(To see a list of all my Quadcopter blogs, click here).
With everything physically in place and power at the flight controller, I’m ready get the motors running.
Most of what I have done here came from this good video:
But I have included some other steps from other sources.
Radio Transmitter Calibration
- Leave wires between ESCs and motors disconnected
- Turn on the radio
- Plug in QC power
- Scroll down to Sensor Test on FC. Press Enter. All sensors should indicate OK. Then press Back button.
- Scroll back up to Receiver test and press enter.
- Move each stick left, right, up and down. Verify that the controls are received properly. In my case, several were backwards. Moving left rudder gave me right rudder and pulling back on the elevator actually moved it forward. This is fixed by going into your radio configuration and reversing the incorrect channels.
- Let all controls go to neutral and throttle to idle. Set the trims on the radio to all be centered. Now use subtrims to zero the values on the FC.
- Assign a switch to channel 5, Aux which is self leveling. I fixed mine so when the switch is OFF self leveling is on. The radio won’t turn on with a switch on, so this guarantees I start in self leveling.
- Verify the switch does what you want in the FC’s receiver test.
- Exit the receiver test and go to load motor layout.
- Select the quadcopter motor layout. I want quadcopter + X mode.
- Go into Show Motor Layout to verify it is correct.
As I understand it, this calibration gets all of the ESCs set at the same levels so all motors start and stop at the same time (and I’m guessing get the same amount of power).
This is a somewhat hard to describe step. Watch the video, because you are going to be listening for beeps. For my KK 2.1, I listen for 2 short beeps at full throttle, then 1 short beep at idle.
- Props MUST be removed. There is a chance the motors will spin. I’ve done this step several times and have had them spin a few times which was quite surprising. It would have been even moreso had there been props installed.
- Turn on Radio Transmitter
- Move Throttle to full power – if you forget this step, start over. I’ve moved the throttle from idle to full in the middle of the step and had the motors start.
- Plug in Power to QC
- Quickly press buttons 1 and 4 on the FC and you will see: Throttle Pass-Through
- Listen for the Full throttle calibration sound (2 short beeps)
- Move the throttle to idle
- Listen for the idle throttle sound (one short beep)
- Release the buttons on the FC
- If the ESCs are still beeping after you release the buttons, it didn’t work right – do it again.
Motor Direction Testing
Now the motors need to be tested to verify they turn in the proper direction.
- Use the Show Motor Layout menu item on the FC to verify the proper rotation direction of all of your motors.
- Disconnect all motors from ESCs except motor 1.
- Remove props if necessary and put a bit of tape on each motor spindle to help see which way it rotates.
- Power up quadcopter
- Move rudder/throttle to lower right corner to ARM the QC
- Slowly increase throttle and verify direction of the motor
- If the motor spins in the wrong direction, swap wires A and C (non-ground) between the motor and the ESC.
- Listen for any odd noises that might indicate vibration problems.
- Moving the QC will cause the motor to speed up/slow down as it tries to self-level.
- Disarm by moving rudder/throttle to lower left.
- repeat for the other 3 motors.
- Put the QC on a level surface
- Go to the ACC Calibration Menu Item and press Enter
- Follow the on display instructions
I then cleaned up the wiring, mounted the base plate and I’m about ready to work on propellers.