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Weird Spark jumping bean

SaigonDude

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May 3, 2019
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Hi,

I'm a new member, but seasoned pilot, 15k hours, with multiple drones. My trusty Spark has been acting strangely. I take off, and it will jump, tilt, and scurry on the ground. I have calibrated compass before takeoff, and waited until GPS lock is established. (8-9 sats)

What is so strange is that I did a hover test from same location last night, all appeared OK. Today, it was back to scurrying. Any ideas?

I have a few other DJI birds, and will stick with those, but have always liked the Spark.

Thanks!
 

msinger

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SaigonDude

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Can you explain this better or post a video so we can see what you're describing?
A video is a great idea, will do. Basically, the Spark indicates she's ready to go, home point has been set. Upon take off she barely lifts off the ground (hard tile area), pitches to one side, or the other and shimmies in some direction or another. During a take off on short grass, a similar tilt occurred, but she couldn't really slide around, and once the tilt was severe enough, props hit the ground, shut off and I received a 'motor fault' error.

I also mention that on the hard surface, I don't I think I had any radio control from 4-5 feet away. No CSC kill command worked, using both sticks or left stick only. I used my foot to hit the props, and shut the motors down.

AirData logs show takeoff in P-GPS mode, about a 50 cm altitude at best. The log from the successful 10 foot hover test @ same location appeared normal.

Thanks again video suggestion- I'll ask a friend to film the Spark, while I chase her around :)
 

Paul215

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Nov 6, 2018
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Welcome to the forum :)

Have you tried a IMU calibration?
 
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The Editor

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May 29, 2017
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Welcome to the forum :)

Have you tried a IMU calibration?
OP is a "seasoned" pilot with 1.7 years in the air!
Surely they would have checked sensor data/values in the app and calibrated accordingly (being so seasoned)
 

Morfzak

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Jun 28, 2018
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I have had this problem for a while and have a thread about it.
DJI responds with reset recalibrate blah blah.
After looking at my logs I have noticed that I have battery issues every time it happens. It also happens on one of my batteries more than the other.
I’ve also found that if I fly within 60 mins of charging that it happens less.
Would love to hear more about your experiences with this issue.
 

SaigonDude

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May 3, 2019
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Welcome to the forum :)

Have you tried a IMU calibration?
Hi,

Sorry for not replying sooner. I really wanted to post a video, but tracking the Spark, and shooting a video was too much with only 2 hands. Yes, I had done an IMU calibration, along with several compass cals as well. I basically had grounded the Spark, and read the forum when I had time.

HOWEVER, this weekend, I went out into a very rural aral area over the weekend, took the Spark, (and a Mav2).....and the Spark flew normally once again. The Spark's batteries are approaching 2 years old, and have been charged ~50-60x. I suspect the problem is related to the age of the AC, its batteries, and mag interference in the very dense urban area that I fly often. The climate is tropical, high temps & humidity. I have had a heck of a lot of problems with corrosion on connectors, on all sorts of devices. I will review the flight logs, and see if any info helps.
 

SaigonDude

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OP is a "seasoned" pilot with 1.7 years in the air!
Surely they would have checked sensor data/values in the app and calibrated accordingly (being so seasoned)
Yes, I did do an IMU cal......I hear ya re: 'seasoned pilots' :) We can be the least 'prepped' at times...I was crashing wiffle-balled Hirobos in 1978 LOL! Cheers
 

SaigonDude

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May 3, 2019
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I have had this problem for a while and have a thread about it.
DJI responds with reset recalibrate blah blah.
After looking at my logs I have noticed that I have battery issues every time it happens. It also happens on one of my batteries more than the other.
I’ve also found that if I fly within 60 mins of charging that it happens less.
Would love to hear more about your experiences with this issue.
You might have found a good nugget of evidence. My Spark batts have been heavily used, perhaps they don't power the GPS/Vision/etc. systems as well as before. Spark batts have 6 contacts, quite a lot for a small battery that seems to be a 3S System (11.4V); perhaps they separately power the motors, at expense of the nav instrumentation.
 

JoostGT3

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Nov 9, 2017
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Netherlands
Are the props on correctly? We've had some people lately complaining about the same kind of issues, only to find out that they had the wrong props on the wrong positions. Do you take the props off in between flights?
 
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Northwood Mediaworks

Flying with both feet on the ground!
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Sounds like interference to me... but....

Also sounds like you may potentially have some internal damage, something loose perhaps, thereby being intermittent?

