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GPS Connection Issues

srcrain

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May 30, 2017
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Anyone having issues with connecting to GPS satellites? I go through the start-up process but often get a "No GPS" error. The satellite icon shows 5-6 (or more) satellites but it doesn't connect to GPS, it shows no bars on the GPS. This is in an area that I fly the Mavic and get satellite connection quickly.

Other times in relatively the same spot the Spark will pick up 14 satellites with a strong connection. This frustrating considering one of the selling points for Spark was easy of use and quick launch time. Not being able to gain satellite connection is a no go. Earlier today I got satellite connection at launch but lost GPS about 20 seconds into the flight and crashed when the wind pushed it into a tree.
 

JB Sliimp

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May 31, 2017
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My wifi and GPS satellite reception has been iffy at best --- so far. Spark loses connection with phone very easily and I'm not at limits. Also video feed not strong. Lots of pixelated issue. I'm only a few flights in so hoping zinger improvement.
 

msinger

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Also video feed not strong. Lots of pixelated issue.
Are you flying with the remote controller connected via Wi-Fi? If so, try disabling Bluetooth on your mobile device. If that does not help, then try using an OTG adapter to connect your mobile device to the micro USB port on the bottom of the remote controller.
 

srcrain

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Another frustrating day with the Spark. I do love the Spark when it works, it perfectly fits with my needs. My issue is the inconsistency of it connecting to GPS and it giving a compass error. I tried to recalibrate the compass about 10 times, moving to slightly different locations and the Spark kept giving a calibration error. As a result of this it would not connect to GPS and stayed in ATTI mode. After giving up on the Spark, I powered up the Mavic and it connected to 14 satellites immediately and didn't give and compass error.

Has anyone had this problem? Also, is there any reason (hardware or software) for the Spark and Mavic to be so different in terms of GPS connection and compass errors?

As I said yesterday, if the Spark doesn't allow for quicker set-up and launch it loses much of its appeal.

On a related note, I will never do gesture controls without first connecting to DJI GO 4 to make sure the Spark has GPS, otherwise it could be uncontrollable.
 

msinger

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My issue is the inconsistency of it connecting to GPS and it giving a compass error. I tried to recalibrate the compass about 10 times, moving to slightly different locations and the Spark kept giving a calibration error.
Were there any magnetic metal objects near your Spark or on your person? That would certainly cause problems when attempting to calibrate the compass.
 

srcrain

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Were there any magnetic metal objects near your Spark or on your person? That would certainly cause problems when attempting to calibrate the compass.
I took my watch off and moved my phone. Then I moved about 30 feet away from my remote, etc. Still got compass errors. Is the Spark more sensitive to this type of stuff? It is possible there could be metal (rebar) is the ground where I was, but as I said, I don't get the same errors from the Mavic.
 

msinger

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srcrain

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Yes. It was on a brick/concrete pier. Perfect for launching and flying over water, so I never get near people but get beautiful shots of the city scape. I know it is not the best place to calibrate, but it is a very good place to launch and fly. Interestingly, the Spark didn't ask for a calibration, but it had a compass /interference error. So even if I calibrate it off the pier on grass, if I try to launch it from the pier I would get bad interference and no GPS. Again I don't think the use of this drone is for wide open grassy areas, but more for dense and noisy urban areas to launch and land quickly once you get your shot. At least that is how I see it being used. A drone like this that is extremely sensitive to interference at close range loses a lot of its usefulness in my opinion. I want to be able to take it out of my bag, launch it within a minute, fly for a few minutes to get my shot, and land it. That is impossible if it won't connect to GPS and always has compass/interference errors.
 

msinger

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It sounds like you need to do some more experimenting. If you go back to that location, try moving to the grass to see if the error goes away. If it does, then you will at least know what's causing the interference.

Did you try holding your Spark high in the air (as you would to hand launch it)? If not, that could be a possible solution.
 

srcrain

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It sounds like you need to do some more experimenting. If you go back to that location, try moving to the grass to see if the error goes away. If it does, then you will at least know what's causing the interference.

Did you try holding your Spark high in the air (as you would to hand launch it)? If not, that could be a possible solution.
I tried the calibration at eye level, but it didn't work. You're right, I need to experiment a little bit. I will try different locations near my house. In prior attempts those locations have worked fine.

Ultimately though, I am not really trying to find out where there is or isn't interference, I know the pier is a bad area (but typical of were I would like to launch), I just want to know if the Spark is more sensitive to those types of areas than a Mavic or other DJI drones. I guess I have already answered my question - yes, but I want to know if others have similar issues with the Spark that their Mavic doesn't have.
 

Zezrum

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May 27, 2017
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No issues so far. Actually, my Spark sees more sats indoors than my mavic, but both see the same outside.
 

Nick C.

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Sep 5, 2017
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Came here to agree with srcrain.

