Cients Posted at
Although I respect your excellent view Labroides, DJI does recommends the following:
Although I respect DJI's excellent drone technology, they have been misleading users about compass calibration for years.
Just look at the contradictions across their different manuals to get a hint.
Compass calibration on a drone is done to align the drones’ flight system with the Earth’s magnetic north.
As I said Compass calibration has nothing at all to do with where the drone is or how far it has moved.
If your drone is flying normally, recalibrating the compass won't do a thing to "improve" anything or make your flights any safer.
Calibration should be done when you change the geographic area where you are flying because of different magnetic properties related to the soil, power transmission lines metallic masses and other ferromagnetic fields in the surroundings.
This is a common misconception but recalibrating the drone's compass cannot do anything about variations in local magnetic fields, nor should it.
Compass calibration is all about the drone and its own magnetic fields, which cculd otherwise cause the drone's compass to give incorrect readings.
In my case, due to different soil and magnetic properties of the landscape, mountains, beach and water, always perform a calibration whenever I change the area in more than 20 Km and also the Phantom 3 Pro required by itself.
You are wasting your time and effort as well as giving yourself a false sense of security.
If you don't understand what compass calibration actually does, everything you believe about compass calibration is going to be incorrect.
Understanding what compass calibration really does, does help you to fly safer.
DJI Mavic Compass Calibration Guide
Why should the Mavic compass be calibrated?
A good compass calibration is important to ensure a safe, controlled flight.
The only purpose of compass calibration is to measure the components of the aircraft's magnetic field so that they can be subtracted from the total measured magnetic field. Rotating the three-axis magnetometers allows the aircraft's flight controller to separate the surrounding magnetic field from the magnetic field of the aircraft itself. It's able to separate them since the aircraft's magnetic field remains constant (in the frame of reference of the magnetometers) while the surrounding magnetic field rotates.
No amount of measuring will allow the aircraft's flight controller to determine the deviation or declination at a location (since it has no idea where true north is located). Declination is determined from a global declination model within the firmware. There is no way to compensate for deviation since it's unmeasurable. That explains why taking off in areas of significant magnetic deviation will lead to unstable flight.
The Mavic can only detect when the compass is providing extremely poor (implausible) data. This typically occurs if you place it near a strong magnetic field. It will flash red and yellow lights and the Mavic will indicate a compass error in the app.
Note: The lack of a compass error does NOT mean your compass is working and calibrated properly. You should always do these checks before taking off to ensure the compass is not being negatively affected by some type of external magnetic force.
You can view the current compass interference in the "Main Controller Settings" --> "Advanced Settings" --> "Sensors" section of DJI GO. The colored bars should be in the green (Excellent) range when the Mavic is in a location that is away from magnetic influences. If the bars are in the red (Poor) range or close to it, move the Mavic to a different location and check again. If the compass interference is still in the red (Poor) range or close to it, the compass could need calibrated or it could be magnetized/damaged.
Note: A good compass interference value does NOT mean your compass is working and calibrated properly.
When should the Mavic compass be calibrated?
You do not need to calibrate before every flight and in some cases you definitely should not calibrate. That doesn't mean you shouldn't ever bother doing it. It only takes one time for it to go very wrong.
Note: The ideal place to calibrate is a wide open location that is free of anything metallic within a 20 ft radius. Keep away from drainage pipes, irrigation systems, rocks, sidewalks (or other concrete structures), etc.
DO calibrate the Mavic compass if:
- Compass interference values are out of whack or DJI GO is displaying a compass error (check area for magnetic metal objects before calibrating)
- The Mavic is circling in flight while hovering in place (also check for other possible causes)
- New metallic equipment has been attached or removed from the Mavic (e.g. GPS tracker)
- If you just degaussed your compass (don't degauss the compass unless instructed)
DO NOT calibrate the Mavic compass if:
- The Mavic is near concrete, buildings, and/or hidden or overhead power lines/pipes/etc.
- You're indoors, on a paved surface, on a stone surface, on the beach, on a boat, on a balcony, near a car, near speakers, etc.
- There are magnetic metallic objects near the Mavic or you're not certain there are no such objects nearby
How to Calibrate the Mavic Compass
- Remove all metal from your person that could potentially be held near the Mavic while you're calibrating (e.g. watch or rings).
