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First flight, idiot mistake with wifi

Dronason

Well-Known Member
Premium Pilot
Join
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
1,136
Loc
Switzerland
I made my first flight today with my new Spark and this is to share it. I have some experience with "new" stuff from DJI but it was for me the first drone to fly using just an android phone, no RC, I was a little afraid.
So first read manuals, check forums (sign in to SparkPilots, so good experience with PhantomPilots ). First trial indoor (raining day) didn't give a lot of confidence as the Spark is so much powerful, I quickly see that any pilot error will finish in a wall. So I end up that trial, waiting for good weather to try outdoor flying.
So I just go in the field with nothing around. It is not supposed to go more fare than 100 meters with no RC, so not risk with tree.
I was using a Samsung S8.4 tablet, having also my phone (Samsung S6) ready just in case.
Take off and first minute, all fine. Then I send it as fare as possible to see up to what distance I can go. I followed a path where I can easily retrieve it. I was able to reach 96 meters, so almost the fence limit, so not bad but I got warning "no signal" on the tablet and I had no control on it. I thought, ok, worst case, return home will be activated and all good. But nothing happened, the app show GPS good and Lost signal alternatively, signal indicator was very low, no sure of the video link (was not B&W). So I closed the distance, being sure I would take control again. Nope. I was finally bellow it (about 30 meters altitude) and still no control and no signal.
Not a too big deal as I could wait for the battery go to low level and it would land or return home, but what a fail for first flight.
So I tried to restart the app and nothing changed.
Then I thought, I can try with my phone. Exit GO app on the tablet, took the phone, then I see that the wifi was connected, sounds wrong. Idiot I was, I didn't realize that it was also set to connect to the Spark wifi and it was. From later test, it seems that the Spark can connect only to one wifi device at a time. When the Spark was fare away, it lost the signal with the table but probably the phone has a better wifi and connected to it. Then the table was never able to reconnect to it. As soon I keep only the phone on, I was able to take control again.
Lesson learned, turn off wifi on other devices you carry set for the Spark wifi.

Out of this first experience, my first impressions (from a Phantom 3 pilot) are:

+ It is clearly not a Phantom or a Mavric but it is a nice piece of technology with a descent firmware. I expect many updates to come.
+ Very strong in high wind, gimbal do nice work and there is no comparison with low cost drone having no mechanical gimbal.
+ Gesture was working if you take it as independent command and you need to stop one to do another one (typically from hand control to bye-bye). But I don't see too much the use of this gesture mode as it can't do video and the pictures are with reduced resolution.

- I found strange it had not returned home when I had no control on it with the tablet because my phone connected to the Spark wifi (without the app running).
- I don't like to have to use the "Find my drone" function to check where the home point is set.
- No map view during flight (here in Europe range is low in any case) but in FCC mode, it would be needed (maybe again an iphone / android app story?).
- CSC from the app is not available and only "auto take-off" can be used, worked fine, but I don't like drones hovering at such low altitude.
- RC control with the app is very laggy, even at short distance.
- I am afraid of using it with just the app as control. I hope the RC will improve that (and arrive soon).

The next 7 days to get the remote control will be very long.

Sorry for so long post, you know waiting to get it and first flight...
 

aviscomi

Well-Known Member
Premium Pilot
Join
May 27, 2017
Messages
1,110
Loc
Philadelphia, PA
Very good post...thanks for sharing your experience.
 

Glen e

Well-Known Member
Join
May 27, 2017
Messages
127
Age
69
Much the same experience as I. I think when all is said and done, I'll sell the spark and keep the Mavic. I just feel so much safer and confident with the Mavic. And after you get done with extra batteries, chargers etc. the Mavic is not that much more $....
 

redrydermedia

Well-Known Member
Join
Jun 22, 2017
Messages
90
Age
70
I have had a different experience. I use an ipad as the controller and have not experienced any lag from the App. For me it seems to work fine.

I agree Gestures have limited usefulness. The one situation that has worked for me is I launch Gestures from the Intelligent Flight screen and let my grandkids move Spark around with their hand motions. They get the joy of "flying" Spark and I have the App open and can quickly take control if necessary. Otherwise, I really haven't found it worthwhile. Makes for good marketing perhaps, but very limited functionality.
 
