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How does Spark know its home country?
1357 33 2018-6-28
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Mirek6
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Hi,

I have seen multiple threads on this forum (including the one I started few days ago) about issues with WLAN reset message popping up on DJI GO App.
It seems that nobody (including DJI Support) knows how it works and how to fix the reported issues.
In an attempt to solve this once and for all, I would like to ask different (but highly related) questions.
Perhaps questions formulated like this will be easier to answer by forum members and/or by DJI staff.

  • How does Spark know which country is its home country?
  • When is this information set?
  • Where is this information stored?
  • How to change this information if you are, let's say, moving to another country taking your Spark with you?


Mirek.


2018-6-28
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A CW
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Through the app and GPS
2018-6-28
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MKPSG12
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As above, and when you go to a country with a different WLAN set up it changes automatically the first time you fire it up. Or rather it asks you if you want to change.
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DJT_MVSP
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1. Through your phone's last known/current GPS and Spark's own GPS signal
2. The DJI GO 4 app will verify the current location's regulation and determine whether it switches to FCC or CE mode
3. The information is stored on the RC and Spark itself
4.  It will automatically switch between FCC or CE mode
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Mirek6
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A CW Posted at 2018-6-28 05:49
Through the app and GPS

A CW,

You answered question how does Spark know where it is currently flying. I did not ask this question.

My question was about home country.
When Spark flies in its home country it will keep its WLAN settings intact and the pilot will not see any info from DJI GO. However, the moment you take Spark out of home country, it will notice that and prompt user to accept switching of its WLAN setting to the rules which are in this new country.

So my questions are:

1.        How does Spark know which country is its home country?
2.        When is this information set?
3.        Where is this information stored?
4.        How to change this information if you are, let's say, moving to another country taking your Spark with you?
2018-6-28
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Mirek6 Posted at 2018-6-28 06:01
A CW,

You answered question how does Spark know where it is currently flying. I did not ask this question.

Through GPS and the app in your device. If it knows where it is flying it will therefore know in which country, yes.
2018-6-28
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Mirek6
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DJT_MVSP Posted at 2018-6-28 06:00
1. Through your phone's last known/current GPS and Spark's own GPS signal
2. The DJI GO 4 app will verify the current location's regulation and determine whether it switches to FCC or CE mode
3. The information is stored on the RC and Spark itself

DJI_MVSP,

Thank you fro prompt reply.

You answer to question 1: “Through your phone's last known/current GPS and Spark's own GPS signal”

This is how Spark knows where it is currently flying. It is not how its home country is registered.
When I am flying outside of the home country, Spark will ask me to switch WLAN settings. When I stay in foreign country for some time it prompts me every time I start to fly which proves that home country is not reset and every time Spark is powered on, it checks its current settings against home country settings and asks for permission to change WLAN.
When I come back to home country, these prompts will not appear again, presumably because it knows it is in home country.
So your answer is unfortunately incorrect and my question 1 stands.

Your answer to question 2: “The DJI GO 4 app will verify the current location's regulation and determine whether it switches to FCC or CE mode”
Again – you answered wrong question. The question was “when is information about home country set” – not Spark’s current location.

Your answer to question 3: “The information is stored on the RC and Spark itself”
Second part of your answer may be correct and I suspect that it is indeed stored somewhere in Spark’s non-volatile memory.
First part of your answer is flat wrong. Remote Controller is a "dumb box" which only controls Sparks movements via sticks but has no other real functions, memory, GPS or anything like that.
Information cannot be stored in Remote Controller. It can be stored in either Spark or mobile connected to Remote Controller or, perhaps, in some DJI servers (associating this particular Spark to this particular country) or all of the above.

Your answer to question 4: “ It will automatically switch between FCC or CE mode”
This is wrong – it will definitely not do it automatically.
First of all, the question was about home country not current location. Second of all, Spark will not switch automatically but will ask pilot for permission to switch via DJI GO App.

