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Trust issues with new Spark after Fly-Away
274 6 2018-7-17
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Dronenland
lvl.3
Flight distance : 140984 ft
Netherlands
Offline

Hi all,

I received a new replacement Spark yesterday after mine went haywire 1,5 weeks ago after palmlaunching. It started drifting heavily of all the sudden, and reached (impossible) speeds of 57kmh, and it wasn't even in Sports Mode, nor did i have any input on it. It landed in a ditch and i had to get my scuba gear out to find it.

No remarks on DJI support. The whole process of sending it in/getting a warranted replacement, took a week. So thumbs up for support up until now.

However, i've gotten a bit scared/untrustworthy towards the Spark now. I hooked the replacement up to DJI assistant after receiving it and it said it had to update the firmware, despite it being on 0900 already. So i did that. Calibrated IMU on completely flat surface after that (always good after shipping i reckon). Checked all the sensors and signal strengths etc.

Went out in the completely open field i usually fly in. No tall trees, no concrete (buildings) etc. Put on the prop guards (i normally never use) and the Gimbal sunhood, to give it extra protection in case it decided to go nuts again. Checked everything again and it all seemed to be alright. Started a Palmlaunch and after it got some lift, i noticed it pulling to the right unusually hard, so i was scared to let go and the motors just stopped because it couldn't Palmlaunch, because i held it. I tried it 2/3 more times and it did the same.

I then put a thin but long cord/leash around it, thinking if it wants to fly away, it cannot go anywhere, since i can just keep it around me. I started a Palmlaunch and let it go and it immediately started to drift hard, despite all sensors and signal strenghts being ok. Luckily nothing happened, since i had it on leash.

Checked the props again for damages (sliding your finger over them to feel inconsistencies), double checked they were locked in place. Recalibrated the controller. All was ok.

Now, for a (VERY) weird theory (i work as an IT System Administrator, so i have quite a few years of technical knowledge, and i just found it actually bizarre that i came up with it, but i did notice):
The old Spark went nuts, the first evening i tried my new SD card. A Sandisk Extreme Pro 32GB. Before, i had a Sandisk Ultra 64GB and it never had any of these issues. I tried the new Spark with the Extreme Pro, but i had ONE time, thinking, what have i changed, oh, the SD card. So i switched back to the Ultra. Palmlaunched it on leash carefully and all was well, no hard pulls etc. Switched to the Extreme Pro, Palmlaunched it and i felt the really strong pull to the right again, so i wouldn't let go. After this, swapped the props left to right and vice versa, despite them being ok and at the appropriate positions. Put in the Ultra card, Palmlaunched it on leash again and all was ok. It was hoovering steadily. Then i switched the SD card again to the Extreme Pro, Palmlaunched it again on leash carefully, and now, all was well too.

Could the Hardware/software go nuts because of the type of SD card? Like i said, i find it the most bizarre theory i've ever came up with, but i couldn't help but noticing these differences between the behavior of the Drone and these SD Cards.

I let it gain some height and it seemed rock solid. So i landed it, removed the leash and Palmlaunched it again. It hovered and i carefully flew it around. All seemed well. After this i landed again and calling it a quits for today (yesterday), thinking i'm gonna fly it again AFTER my DJI Care has been transfered to the new drone.

I've posted this story to have it on record in case this Spark also decides to leave me. All sensors, calibrations and items (props etc.) seem perfectly ok, it typically has between 19-23 sattelites GPS, so there should be no reason to give any problems. This replacement has to earn my trust.

Is this just me being paranoid, or do i have a right to be wary? I'd rather not send it in again if there is nothing wrong with it.

Thanks.
2018-7-17
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Ronnie.Choy
Second Officer
Flight distance : 760869 ft
Singapore
Online

scientific testing methods ..... but strange results indeed. keep us posted on further findings, keen to know
2018-7-17
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DJI Stephen
Super Moderator

Online

Hi. If you have any questions or inquiries about your DJI Spark. Please, don't hesitate to post them so that we will be able to help you. And if you have any trouble with your DJI Spark please contact ( www.dji.com/support ) for further help.
2018-7-17
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Cruicer
lvl.2
Flight distance : 15764 ft
United States
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Ahh...I like the System Admin approached..."What's changed".  Troubleshooting 101 right!!!  When you were flying, did you have video on at take off?  
2018-7-17
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MarkMN
lvl.4
Flight distance : 77100 ft
United States
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When I first got my Spark I spent some time reading a number of posts here and at a couple of other forums. You're not the first person to think the SD card affected the drone, so there may be something to it.

But I can't imagine why I/O wouldn't be done in an isolated thread. Then again, most programmers these days don't have much experience programming down on the bare metal.
2018-7-17
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Dronenland
lvl.3
Flight distance : 140984 ft
Netherlands
Offline

Cruicer Posted at 2018-7-17 09:33
Ahh...I like the System Admin approached..."What's changed".  Troubleshooting 101 right!!!  When you were flying, did you have video on at take off?

No, I was thinking to put it on record for a moment, but i was much more busy trying to make sure it was stable. Further, it was in gesture mode and since i wanted to be able to Palmland it, i couldn't make it record (Video recording from the Go app doesn't work in gesture mode?).
2018-7-17
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Dronenland
lvl.3
Flight distance : 140984 ft
Netherlands
Offline

MarkMN Posted at 2018-7-17 09:34
When I first got my Spark I spent some time reading a number of posts here and at a couple of other forums. You're not the first person to think the SD card affected the drone, so there may be something to it.

But I can't imagine why I/O wouldn't be done in an isolated thread. Then again, most programmers these days don't have much experience programming down on the bare metal.

I know it sounds silly, but it is pretty weird that i was flying my Spark for over 1,5 months without any problems and the evening i put in a new SD card, it went berserk. I wanted a high(er) end card in it, since i'm pretty sure it will affect the time to save an image (they are pretty big, usually around 8MB per image), even on a "simple" device such as the Spark. I reckon a Sandisk Extreme Pro isn't exactly a weird line nor brand, so it is not like you are putting garbage in the Spark...

Lovely day out here today, but i'm not gonna launch my new Spark again until DJI Care has been transferred to this one...
2018-7-17
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