Phantom Rain : Magnetic Interference is the Phantom Killer in disguise:

PhantomWetSuits

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Recently I caught myself making a Mistake that most likely I have been making On every single flight I have taken over the last 2 years.

In those last 2 years I have had two fly aways and each one DJI refunded me with 100% coupon for a brand new drone and that is great but the fault was most likely mine.

I recently had a Revelation of sorts that I take my eyes off of the Display to watch my drone take off into the sky for the first couple minutes and in doing so miss any error messages that might have popped on the screen such as Compass error / Magnetic Interference errors to name a few.

This could explain how I missed the critical errors that might have saved me from a fly away right on take off.

I have tried to break this habbit but it is very difficutl as my eyes just want to watch that take off as the drone is so close.

Obviously we are more at risk than most as we fly from some really bad advantage points , so I made this video to show how dangerous it can be to miss the Flash or an error message come across the screen especially at take off.

The video shows how little Magnetic Interference it takes to put your Drone in Jeopardy of a Fly Away and how deceiving it can be to continue to fly.

When it comes to magnetic Interference , it can take many forms, Compass error / Yaw Errors / Atti Mode.
The best advice I can share is do not trust your drone to fly after you get an error no matter how fast it appears on the screen, as the damage is most likely already done.

Best to shutdown , move your take off position and start again.

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Great video. Whenever my v2.0 gets a compass error, it forces me to recalibrate or it will not take off. I don’t know if that’s a new feature of the v2.0, but my Obsidian P4P does not do this.
 

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Great video. Whenever my v2.0 gets a compass error, it forces me to recalibrate or it will not take off. I don’t know if that’s a new feature of the v2.0, but my Obsidian P4P does not do this.
Are you saying if you turn off the unit completely that you have to recalibrate , than that could be a firmware update needed.
'
As a general rule the lights on the drone give a better picture as to what is happening with the compass.


If your Phantom 4 lights are showing alternate red and yellow flashing, then a compass calibration is required but if not I would avoid that if possible and find a new take off point..
 
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Are you saying if you turn off the unit completely that you have to recalibrate , than that could be a firmware update needed.
'
As a general rule the lights on the drone give a better picture as to what is happening with the compass.


If your Phantom 4 lights are showing alternate red and yellow flashing, then a compass calibration is required but if not I would avoid that if possible and find a new take off point..
Not exacly. When I turn my drone on, if it detects any kind of compass interference, it will force me to recalibrate. I look funny doing the dance, but if it’s for safe flying, I’m up for it. My AC is in the current firmware and I use a LTE powered iPad to keep georeference and all of those goodies up to date before takeoff.

Edit: my obsidian P4P will take compass error away if I move the drone and take off elsewhere. My v2.0 won’t fly until I recalibrate, no matter how many times I move it around.
 

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Not exacly. When I turn my drone on, if it detects any kind of compass interference, it will force me to recalibrate. I look funny doing the dance, but if it’s for safe flying, I’m up for it. My AC is in the current firmware and I use a LTE powered iPad to keep georeference and all of those goodies up to date before takeoff.
That is not the way it should be working, so a couple things you should be checking, IMU calibration / Lights matching up to Compass errror on the Phantom.

Is there any point where you have been able to take off without the compass calibration needed. ?
 
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This 2.0 was refurbished directly from DJI when my brand new one came with ESC and compass error and wouldn’t fly. I figured that getting it fixed and QC by DJI was far better than returning and hoping I don’t get another one with problems.

I have taken off many places without doing calibration. I only have this problem when trying to take off somewhere with high magentic interference, such as power lines, metal objects, etc.

I do IMU calibration after every firmware update. Not necessary, but I’m paranoid since my obsidian has done fly away twice already.

I don’t know if the constant compass calibration is an error, but if it helps to take an accurate reading in the area I’m about to fly, doesn’t that make is safer?
 

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This 2.0 was refurbished directly from DJI when my brand new one came with ESC and compass error and wouldn’t fly. I figured that getting it fixed and QC by DJI was far better than returning and hoping I don’t get another one with problems.

I have taken off many places without doing calibration. I only have this problem when trying to take off somewhere with high magentic interference, such as power lines, metal objects, etc.

I do IMU calibration after every firmware update. Not necessary, but I’m paranoid since my obsidian has done fly away twice already.

I don’t know if the constant compass calibration is an error, but if it helps to take an accurate reading in the area I’m about to fly, doesn’t that make is safer?
I was afraid you were going to say that, so it is really not safe to fly as for whatever reason your drone as you already know is likely to hit atti mode and start a fly away if your not careful.

This is what I would do: First there is every possible chance this is a firmware issue where the update was notcompleted correctly..

After that I would get a magnet as i show above and just watch the error messages, to determine magnetic interfernece with that of a Compass errror as they are different.

