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New Firmware and NEW unusual compass calibration failure in flight.
1170 14 2017-6-8
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MrDave
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United States
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I updated my Phantom 4 Pro, and the Remote controller today. I performed the Compass calibration and as the IMU no longer has a manual calibration setting, that was not performed.
I went for a test flight, 400 feet high and 3000 feet out and all was well, video capture and still photo capture with and without the mechanical shutter was fine, everything seemed great!!! So I ran it around the neighborhood, out upwards of 1/2 mile, a bunch of times and when I got down to low battery's first warning, somewhere, like 8 minutes or so, I flew home and then proceeded to fly around the driveway and the yard in "P" mode. That's when it happened. I was testing the forward object sensor and when I got near my METAL car I got a warning popup that my compass was out of calibration and to take it out of "P" mode. Remember, now, I had performed the compass calibration on a wooden surface away from any metal objects and my remote control and phone were 10 feet away, as well, right before this flight. The message began to scroll across the top of the display where it shows your aircraft has been connected, as a warning.  I started to move my drone a little bit and that's when it happened. My Drone was still in "P" mode while displaying that I have a compass calibration error and WHAM, it started moving on it's own and before I could attempt fighting the runaway drone it flew itself into my front porch railings and broke a propeller and dropped into an azalea bush, about 2 feet down.

Here is my question... Has anyone else noticed that things like a car within a couple of feet of your drone causes a compass calibration error, or was this just a one off on me and I should forget about it?

This is the first time, ever, that my P4Pro has had a run away event, and it happened 10 feet away from me. There is no way that crash was my fault and I know it had everything to do with the compass calibration error, which appears to have been caused by being too near to my car after a full flight while it was in low battery warning mode, about 6 minutes or less of power remained when flying near my car caused a compass calibration error.

I hope if this is a bug in the new firmware that DJI fixes it quickly, as flying near metal objects is normal, at least for me, when you're in close proximity to your drone and have clear visual contact over the drone. And to have the drone fly out of control because you're in "P" mode and the erred compass tells the drone, hey you need to be 20 feet over there right now (or what ever it told my drone) I really don't think that is acceptable operation.
2017-6-8
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Labroides
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"Here is my question... Has anyone else noticed that things like a car within a couple of feet of your drone causes a compass calibration error?"

It didn't cause a compass calibration error at all.
Your compass was just fine (despite you performing an unnecessary calibration).
Your compass was telling you that it detected a magnetic field significantly different from what it knows to be normal. (that's all the steel in the car).
I suspect that it didn't run away but if you look at the flight data it would show that your Phantom went into atti mode because of the magnetic field interference and you misinterpreted this as running away.

To see the flight data, go to http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
Follow the instructions to upload your flight record.
Come back and post a link to the report it provides

Any time you bring the Phantom close to a lot of steel, it will act up and start to slowly spiral because of magnetic interference.
Bring it closer and you are asking for trouble.
2017-6-8
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MrDave
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My drone took off, it hit about 7mph according to my flight app replay and the distance is shot out was short and I didn't have enough time to react to something that I wasn't expecting to happen. I'm just saying, I never had the compass calibration error show on my display because of my car. I've never had my drone switch to ATTI mode, if that's what it did, due to the loss of compass, before todays firmware. I've flown all around my car and landed on my card. But today while flying in close vicinity to my car my drone just shot off in a random direction. If I had say 10 more feet, I probably would have been able to hit the stick to fly upwards and then the ground based obstacles wouldn't have been an issue. Unfortunately I lost a prop. Better than any part bigger, and more expensive. Overall after the firmware update I noticed that my drone has a hard time maintaining position. If I hover in the driveway with no wind it has a lot more play and sits there going up and down to and fro. It no longer has a solid hover. I mean it stays in the general area but not as solid is it used to. My drone was hovering at 5'. I grab it and pull it and it fly's back to it spot, ok it's back. Now as I was walking up to it, it started rising, it went up like 4 feet, I no longer could even reach the landing gear. So that's another issue. Hover is not as solid as it used to be. Which makes a problem for photos with a long exposure. For example, Making headlight tracers with an 8 second shutter, the drone moves so much that the entire photo is a blur of motion.

