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Mavic Air asking for compass calibration before every flight
47113 17590 2018-4-13
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CHSDrone1
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Hey everyone,

I bought my Mavic Air a few months ago and LOVE it.  My only issue has been that it keeps asking me to calibrate the compass before every flight.  DJI support actually sent me a new drone a few weeks ago and I am having the same problem.  Are most of you being asked to calibrate the drone before each flight?  I am not near any source of magnetic interference (and I even stopped wearing my Apple Watch).  I spoke to a Mavic Pro user in a park recently and he told me that he has only had to calibrate the compass a few days during his entire ownership experience.  

I know this may seem like a small issue but it’s getting kind of annoying to have to do this before every flight... especially when I’m in a rush to capture a great sunrise/sunset.  

Thanks everyone.
2018-4-13
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nywrecker
First Officer
Flight distance : 771759 ft
United States
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If it makes you feel any better, several people in this forum include myself have the exact same problem.
2018-4-13
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joe_gadget
Second Officer

Australia
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Sometimes you aren't aware of any metallic objects. I once took off from a wooden pathway without realising the base was metal. But otherwise this is surprising as I only ever did a recalibration if I moved hundred's of km from my last flight point.
2018-4-13
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dronist
Captain
United States
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Post a picture of the screen so we can see what are you taling about?
2018-4-13
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DJI Diana
Administrator
Flight distance : 2408 ft

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Hi there, I'm sorry to hear about the issue that you are experiencing. Normally, you need to do the compass calibration when there is any magnetic interference around the drone, it is recommended to choose an open area where the GPS is good and no magnetic interference to fly it, at the same time, please keep the drone in the stationary state. Thanks!
2018-4-13
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Featherlake
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Flight distance : 78556 ft
United Kingdom
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This happens when I start it in or near my car, move about 10 feet away from your car or any other vehicle before flying.
2018-4-14
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B1houdini
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Flight distance : 670951 ft
United States
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joe_gadget Posted at 2018-4-13 18:22
Sometimes you aren't aware of any metallic objects. I once took off from a wooden pathway without realising the base was metal. But otherwise this is surprising as I only ever did a recalibration if I moved hundred's of km from my last flight point.

Had the same problem.
My flying buddy laid the landing pad over a surveyors' medallion.  On a RTH the MP tried to land on my truck.  Did a compass calibration 3 times before I wised up. Moved the pad 3 meters a way and problem was fixed.
2018-4-14
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CHSDrone1
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So I have flown the drone in multiple locations throughout my hometown.... including remote areas that are far from any possible magnetic interference and it still asks to calibrate the compass before every flight... I'll get in touch with DJI tech support.
2018-4-15
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IVANK
lvl.2
Flight distance : 70827 ft
Mexico
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I have the exact same annoying problem,  and  as a  previous mavic pro owner  (already regretting switching ) that is way more annoying .  just doesn't make any sense...
2018-4-15
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SparksBird
Captain
Flight distance : 10693363 ft
United States
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Weird I mean once you calibrate it, then it should be good.  of course when in a different location you should do again but still if it asks you that sounds like a bug to me.  with my MP it has only ever asked me to Calibrate one time.  Seriously.  
2018-4-15
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Bokepacha
Second Officer
Flight distance : 149265 ft
Netherlands
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Yeah. I have the same problem and it's always been my fault. I switch on the drone close to something metallic. It might be a stairs bar, my bike...whatever, but it really makes the drone ask for recalibration.

When I switch it on in the middle of no where, it works perfectly, but even if you are on a road a a car passes by at the right moment, it will ask for recalibrations.
2018-4-16
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Robothamster
lvl.4
Flight distance : 51135 ft
United Kingdom
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Mine has needed the compass calibrated probably half the time I turn on.  My Spark which I had for several months I only had to calibrate it once.

It's annoying, but easy enough to do I guess.
2018-4-16
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Acenspades
lvl.4
United States
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At least you'll have a good, up to date, compass everytime you fly.
2018-4-17
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ldgjGuy
lvl.4
Flight distance : 392795 ft
Netherlands
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I had exactly the same problem, every time i needed to re-calibrate the MA. The problem disappeared when i stopped turning on the MA in the car:-)

I'm now turning on the MA when i'm outside car in open space and placing the MA directly on the ground.
2018-4-18
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Aardvark
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CHSDrone1 Posted at 2018-4-15 07:42
So I have flown the drone in multiple locations throughout my hometown.... including remote areas that are far from any possible magnetic interference and it still asks to calibrate the compass before every flight... I'll get in touch with DJI tech support.

What message do you see that asks you to calibrate compass each time, can you post a screen shot ?

