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Another lost Spark
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1629 57 2017-8-13 08:28:27
fansb3a41e40
lvl.2
Flight distance : 7125
France
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Third day, Spark gone. That was an expensive experiment. I was using the iPhone as a wifi controller, connection was lost. Crash somewhere. The find my drone location is not correct and the last flight log seems far too short to correspond to the final flight. The compass had been calibrated but previously I had noticed that it seemed surprisingly easy to loose wifi connection while flying. Obviously I'm not happy but I am particularly concerned about the safety implications if I hadn't been flying over a bit of wild countryside. Reading posts about other lost Sparks I guess I shouldn't hope for anything.
2017-8-13 08:28:27
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ImHereToCrash
First Officer
Flight distance : 538170
United States
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Interesting...  yes it’s crazy..  your spark likely crashed into something.. if battery was low it should return to home.. assuming you let it get a home point in GPS.  Also 350 foot homepoint limit set in WiFi controller mode, meaning it should fly away more then 350 feet from take off..   It should doesn’t mean it will listen well.. but.. .  My S8 when I’m tried direct WiFi to spark connection would disconnect a lot too but it would get stuck in command loop I think with app crash and would fly away until it connected or until it hit 350 feet away from take off spot..

With my RC using OTG on my iPad mini 2  I have a weird quark where if I loose signal a mile out it won’t return home.. just hovers in place.. really worrying and annoying when spark isn’t somewhere I can reach.  luckily for me my spark was high enough once it got to low battery it turned back and returned home itself and reconnected.    Defiantly some software quarks causing issues.  
2017-8-13 11:04:19
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fansb3a41e40
lvl.2
Flight distance : 7125
Greece
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Battery was full, there was very little wind, excellent GPS signal. Spent three hours in 37 degree Greek heat looking for it in the undergrowth but nothing where it was supposed to be.
2017-8-13 12:42:37
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ImHereToCrash
First Officer
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United States
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fansb3a41e40 Posted at 2017-8-13 12:42
Battery was full, there was very little wind, excellent GPS signal. Spent three hours in 37 degree Greek heat looking for it in the undergrowth but nothing where it was supposed to be.

well, assuming other systems worked as they should have, which is a long shot given how badly some sparks behave.  and assuming no one stole it.  it should be within a 350- 400 foot radius of where it started..  if the spark was stuck in a command loop with the disconnection then yea, it could be  2 - 5 miles away at worst if nothing for it to hit entire time..  

