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Can I land at a distant point and return?

Speedmeister

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Jul 6, 2018
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You might want to test your landing skills for remote landing also. You need to be close to the edge to actually get a better view or a portion of the ground will be visible.
 

DavidBlezard

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Jan 26, 2019
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89
Yes that is technically possible, with a few cautions:
  • What if you lose signal between controller and craft while the motors are off? You won't be able to start them up and get it back home.
  • What if your battery does indeed die while it is up there with motors off?
  • Since you will be over 100 feet AGL and on the edge of a building, what happens if a wind gust comes by? The Spark is very light and could be blown over.
With no technical issues, you can land, turn off the motors, and then start up again when ready.
I would add that at time of take off from the roof, the Spark May reset its home point to the roof. When flying back to you and the RTH feature is activated the Spark will try to return to the roof. You will need to cancel the RTH and manually fly it to a landing point of your choice.

In this scenario the amount of flying time left in the battery is calculated based on the home point. You may have plenty of battery time left when the Spark is closer to you than the roof and it will think it needs more time to RTH. Again just a caution and you may have to override.

Why not just place the Spark in your friends window and capture from their. Not as cool as flying and landing but gets the pic you want.

Either way good luck and post it for us to view.
 

Rick W

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Nov 10, 2018
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CARPORT TEST RESULTS: Lessons Learned

1. I was able to land on top of the carport, shutdown the motors, film video, take a few snap shots, take off, fly back to my position (not with RTH).
2. I started by flying around a bit to run the battery down to 90% before landing. Once landed I started the video and had 40 minutes of film time to bring the battery down to 38%. Ambient temperature 73 degrees, 68% relative humidity, negligible wind. The 40 minutes filming was amazing considering I am lucky to get 15 minutes flight time. If you can get to a high vantage point to film, you triple your video time with motors off. First problem: I exceeded the available space on my Micro SD card. I don't recall how full it was so we need to figure out how much record time is available. I have a 32 GB micro SD.
3. While it was easy to land on the roof, I had great difficulty landing close enough to the edge of the carport to be able to shoot anything that wasn't about 50% roof at the bottom of the video. I moved the gimbal to the full down position and landed using the camera view as my guide. I want to try practicing with my "H" landing pad to see if I cant improve my technical skills landing close to the edge using only the feed from the camera. It will be more difficult at 12 stories than it was at one story high. Plan is to go back to the carport to see if I can land with greater precision after some practice with the "H" landing pad.
4. I thought the concern about metal in the roof was an important problem I hadn't considered. I inverted an old metal trash can and placed the Spark on top of it prior to take off. I received a compass error. Next I launched from my landing pad away from metal and flew directly above the trash can. At about 5 feet above the trash can I received a compass error message. I then climbed to 20 feet AGL and the compass error disappeared. I think this will allow me to abort a landing if I receive a compass error above the rooftop.

I again want to thank those who have helped me think through this fun project and in doing so have helped me to learn more about my spark and its capabilities (and occasional limitations).

I will post any additional progress and perhaps even a beautiful sunset.
 

Spark 317

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Jul 10, 2017
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I had great difficulty landing close enough to the edge of the carport to be able to shoot anything that wasn't about 50% roof at the bottom of the video.
Another test you can do but not sure if it works while the Spark has landed, but if you put the camera in Tripod mode before landing to see if you can tilt the camera up a bit past the normal horizon to get less of the roof after landing.

This area of camera tilt is reserved for the automatic Sphere and Pano photos the Spark takes and is accessible while in Tripod mode.

Like I said, not sure if it works while parked.
 

ExcitingHeadgear

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Feb 12, 2019
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3. While it was easy to land on the roof, I had great difficulty landing close enough to the edge of the carport to be able to shoot anything that wasn't about 50% roof at the bottom of the video.
Thanks for posting your results. One thing that might help is some clip-on landing gear, that would get the camera somewhat higher.
 
