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Compass calibration
1498 36 2015-9-25
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kjneblett
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Do i have to do the calibration before each flight even if i just change out the battery but am flying in the same area? P3P
2015-9-25
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DJI-Dave
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No, only recalibrate if you go far away. Like 50 miles or more.
2015-9-25
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kjneblett
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Thanks. I was doing it everytime.
2015-9-25
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droneflyers.com
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kjneblett Posted at 2015-9-25 21:58
Thanks. I was doing it everytime.

That can get you in trouble.
You can introduce errors when there are none before that.
I've had my P3 since early May and have done maybe 4 times.
2015-9-25
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jayhkr
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DJI-Dave Posted at 2015-9-25 18:38
No, only recalibrate if you go far away. Like 50 miles or more.

So let me ask you this Dave.  My wife and I are about to take a trip in less than a week.  I think the distance from where I have my original compass calibration is going to be about 100 +/- miles AS THE CROW FLIES.  If my readings on my sensors all show basically what they normally read (0, 1, 1400-1550) is it safe to say that no calibration is needed?
2015-9-25
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DJI-Dave
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jayhkr Posted at 2015-9-25 21:42
So let me ask you this Dave.  My wife and I are about to take a trip in less than a week.  I think ...



When you perform a compass calibration you’re letting your drone test its surroundings for magnetic force and once the calibration is complete it stores that data and assumes that those forces are normal for the current location and will be consistent throughout the flight. But what if there’s a large electrical cable or metal pipework buried below the paving you’re standing on? If that were the case then the calibration you’ve just performed will have taken those effects into account and the moment the drone takes off it will be flying with incorrect compass data.

Unless you’ve travelled a long way since your last flight there’s no real need to re-calibrate the compass if you already have a good calibration locked in.
In your circumstance if you arrive and everything looks good it would be temping to just fly it. But if you find yourself in a nice open undeveloped area then it’s a good time to grab a clean compass calibration, otherwise why replace a clean calibration with one from an area where you have no idea what unknown forces are at play.
If you are in a city and you are not sure you can get a clean compass calibration and all your sensors look good, I would just fly it and not calibrate. But if you have traveled a long way and you can get a clean calibration then I would calibrate it for sure.
2015-9-25
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arolh
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DJI-Dave Posted at 2015-9-25 23:09
When you perform a compass calibration you’re letting your drone test its surroundings for magne ...

What about after firmware upgrades?   
2015-9-25
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jeffreyqaunaq
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yes calibrate everything after update
2015-9-26
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kjneblett
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Good info guys. Already learning a lot
2015-9-26
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DJI-Dave
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Yes after every update.
2015-9-26
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DJI-Dave
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kjneblett Posted at 2015-9-26 06:21
Good info guys. Already learning a lot

Good to hear.
2015-9-26
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DJI-Dave
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Here is some more info on Calibrating The Compass...
Why Calibrate?
Compass calibration is important to safe, controlled flight. It compensates for changing background magnetic "noise", a.k.a. magnetic inclination and deviation (not to be confused with declination). Inclination and deviation that isn't corrected through compass calibration will cause inconsistencies between GPS and compass that can result in "toilet bowl effect", a swirling motion that can cause the Phantom to fly out of control.

What is Magnetic Inclination and Deviation?
Magnetic deviation is a horizontal variation that comes from the Phantom itself and the equipment you have installed on it as well as the magnetic makeup of the area you are flying in (again not to be confused with declination). Sometimes the deviation will be insignificant, but other times it can be big enough to cause you to lose control. Inclination is a vertical magnetic variation that shifts depending on where you are.

Warning Signs
The Phantom can detect when the compass is providing extremely poor (implausible) data. This typically occurs if you place it near a strong magnetic field or do not calibrate it properly. It will flash red and yellow lights and will not start the motors when this happens. Unfortunately, it can only detect this in extreme conditions and you can still fly with really bad compass data if you're not careful.

Another important safeguard is the compass mod value. This is the total magnetic field as measured by the sensor. You can check this with the Phantom Assistant software. According to DJI, it should be above 750 and below 2,250 but ideally it should be between 1,000 and 1,700. Between 1,200 to 1,500 is very good. Check it away from magnetic influences. If it reads very high or very low, check it again in a different location. If it is still off, it could be magnetized and need degaussing or it could be damaged.

What Does Calibration Actually Do?
Calibration measures the magnetic fingerprint of the surrounding area. By turning the compass 360 degrees, the Phantom can see where the compass reading doesn't smoothly increase or decrease. It uses this information to build an adaption table so that when the Phantom turns during flight, the reading is smooth and linear.