DJi needs to correctly address your issue here, i do not believe you are at fault.. if you would like to, you could post your log files for us to maybe try to help you locate it and see where the problems may have occurred and maybe get DJi's offical help.
2017-8-13 12:49:04
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bapski
lvl.2
Flight distance : 6067
United States
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Curious to know what happened
2017-8-13 16:44:43
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DJI Diana
Administrator
China
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Sorry for your loss, I would recommend you contact the Support to start a case, provide the flight records to them, see if they can find out what happened. Please refer to the link below to contact the Support. http://www.dji.com/support
2017-8-13 20:02:26
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fansb3a41e40
lvl.2
Flight distance : 7125
Greece
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I've started a case with DJI. I'm not sure how to share logs here. I don't believe the Spark crashed far from where it should have RTH or that it was very far from me when I lost control / contact with it. But the terrain is very rough, full of thorn bushes and a remarkable amount of stones and bushes all Spark color!
2017-8-13 21:25:13
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larrymull
lvl.3
Flight distance : 66636
Australia
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in 37 degree greek heat could that have affected the batteries and hence overheating?
2017-8-13 21:46:40
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fansb3a41e40
lvl.2
Flight distance : 7125
Greece
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I doubt it was the heat. The Spark wasn't exposed for long. It's something to do with losing contact and - apparently - the failsafe systems not working as they should.
2017-8-13 21:50:48
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fansb3a41e40
lvl.2
Flight distance : 7125
Greece
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Update : after carefully looking at the flight log I returned and found my Spark. Upside down in a (grey) tree. I think I'll leave this post up with a few conclusions that may be of use to a novice like me. The wifi did disconnect. This happens quite easily, it appears. You really need to keep your eyes on your drone all the time which is counter-intuitive when something goes wrong on your screen. It is also hard to do when you are concentrating on what you are filming. Perhaps, when you are learning, it would be good to go out with a partner. Knowing where your drone is comes first. Find my drone (I don't know why) gave me different locations at different times. Only the flight log was correct. If you fly over difficult terrain, consider the difficulty of recovering your drone if anything goes wrong. Only having forward obstacle avoidance is a big deal. I suspect I flew sideways into a tree when I had lost visual feedback for a moment. Oh, and it might be a good idea to put your contact details on your aircraft. I hope that's if use. If not, and I'm just particularly dumb not to have considered all that before, let me know and I'll take this down.
2017-8-13 23:10:57
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Indi91
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Asia/Pacific Region
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fansb3a41e40 Posted at 2017-8-13 23:10
Update : after carefully looking at the flight log I returned and found my Spark. Upside down in a (grey) tree. I think I'll leave this post up with a few conclusions that may be of use to a novice like me. The wifi did disconnect. This happens quite easily, it appears. You really need to keep your eyes on your drone all the time which is counter-intuitive when something goes wrong on your screen. It is also hard to do when you are concentrating on what you are filming. Perhaps, when you are learning, it would be good to go out with a partner. Knowing where your drone is comes first. Find my drone (I don't know why) gave me different locations at different times. Only the flight log was correct. If you fly over difficult terrain, consider the difficulty of recovering your drone if anything goes wrong. Only having forward obstacle avoidance is a big deal. I suspect I flew sideways into a tree when I had lost visual feedback for a moment. Oh, and it might be a good idea to put your contact details on your aircraft. I hope that's if use. If not, and I'm just particularly dumb not to have considered all that before, let me know and I'll take this down.

So glad that you got it back and hopefully it is fine.
2017-8-13 23:46:13
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HomePoint
Second Officer
Flight distance : 109777
United Kingdom
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"I suspect I flew sideways into a tree when I had lost visual feedback for a moment."
Probably the answer to many lost or damaged drones.
2017-8-14 00:11:40
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Thor1
Second Officer
Flight distance : 34350
Canada
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HomePoint Posted at 2017-8-14 00:11
"I suspect I flew sideways into a tree when I had lost visual feedback for a moment."
Probably the answer to many lost or damaged drones.

it is certainly possible but we have no idea.
2017-8-14 01:51:43
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hallmark007
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Ireland
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It seems to me flying using phone wifi you have the drone within VLOS as it will be no more than 80 metres away, your in an open field as you say, how do you manage to lose it so easily?
2017-8-14 02:13:33
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Andy6178
lvl.1
Flight distance : 538
Malaysia
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Glad to hear that u found ur spark, but i m the not lucky one, i lost it already, no one have return to me, i also using phone to connect that time and it lost wifi signal and don't know fly to where already, i think if u want play safely must use remote to flight, atleast better than use only phone
2017-8-14 06:47:19
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Charles Adams
Second Officer
Flight distance : 68178
United States
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A thought/lesson for many regarding these circumstances:  I know that many don't want to hear it, but flying Line of Sight with the Spark is extremely important.  As long as we have odd behavior and unexplained events, it's important to keep eyes on craft so that it can be easily recovered.  fansb3a41e40 may have in fact been flying LOS, and because of distance lost track of exact location.  For other flyers thought, especially new flyers, it is very important (it's also FAA regulation).
2017-8-14 07:05:00
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fansb3a41e40
lvl.2
Flight distance : 7125
Greece
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@hallmark007 Why was it so hard to find? Because I was in scrubland consisting mainly of thorn bushes and low trees all the color of my Spark.
2017-8-14 23:31:07
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Didiko
lvl.2
Flight distance : 5014
Belgium
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Good to hear that you did not give up and eventually found it: very happy for you.
Indeed flying on smartphone wifi, only based on video return, at relatively long distance and above unknown terrain was combining many risks at once.
Furthermore as a novice pilot; but everything went fine in the end and has obviously thought you good lessons already.
As initial owner of a Phantom 2 when it was issued, I also had some "thrills" here and there. Finally sold it because of strange disconnections about detection of the SD card and gimbal not perfectly entered but impossible to fix apparently.
Now returned to DJI with a more modest Spark but very funny to use... knowing the limitations.
Sometimes the thrill makes you overestimate the actual capacity of your drone or of the pilot, or both
2017-8-14 23:53:04
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Jimmy hoffa
lvl.1
Flight distance : 18792
United States
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Yea he rubs people the wrong way doesnt he? No clue what environment u were flying in or variables and asks a question like that.....Dont mind him. ( he is the Local old head troll here). Glad u got your drone back
2017-8-14 23:57:21
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DJI Diana
Administrator
China
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Andy6178 Posted at 2017-8-14 06:47
Glad to hear that u found ur spark, but i m the not lucky one, i lost it already, no one have return to me, i also using phone to connect that time and it lost wifi signal and don't know fly to where already, i think if u want play safely must use remote to flight, atleast better than use only phone

