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Update - the riddle is solved: it had NOT been strange electromagnetic interferences that made my SPARK uncontrollable!

Der olle Hansen

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Jul 3, 2020
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On my way home from flying with my DJI SPARK I tried to fly in tripod mode in the middle of the street and then below the barrier. ?
But it doesn't come to that maneuver, because the drone drifts to the right towards my dog and at about 0:20 sec the SPARK accelerates independently and wants to fly away forwards. :eek: (I think you can see that well)

I'm flying close to the ground anyway, on the one hand because I have little power left in the battery on the way home and I am prepared for a sudden landing
(but why not use the rest of the energy for a little skill exercise? ;)) and on the other hand because I want to try flying under the barrier.
Fortunately, it was easy to force the drone to land immediately, but even from this low altitude there were unwanted course deviations.

The explanation is simple, but invisible in the dark: a power line runs along the right side of the street, a very small one, just to supply a handful of houses further down the road with electricity. You can hardly see the line between the trees in daylight and as a resident you don't even think about it, although you actually know it.

Every drone manual warns of >magnetic fields< and power lines. Even so, there have been a lot of reports of "mysterious fly-aways" where the drones or the software or "some secret power" caused the drone to spiral out of control ...
If the small cable on my street irritates my SPARK so much and makes it uncontrollable, what can happen where there are much stronger forces? So, be careful with all types of power lines! In Germany people find power lines ugly and where it can be financed, they dig them into the ground - even extremely powerful crossscountry lines! The disturbing forces are then only a little attenuated, but not gone - and the cables are invisible in the ground. However, they are shown on good topographic maps.


WENIGER ANZEIGEN



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Spark 317

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I suspect it was too dark for the Sparks VPS to get a good read of the ground when flying low and drifted looking for the ground.

Did you receive any error messages from the Go4 app?

You could also extract the flight logs from the device by following the instructions below for more information about the flight.

.

I noticed it accelerated towards the manhole cover.
There may be some metal conduit or pipes under the street.
 
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RotorWash

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If I had to guess I'd say you were in atti mode due to low light (no vps) along with no gps due to the the trees blocking the signal. I'd be curious to see the log file. The only part that doesn't quite make sense is the Spark accelerating forward as it did. If you just happened to pitch forward for even a second beforehand it would continue forward with its own momentum for a few feet instead of coming to a quick stop. The log file should offer some insight as Spark 317 has suggested.
 

Der olle Hansen

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I repeaterd the flight today in the morning in the first daylight and the behavior of the SPARK was even worse at the same spot.
I flew definitely with GPS and in tripod mode, so the spark should react very slow even if I pressed the wrong button, which I did not. This time the acceleration was backwards as I tried to fly forward ...
Weird place ... o_O

p.s.: no error message in the app
 

Spark 317

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but also close to a transmission mast for cellular communications .


My favorite cell tower that I frequently fly around for pictures and B-roll footage.

20171201_152455.jpg


I have parked the Spark next to the flag on a windy day and captured some nice pictures without any errors and with a solid video transmission. ?
 
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graywoulf

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Not only in the middle of the power lines, but also close to a transmission mast for cellular communications ... :eek:

I live next door to the power lines and the other things in the picture are across the road from my house. I fly my Spark(s) as well as my FPV quadcopters and my RC airplanes here and I can circle the high tension tower and fly below and above the high tension power lines without the slightest interference. I have never gotten any kind of warnings from the Go4 app as well. Recently, I even brushed my Spark against the lines at the very top and all it did was wobble for a few seconds until it regained stability. I guess that I am just lucky that there isn't any issues.
 
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Der olle Hansen

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The solution to the "riddle "is very simple:

Today I flew the "dangerous route" again, this time from the other side. No problem "diving" under the barrier! But a few meters later the strange behavior wanted to start again and I landed immediately.

I went flying on the open fields for a while and on my way back, I bravely flew up to the barrier again from the other side and - the same problem at the same spot as the days before: the drone became uncontrollable.
But this time there was a difference in the app: the mode had changed to Atti mode. (I had already started with the message "weak GPS signal" as it was very and close before rain)
During the landing, which I initiated immediately, the drone drifted uncontrollably to the side into the grass, no problem at a height of 30 cm.

In the previous attempts I had been extremely careful and probably reacted faster than the mode change could be displayed on the screen. I switched off and could therefore not see any message.

As in general, you can say at the end: something is only "strange" until you have found a very simple explanation. ;)

P.S .: With all these rough landings, I was very happy that I had clamped on this landing gear shortly before:
DJI-SPARK-Drone-Gear-Foot-Langegestell.jpg
This also makes palm landing more comfortable and you can very easily turn the drone to the side to stop the motors.
As I live only 100 m away, I walk out of the house with the RC on a belt around my neck and use this landing gear as a handle.
 

Spark 317

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... and use this landing gear as a handle.


The lanyard is good to have, but I gave up on the landing gear(s) I have invested in.
I hand launch / land the Spark.

I do use the prop guards on 95% of the flights as they provide more protection and makes the Spark a bit more visible during the flight.

The best thing about the guards is that I can carry the Spark with my pinky finger. :)
 

Spark 317

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I don't think so as I flew without any problems very often just a few hundred meters away from that spot.
Here is a map of the situation:

View attachment 13353


Any idea what the manhole cover, covers from your video?

Is it a sewer access or electrical / data?

There may be a concrete service bunker or ducts under there embedded with rebar that may be affecting the flight?

Just a thought. ?
 
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Spark 317

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Try other areas with power lines and see if the same issue. there is difference in line voltage from American to European systems, and wonder if that is why US flyers dont seem to have the same problem


I had the same thought but didn't post. ?
 

Der olle Hansen

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Jul 3, 2020
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Luebeck, Germany
Any idea what the manhole cover, covers from your video?

Is it a sewer access or electrical / data?

There may be a concrete service bunker or ducts under there embedded with rebar that may be affecting the flight?

So far I have overlooked this manhole cover, although I have walked over it countless times ... ;)

I also took a closer look at the power line (which is not so easy at the moment with the dense summer leaves of the trees). It does not continue to run along the road, as I had previously firmly believed, but disappears into the ground at this point and continues underground into the settlement!
here is probably some electrical switch box or transformer under the street at the point. Unusual, because the cheaper solution is usually a box beside the street.
Further along the road towards the farms there is an electric box next to the road in an open field. I'll fly there in the next days and see what happens.
 

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