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Useful info for new/prospective Spark owners - Updated Jan 14, 2018

Lastrexking

Well-Known Member
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Jun 2, 2017
Messages
681
Age
45
Loc
Yorkshire
So, you’re thinking about getting a Spark... here’s some helpful info before you jump in. It’s by no means comprehensive, and I’m no expert - but the following has helped me not lose my Spark, or any other drone for the last seven years.

Please shout up if you have anything to add.

The Spark is a selfie drone

First and foremost the Spark is a selfie drone. You only have to look at DJI's marketing to understand its purpose. Sure, it has a fairly decent flight distance, but long distance flight is not what this drone is made for. If you want to fly long distance, you need a Mavic, Phantom, or Inspire.

Be careful where you buy your Spark

You might save a few pennies if you import your Spark, but that might cost you in the long run. For example, a Spark owner in the UK imported their Spark for the US as it was cheaper. However, when the Spark developed a fault it had to be returned to the US. DJI will only deal with warranty claims in the country the Spark was shipped to by them.

The Spark is not a toy

Unfortunately the Spark isn’t something you can buy and fly straight from the box. It’s a complicated bit of kit with complicated systems. Invariably, a new owner will spend a long time updating to the latest firmware. Not just the drone, but the remote and batteries may also need updates to their firmware. For some, this can be a frustrating process.

This video might help -

Set up can take a while

Even after you’ve updated everything setting up your Spark can take a while. You may need to calibrate the compass and the IMU (inertial measurement unit).

This is a comprehensive and helpful video on set up.


Read the manual

Yeah, it’s boring and you want answers NOW! But, many of the questions new owners ask on here have already been answered numerous times. But, more importantly - when you’re out flying and something goes wrong you won’t have time to post on here and wait for an answer. You have a better chance of saving your drone if you read the manual.

Take your time - GPS and Return to home

Many fly always are down to pilot error or impatience. Not all, but some will be because they didn’t have a full GPS signal, or a return to home locked in.
There are threads here where people have been angry because 'the Spark didn’t work' but once they share their flight logs, it’s down to them taking off too soon. It can take time, and use battery waiting to lock in, but it’s worth the wait.

Battery management will save your Spark

Getting a mile out and only having 10% battery is a guaranteed way of losing your drone. The last 20% goes quickly. Always ensure you have enough battery to get the Spark back. If you run out of juice your Spark will land itself, but 'Find my drone won’t help' as your Spark will be powered down.

Be careful what you add to your Spark

Adding accessories to your Spark to protect it or enhance seems like a natural thing to do. However, a DJI warranty claim was recently rejected as the user had used a sensor bumper which has interefered with the Sparks operation. So, a £$€5 bumper, cost the owner a lot more in the long run.

Also keep in mind things like lights, finger protectors, landing gear add weight and will use your battery quicker. They also make it easier for the wind to interfere with your Spark.

OTG is not supported by DJI

OTG cables are something of a contentious issue. For some they work, for others they don’t. As of the last firmware issue DJI removed it. The Spark has never been sold or advertised with OTG as an option to connect the remote to the Spark. It’s only intended purpose is to link DJI Goggles to the Spark.

Pre Flight checks

There are lots of lists out there, and everyone works differently. But, a check list will make sure you have the above done before you take off. Here’s a good place to start Checklists - Preflight and RTH

Use forum search

Most questions have been asked before. Use the search function on the forum before you ask. It’ll save someone telling you to use it.

Have fun!

You bought your drone, so use it! It’s pointless leaving it in a box because you’re scared of losing it. Most fly always are user errors. Read the manual, get gps, rth, manage your battery, don’t fly where there might be interference- and you should be fine.
 
Last edited:

sinaus

Active Member
Join
Dec 30, 2017
Messages
37
Age
50
thanks for the refreshment course. patience is key and yes a locked in home point on the Spark is vital. I been telling myself everytime before I fly, at least 10 satellites and make sure RTH is set. Good luck to all the pilots out there and have fun.
 