When Should I Calibrate?
You do not need to calibrate before every flight and in some cases you definitely should not calibrate. That doesn't mean you shouldn't ever bother doing it. It only takes one time for it to go very wrong. The most important aspect of compass calibration is making sure the magnetic "noise" around your Phantom is consistent between calibration and during flight.
DO Calibrate
If you go to a new location that is a good distance (i.e. >100 miles) from the last place you calibrated the compass.
If the terrain has changed significantly i.e. going from prairie to mountainous.
If you change any equipment on your Phantom.
If you just installed new firmware.
If you just degaussed your compass (BTW, don't degauss unless you are absolutely positively sure you need to).
If you have taken all the precautions to make sure there are no localized magnetic fields near you.
DO NOT Calibrate
If you're in an urban area surrounded by concrete, buildings, and hidden or overhead power lines / pipes / etc.
If you're on the beach or on a boat.
If you're in immediate proximity to metallic objects or anything magnetic.
Pre-Calibration Checklist
Everything used in flight should be powered up during calibration, e.g. GoPro, tracker, etc.
Remove all metal from within 5 - 10ft radius, e.g. watch, phone, belt buckles, coins, controller, etc.
Calibrate on grass or dirt and not on concrete, asphalt, in or on a building or structure.
Calibrate on a level surface if possible.
2015-9-26
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jayhkr
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jayhkr Posted at 2015-9-25 23:42
So let me ask you this Dave.  My wife and I are about to take a trip in less than a week.  I think ...

Thank you Dave! It will be flown in basically the middle of Kansas in an open field where native Americans live. (Honestly). I appreciate the feedback.
2015-9-26
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DJI-Dave
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jayhkr Posted at 2015-9-26 18:11
Thank you Dave! It will be flown in basically the middle of Kansas in an open field where native A ...

My pleasure.

Dave
2015-9-26
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Joe Blow
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DJI-Dave Posted at 2015-9-26 00:09
When you perform a compass calibration you’re letting your drone test its surroundings for magne ...

Just noticed a difference in Compass readings before takeoff and after takeoff.
Before takeoff with motors off:  0, 1, 1395-low 1400
After takeoff:  0, 1, High 1400s to 1530+

DJI flew great, as usual, on 4 batteries that day.

Point is what reading is more relevant, before takeoff or after takeoff or does it matter?
2015-9-26
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DJI-Dave
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Joe Blow Posted at 2015-9-26 18:36
Just noticed a difference in Compass readings before takeoff and after takeoff.
Before takeoff wit ...

Hi Joe,

Both relevant, but only to the time it was taken, so it does not really matter. That just tells you it was affected some during your flight. But the numbers are good so you are good.

Dave
2015-9-26
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Joe Blow
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Thanks Dave.   It was a very good day for flying..........one of those significant days that the sky was crystal clear with a few beautiful clouds.
2015-9-26
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jayhkr
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Joe Blow Posted at 2015-9-26 20:51
Thanks Dave.   It was a very good day for flying..........one of those significant days were the sky ...

Gotta enjoy those days while we have them.  Of course in Columbia you won't have the "winters" we have up here in the states.  But I'm just waiting for the first snow to hit to get some beautiful shots of that!
2015-9-26
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hesham.sewaify
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@DJI-Dave, I can not oass the calibration ... Step 1 is fine Green light... Step 2 is failing ALL the time... Fast Red light ..... any trick to solve it??
2015-10-1
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tmygun1
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hesham.sewaify@ Posted at 2015-10-2 03:35
@DJI-Dave, I can not oass the calibration ... Step 1 is fine Green light... Step 2 is failing ALL  ...

Make sure you are not near metal buildings, vehicles, or rebar reinforced concrete.

Also VERY IMPORTANT (And I am speaking from experience), make sure you do not have metal objects in your pockets or on your person (Rings, watches, money clips, etc.).
I had a tiny magnetic money clip in my back pocket that took me almost a day to figure out was screwing up my initial compass calibration.
Good Luck!
2015-10-2
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rayrokni
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jayhkr Posted at 2015-9-26 12:42
So let me ask you this Dave.  My wife and I are about to take a trip in less than a week.  I think ...

I'm not Dave, but you know my answer on this one already. Happy vacations
2015-10-2
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Droneguy
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Thank Dave, very good explanation,
2015-10-2
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superfunkmojo
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DJI-Dave Posted at 2015-9-26 16:15
Here is some more info on Calibrating The Compass...
Why Calibrate?
Compass calibration is important ...

Hi Dave
"DO NOT Calibrate:
If you're in an urban area surrounded by concrete, buildings, and hidden or overhead power lines / pipes / etc. If you're on the beach or on a boat."

What's the problem with calibrating on a beach?  Thanks
2015-10-2
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DJI-Dave
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superfunkmojo Posted at 2015-10-2 07:54
Hi Dave
"DO NOT Calibrate:
If you're in an urban area surrounded by concrete, buildings, and hidd ...

Sand at beaches can contain high levels of iron and other minerals such as rutile, ilmenite and zircon.

It is usually not a big deal and usually not something to worry too much about.  Most beaches will be fine to do a compass calibration on.

Dave
2015-10-2
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DJI-Dave
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Droneguy Posted at 2015-10-2 07:36
Thank Dave, very good explanation,

Thanks!!!
2015-10-2
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DJI-Dave
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hesham.sewaify@ Posted at 2015-10-2 00:35
@DJI-Dave, I can not oass the calibration ... Step 1 is fine Green light... Step 2 is failing ALL  ...

