When I first looked into getting a drone, I was overwhelmed with the amount of accessories that you could buy for it, just like the GoPros packs with all the different mounts! My DJI Spark has been a bit of an ongoing investment, where I’ve been adding to my accessories as and when I find the need for something. I share with you my 5 must have DJI Spark Accessories that I think really make a difference!
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DJI Spark Accessories
I originally purchased just the ‘Spark only’ pack which comes with: the drone, a battery, USB cable, a spare set of propellors and a polystyrene storage box.
The idea being that you fly it without a controller from a mobile device. It’s literally enough just to get you in the air.
You can also get a Fly More package that comes with: the Spark, spare propellers and propeller guards, 2 batteries, charging hub, remote controller, USB cable, the storage box and a shoulder bag.
I’ve never felt the need for prop guards. I’ve never needed my spare set of propellers. I do really like the storage box which is how I always store and travel with my drone. It’s shaped so the Spark fits securely inside. It even has sections for 2 spare batteries, which are in the areas between the propellers, so the box is still quite compact.
5 Must Have Drone Accessories
1. The Charging Hub
If you have a lot of patience, you can charge the drone using the USB cable, but it takes FOREVER. Even when I only had one battery, I found the addition of the charging hub a great investment. Battery charging times went from over 4 hours to around an hour! It can charge up to 3 batteries at once. It may be expensive, but it’s worth it, especially when you get…
2. More Batteries
I now have 3 batteries. One of the down sides of the Spark is that the battery life is only around 16 minutes, which is usually more than enough to get a couple of good shots at a location. However, if you’re travelling around and plan on flying several times in a day, it’s best to use a fully charged battery for each flight. More batteries = more flights! If you don’t use the batteries for a while, they are built to discharge the power, so ideally you’ll need to recharge them on flight day. Together, with the charging hub you can be out and on the road a lot quicker than what you would be without it.
3. Controller Guard
I loved flying using just a mobile device but there are of course benefits to flying with the controller. But rather than this guide sounding like a ‘just buy the fly more package’, a handy Spark accessory is to get a joystick guard for the controller. This protects the joysticks when it’s shoved into a backpack or bag. I 3D printed mine but you can pick them up on Amazon for pretty cheap. If you want to go one better, you can even buy a small DJI Spark Remote Controller Case.
4. Drone Landing Pad
One of my favourite accessories is a drone landing pad! The Spark sits very low to the ground. It has a couple of very small rubber feet on the bottom but other than that, it’s very exposed to the elements, whether that’s wet grass/snow, sand, grit, mud etc. You can buy landing gear that clips onto the bottom and raises it an inch or so off the ground which of course would help, but you then have to fly with it attached.
The landing pad creates a flat, dry area to land on. It’s great to use for taking off and landing on grass and sand/beaches. It keeps grass away from the spinning propellers and it keeps moisture, dust and grit away from the gimbal. I bought the smaller size (55cm) which works great with the Spark, however you can get larger ones for larger drones. The landing pads fold up by twisting it and it comes in a small zip bag to keep it ‘contained’. It even comes with pegs so you can stick it in the ground (mine blew into a river once…).
5. Gimbal Guard
In hindsight I should have bought the landing pad or at least a gimbal guard a lot sooner. Even though it may be a bit too late, a gimbal guard will be my next purchase. Carrying on from the point I made above, the Spark sits very close to the ground, this includes the gimbal. Technically it sits higher up than the bottom of the battery/landing feet, but if you don’t land on a completely flat surface, it does sometimes take a bit of a nose dive onto the gimbal.
I haven’t noticed it so much in video footage, but I find now that the still aerial images I take do need horizons slightly straightened up, which I never had to do before. It’s no problem at the moment, it’s an easy fix in editing, but if it starts to be noticeable in videos then it’ll be harder to correct. The gimbal itself still works fine, it just has a slight tilt to it. You can buy little covers that snap on over the gimbal. It’s meant to stop sun glare but I think having a ‘wall’ around the gimbal would definitely help to project it.
DJI Spark Accessories That Don’t Work
I found mixed reviews about the OTG cables. I bought one on Amazon that had really good reviews but apparently after a hardware update they don’t really work on the Spark anymore, and this is exactly what I found with mine.
The idea of the OTG cable is that it takes away one of the wireless connections. So usually when you fly, the mobile device connects wirelessly to the remote control and then the remote control wirelessly connects to the Spark. The OTG cable is meant to get rid of the wireless connection between the mobile device and the controller, creating a more ‘solid’ connection, with less chance of it disconnecting. I found it didn’t work full stop, but it would be great if it did.
Other Useful Accessories
Not exactly a drone accessory, but it’s a gadget that I find is helpful to have in my ‘set up’. You’ve covered yourself when it comes to the Intelligent Flight Batteries, the remote controller lasts for around 2 hours on continuous flying on one charge (that’s 8 fully drained Spark batteries!) but what about the mobile device?
I fly using an iPod touch, so when I’m not using it, I tend to keep it in ‘flight mode’ to preserve the battery. But if you’re flying it from a phone, that you want to continue getting mobile data/signal on, you might find that the battery drains pretty quickly. By using a power bank you can ensure that the mobile device battery is kept topped up or can then be recharged after a day of flying!
DJI have actually replaced the Spark with the Mavic Mini, however the Spark is still available to buy in some shops, or maybe you still have a Spark yourself and maybe these will help with your current set up!