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Spark compass error - flew off full speed

dingodar

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My spark had compass error and said to land immediately. It went into Atti mode and gunned its engines and flew a couple thousand feet away in seconds!
Return to home would not work!!
There were error messages blocking my screen and I had no video or a clue where it went to. Finally I noticed the distance and altitude starting working and I brought it back using that. When it reached two hundred feet away the low battery kicked in, and the return to home activated.
My question is why does it gun it engines full blast and run off when there are errors?
This is the third time it has happened.

Also My Sons Spark had a similar experience - his Spark ramped the speed up full blast when a compass error occurred over water. Luckily he was able to recover by using the distance meter.

Is the max full speed ahead when errors occur - a normal phenomenon for the sparks?
 
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dingodar

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Are you checking your sensors before you are taking off, for interference?
I always calibrate the compass when going to a new location.
I checked the sensor readings, but I don’t understand what they mean or how to check for interference.
Can you tell me what normal readings are? And how to tell if I have interference?
 

Northwood Mediaworks

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You need to check the IMU and Compass sensors. They should be green. If you take off near something that can cause interference, you are asking for unpredictable behaviour. Also, Wifi interference is something to consider.


If you recalibrate your compass where there is interference, once it is in the sky, the compas/IMU will be referencing something which is erroneous and that can lead to ATTI mode and fly aways.

If its not green on all my sensors, I dont fly. Same with the Wifi interference. I have 85 flights in so far, and only once, because I was careless about setting the spark down on an old well head, which had rebar inside the cement, did I have any compass issues. I took off and ended up in Atti mode jost moments later, and gladly, I was able to fly it back to myself, but it went snakey first.
 

dingodar

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You need to check the IMU and Compass sensors. They should be green. If you take off near something that can cause interference, you are asking for unpredictable behaviour. Also, Wifi interference is something to consider.


If you recalibrate your compass where there is interference, once it is in the sky, the compas/IMU will be referencing something which is erroneous and that can lead to ATTI mode and fly aways.

If its not green on all my sensors, I dont fly. Same with the Wifi interference. I have 85 flights in so far, and only once, because I was careless about setting the spark down on an old well head, which had rebar inside the cement, did I have any compass issues. I took off and ended up in Atti mode jost moments later, and gladly, I was able to fly it back to myself, but it went snakey first.
Wow!! The video explains it right on! I think the interface is the culprit.
I appreciate your help!
 

Northwood Mediaworks

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Wow!! The video explains it right on! I think the interface is the culprit.
I appreciate your help!
There are quite a few other good videos on interference and the spark... caveat emptor when it comes to this product. Best defence you have is to research all its faults, so you can avoid 'em.
 

Jjmik

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Are you sure the wind didn’t take it? I’ve had that happen with my spark and phantom 3 . Even if you have calibrated correctly you can still get compass errors. My experience was flying just barely vlos when I got the error and my phantom took off in the wind at 350 feet. Then I hit the stick forward not realizing how the aircraft was oriented and it took off in wrong direction.. I could barely see it.. the whole time I forgot I still had video and could have flown home that way. I’ve never had a compass error in which the remote didn’t work..

Rth is dangerous because it could fly to anywhere I think.. I avoid rth during any kind of error. Last resort .. it’s always better to fly home manually.
 
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dingodar

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Are you sure the wind didn’t take it? I’ve had that happen with my spark and phantom 3 . Even if you have calibrated correctly you can still get compass errors. My experience was flying just barely vlos when I got the error and my phantom took off in the wind at 350 feet. Then I hit the stick forward not realizing how the aircraft was oriented and it took off in wrong direction.. I could barely see it.. the whole time I forgot I still had video and could have flown home that way. I’ve never had a compass error in which the remote didn’t work..

Rth is dangerous because it could fly to anywhere I think.. I avoid rth during any kind of error. Last resort .. it’s always better to fly home manually.
Wind could have been a factor, but the spark flew off like it was in full throttle on a mission to nowhere land!
Thanks for the advice on RTH as a last resort, makes sense!
 