Sorry for your loss, have you contacted the Support to start a case?
2017-8-15 01:31:10
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fansb3a41e40
lvl.2
Flight distance : 7125
Greece
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Here's a little update: having found my Spark and putting the loss down to novice user error (more or less) I successfully flew it several times. This morning, however, flying over the sea, I lost connection, and this time it appears to be gone for good. Is there any way I can share the flight log here? There are some things I don't understand and would like help interpreting. The flight just stops at 46m altitude and the battery is shown as very low although it was full when the flight began. Also "find my drone" is way off and corresponds to a flight days before.
2017-8-19 22:08:25
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fansb3a41e40
lvl.2
Flight distance : 7125
Greece
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And here are two screenshots to illustrate the problem. The final flight record that just stops and "find my drone" that has it situated somewhere completely different. I would really like to know what happened...
IMG_5421.PNG
IMG_5420.PNG
2017-8-20 07:53:45
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hallmark007
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Ireland
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fansb3a41e40 Posted at 2017-8-19 22:08
Here's a little update: having found my Spark and putting the loss down to novice user error (more or less) I successfully flew it several times. This morning, however, flying over the sea, I lost connection, and this time it appears to be gone for good. Is there any way I can share the flight log here? There are some things I don't understand and would like help interpreting. The flight just stops at 46m altitude and the battery is shown as very low although it was full when the flight began. Also "find my drone" is way off and corresponds to a flight days before.

You could post your flight log to link below just click on link follow instructions and come back and post the link.

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
2017-8-20 07:59:11
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fansb3a41e40
lvl.2
Flight distance : 7125
Greece
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http://phantomhelp.com/Logviewer/K52MGZA8FHWCFOVY0EJQ/

Thanks!
2017-8-20 08:53:47
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STech - Hathder
lvl.3
Flight distance : 122888
Brazil
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This is what happens to your Spark according to you flight log:

- Untill 2min46s the flight are FINE.

- At 2min47s your drone changed the home point type to CONTROLLERS POSITION (dynamic) midflight, and not the usually take off position home point.

- The controllers GPS position are wrong, probably due do iphone GPS turned off, low sattelites on iphone gps that gives a very low precision, just agps turned on or something like this ( your phone thinks you are in other place far from where it realy are).

- YOUR DRONE PICKED UP A WRONG HOME POINT place from your phone and UPDATE THE HOME POINT POSITION, GOES FROM 160FT DISTANCE from home TO 2500FT distance from home, HOME POINT ARE NOW ON WRONG PLACE and 2500ft away from you, on a place you dont even know where are.

- YOU DRONE LOST SIGNAL multiple times, and the last time it lost signal ( DUE TO WIFI SHORT RANGE)

- YOUR DRONE STARTED A RTH - AND RETURNED TO THE WRONG HOME POINT IT WAS RECORDED PREVIOUSLY with wrong location given by phone-controller ( 2500ft from you).


- Your drone goes for wrong GPS position given by the phone, and landed if has enough battery left ( hope it wasnt on sea).

TO RESUME: YOUR DRONE OR YOU CHANGE TO DYNAMIC HOME POINT - YOUR PHONE GIVE INCORRECT LOCATION -  HOME POINT HAS UPDATED WITH WRONG LOCATION - YOUR DRONE LOST WIFI SIGNAL AND STARTED RTH - YOUR DRONE GOES FOR WRONG HOME POINT PLACE.


