Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Calibrate compass before gimbal?

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by TX281, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. TX281

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2014
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just received my Phantom 2 NV about an hour ago. This is my second Phantom 2. The first one is no longer with us. May it R.I.P..

    The first one I had was stock. No extra anything. Nothing but the Phantom 2. My new one has the gimbal. Do you calibrate before or after installing the gimbal? Or, does it matter?
     
  2. BigPig

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    11
    Just got mine today too, same setup. Would also like to know this. Thanks.
     
  3. moveease

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco, Ca
    I calibrated my phantom2 without the gimbal a while back and it ran perfectly. I recently attached the zenmuse gimbal with the go pro, and now its waaay off. I throttle forward and it goes diagonal, I try to keep it stationary; nope, it plays by its own rules. I have re calibrated everything again and again. not sure whats going on, but i'm pretty sure its the compass/gps. so to answer your question I'm not sure, but keep me posted on your results.
     
  4. TX281

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2014
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Please! Anyone? I'm just about done and ready to go play. lol....

    Should the Phantom be calibrated before install of the Zenmuse?
     
  5. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    4,932
    Likes Received:
    1,806
    Location:
    Lost Angeles
    Before and after. And many times. You should calibrate you compass:

    - Before the first time you fly
    - Any time you change flight location
    - Any time you change the physical set up of your phantom
    - If you notice your Phantom hovering poorly (going in circles)

    Some people do it before every flight.

    The compass is very sensitive to any ferrous metals, EMI, etc. Bad compass calibration is the root cause of many many fly aways. It takes 10 seconds to recalibrate and it could save you from a fly away.
     
  6. LeoS

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Messages:
    747
    Likes Received:
    1
    An uncalibrated compass won't make your Phantom bolt in the direction of Shenzhen in a hurry.

    You should be able to detect its drift by doing the hover check (let it stand for 10-20 seconds and see if it drifts) and to see if it can fly in a straight line in GPS mode. The compass also has an internal mechanism to detect if the deviation is outside its tolerance; which will prompt the LED warning and also show an error message on the app (for PV users) to tell us that a calibration is absolutely needed.

    I'm not saying that you shouldn't calibrate your compass frequently, just to give an idea of the kind of 'flyaway' it can cause.
     
  7. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    4,932
    Likes Received:
    1,806
    Location:
    Lost Angeles
    Agreed, not a fly away in the technical sense but it seems people are often calling unexpected activity from the Phantom that results in it going to the bottom of a lake or up a tree a flyway. If you're not the most experienced flyer, a bad compass calibration could make you feel like your Phantom is acting erratically and could easily escalate into an unhappy ending.
     
  8. Buk

    Buk

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    Messages:
    657
    Likes Received:
    29
    Location:
    Iowa, United States
    One more for the list, if Phantom is firmly bumped, crashed or encounters unfriendly objects !! Look it over thoroughly, advanced calibration, and compass dance.
     
  9. TX281

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2014
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    That was the exact answer I was looking for.

    Thank you.
     
  10. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    4,932
    Likes Received:
    1,806
    Location:
    Lost Angeles
    If you were blind, would you wait at the crosswalk until you knew it was green? I'd bet you would. Pretty sure humans can't see magnetic fields, so in the case of the compass, you are blind. What I suggested is what DJI suggests, no more, no less. You want to skip steps, go ahead. Not following recommended operating procedures is the number one cause for crashes in general aviation. I'd bet for RC aviation, it's exactly the same.
     
  11. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    4,932
    Likes Received:
    1,806
    Location:
    Lost Angeles
    What science is that? Do you understand why the compass is as far away as possible from every other electronic component on the Phantom? I hope you understand that there are numerous sources of man made electromagnetism that are much stronger than the earth's so it's not just a matter of calibrating for magnetic declination.

    I've seen enough magnetometers in action on large sailboats and Cessnas to know they're finicky and need calibration under rules not dissimilar to DJI's. I hope you don't mind if I suggest new pilots take DJI's advice over yours until they can form their own opinion. You may never have a problem with it like many others that don't re-calibrate as often as they should, but as someone put it very well in an unrelated thread, "you get away with it until you don't".
     
  12. Redline

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2014
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    my first flight has a little drift I did another compass calibration and it fly's rock steady better than I though! Directions say to do it before each flight ....I think! :D
     
  13. _r3_

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Page 18 of Phantom 2 User Manual 1.04_en
    From the top
    :ugeek:
     
  14. scratch009

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Maybe an old topic, but my question wasn't completely answered. Last night before I wanted to take off but the red/orange light's were on indicating she wanted another compass calibration. The first time after about 25 flights (this was a different location). So I did, however, the first time my gimbal was not attached at that time. After 2 flights I attached the gimbal, and actually didn't recalibrate. Never had an issue with it, until I had to calibrate it again last night.

    The gimbal doesn't seem to like it that much holding the phantom nose down during calibration. Was wondering if anyone else knows if this is perfectly harmless for the gimbal, or I should remove it beforehand (very annoying).

    cheers
    phil
     
  15. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    4,932
    Likes Received:
    1,806
    Location:
    Lost Angeles
    I actually did answer it but it got drowned out in the noise of pointless dispute. When you add or remove something to the Phantom, you are changing the localized magnetic field around it which means the compass might not be able to get an accurate reading. You need to recalibrate every time you make a physical change to your Phantom. You might get away with not doing it but why risk it?

    Side note: don't wait until the Phantom realizes the compass is so off that it can't even take off. It's like the oil pressure light in your car. By the time the light comes on, the damage is done.