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Andre Levite

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I always calibrate the compass when going to a new location.
I checked the sensor readings, but I don’t understand what they mean or how to check for interference.
Can you tell me what normal readings are? And how to tell if I have interference?
Most pilots are in agreement that compass re-calibration should not be performed routinely (such as location change). Best done only when you see compass issues during pre flight check.

The fact that you did a re-calibration and then immediately had compass error upon take off is highly suspect. An unnecessary calibration runs the risk of introducing errors and leading to fly away.

These reports are always somewhat anecdotal (even using flight logs) but there is a growing body of evidence to do compass re-calibration sparingly.
 
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pmshop

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I must say, I agree with compass re-calibration should not be performed routinely (such as location change).
However with that said, it would be a good idea to re-calibrate the compass with a major location change.
IE West coast to East coast USA, Etc...
But with even that said, I saw no issues with a 1,000mi change in location...two separate years.
 
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dingodar

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Most pilots are in agreement that compass re-calibration should not be performed routinely (such as location change). Best done only when you see compass issues during pre flight check.

The fact that you did a re-calibration and then immediately had compass error upon take off is highly suspect. An unnecessary calibration runs the risk of introducing errors and leading to fly away.

These reports are always somewhat anecdotal (even using flight logs) but there is a growing body of evidence to do compass re-calibration sparingly.
Good to know! Could be my problem.
 
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Jjmik

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I find I have fewer issues with compass on all three of my drones now that I don’t recalibrate it at each location. I drove 3 hours from home and did not recalibrate.

I’ve never had any of them go except one time when my phantom started climbing when I pressed rth. I was already above the rth height... I cancelled rth after it reached around 650 feet and was okay.. my rth is set to 250 feet

The spark is definitely very susceptible to interference.. flying around my crowded neighborhood I frequently lose signal or lose connection altogether. Once I go out over the bay far from houses I fly over a mile out to sea with no problems.
 
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dingodar

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?
I must say, I agree with compass re-calibration should not be performed routinely (such as location change).
However with that said, it would be a good idea to re-calibrate the compass with a major location change.
IE West coast to East coast USA, Etc...
But with even that said, I saw no issues with a 1,000mi change in location...two separate years.
I am going to act on your advice.
Since I had errors on the last flight, I want to do one more good calibration. Question is where should I do it? Can I do it at home? (I live in a suburb, surrounded by wifi, etc.) or do I need to travel to a remote area free of any type of interference?
 

Jjmik

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Compass cal. Away from metal.. away from concrete that often has metal rebar .

Regardless of how well it’s cslibrated You will still get a compass error trying to take off from a picnic table with metal frame under neath. Also Got compass error starting aircraft on concrete...I just turned it off and restarted from a better surface.. most of the time I did recalibrate after those events occurred.

The point is that even with a good calibration you will still get the error when interference is present.
 

dingodar

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Compass cal. Away from metal.. away from concrete that often has metal rebar .

Regardless of how well it’s cslibrated You will still get a compass error trying to take off from a picnic table with metal frame under neath. Also Got compass error starting aircraft on concrete...I just turned it off and restarted from a better surface.. most of the time I did recalibrate after those events occurred.

The point is that even with a good calibration you will still get the error when interference is present.
Thanks!
 

Simk1n

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I have some big speakers and a subwoofer in my living room, so compass error will occur. however, i took off the props on my Spark this weekend and started it up, and the motors started to spin like crazy! Wonder what would have happend if this was outside with props on.

I find it strange if they are going berserk when compass error (or other type of error) occur, cant they program the drones to just stay still if they get errors? instead of flying off like rockets?
 

hiflyer

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I've traveled a lot with my Spark between the US and Mexico and have never calibrated the compass mainly because the manual states not to calibrate the compass unless it's called for. Taking off from concrete that contains rebar is an invitation to instantly crash into the the closest object however....don't ask how I know.
My Mavic air calls for compass re-calibration all the time.
 
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Bob Johnston

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Traveled from Wisconsin to Alabama with Spark and P3S and never had to calibrate compass. Most concrete will have rebar in it, so is not the place to startup from.
 
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