Panoramic shots

Trying out the panoramic feature of the DJI spark. Impressed, but not blown away by it.

I found it really easy Todo, with the drone doing all the hard work taking the images, a great mode for capturing the vista. However, I find myself unable to position the drone where I want, always seeming to stop short. Not a limit on the drone, but for some reason my brain always stops in that same position!

Toft Gate Lime Kiln

So it was a trip to the top of Greenhow hill today. Lord was it cold and windy. But the little Spark did a sterling effort of dealing with the wind.

Up at the top of Greenhow hill is the old Lime kiln at Toft Gate.

The kiln was loaded with limestone through the top and with coal through the rectangular openings in the end and side walls. A stone lined flue runs from the kiln up a gentle slope to the chimney base in the distance. Life must have been hard up here. I’m suffering just with the cold wind, I hate to think what it was like being up here, mining the ore and loading it, moving the spoil, let alone the children that would have had to clean out the long flue leading to the chimney.

Theres plenty of grassy hillocks and curious dimples in the landscape between Toft Gate and Grassington – many of these are remnants of the limestone industry. People would mine the area, and transport it out to the lime-kiln where it would be burnt and heated to release the quicklime, which was then used in the local farms for fertiliser.

I decided to try the editor built into the DJI Go app, and it’s not bad really. Its most useful if your away from the main editing system you use, and just need a quick and dirty instagram upload or something, it wont really replace a dedicated editing software, but its intended use its not too bad. Once you play around with it and learn what it can, and can’t do as the information on using it is a little thin, it can yeild some good results. The auto create function can be a little odd, but that’s what you get for a random selection..

A walk round Thruscross with the Spark.

Went for a walk with a willing Muse around Thruscross reservoir yesterday. Very cold, but enjoyed the company.
My initial edit of the footage was done, and I liked the outcome, however I added a few scenes from the previous visits to Thruscross and extended it out by a few seconds for the second version of the edit.

Enjoy the edits 😉

Thruscross

Spend the afternoon going round one of my favourite walks, thruscross.

This is by no means an easy walk round here, the first part if done in a clockwise direction is easy enough, but you soon get to a section that’s not easy to navigate and a difficult, almost scrambling section. There’s no path to speak of, just be careful where you put your feet, and look out for the directional markers.

The reservoir it’s self is incredibly low, I can’t ever remember seeing it this low. The bridge is now well above water in the previously submerged village of westend. The river washburn down to nothing more than a stream now. The last time the village was visible, was 1995, and now much of the visible bridge and houses have broken down, or covered by sludge. (Here’s a YouTube video showing the 1995 drought)

I shot a few clips on the way around, some of which I didn’t use in the above video, but these two I really did like and couldn’t just leave them.

And this one, I just loved the way the dam reflected in the still water.

Thruscross, with its mix of moorland exposed walks, thick dark woods, and muddy scrambles is always worth a walk.

Range..

So, in Europe the power of a radio transmitter used in drones is limited to 18dbm, well below the ability of the controller’s 25dbm.

This equates to a massive cut in the range of the spark, about 500 meters is the limit before the video signal gives up and the drone returns. But fear not, there is something you can do to get the full range.

It basically involves fooling the DJI Go app to think your in a country that uses the FCC rules instead of the CE rules. To do it, follow these steps.

  • Ensure the drone and RC are both off
  • Turn aeroplane mode on your phone or tablet to On, and make sure to fully quit the DJI Go app
  • Install a fake GPS app and enable it.
  • Set your location somewhere in America or Canada.
  • Turn on the RC and drone and allow them to.connect.
  • Connect to the aircraft’s WiFi signal
  • Once the app starts up, it’ll ask you if you want to change the WiFi settings. Select ok.
  • Wait for the drones/RC’s network to come back online, and power everything off
  • Quit the app and the fake GPS provider, restart the drone/RC and app
  • When asked again to alter the WiFi settings, hit cancel

And that’s it. Each time you launch the app.from here, it’ll ask you to change the settings, always cancel the dialog.

To confirm your in FCC mode, goto the wireless page in the app, and look if there is a channel 12/13, if not your in FCC mode. Range in this mode will get you in excess of 1000 meters, as opposed to the 500 in the CE mode.

Happy flights!

A tad breezy

A bit windy for drone work, but the little spark put up a good effort in battling the wind, even if it did kill the battery in short order.

One thing I seem to be having issues with, is the controls. I have it set to the default at the moment, which is mode 2. This means the left stick controls elevation and turning movement, the right stick controls yaw and forward/rear movement. My mind always seems to try and reverse this in my hands and find I use the wrong stick for the command. So maybe I’ll stick with it and try and retrain my mind, or just change it.

The only other thing is working out which way the drone is going to move. Based on the drones orientation, moving the stick may not yield the results you expect. So knowing the orientation of the drone is important, but working it out can be a bit of a headache.