Join
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
13
Loc
Canada
I just got Spark 3 days ago. In Canada it is right now minus 23 celcius. So I am.practicing to fly indoor at home. I thank you for your post. Eat ing a lot of YouTube videos and practicing is a must. Battery life is short. I ave 2 batteries. I ordered 2 more.
I have a queston.
Each time I connect the drone to the remote control unit it takes time and asks for me to re register the remote' s id. This takes time. And battery life as well. Am I doing something wrong? Is there a way to skip that process?
Thank you. Cheers. Happy New year to everyone.
 

Lastrexking

Well-Known Member
Join
Jun 2, 2017
Messages
681
Age
45
Loc
Yorkshire
I just got Spark 3 days ago. In Canada it is right now minus 23 celcius. So I am.practicing to fly indoor at home. I thank you for your post. Eat ing a lot of YouTube videos and practicing is a must. Battery life is short. I ave 2 batteries. I ordered 2 more.
I have a queston.
Each time I connect the drone to the remote control unit it takes time and asks for me to re register the remote' s id. This takes time. And battery life as well. Am I doing something wrong? Is there a way to skip that process?
Thank you. Cheers. Happy New year to everyone.
Can you post a screen grab?
 

Dan Showalter

Active Member
Join
Dec 7, 2017
Messages
25
Age
56
Got a Spark at Thanksgiving and have flown without issue several times. I generally calibrate the IMU at home before flight and calibrate the compass once I get to the location. A couple of times, after I calibrate the compass as I’m ready to fly, it says... Calibrate IMU. The props are on and it would be a PITA to recalibrate it so I have cycled power on the drone and the message goes away....

Obviously, this makes me nervous... Does the IMU really need calibration? I just calibrated it 30 minutes ago on a very stable, flat surface.
 

Lastrexking

Well-Known Member
Join
Jun 2, 2017
Messages
681
Age
45
Loc
Yorkshire
Got a Spark at Thanksgiving and have flown without issue several times. I generally calibrate the IMU at home before flight and calibrate the compass once I get to the location. A couple of times, after I calibrate the compass as I’m ready to fly, it says... Calibrate IMU. The props are on and it would be a PITA to recalibrate it so I have cycled power on the drone and the message goes away....

Obviously, this makes me nervous... Does the IMU really need calibration? I just calibrated it 30 minutes ago on a very stable, flat surface.
Only calibrate the IMU if you’re prompted to do so. If you are continuously asked by the app to calibrate the IMU, then raise it with DJI.
 

Lastrexking

Well-Known Member
Join
Jun 2, 2017
Messages
681
Age
45
Loc
Yorkshire
I have to go through this precedure each time to do my take off. What am I doing wrong?View attachment 2608
Yeah, that’s not right - and I’ll be honest, it’s not an issue I’ve come across. If it were my Spark, I’d reset everything and start over. Including uninstalling and reinstalling the app.

Might be worth starting a new thread on here, and seeing if anyone else can help.
 

czechmark

Well-Known Member
Join
Dec 23, 2017
Messages
66
Age
76
Loc
New Jersey
I just got Spark 3 days ago. In Canada it is right now minus 23 celcius. So I am.practicing to fly indoor at home. I thank you for your post. Eat ing a lot of YouTube videos and practicing is a must. Battery life is short. I ave 2 batteries. I ordered 2 more.
I have a queston.
Each time I connect the drone to the remote control unit it takes time and asks for me to re register the remote' s id. This takes time. And battery life as well. Am I doing something wrong? Is there a way to skip that process?
Thank you. Cheers. Happy New year to everyone.
In my experience, once you have paired the RC with the Spark you don’t have to do it again unless you fly without the RC unit(say your smart phone). Normally, the RC light will blink red for about 30 seconds then go to green.
 

dmfitter

Member
Join
Dec 8, 2017
Messages
18
Age
62
So, you’re thinking about getting a Spark... here’s some helpful info before you jump in. It’s by no means comprehensive, and I’m no expert - but the following has helped me not lose my Spark, or any other drone for the last seven years.

Please shout up if you have anything to add.

