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Mavic Air: constant compass calibration fails
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31361 176 2018-2-6
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SeanGalbraith
Second Officer
Flight distance : 213753 ft
Canada
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I’m coming from a Spark, which was easy to calibrate. When it didn’t have a GPS lock, I could put it the air anyway and it would gain calibration in the air. With the Mavic Air, this doesn’t seem to be option because it won’t launch without calibration... and 9 out of 10 times I try to calibrate it fails. Incredibly, incredibly frustrating. Am I missing something that would allow it to fly without compass?
2018-2-6
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eYeSkYeYe
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Compass and GPS are two different things. Compass does need calibration, GPS does not, it just needs to acquire signals from sufficient number of satellites (so called GPS Lock). Can you, please, be a little more specific?
2018-2-6
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SeanGalbraith
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eYeSkYeYe Posted at 2018-2-6 08:02
Compass and GPS are two different things. Compass does need calibration, GPS does not, it just needs to acquire signals from sufficient number of satellites (so called GPS Lock). Can you, please, be a little more specific?

Thanks for clarifying.

With my Spark, I can only recall calibrating it once.

With my Air, it requires compass calibration every.damn.time.I.turn.it.on flying in the exact same location that I fly my Spark (city setting). It simply will not calibrate the compass and clear the fly lock.

What more specifics would you like?
2018-2-6
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eYeSkYeYe
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SeanGalbraith Posted at 2018-2-6 08:05
Thanks for clarifying.

With my Spark, I can only recall calibrating it once.

No ferromagnetic stuff around when calibrating or starting the flight? Starting from a car is for example, a very BAD idea....
2018-2-6
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SeanGalbraith
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eYeSkYeYe Posted at 2018-2-6 08:11
No ferromagnetic stuff around when calibrating or starting the flight? Starting from a car is for example, a very BAD idea....

City street. No cars within about 20 feet.
And again, exact same spot I can launch my Spark from. (I can launch my Spark from on top of my car)
2018-2-6
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eYeSkYeYe
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SeanGalbraith Posted at 2018-2-6 08:13
City street. No cars within about 20 feet.
And again, exact same spot I can launch my Spark from. (I can launch my Spark from on top of my car)

City streets tend do have ferromagnetic stuff around (light poles for example). Same for EM as there are most certainly cables underneath. I usually find some baseball/football terrain or some other wide green area, go to the dead center there and do compass calibration. Once, you get "quality" calibration, it should not be an issue for a while than. Also, you need to spin the MA, not like some people do go around themselves. If none of this helps, it might also happen something's wrong with your particular MA so you'll need to ask help from DJI support. My compass calibrations were also poor initially, but I was doing gazillion of mistakes until once I got it right.
2018-2-6
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SeanGalbraith
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eYeSkYeYe Posted at 2018-2-6 08:19
City streets tend do have ferromagnetic stuff around (light poles for example). Same for EM as there are most certainly cables underneath. I usually find some baseball/football terrain or some other wide green area, go to the dead center there and do compass calibration. Once, you get "quality" calibration, it should not be an issue for a while than. Also, you need to spin the MA, not like some people do go around themselves. If none of this helps, it might also happen something's wrong with your particular MA so you'll need to ask help from DJI support. My compass calibrations were also poor initially, but I was doing gazillion of mistakes until once I got it right.

I've managed to calibrate it twice (at not exactly the same spot, but like next door to it - and I've tried to calibrate there again today and it failed repeatedly), and it has never held calibration.. even within seconds after landing when I switched batteries.

Its beyond me why the Spark has no problems, but this one does. Maybe, as you said, I got a defective unit.
2018-2-6
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Ex Machina
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SeanGalbraith Posted at 2018-2-6 08:23
I've managed to calibrate it twice (at not exactly the same spot, but like next door to it - and I've tried to calibrate there again today and it failed repeatedly), and it has never held calibration.. even within seconds after landing when I switched batteries.

Its beyond me why the Spark has no problems, but this one does. Maybe, as you said, I got a defective unit.

