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Compass Calibration Every Time I Fly
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4760 64 2018-7-19
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RandyHat
Second Officer
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United States
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My Mavic Air is requiring compass calibration before EVERY flight.  It always does the calibration quickly but it just seems odd that it requires it for every flight.  I have a Phantom Pro and a Spark and neither has required compass calibration.  Any idea what's up with the Air?  Anyone else having this issue with their Mavic Air?
2018-7-19
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sky6105
First Officer
Flight distance : 345653 ft
United States
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I get a compass calibration on if i start it in one place then move to another for take off.
2018-7-19
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Wachtberger
Captain
Flight distance : 261509 ft
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What is your take off location? It is known that the Mavic Air systems are significantly more sensitive to interferences than the older DJI models. If you can do a calibration in an open rural area free of interferences (e.g. metal etc.) you should be fine thereafter.
2018-7-19
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Streetmagus
lvl.4
Flight distance : 1398376 ft
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I also noticed the MA is sensitive to magnetic interference or something. 90% of the time I insert a new battery, I have to recalibrate the MA to take off.
2018-7-19
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OneDoesNotSimply
First Officer
Flight distance : 662644 ft
United States
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I have to do it a lot too. I won't say every time, but almost. sky6105 might have a point when he mentions turning it on in one location and then turning it on later in another. I quite often turn it on at home (where I am sure there is lots of interference) so I can format my SD card and do firmware checks before going out and flying a few miles away.
2018-7-19
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Skypuppy
lvl.2
Flight distance : 132356 ft
United States
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I have the same issue. I have only twice not had to recalibrate. Even bringing down to change the battery I have to recalibrate. That wouldn't be a big issue EXCEPT it never does so in one attempt. I have had instances of failing 6-7 times before it's successful. Given the already limited flight time, wasting battery life doing this is an aggravation.
2018-7-19
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QuadKid
Captain
Flight distance : 482349 ft
United States
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When doing calibrations after FW update you can calibrate the IMU's, VPS & Gimbal sitting at your desk/table at home, but never calibrate the compass at home initially or after FW update, wait until you are somewhere in nowhere land to calibrate. I too had compass warnings constantly until I refreshed the FW did my home base IMU,VPS & Gimbal cali's then went out to where I know there is no interference and calibrated the compass's so I know they are accurate. I still get the warning depending on where I'm flying but it warns you to move to another location or calibrate compass. If you know your initial compass cali is good do not re-calibrate it, simply move 20-30 ft away until you fine a location that works. This worked for me and have not had to calibrate Compass since.
2018-7-19
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OneDoesNotSimply
First Officer
Flight distance : 662644 ft
United States
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My phone loses its compass calibration often when I am hooked up to that large piece of plastic, metal and electronics called a radio controller. However, I just rotate the thing in various directions and it shows orientation properly. It would be nice if the Air could do that - auto calibrate when you rotate it rather than going several menu's deep and then having to do it. It would be even nicer if it let you take off a few feet and calibrate itself with a 360 yaw. Being above the ground should give even better calibration results.

2018-7-19
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DJI Tony
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Hi, sorry for the trouble that it caused, I would like to clarify if you already try to get another location? You can try to download our DJI Assistant 2 to your computer and restore factory defaults then refresh the firmware of your aircraft afterward, reboot the unit and re-calibrate the IMU and compass, I strongly advise changing the location to see if the message will still persist.
2018-7-19
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GDL
First Officer
Flight distance : 1498789 ft
Singapore
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This may related to SD card not working well. Try removing the SD card to see if that’s the reason.
2018-7-19
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nywrecker
First Officer
Flight distance : 832421 ft
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I have the exact same problem since the unit was new so cannot blame that on FW.
To make matters worse, sometimes it takes me 2-3 attempts to calibrate it.
Most of the time I fly in the middle of nowhere with no ferrous metals near by, no cars, no Apple Watch, etc.
I calibrate the compass, fly with no problems and come back a couple hours later to the same spot and asked to calibrate again.
The only time I am not asked to calibrate is when I replace a battery without shutting down the RC or the DJI app.
I wonder if folks flying the Air with third party applications have the same problem.
2018-7-19
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GDL
First Officer
Flight distance : 1498789 ft
Singapore
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Are you take off from concrete? Which country are you located? Can you try removing the SD card?
Hope we can narrow down the cause to find why.
2018-7-19
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HedgeTrimmer
Captain
United States
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Can't recommend you do this...
But after experiencing my Mavic Pro / GO-4 App insisting on compass needing to be re-calibrated, sometimes in same flying session, and ensuring compasses of Mavic Pro were properly calibrated - I started ignoring messages.   

