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New to Litchi - lost my drone :(
550 26 4-16 17:50
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tonyf85
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United States
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Hello,

I have been using my Spark with DJI 4 for about a year manually flying.  Today I decided to take a dip into the world of automated flying with waypoints. Sounded very cool.  I did some reading up on it and decided on installing Superpatcher 2.02 and purchased Litchi. Superpatcher installed without a hitch. I read through the guide for Litchi and figured I was ready to take the plunge. I installed the Litchi app on my Samsung Galaxy S8. I logged into the Litchi Hub online and created a simple mission with 3 way points; 2 about 100 meters away, and the 3rd back at my home. Default height for waypoints was 100 ft.  I had the finish action set to RTRH. I saved the mission in the hub then loaded it on my phone. I manually launched the drone to about 20 feet, then pressed the 'play' button in Litchi app on my phone to initiate the mission.

The drone raised to the default hieght of 100 ft, took off toward the 1st waypoint, and thats the LAST I SAW OF IT.  I went searching at its last known location according to the map, but never found it. I was very sad.

According to the map, it just went straight and kept going.  I don't know what I did wrong.  I had high hopes for this Litchi app, it seems really cool. I intend to invest in another Spark, but don't want to risk losing another one.  

I have so many questions...

Maybe someone can shed some light on what I did wrong in order to prevent this in the future.

Also, is there any way to look at logs to determine where the drone might have gone? I may go looking for it again tomorrow.

I thought this drone was smart enough to return to home if it was lost, lost connection, low battery, etc?



I have attached a pic of the map. It shows the waypoints and where the drone disappeared off radar.





map

map
4-16 17:50
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Ndroner
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Flight distance : 14206 ft
United Arab Emirates
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Sorry for your loss. Was about to purchase and install Litchi .  Now having second thoughts
4-17 00:53
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Oracle Miata
Captain
Flight distance : 2243632 ft
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United States
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I would suggest going to sparkpilots.  You’ll get your answer there.  
4-17 01:58
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tonyf85
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United States
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Oracle Miata Posted at 4-17 01:58
I would suggest going to sparkpilots.  You’ll get your answer there.

Thank you.
4-17 06:05
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GordonSA
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Flight distance : 108 ft
South Africa
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Sorry to hear of your loss. I had a similar problem when I used RTH and mine just shot up and then flew away. Fortunately I got it back by putting out a request on our neighbourhood Facebook groups.
4-18 04:59
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GordonSA
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Flight distance : 108 ft
South Africa
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GordonSA Posted at 4-18 04:59
Sorry to hear of your loss. I had a similar problem when I used RTH and mine just shot up and then flew away. Fortunately I got it back by putting out a request on our neighbourhood Facebook groups.

Now that I'm getting my confidence back, I was looking at Litchi as a way of improving the pathetic wi-fi range (Flymore package was no longer available when I got my Spark), but after reading your experience I'm not so sure.
Does anyone else have any positive stories to tell about using a Spark and Litchi?
4-18 05:06
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Haggi
Captain
Flight distance : 2470276 ft
Norway
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I've got 100+ missions with Litchi and Spark.
There is no reason to not trust Litchi in combo with latest fw and latest GO 4 app.

But you will have to prepare much more when doin missions than ordinary flights, especially autonomous missions.

Wind, height, vlos, litchi settings etc... have an escape plan.

If you check the mission here, OP never touched the sticks when the drone didn't do what it was supposed to do...maybe OP will confirm this?
I would have tried to call the bird back manually, even in atti.
Flying the Spark will never be failsafe.
After 585 Miles and 300+ flights with my Spark, it would be a big lie to claim it has never been in atti mode.

If you are a "new" pilot and need an advice, learn your GO 4 app, RC and Spark. Maybe do 50-100 flights.
Then you are ready for next level.. like 3.part software.
Try out mission at 200+ feet altitude. If everything work out, lower to desired level.
For my first missions, I always went at least 150 feet from/above any obstacles.
4-18 06:11
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S-e-ven
Captain
Flight distance : 5759259 ft
Thailand
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GordonSA Posted at 4-18 05:06
Now that I'm getting my confidence back, I was looking at Litchi as a way of improving the pathetic wi-fi range (Flymore package was no longer available when I got my Spark), but after reading your experience I'm not so sure.
Does anyone else have any positive stories to tell about using a Spark and Litchi?

You don't have a remote?
I use Litchi, no trouble till now, but:
Always with a remote.
And till now most likely also always in remote range (FCC all the time)

Have you checked the bay or a local Spark forum, if someone lost his bird and still has a remote for sale?
4-18 07:21
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tonyf85
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GordonSA Posted at 4-18 04:59
Sorry to hear of your loss. I had a similar problem when I used RTH and mine just shot up and then flew away. Fortunately I got it back by putting out a request on our neighbourhood Facebook groups.

I did that, still waiting for a reply... (fingers crossed)
4-18 08:47
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tonyf85
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S-e-ven Posted at 4-18 07:21
You don't have a remote?
I use Litchi, no trouble till now, but:
Always with a remote.


what does ' (FCC all the time)' mean exactly?
4-18 08:53
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tonyf85
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United States
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Haggi Posted at 4-18 06:11
I've got 100+ missions with Litchi and Spark.
There is no reason to not trust Litchi in combo with latest fw and latest GO 4 app.