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[email protected]

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Jan 8, 2018
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61
Yes you can, I have done similar flights.
There is a 12 story building near me (close friend of the owner) that doesn’t have easy roof access but has a spectacular view of the Western sky. Would like to fly my Spark up onto the roof and land near the roof’s edge, shutdown the props to conserve power, take time lapsed photos of the sunset, restart the props and fly back. Is this technically possible?
 

nilanjan118

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Oct 31, 2018
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664
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Japan
Have been following this post since yesterday to find how your mission turns out. Some great advice by people already and I am happy to see that you completed the Carport Test successfully. All the best for the real mission.

Another test you can do but not sure if it works while the Spark has landed, but if you put the camera in Tripod mode before landing to see if you can tilt the camera up a bit past the normal horizon to get less of the roof after landing.
Btw this suggestion had come to my mind as well but I am afraid it won't work. I tested it this morning and found that you cannot switch to tripod mode when the AC is landed.
 
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PAMaire

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Dec 20, 2017
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Switzerland
3. While it was easy to land on the roof, I had great difficulty landing close enough to the edge of the carport to be able to shoot anything that wasn't about 50% roof at the bottom of the video.
You can change the horizon setting in the app (there is a trim option in the app), allowing to tilt more to the top. But you may have the propellers in view when tiliting all way up.

Or, put a GoPro on top of the Spark and use its time lapse mode, it could be worth a try on the carport ;-)

Anyway, can't wait to see your results !
 

SirThomas

Active Member
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Mar 2, 2019
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44
Looks like your idea may be just a little ahead of its time:

Yale University researchers have designed an observational drone designed to perch like a bird to save energy, using grippers to grab onto anything smaller than its opening width. The drone comes with three controllable fingers tipped with "contact modules," or attachments that function as the connecting point to objects. This allows the drone to switch off two rotors, consuming about 45% less energy.

Drones that perch like birds could go on much longer flights
 
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Pappy

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Aug 4, 2017
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39
One aspect no one has mentioned is the FOV. Depending on how close you can get to the edge will determine how much of the sunset is visible from the camera's POV. So even if you are able to land and take off from the roof, you may find the view from the camera is so obstructed that it's not worth the risk.
 

gviazd0r

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Dec 7, 2017
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25
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Sydney
It does work.... and here is what has happen to me.
My Spark run into low battery mode and started to land.
I have managed to have it land on my neighbours garage thinking I just go and ask politely to get it.
It was still going , just the motors turned off.
So I stick motors enabled and flew back home.

Saying all that there is a 12 stories building near by as well - 800 m away from me.
I have come to almost land my Spark but returned home - battery low alarm . However, the radio signal was ok all he time.

Putting two stories together I think its possible to land , get the motors going and then take off

Just make sure you have signal ok and batteries charged.


Looking forward to hear if you done it? And also more stories from other ppl .
 

nilanjan118

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Oct 31, 2018
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664
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Japan
2. I started by flying around a bit to run the battery down to 90% before landing. Once landed I started the video and had 40 minutes of film time to bring the battery down to 38%. Ambient temperature 73 degrees, 68% relative humidity, negligible wind. The 40 minutes filming was amazing considering I am lucky to get 15 minutes flight time. If you can get to a high vantage point to film, you triple your video time with motors off. First problem: I exceeded the available space on my Micro SD card. I don't recall how full it was so we need to figure out how much record time is available. I have a 32 GB micro SD.
Are you sure you actually ran out of space in your SD card? My 10 min video recordings are about 1~1.5GB in size.
So 40 mins should be about 6 GB max.
Anyway, I was going through the user manual today looking for the list of recommended SD cards and something caught my eye. Thought I should share it with you. So here is a screen capture from page 31 of the DJI Spark User Manual.

キャプチャ.JPG

Single video recording capped at 30 mins. This can be a major bummer in your mission.
 

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