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Spark takes off randomly

emdblyou

Active Member
Join
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
31
Age
45
So I have a question for you guys. Last year I lost my Spark because it randomly lost its mind and took off. Couldn't do anything. Tried RTH, manual controls, nothing worked. DJI ended up replacing the Spark for me under warranty after I submitted the flight log and other files.

So why does this happen? It's happened twice to me in the last few months. It will randomly just start taking off as fast as it can. I don't do anything crazy. I fly it few times every few months. I always set the RTH point. But it will just randomly start taking off away from me. I fly away from power lines, always outside, not near concrete etc. The screen on my phone today showed messages such as "compass error" or "gps error" or something along those lines. I don't fly it unelss I see at least 9-10 satellites. Should I be calibrating the compass before each flight? Are there certain steps you guys religiously do before each flight? I'm at a point where I'm scared to fly it because I worry that it will take off and I won't be able to bring it back again. I've read online that it happens to a lot of Spark drones. Are the more expensive/higher end drones have the same issues?

Thoughts?
 

dat1

Well-Known Member
Join
Dec 9, 2018
Messages
127
Loc
Quebec, Canada
Well, feel sorry for you. I would also freak, to power on the bird.
But, speaking of flight log, did you check it ?
Can you post it here ? There's guys with a lot of expertise that
could have a clue.
 

MannyCAM2001

Well-Known Member
Join
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
536
Age
66
Could you set a 2nd (perspective) camera to see this happen the next time you fly? A video is worth a thousand pictures. I have never had that happen to me. And I've pretty much covered tons of Spark videos in every language over the past couple years. Do you have a link to any video that exhibited this behavior? To just randomly fly off is really a dangerous thing. And to have a second Spark exhibit the same issue..
 

emdblyou

Active Member
Join
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
31
Age
45
I’m travelling right now so I’m unable to upload the flight log. But to give you an idea. It’s very random. For example yesterday I started up the Spark, made sure I had 10+ satellites, set home point, and went straight up in the air, no forwards or backwards movement, nothing crazy, no sport mode. About 30 seconds into the flight, the thing lost its mind. Started showing compass error, satellite error or no satellite. I was in a park so no power lines, no trees near by as I was in the parking lot, nothing that I can think of that would cause it to go out of wack. Then it just took off. After pressing RTH button multiple times which didn’t do anything, I started to fight with it with controls. Eventually I got it back down. Throughout the whole thing I saw it couple times go back to normal and couple times show the error messages again. That’s exactly how I lost my first Spark. And since this one is not under warranty anymore I’m super paranoid to fly it. Do you guys calibrate everything/anything before each flight? I’ll try to upload the log as soon as I can.
 
Join
Jul 3, 2020
Messages
10
Loc
Luebeck, Germany
I' m a newbee so I dont' have much experience flying ... But as this happens with your second SPARK again, could the controller be the source of error? Just my first idea when trying to find the reason for this odd behavior. Two drones will not have identical problems with software or hardware, if thousands of other same models fly as they should.

What happens if you fly without controller? (gesture mode or just controlled by smartphone)
Do you use the same battery? Does this happen also with another battery?
 

Northwood Mediaworks

Mavic Air 2 & Spark
Premium Pilot
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Jan 15, 2018
Messages
2,581
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62
Loc
Northern Ontario, Canada
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northwoodmediaworks.com
What surface are you taking off from? Are you checking your sensor state before taking off? My bet is that you are taking off near some metal, it could be inside concrete or underground wiring.

  1. Go into your house, remove the props. Do an IMU calibration on the most level surface you have (I use my dining room table).
  2. Now take you your spark out to an open field away from any metal, put your phone in airplane mode, remove any metal from your body, watches, loose change, belt buckle. Be away from any buildings, phone poles or any other metal or concrete structure. Calibrate your compass. Put your props back on.
  3. From this same spot, prepare to take off, check your compass and IMU sensor state (always do this before any flight). If its all green, take off.
  4. Let us know what happens.
  5. Post a few of your flight logs here... DJI Flight Log Viewer | Phantom Help then share the resulting URLs back here.
 