As far as I know, I did not touch the joysticks.  Can I tell that from the log?
Question - if I did inadvertently touch a joystick, would that immediately stop the mission and put it in atti mode?
4-18 08:56
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tonyf85
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United States
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Haggi Posted at 4-18 06:11
I've got 100+ missions with Litchi and Spark.
There is no reason to not trust Litchi in combo with latest fw and latest GO 4 app.

I think my big mistake was flying in windy conditions. If it wasnt windy, it wouldnt have drifted away in atti mode. Next time, I will stand downwind from the mission!
Thx for the help.
4-18 09:09
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S-e-ven
Captain
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Thailand
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tonyf85 Posted at 4-18 08:53
what does ' (FCC all the time)' mean exactly?

That's just an info for people outside the US ;-)
So that they can take into account, that my Spark has the FCC range (with remote)
In this case it was meant to GordonSA from south africa, who seems not to have a remote at all.
Flying mission without a remote is assumingly always flying without being in charge, if something gets wrong!
I just wouldn't wanna do that! At least not in the beginning of learning, how to fly with litchi.
4-18 09:55
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S-e-ven
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Thailand
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tonyf85 Posted at 4-18 09:09
I think my big mistake was flying in windy conditions. If it wasnt windy, it wouldnt have drifted away in atti mode. Next time, I will stand downwind from the mission!
Thx for the help.

Atti? With 22 sats?

Have you uploaded the flight record from litchi to Airdata UAV and looked what really happened?

https://healthydrones.com/main?a=upload
4-18 10:00
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Haggi
Captain
Flight distance : 2470276 ft
Norway
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tonyf85 Posted at 4-18 08:56
As far as I know, I did not touch the joysticks.  Can I tell that from the log?
Question - if I did inadvertently touch a joystick, would that immediately stop the mission and put it in atti mode?

No, Atti mode will not happen if you interrupt the flight by moving your sticks.

Atti Mode is short for Attitude Mode, where the drone will maintain a specific altitude but not position. ... It also means that there is no auto-braking when you are flying, so the drone will continue moving in the direction you are flying until you push the stick in the opposite direction to brake.

Normally, ATTI mode occurs if the connection between the remote and aircraft is interrupted due to interferences and aside from that if you're lacking in GPS signal, you might encounter this error message as well.
The number of satellites are important, but also the quality of the gps signal.
Ensure that you're getting strong GPS signals and the firmware for your remote controller and the aircraft are up to date.

If your craft is in Atti, gain height and fly home by radar. This should be practiced often, regardless of Atti mode or not.
Aside from that make sure that IMU and compass are well calibrated...
4-18 11:47
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Haggi
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Flight distance : 2470276 ft
Norway
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In Litchi settings, these are important.
You need to have your Spark and app connected to check/read these as the values and activation is stored in your Spark.
(They're indicated as OFF in my screenshot, but in reality they are activated...)
--
Exit Waypoint Mission on Signal Loss: When enabled, waypoint missions will end when signal is lost. When that happens, the drone will then execute the failsafe procedure (which can be changed with the "Signal Lost Behavior for Manual Flying" setting).
--
Smart Return to Home: Enables/disables the Smart Return-To-Home (RTH) feature. When it is enabled, aircraft will request to go home when remaining battery is only enough for completing the go-home action.
20200418_220023-888x432.jpg
4-18 12:08
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tonyf85
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United States
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S-e-ven Posted at 4-18 10:00
Atti? With 22 sats?

Have you uploaded the flight record from litchi to Airdata UAV and looked what really happened?

I uploaded my log file at sparkpilots and someone was nice enough to load them into the flight analyzer below. Is this similar to Airdata UAV?

https://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/S8MLO2U7NKFBNREX8H3P/#

4-18 20:43
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tonyf85
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Haggi Posted at 4-18 11:47
No, Atti mode will not happen if you interrupt the flight by moving your sticks.

Atti Mode is short for Attitude Mode, where the drone will maintain a specific altitude but not position. ... It also means that there is no auto-braking when you are flying, so the drone will continue moving in the direction you are flying until you push the stick in the opposite direction to brake.

Heres the link to my flight log viewer...  Can you tell from this why it went into atti mode?

https://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/S8MLO2U7NKFBNREX8H3P/#
4-18 20:58
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tonyf85
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S-e-ven Posted at 4-18 10:00
Atti? With 22 sats?

Have you uploaded the flight record from litchi to Airdata UAV and looked what really happened?

I uploaded to Airdata. Heres the link:

https://app.airdata.com/share/lWBu
jh
4-18 21:29
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S-e-ven
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Thailand
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Looking at the flight record, I see at first ONE thing: You started a mission flight with just 26% battery!
You reached the 1 waypoint at 18%, so beyond the first "will go home in 10s" message, if NOT in mission mode.
It seems to me, your bird dropped to ATTI during turning in position for the first waypoint!
And you did not try to controll it with the remote!
Looking at the battery cell3 deviation, it reminds me on other "Atti" cases.
There I saw at almost every case, that cell deviation was shown. Just that was about 0.1 Volt.

