Calibrate your Phantom drone's IMU

If your drone is flying erratically for no apparent reason, it could be a sign that the device’s compass or IMU (inertial measurement unit) needs to be reset and re-calibrated. The steps below explain how to do this for Phantom drone products. You’ll know the IMU compass needs calibration on a Phantom drone if, in addition to erratic flying, you notice flashing red and yellow lights.

Step 1
Start by removing the battery from your drone and then reconnecting it. Then, locate the IMU compass on your drone. If you don’t know where this is, take a look in your instructional manual, keeping an eye out for a diagram where components are clearly labeled. If you’ve lost the manual or are having no luck find the IMU compass, do a Google search of your specific model.

Step 2
Once you find the IMU compass, you’ll be ready to calibrate it… almost. To complete the process, you’ll need a relatively strong magnet that you can use to re-establish the compass’s magnetic field. Orbit the magnet around the compass, moving it up and down and side to side, and rotating around the compass in all possible variations. Do this for 30 seconds to a minute, but don’t let the magnet touch the compass.

Step 3
After completing the 30-second process, remove the battery again, and then reattach it. Keep trying the magnet orbit trick above until you can power up the drone and get green lights instead of yellow and red flashers.

Once you get a green light, head out to the field and give your Phantom drone a test flight. Bring the magnet though, because the drone could require one last calibration outdoors to be truly ready for flight.