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Completely powered off to airborne in 29 seconds.
1476 16 2018-1-18
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Vulcan-XH558
First Officer
Flight distance : 62054 ft
United Kingdom
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A little history...

Prior to buying my Spark Fly More Combo, my previous experience with RC aircraft was a couple of cheap, fly indoors Helicopters and a Hexacopter.  I'd plug these into my laptop and fly them when I wanted a short break from work, however most of the time was spent adjusting the trim in order that I could hover, but no matter what I did, the craft would drift off.
These were also too frail to fly outdoors as the wind would have made flying extremely difficult (an asthmatic mouse coughing in their general direction would have brought them down).

Anyway, whilst browsing YouTube, I came across the Mavic and was amazed that such a beautifully designed, feature packed aircraft was within the reach of Joe Public.  After a fair bit of research, I was ready to pull the trigger but figured that a crash of some sort was not just a matter of "if", but "when", so I purchased the Spark instead, this would allow me to learn the operational basics, and if after 6 months or so, the Spark and I came through unscathed,  the "training wheels" would come off and an upgrade to the Mavic (or whatever unfolds ) would be on the cards.  I realise now that "training wheels" is a terrible analogy, as the Spark is much much more that that.

--

The original setup was: Spark - RC - Samsung S7 Edge (Android V7.0).  All firmware updated, latest version of DJI Go 4, WiFi connection only.

Most of the time this worked fine, however my main concern was the length of time taken to establish a connection between all three.  The connection between RC & Spark was usually solid, but the S7 took quite a while (sometimes not at all).  When it did connect, it flew without a hitch, although video transmission would sometimes drop for a few seconds, which wasn't too much of a concern, as I fly VLOS, and any video would be stored on the SD card (as long as I remmebered to press record that is).
On top of this, the S7 display looked cramped, and the position of the RC grip often made it difficult to cancel a command, or change a setting, so to get around this, I started looking at using a tablet instead.  This would also alleviate any concerns about my phone ringing mid-flight etc.

I'm a Samsung/Android/Microsoft Windows type of guy, so my first thought was to go for a Samsung tab, however on reading that the majority of issues (discounting user error) are experienced with Android devices, I started looking at the Ipad Mini 4.  This made me feel dirty and ashamed, however given that (in 2015) there are more than 24,000 devices running Android, and a limited number of devices running IOS, it made perfect sense to move over to an OS which is well supported and would be tested more thoroughly.  As a result of this, I am now a proud owner of an iPad Mini 4.  Setting up the iPad was a breeze, it is an absolute joy to use, and I wish I had gotten one earlier.

Fitting the Mini 4 to the RC takes a bit of effort, however it does fit, and I can access all controls easily, even when I slot it in with the iPad power button on the left hand side.
I would recommend supporting the RC grips while inserting the device to reduce the risk of the grip breaking.

The DJI Go 4, NATS Drone Assist, and Windy app's installed without any issues.  I didn't have to amend any settings, as my previous changes were retrieved when I logged in to DJI Go 4.  Pairing the Spark/RC/iPad was textbook, in fact it was that easy and straightforward, I thought I may have gotten it wrong.

On hooking everything up, I noticed immediately how quickly everything linked up, so I started messing about with start-up sequence to see if it made any difference, however in my experience it didn't matter what was powered on first/last, it still took around 29 seconds from completely powered off to up and flying.  One one occasion it was 25 seconds!

As said, in my experience start-up sequence has no bearing on faster pairing times, however it may be prudent to keep the Spark until last, if nothing else, you may save yourself some precious seconds of airtime.

I thoroughly recommend using an IOS device to hook up to the RC.  No mess, no fuss.  IT JUST WORKS!!!

2018-1-18
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Fenit2000
First Officer
Flight distance : 100279 ft
United States
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"I started looking at the Ipad Mini 4.  This made me feel dirty and ashamed" That is so funny, but I know what you mean.
I am looking into the ipad mini as a replacement for my iphone. The iphone is fine, the limited time I have had the Spark I have had zero connection issues, its just the larger screen on the mini would help me and my not so young eyes....
2018-1-18
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Grmachine
Second Officer
United States
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Your story is nearly identical to mine, although you told it better than I could have.
As I type, I am waiting for my dirty little secret mini 4 to arrive. long time Macintosh hater. Still would never buy an IPhone.
2018-1-18
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Vulcan-XH558
First Officer
Flight distance : 62054 ft
United Kingdom
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Fenit2000 Posted at 2018-1-18 07:44
"I started looking at the Ipad Mini 4.  This made me feel dirty and ashamed"  That is so funny, but I know what you mean.
I am looking into the ipad mini as a replacement for my iphone. The iphone is fine, the limited time I have had the Spark I have had zero connection issues, its just the larger screen on the mini would help me and my not so young eyes....

