602 ft
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choban Posted at 2017-12-18 04:19
Just received an email from DJI saying that my case has been escalated with management. Hm...sounds serious. Hope to hear their final verdict soon...

No worries. It means the local team will help to take care of it. Hope all things will be resolved shortly.
2017-12-18
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Bashy
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Flight distance : 2354357 ft
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The suspense is killing me..... hope you get a favourable outcome
2017-12-19
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choban
First Officer
Flight distance : 30784 ft
Germany
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Bashy Posted at 2017-12-19 00:20
The suspense is killing me..... hope you get a favourable outcome

Haha, tell me about it! And thank you, I hope the same. Even though at this point I just want to be done with it. For last two weeks it was tough to concentrate on anything else.

btw. for some reason I got logged out from my account and I wasn't able to log back in...but it seems that support managed to fix this. No explanation was given. Maybe they were just tired of me repeating same stuff all over again .
2017-12-19
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choban
First Officer
Flight distance : 30784 ft
Singapore
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Just to give you a final update on this case. I was locked out of my account again for a few days, but it seems that all is good now.

So, I received good news indeed!! They sent me a new Spark on Thursday!

I guess this means they are admitting that there are issues with Sparks and these compass errors without any prior warnings. I know there are some workarounds to minimize any chances of this happening again, but then again it feels like you are not able to use it to it's advertised capabilities.

Still, I like this little drone so much and I hope most of these issues will be fixed with new firmware versions.

I also wanted to add that I didn't receive any updated about my case in two business days (as they promised) after DJI Thor intervened. I contacted them after the deadline and received this answer:
"Hello, we have shipped you an new spark."

That was it!

Thank you all for your valuable insights and really good tips and recommendations. I learned a lot and I really hope this will never happen again.
2017-12-22
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hallmark007
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choban Posted at 2017-12-22 19:32
Just to give you a final update on this case. I was locked out of my account again for a few days, but it seems that all is good now.

So, I received good news indeed!! They sent me a new Spark on Thursday!

Great job, good luck Choban , Happy Christmas to you and all your family.
2017-12-22
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Kardiuz
lvl.3
Flight distance : 8438 ft
Sweden
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choban Posted at 2017-12-22 19:32
Just to give you a final update on this case. I was locked out of my account again for a few days, but it seems that all is good now.

So, I received good news indeed!! They sent me a new Spark on Thursday!

Good to hear Choban! Actually DJI decided to send a new Spark also to me. It is on the way home now.
2017-12-22
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m1n1s
Second Officer
Flight distance : 319915 ft
United Kingdom
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good news that DJI are starting to get more customer orientated , hope you guys enjoy your replacement sparks
2017-12-23
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Wachtberger
Captain
Flight distance : 261509 ft
Germany
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Great news, I am happy to read that!
2017-12-23
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choban
First Officer
Flight distance : 30784 ft
Singapore
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Thank you guys! Happy holidays to all of you.

@Kardiuz I'm glad you're getting a new Spark as well. Our cases were really similar.

Let's just hope this won't happen again.
2017-12-23
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warrenski
Second Officer
South Africa
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Glad to see that you're getting a new drone. My Spark flew away today, seems quite similar to your case. Unfortunately there was no chance of recovery - it crashed into the sea. ;(
2017-12-23
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