All my questions still stand and remain unanswered.
2018-6-28
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Mirek6
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MKPSG12 Posted at 2018-6-28 05:58
As above, and when you go to a country with a different WLAN set up it changes automatically the first time you fire it up. Or rather it asks you if you want to change.

MKPSG12,

You say: "
As above, and when you go to a country with a different WLAN set up it changes automatically the first time you fire it up. Or rather it asks you if you want to change."

It asks me every single time I power it up. Not first time. Every time.
This is why I suspect that there is a difference between home country written somewhere into Spark's non-volatile memory and its current location.
Until I know how to change home country, I will see this prompt every time I change battery and reconnect with the Spark. Or, until I return home.
2018-6-28
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Mirek6
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A CW Posted at 2018-6-28 06:08
Through GPS and the app in your device. If it knows where it is flying it will therefore know in which country, yes.

A CW,

I think I am not making myself clear - my apologies.

Yes - Spark knows where it is through GPS and the app.
Yes - It knows where it is flying it will therefore know which country it is in.

However - these were not my questions. Let's rephrase.

When I fly in my country Spark knows it and will never prompt me to accept change in WLAN settings.
When I fly outside of my country - Spark will know that and, every time I start Spark it will prompt me if I accept changing WLAN setting to this new position. Every single time I change batteries and restart Spark, when it gets connected to RC and my mobile it will discover conflict and ask for permission to change settings.

This proves to me that it keeps information about its home country and compares with its current location every time it flies. If  the information matches - all is fine. It just flies. If information is different, it figures that I changed country and prompts me to accept change.

I started this thread because I have notice that many people have the same issue and this issue was never resolved. So I decided to change the questions so it is more understandable. Perhaps I am failing in this quest :-).

Please let me know if I need to explain better.
2018-6-28
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S-e-ven
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I think that it does not know or care "it's home country", it fires this message every time, when "in a different country" than before the last flight.
As it has only CE/FCC to chose from, and it is even changing from a FCC country to a FCC country "to the countries settings", ....!
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Mirek6
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S-e-ven Posted at 2018-6-28 06:34
I think that it does not know or care "it's home country", it fires this message every time, when "in a different country" than before the last flight.
As it has only CE/FCC to chose from, and it is even changing from a FCC country to a FCC country "to the countries settings", ....!

S-E-ven,

You say: "
I think that it does not know or care "it's home country", it fires this message every time, when "in a different country" than before the last flight."

It is not my experience. I see it every time.
And I have seen threads in this forum where people complained about exactly the same.

If you are right, my Spark is busted.
If you are wrong, it has a notion of "home country" and it does compare to it every time it flies.
2018-6-28
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S-e-ven
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Probably you will see that as long you "cancel" the change of the settings to the "new" country.
Or be back in the last country, you have the settings active in the Spark (Home, perhaps?)
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Mirek6
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S-e-ven Posted at 2018-6-28 06:37
Probably you will see that as long you "cancel" the change of the settings to the "new" country.
Or be back in the last country, you have the settings active in the Spark (Home, perhaps?)

S-e-ven,

I do not Cancel the settings because such option does not exist.

Yes - I did see that i was indeed available before - I saw it on this forum.
However, for some time now I see people talking about lack of Cancel - only OK to reset WLAN settings.
I have exactly the same issue. I only have one choice when prompted to reset WLAN - press OK.
If I do not press OK, I cannot use DJI GO App (it is grayed out beneath the promp) and my Spark will not fly.
When I press OK, Spark presumably resets its WLAN to current country, disconnects from RC and, within 15 seconds reconnects again all happy to fly.
This happens every single time after Spark is powered on and connects to RC and DJI Go App.

My issue and same issues I have seen here (which remain unresolved), prompted me to assume home country hypothesis and ask direct questions about how and when home country is set.

