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

I don't trust spark

Nik Sinclair

Member
Join
Mar 6, 2019
Messages
7
Age
53
Been flying drones for 4 years I thought a small drone with all the latest bells and whistles would be a practical solution for spontaneous flights.
It turns out the spark is way over engineered and has proved to be so over complex to be useful.
I live in a city and have flown numerous aircraft where and when I like.
I regard my own sensible flying to be safety enough.
Several times I had a near loss of aircraft due to unreasonable fly away
So along comes nfz on riding on an update and the result is can't fly local...so I get no limits for 35 usd and hope that fixes it...it does ...but not completely.
Loss of control on one occasion and frquent reports of weak GPS with 10 or more locks.
Plus it seems the basic accelerometers are less functional than with earlier non GPS drones...no GPS and inertial guidance is virtually non existent.
So conclude that I can't trust this quad not to disappear any day soon.
Anybody else had similar experience?
 

pmshop

Spark Pilot Guru
Premium Pilot
Join
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
1,853
Age
52
Loc
Fredericksburg, Texas, USA
Web
www.youtube.com
Been flying drones for 4 years I thought a small drone with all the latest bells and whistles would be a practical solution for spontaneous flights.
It turns out the spark is way over engineered and has proved to be so over complex to be useful.
I live in a city and have flown numerous aircraft where and when I like.
I regard my own sensible flying to be safety enough.
Several times I had a near loss of aircraft due to unreasonable fly away
So along comes nfz on riding on an update and the result is can't fly local...so I get no limits for 35 usd and hope that fixes it...it does ...but not completely.
Loss of control on one occasion and frquent reports of weak GPS with 10 or more locks.
Plus it seems the basic accelerometers are less functional than with earlier non GPS drones...no GPS and inertial guidance is virtually non existent.
So conclude that I can't trust this quad not to disappear any day soon.
Anybody else had similar experience?
Should have gone for the NFZ unlock - DJI can unlock you a year at a time.

My first new Spark was defective straight from DJI.
Could not set a home point for nothing.
They made it right by replacing the Spark.

Over time across two Sparks in my fleet, I have cashed in on DJI Care Refresh - 4 exchanges between the two due to crashes.
Of those 4 I had to send 2 back immediately after receiving because they were defective straight from service.
They still made it right though.

I have been on 4 mile litchi missions no issues and countless other flights.

Now I am upgrading to Mavic Air and the fun has really begun.
Got a refurb and came defective.
Exchanged under warranty and received a new Mavic Air and still defective.

So yes, "the more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain" ~ Capt Montgomery Scott
 

Vader01

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
60
Age
58
I have had my Spark since November of last year and no issues with it at all that were the fault of the Spark. Even have lost signal numerous times and it has always come back, so I'm very pleased with my Spark. I've flown 10hrs and 46mins, logged 84 flights with a total of 343,426 ft traveled
and the only issue I have had was a gimbal error message caused by me using a camera hood accessory which I no longer use.
 
Last edited:

Andre Levite

WELL-TRUSTED MEMBER
Premium Pilot
Join
Jun 18, 2018
Messages
1,630
Loc
Treasure Coast of Florida
Web
how-to-spark.com
Been flying drones for 4 years I thought a small drone with all the latest bells and whistles would be a practical solution for spontaneous flights.
It turns out the spark is way over engineered and has proved to be so over complex to be useful.
I live in a city and have flown numerous aircraft where and when I like.
I regard my own sensible flying to be safety enough.
Several times I had a near loss of aircraft due to unreasonable fly away
So along comes nfz on riding on an update and the result is can't fly local...so I get no limits for 35 usd and hope that fixes it...it does ...but not completely.
Loss of control on one occasion and frquent reports of weak GPS with 10 or more locks.
Plus it seems the basic accelerometers are less functional than with earlier non GPS drones...no GPS and inertial guidance is virtually non existent.
So conclude that I can't trust this quad not to disappear any day soon.
Anybody else had similar experience?

I have 2 Sparks with zero problems.

I don't think the Spark is "over-engineered". I don't think the Spark is "over complex". I truly believe it is a marvel of elegant and intelligent design.

The GPS and accelerometers work reliably and predictably. I respect it's capabilities and understand it's limitations. Sorry your experience has not been the same.

I choose the Spark because I really couldn't find a compact consumer drone with comparable features and robust support in the same price range. If you find such a drone let us know how it works out for you.
 

Northwood Mediaworks

Flying with both feet on the ground!
Premium Pilot
Join
Jan 15, 2018
Messages
1,952
Age
61
Loc
Northern Ontario, Canada
Web
northwoodmediaworks.com
My first flight was Jine 1, 2018, since then, 97 flights, 13 hours, 70km... with only one or two minor issues, nothing beyond my own control. However, I dont trust it 100%, but with RC, one never should.
 

ChristoffB

Well-Known Member
Join
Jan 14, 2019
Messages
60
Age
32
Loc
South Africa
72 flights, 7h23m45s, 35km. Only once I experienced a remote controller disconnection. Spark RTH successfully and on its way back the controller reconnected and I was able to land safely. My guess is that it was due to wifi/bluetooth interference as my phone was not in flight mode during that specific flight... Other than that I do not have any issues whatsoever!
 

