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New(ish) Spark from Pennsylvania USA

SirThomas

Active Member
Join
Mar 2, 2019
Messages
28
Actually picked up my white Spark during Black Friday sale last year. Didn't get a lot of chances to fly, but thought I was a careful pilot and went slowly from beginner to regular to sport mode as I became better at controls. No need for insurance (which I assumed did not cover user error). I even got it into sport mode and wow does that little quad go! Alas, when flying several hundred feet away from the home location my distance perspective was hard to see. I thought I was flying in front of a tree, and approaching quickly in sport mode. Alas, my judgement was just slightly off and instead I was into the top-most branch twigs. About 50 ft to the ground (which the little Spark does NOT like very much). Really ticked that I joined all those other people who have posted video of their mistakes.

I mentioned my mishap to a small airplane private pilot and he told me that 1) there is a reason why insurance is offered and 2) nearly every pilot makes a mistake now and then. In his case, it was the nose wheel collapse on a hard landing. For me, twigs in the top of a tree.

Between purchase and mishap, I got some good flights in and while I did not get video of it, my most fun flight was tracking a herd of deer in a field with some good close-ups of the animals before they were spooked by the bee-swarm sound of the propellers.

I also realized that while flying a GPS quadcopter isn't that hard (you don't have to actively manage altitude), these units staying power is more that they are wonderful aerial photography platforms. Learning how to get smooth video motion in three dimensions is the challenge, rather than the easier two dimensions of tripod- or cart- or crane-mounted video cameras. Learning how to get those tilts, pans, and more complicated movements using the quadcopter body itself is great learning and a challenge to master.
 

msinger

DJI Drone Expert
Approved Vendor
Premium Pilot
Join
May 27, 2017
Messages
2,447
Loc
Harrisburg, PA (US)
Web
www.Spark-Help.com
Welcome to the forum! :)
 

SirThomas

Active Member
Join
Mar 2, 2019
Messages
28
Pennsylvania has some beautiful places to fly. I look forward to visiting through your posts...
The goal is once I get enough flight time to be comfortable, to see where else I might image. Got quote for repair and much better than I thought it was going to be. Enough so that I "spent" some of the savings on some of the great-deal batteries at local Target so that I can go further away from home and have more than one battery flight on it before returning for recharges.

BTW, on a slightly different note, I was wondering about using a USB power bank to recharge a spark battery using the spark's USB port. Any experience with these? What I wonder about are the losses. I would expect that USB 3.0 is required in order to source the current load required. But I also think there are two stages of losses here. Bank is sourcing USB3.0 (5v at 900mA max) from probably 3.7v batteries in it. Then the spark is also raising the 5v to 12v to charge the battery. So two sets of losses as voltage is boosted from 3.7 to 5 to 12. Any other EE types around to assist with answer here?
 

Andre Levite

WELL-TRUSTED MEMBER
Premium Pilot
Join
Jun 18, 2018
Messages
1,080
Loc
Treasure Coast of Florida
Web
how-to-spark.com
Power bank works fine for charging Spark via USB port. No special cable required. It's okay to use if no wall or car power available.

Using the on board micro USB port on Spark has several major disadvantages compared to 3 battery charging hub:
1. USB charging much slower
2. USB only charges one battery at a time
3. Can't charge one battery while flying Spark with another

For the reasons I've only used power bank when in the field and time not a factor.
 

SirThomas

Active Member
Join
Mar 2, 2019
Messages
28
I had some fun with the Spark now that I have it back from repair. My uncle had an aerial photo from 1950s of his farm that someone took by airplane. So while visiting the area over the weekend, I replicated it. Was great fun to try to match the angle and height. Was off a little bit, but not bad.
 

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