Here is a screenshot of the message - you will see no Cancel option:



Mirek

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S-e-ven
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Ok, sorry, that seems to be a bug in the app.
Or a feature, the "no"-option for canceling.
The "cancel" got "cancelt" , during the "no-otg" ability of the app, if I remember that right.
At that time the "back" button still canceled it
Now, (4.2.xx?) it seems that the app has to switch, whatever you wanna do against it.
And sometimes, like in your case, isn't.
Are you on android? Get back to 4.1.15, try 4.2.12, that should solve it.
Are you on iOS? Get an android with an older app and set your bird right.
Till DJI adresses the malfunction in another update
Just a workaround, but what can we do?
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Mirek6
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S-e-ven Posted at 2018-6-28 07:22
Ok, sorry, that seems to be a bug in the app.
Or a feature, the "no"-option for canceling.
The "cancel" got "cancelt" , during the "no-otg" ability of the app, if I remember that right.

S-e-ven,

I am on Android and DJI GO v. 4.2.12. This version works extremely well for me on my LG mobile.

However, in my frustration over WLAN settings (I am having this problem from the moment I got refurbished Spark form DJI - the bird flies just fine but probably thinks its home is still some foreign country), I did go over multiple installations of DJI Go App - various versions, on my phone and the phone of my son-in-law. All experiments yield exactly the same result. Thus I concluded that this is not DJI GO version problem but rather Spark's internal settings which DJI GO (no matter which version or on what phone) detects. BTW, I also reset Spark to factory settings, downgraded firmware, upgraded firmware - same result (perhaps home country is set by DJI in their databases and once Spark connects with RC and mobile some communication takes place comparing current position of Spark to some position stored online by DJI and forcing reset - far fetched theory but not impossible).

Besides, if Spark resets its WLAN every time I fly to match current country, why doesn't it keep this information - as you suggested once reset? If I Cancelled it - sure, it would not reset and ask me again when powered on. But by hitting OK it does some reset because it does disconnect and when it connects it is ready to fly according to current location rules.

This behaviour led me to strongly lean towards home country theory. If it is true that Spark (perhaps during activation) writes its home country to its non-volatile memory (or some DJI databases online), it would respond with the reset question every time it flies in foreign country. The reset would be temporary until next flight and would not affect its home country setting. You can even argue that having no Cancel button is correct because the pilot is always forced to obey current country's regulations - otherwise Spark will simply not fly.

In this situation, when returning back to home country, these prompts will simply disappear, because Spark would recognize that now it is back home and it may use home WLAN settings which it remembers after flying elsewhere.

Until DJI says that what I, along with multiple other people who shared this issue on this forum, experience is Spark's hardware malfunction (or some other malfunction), my hypothesis about home country settings must be correct.

My questions, for the benefit of this forum (and benefit to all humanity :-) still stand.
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Sparky_17
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it knows by logging into your app and based on GPS location.
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S-e-ven
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Sparky_17 Posted at 2018-6-28 09:22
it knows by logging into your app and based on GPS location.

Yep, but that is not "home country" or such, that is "different country" as before.
I think I have experienced that my bird, even if from one FCC country to another, wanted to switch "to local settings".
Which makes sence, just not in this case.
Because as soon you have switched, it usually saved it.

Has it perhaps to do with the older problem, some experienced in the past year, with "flying in china"?
The bird is delivered from the US, isn't it?
You are in Canada, right?
That the bird is after every switch off/battery change falling back to the latest location from China or the US?

Mirek, can you get to US territory, to check on that?

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S-e-ven
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Oh:
"...it would respond with the reset question every time it flies in foreign country."

I can assure you, usually, after accepting the change, there is no "flies in foreign country", before you fly again in a foreign country!
And even "in the home country" it is coming up with "foreign country", till you accept that again.
I highly doubt, it has a "home country" setting.
"Just" a "different country" (by GPS location) setting, which will tell you to accept the resetting!
Even if coming from on FCC (or CE) country to another, so just not changing anything in the settings, it makes sure, by resetting the actual settings!
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Mirek6
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S-e-ven Posted at 2018-6-28 10:07
Oh:
"...it would respond with the reset question every time it flies in foreign country."

