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

Spark Battery Source...Read All Recent Previous Threads on Topic

Join
Nov 13, 2021
Messages
17
Age
75
I recently had my Spark for sale in the classifieds. I just withdrew my classified ad deciding to use the Spark to train my grandsons who recently just expressed some belated interest in drones when they learned of my classified. I purchased a used battery on eBay which has been fine for getting a Spark up and running on my bench. But it has not been flight tested yet for longevity. So now that I'm keeping the Spark, I'm looking for the next reliable source for batteries. I read SPark_South_Oz's post on September 5, 2021 about batteries from Ali Express. But in looking at an Amazon listing of two Spark batteries for $239, I read one review which I didn't understand and couldn't find answers to with an internet search. The review below was from Amazon...Not Ali Express:

"Buyer BEWARE!!!! Not the newer version with longer clips.
Reviewed in the United States on June 20, 2019
Verified Purchase
Just got the package today both batteries were there. I have not tried them out yet, but for anyone wanting these it is an excellent price for spares however they are NOT I repeat NOT the upgraded version with the longer clips. With that said I won't use them until I have a battery strap. If I have any problems charging or flying with them I will update the review later on."

The reviewer provided no further update. What is the reviewer referring to when mentioning, " they are NOT I repeat NOT the upgraded version with the longer clips"? Can anyone shed any light on his reference to "Longer Clips' and their significance? Why would he not use them until he had a 'battery' strap?

If the length of a battery's 'clip' is so important to identifying 'upgraded version' batteries, how can I know if I'm buying that latest version of a Spark battery from Ali Express, Amazon, eBay or any other source?

Is the reviewer's concern in 2019 relevant in 2021? Or do you just buy Spark batteries and take your chances not knowing whether or not you are buying an upgraded battery with the longer clip length? With the Spark out of production, batteries are my main concern, which I'm sure is shared by all who are not upgrading to more current DJI production drones.
 

Spark 317

Well known member with a Spark and a Mavic Air 2.
Premium Pilot
Join
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
4,997
Loc
Indiana, USA
I don't think you can tell when purchasing one without physically looking at it.

Here is a picture showing the difference in the tabs that help secure the battery to the Spark.


screenshot_20180515-151610-jpg.9634



Note the extra material in the tab (black triangle) in the top picture compared to the tab in the bottom.

I have been flying for four years with nine batteries of the old design and they haven't failed me yet.

I do the Plug n' Tug on each battery change to ensure they are secure.

I use to use a rubber O ring restraint JIC.

.
 

Spark 317

Well known member with a Spark and a Mavic Air 2.
Premium Pilot
Join
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
4,997
Loc
Indiana, USA
Why would he not use them until he had a 'battery' strap?

There was a time when the Sparks were falling out of the sky and people started to use the battery clip or a rubber O ring, which is what I used for a while.

If both clips didn't "click" on installation, there was a chance of the battery coming off during the flight.

It caused a scare and DJI revamped the batteries to satisfy the masses.

There's no need for the extra stuff if the battery is installed correctly, but it does give peace of mind knowing the battery won't come off.

Here are some of the battery clips.


This is my Spark when I used the O rings. It allows you to use accessories like the strobe and prop guards while keeping the battery secure.



20181216_115129-jpg.9300




20181216_115413-jpg.9301
 

Chrislaf

Well-Known Member
Join
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
438
Age
59
Loc
Barrie, ON, Canada
I always use a battery buckle for every flight regardless of whether my batteries are the new or old version. The buckle I use is widely available for a few bucks on Amazon.

A few months ago I had a battery disconnect error message while flying my Spark. When I landed and removed my battery buckle, I noticed my battery popped out easier than normal and on closer inspection, noticed it had swelled. Needless to say that battery has been retired. I am pretty certain that the battery buckle saved my Spark that day as it is likely that the battery would have popped out more without the buckle holding it in place.

Chris
 

SPark_South_Oz

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
281
Loc
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Well, there you go, I never knew there were original, and a later extended tab versions.
You can always learn in this place !!

I just checked my 5 batteries, all numbered (1 - 5 funny enough 😄).