Lots of concrete is steel-reinforced, so that can be problematic. However, are you really sure your compass needs calibrating? I used to be confused by the fact that a calibration option is offered at startup, but it's generally not needed unless you get an alert prompting you to calibrate.
2018-2-6
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SeanGalbraith
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Ex Machina Posted at 2018-2-6 09:34
Lots of concrete is steel-reinforced, so that can be problematic. However, are you really sure your compass needs calibrating? I used to be confused by the fact that a calibration option is offered at startup, but it's generally not needed unless you get an alert prompting you to calibrate.

This absolutely says compass calibration required, and it won’t launch until it’s done (which means it won’t launch)
2018-2-6
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SeanGalbraith
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I ended up driving out to the beach to calibrate it. When I went back to the same spot I tried to fly from earlier today, I still had to yet again re-calibrate the compass, but this time it seems to have held.
2018-2-6
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Ex Machina
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SeanGalbraith Posted at 2018-2-6 12:03
I ended up driving out to the beach to calibrate it. When I went back to the same spot I tried to fly from earlier today, I still had to yet again re-calibrate the compass, but this time it seems to have held.

Can you post a screenshot of the prompt?
2018-2-6
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Anoniem
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Hi,

Have you stored this drone next to a loud speaker or some other magnetic thing in a room/car/ bag?
If not, go create a support ticket
2018-2-6
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SeanGalbraith
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Ex Machina Posted at 2018-2-6 12:46
Can you post a screenshot of the prompt?

Next time it happens, will do.
2018-2-6
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SeanGalbraith
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Anoniem Posted at 2018-2-6 12:53
Hi,

Have you stored this drone next to a loud speaker or some other magnetic thing in a room/car/ bag?

Not that I can think of
2018-2-6
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hallmark007
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As a last option can you try a factory reset in dji assistant.
2018-2-6
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Bekaru Tree
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there is a new forum post that suggests that the proximity of your devise could be the cause. check this out as a possibility. what devise do you use? maybe try keep your rc and devise a distance apart from each other when calibrating - let me know if it works or not.
2018-2-6
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SeanGalbraith
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Bekaru Tree Posted at 2018-2-6 15:38
there is a new forum post that suggests that the proximity of your devise could be the cause. check this out as a possibility. what devise do you use? maybe try keep your rc and devise a distance apart from each other when calibrating - let me know if it works or not.

I use an iPhone 7. I tried/failed to calibrate it from about 15 feet away from the RC/phone.
2018-2-6
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sailmfast
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I'm experiencing the same issue but not quite to the same extent. The message appears in the top left on the status bar. The ESC will not arm until you enter the menu and calibrate the compass which clears the error. I regularly receive the error when flying in my home and can only theorize its due to the wire and pipes within the house. If that's the case then the system is a bit sensitive in my opinion. I frequently get the same error when flying from parking lots. Fortunately, I have been able to calibrate successfully and fly. I do seem to have better results when I step away from the controller while spinning the aircraft. Also be certain the nose is pointed down for the second spin.
2018-2-6
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Kaicias
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sailmfast Posted at 2018-2-6 16:03
I'm experiencing the same issue but not quite to the same extent. The message appears in the top left on the status bar. The ESC will not arm until you enter the menu and calibrate the compass which clears the error. I regularly receive the error when flying in my home and can only theorize its due to the wire and pipes within the house. If that's the case then the system is a bit sensitive in my opinion. I frequently get the same error when flying from parking lots. Fortunately, I have been able to calibrate successfully and fly. I do seem to have better results when I step away from the controller while spinning the aircraft. Also be certain the nose is pointed down for the second spin.

