Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

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

Compass error then lost RC signal

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by NotARubicon, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. NotARubicon

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2016
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Southern California / Inland Empire
    This morning I decided to test out 2.7k video of the sunrise to see how it compares to my usual 1080P.. I flew my normal practice area that i've done many times before.
    At about 2700 feet out, i started getting compass-error and she switched into ATTI mode. As it got closer it went back to GPS so I continued on in the opposite direction. This time at about 2200 feet, I suddenly lost RC connection (first time ever) and it initiated an auto RTH. Connection came back as it got closer but that was enough stress for me and i left it on the ground.

    Should I have landed and recalibrate the compass as soon as I got the compass error?
    Any ideas why suddenly I would lose RC connection so close and over an area I've been over many times before with no issue?

    The only differences between today and other times is that I usually fly during the afternoon in temps around 75F° and this morning it was about 50F°. The other difference is that today I was using the little plastic antenna separator that comes with my Windsurfers - the part that slides down over both antennas and keeps them spaced apart..
    One other difference between today and other flights is that both times I ventured slightly further over the (empty/closed) property of both the local high school and community college. Is it likely they had some kind of jammers or anything like that?

    Here is my HealthyDrone report <- I dont see anything there that explains anything, but I dont really know how to read the reports yet.
     
  2. nix240z

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2016
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    40
    I had compass error also in mid flight and also went to atti-mode and then back to gps. I flew back, landed and did a re-calibration of the quad. Make sure you dont have any metal around you or on you( IE: belt, change in pocket, cellphone, wire framed glasses, wristwatch , rings, gold chains etc:) when doing calibration.
     
  3. alokbhargava

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    5,136
    Likes Received:
    1,658
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Small and non magnetic items will not affect calibration one should check if the lights turn green after calibration else repeat the process. If you have hidden large magnetic material around like RCC or iron wired fences, you might get compass error even before flying a/c.
     
  4. Mark The Droner

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2015
    Messages:
    3,983
    Likes Received:
    1,162
    Location:
    Brookeville, MD, USA
    What do you mean by small? My P2V manual specifically says not to calibrate the compass with keys, cell phone, or other "ferromagnetic" items on your person. I assume it's the same for the P3.
     
  5. alokbhargava

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    5,136
    Likes Received:
    1,658
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    It's difficult to lose GPS lock during clear skies. I have flown even during cloudy days and didn't see any issues. I'm lost to understand GPS issue. Hope there is nothing lose inside.

    Losing connection shows heavy local interference, antenna not pointing towards aircraft, any damage on the antenna, SW issue. It's difficult to judge. I suspect heavy local signal interference as the most probable cause. But it's true once you see compass or any error, pull it down, investigate it thoroughly before attempting to go up again.
     
  6. NotARubicon

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2016
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Southern California / Inland Empire
    The compass error is still a mystery but upon review of the video playback I think I might see why I lost RC connection.
    I am at the bottom of a mountain, in the foothills, so as I was traveling toward the mountain my AGL was decreasing, putting more trees between the RC and the P3.. When it finally stopped to turn around for RTH, it was at treetop level - actually looks like if it didn't stop it may have hit some trees.. Lesson learned on that one!
     
  7. NotARubicon

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2016
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Southern California / Inland Empire
    Well at least I got some decent video:
    You can see how close those trees were at 1:39 ..
     
  8. alokbhargava

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    5,136
    Likes Received:
    1,658
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I always have belt, cell phone, keys, with me and never faced any issue. I faced issue when there was a concrete platform of about 20' diameter. I could not calibrate on it.

    Gold chains, rings etc are not magnetic materials and they don't affect compass calibration.
     
  9. mikecorn1

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Richwood, TX
    Nice!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. nix240z

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2016
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    40
    each to their own but the P3 manual does state no cellphones or keys while calibrating.
    So I have no metal on me now since the last "compass error" I had. And at that time I had a belt on, eyeglasses, a leatherman tool, plus some change in my pocket and car keys.
     
  11. MikeK

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    24
    How about nearby power lines?
     
  12. JickMagger

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2016
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    20
    Did you reboot your phone/tablet before the flight?
     
  13. NotARubicon

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2016
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Southern California / Inland Empire
    No. I'm pretty sure that has nothing to do with compass errors or a weak RC signal - but if you have a link/info that it does, please post it.
     
  14. dmagnus

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    45.141598 -92.631683 Somewhere on the Apple River
    With my P2, I always used to calibrate with my cell phone in my shirt pocket and near my shop (pole barn) and or my Polaris Ranger that I use to go out to the field I usually fly in. Always seemed to work fine and never had any problems.
    The other day I finally had a chance to fly my new P3P. Went to my usual place about 50 feet from the shop. Couldn't get it to calibrate. It was giving an error message that there was magnetic interference. So I hauled it out to the field. Tried a calibration, but I was too close to the Ranger - more magnetic interference. Moved about 40 feet away from the Ranger and it calibrated perfectly. So, I learned that the P3P has a much more sensitive calibration system than the P2 had.
    This leads me to believe that the P2 is somewhat flawed in that it will show a successful calibration even in the presence of considerable magnetic interference. That could explain some of the so-called flyaways.
     
  15. JickMagger

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2016
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    20
    I don't have a cite, but I have read it and my personal experience seems to reinforce it. Reboot the phone and no GPS errors, don't reboot and occasionally get them. I think it's a software/SDK issue.