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Spark oscillation due to nearby metal

jimlips

Well-Known Member
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Feb 12, 2019
Messages
86
Age
60
Loc
West Sacramento, CA
I was out in California's Gold Country (Jackson), and came upon a rusty old tower that was located at an old mine entrance.

Figured it would make a good droning subject, so I broke out my DJI Spark and went flying.

All was well until I apparently got too close to the tower. The Spark started going into an "orbit" by itself, even though I had the controls neutral.

I got a few YAW errors, so I backed out, but not until it almost hit the structure.

In the past, I've flown the face of many communication towers (for work), but never saw this until I tried to get close to a bird nest on this rusty old tower. I'll admit, I normally use my Mavic, but figured I'd try the Spark this time.

See it happen here in this video:

Thanks for any opinions/suggestions.
 

rhettduke

Well-Known Member
Join
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
71
Age
53
Hello Sir.

I faced a weirdness Sunday myself....I have AirData to analyze...but just haven’t gotten to it.

I do have about a years Spark time and almost a year P4P v2 time.

I knew the area was a multiple problem area......but it was in a rural area and I had bird in sight whole time.

I was down in a bowl of sorts.....several acre pond I flew over...kinda low because power lines were on other side of pond......I went over lines......spark did not sense them in obstical avoidance.....I dropped down 30 feet or so in front of a 30x40 metal garage with roll up doors open.....several trucks...trailers etc parked there.....video transmission was sketchy.....dropped out a couple times.....controls had lag but workable.....I put in tripod mode at some point and pulled right up to one of the garage doors that was open....lined up to fly in.....but decided to back up raised altitude.....then did a RTH ....it timed out 3 times .....but did come back.

No one needs to point out the I was asking for trouble here.....I was on my family’s property.....down in a bowl.......tall pines around most of the 40 acres....We own every vehicle there.... no real danger to general population.

I practice more and more in rural areas in case called upon to put a craft down into a possible one way mission to help someone in need.

I don’t know the significance of all that past.....metal is not our friend.....power lines do have emissions that are not desirable.....mix all that together even with short range and tripod mode to steady my stick response and well.....
 

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I B Spectre

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Aug 16, 2019
Messages
617
Good documentation of the anomalous event. You can almost visualize the compass being influenced by the ferrous metal tower all the while fighting the GPS fix. Glad you were able to regain control and everything settled down.

I've seen videos where people flew their Sparks in close proximity to high tension power lines without apparent problems, but I would never chance it. I know some power companies use drones to survey their lines and I'm thinking perhaps they have better EMI shielding than most consumer drones. Thanks for sharing.
 

rhettduke

Well-Known Member
Join
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
71
Age
53
Many thanks to to kind review of a real life flight.

i have launched and flown away from what I perceive to be much higher capacity power lines.....that ran just outside a small local swamp area.

During those flights my main fear was the power lines........but there was nothing out of the ordinary in any of the flights that could tell.



vertical takeoff from a tight canopy of trees .......and over a sizeable power distribution line.........and back.....

all that said......
I have just come to know.....that some things just don’t seem to make sense.......don’t quite work like your best interpretation of expectations would dictate.

Urban and Rural flying even in a small town in Alabama are different like night and day........

It is what it is......

If I lived in a different area I would not even consider the flights I have been responsible for.

I expect the unexpected and to sum it up.....I believe that in my environment it has provided a good education in a developing technology.

Tomorrow I will go retrieve a Mavic Mini from a tree......

I take the blame.......and will review the flight logs carefully.....initial assessment is limited to 2 flights.....and.....21...23 minutes is a time mine will go into landing mode even with repeated efforts to cancel land and gain altitude.

Old Spark flies past 15 mins......when it’s been pushed that far.....and it has been.
 

Spark 317

Well-Known Member
Premium Pilot
Join
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
3,909
Loc
Indiana, USA
I perceive to be much higher capacity power lines.....that ran just outside a small local swamp area.

During those flights my main fear was the power lines........but there was nothing out of the ordinary in any of the flights that could tell.



vertical takeoff from a tight canopy of trees .......and over a sizeable power distribution line.........and back.
I have had the same experience when flying in the vicinity of high tension power lines.

No problems with the power lines or the power substation nearby.

So far, I think this is the worst the power lines would cause.


20180707_123921.jpg


(FYI, staged photo, no Sparks or power grid was harmed in this photo.) :)
 
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