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Spark issues and questionable software design
2598 12 2017-6-26
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fansdbce68d7
lvl.2
Flight distance : 349793 ft
United States
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From a hardware perspective, the Spark is pretty awesome (except for controller disconnects). And I love my P4 and Mavic. But here are some Spark software design choices and failures that really bug me.

1st. Android support. App crashes constantly. I would have more respect for DJI if they just pulled support for android, rather than claim it works but it just fails constantly. Please don't give me grief about supported devices, IOS, etc... If you claim your app works with android, and you let it install on my device, IT SHOULD WORK. If my device is unsupported, DJI shoud SAY SO and not allow the installation or use of buggy software. It is basically fraudulent to claim something works, when it blatanly doesn't for so many, and extremely unsafe as well. Very  unprofessional of DJI and I wouldn't be surprised if there is a class-action lawsuit for all the users deprived of operating their purchases as promised, or a potential incident where the buggy software is directly to blame. Shame on DJI for sticking their heads in the sand and refusing to publicly acknowledge the issues and take positive and corrective actions.

Upon controller disconnect, Spark decends to 0.5m and stays there (untill battery RTH is invoked, I think, haven't tested). Lame... If you lose connection due to distance or obstruction, decending is the last thing you want to do to re-acquire signal. It's also potentially dangerous, especially if it's into trees, bushes, humans, cars, etc... Correct behavior should be RTH like all the other DJI products. Reconnect is sporadic and unreliable, I have had disconnects from 10m away, and sometimes take 2 minutes to reacquire (restarting controller, app, etc...).

Fog or clouds disrupts the visual altitude sensor, causing the spark to think it's near the surface when it's still high up in the air. Vehicle stays in "landing" mode, which only allows 0.3 m/s decent rate. Which means the vehicle will run out of battery before it can reach the ground. My vehicle RTH'd into fog at 100m, and while I could still manuever around, I could not decend quickly, resulting in a free fall when it ran out of battery. Lack of manual throttle overide is a big problem, especially combined with an automatic and indefeatable "landing" mode.

Controller/vehicle frequency setup it unrealiable and non-intuitive. When I connect with phone wifi, I can set 2.4 or 5g. But is that from my phone to the controller, or from the controller to the spark? When I plug in using the OTG cable, I no longer can choose the frequency settings. If I mess with the connection orders I can get the spark to use 2.4 and use the OTG, which seems like the best possible combo, but it doesn't remember these settings, and I have to reset every flight.

Controller will not connect to phone (Pixel XL), via wifi or OTG, with cellular data enabled. WTF? So I can't get updated maps, or unlock areas, while actually flying.

I honestly don't understand all the rave reviews for the spark, it is the worst performing and least reliable drone DJI has every produced. And it's form factor and cuteness is not enough to compensate, at least for me...
2017-6-26
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fansa7dc5944
Second Officer
Flight distance : 50988 ft
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Thailand
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Sorry for you. Mine work perfectly and I love the product si much.
2017-6-27
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DJI Mindy
Administrator
Flight distance : 7 ft
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Sorry for the unpleasant experience with our product. I would like to verify some information with the problems you provided.
1. Android mobile device crashes a lot, may I have the model of your device? Is it in our compatible list?
2. If the RC disconnects to aircraft, failsafe RTH will be triggered. Usually when the drone reaches to home point, they will connect again, if not, please send us data for further analysis.
3. We don't suggest to fly in foggy day, fog or clouds will affect the effectiveness of vision system, but if it only allows 0.3 m/s decent rate, could you please export the data in black box for further analysis?
4. 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz is from RC to aircraft.
data upload.png
2017-6-28
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daniellunelli.m
New

