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Is compass calibration needed each flight?

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Discussion' started by race3, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. race3

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    Is compass calibration needed each flight or only when the lights indicate it is needed?

    If I move the home point around in the same town, in wondering if I can just fly or do I need to do the calibration each time I move around? Thx
     
  2. Pull_Up

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    The manual states you should calibrate if you move away from your usual flying area. It doesn't define this so it could mean metres away or time zones! Generally speaking I don't calibrate every flight - when you do calibrate you can actually cause problems if (like I did) you calibrate somewhere too close to things like cars, metal railings, etc. So my rule of thumb is if my last calibration was done within 10 miles of where I'm flying this time, and it was done in a nice clear area and the Vision flew well I don't feel the need to recalibrate this time.

    However, if you've messed with any settings in the Assistant software or upgraded firmware, etc, then I would always recalibrate in a good clear place before the next flight.
     
  3. bigfoot21075

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    Do it EVERY time. Why risk it? It takes less than a minute to safeguard your $1200.00 investment.
     
  4. Pull_Up

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    True, but when I calibrated in a not-so-clever place there was no indication of that until about 1 minute after I took off, when the app told me the compass needed calibrating and the aircraft went off like a bucking bronco, with no GPS mode, dropping in and out of atti all the time. If I wasn't used to flying quads nose-in I would have crashed badly trying to bring it back home. I understand exactly what you are saying, but having had the calibration error kick in on me when airborne I'm kind of sticking to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy!
     
  5. iDrone

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    I'm with the "if it ain't broke..." crowd, my PV has flown over a dozen stable missions out-of-box (now w/upgraded firmware) and I've -never- calibrated the compass; didn't feel compelled to because it flew true & stable on its first flight, plus it's never lit up the dashboard telling me it "needs compass calibration". You're mileage may vary.
     
  6. ginster

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    I think you're 'if it aint broke' philosophy is a bit dangerous.

    Would you get on an aeroplane if it's instruments were never calibrated or pre flights done.
    welcome aboard 'if it aint broke' airlines

    one day you'll be sorry you didn't do it I suspect.

    Calibrating the compass takes about 1 minute, and if you do it properly there's no reason why it should 'cause' a problem.

    I don't really get the reasons for not doing it every time. It's free and it's quick
     
  7. Pull_Up

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    Because there is a possibility of introducing a calibration error which does not show up until airborne and making a previously true-flying aircraft zip about like a mad thing (been there, done that). However, I agree with you: if you are in a big open area, you know definitely nothing ferro-magnetic lies under the ground beneath you or close nearby and you remembered to take your keys and phones out of your pockets before you did the calibration you are not going to do any harm at all. If in doubt - recalibrate, I agree.

    However, after a recalibration I will now always hover the aircraft at about head height for at least 1 minute to ensure that I don't get another delayed "recalibration required" error and need to go change my underpants again! :)

    I do use a (mental, admittedly) check-list before flying the Vision - used to fly ultralights, had the habit drummed into me - and one of those items is to assess the need for a compass recalibration. Two new items added since that eventful flight are to assess fully the area you are doing the calibration in and the 1 minute test hover.
     
  8. iDrone

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    Then let me add another bit of 411... at my location there's metal & power all around me within 8' of the landing zone. Why would I attempt to calibrate an otherwise happy compass of a PV or 777 when it flies perfectly stable, and risk throwing it out of whack just for the sake of performing an unnecessary gratuitous calibration for no logical reason. But I'm open minded, give me a logical reason and I'll do it. This forum is full of posts of folks who have done so resulting in worse performance than when they started. Of course, being aware of & moving away from metal, magnetic fields, and power lines before attempting such recalibration would probably have saved them from that, but oh well. If I got an error message or experienced a flight anomaly from where I took off, then recalibration is one of the first things I'd consider.

    iDrone
     
  9. ginster

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    When you transport/store your phantoms, how do you not know that you haven't upset the compass a bit?
    For example, you got the phantom in the back of the car, its sat a bit too close to a speaker or something like that

    It seems to be an area of mixed opinions and mixed experiences.

    I calibrate every time and as of yet, it's flown perfectly every time.

    I suppose you tend to stick with a method that works for you.
    I just rather know it's been done, then if there's a crash, I know I did it first

    I agree though, a 1 minute hover first is a good idea
     
  10. Pull_Up

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    Yeah, you don't mind "wasting" a minute when there's 25 to play with! :D
     
  11. iDrone

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    If you watch Colin's tutorial where he intentionally "upsets" the PV's compass cal just to show you how to restore it using a small magnet, it takes quit a bit of effort to throw it way out of whack. But I agree, being aware of your surroundings & performing a 1-min hover test is the smart thing to do.

    BTW Colin's been busy, there are more vid tutorials uploaded to DJI's site now:
    http://www.dji.com/download/phantom-2-vision-downloads/

    iDrone
     
  12. dutchdigitaldude

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    For me everything is rather confusing. I own a vision plus and a 2, and do my calibration always before flight but still sometimes the needle on the app of the vision is spinning around during flights. Although the plane seems to fly correctly the needle tells me something else. I believe it works to calibrate everytime. But if your calibration was ok as you can see from the lights on the plane, and the app telse you something else. What do we have to believe ? In my opinion is the first 1 minute hover check only a few meter high in front of you and a checklist before flight a good thing. We all know this is not a hobby without risks.
     
  13. WessexWyvern

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