Depending on which one you get could determine what is really happening.

Keep in mind that we put are Phantom 4 pro thru **** and back and I cannot remember the last time we had to do a compass calibration.

I would not think of doing a constant compass calibration as being safer , but rather that of a warning that something is off with your drone.
 
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I was afraid you were going to say that, so it is really not safe to fly as for whatever reason your drone as you already know is likely to hit atti mode and start a fly away if your not careful.

This is what I would do: First there is every possible chance this is a firmware issue where the update was notcompleted correctly..

After that I would get a magnet as i show above and just watch the error messages, to determine magnetic interfernece with that of a Compass errror as they are different.

Depending on which one you get could determine what is really happening.

Keep in mind that we put are Phantom 4 pro thru **** and back and I cannot remember the last time we had to do a compass calibration.

I would not think of doing a constant compass calibration as being safer , but rather that of a warning that something is off with your drone.
I have yet to get ATTI mode while in flight. My compass error happens on ground, I do the calibration and my problem won’t reappear during that flight. So far I have yet to suffer a scare with this drone. That being said, you have made me worry and I will be contacting DJI about this tomorrow. Will post their awnser once I get it.
 
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The video shows how little Magnetic Interference it takes to put your Drone in Jeopardy of a Fly Away and how deceiving it can be to continue to fly.
So don't go putting your mobile phone close to the compass !!!
Why are you doing that anyway?
After that I would get a magnet as i show above and just watch the error messages, to determine magnetic interfernece with that of a Compass errror as they are different.
This is very bad advice.
Putting a magnet close to your compass is not a good idea.
Avoid doing it.
 

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Not exacly. When I turn my drone on, if it detects any kind of compass interference, it will force me to recalibrate.
I would doubt that is what's happening.
If you put the drone down on a steel or reinforced concrete surface, the compass will warn you with what DJI calls a Compass Error.
That makes people think it's a problem with the compass that needs fixing.
But it's really a compass warning and calibrating the compass won't fix the problem it's warning you about.

Next time you see this, look closely at the warning message.
Here it is with the Phantom placed on a (steel) car roof:

It says Move Aircraft or Calibrate Compass.
No-one seems to notice the underlined part and calibrating the compass won't help at all.
The correct thing to do is switch off the Phantom and move away from the steel or live electrical cables the compass is warning you about.

Avoid launching from steel or reinforced concrete surfaces or somewhere with steel bolts right under the Phantom and you'll probably never see a compass error.
 
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I would doubt that is what's happening.
If you put the drone down on a steel or reinforced concrete surface, the compass will warn you with what DJI calls a Compass Error.
That makes people think it's a problem with the compass that needs fixing.
But it's really a compass warning and calibrating the compass won't fix the problem it's warning you about.

Next time you see this, look closely at the warning message.
Here it is with the Phantom placed on a (steel) car roof:

It says Move Aircraft or Calibrate Compass.
No-one seems to notice the underlined part and calibrating the compass won't help at all.
The correct thing to do is switch off the Phantom and move away from the steel or live electrical cables the compass is warning you about.

Avoid launching from steel or reinforced concrete surfaces or somewhere with steel bolts right under the Phantom and you'll probably never see a compass error.
You are correct on this. My Obsidian P4P behaves just as you described, but my v2.0 does not. Even if you move it around, you are still required to calibrate or it won't take off.
 
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So I contacted DJI about the differences in the solutions for the magentism. Apparently the person who helped me wasn't sure on how to respond to my question, so he forward it to a tech. I have posted my conversation with them. Please excuse my elite MS Paint skills, and make sure to read from left to right, then down.
Untitled.jpg
 
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P.S. Thank you @Meta4 for the screenshot I needed to finish my Costumer Support ticket. :p
 

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So I contacted DJI about the differences in the solutions for the magentism. Apparently the person who helped me wasn't sure on how to respond to my question, so he forward it to a tech. I have posted my conversation with them. Please excuse my elite MS Paint skills, and make sure to read from left to right, then down.
View attachment 105712
I don't think the support person had the faintest clue what you were talking about.
 
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I don't think the support person had the faintest clue what you were talking about.
That was my impression as well. That is why I tried to stupify it halfway into the conversation. Hopefully the engineer understands what I ment and puts everything to rest.
 

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So don't go putting your mobile phone close to the compass !!!
Why are you doing that anyway?

This is very bad advice.
Putting a magnet close to your compass is not a good idea.
Avoid doing it.

You must have figured out by now that I was using the Phone to demonstrate how little Magnetic Interference it takes to get a a special kind of ERROR MESSAGE :

Notce it says: Compass Error: Exit GPS mode Different than your error caused by Steel Move AIrcraft to Calibrate

The difference between magnetic Error is that it will Disappear from the screen and when it does , many will think its okay to fly which is why I made the video to show its deception.