- Find a location on grass or dirt and not on concrete or asphalt (unless you know the concrete or asphalt does not contain rebar).
- Power up your Mavic with all 3rd party accessories attached (e.g. GPS tracker).
- Wait until your Mavic is ready to fly.
- Tap the "Calibrate" button in the "Aircraft Status" section of DJI GO. If the "Calibrate" button does not appear there, then you can calibrate the compass from the "Advanced Settings" section of DJI GO.
- Confirm the light on the rear of Mavic is solid yellow.
- Pick up the Mavic and turn it smoothly and steadily a full degrees (or a little bit more) until the rear Mavic arm lights turn solid green.
Note: While it's okay to turn the Mavic in your hands, it's easier to hold the Mavic steady and turn your body in a circle (like this).
- Point the front of the Mavic straight down and turn it smoothly and steadily a full degrees (or a little bit more) until the rear Mavic arms start flashing green.
Note: Don't be concerned if the Mavic gimbal reacts poorly to being face down. Continue to smoothly and steadily turn the Mavic. If for any reason you do not complete any of the above steps smoothly and evenly, restart the process.
Please ensure the following before calibration: Everything used in flight should be powered during calibration, such as the GPS tracker. Remove any objects from your body that may interfere with calibration, such as metal on watches or rings, etc. Carry out the calibration in a meadow outdoors, preferably far away from sources of interference such as cars, etc.
How to calibrate DJI Mavic Mini compass?
Step 1: switch on the DJI Mavic Mini.
Step 2: wait until the remote control and the drone are ready.
Step 3: open the Aircraft Status in the DJI App and there you will see the entries Compass and "Calibrate".
Step 4: a window appears - Selects Start to start calibration.
Step 5: take the DJI Mavic Mini in your hand and turn it once through °(if possible with constant speed).
Step 6: now tilt the drone 90°to the side and turn °again.
Step 7: "Compass Calibration Complete" will appear in the DJI Fly App.
Now you have successfully calibrated the DJI Mavic Mini and the compass should be able to recognize the compass direction by means of the magnetic sensor. It is possible that the calibration has to be carried out more often, depending on how strong the sources of interference are in the environment.
What if DJI Mavic Mini compass calibration failed?
● If the DJI Mavic Mini indicators blink red, then try to Mavic Mini compass calibration again.
● If the Mavic Mini indicator lights blink red, then yellow, move to a different location and try the Mavic Mini compass calibration again.
● If the Mavic Mini compass calibration fails, then retry. Failing that, then calibrate the IMU using the above instructions.
● Check for a firmware update.
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Calibrating the Mavic Mini compass, IMU and gimbal is an easy procedure to fix many issues such as flying erratically, disconnects, flyaways or gimbal camera problems.
Below are the instructions and steps to calibrate the Mavic Mini along with a terrific video.
After the calibration instructions, we have notes regarding the Mavic Mini compass calibration. We also look at what DJI recommends for calibrating the compass, IMU and gimbal on the Mavic Mini.
Also, if you are having any difficulties (disconnects, flyaway, return to home) with your Mavic Mini, we have put together a very comprehensive article with easy to follow tips on troubleshooting and fixing Mavic Mini issues here.
How To Calibrate The Mavic Mini Compass And IMU Instructions
Mavic Mini Compass Calibration Steps
Here are the steps required to calibrate the Mavic Mini compass;
- Choose an open area outside away from telecoms masts, structures, cars etc.
- Turn on your Mavic Mini drone and also the DJI Fly app in the Remote Controller.
- Tap on the 3 dots in the top right corner of the Fly App.
- Tap on Safety.
- Scroll down to the Sensors section.
- Select Calibrate to the right of the Compass.
- Click on Start.
- The Mavic Mini status indicators lights will blink yellow indicating that the calibration is about to start.
- Put down the Remote Controller and follow the onscreen instructions.
- Hold the aircraft horizontally and rotate it degrees in the clockwise direction.
- When the Mavic Mini indicator light changes from yellow to solid green then move on to the vertical calibration.
- Hold the Mavic Mini vertically with its nose pointing upwards and rotate it degrees around its vertical axis.