Kenneth Jackson

Well-Known Member
Join
Jul 3, 2018
Messages
65
Age
56
Been flying drones for 4 years I thought a small drone with all the latest bells and whistles would be a practical solution for spontaneous flights.
It turns out the spark is way over engineered and has proved to be so over complex to be useful.
I live in a city and have flown numerous aircraft where and when I like.
I regard my own sensible flying to be safety enough.
Several times I had a near loss of aircraft due to unreasonable fly away
So along comes nfz on riding on an update and the result is can't fly local...so I get no limits for 35 usd and hope that fixes it...it does ...but not completely.
Loss of control on one occasion and frquent reports of weak GPS with 10 or more locks.
Plus it seems the basic accelerometers are less functional than with earlier non GPS drones...no GPS and inertial guidance is virtually non existent.
So conclude that I can't trust this quad not to disappear any day soon.
Anybody else had similar experience?
I had a recent incident where mid flight it lost GPS signal, went into atti mode, then updated the home point to some random place. I could control the spark just fine and was bringing it back to me. Before I got it back, it initiated low battery rth and began flying away to its new random home point which was in the opposite direction. I tried to cancel rth many times only to get the message that cancel rth failed. At this point the app and the drone are very stubborn and slow to react at all. I could barely control the Spark enough to get it to slowly come in my direction. Again trying to cancel rth and watching the app spaz out for several seconds and fail to cancel rth. If I let off of the sticks at all it would immediately continue to go into the opposite direction to who knows where.. After a long battle with it , I was able to get it low enough for me to grab it and flip it over. I fly all kinds of drones and have several years experience. No drone should ignore the pilots stick inputs. Don't trust a Spark! It's flawed automation will take control from you and any attempt to over ride it will be ignored. I suppose I should have hit the pause button and waited for the battery to go completely dead and it fall out of the sky. The Spark probably would have ignored pause also.
I have 185 flights but that 185th one was a failure and I don't trust the Spark.
 
Last edited:

Nik Sinclair

Member
Join
Mar 6, 2019
Messages
7
Age
53
Suprise suprise....lost it today...no good reason it ranged out at no more than 400m FFC enabled...it can't fly with city RF noise...bye bye spark.
Bebop power was much more fun...and really good vid qualityuntil the main board blistered...and then parrot service opened my eyes to how bad service can be....is there a decent midprice out there at all?
 
  • Like
Reactions: flyer

Kilo2

Member
Join
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
9
Age
49
Absolutely believe in my bravurniho Sparka.Muj flight time is 95h and 1600km.It is my feeling in this machine. Even Mavic 2 did not satisfy me and sold it. It is a big and useless machine and people fight it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Surfnut

SPark_South_Oz

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
66
Loc
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
I'm having trouble adapting to wifi, rather than the occusync like my Mavic Pro has.
I keep the Spark very close and LOS open.

Will probably get more experimental with distance, just not quite ready with the Spark as yet.

Suprise suprise....lost it today...no good reason it ranged out at no more than 400m FFC enabled...it can't fly with city RF noise...bye bye spark.
Nik, why didn't / wouldn't auto RTH work ?
 

Vader01

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
60
Age
58
I'm having trouble adapting to wifi, rather than the occusync like my Mavic Pro has.
I keep the Spark very close and LOS open.

Will probably get more experimental with distance, just not quite ready with the Spark as yet.



Nik, why didn't / wouldn't auto RTH work ?
I never fly my Spark on wifi, I always use an OTG cable with my ipad. Wifi isn't reliable enough especially in cities where it is easy to lose the signal because of interference from different sources or blocked by the buildings.
 

Rattydude77

New Member
Join
Apr 24, 2019
Messages
3
Age
41
New guy here to the hole Wi-Fi drone thing can't you put your phone on plane mode and just use the spark WiFi I know my Tello does that and it works fine with no Interference...
 

SPark_South_Oz

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
66
Loc
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
I never fly my Spark on wifi, I always use an OTG cable with my ipad. Wifi isn't reliable enough especially in cities where it is easy to lose the signal because of interference from different sources or blocked by the buildings.
Thanks, I'm definitely getting a cable for it as soon as or public holiday thing is over here and all back to normal.
 

Spark 317

Well-Known Member
Premium Pilot
Join
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
3,137
Loc
Indiana, USA
New guy here to the hole Wi-Fi drone thing can't you put your phone on plane mode and just use the spark WiFi I know my Tello does that and it works fine with no Interference...
Hello from the Hoosier Heartland, Rattydude77.

Airplane mode + WiFi ON works for me too.

Welcome to the Forum. 😎
 

Northwood Mediaworks

Flying with both feet on the ground!
Premium Pilot
Join
Jan 15, 2018
Messages
1,952
Age
61
Loc
Northern Ontario, Canada
Web
northwoodmediaworks.com
OTG only eliminates Wifi between the RC and Smartphone. The drone is using Wifi for flight control and video downlink. I have noticed a considerable difference between flying in rural settings (where I usually fly) and urban settings. I am noticing/reading that the majority of issues exist when people are flying in wifi saturated areas, unless they are high enough to avoid all that noise (and legally speaking, in most countries, you cant avoid it if you stick to the max legal altitude). The other weakness is one compass, there is no redundancy if compass/GPS and IMU get out of sync... the potential for ATTI mode is greater than some more expensive DJI drones with dual systems and if you dont know what to do when it happens, you may lose your drone. That is why visual line of site VLOS is recommended. Flying fast , at great distances, and making erratic turns at speed also increase that risk if that compass/gps sync gets out of whack

So picking where you fly is going to be a factor on reliability. And, all drones have the potential to fly away. Go read some of the other "pilots" forums. Do a search.

Being as educated as possible and choosing your flight environment carefully is your best insurance.
 

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
10,914
Messages
89,989
Members
14,902
Latest member
Spectre68