Fixing DJI's Compass Problem

ianwood

Taco Wrangler
Joined
Jan 7, 2014
Messages
5,112
Likes
2,048
Location
Lost Angeles
#1
UPDATE:

It's fixed. Download 3.06, install, recalibrate everything and enjoy.
Below is the history of the issue:

As of July 14, 2014, there are 139,765 P2 users of all sizes and flavors reporting the same issue. If you are affected, make sure you say so here! Apparently Barack Obama crashed his P2 in the rose garden after it hooked into a trellis on July 4th weekend. He wasn't impressed. Says he wants DJI to fix it ASAP. (Washington DC is -12 magnetic declination.)

Here is what we know about the problem so far:

  • Affects all P2x in areas of high magnetic declination (+/-8 or higher).
  • Curved flight and hooking is worst when first flying. It improves during flight but may take several minutes.
  • Beta 2 of the 3.05 firmware remembers adaptions between flights.
  • Similar issues may exist with the P1 and other Naza platforms, however this thread is focused on the P2.
  • Areas with very high declination will experience TBE during initial hover.
  • Several people have returned their P2x thinking it was defective only to get a new one with the same problem.
  • This is a firmware defect. Possibly a signing bug in the code.
  • This defect is still present in all firmware versions up to 3.04.
  • Measuring the angle between initial true heading and initial course lock heading will give you the real margin of error.
  • Rotating the compass is not a recommended workaround.
  • Using a very rough bottom up model, it is expected that at least 1 in 4 P2x users experience this problem.
  • DJI beta firmware 3.05 has been tested and confirmed it is 80% improved.
  • DJI is working on a revised beta firmware for further testing.
  • The beta test group is limited in order to maintain control of observed results.

Fixing DJI's Compass Problem

Some of you know about this and some of you aren't affected. If you live in the following areas, you are subject to this problem even if you don't know it:

  • Western US and Canada
  • Northeastern US and Canada
  • Eastern OZ and all of NZ
  • Northeastern South America
  • Southern Africa

Your compass and GPS are disagreeing over which way is forward. This results in curving (hooking), tracking to the left or right in GPS and course lock, and/or not hovering in place. This is a caused by a defect in DJI's firmware which they need to fix.


I am working through some contacts to get in touch with DJI's LA office to present the issue in a clear fashion along with the backing of the user communities like this one. Most importantly, I want to show them how many other people have this issue.

If you are in one of the areas above, confirm in this thread that you have experienced this issue. I have written a complete summary of the issue here: DJI Phantom and Magnetic Declination which I will be sharing with DJI as well. Please share this so that we can collect as many of the affected users as possible.

And before anyone says "Just rotate your compass", that is not the answer. DJI has said so themselves. If you wish to discuss rotating the compass, there are threads dedicated to that discussion.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Messages
36
Likes
0
#2
Ianwood,

You are correct in your theory, After reading just recompassed and started in GPS mode,, Your drift to the left forward was exactly what happened,, Several trys continued all the same, Then Switched to Atti mode and then back to GPS seemed to correct it some what but still not perfect, Flight conditions 2 knots SE wind to calm. My theory were lousy white plastic props,, Even new they were bending up or down right out of the package so I replaced with perfect carbon fiber,, Didnt help at all same drift. only difference was hovering perfect with the carbon fiber props,, My Location is Central Caifornia, Looks to be will within your maps topos of a high magnetic area, This is my second phantom 2 Zenmuse and Gopro. A catistropic failure occured with the First Phantom lost in deep wilderness,, now slightly paranoid to use in deep canyon country or Ocean photography. Makes you wonder if this is the norm with this product.
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2014
Messages
169
Likes
0
#3
I live in Northern Alberta and experience this phenomenon. It is annoying trying to get it to track straight as usually its a combination of forward and left/right stick.
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2014
Messages
85
Likes
1
Location
Nebraska
#6
Just for the record and not sure if it helps...

Flying smack in the center of the country basically.... Nebraska and no noticeable drift on the P2 in any mode.

Fits your theory
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2014
Messages
154
Likes
1
Location
Christchurch, New Zealand
#7
Hello Ian,

Thank you very much for officially raising this with DJI.

I am based in Christchurch, New Zealand and the symptoms I have are exactly as you have written.

I ordered my DJI Phantom 2 (non-vision) about 10 days ago from HeliPal. It arrived quickly and I read all the instructions and YouTube guides before attempting my first flight.

Because I've never flown before, I wanted to just take off, hover, and land in my first attempt.

The Phantom rose up nicely, but then started to do ant--clockwise toiletbowl circles. I panicked and started slowly lowering the Phantom to land, but in this short time the circling was getting faster and wider. The Phantom hit the grass while moving and toppled over. Luckily no prop breakage.

After trawling the forums for information, I eventually fixed the toiletbowling by rotating the compass approx 35 degrees clockwise on the landing gear (see attached photo).

It is now flying and hovering relatively steady, but does exhibit the wild J-hook drifting after releasing the sticks exactly as you have documented in your letter.

I am distressed that DJI is effectively shipping out this product with highly defective software that in my opinion should be urgently addressed.

If there are any tests I can do here in NZ to help you please get in touch.

Regards
Jared
 

Attachments

ianwood

Taco Wrangler
Joined
Jan 7, 2014
Messages
5,112
Likes
2,048
Location
Lost Angeles
#8
So far, I have 21 people confirming this issue with the P2/P2V. I want 50 or more. This is a bug in the Naza and it's time to get DJI to fix it (or at least tell us how to).

If you are in western or northeastern US and Canada, you need to test for this and chime in here! Same for NZ, ZA, eastern OZ. Also, northeast of South America. All you Europeans and American mid-westerners consider yourself lucky.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2014
Messages
442
Likes
1
Location
NJ, USA
#9
I should have some time soon to re-calibrate and test. Haven't flown since coming back from the Caribbean.
I believe I do have this problem but thought it was due to some other factors I've read about.

I'll post when I get to it. Soon!
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2014
Messages
630
Likes
1
Location
Ridgecrest, CA
#12
Just flew today. I'm in Southern California high desert. My P2 is doing exactly as you described. Forward flight in GPS mode. I let go of the sticks and it drifts left. Going backwards towards me, let go of sticks and it drifts right. Definitely a problem.
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2014
Messages
411
Likes
1
Location
Los Angeles, Ca
Website
www.lennyschway.com
#13
So Cal. Los Angeles.
In Fwd flight (GPS Mode) Drifts to the Left. Moving Back it Drifts to the Right.
Moving FWD. then letting go of the sticks causes to to heavily drift to the Left and sometimes climb at the same time.
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
Messages
80
Likes
1
Location
Manchester, NH
Website
www.air-reelz.com
#14
I live in NH and experience the same annoying J hook and drifting to the left. Thanks for being our spokesperson to get this fixed asap! Come on DJI we know you're monitoring these forums!

Can't get on FB at the moment but someone should post a link to this on the DJI page!
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Messages
27
Likes
0
#20
Christchurch, New Zealand and getting the exact same problem. Drift to the left when (supposedly) flying straight.
 

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
129,676
Messages
1,346,809
Members
94,496
Latest member
dreddman