This is different than the STEEL ROOF example you give where as you get a Move Aircraft To Calibrate which stays on as a warning and does not dissappear.

The Magnetic Interference knocks you out of GPS mode and if your are in flight than you will enter into ATTI MODE.

Because Magnetic Interference has this ability to knock you out of GPS mode and Dissappear from the screen its easy to miss the flash warning message on screen and have your drone go into a fly away.

To determine if the reason for the error is truly magnetic Interference , I suggested he use a small magnet to INDUCE the warning to come up as I have in the video:

The Warning that appears will help the pilot IDENTIFY what your TRUE magnetic interference warning message will look like. : \

Most Pilots have never taken a magnet to the drone so they would not know what the Warning would actually say on there screen.

Once you Identify the Message , now you are going to know when it Magnetic and when its Steel or Beams Ect.

I myself do not fear the Compass Errors as i get them also when flying from my car but once I move Im okay.
However I get a Magnetic Interference warning and i have got to get that drone back on the ground quickly.


If it says Compass Error or Move Aircraft Or Magnetic Interference Or in my video example : Compass Error : Exit GPS mode Than you will have a better understanding of what is really affecting your drone.

My example clearly shows how Easy it is for a Fly Away to Happen do to Magnetic Interference: being that you are knocked out of GPS mode.

This is very different than just a compass error , but the second time I place the phone to Induce the error I do not get it, this is why so many people will thinks it clear to fly when the reality is you need to Move the take off point as you pointed out in your example and restart the drone.

Both are good examples but true magnetic interference will cause a fly away do to is ability to knock out the GPS instantly and with very little warning.

I hope this makes the Demonstration more clear as both examples were good.



Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 9.59.10 PM.png
 
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You must have figured out by now that I was using the Phone to demonstrate how little Magnetic Interference it takes to get a a special kind of ERROR MESSAGE :

Notce it says: Compass Error: Exit GPS mode Different than your error caused by Steel Move AIrcraft to Calibrate

The difference between magnetic Error is that it will Disappear from the screen and when it does , many will think its okay to fly which is why I made the video to show its deception.

This is different than the STEEL ROOF example you give where as you get a Move Aircraft To Calibrate which stays on as a warning and does not dissappear.

The Magnetic Interference knocks you out of GPS mode and if your are in flight than you will enter into ATTI MODE.

Because Magnetic Interference has this ability to knock you out of GPS mode and Dissappear from the screen its easy to miss the flash warning message on screen and have your drone go into a fly away.

To determine if the reason for the error is truly magnetic Interference , I suggested he use a small magnet to INDUCE the warning to come up as I have in the video:

The Warning that appears will help the pilot IDENTIFY what your TRUE magnetic interference warning message will look like. : \

Most Pilots have never taken a magnet to the drone so they would not know what the Warning would actually say on there screen.

Once you Identify the Message , now you are going to know when it Magnetic and when its Steel or Beams Ect.

I myself do not fear the Compass Errors as i get them also when flying from my car but once I move Im okay.
However I get a Magnetic Interference warning and i have got to get that drone back on the ground quickly.


If it says Compass Error or Move Aircraft Or Magnetic Interference Or in my video example : Compass Error : Exit GPS mode Than you will have a better understanding of what is really affecting your drone.

My example clearly shows how Easy it is for a Fly Away to Happen do to Magnetic Interference: being that you are knocked out of GPS mode.

This is very different than just a compass error , but the second time I place the phone to Induce the error I do not get it, this is why so many people will thinks it clear to fly when the reality is you need to Move the take off point as you pointed out in your example and restart the drone.

Both are good examples but true magnetic interference will cause a fly away do to is ability to knock out the GPS instantly and with very little warning.

I hope this makes the Demonstration more clear as both examples were good.



View attachment 105714
Once I get a chance, I’m going to reproduce your video and see if I get same results.
 

PhantomWetSuits

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Once I get a chance, I’m going to reproduce your video and see if I get same results.
You might want to video tape the screen so you can capture the exact errror message for magnetic interference and use a small magnet as that is all that is needed to induce the warning .
 
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To determine if the reason for the error is truly magnetic Interference , I suggested he use a small magnet to INDUCE the warning to come up as I have in the video:
Most Pilots have never taken a magnet to the drone so they would not know what the Warning would actually say on there screen.
I'd hope most flyers are too smart to go putting a magnet close to their compass.
Encouraging it isn't a good idea.
Once you Identify the Message , now you are going to know when it Magnetic and when its Steel or Beams Ect.
I myself do not fear the Compass Errors as i get them also when flying from my car but once I move Im okay.
It makes more sense to simply avoid launching from your car, steel beams etc.
Really - just stay away from steel and reinforced concrete.
Do that and you'll probably never have a compass error.
 
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