Step 28: Tuning and Calibration

Charge and strap in your battery. You must learn to ARM and DISARM your helicopter first, get good at this since you must disarm your helicopter as soon as something goes wrong. For the AeroQuad software, to ARM and DISARM, lower the throttle joystick to the bottom, and the move it left for DISARM and right for ARM. With my circuit and modified software, LED3 being lit means the helicopter is ARMED.

This should be the first time when you have your motors running. Make sure you always have a good solid hold on the frame such that you will not be harmed by the spinning propellers. Also wear eye protection! Tuning is best done with two people, one person to hold the RC radio transmitter, and the other person to hold the helicopter.

First, read this: Pre-Flight Checkout List

Turn on the helicopter with the propellers installed. Run the configurator to calibrate all the ESCs (follow the provided official instructions). Make sure they spin according to the rotor spin direction diagram. If a motor needs to be reversed, then recall what I said about swapping the wires between the ESC and the motor.

There are several parameters that you can tune.

The transmit factor is there to adjust the sensitivity of your RC radio transmitter. This value depends on your personal piloting skills and preference. The smoothing factors are the constants for low-pass-filtering the RC PWM signals, leave them at the default values unless your transmitter is very noisy.

Perform a sanity test by using default values. Raising the throttle should move all 4 motors faster. Trying to yaw will cause two motors which spin in the same direction will spin faster than the other two. Trying to pitch or roll will cause opposing motors to spin at different speeds. You should be able to feel the forces with your hand that is holding the helicopter. Also use your hand to introduce forces, and the helicopter should respond by applying counteracting forces appropriately. If something doesn't make sense, a value is probably reversed/negative in the software, use the configurator to identify it and correct it in the Arduino sketch.

You can also adjust the PID constants to suit your airframe. Start off with the default values. The P term is adjusted first, try and rotate the helicopter by hand while it is flying, raise the P value until the helicopter resists your hand very well, but lower it if the helicopter oscillates. Do this for all three axis.

AeroQuad's documentation do not suggest you adjust the I term for acrobatic mode. It also says "A negative D value is used to help the AeroQuad change faster to a level position after forward flight. It is possible to leave D = 0 and still see attitude flight. Using a negative D value is only needed based on user preference."