I ask you, did you changed your home point to dynamic type during your flight?


2017-8-20 09:19:53
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fansb3a41e40
lvl.2
Flight distance : 7125
Greece
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Thanks for your analysis. I don't think I changed anything. My recollection is that the Spark was disconnected for very long periods. Why would the final entry still have the drone in flight and moving away from the controller rather than, at least, returning if not to the take off point? Also, I'm surprised at the recorded battery levels because the charge should have been full (overnight charge, first flight).
2017-8-20 09:45:01
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hallmark007
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Hi e40, looking at your log, at 2min 47 sec your homepoint was changed to remote controller which according to your log was 2400 ft away (where you on a boat) RTH was Initiated and your spark was heading for the last homepoint set which was looking at picture out to sea, the spark was flying into the wind and was never going to make it to homepoint so on critical battery it just landed.
Although you say battery was full it was actually only 43% at take off.
Did you change homepoint I don't think this can be done ?, unless pilot does it.
Where you on a boat?
2017-8-20 09:42:50
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STech - Hathder
lvl.3
Flight distance : 122888
Brazil
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fansb3a41e40 Posted at 2017-8-20 09:45
Thanks for your analysis. I don't think I changed anything. My recollection is that the Spark was disconnected for very long periods. Why would the final entry still have the drone in flight and moving away from the controller rather than, at least, returning if not to the take off point? Also, I'm surprised at the recorded battery levels because the charge should have been full (overnight charge, first flight).


Because the drone are returning to home point it recorded when home type changes, and not where you are, your drone changes the home type from take off point to dynamic home type, that are where your phone are ( and your phone give incorrect lotation to drone) .

Thats why drone keep flying and moving away from you, and why your log stops with drone flying ( it lost signal due to distance), the drone are returning to wrong place it has recorded from phone, probably that place away from the beach on image you posted but battery runs out and it land on the way
.


You dont change the home type? you listen a warning about the home type beying changed when you are flying?  Probably the phone says very loud at 2min47s of flight: your home point has been updated.
2017-8-20 09:56:42
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hallmark007
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STech - Hathder Posted at 2017-8-20 09:56
Because the drone are returning to home point it recorded when home type changes, and not where you are, your drone changes the home type from take off point to dynamic home type, that are where your phone are ( and your phone give incorrect lotation to drone) .

Thats why drone keep flying and moving away from you, and why your log stops with drone flying ( it lost signal due to distance), the drone are returning to wrong place it has recorded from phone, probably that place away from the beach on image you posted but battery runs out and it land on the way.

Although he lost signal numerous times when using the phone AC will only RTH when signal is lost for more than 10 seconds, which is what happened , just after RTH was changed to return to controller, how this was changed is where the problem lies, I'm not sure if this can be done without operator.
2017-8-20 10:08:15
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fansb3a41e40
lvl.2
Flight distance : 7125
Greece
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I think I changed home point to controller location believing (apparently incorrectly) that this should be more accurate. I assumed there would be a directional assumption made using, at least in part) the iPhones wifi. No, I was not on a boat, I was on the beach and, although I understand the point about the iPhones position being incorrect can it really be so far off? Thank!
2017-8-20 10:08:41
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hallmark007
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fansb3a41e40 Posted at 2017-8-20 10:08
I think I changed home point to controller location believing (apparently incorrectly) that this should be more accurate. I assumed there would be a directional assumption made using, at least in part) the iPhones wifi. No, I was not on a boat, I was on the beach and, although I understand the point about the iPhones position being incorrect can it really be so far off? Thank!



I have to say there is something wrong here if a phone gps can be off by that much then you shouldn't be able to set RTH to controller.
It doesn't make sense.
2017-8-20 10:19:21
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STech - Hathder
lvl.3
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Brazil
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fansb3a41e40 Posted at 2017-8-20 10:08
I think I changed home point to controller location believing (apparently incorrectly) that this should be more accurate. I assumed there would be a directional assumption made using, at least in part) the iPhones wifi. No, I was not on a boat, I was on the beach and, although I understand the point about the iPhones position being incorrect can it really be so far off? Thank!

