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My opinion about fly aways

Mr Geek

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This feature is called Precision Landing. The manual says that the aircraft must take off vertically to a min. altitude of 7m for this feature to come into effect at the time of RTH. However, the manual doesn't mention that a pause is required to map the terrain underneath.
View attachment 8546
Thanks for this! I guess the pause helps, this is what people were showing. Maybe it ensures a non-blurry image of the landing area that is taken by the Spark when you pause a second or two. It's a pretty amazing feat how accurate it is after being out flying in different modes and locations to be able to autonomously return and land on target. I always grin in appreciation when it's landing and see the "Precision Landing" notification on the screen :)
 

nyjumpee

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I use it all the time, never had a bad response or unexpected reaction—unless using the auto takeoff feature (which sets the home point when taking off), good idea to set the home point manually, (ie. when using palm launch)
Hey Joeinwa ~ well that's good news. I think the main reason that they advised only using RTH as a last resort was because they first asked "Who here checks the RTH settings before every flight?". . .almost no one. .which is what I think the main issue was. . .if you're flying under any kind of "canopy" or behind objects or buildings that are higher than your RTH altitude setting, or if it's mistakenly set to "land at current location" when RTH is initiated and you're over water, etc., etc. My initial opinion would be as long as you're sure all the parameters are in agreement with your current flying conditions, then there shouldn't be a problem, as I think you demonstrate. . .good to know.
 

Speedmeister

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Read and re read the manual. Now try all the different scenarious of RTH. I fly inside my house FPV and I dont bother changing RTH settings. My RTH altitude is set to 50m and RTH set to return to home. I tested RTH on different distances so I know it will land if RC losses connection with AC inside my house with good GPS signal. Bad GPS with VPS will hover in place I think since I never had a chance to test this. RTH is not as straight forward as you might think.
 

PiperPilot

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Yes, that's my observation as well. The Spark is very good at recording it's home point at take off and returning to it no matter what. We as pilots just need to follow common sense rules to ensure solid GPS signal quality, take note of the home point on the map every time we take off and set adequate RTH altitudes (high enough) to avoid obstacles on any given RTH . I tested RTH by intentionally losing connection and the Spark will wait for a few seconds, maybe 10 or less then begin RTH and always lands where it took off from. If the user does nothing the Spark comes back where it took off and lands, that's a huge piece of mind and has been a very solid function for me flying in the desert badlands.
Does the app need to be connected to the internet in order to see the home point on the map? I use an old iPhone 5 S as my flight computer without cell service.
 

msinger

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Does the app need to be connected to the internet in order to see the home point on the map?
The app does not need to be connected to the Internet if you cache the maps like this.
 

PiperPilot

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The app does not need to be connected to the Internet if you cache the maps like this.
Hmm, looks like I need to have sparky on and connected to the app in order to perform the caching. That’s a bit of a pain. I’d prefer to not have to unpack and setup the drone. Oh well, life’s tough then you go flying.
 

1uk3y

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I don’t tend to use RTH unless it’s an emergency and I feel I’ve lost control for whatever reason.. I’d normally manually land the drone.. in terms of GPS.. I’ve had 2 situations where the Spark has lost GPS signal whilst at 350ft altitude and about 500ft away but it RTH perfectly on both occasions.. on one of those occasions I was atop a mountain in -5c temps.. the Spark lost GPS, went into ATTI, I lost WiFi signal and my phone battery died!! The Drone RTH with precision.
 

Mr Geek

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Does the app need to be connected to the internet in order to see the home point on the map? I use an old iPhone 5 S as my flight computer without cell service.
Since I use an OTG cable from my phone to the controller I normally turn on Airplane Mode on my phone so as to not have any interference from my phone while I am flying. No internet is needed at all for any DJI Go app function while flying or for plotting the Home "H" point on the map since it is from data received by the controller/phone/app from the Spark.

I haven't had to do anything special with my DJI Go app and I always have the standard street map and satellite map available as needed. NOTE: You can download an "Offline Map" of an area you will travel to if you like using the DJI Go App intro screen menu allowing you do download the area you plan to fly in.

Anyway just to clarify internet has nothing to do with home points since they are simply map/location coordinates the drone records at take off and sends to DJI Go to plot onto the map.
 

Mr Geek

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Hmm, looks like I need to have sparky on and connected to the app in order to perform the caching. That’s a bit of a pain. I’d prefer to not have to unpack and setup the drone. Oh well, life’s tough then you go flying.
Using the DJI Go app Menu on the Intro screen you can Download Offline Map to help this situation. That lets you specify an area to download when you are home and connected to the internet to then use when you are out flying.
 