Finally decided messages were false alerts.  When I switched to using a CrystalSky for smartdevice, the messages stopped.
2018-7-19
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HedgeTrimmer
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GDL Posted at 2018-7-19 17:22
This may related to SD card not working well. Try removing the SD card to see if that’s the reason.

If that is solution - DJI needs to figure out what the Bloody H is wrong with their microSD card driver.
Two should be in no way related.
2018-7-19
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GDL
First Officer
Flight distance : 1498789 ft
Singapore
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I see post here mentioning faulty SD can cause the issue. The only reason I can figure out is read write to faulty SD may generate interference to compass. Anyway it’s worth to try if you already tried Everything and still not fix the problem. We need more conformation to proof SD is the root cause to push DJI to do something.
2018-7-19
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HedgeTrimmer
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GDL Posted at 2018-7-19 19:44
I see post here mentioning faulty SD can cause the issue. The only reason I can figure out is read write to faulty SD may generate interference to compass. Anyway it’s worth to try if you already tried Everything and still not fix the problem. We need more conformation to proof SD is the root cause to push DJI to do something.

The only reason I can figure out is read write to faulty SD may generate interference to compass.

The interference would have to be in form of causing data corruption or timing issues in handling data from compass (XYZ magnetic field sensors).
microSD card's writing of data or reading of data does not involve use magnet field N vs. S, instead card's storage is transistor based.

Again, if it is microSD card - then DJI needs to Fix their software.


2018-7-19
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alpbird
lvl.4
Flight distance : 779281 ft
Turkey
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DJI definitely needs to update the software. Even though I do not have any SD cards, and fly the copter in the same area, I am not allowed to fly by DJI Go 4 without having performed the compass calibration.
2018-7-19
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GDL
First Officer
Flight distance : 1498789 ft
Singapore
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I agree DJI should fix this problem if it caused by hardware or software. But first they should tell pilots how to figure out what caused the problem. I am not sure they know what need to be fixed if people just complain and without helping to find out the cause.
2018-7-20
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dunfr
lvl.4
Flight distance : 499104 ft
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I have to calibrate my aircraft every time I fly in a new location; then if I use the same Take-off point I do not have to recalibrate after a battery change. I use different micro SD cards SanDisk Extreme and Pro - still needs new calibration. My Manual v1.2 Page 56 says: Hold the aircraft vertically, with its nose pointing downward, and rotate it 360 degrees around a vertical axis. The diagram shows aircraft nose upwards I am sure it doesn't make any difference - I have tried both ways. I fly in remote areas away from any magnetic interference but sometimes aircraft will not calibrate unless I move 5-6ft away from original start point.
I think the aircraft is too sensitive to small magnetic anomalies.
2018-7-20
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kaus
lvl.4
Chile
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After waste a full charge battery trying to re-re-re-re-re-calibrate the compass, I just remove SD y voilá! some weird DJI spell occurs and my Mavic Air have no compass issues.

bad, bad DJI... this is really annoying. Re-calibrating compass every time I turn off almost make me go to store and demand my money back!

I have (still) a old Phantom 2 drone, and I just need to calibrate it only ONE time... and still flying OK after 4 years!

The quality of DJI products has been declining over time?
2018-7-20
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A CW
Captain
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HedgeTrimmer Posted at 2018-7-19 19:24
Can't recommend you do this...
But after experiencing my Mavic Pro / GO-4 App insisting on compass needing to be re-calibrated, sometimes in same flying session, and ensuring compasses of Mavic Pro were properly calibrated - I started ignoring messages.   