2017-6-8
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picky
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Flight distance : 279 ft
Philippines
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MrDave Posted at 2017-6-8 23:58
My drone took off, it hit about 7mph according to my flight app replay and the distance is shot out was short and I didn't have enough time to react to something that I wasn't expecting to happen. I'm just saying, I never had the compass calibration error show on my display because of my car. I've never had my drone switch to ATTI mode, if that's what it did, due to the loss of compass, before todays firmware. I've flown all around my car and landed on my card. But today while flying in close vicinity to my car my drone just shot off in a random direction. If I had say 10 more feet, I probably would have been able to hit the stick to fly upwards and then the ground based obstacles wouldn't have been an issue. Unfortunately I lost a prop. Better than any part bigger, and more expensive. Overall after the firmware update I noticed that my drone has a hard time maintaining position. If I hover in the driveway with no wind it has a lot more play and sits there going up and down to and fro. It no longer has a solid hover. I mean it stays in the general area but not as solid is it used to. My drone was hovering at 5'. I grab it and pull it and it fly's back to it spot, ok it's back. Now as I was walking up to it, it started rising, it went up like 4 feet, I no longer could even reach the landing gear. So that's another issue. Hover is not as solid as it used to be. Which makes a problem for photos with a long exposure. For example, Making headlight tracers with an 8 second shutter, the drone moves so much that the entire photo is a blur of motion.

Hi I was watching a recent video of Ken Heron on you tube. He was flying from inside the car  as it was so hot and had the engine running with the aircon operating.  He landed his P4P on the bonnet or hood as you call it in the USA with no issues at all.  Some pilots  even take off from the roof of their car.
2017-6-9
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DGBarar
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picky Posted at 2017-6-9 07:55
Hi I was watching a recent video of Ken Heron on you tube. He was flying from inside the car  as it was so hot and had the engine running with the aircon operating.  He landed his P4P on the bonnet or hood as you call it in the USA with no issues at all.  Some pilots  even take off from the roof of their car.

Hi Mr. Dave,

This has been my experience with my P4P and large metal objects.

1) When flying close to my SUV I received a compass 1 error message.
2) After landing the aircraft 10 feet from my car with propellers off, I retrieved the aircraft with power on and placed in the rear bay of the SUV.  I immediately got a compass 1 error message.

My recommendation is that you do not fly aircraft near large metal objects.

Hope this helps.

Don Barar
2017-6-9
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Labroides
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MrDave Posted at 2017-6-8 23:58
My drone took off, it hit about 7mph according to my flight app replay and the distance is shot out was short and I didn't have enough time to react to something that I wasn't expecting to happen. I'm just saying, I never had the compass calibration error show on my display because of my car. I've never had my drone switch to ATTI mode, if that's what it did, due to the loss of compass, before todays firmware. I've flown all around my car and landed on my card. But today while flying in close vicinity to my car my drone just shot off in a random direction. If I had say 10 more feet, I probably would have been able to hit the stick to fly upwards and then the ground based obstacles wouldn't have been an issue. Unfortunately I lost a prop. Better than any part bigger, and more expensive. Overall after the firmware update I noticed that my drone has a hard time maintaining position. If I hover in the driveway with no wind it has a lot more play and sits there going up and down to and fro. It no longer has a solid hover. I mean it stays in the general area but not as solid is it used to. My drone was hovering at 5'. I grab it and pull it and it fly's back to it spot, ok it's back. Now as I was walking up to it, it started rising, it went up like 4 feet, I no longer could even reach the landing gear. So that's another issue. Hover is not as solid as it used to be. Which makes a problem for photos with a long exposure. For example, Making headlight tracers with an 8 second shutter, the drone moves so much that the entire photo is a blur of motion.

