How to Calibrate a Drone's Compass

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Aug 22, 2014
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A very important, but often overlooked, step in flying a drone is to calibrate the drone’s compass each time that you fly. This is especially important if you bring the drone to a new location to fly.

To be safe and prevent a fly-away, complete the calibration process every time you put the machine in the air. Here is an easy calibration process to follow.

Step 1:
Complete the process away from any metal structures. Stay away large concrete parking lots. They will have lots of rebar (metal) that will interfere with calibration. Likewise, stay away from cellphone towers.

Step 2:
Turn on the transmitter. The transmitter must be on to complete calibration.

Step 3:
Power up your drone. The drone must be powered up, too.

Step 4:
Use your controller to calibrate the compass. The lights on your remote control and your drone will change to a solid color. On most drones, the color is solid yellow. The color may vary by the brand of drone or if you built the drone yourself.

Step 5:
Hold the drone level with the ground. Spin it until a light turns green.

Step 6:
Rotate the drone, so it is perpendicular to the ground. Spin it again until the second light turns green. The compass is now calibrated.

Your drone’s lights will flash red if you have made an error in the calibration. If this happens, go back and repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 until the lights turn green.