That is very true - I have had compass calibration warnings pop up and after checking the compass sensor on the MA it is green - took off without calibrating and no issue during flight. Another strange glitch.
2018-7-20
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Tomsbird
lvl.4
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Canada
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A CW Posted at 2018-7-20 10:28
That is very true - I have had compass calibration warnings pop up and after checking the compass sensor on the MA it is green - took off without calibrating and no issue during flight. Another strange glitch.

I didn't think you could take off with a compass calibration warning until you did the calibration and got the green "safe to fly" status message?
2018-7-20
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HedgeTrimmer
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Tomsbird Posted at 2018-7-20 21:02
I didn't think you could take off with a compass calibration warning until you did the calibration and got the green "safe to fly" status message?

Can't speak for 'A CW', but what I believe was happening - GO-4 App was displaying a false Compass Calibration warning.  As if there were a compass problem that had triggered message, but there was not a problem.  Which allowed you to go ahead and fly, without re-calibrating compasses.  

False warnings were happening when I was running GO-4 on either iPad-2? or iPhone-5s.
2018-7-20
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AlphaFlightNW
First Officer
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when the lights are flashing red yellow green, moving the aircraft will cause a compass error. This is what I have noticed with my MA and might be what is happening with yours. Other than that, just be aware where you set your aircraft. Hope this helps
2018-7-20
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hallmark007
Captain
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It seems that compass sensor has been set to very sensitive, I myself had similar but not every flight, I have also noticed that after calibration in areas I usually fly it doesn’t pop up again once I’ve calibrated.

One piece of information given out here is wrong, your MavAir won’t allow take off until you calibrate.

MavAir is dji’s first prosumer drone fitted with look up table, so will notice the slightest change in deviation, so this may be part of the reason warning comes up.
I have found if calibration is difficult, that simply switching off everything and back on will allow quick calibration.

Hopefully they might change sensitivity of setting, certainly for me I’ve noticed it’s not reoccurring as much.

Also to be on the safe side make sure your area is clean of any mag interference before you calibrate and take off.
2018-7-21
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A CW
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Tomsbird Posted at 2018-7-20 21:02
I didn't think you could take off with a compass calibration warning until you did the calibration and got the green "safe to fly" status message?

I've been able to as the warning disappears sometimes after arming the motors.
2018-7-21
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hallmark007
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Tomsbird Posted at 2018-7-20 21:02
I didn't think you could take off with a compass calibration warning until you did the calibration and got the green "safe to fly" status message?

You cannot fire up the motors until you calibrate, your correct, it simply won’t let you, the message continues to say can’t take off,
2018-7-21
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SeanGalbraith
Second Officer
Flight distance : 213753 ft
Canada
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Yup. Still happens to me. No solution that has been consistent. https://forum.dji.com/thread-133778-1-1.html
2018-7-21
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Urban Bergstrom
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When I fly with my iPhone as screen there is no problem with compass, but when I use my Ipad as screen i had a lot of problems. Found out the the magnets inside the iPad (to hold on to screenprotectors) is f--king up my compass. So when flying with my iPad I start up the drone a bit away from the controller.
2018-7-21
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HedgeTrimmer
Captain
United States
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Keep reading about how Mavic Air has LUT or Look Up Table that provides magnetic deviation for compass, based on drone's location.  Can not find anything on Mavic Air having a LUT.  

Assuming Mavic Air does not have a LUT... That would explain why Mavic Air needs compass calibrated when it is moved couple hundred miles from last place it was calibrated.  Throw in that Mavic Air is favored over drones for traveling, vacations, etc.; people would see more compass calibration messages, than say a Phantom.
2018-7-21
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HedgeTrimmer
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Urban Bergstrom Posted at 2018-7-21 09:58
When I fly with my iPhone as screen there is no problem with compass, but when I use my Ipad as screen i had a lot of problems. Found out the the magnets inside the iPad (to hold on to screenprotectors) is f--king up my compass. So when flying with my iPad I start up the drone a bit away from the controller.

Got two different iPads.  Neither have magnets inside them.  iPads do have a sensor that pickups magnets that are built into flip open/close covers that is part of shell cases that iPads fit into.
2018-7-21
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hallmark007
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Answer to question posed to dji engineer.