Yes, the GPS can be so far off in two situations:

I have a galaxy S7 edge, if i open the MAPS app now, the precision of GPS is extremely inacuratelly (100, 50m off or more)  until it has a bunch of satelites GPS avaiable (on sight), this takes some time, 1min or more to have a good accuracy (5m or better) especially if its a new place
, until this, my location can be far far far away from where realy i am.

If you change your home type to controller location and your home point was updated before your iphone have some time to have a good accuracy, it picked a very very very very innacurate gps place, and i think this is exactly what happened.

The seccond situation is: Your phone has GPS turned off or in battery save mode and uses Just A-GPS, that are extremely innacurate location method, and gives the location data based just on cell towers, and can be hundreds of meters off the real location ( this happens if i turn on gps battery save on my S7 edge.)
2017-8-20 10:28:07
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S-e-ven
Second Officer
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Thailand
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"I think I changed home point to controller location believing (apparently incorrectly) that this should be more accurate."

1) was GPS on?
2) Have you been on that position, in the p[ast day/s?

There are several apps, which keep the last "set"-location as the "next" location, in case you dont switch GPS on or set a new location by hand.

Line -Messenger, p.ex. is always tellin, without checking on the true-positon, that you are there, where you have been using this function the last time.

And definetely, only set location to controller if GPS is on.
And follow the hint "Please check on map"!
The Spark will hover that 30 sec.!
2017-8-20 10:39:36
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Sparkless Dad
lvl.1
United States
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Such a bummer that it's so easy to lose an expensive toy.
2017-8-20 10:48:40
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Sparkless Dad
lvl.1
United States
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DJI Diana Posted at 2017-8-13 20:02
Sorry for your loss, I would recommend you contact the Support to start a case, provide the flight records to them, see if they can find out what happened. Please refer to the link below to contact the Support. http://www.dji.com/support

Has anyone ever received a new drone from DJI when this has happened?
2017-8-20 10:49:31
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Sparkless Dad
lvl.1
United States
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Didiko Posted at 2017-8-14 23:53
Good to hear that you did not give up and eventually found it: very happy for you.
Indeed flying on smartphone wifi, only based on video return, at relatively long distance and above unknown terrain was combining many risks at once.
Furthermore as a novice pilot; but everything went fine in the end and has obviously thought you good lessons already.

overzealous inexperienced pilot enthusiasm or OIPE is one thing, but zero instructions and or tutorials in the packaging is another!!!
2017-8-20 10:51:38
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Sparkless Dad
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United States
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STech - Hathder Posted at 2017-8-20 10:28
Yes, the GPS can be so far off in two situations:

I have a galaxy S7 edge, if i open the MAPS app now, the precision of GPS is extremely inacuratelly (100, 50m off or more)  until it has a bunch of satelites GPS avaiable (on sight), this takes some time, 1min or more to have a good accuracy (5m or better) especially if its a new place, until this, my location can be far far far away from where realy i am.

Quality Control should take place before placing the product into the marketplace.
2017-8-20 10:52:36
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Montfrooij
Captain
Netherlands
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I agree that it seems very easy to do 'the wrong thing' to a drone.
Not sure how I will manage, since I have not got one yet.
And indeed the manual is not very clear about these important things.
Somehow I feel lucky I am reading this forum
2017-8-20 11:11:49
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fansb3a41e40
lvl.2
Flight distance : 7125
France
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This information is very useful but a bit late. The iPhone position thing is very important and, potentially very dangerous. I can't remember reading anything in the manual that was as clear as what has been explained here. Especially as my Spark, sold in France, only had instructions in Chinese!
2017-8-20 11:12:47
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hallmark007
Captain
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Ireland
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fansb3a41e40 Posted at 2017-8-20 11:12
This information is very useful but a bit late. The iPhone position thing is very important and, potentially very dangerous. I can't remember reading anything in the manual that was as clear as what has been explained here. Especially as my Spark, sold in France, only had instructions in Chinese!

You really need to sync your flight to dji cloud, contact support@dji.com and start a case, then contact a moderator here and request some help.

Good luck.
2017-8-20 11:26:17
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