Drone Add on Compass Modification (350 QX3 AP Combo)

About: Instagram: withered_perception Photographer and Aerial Photographer. Proudly Collaborating With HISTORY COLORADO.

I am very aware of my surroundings, but there are times when I am at strange locations, inside buildings, and in other states.

Although I have a compass on my phone there are times when my phone is low on battery and I have just enough time to fly before my phone dies or I am in a location where my phone doesent have service (yet for some reason my drone does)

Here's my simple solution...

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Step 1: Amazon to the Rescue...

I purchased 25 little 14mm compasses on Amazon for a whopping $1.75 + $2.99 shipping and handling.

Step 2: Step 1...

As always check the weight of anything you add to your drone.

These weight nothing so don't worry about these tiny little things.

Use E6000 to glue compass onto battery door.

That's it... Go Fly....

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    5 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Silly question but I fail to see how this helps or the point to this? im not being negitave just trying to understand if it its on your drone how will you see it or what difference will it have??

    4 replies

    Certain higher quality UAV's require that the internal compass be calibrated due magnetic north prior to flight, ensuring the GPS is set to the proper coordinates. I use to bring a compass for claibration soon began using my phone and finally after forgetting multiple times or getting frustrated due to flights in locations with minimal or no service. I finally glued this little bugger onto the battery door. My new UAV has an on board compass but still requires this same calibration as well as calibration of the internal accelerometers which can be achieved via the transmitter or the GUI. Now both, soon to be all 3 models will have this tiny compass glued somewhere on its shell to ensure accurate flight, predictable flight patterns and functions! Hope that answers your question?

    Yea i get the why, i have a few drones myself but from my expirence for calibration this would be more hassle having it on the drone itself. personally would have thought a simple keyring or even adding this to the remote would have been easier and more productive?

    Considering this and many drones require you to hold it level at just below eye level as it enters compass mode. Then flip the rotate the aircraft forward, turn it 45°, rotate it again turn it 45°, rotate it again, turn it 45° and rotate it again then hold it facing magnetic north this compass is right in your face the entire time ensuring you are accurate in every step. Unlike a DJI phantom or Inspire one which requires a dance to calibrate which leaves room for error and can cause drift. This system of calibrating the compas calculates position to 1.3 inches max drift once the GPS is engauged. Thus the more accurate and stable you are with your calibration the more accurate the bird is. Having the compass on the controler would force you to look down at the controler. Which is on the ground or around your neck while calibrating during this crucial time. This would not be a very accurate calibration if every time you looked down you where not directly on magnetic North confirming that the arrow met or was as close to 75.7667° N, 99.7833° W as possible. Again hents the compass being directly in your face. This also reduced the risk of more than avrage shoulder drop or raise during calibration which may also throw off the barometric pressure sensors or the accelerometers. Any one of these issues or combination of these issues would cause drift in any direction and would throw off smooth stable flight for video or pictures especially in windy conditions. This is also a major issue during gray out conditions or over water when the 2.4 Ghz radio is no longer or has minimal functionality and the bird is relying heavely on its GPS to fly.