Hi David
Sorry for delay in getting back to you.
A look up table is basically a spread sheet of the globes magnetic declination differences listed, so the basics are it can compensate for the known shifts in magnetic differences around the world, however this can not take into account localized changes due to heavy iron content or other things.
People should stick to the topic of the thread or leave the thread as they have been told in other such threads, this is about excessive compass calibration, in Mavic Air , so let’s stick to that.
2018-7-21
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HedgeTrimmer
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More searching, still nothing on DJI's Mavic Air having or using a LUT to correct internal compass for differences in Earth's magnetic field involving locations.
Expanding search to DJI drones in general still turned up nothing.  Well almost...  


It turned up something that would point to another possible reason some people are getting compass calibration requests and problems people have reported with their compasses when flying in another country.


DJI droner mentioned that the compass corrections for deviations from Earth's magnetic field are obtained by GO / GO-4 App relaying current GPS position to DJI's sever which then sends back compass deviation to GO / GO-4 app which is transmitted to drone being flown.

Being some Smartdevices get their position from Cellular provider (which in cases outside of U.S.'s mandated 911 location for Cellphones may not be implemented), the cellphone would provide its last known position or possibly even position based on providers cellphone assigned IP address to DJI's server.  Inaccurate or Incorrect postion - In / Wrong Compass Deviations - Out.

Factor in advice that Smartphone's be put in Airplane mode, when flying.  DJI GO / GO-4 App can't get an update, and possibly provides last downloaded Compass deviation to drone.

Again, it would be really great if DJI weighed in on whether DJI's drones do in fact correct internal compasses for Deviations to Earth's Magnetic field, and how it is done.  By LUT in their drones (and which models), by communication with DJI's servers, or by using calculations based on model for Worlds Magnetic field and if calculations are done in DJI's drones or GO-4???

2018-7-21
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hallmark007
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Again wrong information, look up table won’t correct magnetic declination, it’s a table that lets the aircraft know it’s in a area with different declination, so pilot needs to calibrate to compensate, and I think you will find most travelling distances with Mavic Air , will be asked to calibrate. Unlike Mavic Pro or phantom 4 Pro , which I have traveled with regularly.
2018-7-21
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HedgeTrimmer
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"so the basics are it can compensate for the known shifts in magnetic differences"

2018-7-21
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HedgeTrimmer
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And again, no evidence of DJI's Mavic Air using a LUT.   Only that DJI has an Engineer who knows what a LUT could be used for.
2018-7-21
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hallmark007
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There you go again, more misinformation, I suggest you go find an engineer. Now please stop trying to make this thread about you. This is about Mavic Air and problems with continually asking for compass calibration.
You have already been told about trying to hijack other threads. and told to stay away from threads if your not going to stick to the topic. So if you can’t keep on topic, go and annoy someone else.
This thread is not about you or me it’s about OPs concern, and your not helping.
2018-7-21
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HedgeTrimmer
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-7-21 13:30
Answer to question posed to dji engineer.

Hi David

People should stick to the topic of the thread or leave the thread as they have been told in other such threads, this is about excessive compass calibration, in Mavic Air , so let’s stick to that.  


Obviously some do not know enough about compass (3-axis magnetic field sensors), Earth's magnetic fields, deviations of, corrections for - to be lecturing other people on sticking to topic of thread.

2018-7-21
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HedgeTrimmer
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-7-21 16:16
There you go again, more misinformation, I suggest you go find an engineer. Now please stop trying to make this thread about you. This is about Mavic Air and problems with continually asking for compass calibration.
You have already been told about trying to hijack other threads. and told to stay away from threads if your not going to stick to the topic. So if you can’t keep on topic, go and annoy someone else.
This thread is not about you or me it’s about OPs concern, and your not helping.

You are talking about yourself, Hallmark007.  You have been warned by DJI Admins to quit Trolling and harassing others.

Pretty arrogant of you to think YOU get to decide what is and is not on Topic.

Let's cut to chase here.  You provided NO evidence to back up your claim of Mavic Air using LUT table.
While making a follow-up post that shows you can not even read and comprehend your own supposed quote.
2018-7-21
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hallmark007
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I’ll bow out here, I’ll leave you with a video where another engineer will explain look up table. Hedgetrimmer is only interested in destruction. He doesn’t even own a Mavic Air .Below video will explain look up table along with some very good information



2018-7-21
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