Of the 3 original Flymore batteries (1 - 3), just by coincidence the one I marked #1 is the shorter clip, the other 2, plus the 2 I bought a couple of years ago are all the larger clip !
I didn't check manufacture dates on them, but anticipate the #1 shorter clip is an earlier manufactured battery.

This is battery #1 (top), and #2 . . .

Spark_battery_clips.jpg

I remember lots of threads on here (a video someone captured too) of Sparks jettisoning batteries, and the warning about feeling the 'click' on inserting, and / or using the battery strap . . . first time I've seen a photo of the strap above, thanks @Spark 317

I will probably just fly as I have with it for the past 4 years or so, I am used to feeling that click securely, but might, just might keep battery #1 for ground duties anyway.
I'd be quite dejected to see this beaut old bird falling from a height.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Spark 317

SPark_South_Oz

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
281
Loc
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
@Continuous Lift

I'd say short of being able to save a photo from myself or @Spark 317 above, and being able to 'ask the seller' a question, it might be the only way is to get whatever battery you can find, preferably OEM of course . . . IF they are genuine, it's a better chance than not they will be the larger tab versions, or you'd think so at least, as the earlier ones would all have been supplied a long time ago in a normal manufacturing / supply chain.

If they turned out the be short clips, not the end of the World, many have flown with them for years trouble free, or hopefully the battery 'clips' are still available if desired to give some peace of mind.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Spark 317
Join
Nov 13, 2021
Messages
17
Age
75
You can't imagine how much I appreciate all of your feedback. I wanted to buy a second battery while they are still available. I will definitely use a strap or 'O' Ring as insurance. My current battery has the larger clip now that I know what to look for. I just purchased another battery from same eBay source.

I have come from the Dark Side...not actually... Autel has a great drones. I just can't afford the later models. I crashed my Autel X-Star Premium after scores of flights. DJI, was at the time, the Dark Side to me...crazy we have all these tribes and camps. So I really do thank you all for the feedback. A lot of knowledge is transferable from one drone mfg to another while other knowledge is unique.

Member Spark 317 has now peeked my interest with his photos. Questions:

1st, is the circular disk on center some type of locator device? If so...Brand? Source?

2nd, what is the circuit board for?

3rd, is the existing lighting on the Spark not visible for 3 miles when flying @ night? Is an additional strobe necessary?

4th, If any of you are using a strobe that is visible for at least 3 miles at night on your Spark, can you tell me what brand you are using and where
you bought it?

5th, how could you have nursed 9 batteries over 4 years? Please teach me. What have you done? I'm already starting out with used batteries
although my eBay source has 4.5 a rating and hundreds of batteries sold. I know the Spark battery automatically maintains itself by reducing
to 60% charge. But I need real world advice on to purposely maintain these batteries.

A fellow Motorolan just gave me this Spark, so I can afford some batteries.

 

Spark 317

Well known member with a Spark and a Mavic Air 2.
Premium Pilot
Join
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
4,997
Loc
Indiana, USA
1st, is the circular disk on center some type of locator device? If so...Brand? Source?

Yes. It's a Loc8tor tracker that has about a 400 foot range with it's own tracker that beeps when you are closer to the aircraft. It uses a radio frequency and not Bluetooth. I never had to use it, but it did work when playing hide and seek with it in the backyard.

Loc8tor Finder Tracker

2nd, what is the circuit board for?

The circuit board is a strobe light that helps when flying at dawn / dusk and is required if flying at night that have a 3 mile visibility.

The stock lights of the Spark are not sufficient.

STROBE LIGHTS


4th, If any of you are using a strobe that is visible for at least 3 miles at night on your Spark, can you tell me what brand you are using and where
you bought it?


These are popular and come in all type of sizes.



I use the 3m fasteners to attach them to the Spark. I've had a couple of them fail on me probably from me flexing the circuit board?

There's not a lot of room on the Spark to mount stuff so beggars can't be choosers.