S-e-ven,

Thank you for inspiring conversation and sharing your experience.
Yes – my refurbished drone came for DJI repair facility in Texas.
Yes – I live in Canada. In Ottawa in fact, close to US border but not close enough to just drive there after work :-)

I do not have the experience of how Spark behaves outside of my country since I have never flown outside of Canada before (I am flying to Europe in few weeks so I will definitely check it out – unless my Spark is really busted). My old Spark was bought in Canada and I never saw any prompts. My refurbished Spark came from US and I see prompts and see connection reset every time I go and fly with it.

This experience, combined with what I saw from other people on this forum (describing same problem and never getting satisfactory answers) let me to start this thread, form home country hypothesis and ask the questions from different angle. As if the home country hypothesis was a fact. This tactic actually did achieve desired effect because you and others jumped into this trying to poke holes in what I say.
This is really good.

When you say:
“I can assure you, usually, after accepting the change, there is no "flies in foreign country", before you fly again in a foreign country!
And even "in the home country" it is coming up with "foreign country", till you accept that again.”

S-e-ven - Did you experience it yourself? Or did you see other people claiming it to be the case? I have seen my share of false claims here so I am careful :-).
If you say that it was your real experience, than I have a problem because my theory does not hold anymore and my questions are misguided.
Such an answer from you would also strongly suggest that my Spark is really confused.

But … (and there is always but.. :-)).
I spent 20 minutes on call with DJI today. I told them that I do not want to send my Spark back because I do not have any grounds to believe that this is h/w problem (and I want to fly my Spark but not necessarily back and forth between Ottawa and Dallas :-)). I have grounds to believe that this is some set-up problem which they simply cannot tell me because they don’t know. So I asked the same questions I posted here. I asked them how it works. They had no clue! They kept repeating like mantra: “Send it back to DJI repair facility and our technicians will check it out and repair your drone”. This conversation, like many previous conversations with DJI either here or through e-mail was very disappointing. Their support personnel is not trained well to handle queries which are outside some easy questions for which you can find answers in the manual. But enough about DJI support.

So I asked another logical question: “Can you tell me based on the Spark’s serial number if this Spark was activated?”
The reason I asked was simple. When I received my Spark, the only instructions DJI sent was how to connect it to RC. No word about activation. I connected to RC and tested Spark outside and inside. All worked well (outside of the stupid WLAN prompt). I got a hunch that it could be activation issue and I tried to activate it. But activation failed – after scanning QR code, DJI Go App tries to talk to Spark. But it can’t since Spark is on its back on my desk with battery removed – this is where QR code is. By the time I plug-in battery and reconnect, DJI GO app errors out. Duh… And DJI did not send me the box so I can’t scan QR code from the box. Chicken and egg (of course I could have taken the photo of  the QR code and scanned the photo while Spark was powered and connected, but it was late at night and I was grasping straws – no idea if it was necessary).

DJI technician checked their databases and said – “No, this Spark is not activated”. When I asked how to activate in chicken and egg scenario above and why DJI neglected to send me activation discussion he said: “You will get follow up call in 24 to 48 hours”. Very useful, ain’t it? :-)

So this evening at home I will take a photo of my Spark’s QR code, power up Spark, connect it to my mobile and try to activate it. If I am successful, I will check if WLAN warning is still there. If I am not successful I will wait for promised phone call from DJI.

If activation fixes the problem I will announce a new hypothesis. The new hypothesis will be that Spark does not keep home country in its memory, but rather DJI GO App checks its activation status. If it is activated, it will then check if Spark changed countries since last flight. If it did, it will ask Spark and RC to reset its communication channels according to rules in the new country.
But if Spark was not activated, DJI GO may insist, for whatever reason known only to DJI developers, to repeat this warning and reset every time it is started.  

