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Active Track Jeep in Anza Borrego Desert

CAREY

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First DJI Spark Active Track follow test in Anza Borrego Desert about 8-miles NE of Borrego Springs, CA. Next video to be posted uses cached audio in phone to allow real-time narration while driving Jeep.
Great video! Makes me wish I had my old Wrangler back!
 

graywoulf

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Most of the time I think that these videos are boring to a degree. Not this time. Interesting terrain and great music by David Lanz. I couldn't live in an environment like that. No big shade trees and no grass. I live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC if that tells you why I say that.
 
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Mr Geek

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Most of the time I think that these videos are boring to a degree. Not this time. Interesting terrain and great music by David Lanz. I couldn't live in an environment like that. No big shade trees and no grass. I live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC if that tells you why I say that.
I hear you! I was born and raised and lived my life in San Diego near SDSU, definitely not NC, but it's not lower desert type terrain and climate either. This area is uniquely peaceful and alien, even hostile if climate and/or terrain are misunderstood. About 8-years ago I retired out here to Borrego Springs, CA, lower desert just east of SD County mountains, wonderful in winter and simply HOT and dry in summer with the exception of Monsoon Season.
 

yycwrangler

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great video..question....how did you get it to track in front of you and to the side

al
 

Stanlee

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First DJI Spark Active Track follow test in Anza Borrego Desert about 8-miles NE of Borrego Springs, CA. Next video to be posted uses cached audio in phone to allow real-time narration while driving Jeep.
so you had remote with you in the jeep?
Do you use otg cable?
cool little clip, I wanted to try this but Ive noticed spark gets really finicky when I lift off by my work truck.
 

Mr Geek

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so you had remote with you in the jeep?
Do you use otg cable?
cool little clip, I wanted to try this but Ive noticed spark gets really finicky when I lift off by my work truck.
Yes, I had the controller w/phone sitting on my dash, works great allows you to keep an eye on what the drone sees using the phone and to control the Spark when you reach narrow and obstacle ridden locations or when you want to change positioning. If you enable audio capture along with the cached 720p video that is saved to your phone you can also narrate the video in real time while driving. Video editors will let you extract/separate that audio as it's own, stand alone track that you can then snap/merge into the 1080p track from the drone footage for best quality. I just started doing this and will post an example soon.

Yes vehicles and electronics will impact the compass which will cause unexpected behavior. I have ham radio rigs in the Jeep and keep them off when flying due to RF radiation they warn you about in the Spark manual.
 
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nilanjan118

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great video..question....how did you get it to track in front of you and to the side

al
This is one question which bugs every new user. There are 2 modes in Active Track - Trace mode & Profile mode. Trace mode is the one where the drone simply follows you from a constant distance. Profile mode is the one where you position the drone at a particular side of the subject and it keeps facing in the same direction while tracking the subject moving either forward, sideways or backward.
 
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nilanjan118

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First DJI Spark Active Track follow test in Anza Borrego Desert about 8-miles NE of Borrego Springs, CA. Next video to be posted uses cached audio in phone to allow real-time narration while driving Jeep.

Nice video...what's the top speed you reached with the bird still tracking you?
 

Mr Geek

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This is one question which always bugs every new user. There are 2 modes in Active Track - Trace mode & Profile mode. Trace mode is the one where the drone simply follows you from a constant distance. Profile mode is the one where you position the drone a particular side of the subject and it keeps facing in the same direction while tracking the subject moving either forward, sideways or backward.
Hi Al,
For this video I used both Profile Mode and Trace Mode (using in-app panning) and manual positioning while airborne while Spark was locked in "mode" from inside the Jeep. As you described, Trace Mode tries to follow or trace the path the object travels following behind it (tracing) but it will cord through tight curves. Profile mode will try to maintain an offset that is relative to the initial position the user sets and a compass bearing of the line drawn from the drone to the Jeep (object).

One thing I learned, which you also described, is that when using Profile Mode in Active Track you set a position somewhere around an object, in this case the Jeep. The drone will then try to maintain that relative compass bearing to the object (which initially I did not realize). In other words the angular position is not relative to the objects geometry, instead the angular relationship from the Jeep (object) to the drone is relative to the initial compass heading/bearing from the drone to the object when the object began moving and is not relative to the geometry of the object.

This isn't fully illustrated in the video because I was mixing modes as well as manually panning (with target locked) around the Jeep while driving. I am working on more example videos to both learn and share if they seem worthy to share.

On Speed: I haven't measured my speed yet in any meaningful way but I was traveling at a slower pace than faster speeds used in other successful tests two days ago and the speedo was showing 15 MPH. Since the drone will travel up to 31MPH (Sport Mode) and 22 MPH in RTH Mode I would assume it can at least maintain 20 MPH or greater. My guess is the drone will travel as fast as is possible in these modes but more testing is needed to confirm this.
 
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yycwrangler

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Thanks for clearing up profile vs trace mode..I did do a track but it was always behind me. Great to know that we can preset the angle and it will stay in that position in relation to the RC.

Happy flying
Cheers
Al
 
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nilanjan118

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To answer this question from you and others I just finished and posted a video where I test for practical travel speeds using Active Track Follow modes following the Jeep:
Thank you very much for making this video. It is very informative and you have made some really good points like using the dynamic home point option. Really impressed to see the capabilities of the Spark in your test.

PS: You chose an amazing "test site" too. Love the terrain and the backdrop.
 

Mr Geek

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great video..question....how did you get it to track in front of you and to the side

al
Profile Mode allows the drone to maintain an offset and compass heading to the object.

Active Track Follow Mode has two modes, Trace and Profile. Trace is where the drone will try to follow and "Trace" the path the object takes. Profile lets you set an initial offset and compass heading the object where the drone will try to maintain the compass heading to the object while tracking/following it. In the last 1/2 of the video below you can see another demonstration of Trace and Profile.

One thing to repeat...Profile mode does not maintain a angular orientation relative to the object's geometry but instead maintains a compass heading to the object. For example if you initially set the drone in front of a vehicle using Profile Mode then start driving, then travel through a right-angle curve, the drone would then be looking at the side of the vehicle, not the front, since it is maintaining a compass heading to the object.
 
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