My two batteries are a year old with over 100 flights, and so far, no sign of them affecting the Spark. I hear pilots taste better when they are seasoned lightly. :D
 
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SaigonDude

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Sounds like interference to me... but....

Also sounds like you may potentially have some internal damage, something loose perhaps, thereby being intermittent?

My two batteries are a year old with over 100 flights, and so far, no sign of them affecting the Spark. I hear pilots taste better when they are seasoned lightly. :D
Interesting....of all things, a brand new 4 hour in air started bleeping ‘defective battery’. I reinserted it, no trouble at all. I’m going to use WD40 in every connection ;-). It’s the hard part to survive the skewering and bbqing to be a seasoned pilot.
 

SaigonDude

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Sounds like interference to me... but....

Also sounds like you may potentially have some internal damage, something loose perhaps, thereby being intermittent?

My two batteries are a year old with over 100 flights, and so far, no sign of them affecting the Spark. I hear pilots taste better when they are seasoned lightly. :D
The new bird is a Mavic Air w battery error, not a 2nd Spark.
 

Saigondroner

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May 12, 2019
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Are the props on correctly? We've had some people lately complaining about the same kind of issues, only to find out that they had the wrong props on the wrong positions. Do you take the props off in between flights?
To the best my knowledge, the props are correct. I have replaced the props with DJI blades, not much difference (when working) I now tend to agree with Northwood; in the polder VN, things were AOK.

Where are you in NL? I flew my Spark behind AMS CS, and was not informed it was Class C restricted, until aloft....the 30km wind made it interesting, but very short. I bought a Tello at Mediamart. AMS MOJ & Police HQ right hand.
 

Saigondroner

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May 12, 2019
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You might have found a good nugget of evidence. My Spark batts have been heavily used, perhaps they don't power the GPS/Vision/etc. systems as well as before. Spark batts have 6 contacts, quite a lot for a small battery that seems to be a 3S System (11.4V); perhaps they separately power the motors, at expense of the nav instrumentation.
I will bite bullet, and run a local mission among some hi-rises, to a riverside resto, I am skipping the use of my controller; autonomous flights return (normally). If Sp returns, the M2P will run the raw deliverable. ~2km, over water.
 

JoostGT3

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Nov 9, 2017
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Netherlands
To the best my knowledge, the props are correct. I have replaced the props with DJI blades, not much difference (when working) I now tend to agree with Northwood; in the polder VN, things were AOK.

Where are you in NL? I flew my Spark behind AMS CS, and was not informed it was Class C restricted, until aloft....the 30km wind made it interesting, but very short. I bought a Tello at Mediamart. AMS MOJ & Police HQ right hand.
Ha Glenn, I am in Dordrecht, some nice flying locations around here :
Dutch Riverscapes and Other Shennenigans
 

Saigondroner

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Are the props on correctly? We've had some people lately complaining about the same kind of issues, only to find out that they had the wrong props on the wrong positions. Do you take the props off in between flights?
I have been looking at your footage, and most is superb. I have an M2P also, but also bought the kit with the Smart Controller. The worst choice ever.. I am still trying to buy the regular M2P controller.
 
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JoostGT3

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I have been looking at your footage, and most is superb. I have an M2P also, but also bought the kit with the Smart Controller. The worst choice ever.. I am still trying to buy the regular M2P controller.
Thanks mate!
Really? What don't you like about the smart controller? I have it as well and absolutely love it! If I have to give number in what I love most about my M2P over the MP, it is 50% the camera, and 50% the Smart Controller (Ease of connecting and starting flying, robustness of connection, brightness of the display, crisp details of the display, in that order). The rest is all gimmicks imho.
 

SaigonDude

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May 3, 2019
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The Smart Controller does not do what they marketed and sold. Specifically there is no 3D party integration.

Have you been able to update the SC? I have tried using 3 different computers with no success. Support is ‘vapid’...the best way I can say. From a price point, the SC should be included with a neck strap, due to its weight. The strap, hood, and grommets are all aftermarket.

On the plus side Its screen is very bright, and a sunscreen is not needed (nor included).

Overall, it is a very expensive option that has lesser capability than other DJI options. It is too expensive to ask a current, or future customer for another $50....merely to make the unit reboot, or upgrade
 
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Morfzak

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Jun 28, 2018
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53
I seem to have solved my jumping bean problem. My left front motor was slow to start up a week or so ago, so I didn’t attempt to fly. I replaced the offending motor and normal flight has resumed.
Also battery behaviour is more normal.
I’m guessing the damaged motor was drawing more current than usual.
I’ll update if my experience changes.
 

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