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Dronason

Well-Known Member
Premium Pilot
Join
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
1,136
Loc
Switzerland
I have had a different experience. I use an ipad as the controller and have not experienced any lag from the App. For me it seems to work fine.

I agree Gestures have limited usefulness. The one situation that has worked for me is I launch Gestures from the Intelligent Flight screen and let my grandkids move Spark around with their hand motions. They get the joy of "flying" Spark and I have the App open and can quickly take control if necessary. Otherwise, I really haven't found it worthwhile. Makes for good marketing perhaps, but very limited functionality.
I see the same kind application as you regarding gesture, not more.
Regarding the control, I will have to retry with different phone / tablet where all mine are android as it is what I use daily and I don't want to invest more. Probably my tablet cannot compete with an ipad in term of performance and wifi signal. I had used it with Phantom 3 but I replaced it with a more powerful one. In any case control by phone/tablet would be in my case only an very rare case.
One question, did you use the option to use the cache on your ipad? I have set it but maybe I should try with it disabled.
 

redrydermedia

Well-Known Member
Join
Jun 22, 2017
Messages
90
Age
70
I see the same kind application as you regarding gesture, not more.
Regarding the control, I will have to retry with different phone / tablet where all mine are android as it is what I use daily and I don't want to invest more. Probably my tablet cannot compete with an ipad in term of performance and wifi signal. I had used it with Phantom 3 but I replaced it with a more powerful one. In any case control by phone/tablet would be in my case only an very rare case.
One question, did you use the option to use the cache on your ipad? I have set it but maybe I should try with it disabled.
I don't know if I'm cacheing...???? I have noticed that there is a delay in the still photos. When I take a still photo of an action like diving into a swimming pool, the resulting photo is delayed significantly. The resulting photo is well after when I press the red button. Not an issue with still subjects, but very noticeable in action settings. I'm guessing it has to do with the delay in sending the button depress signal to the Spark and signaling the camera to fire. Very disappointing, but unfortunately understandable. This may be present with my two Phantoms, but I never noticed. I think the delay may be as much as a second. The same thing may be occurring in the control, just not as noticeable.
 

Dronason

Well-Known Member
Premium Pilot
Join
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
1,136
Loc
Switzerland
I don't know if I'm cacheing...???? I have noticed that there is a delay in the still photos. When I take a still photo of an action like diving into a swimming pool, the resulting photo is delayed significantly. The resulting photo is well after when I press the red button. Not an issue with still subjects, but very noticeable in action settings. I'm guessing it has to do with the delay in sending the button depress signal to the Spark and signaling the camera to fire. Very disappointing, but unfortunately understandable. This may be present with my two Phantoms, but I never noticed. I think the delay may be as much as a second. The same thing may be occurring in the control, just not as noticeable.
I have also 2 Phantoms and never noticed such delay. My problem was more with the flight control, but I checking the delay to take a picture, I see it too now, also video start with a delay. So burst mode is a must. I hope that with the RC and cable to the tablet it will go better.
 

redrydermedia

Well-Known Member
Join
Jun 22, 2017
Messages
90
Age
70
I have also 2 Phantoms and never noticed such delay. My problem was more with the flight control, but I checking the delay to take a picture, I see it too now, also video start with a delay. So burst mode is a must. I hope that with the RC and cable to the tablet it will go better.
I've noticed the delay in starting the video too, but at least with video you get everything after that initial delay. With still photos, you completely miss what you were trying to shoot. You're suggestion of using burst mode only works if you can anticipate soon enough to capture the portion you want. I will try that next time and see if it helps.
 

Dronason

Well-Known Member
Premium Pilot
Join
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
1,136
Loc
Switzerland
I've noticed the delay in starting the video too, but at least with video you get everything after that initial delay. With still photos, you completely miss what you were trying to shoot. You're suggestion of using burst mode only works if you can anticipate soon enough to capture the portion you want. I will try that next time and see if it helps.
You are true, anticipation is the key in photography in any case, bust of only 3 pictures don't help a lot and I am not sure if it is with full resolution.
 

