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DJI Spark Compass Calibration

suprPHREAK

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Yep, I've seen this. Have you ever seen the DJI GO app prompt you to calibrate the compass? I haven't. Nor have I seen anyone else mention it has ever prompted them to calibrate. So, I'm not sure it's wise to follow that advise.

In this article from December 21st, DJI recommends pilots should calibrate the compass before every flight because it's essential for safety. Again, I don't think it's necessary in most cases. I'm just pointing it out because DJI does not always recommend what you see in the current Spark manual.
Fair enough, you may not find such data.

That said, doing something unnecessary always creates risk to do something wrong. Worth it? Your call.
 
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strobing_nyc

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@BudWalker - thank you, I'm going with common sense theory ️ could be totally wrong at any point. These little birds are sensitive, anymore feedback about the little magnetic ball part of your program? Im sorry I don't have it open and can't remember the name had the X, Y, Z axis golf ball looking chart.
 

BudWalker

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@BudWalker - thank you, I'm going with common sense theory ️ could be totally wrong at any point. These little birds are sensitive, anymore feedback about the little magnetic ball part of your program? Im sorry I don't have it open and can't remember the name had the X, Y, Z axis golf ball looking chart.
That's the MagData Player you're referring to. There is a some documentation
https://datfile.net/Doc/MagDataPlayer.pdf

The MagData Player can be described as an unfinished science fair project. To most people it's just eye candy, but, it's good eye candy. Used properly it can be used to determine if the compass is calibrated correctly. It's intended to be used as a research tool. It has little or no value when analyzing an incident.

It's difficult to do the extended compass dance described in the documentation. During the dance magnetometer data is taken for each orientation seen and there 2562 possible orientations. It's difficult to cover all or most of those 2652 orientations. Usually you end up with something like this
upload_2018-3-4_7-34-26.png
and not something like this.
upload_2018-3-4_7-36-22.png
 

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msinger

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That said, doing something unnecessary always creates risk to do something wrong. Worth it? Your call.
It's not worth it simply because it's unnecessary in most cases. Are all unnecessary things dangerous? Not necessarily.

Too many people are claiming this is dangerous without data to back up their claims. Why stoke a fire that doesn't need to be burning in the first place? That doesn't seem worthy of one's time either.
 
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BudWalker

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It's not worth it simply because it's unnecessary in most cases. Are all unnecessary things dangerous? Not necessarily.

Too many people are claiming this is dangerous without data to back up their claims. Why stoke a fire that doesn't need to be burning in the first place? That doesn't seem worthy of one's time either.
A slightly different perspective is that it's not just a waste time and energy. It gets in the way of focusing on the real problem - that launch time fly aways are caused by a geomagnetically distortion at the launch site. IMHO if half the time and energy spent on the unnecessary-calibrations-is-risky theme were spent instead on promoting the check-the-AC-orientation-prior-to-launch theme there would be far fewer fly aways.
 
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msinger

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IMHO if half the time and energy spent on the unnecessary-calibrations-is-risky theme were spent instead on promoting the check-the-AC-orientation-prior-to-launch theme there would be far fewer fly aways.
685d63c091739c08df91fbc8375ae119.jpg
 

notime

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The newer dji drones have a redundant compasses, but if one or both of them are in the red, its a good idea to recalibrate, or move to an area of less interference.
 

suprPHREAK

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The newer dji drones have a redundant compasses, but if one or both of them are in the red, its a good idea to recalibrate, or move to an area of less interference.
All drones since P3 have had redundancy, except Spark. IMO, biggest mistake they made.
 

Abhiman

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Do your calibration by always facing earth magnetic North direction. Chances of calibration fail are very less in this condition.
 

perrylawrence

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The single most effective way to prevent these fly aways is to check before launch that the red triangle heading indicator on the map display is consistent with the AC's actual orientation.
Thanks for this! Simple to do and easy to follow.
 

theackers

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I had a compass error for the first time tonight mid-flight. Luckily it vanished straight away and got it home. Phone was in airplane mode but I had my work phone in my pocket with Bluetooth on. My question is, can Bluetooth cause a compass error in the Spark?
 

Dronason

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I had a compass error for the first time tonight mid-flight. Luckily it vanished straight away and got it home. Phone was in airplane mode but I had my work phone in my pocket with Bluetooth on. My question is, can Bluetooth cause a compass error in the Spark?
Formally Bluetooth cannot create a real compass error but in the Go4 app, when it says compass error it is not always mean that the compass is faulty. The Spark get attitude info from GPS, Spark and compass, when there is a severe mismatch it globally blames the compass as it is the most common error.
If you see it again, then it is maybe time to do an IMU and compass calibration in a quite and remote location.
 

msinger

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I heard it straight from a DJI rep at a drone convention that frequent compass calibration and reduce flyaways.
Frequent compass calibrations will definitely not reduce flyaways. Nearly all compass related flyaways are caused by the Spark being near some type of magnetic metal object near the takeoff point.
 

shegeek72

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Frequent compass calibrations will definitely not reduce flyaways. Nearly all compass related flyaways are caused by the Spark being near some type of magnetic metal object near the takeoff point.
What background, knowledge and/or experience do you have to know more than a DJI rep?
 

msinger

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What background, knowledge and/or experience do you have to know more than a DJI rep?
I own all of the DJI consumer drones released since the Phantom 2 Vision+. And I've been researching, flying, and helping people learn how to fly their DJI drones every day for over 4 years. I've analyzed countless flyaway flight logs and have done lots of compass related research and testing.

The fact that someone is a DJI rep does not mean they are an expert on DJI drones. There are many DJI reps out there dishing out incorrect advice.

So, let me ask you a question now. How exactly does calibrating the compass prevent a flyaway? And if you're not sure, why would you do it without understanding what it does?
 
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shegeek72

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Here's a conversation I just had with DJI online support:

"Thank you for contacting DJI Technical Support.
My name is Bien.
How may I help you today?

Hi, Does frequent compass calibration help prevent flyaways?

Hello Tara, thank you for reaching out. Yes, that's really helpful.

And that's for all DJI UAVs, not just the spark?

That is correct."

So either two DJI reps are wrong and you're right or vice versa. My money is on the DJI reps.
 

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