You'll go from squinting at the screen to the eyes wide open full HD experience
2018-1-18
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Vulcan-XH558
First Officer
Flight distance : 62054 ft
United Kingdom
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Grmachine Posted at 2018-1-18 09:00
Your story is nearly identical to mine, although you told it better than I could have.
As I type, I am waiting for my dirty little secret mini 4 to arrive. long time Macintosh hater. Still would never buy an IPhone.

Yep

MS for productivity
Android for phone
IOS for fun
2018-1-18
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A CW
Captain
Flight distance : 13838848 ft
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United Kingdom
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Great info and rationale for your choice - which I totally agree with. It comes as no shock as if you look on the back of the box the drone came in it states 'made for Apple'...
2018-1-18
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Tviscomi
Captain
Flight distance : 106699 ft
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United States
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Very well stated...
2018-1-18
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Grmachine
Second Officer
United States
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Mini 4 arrived today, holy smokes it's fast! I had no idea, there would be such a huge difference.
2018-1-18
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Fenit2000
First Officer
Flight distance : 100279 ft
United States
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Grmachine Posted at 2018-1-18 15:50
Mini 4 arrived today, holy smokes it's fast! I had no idea, there would be such a huge difference.

Nice. I was looking at picking up a used mini 2 just for use with the Spark. My wife thinks I have already spent enough on this 'toy'... Does anyone have any input on advantages of the newer mini 4 over the older 2 purely for use on the Spark?
2018-1-18
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Vulcan-XH558
First Officer
Flight distance : 62054 ft
United Kingdom
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Fenit2000 Posted at 2018-1-18 16:00
Nice. I was looking at picking up a used mini 2 just for use with the Spark. My wife thinks I have already spent enough on this 'toy'... Does anyone have any input on advantages of the newer mini 4 over the older 2 purely for use on the Spark?


You've approached it from the wrong direction.  What you could have said was that the iPad was for browsing the 'net, doing taxes, checking email etc.  Then after a day or so, inform your wife that you've only just discovered that the iPad also works with the Spark.  
--

The following site gives some side by side spec's on both of the models (about 3/4 down the page):

https://everymac.com/systems/app ... ad-mini-models.html

Comparison Chart
The major differences between the iPad mini 2 and the iPad mini 4 are summarized accordingly:

iPad mini 2

iPad mini 4
Color Gamut:
76% sRGB99% sRGB
Display Surface:
GlossyAntireflective
Processor:
1.3 GHz Apple A71.5 GHz Apple A8
RAM:
1 GB2 GB
Original Storage:
16, 32, 64, 128 GB16, 64, 128 GB
Current Storage:
Used Only128 GB
Bluetooth:
4.04.2
LTE Bands:
14 Bands20 Bands
Front Camera:
1.2 Megapixel (720p)1.2 Megapixel (720p)
Rear Camera:
5 Megapixel (1080p)8 Megapixel (1080p)
Rotation Switch:
YesNo
Dimensions:
7.87 x 5.3 x 0.29 in.8.0 x 5.3 x 0.24 in.
Original iOS:
iOS 7iOS 9
Split View (iOS 9):
NoYes

So, should I buy an iPad mini 2 or an iPad mini 4?
Unless you are on a very tight budget, the still current iPad mini 4 is your best choice. It has a (1) much better quality display, (2) is at least 25% faster, (3) has twice the RAM for more speed now and likely longer iOS support going forward, (4) has a higher quality rear camera, (5) has faster and more global LTE connectivity, and (6) has useful "Touch ID" capability. For many users, the display, RAM, or connectivity improvements alone would be worth the extra money.



