Magnetometer calibration for HoverflyGIMBAL.

In order to calibrate the magnetometer, each end of each of the 3 axes must be faced towards magnetic north.  We do this to get the max and minimum values read on each axis so we can scale them to be equal to each other.

There are two methods for calibrating the HoverflyGIMBAL detailed below. Use the method you find to be easiest.

For either of these, the following are important:

  • You must be outside and removed from sources of electromagnetic interference, such as power lines. (Watch out for USB cables that have magnetic chokes on them, usually a cylinder around the wire near one end.)
  • The HoverflyGIMBAL must be mounted to the camera mount prior to performing this calibration.
  • The HoverflyGIMBAL must be connected to a laptop or other device capable of running the HoverflyGIMBAL Setup Client (Configurator).

Method 1:

  1. In the HoverflyGIMBAL Setup Client, under "Configuration & Calibration," choose "Compass Calibration."
  2. Hold the HoverflyGIMBAL so that the front is pointing away towards magnetic north. (The "front" of the HoverflyGIMBAL is the side which has the power connector, labelled "POWER.")
  3. Choose "Begin Calibration."
  4. Rotate the HoverflyGIMBAL so that the front of the board points downward, then south (upside down), then upwards, and finally back to north.  The HoverflyGIMBAL should make a complete forward roll. Unlike a gyro or accelerometer calibration, you do not need to be particularly steady while doing this, so long as full rotation occurs.
  5. Turn the gimbal 90 degrees to the right, so that the left side of the board (which contains the bank of connector pins) is pointed towards magnetic north.
  6. Repeat step 2 with the left side of the board pointing down, south, up, and north again.

Method 2:

  1. In the HoverflyGIMBAL Setup Client, under "Configuration & Calibration," choose "Compass Calibration."
  2. Choose a facing of the HoverflyGIMBAL (front, back, left, right, top, or bottom).
  3. Point the chosen facing towards magnetic north.
  4. Choose "Begin Calibration."
  5. Keeping the facing pointed towards magnetic north, move the HoverflyGIMBAL up and down, left and right. You will see that the magnetometer minimum and maximum values will change as you do so. Continue moving the board in this fashion until those values stabilize.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for all facings.


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