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Strong interference warning questions
9068 24 2017-3-21
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Dru
lvl.1
United Kingdom
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I have a recently purchased a P3S. I have only had it in the air about 10 times but every time I do it displays a warning message on my iPhone that there is strong interference and to be careful when flying long distances.

Admittedly I have flown it in mainly built up areas, but I've seen videos of people flying long distances over cities. So I have the following questions:-

What is considered to be a long distance?
How can I avoid getting this message?
What issues will the interference cause? Will I lose control of it? And, if so what will happen?
Could the interference effect the RTH function, or, as long as I have a home point set will it always RTH?

As you can probably tell I am very inexperienced and lacking confidence in the drone's abilities. I'm struggling to take it far at all as it just feels so far away and feel like I'll never see it again lol.

Any help any confidence boosting would be much appreciated
2017-3-21
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kent_chris
lvl.2
Flight distance : 34524 ft
United Kingdom
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Is the "interference" in reference to the compass? What's the actual message that is displayed?
I ran into an issue with regards to compass interference a couple of months ago, turns out I was just launching from a bad location.
2017-3-21
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Dru
lvl.1
United Kingdom
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The message says "strong interference, be careful when flying long distances."

I make sure that I calibrate the compass every time I fly the machine.

Do you know what effect would the interference have?
2017-3-21
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MerlinL14
First Officer
Flight distance : 2858 ft
United Kingdom
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Dru Posted at 2017-3-21 09:12
The message says "strong interference, be careful when flying long distances."

I make sure that I calibrate the compass every time I fly the machine.

Stop calibrating the compass every outing. Once calibrated the compass will only ever need to be re calibrated if the app tells you to or if you fly a considerable distance from the initial calibration (>100 miles).
2017-3-21
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Dru
lvl.1
United Kingdom
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Why would I not do that? The user guide says to calibrate the compass every time you change where your flying due to different magnetic fields. I'm pretty certain that it isn't anything to do with why I'm getting the message up.
2017-3-21
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Dru
lvl.1
United Kingdom
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As in every time you takeoff from somewhere different
2017-3-21
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Bay Cruiser
Second Officer
Flight distance : 2039288 ft
Australia
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I have asked these questions many time.

You will not be able to get away from this interference message, especially in urban areas. I was told to not worry about it and now have 280 flights and have learnt to ignore it. However the furthest I fly is about 150 Metres.

Regards compass calibration, again I ask this question many times and was told to do one good calibration in an open field with no metal around and don't do it again unless I have a crash or do any updates.  So far so good, but I do reset it every 20 or so flights. The reason I was given is that if you set the compass in an area where there may be metal around, even under the ground, it can make a bad calibration and cause a crash. I questioned both of these a lot and actually got shot down by some posters and was told to "listen and take the answer" when I could not understand why I was being told to do something different to want dji says. Saying this my experience with dji and their software updates, that are really really bad and unreliable, I have learnt to use the skills and experience  of the other flyers here as all dji ever say is send it in for repair !!!
2017-3-21
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OrlyP
Second Officer
Flight distance : 36916 ft
Philippines
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Just to add, if the app pops up a compass error notification. It does not always mean that the compass needs to be calibrated.

The compass sensor, being located at the end of one of the legs and practically touching the ground, can easily be affected by concrete rebars or a particularly iron-rich soil. Just look for a different spot within the vicinity or take off from a platform such as a plastic or wooden bench/table or your drone hardcase, etc.... any place where there's nothing magnetic nearby.

NEVER calibrate the compass while inside a bulding or if you're in a 'magnetically bad' environment such as near steel towers, bridges, cranes, concrete structures (rebars are a given), etc. Like a lot have already said, calibrate it only once in a while and ideally in as open a field you can find. Remember, the compass needs to be calibrated to the Earth's magnetic north, not the 'fake' magnetic north being distorted by a nearby steel structure.
2017-3-21
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Michgolden
First Officer
Flight distance : 822851 ft
United States
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I've done only 1 compass calibration since I've bought mine. Several flights of a mile + and always getting the same warning with no problems. No drifting or any other abnormal behavior. I also use an IOS device.
2017-3-21
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DJ Nee
lvl.3
Flight distance : 84610 ft
Australia
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Did you update the firmware before you flew the drone? I did the same thing when i initially bought mine, and couldn't get the thing to go more than 100 metres before getting this message. I took the unit back, saying that the range wasn't very good, and they gave me a new unit. I didn't update the firmware on the new unit and very rarely see this message nowadays.
2017-3-22
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Dru
lvl.1
United Kingdom
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I'm hoping to fly it more than 150M though, that's why I'm asking the questions.

Yeah I updated the firmware.

If I risk flying it a long distance, will it still return home if the interference is so strong that i can't control the machine? Or. could the interference mess with the GPS?
2017-3-22
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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Dru Posted at 2017-3-22 13:36
I'm hoping to fly it more than 150M though, that's why I'm asking the questions.

Yeah I updated the firmware.

The 'Strong Interference' message has nothing to do with the compass, it is the radio signal that links the RC Unit to the aircraft. But, as said, once you have a good compass calibration, leave it alone.

The Phantom uses the 2.4Ghz radio band and some also use 5.8Ghz. These radio bands are unregulated, so they are assigned to a huge number of devices that use radio transmission, and they are all expected to co-exist with one another. So if you are in a suburban area, you will be near hundreds of these other devices and they will affect the ability of your aircraqft to communicate reliably. The worst item are WiFi routers, they have quite strong signals and these days almost every house has one.