The Spark is not a toy

Unfortunately the Spark isn’t something you can buy and fly straight from the box. It’s a complicated bit of kit with complicated systems. Invariably, a new owner will spend a long time updating to the latest firmware. Not just the drone, but the remote and batteries may also need updates to their firmware. For some, this can be a frustrating process.

This video might help -

Set up can take a while

Even after you’ve updated everything setting up your Spark can take a while. You may need to calibrate the compass and the IMU (inertial measurement unit).

This is a comprehensive and helpful video on set up.


Read the manual

Yeah, it’s boring and you want answers NOW! But, many of the questions new owners ask on here have already been answered numerous times. But, more importantly - when you’re out flying and something goes wrong you won’t have time to post on here and wait for an answer. You have a better chance of saving your drone if you read the manual.

Take your time - GPS and Return to home

Many fly always are down to pilot error or impatience. Not all, but some will be because they didn’t have a full GPS signal, or a return to home locked in.
There are threads here where people have been angry because 'the Spark didn’t work' but once they share their flight logs, it’s down to them taking off too soon. It can take time, and use battery waiting to lock in, but it’s worth the wait.

Battery management will save your Spark

Getting a mile out and only having 10% battery is a guaranteed way of losing your drone. The last 20% goes quickly. Always ensure you have enough battery to get the Spark back. If you run out of juice your Spark will land itself, but 'Find my drone won’t help' as your Spark will be powered down.

OTG is not supported by DJI

OTG cables are something of a contentious issue. For some they work, for others they don’t. As of the last firmware issue DJI removed it. The Spark has never been sold or advertised with OTG as an option to connect the remote to the Spark. It’s only intended purpose is to link DJI Goggles to the Spark.

Pre Flight checks

There are lots of lists out there, and everyone works differently. But, a check list will make sure you have the above done before you take off. Here’s a good place to start Checklists - Preflight and RTH

Use forum search

Most questions have been asked before. Use the search function on the forum before you ask. It’ll save someone telling you to use it.

Have fun!

You bought your drone, so use it! It’s pointless leaving it in a box because you’re scared of losing it. Most fly always are user errors. Read the manual, get gps, rth, manage your battery, don’t fly where there might be interference- and you should be fine.
****************************************

If you are thinking about getting into flying drones, you should truly look at the page, flying for Fun by the FAA...good information to think about in your decision...
 

Timmylad

New Member
Join
Nov 12, 2017
Messages
1
Age
44
Yeah, that’s not right - and I’ll be honest, it’s not an issue I’ve come across. If it were my Spark, I’d reset everything and start over. Including uninstalling and reinstalling the app.

Might be worth starting a new thread on here, and seeing if anyone else can help.
Yeah I have exactly the same problem. Everytime I want to fly I have to scan the back of the rc qr code. I got the fly more combo so was under the impression that the spark and rc would automatically pair each time
 

Lastrexking

Well-Known Member
Join
Jun 2, 2017
Messages
681
Age
45
Loc
Yorkshire
****************************************

If you are thinking about getting into flying drones, you should truly look at the page, flying for Fun by the FAA...good information to think about in your decision...
That only applies to US flyers though. The forum has people from all over the planet.
 

Pete H.

Member
Join
Dec 1, 2017
Messages
10
Age
71
Coming back to "Fly High from Above" 's remark: "Each time I connect the drone to the remote control unit it takes time and asks for me to re register the remote' s id. This takes time. And battery life as well. Am I doing something wrong? Is there a way to skip that process?"

Having the Spark Combo, I fly with the RC from the beginning and had no problems with connecting the devices. Then I tested to fly with my Android phone only - thus without the RC. Since then I'm forced to go through that registration procedure too. No idea how to avoid that, but what I do now is to first establish the WiFi connection between the RC and the phone, and only than open the DJI G0 4 app. No more questions about registration procedures!

Still not ideal, but easier that going through the registration procedure every time again.
 

Djr01974

Well-Known Member
Join
Nov 23, 2017
Messages
148
Age
44
Not for me. I had to manually input. Happy new year to everyone
 

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