Same problem greater extent. I have not been able to fly my MA, since it will not successfully calibrate the compass. I have opened a ticket with DJI Support, and will post their comments, once received.
I have a Phantom 2 and a Spark and never had an issue calibrating the compasses on those.
I just hope I don’t have to wait for a new MA,, and this can be fixed electronically!
2018-2-6
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DJI Paladin
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Hi there. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to you.
May I know if the issue happened again? For more details of the compass calibration, you can view the images below.If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

2018-2-7
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dji_hieu
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i too have this issue. It say calibrate successful and then screen of calibration pops up again. cant seem to fly. I can only fly if i unplug the battery, charge it..and boot up. If i land, it will say it needs to calibrate
2018-2-8
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sundog1973
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I am getting a lot of compass errors as well. Every time I power it up, the compass error occurs. I am able to go through the calibration successfully nine times out of ten, but the compass errors come back within seconds to minutes. Most recently, I was able to launch following a calibration, and less than a minute later *in the air* the compass error happened again. Just walking around my house, I am getting interference readings in the 350-450 range.

I also have a Spark, which has very infrequent compass errors flying in the same area.

I don't know if my Mavic Air has a compass problem, or if this is the new normal. Appreciate any info. Thanks!
2018-2-9
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Arhur
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sundog1973 Posted at 2018-2-9 17:08
I am getting a lot of compass errors as well. Every time I power it up, the compass error occurs. I am able to go through the calibration successfully nine times out of ten, but the compass errors come back within seconds to minutes. Most recently, I was able to launch following a calibration, and less than a minute later *in the air* the compass error happened again. Just walking around my house, I am getting interference readings in the 350-450 range.

I also have a Spark, which has very infrequent compass errors flying in the same area.

I got my Mavic Air a week ago and have not been able to fly it.
The compas won't calibrate, I've tried a hundred time by now.

Very disappointing.

If there is no fix it is useless and I will have to return it.
2018-2-13
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djiuser_spzTzoXkKjDS
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Mine is calibrating just fine to be able to take off and remain calibrated during the flight, but every time the device powers down and turns back on it needs to be recalibrated. Has anyone made any progress with their respective situations? Is there a fix at this point?
2018-2-18
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Maldades
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Same problem here.
Seems the iPad I was carrying on my bag was affecting it in somehow.
The problem become better when I put both separately, but sometimes it still asking me for calibration.
2018-2-25
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Nature as Art
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United States
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I am having the same problem with my new Mavic Air. First two flights, no problem. Next ones I've had to calibrate in order to fly. Took it over 30 miles to new spot today in an open park. Calibrated and had a good flight. Returned home to conduct software update and turned on and notified have to calibrate again. Any update as to what is happening? Starting to sound like a unit production problem to me.
2018-2-27
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Nature as Art
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Kaicias Posted at 2018-2-6 18:53
Same problem greater extent. I have not been able to fly my MA, since it will not successfully calibrate the compass. I have opened a ticket with DJI Support, and will post their comments, once received.
I have a Phantom 2 and a Spark and never had an issue calibrating the compasses on those.
I just hope I don’t have to wait for a new MA,, and this can be fixed electronically!

Have you received any more information on your support ticket? I'm hoping it's a software glitch as well.
2018-2-27
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djiuser_YqxJsq3O8g9j
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Same problem... Tried three different locations...tried IMU calibration... Tried factory reset with DJI assistant...all three locations were in rural areas... Managed twice to get it started and failed both times as soon as I touched down...have been eyeing the maneticfield indicator since finding it in advanced settings, took it on 5 km radius test not once did it drop out of the red zone... Not in the city...surely this cannot be normal... It seems I am not the only person with this problem.
2018-3-5
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ajayjack
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My DJI Mavic Air has required compass calibration before every single flight.  Quite annoying.  Hoping this is fixed with a software patch.
2018-3-6
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SeanGalbraith
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ajayjack Posted at 2018-3-6 06:27
My DJI Mavic Air has required compass calibration before every single flight.  Quite annoying.  Hoping this is fixed with a software patch.

Same here. And it usually fails on the first few attempts. Very annoying indeed.
2018-3-6
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ajayjack
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SeanGalbraith Posted at 2018-3-6 06:34
Same here. And it usually fails on the first few attempts. Very annoying indeed.