If you are looking at the initial 'Aircraft Status' menu that appears on startup, then there is a calibration shortcut shown, this does not mean that the compass needs calibrated. If you see the word 'normal' to the right of this then the compass is OK and no calibration needed.

Some in the past have confused this 'Calibration' shortcut as an instruction that calibration is required.
2018-4-18
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Robothamster
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United Kingdom
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Aardvark Posted at 2018-4-18 00:41
What message do you see that asks you to calibrate compass each time, can you post a screen shot ?

If you are looking at the initial 'Aircraft Status' menu that appears on startup, then there is a calibration shortcut shown, this does not mean that the compass needs calibrated. If you see the word 'normal' to the right of this then the compass is OK and no calibration needed.

Yes, on the Aircraft Status menu at startup, 50% of the time Compass says normal and 50% of the time there's a big red warning message in it's place saying compass requires calibration.
2018-4-18
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Aardvark
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Robothamster Posted at 2018-4-18 00:49
Yes, on the Aircraft Status menu at startup, 50% of the time Compass says normal and 50% of the time there's a big red warning message in it's place saying compass requires calibration.

Often when compass errors are reported then just moving the aircraft a few feet away can resolve the issue. The compass can be susceptible to a multitude of small ferrous objects, or electric/magnetic fields if they are in very close proximity.
2018-4-18
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maurom82
Second Officer
Flight distance : 143757 ft
Italy
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One day happened also to me..even without being near metal objects the drone told me about the interference and I calibrated it several times that day. After some time all goes fine..on the same plalce without moving..don't know why...
2018-4-18
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Robothamster
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United Kingdom
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Aardvark Posted at 2018-4-18 01:04
Often when compass errors are reported then just moving the aircraft a few feet away can resolve the issue. The compass can be susceptible to a multitude of small ferrous objects, or electric/magnetic fields if they are in very close proximity.

Yes I understand that.

However I'm using the Air exactly the same way as I used my Spark and the calibrations are required far more frequently.

Like I said, it's not really an issue and I'd rather do it to ensure safe flying than risk any flyaways.
2018-4-18
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Vidjcb
First Officer
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That’s happening to me too! Sometimes I have to try that mone than one time and the tiny battery quickly loss valuable charge!
2018-4-18
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hallmark007
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Robothamster Posted at 2018-4-18 01:47
Yes I understand that.

However I'm using the Air exactly the same way as I used my Spark and the calibrations are required far more frequently.

Just a few things, when starting up MavAir, are you starting it up at the site you intend to fly from, some people start their aircraft in cars houses etc and walk to the actual site, this will result in getting compass error, also are you actually putting your aircraft on the ground then and only then starting both RC and aircraft,
I have noticed with Mavic Air that unless you actually start at take off location that you get compass error move or calibrate.
2018-4-18
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Robothamster
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-4-18 02:25
Just a few things, when starting up MavAir, are you starting it up at the site you intend to fly from, some people start their aircraft in cars houses etc and walk to the actual site, this will result in getting compass error, also are you actually putting your aircraft on the ground then and only then starting both RC and aircraft,
I have noticed with Mavic Air that unless you actually start at take off location that you get compass error move or calibrate.

when starting up MavAir, are you starting it up at the site you intend to fly from?  Yes
also are you actually putting your aircraft on the ground then and only then starting both RC and aircraft? Yes, apart from obviously you have to be holding the Air as the on button is underneath.

I don't have a smart watch, and have no metallic objects nearby apart from my Titanium wrist watch.
2018-4-18
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CHSDrone1
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Yeah I wonder if this is an issue with the first batch of Mavic Airs.  I contacted customer service and they sent me a UPS label and told me to ship the drone back to the repair shop.  I assume they will just send me a new drone.  Otherwise I love this little guy so hopefully this will be the last time that I have to send it back to DJI for repair.  
2018-4-18
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IVANK
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Flight distance : 70827 ft
Mexico
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Aardvark Posted at 2018-4-18 01:04
Often when compass errors are reported then just moving the aircraft a few feet away can resolve the issue. The compass can be susceptible to a multitude of small ferrous objects, or electric/magnetic fields if they are in very close proximity.

That may be true, never the less,  My previous mavick pro I could turn it on even inside of my car or house and fly indoors,  this is almost impossible with the MA  since it requires re calibration every other time,  and the warning says : can not take off.   compass error.
the true question here is why the MP was easier to fly than the MA,  some times I need to re calibrate 2 or 3 times, and there is absolute no metal near me, and I just got dizzy from so many turns...
2018-4-18
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HPS
Second Officer
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Hong Kong
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IVANK Posted at 2018-4-18 20:06
That may be true, never the less,  My previous mavick pro I could turn it on even inside of my car or house and fly indoors,  this is almost impossible with the MA  since it requires re calibration every other time,  and the warning says : can not take off.   compass error.
the true question here is why the MP was easier to fly than the MA,  some times I need to re calibrate 2 or 3 times, and there is absolute no metal near me, and I just got dizzy from so many turns...