I will post my findings here so we can help others in similar situation in the future.
2018-6-28
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JJBspark
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Hi Mirek,

Strange that so many users have different experiences, in all my GoApp Android versions from .12 i have the cancel option WLAN wifi settings, and yes every time i fire up my Spark if i cancel it.

cheers
JJB
2018-6-28
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Mirek6
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JJBspark Posted at 2018-6-28 11:50
Hi Mirek,

Strange that so many users have different experiences, in all my GoApp Android versions from .12 i have the cancel option WLAN wifi settings, and yes every time i fire up my Spark if i cancel it.

JJB,

Perhaps refurbished drone activation issue (my, very long, reply to S-e-ven above) - I am checking and will report findings.

What are the circumstances in which you receive such WLAN warnings?
When travelling outside of your country?
And if you do, once you reset your WLAN in new country, do prompts disappear when firing it up again after battery change?
2018-6-28
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S-e-ven
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JJBspark Posted at 2018-6-28 11:50
Hi Mirek,

Strange that so many users have different experiences, in all my GoApp Android versions from .12 i have the cancel option WLAN wifi settings, and yes every time i fire up my Spark if i cancel it.

It is my own experience, usually the message keeps popping up as long you cancel.
But as soon you accept it, there is no such message, as long you are not crossing borders again.
And since DJI is just having 2 settings, FCC and CE, there is no such thing like "home country" for this. Just crossing borders will want the Spark to make sure, it is sett to the CE or FCC for the country it is in.
Even if that isn't changing something, because it is the same setting like in the former country
2018-6-29
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S-e-ven Posted at 2018-6-29 00:08
It is my own experience, usually the message keeps.popping up as.long you cancel.
But as soon you accept it, there is no such message, as long you are not crossing borders again.
And since DJI is just having 2 settings, FCC and CE, there is no such thing like "home country" for this. Just crossing borders will want the Spark to make sure, it is sett to the CE or FCC for the country it is in.


Hi!

I have made the same experiences. Before I knew of the "hacked" Go4Apps I turned Spark into FCC by using Fake Location app ONCE on my phone. Everytime I powered up Spark then, the original Go4App asked me to Change the WLAN Settings, which I declined for obvious reasons. I once klicked yes and Spark was in CE again until I used Fakr GPS App again ONCE.

IMHO this speaks against the Homce-country theory?

Greetz
Weesel

Edit: This warning never popped up with original Go4App for me when travelling in Europe. Guess because they all use CE..?
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S-e-ven
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I would think that the EU has a DJI geofence around all CE countries, then.
Not around just one country.  Schengen for drones, so to speak
2018-6-29
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Mirek6
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Guys,

Good news and bad news.

Good news is that something mysterious happened and I suddenly saw WLAN message which had both Cancel and OK button (not only OK as before). When I clicked on OK this time, pop-up messages stopped. I flew yesterday evening, changed batteries, flew again, rebooted Spark, flew again - all is OK. No more WLAN messages.

Bad news is - I have no clue why this is fixed, which will not help people in the same situation.

There was absolutely nothing which I did which would justify the mysterious fix. The only thing which I was attempting to do when fix mysteriously presented itself was multiple and failed attempts to activate Spark. After the issue mysteriously disappeared I called DJI Support since I suspected that they may have had activated Spark for me in the meantime (I had talked to them several hours earlier and they had said that Spark had not been activated and had promised that somebody would call me to help with activation). They did not activate it and my Spark was still not activated.

I have to conclude that something is not quite stable with firmware and/or DJI GO App and my repeated DJI GO app installs, re-installs, clearing everything, resetting to factory settings, downgrading firmware and upgrading firmware followed by multiple attempts to activate Spark (all of them failed) must have loosened something up in software.

This is bad because it is not reproducible.
My only advice to people in similar situation would be to spend two evenings going through myriad steps, get totally frustrated, but be persistent. Just joking :-)

I believe now that my home country hypothesis is officially dead.

