Bad Compass Health

Hi.  I am struggling.  Haven't flown for a year and can't seem to arm my copter.  Hooked it up to the latest mission planner and it's getting a 'Bad Compass Health' Error.  This is even though the compass seems to be fine and it returning the right heading. 

It will not calibrate.  The second I get to the calibration screen it says Error 99.

Any ideas?

Thank you.

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  • It's been awhile since I last posted and there's been a couple of developments. The first couple of test flights were short and uneventful. Thinking that it was fixed, I took it out to a limestone quarry for some practice doing coordinated turns. All was well until after about 5 minutes into the flight, the aircraft suddenly pitched over and crashed.

    The #3 motor that I had just replaced was destroyed along with it's mount. The #1 motor was also damaged and had to be replaced as well as the GPS mast. Thinking I had a faulty ESC, I decided to replace all of them, so I ordered 40A ESCs and swapped out the originals. When I pulled the last motor connector from the last ESC, the bullet connector separated from the wire! So, I think the culprit was a bad solder joint.

    Since I had already installed three of the new ESCs I went ahead with the swap out. After the repairs were completed, I recalibrated the F.C. including the ESCs and took it out for a test flight. It flies perfectly!

    I have since flown it about five times, including three flights today - one was a hover endurance test. My last flight today was a waypoint mission, but I forgot to disable the geofence and the mission extended outside the boundary. The autopilot took over and brought the aircraft back. I took over manually and tested the altitude limit - it too worked.

    During the hover endurance test, I discovered that I had set the voltage failsafe threshold too low - 10.0V. And the failsafe action was set to RTL, which was okay except that when the failsafe was triggered, the autopilot commanded the motors to climb and there wasn't enough juice left - voltage dropped and so did the aircraft. It didn't exactly fall out of the sky but the descent was fast; fortunately it landed on grass and there was no damage.

    What I've learned from today is I really need to create and follow a checklist!

  • I'm also having Bad Compass Health issues. I have a Parallax Elev-8 quad that I modified by adding an APM 2.6, external compass/GPS and telemetry transceiver. It flew fine for awhile, then about six weeks ago, while doing a short test in my front yard, I put it in Loiter mode and it headed south, across the street, accelerating as it went. I was unable to regain manual control before it crashed into my neighbor's house pretty much totalling the aircraft.

    But this was a V2 ship and Parallax has come out with a newer version and has been selling V2 spare parts at a big discount. So I rebuilt it. The problem is, it will not hover in Loiter mode. Thinking that the GPS/compass was bad, I ordered a new unit from 3DR, which arrived today. I've done a successful compass calibration and when I rotate the aircraft around the display in Mission Planner jives with where the aircraft is pointing. But when I connect to Mission Planner I get the "Bad Compass Health" message.

    I checked my local magnetic variation ( -0.070 rad) for my location and tried a short test flight - the aircraft drifts towards the east. It's a tad breezy, but I would think that the autopilot can compensate for that. I'm going to try plalying with the magnetic variation values to see if I can fudge it a little. However, my main concern is that Mission Planner thinks the compass is bad...

    • An update: I tried varying magnetic variation values to no avail. Also tried rotating the compass physically, but that didn't work either.

      In one flight test, I crashed, but fortunately no damage. I had these flight modes programmed: Stabilize, Loiter, RTL; when I took off and later switched to Loiter, it immediately started moving to the east. I attempted to regain manual control by switching back to Stabilize, but flipped the switch in the wrong direction to RTL - it immediately accelerated and didn't respond to throttle inputs or any other controls. Fortunately, it was low and hit the ground at an angle and only scratched up a prop. I did a thorough inspection - no other damage; I replaced the prop.

      I tried reloading the firmware and went through all the calibrations, but Mission Planner continues to say "Bad Compass Health". So I suspect a damaged APM. I have ordered a new one from Ebay - a clone; should arrive in a week or two. My two other multicopters have APM clones, so I'm pretty comfortable using them instead of the official 3DR products, which I believe are no longer being offered. I'll update after it arrives and I install it.

      • Finally! The clone APM I ordered from China arrived today. I quickly installed the firmware, did the Accel calibration and installed it on my quad. Then I completed all the other calibrations, including the ESC. Finally, I went through the parameters - entered the local magnetic declination (-.070 for my location) and everything checks out.

        I will charge up a battery and take it out for a test flight later.

  • I wanted to add for clarification... when hooked up to mission planner, the compass is working.  I can rotate (spin) along a vertical axis and the heading changes.  Last I used my drone, auto compass calibration was just being developed.  As I recall (it's been about 1.5 years)... I uploaded the new firmware to my drone and didn't get to fly it after that.

    Not sure why I am getting the samples 0, error 99 the very second it opens the calibration screen.  Nothing works on the calibration screen after that.

    Thanks.

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