Maverick

New Member
Join
Jul 14, 2017
Messages
1
Age
59
Much the same experience as I. I think when all is said and done, I'll sell the spark and keep the Mavic. I just feel so much safer and confident with the Mavic. And after you get done with extra batteries, chargers etc. the Mavic is not that much more $....
In Australia (for the fly more pack) the Mavic is $1000 more. I wan't the Mavic but cannot justify that much extra. $1200 for the Spark, $2200 for the Mavic
 

Born In The Bronx

Active Member
Join
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
30
Loc
Greenville SC
I made my first flight today with my new Spark and this is to share it. I have some experience with "new" stuff from DJI but it was for me the first drone to fly using just an android phone, no RC, I was a little afraid.
So first read manuals, check forums (sign in to SparkPilots, so good experience with PhantomPilots ). First trial indoor (raining day) didn't give a lot of confidence as the Spark is so much powerful, I quickly see that any pilot error will finish in a wall. So I end up that trial, waiting for good weather to try outdoor flying.
So I just go in the field with nothing around. It is not supposed to go more fare than 100 meters with no RC, so not risk with tree.
I was using a Samsung S8.4 tablet, having also my phone (Samsung S6) ready just in case.
Take off and first minute, all fine. Then I send it as fare as possible to see up to what distance I can go. I followed a path where I can easily retrieve it. I was able to reach 96 meters, so almost the fence limit, so not bad but I got warning "no signal" on the tablet and I had no control on it. I thought, ok, worst case, return home will be activated and all good. But nothing happened, the app show GPS good and Lost signal alternatively, signal indicator was very low, no sure of the video link (was not B&W). So I closed the distance, being sure I would take control again. Nope. I was finally bellow it (about 30 meters altitude) and still no control and no signal.
Not a too big deal as I could wait for the battery go to low level and it would land or return home, but what a fail for first flight.
So I tried to restart the app and nothing changed.
Then I thought, I can try with my phone. Exit GO app on the tablet, took the phone, then I see that the wifi was connected, sounds wrong. Idiot I was, I didn't realize that it was also set to connect to the Spark wifi and it was. From later test, it seems that the Spark can connect only to one wifi device at a time. When the Spark was fare away, it lost the signal with the table but probably the phone has a better wifi and connected to it. Then the table was never able to reconnect to it. As soon I keep only the phone on, I was able to take control again.
Lesson learned, turn off wifi on other devices you carry set for the Spark wifi.

Out of this first experience, my first impressions (from a Phantom 3 pilot) are:

+ It is clearly not a Phantom or a Mavric but it is a nice piece of technology with a descent firmware. I expect many updates to come.
+ Very strong in high wind, gimbal do nice work and there is no comparison with low cost drone having no mechanical gimbal.
+ Gesture was working if you take it as independent command and you need to stop one to do another one (typically from hand control to bye-bye). But I don't see too much the use of this gesture mode as it can't do video and the pictures are with reduced resolution.

- I found strange it had not returned home when I had no control on it with the tablet because my phone connected to the Spark wifi (without the app running).
- I don't like to have to use the "Find my drone" function to check where the home point is set.
- No map view during flight (here in Europe range is low in any case) but in FCC mode, it would be needed (maybe again an iphone / android app story?).
- CSC from the app is not available and only "auto take-off" can be used, worked fine, but I don't like drones hovering at such low altitude.
- RC control with the app is very laggy, even at short distance.
- I am afraid of using it with just the app as control. I hope the RC will improve that (and arrive soon).

The next 7 days to get the remote control will be very long.

Sorry for so long post, you know waiting to get it and first flight...
Thank you for your post. I am brand new to all of this. My first drone, The Spark is arriving today. I will do everything I can as a beginner. Wish me luck.
 

Dronason

Well-Known Member
Premium Pilot
Join
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
1,136
Loc
Switzerland
Which you good luck, but read also the manual
 

Born In The Bronx

Active Member
Join
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
30
Loc
Greenville SC
Thanks, yes I have been. I downloaded the User Manual the other day so I could read it several times before I even try to fly it. I've flown a friends Phanthom 4 a few times ever so cautiously so I'm familiar with some of this but I'm in no hurry to go off into the wild blue yonder.
 

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