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Compass Calibration Before Every Flight?
3410 20 2015-8-13
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neilfau06
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Flight distance : 282799 ft
United Kingdom
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Should I calibrate the compass before every flight, only do it if I change flying location or only do it when prompted to by the DJI Go App? There's a lot of conflicting information reading some forum posts, just trying to work out what's the general consensus?
2015-8-13
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timswimm
DJI team

Hong Kong
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its up to you, but i highly recommend you to do compass calibration every time, cause it takes no time, but sometimes it can save your drone...
2015-8-13
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Phantom Help
Captain
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Here's a good guide on when to do a compass calibration:
http://www.phantompilots.com/threads/compass-calibration-a-complete-primer.32829





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robotertest
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Germany
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DJI still recommends:

"Tips:

Calibrate the compass before each flight."

Source:
http://wiki.dji.com/en/index.php ... brating_the_Compass

Since this is not too much "work", compared to other FC, go for it, since you are not sure.

A poll won´t save your bird.


2015-8-13
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mark1975
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as above really,on one occasion I didn't calibrate(my faulty was sidetracked)guess what it crashed I now calibrate 'every flight'
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mark1975
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think about it really dji could use the (calibrate  before every flight)   in a warranty case if you didn't calibrate atleast if you calibrate its recorded in the avent so your covered ..
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Skater67
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instructions are from DJI, so I plan to calibrate before the first flight at all locations.  A lot of conflicting info on this issue but I'll go by what DJI recommends.
2015-8-13
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m.friedl
Second Officer
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Austria
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Skater67 Posted at 2015-8-13 19:59
instructions are from DJI, so I plan to calibrate before the first flight at all locations.  A lot o ...

You´r doing Calibration with first Battery only and then you plugin next and next Battery without or doing Compassdance with each Battery?

Mike
2015-8-13
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bill
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robotertest@gma Posted at 2015-8-13 19:43
DJI still recommends:

"Tips:

Actually, interestingly DJI recommends both calibrating at each new location and before each flight on this page. At the top of the page they say: "IMPORTANT: Always calibrate the compass in every new flight location. The compass is very sensitive to electromagnetic interference, which can produce abnormal compass data and lead to poor flight performance or flight failure. Regular calibration is required for optimal performance."  

Further down the page under tips they say: "Calibrate the compass before each flight. Launch the DJI Pilot app and follow the on-screen instructions to calibrate the compass."

Clearly it won't hurt to calibrate each flight.
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robotertest
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bill@northwoods Posted at 2015-8-13 20:05
Actually, interestingly DJI recommends both calibrating at each new location and before each fligh ...

DJI knows the Phantom users, storing the bird onto metal lockers, tables,  transporting it nearby big car speakers and ignoring mod values., complaining bad flight behavior afterwards @ the forums.

If someone takes care, using the same flight field every time, checking xyz and mod values regulary, this would not be necessairy. But thats far away from reality, where customers blame companies for loosing props, or poor downtown GPS reception.
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bradneal24
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Better safe than sorry. I calibrate every time I fly. Even same location.
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neilfau06
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Ok thanks! I've been calibrating every time before each flight (not between battery swaps though) looks like the general consensus is to keep doing this.
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Swedrone
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I check the sensor mod values if I'm returning to a location. Should be around 1500 for the compass. On new locations I always calibrate.
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aburkefl
First Officer
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United States
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robotertest@gma Posted at 2015-8-13 20:27
DJI knows the Phantom users, storing the bird onto metal lockers, tables,  transporting it nearby b ...

"If someone takes care, using the same flight field every time, checking xyz and mod values regulary, this would not be necessairy. But thats far away from reality, where customers blame companies for loosing props, or poor downtown GPS reception."


I was going to write pretty much the same thing. To me, the reality of it is that if you stop and take careful time to see what the compass "specs" are, you would probably just about be finished with the compass calibration!

I've gotten in the habit of, when calibrating the compass, I make two turns in each position instead of just a single turn. In the past, it seemed that if I just made a single turn in each position (nose out and nose down) the calibration seemed to "lag" somewhat. The extra turns seem to give the Phantom plenty of time to "register" what I've done.
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neilfau06
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So if the compass MOD value is within the correct range is there any need to calibrate the compass?
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neilfau06
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For example if the MOD values are within the correct range can you still get a compass error or lose control?
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dbeck
Second Officer

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Skater67 Posted at 2015-8-13 19:59
instructions are from DJI, so I plan to calibrate before the first flight at all locations.  A lot o ...

Really?  Please show me where in the DJI instructions it says to calibrate before each flight. My understanding was to only calibrate if SIGNIFICANT changes in location occurred.  And NOT to constantly do the calibration.
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HunterBrooks
Second Officer

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dbeck@promobox. Posted at 2015-8-13 23:20
Really?  Please show me where in the DJI instructions it says to calibrate before each flight. My  ...

Hey dbeck, typically what is officially written in a manual, and what has become "best practice" over time are different.  So agree with you that the official guideline is to only do a compass calibration whenever you change your location.  But the bird has been out for some time now, and best practice based on pilot experiences has become to do it before each flight.

I used to do it only when changing location, now I actually do it before each flight.  
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Phantom Help
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The "best practice" is to not obsessively calibrate the compass before every flight. Don't mistake several people mentioning it as a best practice. People tend to copy what others do without taking the time to understand why they are doing it.

If you have a good calibration, the compass mod values are in between the expected range, and you are not flying in a new location, it's better to keep the existing calibration. Redoing a perfectly good calibration could result in a bad calibration.





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2015-8-13
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HunterBrooks
Second Officer

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Phantom Help Posted at 2015-8-13 23:57
The "best practice" is to not obsessively calibrate the compass before every flight. Don't mistake s ...

Ha, what's funny is, I almost added to my original comment that best practice can also be a result of superstition, and even things like a placebo effect.

I heard someone mention that they calibrate their compass only facing North.  The next thing I saw were like 3 posts all about the benefits of facing North during a calibration.  I think it even made it's way onto someone's preflight list.

So, thanks for the comment.  I'll rethink my preflight rituals again.  But again, it typically all comes down to comfort level.  
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Skater67
lvl.4
Flight distance : 417149 ft

Colombia
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Just got back from flying at the same location I flew from 2 days ago.  Before I got started the DJI Go display showed a strong magnetic field and suggested I move the aircraft.  I moved the aircraft and did a compass calibration and the MOD value showed above 1400.  My flights proceeded with no issues and the DJI3 flew as adveritzed.

Bill, I think your on to something with DJI "Tips."  After reading "Tips" the other day I decided to calibrate the compass before the first flight and then check the sensors before each flight.  If someone can find official DJI Document that states calibrating the compass before the first flight of the day while flying in the same location can cause this or that incident to happen then its back to square one.  

Phantom Help thanks for the info.  You mentioned, "redoing a perfectly good calibration could result in a bad calibration."  I guess it could and would think the DJI Go display would show a compass alert.  Also, I always check the sensors after each calibration and before each flight.  If the sensors are not, what I believe, within tolerance I would redo the compass calibration.

Thanks again and have fun flying.
2015-8-13
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