I would agree with the advice tmygun1 gave you.
2015-10-2
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DJI-Dave
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tmygun1 Posted at 2015-10-2 07:22
Make sure you are not near metal buildings, vehicles, or rebar reinforced concrete.

Also VERY IMP ...

Good advice, thanks. I did not see this thread recently and I forgot about it until someone quoted me. Then I got the remind in my .
2015-10-2
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DJI-Dave
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rayrokni Posted at 2015-10-2 07:30
I'm not Dave, but you know my answer on this one already. Happy vacations

No you are not,, but your answers are just as good as mine. Even better sometimes! Thanks for all your help here on the DJI forums.

Dave
2015-10-2
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jayhkr
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rayrokni Posted at 2015-10-2 09:30
I'm not Dave, but you know my answer on this one already. Happy vacations

Appreciate it my friend!  Got to the area we flew at and the only difference was instead of my compass showing 1450 something it showed 1520 something!  We were good to go!  It was in a wide open area, VERY few trees.  Even did a little distance test this morning before we left just to see what "I" could do with it.  Just a tad over 11k feet on stock everything.  That's where I started to lose the video feed the worst at.  Plenty of battery power when she came back safe and sound so I know these birds can really do some mileage on them!  Even was "escorted" home by 2 falcons.  Wish I had my camera from my point of view pointed on them.  Was about 2000 feet out and 390' up and I see these 2 falcons flying parallel to my bird just slightly below it!  It was like they were guiding it in!  Now to enjoy the rest of my time off at home, trying to decide on that Air 2 purchase LOL! (yeah, I've already decided, but I spent to much money at the casino! LMAO!)
2015-10-2
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DJI-Dave
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Good to hear Jayhkr.
2015-10-2
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rayrokni
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DJI-Dave Posted at 2015-10-3 05:34
No you are not,, but your answers are just as good as mine. Even better sometimes! Thanks for a ...

stop, i ll get a big head. thanks dave.
2015-10-2
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rayrokni
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jayhkr Posted at 2015-10-3 07:36
Appreciate it my friend!  Got to the area we flew at and the only difference was instead of my com ...

im glad, enjoy yourselves. remember, AA  only good pre flop, dont be too proud to throw em away after a shit flop for AA. Roulette you are on your own, Slot machines, you might as well fly your p3 after a compass calibration next to a big ass magnet!
im waiting for a price drop for the air2.
have fun
2015-10-2
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jayhkr
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rayrokni Posted at 2015-10-2 22:31
im glad, enjoy yourselves. remember, AA  only good pre flop, dont be too proud to throw em away af ...

Well get this! Went to Nebraska Furniture Mart (a local "Best Buy" like store but bigger) and decided to look in their clearance area. Low and behold there was a 16gb air 2 sitting there for $360! Needless to say I'm typing this message on it right now!! Lol. I did get the 2 year apple care service. Only reason it was back there was because the package was sliced just barely at the bottom, box was never opened. Only bad thing I see is it has iOS 9 already on it. Going to see if that has any affect on go app or not. It wants me to upgrade to 9.02 but I'm going to hold off first. Thanks Ray for the help!
2015-10-2
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rayrokni
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jayhkr Posted at 2015-10-3 12:17
Well get this! Went to Nebraska Furniture Mart (a local "Best Buy" like store but bigger) and deci ...

you already know, i just hold your hand. you lucky ........... let me know how it goes with go app.
good luck bud. as it only has 16gb you may want to disable video cache feature, maybe! the only negative i can think of with that is, god forbid, in case of a crash due to malfunction of p3, assuming you cant find it after crash or if card gets damaged, you would not have any evidence on your air2 video cache!!!!

good luck my friend, now stop talking on forum and take your wife out somewhere b4 she smashes the p3!!
2015-10-2
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hesham.sewaify
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tmygun1 Posted at 2015-10-2 17:22
Make sure you are not near metal buildings, vehicles, or rebar reinforced concrete.

Also VERY IMP ...

Thank you tmygun1, I tried this as well NO METAL at ALL, but still can not calibrate

Can I fly without Calibration?!!
2015-10-5
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tmygun1
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hesham.sewaify@ Posted at 2015-10-5 14:18
Thank you tmygun1, I tried this as well NO METAL at ALL, but still can not calibrate

Can I fly ...

I would be VERY hesitant to do that.........flying in GPS without a proper calibration would be taking a huge chance to say the least.
Anything could happen.......and I would suspect most would be bad.
2015-10-5
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tmygun1
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hesham.sewaify@ Posted at 2015-10-5 14:18
Thank you tmygun1, I tried this as well NO METAL at ALL, but still can not calibrate

Can I fly ...

Just so I'm perfectly clear.......when you are talking about compass calibration you are talking about the process demonstrated in the following link  .........correct??
2015-10-5
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