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Compass Calibration Required

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by flyNfrank, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. flyNfrank

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    When you power on your R/C (remote/controller) with your device plugged into the mini usb, the 1st time it should ask which app you would like to associate the R/C with. At this point you should also be able to select whether you want it to access the app just this time only, or always. It's best that you select this to always use the app you are currently using it with for the upcoming flight. Unfortunately the main reason for this is should your device overheat and cause a complete shut down, as long as you have the setting to always connect to the app with the device being used, it will automatically start back back up in the event of a shut down.

    The main purpose for this thread is to inform you to calibrate the compass prior to each flight. Other then laziness, there is no excuse to not calibrate before each flight. DJI has built a audible message to complete the aircraft status prior to flying. When you click to enter camera view, you are directed to the Aircraft Status section. And right there is plain sight is the option to begin the Compass Calibration process. If it's not there then it should read normal, or be ok. Otherwise when completing the process you must have flashing green lights, if not then it is a failed calibration and you will need to run the process once again. The system will not pass a failed process.
     
    #1 flyNfrank, Sep 4, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2015
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  2. RedHotPoker

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    It is not advised to calibrate your compass before every flight.
    In fact unless you move 100miles from last compass calibration point, it should be just fine. ;-)

    Why would You do it before every flight? Curious
    What are you trying to accomplish...?

    RedHotPoker
     
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  3. snerd

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    My "usual" radius of operations is probably about 25 miles. I can't remember the last time I calibrated the compass. However, I do always take a gander at the Mod value before flight. It usually sitting around 1525 or so.
     
  4. ELHEAPO

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    I thought it is advised to do a compass calibration before each flight, For the time it takes why wouldnt you do it? I cant see what harm it would do to the phantom as well as giving you piece of mind!
     
  5. RoyVa

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    Not really necessary but no harm either. Manual indicates of you change areas of flight. Where the earths geomagnetic fields might change due to terrain. Most figure if you go 15 -25 miles from your current location then it's a pretty good idea to do it. Some do it every flight. Your choosing.
     
  6. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Popular misconception - but DJI never recommended calibration every flight.
    This is usually spread by people that do not understand what calibration does and feel that if it is good, then more of it must be better.
    Read what compass calibration is and understand why doing it every flight might not be a good idea.
    Compass Calibration, A Complete Primer | DJI Phantom Forum
     
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  7. Tricky

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    it's interesting to me that we have two "senior" posters here @Meta4 and @flyNfrank , giving two polar opposite pieces of advice. @flyNfrank most recently was a beta tester for the new upcoming fw release...i for one could benefit from the senior folks having a singular message.

    i calibrate compass based on mod values, and if i have drastically changed my flight location.

    i appreciate the senior posters donating their knowledge, i am only pointing out my own concern.
     
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  8. III% Streve

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    There are no qualifications to be a Beta tester, or a moderator for that matter. No offense, just the truth.

    As a few have mentioned, the MOD value is the only thing that determines a need for calibration. The GO app looks at it on power-up... yes. But it has too broad a range that it sees as acceptable. It does NOT tell you every flight to calibrate!
     
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  9. Volantis

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    When you fly a plane, you do a pre flight check each time before you leave the ground. You don't complain about redundancy and you don't wait until the day before the wing falls off to make sure it is securely fastened. You never know when that day will come, or if it ever will.

    The idea of calibration is to make certain the GPS locator is pointing to the correct longitude, latitude, and altitude. Most of the time recalibration is not necessary, and it may never be necessary. However, as responsible pilots, we are concerned for eliminating every possible error before we leave the ground and before it is too late to correct it. Redundancy is a proven technique for increasing a pilot's safety record.

    Not only should we be recalibrating at every new site and on every new day, but we should be checking for cracks, bug damage, buildup on the motors, prop damage, wind speed, other things flying in the air, wildlife in the area, power lines, and in general, any obstacles in the environment including properties we might damage with a collision.

    When I hear hacks talking about how unnecessary it is to do a recalibration I roll my eyes thinking they will be posting the next "I didn't see that coming" thread.
     
