Welcome DJI Spark Pilot!
Jump in and join our free Spark community today!
Sign up

Aircraft Disconnected.

Akuen_527

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 6, 2019
Messages
59
Age
22
Took Sparky with me on a kayaking trip this past weekend. While stopped at a campground, I took it up for a quick tour around and to shoot an old railway bridge. Right as I was heading out over the river, I look at my screen to see aircraft disconnected and no video feed. Fearing the worst, I pull on the control sticks only to see I still have full RC of the craft, at which point I quickly reverse course and safely land. Had I been beyond VLOS even the slightest, I would have stood a decent chance of loosing the spark. Keep it mind this happened at no more than 300 feet away.

Here is my flight record, can anyone help me understand what was happening? My only thought is magnetic interference from the rail way bridge 100 yds away or the rail road tracks that run both sides of the river valley we were in. But wouldn't magnetic interference simply screw with gps, not video feed? I had previously been to around 1000 feet or so with only a blip of video lag when yawing quickly, and that was in my backyard behind much taller trees than this river flight. I wanted to really get out over the rapids and show them, but after getting aircraft disconnect I stayed away from the water the rest of the trip. Would an OTG cable help? I actually had one with me I bought before this trip, but neglected to use it as it was quickly getting dark and I didn't really have the time to figure out how to properly use the cable for the first time. So I just used wifi as always before.

Flight Record: DJI Flight Log Viewer - PhantomHelp.com
 

nilanjan118

Well-Known Member
Join
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
785
Loc
Japan
If you see your flight record in Airdata, you will find that you had "very poor" RC-AC signal from about the 2 min mark. But it is quite surprising that inspite of losing downlink data connection for more than 3 secs on more than one instance, the AC didn't go into RTH mode. I am also not sure if an OTG cable would have helped you in this particular case but it generally improves connection between RC-AC by eliminating the wireless connection between phone and RC. Here is the Airdata link of your flight record.
 

Akuen_527

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 6, 2019
Messages
59
Age
22
If you see your flight record in Airdata, you will find that you had "very poor" RC-AC signal from about the 2 min mark. But it is quite surprising that inspite of losing downlink data connection for more than 3 secs on more than one instance, the AC didn't go into RTH mode. I am also not sure if an OTG cable would have helped you in this particular case but it generally improves connection between RC-AC by eliminating the wireless connection between phone and RC. Here is the Airdata link of your flight record.
Thank you, air data seems to show a lot more info about the flight. What I do not get though is what would cause signal loss like this, at such a short distance? I was standing to the left of the homepoint, in that patch of brown dirt/grass. And although trees were around they were not blocking my view of the craft at all. I also don't expect too much interference at a campground, Any wifi signals would have to be coming from a 4g hotspot or something similar, none of the campsites have internet. Perhaps there is a super powerful campground wifi blaster around somewhere I just don't know about, but that seems highly unlikely. Trains run along both sides of the river, although the spark was never closer than say 100m+altitude from the tracks.

Should I contact dji support? This thing is a month old, LOL. /:

Edit: I also just remembered that there was a fairly large 20x10m party/event rental tent was setup to the left of the N marker in the airdata map. I was standing perhaps 40-50m from the tent, which was aluminum framed I think.
 

nilanjan118

Well-Known Member
Join
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
785
Loc
Japan
Thank you, air data seems to show a lot more info about the flight. What I do not get though is what would cause signal loss like this, at such a short distance? I was standing to the left of the homepoint, in that patch of brown dirt/grass. And although trees were around they were not blocking my view of the craft at all. I also don't expect too much interference at a campground, Any wifi signals would have to be coming from a 4g hotspot or something similar, none of the campsites have internet. Perhaps there is a super powerful campground wifi blaster around somewhere I just don't know about, but that seems highly unlikely. Trains run along both sides of the river, although the spark was never closer than say 100m+altitude from the tracks.

Should I contact dji support? This thing is a month old, LOL. /:

Edit: I also just remembered that there was a fairly large 20x10m party/event rental tent was setup to the left of the N marker in the airdata map. I was standing perhaps 40-50m from the tent, which was aluminum framed I think.
Not the best way to assure you but I can only say that I have ran into similar situations too. I have flown more than 700m from home point in semi-urban areas with lots of houses, trees and also got abrupt disconnects (on the very odd occasion) in wide open areas at less than 200m. I remember an instance where the AC got disconnected abruptly and while I still had LOS, I could do nothing about it. It seemed it was flying away as it flew well away from me (which was supposed to be the home point for RTH) but I suddenly got back control and could land safely. Interference surely works in strange ways and it is no secret that the Spark isn't the best in dealing with it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: charliespark

Akuen_527

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 6, 2019
Messages
59
Age
22
Not the best way to assure you but I can only say that I have ran into similar situations too. I have flown more than 700m from home point in semi-urban areas with lots of houses, trees and also got abrupt disconnects (on the very odd occasion) in wide open areas at less than 200m. I remember an instance where the AC got disconnected abruptly and while I still had LOS, I could do nothing about it. It seemed it was flying away as it flew well away from me (which was supposed to be the home point for RTH) but I suddenly got back control and could land safely. Interference surely works in strange ways and it is no secret that the Spark isn't the best in dealing with it.
Scary thoughts my friend, I guess just always set that home point and hope dji doesn't blame me if it does truly "fly away" just trying to fly in the rural mountains at less than 200m away And it is very odd airdata shows 0% signal but I still felt as if I had control over it the entire time, never even needed to think about hitting rth since I had it in sight. Also worth mentioning I have never used the rth, if you remember my thread from last month about not trusting the spark's rth enough to rely on it as anything other than last ditch may work type of thing. I do set altitude however in case it is needed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nilanjan118

Spark 317

Well-Known Member
Premium Pilot
Join
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
3,503
Loc
Indiana, USA
Had to switch to a different phone so I see it now.

It was an icon only, no picture on the other phone.

Thanks for sharing.

Here's mine...

org_11175aa2dc5203bf_1557062402000.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: nilanjan118

New Threads

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
11,375
Messages
94,601
Members
15,418
Latest member
Marcus.mitchell