5th, how could you have nursed 9 batteries over 4 years? Please teach me. What have you done? I'm already starting out with used batteries
although my eBay source has 4.5 a rating and hundreds of batteries sold. I know the Spark battery automatically maintains itself by reducing
to 60% charge. But I need real world advice on to purposely maintain these batteries.

That is the place to store the battery, 50-60%.

I haven't flown my Spark for a while since I had a crash earlier this year but I still maintain the batteries by checking them once a month and bring them back up to 75% charge and let them self discharge a bit.

You DO NOT want to let the battery go completely dead as this may deplete the hidden 10% that maintains the "intelligence" of the battery. Once that happens, you've got a nice paper weight.

If you don't plan on flying for a while, set an alarm in the phone or post a note on the calendar to check and charge the batteries every month.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SPark_South_Oz

SPark_South_Oz

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
281
Loc
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Regarding strobes.

They are not generally for a pilot to fly 3nm at night and see their drone, but for aircraft that may be in the vicinity to see the drone from that distance.

I'm not convinced all strobes meet those guidelines (in fact quite sure they don't), apart from maybe the FHT ARCV, which can just about burn out the retina on start up, certainly they can give your vision a good dead spot for quite a while ! (Rod cells in the eyes are quite disturbed by all the led strobes, I'm sure !)

Most drone pilots use strobes to help keep VLOS at reasonable distances, when you look up so you can spot your drone fairly easily.
A requirement in most airspace regulation developed countries (just about all countries of course).

There's good threads on strobes all over probably this forum, and especially the Mavic Pilots forums.
This post of mine on the MP forum shows my Spark with 2 FHT Dual strobes in red and green fitted.
Position, video in flight, etc.


If you want to find your drone quickly aloft, go for white leds, they are the brightest and most visible by far.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Spark 317
Join
Nov 13, 2021
Messages
17
Age
75
Yes. It's a Loc8tor tracker that has about a 400 foot range with it's own tracker that beeps when you are closer to the aircraft. It uses a radio frequency and not Bluetooth. I never had to use it, but it did work when playing hide and seek with it in the backyard.

Loc8tor Finder Tracker



The circuit board is a strobe light that helps when flying at dawn / dusk and is required if flying at night that have a 3 mile visibility.

The stock lights of the Spark are not sufficient.

STROBE LIGHTS





These are popular and come in all type of sizes.



I use the 3m fasteners to attach them to the Spark. I've had a couple of them fail on me probably from me flexing the circuit board?

There's not a lot of room on the Spark to mount stuff so beggars can't be choosers.




That is the place to store the battery, 50-60%.

I haven't flown my Spark for a while since I had a crash earlier this year but I still maintain the batteries by checking them once a month and bring them back up to 75% charge and let them self discharge a bit.

You DO NOT want to let the battery go completely dead as this may deplete the hidden 10% that maintains the "intelligence" of the battery. Once that happens, you've got a nice paper weight.

If you don't plan on flying for a while, set an alarm in the phone or post a note on the calendar to check and charge the batteries every month.
Spark 317...thank you...all great information...will use 100%.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Spark 317

NOLADG

Well-Known Member
Join
Nov 28, 2019
Messages
115
Age
52
I have been flying for four years with nine batteries of the old design and they haven't failed me yet.
My Spark came with the new battery design and I bought several more and I actually had a battery eject itself at 80 feet agl with the larger clips. So I guess it just goes to show you have to pay attention regardless. ;-) That was years ago and hasn't happened since with no futher precautions taken other than making sure the battery was in properly. Fortunately all was okay after the fall.
 

Hank

Member
Join
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
8
Age
56
I always use a battery buckle for every flight regardless of whether my batteries are the new or old version. The buckle I use is widely available for a few bucks on Amazon.

A few months ago I had a battery disconnect error message while flying my Spark. When I landed and removed my battery buckle, I noticed my battery popped out easier than normal and on closer inspection, noticed it had swelled. Needless to say that battery has been retired. I am pretty certain that the battery buckle saved my Spark that day as it is likely that the battery would have popped out more without the buckle holding it in place.

Chris
That's good information Chris. The batteries for my Spark have not swelled yet. However, all of the batteries have on my Mavic Air.
 