There's nothing wrong with your compass and it has nothing to do with any updates.
It's not a compass calibration error ... it's a perfectly good compass telling you that there's a magnetic problem in the local environment.
That's how it will behave if you put it close to a large steel object - don't do it.
And never attempt to launch from your car, any other steel or reinforced concrete surface.
Your observations regarding hovering are probably due to hovering low over a surface with no pattern for the VPS to lock on to (or poor lighting conditions).
2017-6-9
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hallmark007
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It's not down to new firmware, the most likely cause is magnetic interference coming from your car, if you upload your logs as Labroids asked it might show you and give you a better understanding of what happened.
2017-6-9
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MrDave
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Hallmark007. The car definitely causes the compass error. And forced the Drone to ATTI mode. But for some reason my Drone seems to be excessively sensitive around the car and the compass errors out with first the warning and secondly switching out of P mode to ATTI mode by itself. This did not happen a couple of months ago, as I could take off and land on the car, without an error happening on the compass. Yes Labroid I know not to do that, but sometimes we need a "point of reference" in diagnostics to determine nominal operating conditions. I am trying to figure out if I need to send my repaired drone back to DJI to be repaired again, And right now I am worried this drone may be dangerous to operate when the result causes the drone to drift and not hold a GPS lock.

IN bright daylight my drone hovering is no longer steady, Labroids. I can watch it at 5' elevation as it will drift back and forth, left to right by several inches with no wind and the elevation can change as much as 3 feet. This is in an area with no buried pipe, no buried electrical and the closest source of metal is at least 20 feet away.
2017-6-12
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Geebax
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Australia
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MrDave Posted at 2017-6-12 20:46
Hallmark007. The car definitely causes the compass error. And forced the Drone to ATTI mode. But for some reason my Drone seems to be excessively sensitive around the car and the compass errors out with first the warning and secondly switching out of P mode to ATTI mode by itself. This did not happen a couple of months ago, as I could take off and land on the car, without an error happening on the compass. Yes Labroid I know not to do that, but sometimes we need a "point of reference" in diagnostics to determine nominal operating conditions. I am trying to figure out if I need to send my repaired drone back to DJI to be repaired again, And right now I am worried this drone may be dangerous to operate when the result causes the drone to drift and not hold a GPS lock.

IN bright daylight my drone hovering is no longer steady, Labroids. I can watch it at 5' elevation as it will drift back and forth, left to right by several inches with no wind and the elevation can change as much as 3 feet. This is in an area with no buried pipe, no buried electrical and the closest source of metal is at least 20 feet away.

First, if you want it to hover steadily, get it up further in the air. At 5 feet, it is using the VPS system to stabilise itself. Up high it use GPS alone.

Of course the aircraft is sensitive around your car, but how many people need to tell you to avoid flying near your car before you will take notice of what they say?
2017-6-12
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Nigel_
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United Kingdom
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If you want to take off and land on your car then you need to very carefully align the magnetic field of your car with the magnetic field of the earth, but it will still not fly well since you will never get the strength to match.

It is very difficult to do without a lot of luck since your car is full of magnets - 6 speaker audio system = 6 magnets, central locking = 5 magnets, electric windows = 4 magnets, windscreen wiper motors = 2 magnets, windscreen washer motors ?, starter motor ?, starter solenoid? Headlamp adjuster motors ?, headlamp washer motors ?, electric seat motors ?, electric power steering motor ?,  electronic handbrake motor ?, fuel filler cap release solenoid ?, sunroof motor ? ...

And then if your car has a steel body then it probably has it's own magnetic field.

Flying drones near any sort of steel from cars to reinforced concrete is known to cause loss of control - don't do it!
2017-6-13
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hallmark007
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MrDave Posted at 2017-6-12 20:46
Hallmark007. The car definitely causes the compass error. And forced the Drone to ATTI mode. But for some reason my Drone seems to be excessively sensitive around the car and the compass errors out with first the warning and secondly switching out of P mode to ATTI mode by itself. This did not happen a couple of months ago, as I could take off and land on the car, without an error happening on the compass. Yes Labroid I know not to do that, but sometimes we need a "point of reference" in diagnostics to determine nominal operating conditions. I am trying to figure out if I need to send my repaired drone back to DJI to be repaired again, And right now I am worried this drone may be dangerous to operate when the result causes the drone to drift and not hold a GPS lock.