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MannyCAM2001

Well-Known Member
Join
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
536
Age
66
I' m a newbee so I dont' have much experience flying ... But as this happens with your second SPARK again, could the controller be the source of error? Just my first idea when trying to find the reason for this odd behavior. Two drones will not have identical problems with software or hardware, if thousands of other same models fly as they should.

What happens if you fly without controller? (gesture mode or just controlled by smartphone)
Do you use the same battery? Does this happen also with another battery?
Der olle Hanson has a very good point...I am curious to see what comes out of that observation.
 
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emdblyou

Active Member
Join
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
31
Age
45
What surface are you taking off from? Are you checking your sensor state before taking off? My bet is that you are taking off near some metal, it could be inside concrete or underground wiring.

  1. Go into your house, remove the props. Do an IMU calibration on the most level surface you have (I use my dining room table).
  2. Now take you your spark out to an open field away from any metal, put your phone in airplane mode, remove any metal from your body, watches, loose change, belt buckle. Be away from any buildings, phone poles or any other metal or concrete structure. Calibrate your compass. Put your props back on.
  3. From this same spot, prepare to take off, check your compass and IMU sensor state (always do this before any flight). If its all green, take off.
  4. Let us know what happens.
  5. Post a few of your flight logs here... DJI Flight Log Viewer | Phantom Help then share the resulting URLs back here.
I will try your suggestions. This time when the Spark tried to take off I was in a park near a highway. There was no metal, no highway lights even, simply took off from the small paved parking lot where you pull over to take a break. There was literally nothing around to cause it to do that. That's the weirdest thing.

How do you do an IMU calibration? Also how do you check if your compass and IMU sensor state is good? I've never done that before. I usually just make sure there are enough satellites and to set the RTH spot.

I will post the flight log of the last flight when this happened. The one before this one I can't remember when it was. Probably a few months back. Just need remember again how to do the flight log. Still travelling on the road.
 
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emdblyou

Active Member
Join
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
31
Age
45
I' m a newbee so I dont' have much experience flying ... But as this happens with your second SPARK again, could the controller be the source of error? Just my first idea when trying to find the reason for this odd behavior. Two drones will not have identical problems with software or hardware, if thousands of other same models fly as they should.

What happens if you fly without controller? (gesture mode or just controlled by smartphone)
Do you use the same battery? Does this happen also with another battery?
I've never tried flying without a controller as I read and was told that the range is very limited. I have 2 different batteries and I alternate them as I fly. I'd have to mark them and keep an eye out next time.
 

Spark 317

Well known member with a Spark.
Premium Pilot
Join
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
4,683
Loc
Indiana, USA
How do you do an IMU calibration?



Also how do you check if your compass and IMU sensor state is good?
If the status bar is green in the Go4 app (not the top flight bar) you should be good.

When calibrating the IMU, pay attention to the DJI LOGO on the Spark during the process. The image will flip and will wait for you to flip the Spark.

Good luck. 🙂
 

emdblyou

Active Member
Join
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
31
Age
45




If the status bar is green in the Go4 app (not the top flight bar) you should be good.

When calibrating the IMU, pay attention to the DJI LOGO on the Spark during the process. The image will flip and will wait for you to flip the Spark.

Good luck. 🙂
Awesome. Thank you!
 

Sparrowfarky

Member
Join
Aug 31, 2019
Messages
7
Age
70
Better advice than posting something that requires one "idiot click", why not suggest.. the mind blower, reads the manual .
It has a lot of quite interesting information, most of which if actually about how to work his device. Also, many pictures of nudes and beautiful girls, so don't delay.
If you can't read the manual, i have made a cassette recording of it for blind people who enjoy flying drones. Very useful, especially about tertiary info such as how to switch on and off, and how to make it do things like going up and down, and sideways too. And calibrations.
When i had problems with my drone, i sent it to a drone psychologist, and since then, no problems.
Also, no drone, but wtheck.
 
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