Agreed to "just got dizzy from so many turns..."....well said!
2018-4-18
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dharris
lvl.1
United Kingdom
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I have a apple watch with a magnetic clasp, and found i couldnt calibrate it with my watch on. Must be very sensitive
2018-4-20
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CHSDrone1
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United States
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Thanks everyone for your input.   Just to update this thread DJI technical support asked me to send the drone back to them for repair/replacement.  Hopefully my next Mavic Air unit will not have the same issues.  
2018-4-20
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fans2a72503e
lvl.1
United States
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Here's how I solved the problem. Recalibrate the compass then turn the Air completely off, then on again. I've not had the message since. Hope that helps.
2018-4-20
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Oracle Miata
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The Air's duo of actual compass and virtual compass have to be calibrated more often then the other DJI drones.  That is just how it is.  Minor.
2018-4-20
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CHSDrone1
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@oraclemiata - I never said it's a major issue - I'm just stating an issue I've had with my mavic air and my replacement drone.  If this was just a normal known issue with the drone I wouldn't have a problem with it - I would just calibrate the compass every time and consider it part of the Mavic Air experience.  I have talked extensively with DJI tech support and they claim that it is not normal to have calibrate before every flight.  
2018-4-20
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Oracle Miata
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CHSDrone1 Posted at 2018-4-20 10:01
@oraclemiata - I never said it's a major issue - I'm just stating an issue I've had with my mavic air and my replacement drone.  If this was just a normal known issue with the drone I wouldn't have a problem with it - I would just calibrate the compass every time and consider it part of the Mavic Air experience.  I have talked extensively with DJI tech support and they claim that it is not normal to have calibrate before every flight.


And I'm telling you it's part of the Mavic Air experience...  you can choose to believe what you want.  Unless your shooting from the same spot every time, the MA will ask for a calibration.  None of the other DJI drones have the virtual compass/actual compass duo, and I would venture to say that this is the reason it reacts so differently from them.  If you want to believe DJI tech support, well then I don't know what to tell you... other then they have a blemished reputation for saying whatever will get you off the phone.
2018-4-20
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CHSDrone1
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Haha - well I guess they'll just send me a 2nd new drone and then I'll just deal with compass issues from now on.  Thanks for letting me know.  
2018-4-20
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Robothamster
lvl.4
Flight distance : 51135 ft
United Kingdom
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Had 2 flights over the weekend, both times I was asked to re-calibrate the Compass.

1st one was taking off on a stony beach, no metal objects within 20m.
2nd one was taking off in a farmers field, again no metal objects anywhere nearby.

I took screenshots of both times as someone previously asked what the on screen message looked like:


2018-4-23
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Bigguns
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Flight distance : 26106 ft
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Slightly off topic but when any of you guys of done a calibration,does it go back to the normal screen with all the controls on ? As for some reason every time i have had to re calibrate,the screen then goes to just the image of what the camera sees and nothing else,no controls or anything,just the camera view and the only way i can get it back to normal is by shutting the app down and opening it all again.
2018-4-23
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Robothamster
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Flight distance : 51135 ft
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Bigguns Posted at 2018-4-23 03:57
Slightly off topic but when any of you guys of done a calibration,does it go back to the normal screen with all the controls on ? As for some reason every time i have had to re calibrate,the screen then goes to just the image of what the camera sees and nothing else,no controls or anything,just the camera view and the only way i can get it back to normal is by shutting the app down and opening it all again.

Yep mine does that sometimes too, very annoying.

Usually hitting the phone back button then go fly again sorts it out.
2018-4-23
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dwainwayne28
Second Officer
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This Could be due to magnetic interference
2018-4-23
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Bigguns
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Robothamster Posted at 2018-4-23 04:06
Yep mine does that sometimes too, very annoying.

Usually hitting the phone back button then go fly again sorts it out.

What phone do you use ?
2018-4-23
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Robothamster
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Flight distance : 51135 ft
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Bigguns Posted at 2018-4-23 05:25
What phone do you use ?

Samsung Galaxy s8
2018-4-23
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Bigguns
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I’m on galaxy note 8.

I wonder if it is just an android/Samsung thing.
2018-4-23
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Robothamster
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Flight distance : 51135 ft
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Bigguns Posted at 2018-4-23 07:19
I’m on galaxy note 8.

I wonder if it is just an android/Samsung thing.

Could well be.  Unfortunately I don't have an iOS device to compare against.
2018-4-23
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