DJI Mini 3 and 3 Pro – Calibrate Compass, Gimbal, Controller, and IMU

With a drone, we all want to spend our time having fun and shooting sensational footage and photos in beautiful locations. But from time to time there are some less exciting tasks that need to be done

The calibration of the IMU, compass, gimbal, and remote controller is part of the maintenance tasks for any drone, it helps the components to operate correctly. In the case of the Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro, calibrations are rarely required compared to previous models of the DJI Prosumer line

In this article, I will show how to perform all the different calibrations needed with the Mini 3 and 3 Pro and I will explain their purpose

If you are interested in the functionalities of the Mini 3 or the Mini 3 Pro, you might find these articles interesting

If You Prefer to Watch This As a Video

How to Calibrate the IMU in the Mini 3 Pro

What is the IMU?

IMU stands for Inertia Movement Unit. It utilizes several components of the aircraft, like the gyroscope, the barometer, the thermometer, and the accelerometer to keep the drone flying in a smooth, stable, balanced way

I perform the calibration of the IMU on two occasions: when I receive a prompt on the screen to calibrate it, or when the drone has an unexpected flight behavior

Calibrate the IMU in case of erratic flight behavior

If the aircraft is unable to fly in a straight line, doesn’t maintain the altitude, drifts while hovering, or doesn’t respond appropriately to the sticks of the remote controller, the first thing to do is calibrate the IMU

Other occasions when the calibration is suggested is after traveling long distance, after big elevation changes, like for a trip to the mountains, or when the temperature is drastically different from usual

IMU Calibration

Let’s see how to do the calibration. First of all, we choose an area far from metal and free from interference. We place the aircraft on a horizontal, level, and perfectly flat surface with the wings folded

Make sure to have a decent amount of battery time both in the drone and in the remote control. After a flight, it is suggested to wait a few minutes to cool down

IMU calibration in the Safety tab of Settings
IMU calibration in the Safety tab of Settings

In DJI Fly app, we tap on the three dots at the top right of the screen to access the Settings. We select the Safety tab, the first one to the left

We scroll down until we find IMU Normal, and hit Calibrate. We are presented with a screen that guides us to the steps needed for the calibration. We are asked to place the drone in five different positions

On-screen instruction for IMU calibration
  • Position 1 – We start by positioning it laterally with the camera facing to the left, we can then hit the Start button at the bottom of the screen. The calibration starts in this position, which is the first one of the five required. To the right of the screen, a circle shows the progress of the first step
  • Position 2 – Sitting on the left side of the aircraft, with the power switch facing us and the camera to the left
  • Position 3 – We put the drone belly up with the camera facing to the right
  • Position 4 – With the aircraft on its right side, with the camera facing to the right
  • Position 5 – The drone standing on the back, showing us the right side

Finally, we place the Mini 3 in the first position and the aircraft will restart

Calibrating the IMU of the Mini 3 Pro

It is a bit like the Mini 3 doing some yoga. I have made a quick video to better show the different positions, it should help to get them correctly

How to Calibrate the Compass of the Mini 3 and Pro 

The purpose of the compass is to compute the position of the drone and of the home point. It is particularly important in the case of a Return to Home. We calibrate it only when prompted by the app

Compass calibration in the Safety tab of Settings
Compass calibration in the Safety tab of Settings

The procedure is extremely simple. We go again to the tab Safety of the Settings and just above the item for the calibration of the IMU, we find the one for the calibration of the Compass

We make sure to be far from metal and objects with an electrical charge. The aircraft must be kept at a height of about 1.5 meters from the ground, about 5 feet, which is for most people at shoulder height

Calibrating the compass of the Mini 3 Pro

After hitting the Start button, simply follow the instruction on the screen: first, rotate the drone 360 degrees in a horizontal position, then turn it to a vertical position and do the same

How to Calibrate the Gimbal of the Mini 3 and 3 Pro 

Unlike the IMU and the compass, the gimbal calibration doesn’t impact the flight behavior but acts upon the alignment of the camera. The reason why we want to proceed to a gimbal calibration is in most cases when the horizon is uneven, often after a small crash or a hard landing

Any time it is switched on the Mini 3 operates a sort of basic calibration of the gimbal

Gimbal calibration is in the Control tab of Settings
Gimbal calibration is in the Control tab of Settings

In the Settings, we go to the Control tab and scroll down until we find Gimbal Calibration, there is a choice between Auto and Manual. Let’s start with the Auto calibration

As for the IMU, we must place the drone on a level surface, this time with open wings

Calibrating the gimbal of the Mini 3Pro

Immediately after hitting the Auto button, the calibration starts: the camera moves horizontally and then vertically for a few seconds and the trick is done

For the manual calibration, we hit the link below Auto. We are presented with two values we can modify. The first one is the rotation of the camera, the second is the horizontal alignment

How to Calibrate the Remote Controller of the Mini 3 and 3 Pro

The remote controller contains a compass to detect its position, similar to the one of the drone. On some rare occasions, we may be prompted to calibrate the controller itself by a message on the upper left part of the screen of the RC controller

Calibrating the compass of the RC controller

The procedure for calibration is extremely simple and it is explained on screen. It is very similar to the calibration of the compass of the drone, by simply rotating the controller horizontally and then vertically

How to summon the calibration of the RC controller

With the RC controller with the built-in screen, it is possible to summon the compass calibration of the controller. In order to do that, we scroll down twice on the screen with a finger to reach the menu window. We then hit the gear icon at the top right and then we choose Compass Calibration

More details about the RC controller with a built-in screen are in my dedicated article

More Info and Examples are in This Video

VicVideoPic

I am Vittorio Caramazza, aka Vicvideopic, the founder of this website and author of all the posts. I am a videographer and photographer contributing to several stock agencies. I am an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop and Lightroom. I have 10 years of experience with dron videography and photography. I was struck by drone syndrome in 2013. I have owned and tested in depth the following drones: Phantom 3, Phantom 4, Phantom 4 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic Mini, Mini 2, Air 2, Air 2s, Autel Evo Nano Plus, Mavic 3, Mini 3 Pro, Mini 3. My home has turned into a breeding ground for drones. I am the owner of two YouTube channels specializing in Videography and Photography, with a focus on drones My main channel is VicVideopic (in English): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgaBlrFDONJ4BSEUHa2cLKg My other channel is Drone Mitico, the Italian version.: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkeoY8rPPj-fypUKHckTtwQ I am currently based in Sicily (Southern Italy), but I tend to move quite often. After all, this is one of the main benefits of being a digital nomad…

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