PiperPilot

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Using the DJI Go app Menu on the Intro screen you can Download Offline Map to help this situation. That lets you specify an area to download when you are home and connected to the internet to then use when you are out flying.
I don’t see that menu option on the iOS version of the Go app.

While I understand that I don’t need internet connection to fly I was curious if it was required in order to have a current map for confirming a set home point, as you had implied in your previous post.

Thanks for the info.

I just came back from my 2nd and 3rd flights. I tried the RTH feature when the drone was at about 30 ft agl and 90 ft down range. I was startled when the drone ascended straight up to 90 ft, made a beeline to its home point quickly descended over the landing pad then slowed and set down about 6 inches from its original take off point. Pretty amazing, and this from a 30 year software developer.
 

Mr Geek

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I don’t see that menu option on the iOS version of the Go app.

While I understand that I don’t need internet connection to fly I was curious if it was required in order to have a current map for confirming a set home point, as you had implied in your previous post.

Thanks for the info.

I just came back from my 2nd and 3rd flights. I tried the RTH feature when the drone was at about 30 ft agl and 90 ft down range. I was startled when the drone ascended straight up to 90 ft, made a beeline to its home point quickly descended over the landing pad then slowed and set down about 6 inches from its original take off point. Pretty amazing, and this from a 30 year software developer.
I am always amazed how well RTH works in my flights. I fly in/over inaccessible terrain in the desert badlands at distances up to a mile away and for me the safest method for returning to "home" is by making certain my RTH altitude is set above all obstacles then letting the Spark handle all aspects of power management and navigation to return home until I have line of sight for landings.. Most times I let it land itself since it lands within inches of where it took off. I always ensure the Spark is moving along the vector/line on the map toward my "H" home point just to make sure all is working well and have never had any problems using non-dynamic home point (point of take off) and RTH.

On the map topic, the "Offline Maps" (click thumbnail below) is not in the flight screen used when flying, it is in the first Intro Screen using the upper right menu.

The map is separate from the home points in that the home points are icon representations of lat/long coordinates that are plotted onto it from real-time data transmitted by the Spark to your device or through the controller. The map is static graphic information that is stored on your device as a basemap to display those points onto. The only time you would need the internet would be to obtain/download base mapping you do not have stored on your device for new location you travel to for flying. I have a feeling the app automatically downloads maps based on your location as you setup the drone since I have never had to manually download maps and I normally fly within about 15-mile radius away from my home. If you were to travel to new places some distance from your home then it would be a great idea to use the "Offline Map" function to create maps for that region.
1549154661484.png
 
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Mr Geek

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I should add that RTH landing accuracy is increased if you take off and hover momentarily about 7m above the ground (see 1st image below). The Spark actually takes images of the take off point, matching that imagery with GPS data as well as 3D terrain mapping from the 3D ir downward sensors to perform Precision Landings. The system works really well. One other interesting thing is in pg 14-15 of the manual for how the RTH vs Distance from Home Point changes what the Spark does, whether it ascends to RTH Altitude or not. (see 2nd image below):

1549156195991.png

1549156117198.png
 

skipper420

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Ive used rth a few times just to see it work which it did flawlessly, but manual hands on flying is way more fun and interesting
 

Mr Geek

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Ive used rth a few times just to see it work which it did flawlessly, but manual hands on flying is way more fun and interesting
I totally agree, I fly manually all the time except when RTH from locations flying over inaccessible terrain or out of sight distances when battery is low. The only reason I commented on the RTH topic being discussed here was because it seemed that RTH was being presented as high risk, last resort type of unreliable feature on the Spark but for me it has been a rock solid navigation tool for safe reliable return.

I have seen videos where users are fighting control from their Spark as it is trying to RTH in critically low power situations as they meander off course while doing so. I suspect believing that RTH is unreliable could cause this behavior to happen. The Spark measures distance, winds (from power vs speed vs distance), battery level and temp and altitude which gives it great insight in knowing when and how to get itself back to the point of take off safely. After 250+ flights where I pretty much always use RTH I can confidently say it is a very reliable mode and will save many a drone in trouble IF users just would trust and understand the technology.

Anyway, I agree, hands on flying, low over challenging terrain is a blast, but recognizing the excellent technology onboard the Spark really assists in safter flying IMHO :)
 

lmel2005

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I don’t tend to use RTH unless it’s an emergency and I feel I’ve lost control for whatever reason.. I’d normally manually land the drone.. in terms of GPS.. I’ve had 2 situations where the Spark has lost GPS signal whilst at 350ft altitude and about 500ft away but it RTH perfectly on both occasions.. on one of those occasions I was atop a mountain in -5c temps.. the Spark lost GPS, went into ATTI, I lost WiFi signal and my phone battery died!! The Drone RTH with precision.
If GPS signal is lost, drone initiates ATTI mode, and CANNOT RTH.
It just hovers, drifting with the wind.
 

lmel2005

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I am always amazed how well RTH works in my flights. I fly in/over inaccessible terrain in the desert badlands at distances up to a mile away and for me the safest method for returning to "home" is by making certain my RTH altitude is set above all obstacles then letting the Spark handle all aspects of power management and navigation to return home until I have line of sight for landings.. Most times I let it land itself since it lands within inches of where it took off. I always ensure the Spark is moving along the vector/line on the map toward my "H" home point just to make sure all is working well and have never had any problems using non-dynamic home point (point of take off) and RTH.