Hank

Member
Join
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
8
Age
56
Interesting, I also have a Spark and a Mavic Air 1 almost the same age and none of my batteries have swollen yet. And my Mavic Air gets a lot more usage.
That is surprising to some extent. My Mavic Air gets a lot more usage as well. Sidenote: There are several pros and cons of each but the Spark has been reliable and solid. I'm on my second controller for the Mavic (it constantly beeped and had problems with joysticks)
 

Chrislaf

Well-Known Member
Join
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
438
Age
59
Loc
Barrie, ON, Canada
Here’s the clip I use:

D9DB031F-1E34-4D60-86CD-6B5E11406B8C.jpeg

Once it’s clipped on there is no play - the battery can’t move, unlike an O-ring where there is some flexibility.

When I got the disconnect error message, I was running a Litchi Orbit mission and I immediately cancelled, returned and landed and that’s when I noticed that the bottom of the battery had swelled a bit. On inspecting my other batteries, I noticed another battery had also started to swell as well - both were original batteries that came with the Spark Charging Station purchased over 3 years ago and had around 150 charge cycles on them. Both have been retired now.

Chris
 

SPark_South_Oz

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
281
Loc
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Interesting, I also have a Spark and a Mavic Air 1 almost the same age and none of my batteries have swollen yet. And my Mavic Air gets a lot more usage.

That's probably a good thing for them, regular use and proper storage / battery care.
If they are left oto long without a a look, they can deplete totally and then can be bricked, even storing very low like 15% or less they would eventually fall to would be bad for them overall.

My 5 Spark batteries are also still not showing any signs of swelling, but I think the main issue with battery ejection is not clicking them home consciously feeling / hearing that positive engagement.

A fall from height would probably end a Sparks life, parts are getting hard to find I believe.
I wonder how long / what year it will be for the last surviving Spark still being in service ?
 

Chrislaf

Well-Known Member
Join
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
438
Age
59
Loc
Barrie, ON, Canada
I also have always pushed my Spark batteries in and made sure they click. I double check by pushing them in a second time before installing the clip. In my case, as the battery heated up, it swelled up even more momentarily causing a disconnect (that’s why I got the message). Without the clip, the battery likely would have completely disconnected.

All of my batteries (3 left now) are rotated and used frequently as I fly my Spark multiple times per week.

It’s hard to tell if Spark batteries are swelling prior to flight because of the way they are designed.

Chris
 

Spark 317

Well known member with a Spark and a Mavic Air 2.
Premium Pilot
Join
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
4,997
Loc
Indiana, USA
Once it’s clipped on there is no play - the battery can’t move, unlike an O-ring where there is some flexibility.

I used a battery clip for a while but I like using the prop guards too and there's not enough room on the Spark for both.

The battery has to slid back a bit before it come off and the O rings I use won't allow that to happen. I have to roll the O ring over the top to change the battery, no play at all and I get to use the prop guards. :)

The #141 ring is 2 5/16" ID, 2 1/2" OD for anybody interested.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SPark_South_Oz

Chrislaf

Well-Known Member
Join
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
438
Age
59
Loc
Barrie, ON, Canada
I don’t use prop guards (don’t own any) so it’s a none issue with the clip.

The location of the battery and the history of problems with the old style clips, I feel makes it necessary for some sort of secondary battery securing option otherwise you risk loosing your Spark on every flight.

Chris
 
  • Like
Reactions: Spark 317

SPark_South_Oz

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
281
Loc
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
It’s hard to tell if Spark batteries are swelling prior to flight because of the way they are designed.

That's true.
I might start taking out the battery immediately after flight, and compare to pre flight shape.
All I've ever noticed are flat backs on mine.

I wish all the DJI batteries had the recessed back like the M1P / MPP battery.
That would allow for a little swelling under hard flight if necessary.
All the later models are flat back, and the M2 series in particular is very prone to popping batteries when they are starting to go, or flown in sports mode, high wind, etc, where the battery is really being worked hard.
 

New Threads

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
14,267
Messages
117,002
Members
17,370
Latest member
Smokeeater