Hi folks !
After finally out growing (crashing in spectacular style) my second hand Parrot AR. I took the plunge and after watching lots of videos by painless 360 and Joshua Bardwell I ordered my parts for my first budget quad copter.
Frame Rooster (clone)
FC Omnibus F4 w BEC, PDB, OSD
TX FS i6s
RX FS-A8s (clone)
Lipo. 3s 1500 mah 35c x 2
Esc. Emax 12a Blhelli which came as a kit with some unbranded 2205 2300kv motors
I wanted to get it LOS flying for around £200 and as I was under budget had a couple of ciders and bought a Matek VTX HV, lollipop antenna run cam split 2s and a thing to turn my smartphone into FPV Google’s, but I haven’t got that far into the build yet.
All was going well, lap top, iPad, soldering iron, coffee, lots of coffee, and a box full of electronics.
TX hooked up to volecidrone, beta flight installed and communicating with the FC, FC updated. Time to get started. Frame put together easy, motors fitted, ESCs wired to the motors and FC battery lead and smoke stopper connected and the motors all spun in the right direction, great.
Except the motors would only run at low power very low power. Hmm try updating the ESCs and BLheli couldn’t see them also my rx had a solid light so I was thinking it was bound but not responding in beta flight. I tried all sorts eventually I had re soldered and changed things about so much that I’ve de laminated the pad for the signal wire on motor 1 I’ve tried sending it to a uart but nothing and the motors won’t even spin, I think the ESCs are bad so I’ve ordered some new parts spadix 20a ESCs the type you don’t have to worry which way the wires go and a matek F405 STD and FC Hub PDB. Hopefully this thread will get some interest so I can rebuild with a bit of coaching.
Welcome to the forum Damo. As soon as I saw that you listed 12A ESCs, I knew you'd run into problems. In fact, you may still have issues with those 20A Spedix ESCs as a standard 2205 2300kv motor will pull up to 30 amps. As for your issue with BLHeli not reading your ESCs, keep in mind there are 2 versions that look almost identical. One for BLHeli_S and one for BLHeli32
Regarding the receiver there are a few things that need to be set correctly in betaflight in order for the signal to show up on the receiver tab and then from there a few other things you may need to do. First things I check are in the ports tab make sure the serial rx is selected for the correct UART (sometimes this takes some guessing but ideally look for documentation on your FC for which port is the correct one, typically not UART1 since that's used for USB rx/tx too in most cases). Once you think you have the correct ports serial rx toggled the next thing to set is in the configuration tab, there is a receiver protocol drop down you'll need to select the correct protocol:
^^ think this vid probably covers it but I don't have that receiver so can't test here either.
Once you have correct port on ports tab and protocol in configuration tab then you should be seeing values change when you go to the receiver tab and move sticks around. Next thing is to make sure the sticks/channels are mapped correctly for pitch/roll/throttle/yaw for spektrum I need to use TAER1234 for the mapping but either find instructions for you receiver or do a bit of guess and check until they all move as expected. Last thing is check the range on the sticks, if not going from 1000-2000 then you need to set rxrange in the terminal. Not too hard but instructions here to not repeat things:
When setting up a new quadcopter/drone, it is important to match your transmitter endpoints with the flight controller endpoints but this can be a frustrating process. Fortunately there is a largely undocumented feature which might help. When making any configuration changes to your quadcopter...
Once that is set next step for me is setting deadband values so any little drift of values around 1500 don't cause the quad to actually respond I usually end up with a value of 5 or so on my deadband (basically makes very close to mid stick or small jitter do nothing).
After that I go into modes and setup arming switch and angle mode or any other modes I might want to use occasionally to map to switches and then as a final final thing can set rates in the PID tuning section to make the middle stick more dampened and increase make rotation at end of sticks (basically bumping the super rate or RC rate up a bit to make the curves more flat in the middle and fast at the ends... this depends on preference maybe something to come back to after flying for a bit).
Be sure and remove the smoke stopper before you try running the motors hard, one build I did almost freaked until I realized the smoke stopper was limiting voltage to the escs, causing them to failsafe or something lol.
Removed the smoke stopper and that thing still flies flies great!!
well I bought new ESCs and flight controller, followed the advice, and everything works.
Im working in a very large warehouse at the moment that is under construction, I am able to work late, so when everyone had gone I had the perfect environment for my first test flight. The night before I did all my checks and everything was fine so installed the props and put my new quad and controller in my bag.
Armed the quad and with the slightest of movement of the throttle she was gone, I mean like on the ceiling disarmed and she cut out and broke two props.
now when I say slight i mean like touch the throttle. how do I tame this beast.
Hrm well that's less than ideal. First thing I'd check is the receiver input tab show a screenshot of that with everything idle on the transmitter vs full throttle on the transmitter. Second thing to check would be FC mounting because if it is too loose or moving around relative to the frame then the heavy vibrations can get past the filtering and cause throttle runaway basically. That said be sure your arming switch is setup so you can quickly disarm with flick of a switch when the quad is doing something unexpected.
If you just mean it's overly punchy you can use lower pitch props or if using 4S batteries can probably go down to 3S if it's just too zippy as is, but not sure if you meant complete loss of control/fly off on it's own or simply too sensitive.
Its almost like the rest position of my Tx is dodgy
I have my arm switch set to a 2position sholder switch click arm and the motors spin at low rpm
I litterally put my thumb on the stick ready to give it some throttle and they are at high rpm and i have to physically push down on the stick beyond the rest position to calm the throttle
ive adjued my end point but now she wont arm.
im just having some lunch then will get back to it snd post some photos
thanks for your help
No prob yah sounds like endpoints are wrong maybe (should go from 1000 at bottom value to 2000 for top value, if they are a different range can be easily fixed in the terminal using rxrange) or possibly just something flakey with the throttle potentiometers or connection.
Just in betaflight does the throttle number jump significantly around when moving throttle or look relatively correct, basically wondering if betaflight appears to get the right input from the receiver and it's fairly accurate looking there.
Other thing that may be worth doing is running ESC calibration, pretty easy process just have props off and set motors to full power in the motors tab before hooking up battery when ESCs start with the full throttle signal they'll go into calibration. Then reduce motor slider to zero and should hear confirmation tones.
Guess other thing to do here is activate blackbox logging so next time you give it a shot can get the data from the flight attempt or testing afterwards and see what it's doing in some more detail.
There is a separate app for opening the blackbox logs and playing them back but guess that might help debug the issue(s) too.
Ah okay yah so definitely sounds like that's the issue, problem is I have no idea how to fix this one so shooting in the dark a bit now. I would double check the receiver signal line to the FC and make sure the receiver is getting sufficient voltage supplied (just checking specs between receiver and FC). Also maybe something to do with the protocol selected in the configuration tab (in general this is all or nothing, right or wrong but worth checking anyway).
Also just to be sure it's not just general slowness in betaflight would look on setup tab and see when you move the quad around in the real world the animation is responsive. Just want to rule out computer/betaflight introducing the lag you're seeing on the receiver tab.