To add to the trouble, the Standard is an entry-level aircraft and has the worst radio performance of any of the DJI aircraft. So if you want better range, get away from the cities to fly them. And desp[ite what you hear on this forum, power lines, cell towers large metal structures have no bad effect on the radio signal.
2017-3-22
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Michgolden
First Officer
Flight distance : 822851 ft
United States
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I personally haven't had any problems flying with that annoying warning nor seen any performance differences either. I have made 0 mods and I get out 1.6 miles from home. I'm on the previous Firmware (keeps asking me to update) and I have power lines across the street and I use my metal pole barn as shade for my screen. It's not easy but for the most part I ignore it. I do however live in the country.
2017-3-22
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Fistel
lvl.3
Flight distance : 491158 ft
Germany
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I get this message very often while flying. No problems at all. I´ve heard the problem is in the app (running iOS).
Last week I took the bird 100 meters up, and 300 meters far. No problems; just the message every second. No matter if the distance is 20 meters or 300. In the end I simply igrnore it, and have confidence in the Phantom.
2017-3-23
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Porktree
First Officer
Flight distance : 866690 ft
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United States
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This is a known but in the iOS app.  It's an erroneous error message and can be safely ignored in most cases.  I can't believe this is still discussed as if there is a problem with the hardware or flying location.  If it bothers you too much you can switch to Litchi and the warnings go away.  (*common sense should apply, as strong interference can occur in urban areas saturated with wifi - moving to channel 13 on the radio will take care of some of this).
edit: And by magic an iOS app udate appears after I post this.  It will be interesting to see if this bug is fixed.
2017-3-23
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Dru
lvl.1
United Kingdom
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I'm glad i understand how it works now.

So I'm guessing that, hypothetically, if the interference was so bad that I could no longer control the machine then it would still RTH as the interference would have no bearing on the GPS signal.

Right?
2017-3-24
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Peterx
Captain
Flight distance : 1497290 ft
Germany
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It´s bearing on the compass direction. I got this message near power lines to test the sensibility of the electronics inside the P3S during flight. If ya got this message then fly another direction to leave this fields.
2017-3-24
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Porktree
First Officer
Flight distance : 866690 ft
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United States
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Dru Posted at 2017-3-24 00:02
I'm glad i understand how it works now.

So I'm guessing that, hypothetically, if the interference was so bad that I could no longer control the machine then it would still RTH as the interference would have no bearing on the GPS signal.

Right.  It's all about the rc/ac connection (nothing to do with GPS or the Compass).  And it's erroneous.  And the newly released 3.16 DJI Pro app seems to have taken care of it (anecdotally).  
2017-3-24
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blackcrusader
First Officer
Flight distance : 689774 ft
Taiwan
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Also if you have an Iphone turn it upside down. Iphones have a notorious problem with the position of their antennas.
2017-3-24
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Mike-the-cat
Captain
Flight distance : 14411854 ft
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Singapore
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Geebax Posted at 2017-3-22 14:10
The 'Strong Interference' message has nothing to do with the compass, it is the radio signal that links the RC Unit to the aircraft. But, as said, once you have a good compass calibration, leave it alone.

The Phantom uses the 2.4Ghz radio band and some also use 5.8Ghz. These radio bands are unregulated, so they are assigned to a huge number of devices that use radio transmission, and they are all expected to co-exist with one another. So if you are in a suburban area, you will be near hundreds of these other devices and they will affect the ability of your aircraqft to communicate reliably. The worst item are WiFi routers, they have quite strong signals and these days almost every house has one.

Excellent response and I concur with every point raised here.

Again, there is NO NEED to regularly calibrate compass and / or IMU. Former necessary only when the flight area is hundreds of miles away.
2017-3-24
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Mike-the-cat
Captain
Flight distance : 14411854 ft
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Singapore
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To the OP: Strong interference refers to radio and not magnetic interference. If the compass acts awry, a compass specific error message results.
2017-3-24
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Salmonslayer
Second Officer
Flight distance : 100220 ft
Canada
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Would hooking up a booster antenna elliminate the message
2017-3-24
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Dru
lvl.1
United Kingdom
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Appreciate all the responses. I'm going to update the app, stop calibrating the compass and if the message continues then ignore it and see if there are any effects when I send it a distance.
2017-3-25
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Lloydnmax
lvl.1
United Kingdom
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Hi, I'm new to DJI flying too.  I also get this message.  So far I have ignored it with out any problem, 579m uk. I also considered, as flying in open space, that the wind may be causing this issue.  As the bird is fighting the wind warning me of potential issues in the air not just rc signal strength.

Perhaps some can clear this up for us.
2017-3-26
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DronerX
lvl.3
Flight distance : 488192 ft
United States
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Porktree Posted at 2017-3-24 11:08
Right.  It's all about the rc/ac connection (nothing to do with GPS or the Compass).  And it's erroneous.  And the newly released 3.16 DJI Pro app seems to have taken care of it (anecdotally).

I've had repeated issues with the controller losing connection with the drone at about 500 m out. Part of the issue, I believe, is the crap antenna the P3S controller comes with. I've ordered better antennas, so I'll see if that helps.
2017-3-26
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