Brazil
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"Fog or clouds disrupts the visual altitude sensor, causing the spark to think it's near the surface when it's still high up in the air. Vehicle stays in "landing" mode, which only allows 0.3 m/s decent rate. Which means the vehicle will run out of battery before it can reach the ground. My vehicle RTH'd into fog at 100m, and while I could still manuever around, I could not decend quickly, resulting in a free fall when it ran out of battery. Lack of manual throttle overide is a big problem, especially combined with an automatic and indefeatable "landing" mode."
2017-6-28
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fansdbce68d7
lvl.2
Flight distance : 349793 ft
United States
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To be perfectly clear, it was only patchy fog with a high base. It was not my intention to fly into it, the RTH put it into the very bottom of some wispy fog. I could still see my Spark from the ground. There is no mention or caution of flying in/near fog/clouds in the Spark manual. The Phantom and Mavic have no problems with it. I live in a coastal area where coastal fog is a daily occurrence and it has never been a problem before.
2017-6-28
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fansdbce68d7
lvl.2
Flight distance : 349793 ft
United States
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To be perfectly clear, it was only patchy fog with a high base. It was not my intention to fly into it, the RTH put it into the very bottom of some wispy fog. I could still see my Spark from the ground. There is no mention or caution of flying in/near fog/clouds in the Spark manual. The Phantom and Mavic have no problems with it. I live in a coastal area where coastal fog is a daily occurrence and it has never been a problem before.

Thanks for your interest and assistance in this matter. Log files are in my other post here...

http://forum.dji.com/forum.php?m ... mp;page=1#pid846857
2017-6-28
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ChrisH_Photos
lvl.2
Flight distance : 133694 ft
South Africa
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Good luck with that Class Action. Have you read the terms of the DJI Go App?

6. No Class Actions. YOU AND DJI AGREE THAT EACH MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST THE OTHER ONLY IN YOUR OR ITS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PURPORTED CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDING. Further, unless both you and DJI agree otherwise, the arbitrator may not consolidate more than one person’s claims, and may not otherwise preside over any form of a representative or class proceeding.
2017-7-3
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fansd6be0f7a
lvl.1
Flight distance : 7792 ft
United States
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DJI Mindy Posted at 2017-6-28 00:27
Sorry for the unpleasant experience with our product. I would like to verify some information with the problems you provided.
1. Android mobile device crashes a lot, may I have the model of your device? Is it in our compatible list?
2. If the RC disconnects to aircraft, failsafe RTH will be triggered. Usually when the drone reaches to home point, they will connect again, if not, please send us data for further analysis.

My spark has fallen due to a power loss.
Dji refuses to replace/repair, I have had many conversations and emails with support.
Not helpful and just getting the runaround.
http://fortune.com/2017/07/25/dj ... falling-out-of-sky/
2017-7-27
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DJI Mindy
Administrator
Flight distance : 7 ft
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fansd6be0f7a Posted at 2017-7-27 09:39
My spark has fallen due to a power loss.
Dji refuses to replace/repair, I have had many conversations and emails with support.
Not helpful and just getting the runaround.

Please do not post repeatedly, keep me updated on your own thread, I will follow up, thanks.
2017-7-27
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Ovahung
lvl.1
Flight distance : 17848 ft
Australia
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I have had many issue with dji & I am at the end of my rope. I have spoken to them & it's all most like they are a programmed  automated andriod robot. It's no use talking I am now taking action. I like the concept of these drone but unfortunately they have not done enough testing before releaseing these DJI products. I also found DJI will make things up to just make you think your the issue not the product & if that don't work they then contradict there own claims of what there drones can do. Sorry DJI to slow & very poor customer service.
2017-9-29
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daveddo
lvl.2
Flight distance : 158009 ft
United States
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fansdbce68d7 Posted at 2017-6-28 10:45
To be perfectly clear, it was only patchy fog with a high base. It was not my intention to fly into it, the RTH put it into the very bottom of some wispy fog. I could still see my Spark from the ground. There is no mention or caution of flying in/near fog/clouds in the Spark manual. The Phantom and Mavic have no problems with it. I live in a coastal area where coastal fog is a daily occurrence and it has never been a problem before.

First item on page 46 of the manual says do not Fly it in fog.
2017-9-29
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hallmark007
Captain
Flight distance : 5194711 ft
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Ireland
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Not to sure what’s going on with some android phones, dji will say it’s problem with phones who knows.

RTH is basically the same as other dji drones yes it will descend to 0.5 metre but that’s failsafe in case of landing in water or uneven ground.

Spark is not supported by OTG so this explains itself.

I think most people are happy with spark.
2017-9-29
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heliman
First Officer
Denmark
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I wonder why it can’t find home if it has compass errors.
My (first generation)  garmin etrex without a compass can. After it has been moved  a few steps in any direction.
2017-9-29
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