  10. flyNfrank

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    Those that have been around longer are the ones with a misconception. They base what had been the general way of doing things with the older technology. As most of us know, as time goes by, more things are learned, and especially when completely new configurations are brought into it. This time around DJI has done something they had not been known for in the past. They put something in place making it the most visible part of that page. You see a white button called Calibrate, Normal, and a bright yellow icon with a "?". When the "?" is selected, you are given the following instructions.

    "Calibrating your compass is crucial for the safe operation of your aircraft, please calibrate it now. Be sure there are no magnets or metal objects near the compass."

    This is something you have to look at each time prior to flying. At this point what you do is entirely up to you. But just know that you were provided instructions, and also know that whether or not you calibrate the compass prior to flight, the flight is documented and saved in the flight log.

    I have now viewed the flight logs of P3 owners who have had their aircraft takeoff suddenly and begin flying crazy. I looked at maybe 12 different peoples logs now. Around 6 of those people said they calibrated before hand. Out of the 12 flight logs viewed, none were actually calibrated before starting flight. So either these people thought they did, or they did not complete the process properly? So out of the 12 flight logs with known crazy behavior, none were calibrated prior to flight.

    So the fact is, there is clearly instructions to calibrate the compass now. And there is no documented info stating to not do compass calibrations.
     
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  11. RedHotPoker

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    I believe part of the reasoning for not calibrating your Phantom compass each and every flight, is the possibility of getting a bad reading, and that this may cause a problem during flight.
    If the compass miss calculates where N is, then returning to a Home Position, may be fouled up as well. If you lose LOS and need it to return on its own, that could be a disaster. Fly Away... Actually it hovered in one spot until the battery died, then it landed. But who knows where? ;-)

    I have calculated my compass calibrations, and it adds up to three.
    In the months that I have enjoyed this Phantom 3, only three times was the compass calibration completed.

    Still one of the 'Phantom Fortunately Fine', without any foibles or SNAFU. ;-)

    RedHotPoker
     
  12. Volantis

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    As long as you state it is your belief, you can't go wrong. However, if there were any truth to this then DJI would be liable for lots of damages. Basically, you are saying there is a built in flaw in the hardware and software. Can you back this up with something substantial?
     
  13. flyNfrank

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    This theory is nonsense. The P3 does not have rated calibrations. There is no good or bad calibrations. It is either calibrated, or not calibrated. If it is not calibrated, it will not give the green flashing lights to signal process complete.
     
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  14. Tricky

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    So @flyNfrank , as I am following this thread to learn and not berate people as "hacks" like someone here just did...you are stating as FACT that so long as you get "green flashing lights" ALL compass calibrations are EQUAL, none better or worse?
     
  15. flyNfrank

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    As I said...There is no good or bad calibrations.

    To be calibrated means it has been set to be with in spec's. The set value ranges it allows to be considered calibrated.
     
  16. RedHotPoker

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  17. Mordor

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    This weekend i made a flight without compass calibrate. Why?
    Because previous calibrate and flight, was exactly on the same place!

    Everything was green on app, satellites, location on google maps, so i made more than 2Km without any issues.

    If i go to another flight zone, here, i made the compass calibration.

    So far, so good.
     
  18. RedHotPoker

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    Seems pretty WELL defined by DJI as well.
    Phantom-GPS & Compass Calibration - DJI Wiki

    "Calibrate the compass before the first flight or when flying in a different area. Make sure to keep away from ferromagnetic substance and other electronic equipment when calibration and flying. If you keep having calibration failure, it might suggest that there is magnetic interference or other ferromagnetic substance, please avoid flying in this area."

    RedHotPoker
     
  19. III% Streve

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    You CAN complete a calibration standing on a magnet! And get the green light to fly. That obviously doesn't mean its a GOOD calibration! And you almost always get the green lights to fly WITHOUT first doing a calibration. Its like stirring a cup of coffee for 5 minutes vs stirring for 1 minute. Does 5 minutes REALLY make a difference? Nope! But you are welcome to do it anyway.
     
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  20. flyNfrank

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    It's always so far so good until something bad happens and you realized you should have taken precautions.