2018-1-19
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heliman
First Officer
Denmark
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I also considered getting a mini 4, but it is getting old now. Support end-of-life is approaching, while it’s still expensive.
There are rumors of an updated mini, but nothing specific:
https://9to5mac.com/2017/05/16/ipad-mini-discontinued-report/
https://www.macworld.co.uk/news/ ... lease-date-3593689/
2018-1-19
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Fenit2000
First Officer
Flight distance : 100279 ft
United States
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Vulcan-XH558 Posted at 2018-1-19 01:20
You've approached it from the wrong direction.  What you could have said was that the iPad was for browsing the 'net, doing taxes, checking email etc.  Then after a day or so, inform your wife that you've only just discovered that the iPad also works with the Spark.  
--

Hey thanks Vulcan. I appreciate the comparison of the two mini's. I honestly wasn't aware that there are some key differences.  As for the wife...well, if I get a new gadget I am 'obliged' to spend the same amount on her. Funny how that goes....
Looking forward to some decent flying time this weekend.
Cheers!
2018-1-19
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Fenit2000
First Officer
Flight distance : 100279 ft
United States
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heliman Posted at 2018-1-19 04:08
I also considered getting a mini 4, but it is getting old now. Support end-of-life is approaching, while it’s still expensive.
There are rumors of an updated mini, but nothing specific:
https://9to5mac.com/2017/05/16/ipad-mini-discontinued-report/

Yeah, I just looked on Best Buy, still $400. But I really like the idea of the bigger screen.
2018-1-19
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Gunship9
Captain
United States
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Some of the older Apple devices don't work for the DJI Go app.  Make sure the mini 2 works with the app.  For the price of that mini 4, DJI googles?????  I am trying to decide on a DSLR sized gimbal/stabilizer, a new lens, or the DJI googles for a birthday present to me.  Happy birthday to me.  "Awww wifey, you shouldn't have," as I open the Amazon box.
2018-1-19
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AG0N-Gary
Captain
Flight distance : 700846 ft
United States
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Fenit2000 Posted at 2018-1-18 16:00
Nice. I was looking at picking up a used mini 2 just for use with the Spark. My wife thinks I have already spent enough on this 'toy'... Does anyone have any input on advantages of the newer mini 4 over the older 2 purely for use on the Spark?

1st off topic -- I use the Mini2 16gig, and I can tell you that I have just run out of storage.  The majority of storage is used by DJI Go and DJI Go4.  Go uses over 3gig, and Go4 uses over 5gig  One other app I have uses over 1gig.  With that kind of load, the iPad refused to download last week's DJI upgrade.  If you can find a Mini2 with more memory (32, 64, or 128gig), go for it.  Personally, I'm probably getting a Mini4 128gig.

To get the upgrade done (after killing everything I could on the Mini2 and it still refusing), I use my iPhone 7+ to do the upgrade.  Once the firmware was upgraded, everything was fine for flying with the Mini2 again.

2nd off topic -- I can't seem to find the compatibility list these days.  Does anyone know if the Air 2 works with DJI?

Anyone need a mint Mini2 16?

Gary
2018-1-20
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Vulcan-XH558
First Officer
Flight distance : 62054 ft
United Kingdom
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AG0N-Gary Posted at 2018-1-20 13:20
2nd off topic -- I can't seem to find the compatibility list these days.  Does anyone know if the Air 2 works with DJI?

Apologies for the late reply.  It does according to the App Store:

CompatibilityRequires iOS 9.0 or later.
Compatible with iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 4 Wi-Fi + Cellular, 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 12.9-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, 9.7-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad (5th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (5th generation), 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation), 12.9-inch iPad Pro Wi‑Fi + Cellular (2nd generation), 10.5-inch iPad Pro, 10.5-inch iPad Pro Wi‑Fi + Cellular, and iPod touch (6th generation).
2018-1-25
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heliman
First Officer
Denmark
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AG0N-Gary Posted at 2018-1-20 13:20
1st off topic -- I use the Mini2 16gig, and I can tell you that I have just run out of storage.  The majority of storage is used by DJI Go and DJI Go4.  Go uses over 3gig, and Go4 uses over 5gig  One other app I have uses over 1gig.  With that kind of load, the iPad refused to download last week's DJI upgrade.  If you can find a Mini2 with more memory (32, 64, or 128gig), go for it.  Personally, I'm probably getting a Mini4 128gig.

To get the upgrade done (after killing everything I could on the Mini2 and it still refusing), I use my iPhone 7+ to do the upgrade.  Once the firmware was upgraded, everything was fine for flying with the Mini2 again.

You may fix it by going to the general settings in the go app and check your video cache settings.
There, you can clear the cache and set it’s maximum size or turn it off.
2018-1-25
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