I live in the metro Atlanta area, and have had the spark for a few weeks now. In the first couple of weeks it worked flawlessly. Always on GPS with a strong connection. I flew 300+ feet up and down and all around. Now, returning to the same locations and in new locations I get the no GPS/ compass interference error after about 2 mins of fly time. Even with re-calibrating the compass the error persists. My app shows 13 GPS satellites, yet still says for me to exit p-gps and use atti mode. Could something with this new firmware update be screwing me up??
 

Dronason

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Jun 28, 2017
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Did you calibrate the compass at some reasonable location with no metallic stuff around you or in the underground?
13 satellites is not really a lot but seems reasonable.
All info to understand what goes wrong is in the Spark flight log that can be retrieved as a .DAT file using dji assistant 2 on a computer.

Sent from my SM-G950F using SparkPilots Spark Forum mobile app
 

Mako79

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May 31, 2017
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You have compass issues and NOT GPS.

Find a grassy field free of any man-made objects including concrete.
Take your pants off and remove your watch and any other metalic objects on your body (think of it as going through airport security).
Raise the Spark above your head (higher the better) and spin 360 until the light indicator change. Drop the nose of the spark down and spin 360 until the light indicator changes again.

And then never do it again unless asked to.
 
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Buddy411

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Jul 2, 2017
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You have compass issues and NOT GPS.

Find a grassy field free of any man-made objects including concrete.
Take your pants off and remove your watch and any other metalic objects on your body (think of it as going through airport security).
Raise the Spark above your head (higher the better) and spin 360 until the light indicator change. Drop the nose of the spark down and spin 360 until the light indicator changes again.

And then never do it again unless asked to.
Now you're being ridiculous. You only need to remove your pants if they have metal buttons, rivets, etc. I would remove your shoes and socks though, as you want to be fully grounded to make a good connection.
 
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AndrewA

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Sep 6, 2017
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13 satellites is not really a lot but seems reasonable.
It's a common mistake. The number of satellites shown on DJI Go screen means almost nothing. More important GPS signal strength. I got the problem with 17 satellites. In flight logs I found GPS_health drops from 5(maximum value) to 0 almost immediately during the flight.
I've got crash this week caused by GPS/Compass errors:
 
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The Editor

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May 29, 2017
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It's a common mistake. The number of satellites shown on DJI Go screen means almost nothing. More important GPS signal strength. I got the problem with 17 satellites. In flight logs I found GPS_health drops from 5(maximum value) to 0 almost immediately during the flight.
I've got crash this week caused by GPS/Compass errors:
Correct - and people simply cannot get their head round this!
HDOP/VDOP is the important thing and the dilution of precision is given by the bar graph display.
I hear people banging on about "I had 7 satellites, so it should be good" - That could be 4 Glonass and 3 Navstar constellation fixes so positional accuracy could be flaky.
People should stop getting a security blanket of the number of satellites....It is meaningless!
And don't even get me started on the percentage battery level display which is also useless!!! - Fly by voltage, this is absolute rather than a poorly written estimation of charge shown as percentage which is always inaccurate!
 

Dronason

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It's a common mistake. The number of satellites shown on DJI Go screen means almost nothing. More important GPS signal strength. I got the problem with 17 satellites. In flight logs I found GPS_health drops from 5(maximum value) to 0 almost immediately during the flight.
I've got crash this week caused by GPS/Compass errors:
Yes, that's clear but it is only what we get from Go4 app. There is also the possibility to use app like "UAV Forecast" or "GPS status" (android). It will give you an idea of what you could at best expect or what is currently seen by the phone.

In the flight log in the Spark (DAT file) you will found all values to try understanding if your crash is due to compass or GPS or ...
From your video, seems there was a lot of wind and you were in an area where GPS or compass should not have been an issue.
Either you had a real compass error or the wind was so strong that it made the Spark think compass is not working.
At the end it come to same point, it switched to ATTI mode with high wind, the worst situation.
With the high angle that your video has, where you in sport mode or it was maybe already the effect of the ATTI mode?
 

OldDroneGuy

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Sep 6, 2017
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Had the Spark for a couple of weeks. No problems to acquire GPS and no problems with choppy video/controller drops etc flying up to 1/2 mile line of sight (haven't tried to go further yet). Only time video started to break up I was ~1/2 mile out, straight descent down into my neighbor's yard (with their permission), video breakup started at ~85 feet with no loss of controller function. We're a heavily wooded area at around 2,200 feet.

Using iPhone 7, IOS 10.x, Spark controller USB attached, iPhone in airplane mode. All DJI firmware updates applied. Have never calibrated compass or IMU.
 

foucdan

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Dec 1, 2018
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Same issue. I have MavicPilots2 pro and no issue with getting satellites 12-14 satellites But with spark can get only 8-9 satellites. Same spot . Really desapointed with spark.

try all recalibrate and same frustrating issue. Can only fly atti mode
 

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