Yah. I am a storm chaser.  Sometimes I need to get into the air fast and don't have the time to sit there and spin around in circles when a tornado is approaching me.
2018-3-6
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John TC
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I am guilty on not reading after the 6th post.... but....     I got the issue of calibrating the compass because of my Samsung Gear S3 Sport watch...   it generates so much magnetic interference that it freak outs the compass...   are you wearing any smartwatch when doing the calibration?
2018-3-6
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fans3d94dd19
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Both my mavic airs have the same problem.
2018-3-7
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devartnz
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I'm having the same issue with my MA, compass requires calibration over 50% the time I turn it on regardless of where I am and what devices are nearby. It's incredibly frustrating and a very slow process to turn the thing on to try and get a quick video/photo (usually when other people are waiting for you). Usually calibration fails the first few times too just to add to the annoyance. I do hope this is something that can be solved with a software update.
2018-3-7
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ajayjack
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John TC Posted at 2018-3-6 13:52
I am guilty on not reading after the 6th post.... but....     I got the issue of calibrating the compass because of my Samsung Gear S3 Sport watch...   it generates so much magnetic interference that it freak outs the compass...   are you wearing any smartwatch when doing the calibration?

I don't have any smartwatch on.  I do have a G-Shock Rangeman watch though.  I guess I will give it a shot with no watch on.  Hopefully I don't need to strip down naked for this thing to not require calibration, though.
2018-3-8
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SeanGalbraith
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DJI Paladin Posted at 2018-2-7 03:52
Hi there. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to you.
May I know if the issue happened again? For more details of the compass calibration, you can view the images below.If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
[view_image]

Yes, it still happens repeatedly. Sometimes it takes up to 10 attempts to get it to calibrate. If I fly it for a bit, and then land to change the battery, it has to be recalibrated again before flying (and it ALWAYS takes multiple attempts before it succeeds).

2018-3-8
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SeanGalbraith
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Filed a support ticket and will post when I get a reply.
2018-3-8
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fans00bd3594
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I have the Mavic Pro, Phantom 3 Advanced...no compass calibrations unless I leave it packed up for more than a month and it has a firmware update etc. The Mavic Air has not been out long enough to experience long-term retirement, lol. I get the recalibrate compass warning every freaking time I wait 24 hours to fly it. There is no good reason for it in my opinion but the DJI software/firmware folks can probably shed some light on it when they get around to doctoring the firmware again.

My guess is that it's something to do with the cooler temperatures. They released this in the dead of winter. It is an EXCELLENT cold weather flyer but some of the sensor issues have been brought on by the cold weather. Perhaps next time, DJI will do some Cold Weather Tunnel Testing, lol. By summer, all of the sensor/compass issues are going to clear up.
2018-3-13
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devartnz
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fans00bd3594 Posted at 2018-3-13 10:01
I have the Mavic Pro, Phantom 3 Advanced...no compass calibrations unless I leave it packed up for more than a month and it has a firmware update etc. The Mavic Air has not been out long enough to experience long-term retirement, lol. I get the recalibrate compass warning every freaking time I wait 24 hours to fly it. There is no good reason for it in my opinion but the DJI software/firmware folks can probably shed some light on it when they get around to doctoring the firmware again.

My guess is that it's something to do with the cooler temperatures. They released this in the dead of winter. It is an EXCELLENT cold weather flyer but some of the sensor issues have been brought on by the cold weather. Perhaps next time, DJI will do some Cold Weather Tunnel Testing, lol. By summer, all of the sensor/compass issues are going to clear up.

LOL it's not winter everywhere in the world! Summer in New Zealand and I'm having the same issues.
2018-3-13
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fans00bd3594
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devartnz Posted at 2018-3-13 12:51
LOL it's not winter everywhere in the world! Summer in New Zealand and I'm having the same issues.

Sweet! I bet you can get some awesome video in New Zealand. Sorry to hear you are having the same issue. I guess it blows my theory out of the water. However, it affirms that DJI may need to take a look at it sooner rather than later.
2018-3-13
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