On the map topic, the "Offline Maps" (click thumbnail below) is not in the flight screen used when flying, it is in the first Intro Screen using the upper right menu.

The map is separate from the home points in that the home points are icon representations of lat/long coordinates that are plotted onto it from real-time data transmitted by the Spark to your device or through the controller. The map is static graphic information that is stored on your device as a basemap to display those points onto. The only time you would need the internet would be to obtain/download base mapping you do not have stored on your device for new location you travel to for flying. I have a feeling the app automatically downloads maps based on your location as you setup the drone since I have never had to manually download maps and I normally fly within about 15-mile radius away from my home. If you were to travel to new places some distance from your home then it would be a great idea to use the "Offline Map" function to create maps for that region.
View attachment 8635
Offline map option, seems to be unavailable on 3 different go4 versions I have.
 

Mr Geek

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Offline map option, seems to be unavailable on 3 different go4 versions I have.
I haven't needed to manually download maps but I imagine there may be times when I might. I wonder when they added the Offline Maps option? When I got my Spark and set it up I just made sure to update/run the latest version of all software and firmware and noticed the Offline Map option on mine. I am running Version 4.3.4 of DJI Go 4 on Android BTW.

I am pretty sure what DJI Go does is once you establish communication to the drone and the drone connects to enough GPS satellites to know where it is, if you aren't within the extent/area of your stored map, it will download a suitable replacement, centered on your location. Like I mentioned I never intentionally downloaded maps and when I am out flying in places 15-miles from my house I always have had the street map and satellite (aerial imagery) maps in DJI Go 4. I don't think not having the Offline Maps is a deal breaker for anyone as long as you start up the drone/app/controller before flying and let the software update as needed, again this assumes it updates your map extent when you do this. If this is a major issue for you or you really want to know what's up with maps, you might call DJI support and get their advice. If you do I would be really interested to hear what they said.
 

lmel2005

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I haven't needed to manually download maps but I imagine there may be times when I might. I wonder when they added the Offline Maps option? When I got my Spark and set it up I just made sure to update/run the latest version of all software and firmware and noticed the Offline Map option on mine. I am running Version 4.3.4 of DJI Go 4 on Android BTW.

I am pretty sure what DJI Go does is once you establish communication to the drone and the drone connects to enough GPS satellites to know where it is, if you aren't within the extent/area of your stored map, it will download a suitable replacement, centered on your location. Like I mentioned I never intentionally downloaded maps and when I am out flying in places 15-miles from my house I always have had the street map and satellite (aerial imagery) maps in DJI Go 4. I don't think not having the Offline Maps is a deal breaker for anyone as long as you start up the drone/app/controller before flying and let the software update as needed, again this assumes it updates your map extent when you do this. If this is a major issue for you or you really want to know what's up with maps, you might call DJI support and get their advice. If you do I would be really interested to hear what they said.
4.2.8 android, 4.3.8 iOS, this offline maps download option doesn't exist.

I haven't seen this for a long time, as I remember.

Offline maps option, was added, because most people don't have an internet connection when flying.
 

Mr Geek

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4.2.8 android, 4.3.8 iOS, this offline maps download option doesn't exist.

I haven't seen this for a long time, as I remember.

Offline maps option, was added, because most people don't have an internet connection when flying.
Makes sense. I imagine no matter what the app automatically checks the drone location and then downloads maps as needed when you have internet access. If that's true then it follows that good practice would be ensuring you power on the drone/controller/app at a location with internet access prior to going out and flying in those new locations.
 
Last edited:

Mr Geek

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I haven't actually needed to access/load the multiple saved maps while flying but they are easy to create and seem to run 80MB each, see below of some I created using the Offline Maps function in DJI Go 4 V4.3.4 for Android. I suppose they might be loaded by the DJI Go app as needed while flying when the drone flies into each one's spatial extent. Again I haven't had the need to use them but it seems to work as expected thus far.

If you can update your DJI Go version to V4.3.4 on your iOS device you should be able to do the same. If not you might contact DJI support to see what other options you might have.

1549193773959.png
 

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