- The Mavic Mini indicator will turn from yellow to solid green when successful.
- When both horizontal and vertical compass calibration is completed successfully, the indicator light will be flashing green.
Notes of Mavic Mini Compass Calibration
Here are some notes regarding the Mavic Mini calibration procedure and also why the calibration may fail.
If the Mavic Mini indicator lights blink red and yellow alternatively after calibration, this means that it has failed. There could be a high level of magnetic interference. Change location and try the calibration again.
If you wait more than 3 minutes after successful calibration, then you may need to repeat the calibration process.
When Not To Calibrate The Mavic Mini Compass
DJI recommends that the compass calibration procedure should not be done as follows;
- Where their is strong magnetic interference, such as close to large metallic structures (parking structures, steel reinforced structures, bridges, cars, scaffolding, telecoms masts).
- Remove any mobile phones or other ferromagnetic devices away from the Mavic Mini during calibration.
- Not to carry out the Mavic Mini calibration indoors.
How To Calibrate The Mavic Mini IMU Instructions
Mavic Mini IMU Calibration Steps
Here are the steps required to calibrate the Mavic Mini IMU;
- Place the Mavic Mini on a dry flat surface.
- Turn the Mavic Mini on with its arms closed in.
- Tap on the 3 dots in the top right corner of the DJI Fly App.
- Tap on Safety.
- Scroll down to the Sensors section.
- Select Calibrate to the right of the IMU.
- Click on Start and follow the onscreen instructions to orient the drone for IMU calibration.
- Start with the Mavic Mini on its belly and the calibration will go to %. The LED will flash green when complete.
- Next, move the Mavic Mini onto its right side and the IMU will calibrate to %. The LED will flash green when complete.
- Change the Mavic Mini over to the left side and let it calibrate to %. The LED will flash green when complete.
- Stand the Mavic Mini on its back end and let it continue to calibrate the IMU to %. The LED will flash green when complete.
- Turn the Mavic Mini upside down so that its camera is pointing upwards and let it continue to calibrate.
When the full Mavic Mini IMU calibration is complete, the drone will restart.
How To Calibrate Mavic Mini IMU And Compass Video
Here is an excellent video on how to calibrate both the Mavic Mini compass and IMU.
How To Calibrate Mavic Mini Gimbal
Here are the instructions to calibrate the Mavic Mini gimbal camera;
- Place the Mavic Mini on a flat surface.
- Turn on the Mavic Mini and remote controller with your smartphone in it.
- Tap on the 3 dots in the top right corner of the DJI Fly App.
- Tap on Control.
- Scroll down and tap on Gimbal Calibration.
- Tap on Auto.
- The Mavic Mini calibration to recenter and align the gimbal will proceed.
Reasons To Calibrate the Mavic Mini
It is good practice to calibrate the Mavic Mini compass, IMU and gimbal under the following circumstances;
- When you first turn on your drone, calibrate the compass and IMU.
- When flying in a new location, which is 31 miles (50 km) from where the drone was last flown.
- When the compass interference warning appears in the DJI Fly app.
- Mavic Mini indicator blinks red and yellow alternatively.
- Calibrate the gimbal if issues regarding the camera such as shake, horizon off and shutter.
- Calibrate the IMU and compass after a crash.
If your Mavic Mini is still having issues after calibration, then read this article on fixing Mavic Mini issues. You can also look at updating the Mavic Mini firmware.
Dont forget, that you Mavic Mini may still be in warranty so you can discuss your issues with the company you bought it from or contact the DJI Support. You can also post your questions on the DJI Mini Support forum.
If your Mavic Mini has a crash and after a physical examination, your Mavic Mini looks OK, then you need to do a Mavic Mini calibration. Also after a crash, you should only take off and hover, then move slowly to make sure your drone is flying perfectly. If it is flying erratically, then land the drone and bring it your DJI service provider to fix.
Note: If you need anything for your Mavic Mini, you can find a terrific variety of Mavic Mini parts, upgrades and accessories here.
To finish, here is another terrific video on how to calibrate the Mavic Mini IMU and compass. It also covers extra information on what the IMU is and what it does.
Compass mavic calibration mini
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