I believe that there is some interplay between DJI GO App and Spark’s firmware which sets communication between RC and Spark once when you cross country, or CE / FCC, boundary. I still do not know if this is CE / FCC boundary only as S-e-ven suggests. To test this I would need to cross Canada-US border (but I do not want to be separated from my children – could not resist the jab here :-)) and see if DJI GO App asks me to reset WLAN.

I also believe that WLAN message with OK button only is a sign of trouble. I don’t know why this would be programmed in but I know from my experience and experience of other users of this forum that message with OK button only is persistent and appears over and over with each flight.

Thank you everybody for your help.

Mirek
2018-6-29
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S-e-ven
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Mirek6 Posted at 2018-6-29 04:57
Guys,

Good news and bad news.

Don't get me wrong, please!
I think this "different country" pops up as soon you are in a different country as during the last flight before.
Even in case there is the same regulations to follow. And even, if I (you) have canceled all the requests and just move back to your "home country", as soon you cross a border / geofence (EU may be seen as a CE-Union by DJI), the Spark will point on this and try to reset to the local settings. Even if already ON these settings!
After my last trip, with canceling all of the request, I got a welcome for my first flight back in Thailand:
"You are flying in a different country...."
Of course, I accepted this time.
And: It seems, in case settings arent changing, the reconnecting is a lot quicker, as changing from CE to FCC or FCC to CE!
2018-6-29
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DMX_MT
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Mirek6 Posted at 2018-6-29 04:57
Guys,

Good news and bad news.

Thanks Mirek for the Update,

Quoting myself from the other post - ''So, I suspect its more of a DJI GO4 App problem. The Firmware was last updated in Dec 2017 if I am not mistaken.''

If I remember well this Pop was only visible lately, thats why I told you it maybe a Software Issue, then as we discussed we had our doubts again, like the Yaw Error as DJI is not coming to give us solutions.

Well this seems a Program Issue, as soon as my Guarantee is expired I suggest taking your own decisions Mirek I think you will be safer...

Also why didn't they Register your Drone if you did it online ? I don't like it when there is so much confusion.

Another Lesson Learnt Mirek, and you know why, can't explain on the Post.

Good day Brother !

2018-6-29
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Mirek6
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S-e-ven Posted at 2018-6-29 05:16
Don't get me wrong, please!
I think this "different country" pops up as soon you are in a different country as during the last flight before.
Even in case there is the same regulations to follow. And even, if I (you) have canceled all the requests and just move back to your "home country", as soon you cross a border / geofence (EU may be seen as a CE-Union by DJI), the Spark will point on this and try to reset to the local settings. Even if already ON these settings!

OK S-e-ven. I think it is clear. Many thanks for clarification.
2018-6-29
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Mirek6 Posted at 2018-6-29 04:57
Guys,

Good news and bad news.

No need to go to another country! There is software in the play store that gives the GPS a false place. Here you can set where you want to "be"
In Europe, this method is used to set the FC to Spark. Just set it up in America and the WLAN window will pop up ...
5-31 15:05
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Tentoes
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But I've never been in a different country with my spark.
6-5 03:17
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S-e-ven
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Sorry, didnt check the date!
6-5 08:11
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Tentoes
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Oklahoma is pretty far from CE territory. Seems it doesn't remember where it was last time.
6-6 04:59
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Tentoes Posted at 6-6 04:59
Oklahoma is pretty far from CE territory. Seems it doesn't remember where it was last time.

Same thing here.  Got my NEW Spark Fly More package yesterday.  Activated it with no problems in the US (Nevada) and have only tried to fly it here.  I use the remote control and an OTG cable to connect my phone to the controller.  I get the WLAN message EVERY TIME  I start the Spark and the only option is to hit OK.  Seems I should not be seeing this message since the Spark was activated here and only flown here.  Very annoying.

I've had a P3A and a Mavic Pro in the past.  They were much easier to get going than the Spark is.  Seems like I'm spending more time screwing with it than flying it.
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Figure on getting a Mavic II Pro. The spark is to tide me over while I get a place to live. That's the next project. It's nice to have a job in my field again!
6-6 08:11
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