IN bright daylight my drone hovering is no longer steady, Labroids. I can watch it at 5' elevation as it will drift back and forth, left to right by several inches with no wind and the elevation can change as much as 3 feet. This is in an area with no buried pipe, no buried electrical and the closest source of metal is at least 20 feet away.

I think you should upload your flight log, it seems no matter what people say your not to sure or don't fully except what others are saying.
One thing is for certain this was not caused by firmware update.
2017-6-13
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fans5fcfb723
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France
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On whitch OS are you, on Android or Ios ? I perform strong problems with Android and a compatible smartphone.
2017-6-13
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MrDave
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United States
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After plenty of testing, I see my drone is operating normally. Switching to ATTI mode automatically because of a compass error due to a large steel object in close proximity, seems to be the issue. I possibly could have reacted with a slight change of direction on the stick, and being in ATTI mode, not of my own choosing, is the cause for my accident. Luckily I only broke a prop.
I guess my concern would be if I were flying close to a strong magnetic source and it caused my drone to switch to ATTI mode, that, especially if sight of the drone was limited or hampered, that this could be of concern.

So, why would a compass error cause auto switching to ATTI mode? I thought GPS mode used the GPS satellites? Is there also compass data use incorporated into GPS mode to create the drones level of stability that we have?
2017-6-17
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Geebax
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MrDave Posted at 2017-6-17 22:01
After plenty of testing, I see my drone is operating normally. Switching to ATTI mode automatically because of a compass error due to a large steel object in close proximity, seems to be the issue. I possibly could have reacted with a slight change of direction on the stick, and being in ATTI mode, not of my own choosing, is the cause for my accident. Luckily I only broke a prop.
I guess my concern would be if I were flying close to a strong magnetic source and it caused my drone to switch to ATTI mode, that, especially if sight of the drone was limited or hampered, that this could be of concern.

'So, why would a compass error cause auto switching to ATTI mode? I thought GPS mode used the GPS satellites? Is there also compass data use incorporated into GPS mode to create the drones level of stability that we have?'

All that GPS does is provide a positional fix for the aircraft. If you move away from a given position, the GPS unit can derive a heading in degrees for the movement, but to do this accurately, it needs to move relatively large distance. But that is not much good for the aircraft, as it is expected to stay within a foot or better of its nominated position, so instead, the aircraft employs a compass unit that can, in conjunction with the IMU, detect much smaller movements, and the direction in which the aircraft is moving.

To answer your question, yes, there is 'compass data' in the GPS information, but not when trying to hold position. In short, if the compass appears to be giving incorrect information, then the aircraft will decide it cannot rely on any of that information and flips the aircraft back to fully manual mode, or ATTI.
2017-6-17
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MrDave
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Thank you, Geebax. That is useful information. Some of us don't know everything, thus we post threads like I started here. My haphazard thread posting, may have cause many undue stress. Now that I understand how the drones navigation works and secondly how the switching to ATTI mode can happen when deemed to do so, at the aircrafts request, that I really need to always be prepared for flying in ATTI mode. Not that I expect ATTI mode to be initiated a lot, more so, I need to be ready for it if it does by taking the time to learn ATTI mode and most importantly, to not fly out of visual. 1500 feet away you can barely see your drone, let alone which way it is pointing, if your display device craps out. Learning ATTI mode is important to recover your drone by visual contact, alone. As to my crash, I know I was just too close to what I crashed into when the drone switched to ATTI mode, due to hovering over my car, and I wasn't paying attention to the warning messages. Keep the cell phone APP volume turned up so you can hear those warnings!
2017-6-17
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