Never the less, lookin at the distance, the wind did blow your bird to last known location, you would have to try to look for it behind Terry road, before townline court, somewhere in that tree area
Follow the direction of the yellow line, that should be around the distance till the battery auto landing would kick in and get it down so that it hits something .

Good luck
4-19 01:59
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tonyf85
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S-e-ven Posted at 4-19 01:59
Looking at the flight record, I see at first ONE thing: You started a mission flight with just 26% battery!
You reached the 1 waypoint at 18%, so beyond the first "will go home in 10s" message, if NOT in mission mode.
It seems to me, your bird dropped to ATTI during turning in position for the first waypoint!

Thank you for the info.  I will go search that wooded tree area. should be fun!  Do you know what might have caused it to drop to atti mode after waypoint 1?  A malfunction of some sort or compass error?
4-19 09:52
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Jakab Gipsz
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Hungary
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This is not Litchi's fault at all. This phenomenon is Spark's main weakness. The compass terminates service in the most unexpected situations (rounds) and switches to ATTI mode. In this case, GPS is not taken into account, so RTH is useless. The Spark just drifts while the battery lasts ... The DJI never answered anyone's question as to why this error is. I think of the poor quality compass module as a source of error. I do not recommend anyone to use waypoint flights with Spark for this reason! So Litchi is not the reason for this flight!
4-19 10:56
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S-e-ven
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Thailand
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tonyf85 Posted at 4-19 09:52
Thank you for the info.  I will go search that wooded tree area. should be fun!  Do you know what might have caused it to drop to atti mode after waypoint 1?  A malfunction of some sort or compass error?

My best guess:
During "lining up" for the first waypoint and direction, the compass got shaked "a bit.
You had strong winds.
And somehow the battery level had to do with it.

I have had such events during normal flights in windy conditions just by switching into sport mode.
Which changes the lean angle  of the bird "agressivly", "shakes them", for a sec or so.
Only my birds recover, when switched back and not touching the right stick for some seconds.
At least they did, haven't had that for some time, since I mostly use the mod app in cinematic mode

And I also have done some litchi missions in windy conditions, without this behavior.
Since all of this happened below the magic "Bird will return home in 10 second" battery level (~20ish%), I think that this may have triggered it.
But also just trying to find reason,  here,  I have no real clue whats happened!
The only ones be able to tell, are the ones which will say "third party app, sorry", even if I second Jakab Gipsz with "It is not litchi's fault"

And really good luck, finding the bird in the trees!
That would even be challenging, in case you would KNOW the tree it may turned into.
What color is your Spark?
I mean, aside if you could look at the grey bottom side, only?
4-19 20:50
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tonyf85
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S-e-ven Posted at 4-19 20:50
My best guess:
During "lining up" for the first waypoint and direction, the compass got shaked "a bit.
You had strong winds.

I searched for about 2 hours Sat, and 2 hours Sunday, with no luck. I searched through some very wooded areas, and put letters in the mailboxes of houses that may have been in its projected path. Oh well, on to the next drone I guess.  If the Spark does in deed have this issue with a 'bad' compass, I'm not sure if I should get another Spark.
4-20 07:18
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tonyf85
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Jakab Gipsz Posted at 4-19 10:56
This is not Litchi's fault at all. This phenomenon is Spark's main weakness. The compass terminates service in the most unexpected situations (rounds) and switches to ATTI mode. In this case, GPS is not taken into account, so RTH is useless. The Spark just drifts while the battery lasts ... The DJI never answered anyone's question as to why this error is. I think of the poor quality compass module as a source of error. I do not recommend anyone to use waypoint flights with Spark for this reason! So Litchi is not the reason for this flight!

Is this issue with Sparks compass your own opinion from experience?  Or have you seen posts from others who have experienced the same issue?
4-20 07:23
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S-e-ven
Captain
Flight distance : 5759259 ft
Thailand
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tonyf85 Posted at 4-20 07:23
Is this issue with Sparks compass your own opinion from experience?  Or have you seen posts from others who have experienced the same issue?

That is "a thing" in the forums for about 3 years.
Google for fly aways and Atti  / Spark.
The spark has just one compass.
If that failed, whatever reason, even if having 20 satellites, the GPS is not longer used (it's IGNORED) it means ATTI mode.
Which is kind of a Sport mode without "brakes", in case you use the sticks.
4-20 09:47
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Jakab Gipsz
First Officer

Hungary
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tonyf85 Posted at 4-20 07:23
Is this issue with Sparks compass your own opinion from experience?  Or have you seen posts from others who have experienced the same issue?

I read a lot of posts about Spark, who flew away forever, a strangely behaving Spark, and unfortunately I also experienced the weaknesses of Spark. It could have been a good drone if the compass and battery mounting hadn’t been so weak.
Looking through the logs of his flights, mine also indicated compass errors, but I was lucky and these were only for a short time.
If you're more interested in what happens in this case, look for the keyword "compass error" in this forum.
4-24 10:06
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