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What just happened? Magnetic anomaly?

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by tundrastruck, Jul 26, 2015.

  1. tundrastruck

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    Just had my first scare with the quad copter. Went out to the end of a road out in the open in the middle of nowhere and flew it. My wife wanted me to get a shot flying down in to the lower valley. So I launched it, and as I was descending in to the valley the compass went wonky causing the copter to go into another mode P-Opti which was fine but all of a sudden the copter was flying forward on its own like someone else was flying it. I was freaking thinking its gonna fly away on me.

    Finally I was able to get it back and land it safe. I tried calibrating the compass which was fine, then went to try and fly again but the compass error popped up again, possibly a magnetic field anomaly? The only metal close by was the car that was 30 feet away, gravel and tundra is the only thing in the area.

    Honestly thought this was a fly away. Anyone else have this happen?
     
  2. tundrastruck

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    Further to this I had like 17 Satellites on the GPS
     
  3. Canadian

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    Seeing that you are in Iqaluit; is there any possibility that you are too far North to get a reliable compass reading? DJI does state (somewhere) that the P3s do not operate reliably in the arctic, or antarctic. You are darn close to it. (BTW, your location is on my list to visit some day...I really want to see first hand what the midnight sun is like.)
     
  4. tundrastruck

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    Thanks Canadian, I did read that somewhere to about the compass and being in the north, but I have been flying it all over town the last couple days with out issue. The only thing that changed tonight was instead of using my iPhone 6 plus, with the Pilot App. I used my iPad Air 2 for the first time. Wonder if its possible the app had something to do with it. The only other thing I wonder is that the area I was in was blasted last year to collect gravel etc. So am wondering if there was some magnetized rock exposed or something within the area I was in. Just also found out to from friend on facebook, there's another fella here with a P3 experiencing the same issue.

    The mid-night sun is pretty nice but can really tough on ya and throw your circadian rhythm outta wack. Kinda like the P3 compass ;)
     
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  5. jryser

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    Tundrastruck you have the best handle on this forum!


    Sent from my PT beating heart
     
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  6. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    This one is mysterious but the key is that your Phantom went into P-opti mode.
    This indicates that your Phantom lost GPS satellite cover.
    A magnetic anomaly could cause compass errors but this should not have anything to do with P-opti mode.
     
  7. acherman

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    If you lose GPS it will go bro Atti mode (I get that lots when flying under a bridge). Isn't P-Opti when it's using the VPS? So how close to the ground were you? What firmware? Some people report problems with newer firmware and VPS. Try turning VPS off and go back there.
     
  8. tundrastruck

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    I was maybe 10-15ft off the ground, then up to 20ft or so. Firmware 1.1.9, waiting for the next firmware update, or should I go to the latest? I'll try turning vps off n see what happens.
     
  9. acherman

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    If things are working fine right now, other than this one weird thing, I would not update firmware.
     
  10. tundrastruck

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    A fellow co-worker told me this morning there are iron deposits in the area I was flying and may contribute to the compass error I was getting. I checked with another fellow co-worker who is a geologist. She's not familiar with how the compass on the Phantom works but did say some of the rocks or parts of Canadian Shield here do have magnetic properties, but is not sure that the level of magnetic field emitted by these would be strong enough to interfere with the P3 compass.

    After doing more searches I've found others experiencing the same issues elsewhere, so I'll do a little more experimenting and see if I can isolate it to that area of land specifically or if it's hardware failure of some kind.
     
  11. Canadian

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    It would interesting to understand the cause.
     
  12. robinb

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    you mentioned going into valley, that would loose your gps and at same time you were flying low so vision system probably kicking in.
     
  13. jack1144

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    Item 6 page 40 of the User Manual says "The Phantom 3 Professional cannot operate within the polar areas." I would guess you might have had multiple issues. Lost GPS for a period of time( the drop to P-OPTI ) and compass confusion. Glad you got it back.
     
  14. tundrastruck

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    How do you lose GPS when I had like 17-20 satellites? I hope to take it out again today some time. I didn't have any issues previously in other areas of town here. I'm hoping I'm low enough in the polar region I'm not affected. I'll just be extra careful when flying.
     
  15. jack1144

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    I don't know. As robinb mentioned is it possible the valley walls were blocking some?
    Just seems if it dropped out of gps mode it must have lost them somehow as Meta4 said
    Very curious what would do that. Please share if you figure it out
     
  16. acherman

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    I flew in high mountains today - middle of the Canadian Rockies. Took off from the side of one with 7-8 satellites. After about 30' I was up to 14 I think. Unless you go under a bridge or into a deep hole, I don't think you would lose enough satellites to drop out of GPS.
     
  17. DaGunn

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    Post the video, so we can see your surroundings. Thank you.
     
  18. jack1144

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    acherman I wonder if you started on the other side with 14 and fly to 7-8 or maybe 6-7.what would happen?
     
  19. Kman

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    If you're flying around town, calibrate the compass somewhere where you know there is no magnetic interference. The area you're flying you said was blown up last year.

    You don't need to calibrate the compass every time you fly. Only if you travel 100+ miles from where you calibrated it last.

    A good thing to do when flying is after you take off, let it hover 20 feet off he ground for 20 seconds to 45 seconds. If there is a compass issue or any other issues you will know in that time frame.
     
  20. acherman

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    Yah, I suppose we would need to see the valley he flew into. That said, when I came in to land today, in the same spot I took off from, it stayed in GPS the whole time as I came into the trees. I just checked the flight log and it doesn't display the sat count for the flight.