If you are wondering whether you should calibrate your drone or would like to know how often you should, there are a number of answers. These answers will relate to a brand new drone, as well as a drone that you have had for some time now.
There are many factors that may cause the sensors of the drone to fall slightly or significantly out of calibration. There are also a lot of sensors built into a drone to provide you with precision flight options.
We will take a look at why, how often, and how to calibrate a drone to give you a much better user experience. Stay with us if you want to know how to calibrate a drone to perform its best.
Reasons To Calibrate the Drone
There are a number of reasons why you would want to calibrate a drone on a regular basis for optimal performance.
- One of the reasons why you would want to calibrate the drone is when you move from one place to another.
- Light bumps or hard landings can cause the sensors to move slightly, so you will need to calibrate quite often if this is the case.
- When you feel like the drone is not flying as it should or reacting to your commands promptly, you need to calibrate it.
- If you find that the drone is losing altitude while flying, it is time to calibrate the drone to reset it.
- When the drone starts to drift in one direction or is unstable while flying, you need to calibrate it.
- If the drone hovers badly at one altitude when there is little or no wind, calibration of the drone is necessary.
- After updating to newer versions of the firmware, it is a good idea to calibrate your drone in case of corrupted values.
- Lots of vibration, while it is in transit, may cause the sensors to go out, and changes in temperature may also cause irregularities.
- When the drone is near any magnets, like those found in speakers, the calibration may go out, so it will need to be recalibrated.
How To Calibrate a Drone
Calibrating the drone is not difficult, and after you do it the first and second time, it will become very easy.
Calibrate the Compass
When you want to calibrate the compass of the drone, find a large open space outside to carry out the calibration process. Not all drones will calibrate the same. Some will be easier, while others will be more complicated to calibrate.
We will use the DJI drone as an example of how to calibrate the compass of the drone.
- Before you calibrate the compass of the drone, remove all the propellers.
- Power up the drone, touch the aircraft status bar in the app, then select calibrate.
- Press the start option on the popup menu to start the calibration process.
- The next popup will show you how to hold the drone while the compass is calibrated.
- Hold the drone horizontally, then rotate it 360 degrees. The green light will come on if successful.
- The next step is to hold the drone vertically, nose pointing down to the ground.
- Again, turn it 360 degrees around the center axes, and the green light will come on again if successful.
Related Post: How to fly a drone: our beginners guide to quadcopters
Calibrating the IMU
The internal measuring unit consists of the thermometer, the gyroscope, the barometer, and the accelerometer.
- Put the drone on a flat surface to calibrate the IMU. Make use of a level to make sure the surface is perfectly level.
- Let the drone cool down to room temperature or even a little colder.
- Check the battery of the drone and make sure it is 50% charged or more.
- Open the app that comes with the drone on your mobile device.
- Turn the controller on and then turn on the drone.
- In the app, select the main controller settings, then select advanced settings, sensors, calibrate IMU, and then select start.
- Follow the instructions in the app and move the drone around as indicated on the screen.
- As soon as the calibration is completely done, restart the drone.
Mini Drone Calibration
The process for calibrating a mini drone is the same for most of the mini drones found on the market.
Paring of Controller and Drone
- Pair the drone with the controller by switching on the drone and then switching on the controller.
- The drone lights will flash slowly and the power lights on the controller will flash.
- Push the throttle joystick of the remote up and then down completely.
- The red lights of the remote will now stay on, which means frequency matching was successful.
- When the front and backlights on the drone flashes alternately, the pairing is complete.
- Pull the left and right joysticks to the lower right corner. The drone will then make a beeping sign. The front green light on the drone should come on.
- Calibration is now starting. While it is on a level surface, lift it up and turn horizontally 3 times clockwise until it makes another beeping sound.
- When the front green lights are off and the blue backlights are on, the horizontal calibration is complete.
- Now, turn the drone vertical with the nose pointing down. Turn it 3 turns counter-clockwise until you hear two beeping sounds.
- If the front green light is on and the back blue light flashes, the calibration is complete.
- Put the drone down on a level surface while it searches for the GPS2 satellite.
- When the blue light stays on and you hear two beeping sounds, the search is successful.
- Pull the two joysticks of the control together inward and diagonally and hold for two seconds.
- You will hear a long beeping sound, and the drone lights will flash.
- The calibration is now completed.
See the following Youtube video on how to calibrate a DJI drone quickly and easily, or see this video to calibrate a mini drone.
As you can see, it is quite easy to calibrate a drone, and it will be very easy after you have done it a few times. It is much safer and good practice to regularly calibrate your drone so that you will have a much better experience with it.