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How to Calibrate a Bad Compass on Your Yuneec

6 mins
Drone Blog
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Drone pilots of all calibers know the general routine when getting ready to fly their drone. However, new drone owners and amateur drone pilots may not know this, but drone calibration is one of the important preflight checklist items to do before getting your drone in the air. 

If your drone isn’t properly calibrated, it may not even take off. There are various sensors on your drone that need calibration, and one of them is the compass. Sometimes the compass may fall slightly, or significantly, out of calibration. This can spell problems when flying your drone because the compass provides you with precision flight. So, if you own a Yuneec drone, you are probably wondering how you can calibrate a bad compass. 

How to Recalibrate My Yuneec Drone’s Compass? #

If you’ve flown your Yuneec drone before, then you most probably know very well how important calibrating the different sensors on the drone is. These sensors are essential to your drone as they give you the ultimate precision flight options that would be impossible if the sensors are miscalibrated.

It’s common sense that new drones that have never been flown before should always be calibrated before getting them in the air. This is essential because if you launch your drone in the air before calibration, you will very likely experience erratic flight. But it’s not just for a new, out-of-the-box drone. Every drone’s compass periodically needs to be calibrated.

Perhaps one of the most important sensors on the drone is the compass. Sometimes your drone’s compass may fall out of calibration, and this will require you to recalibrate it so that it flies perfectly. You should do this frequently.

So, how do you go about recalibrating your Yuneec drone’s compass?

You should find a large open space outside, preferably an open, grassy field, to carry out this compass recalibration process. This is because your drone’s internal magnetometer can be affected by things like reinforced concrete, buildings, and antennas. 

Follow these steps to calibrate your Yuneec drone:

1. Boot up your remote controller, then the drone #

Turn on your remote and allow it to boot up fully. Proceed to power on your drone as well. Make sure to boot up in this order for best performance.

2. Tap Settings on your controller #

Once the remote is fully booted up, tap the settings wheel on it. A warning message will appear. Press OK on this.

3. Select Calibration, then Compass #

Proceed to tap on Calibration and then choose Compass to continue with calibrating your compass. The drone will beep, and then the screen on your remote will display Mag Cali (Magnetic Calibration).

4. Hold drone level, pointing North #

Pick up your drone and hold it flat (parallel with the ground) with its nose pointing North. The following steps need to be completed in less than 30 seconds in order to properly calibrate your drone.

5. Complete a forward revolution #

Spin your drone forward carefully in a full circular rotation, tail over nose, until you are holding it flat again.

6. Rotate 45˚ to the left and complete another revolution #

Turn your drone to the left by a factor of 45˚. Repeat the revolution in the above step. This time with the rear left rotor will circle over the right front rotor until the drone is level again.

7. Rotate another 45˚to the left and revolve again  #

Turn your drone 45˚ once to the left again and repeat the revolution. This time the drone will have its nose toward the left (facing west), and will revolve along its wing axis until the drone is level again. 

8. Rotate 45˚ once more and repeat revolution #

Turn your drone 45˚ to the left again and repeat the revolution. On this final revolution, the drone will revolve front left rotor over rear right rotor in a complete circle until it is flat again.

9. Set down the drone on a level surface #

Place the drone down and watch as the main LED flashes red and green rapidly as it calibrates. Once the compass is calibrated, the drone will reboot.

And just like that, your Yuneec drone’s compass will be recalibrated. Note that the above is a basic method of calibrating a Yuneec drone compass. Some different Yuneec drone models will be calibrated differently, so consult your user manual as well for further details.

What is the purpose of a compass in a drone? #

The compass is one of the most important sensors in your drone. The compass allows your drone to know its heading or direction in space. This is why it’s important to calibrate the compass. If the compass isn’t properly calibrated, the GPS may not allow your drone to initiate a flight.

Compass calibration on a drone aligns your drone’s flight system with the Earth’s magnetic North, not its true north. This is called magnetic declination, and it accounts for the earth’s shifting magnetic field. 

This is why compass calibration needs to be performed repeatedly. The Earth’s magnetic fields are under constant, if very slight, variation. 

When do I need to calibrate my drone? #

There are several reasons you may have to calibrate the various sensors on your drone for optimal performance. Some of these reasons include:

  • If your drone is brand new, you have to calibrate it before the first flight for it to fly correctly.
  • If you move from one flight location to another, you may have to calibrate your drone.
  • Light bumps and hard landings can cause the sensors to fall out of line, so you will have to calibrate the drone frequently.
  • If you feel the drone is not flying as it should or isn’t reacting to your commands properly, you’ll have to calibrate it.
  • If the drone vibrates when in transit, the sensors may fall out of calibration, so you may have to recalibrate it after taking your drone in a car, especially over bumpy roads.
  • If your drone is near any magnets or high voltage, the calibration may be corrupted, so you’ll have to recalibrate it.
  • If your drone hovers badly when there isn’t any wind interference, calibration is necessary.
  • After updating your drone’s firmware, you may have to recalibrate the drone.
  • If your drone is losing altitude when flying, then calibrating it is necessary.
  • If your drone starts drifting in one direction or is unstable in flight, you’ll have to calibrate it.
  • If your drone crashed, then you’ll have to recalibrate it.

In conclusion, recalibrating your drone from time to time is actually quite important, so keep this in mind. Make it part of your preflight routine to be sure your drone is perfectly calibrated before each flight, so your drone flies without any errors.

Image Credit: Yuneec


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