My summarized version about PID tuning is really short, for more detail, please see: Also see the official AeroQuad Configurator documentation for more details about tuning stuff.
<p>if anyone has made it can you plz mail me the information how to make it in easier manner </p><p>mail me at deepak.electrical@gmail.com</p>
<p>Hai .. im memal raj i have same like helicopter . its not flying .. so anybody have technical idea pls give</p>
<p>hi there: is it possible to make the same project by using the pascal language .</p><p>i'm a delphi programer but i have never test this language in the electronics projects</p><p>finally thx.</p><p>with all kinds of regards: bravesofts.</p>
<p>how much weight it can lift..please give me ur mobile or mobile number i want more details i am going to do this for my finel year project...</p><p>my details</p><p>phone:9942497717 , 9655867717</p><p>call4karthikeyan@gmail.com</p>
<p>Awesome explanation! We put together a little infographic to make it easier for people to visualize the difference too: </p><p>http://www.dollarhobbyz.com/blog/ask-dh-brushed-vs-brushless-motors/</p>
<p>The PCB is really making me difficult, do we have any other alternative please..</p><p>or can we get it in the market?</p><p>Thank You</p><p>Please Reply...</p>
<p>Hi,</p><p> i want to caliberate the flight control board with out remote. how to make the FCB belive that i'm using a remote by actually using an arduino.<br></p>
<p>Hi there I have a quad assembly and testing program, but after what I mean by a motor that is connected to port d 6 Flayt control engine speed when Tratel between 1750 and 1800 to 1200, but the rest are I Zhstnd parts:</p><p>Nano's control Flayt Speed Contra Emacs 30 Amps Fvtaba 6 channel radio control Emacs engine 2213 2200 mAh lithium-polymer battery 3Sl And the quad is x Engine and engine calibration, and I even got Flayt Test and again I had a problem like this in the links below to see video software Please help<a href="http://uplod.ir/9dvyai16anxg/arm...33.mp4.htm" rel="nofollow">http://uplod.ir/9dvyai16anxg/arm...33.mp4.htm</a>http://h1.asset.aparat.com/public/user_data/flv_video_new/685/909a206786b90312c1d2fe682f3d71532052749.mp4</p><p>hamzh.shahabadi@gmail.com or masih.azin@yahoo.com</p>
<p>How much did this project cost you?</p>
<p>hi i have an arduino uno how can i use that to make the quadcopter. i already bought the frame and cables but i havent bought any electical things i need to use the arduino </p>
<p>You can buy an ardupilot or similar system. Look up &quot;Arduino Quadcopter&quot;</p>
<p>At a mining mum you need a gyroscope and custom code. There are tutorials online.</p>
Great looking project. I was wondering if anyone has tried this basic design using shrouded or ducted fans in place of open propellers?
<p>Search edf quadcopter on YouTube.</p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>That's a great share. Thank you so much. I want to ask a question. I want to build a quadrotor with a camera. I want to control the angle of camera. Is it possible?</p>
<p>Search &quot;quadcopter gimbal&quot; on the internet. You can make one with servos.</p>
<p>Nice build! I'm thinking of building one but maybe using a prebuilt controller instead of the Arduino. However, as the final aim would be to lift a raspberry pi and digital point and shoot camera (total weight 400g) will the configuration you've made lift an additional 400g mass comfortably? Thansks! </p>
<p>It is possible, though you would want a light battery, possibly a 4 cell lipo, and larger props to improve power. I recommend the KK2.1 board for a prebuilt flight controller.</p>
<p>can you give me the working source code for quadcopter,because code given in github was wrong .....</p><p>if anybody have code for ATmega644PA please email me on yogeshmane153@gmail.com </p><p>thanks .....</p>
<p>you give some diagrams here but they are not clear . i can't read component names . i face difficulty to arrange components as shown in figures .they are very small . so can you provide neat and clean diagram frank sir plzzzzz</p><p>thanks</p>
<p>Hi Frank Sir</p><p>This article is very useful to make quadcopter. I read all steps and follow all instructions .</p><p>I buy all components mention in this step 9. but question is this how can i assemble solder connect all components. i don't have any complete circuit diagram.</p><p>so can you provide me a complete circuit diagram of quadcopter to join all components.</p>
<p>hi i have an arduino uno how can i use that to make the quadcopter. i already bought the frame and cables but i havent bought any electical things i need to use the arduino </p>
<p>this the video of the error i posted earlier <br>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qoc4k1FEY6c</p>
<p>I am using a nanowii board for QUAD + with D2830-11 1000kv motors, turnigy plush 18 Amp ESC's and a zippy flightmax 3S1P 5000mah battery <br>the TX-RX is a turnigy 9x V2</p><p>I am able calibrate the throttle individually for all the ESC but when i arm them, 3 of them work fine but the 4th one keeps on doing 'beep'-'beep' with an interval of about 2 seconds</p><p>The rest 3 motors work according to the throttle but the third one(bottom one) keeps on making that noise no matter what i do</p><p>could anyone tell me what the problem is?</p>
i want to download this file but it is asking to create a pro account.my parents will not allow to do this.if it is free i am happy .I am requesting all members of instructables.com
<a href="http://download.instructables.com/ESD/4IGV/GP2DLGHA/RC-Quadrotor-Helicopter.pdf?Expires=1388330747&Signature=cGvfCm4kJEE-mEG1dz55Pbe6fUKd135Z-1ovISYwewdIPbrxIgdfKQz7L7jB6PjNnMC5g1eNXH026Lfg9xm7FMxBAFz7F62Yg6NwBW6USrb6J-RfzCzkA62iKW7wcazeaWfSxkBqZfxiWdy9M-ocqyjLlQ9~1xnn1UbujRji8u0_&Key-Pair-Id=APKAI44RD4FFAGO7EV3A" rel="nofollow">http://download.instructables.com/ESD/4IGV/GP2DLGHA/RC-Quadrotor-Helicopter.pdf?Expires=1388330747&amp;Signature=cGvfCm4kJEE-mEG1dz55Pbe6fUKd135Z-1ovISYwewdIPbrxIgdfKQz7L7jB6PjNnMC5g1eNXH026Lfg9xm7FMxBAFz7F62Yg6NwBW6USrb6J-RfzCzkA62iKW7wcazeaWfSxkBqZfxiWdy9M-ocqyjLlQ9~1xnn1UbujRji8u0_&amp;Key-Pair-Id=APKAI44RD4FFAGO7EV3A</a>
Thanks for your great instruction. But I wonder why you set OCR1n =pw*2? in step 13? Wont it immediately jump out of the loop? <br>And can you let me know what kind of logic analyzer you use? <br>Thanks a bunch! :) <br>
pw * 2 doesn't change pw at all, it only &quot;returns&quot; a number that is twice what pw was, but pw is not modified.<br><br>I use Saleae Logic as the logic analyzer.
This <a href="http://www.nitrotek.fr/helicopteres-rc.html" rel="nofollow">Quadcopter </a> is excellent. I had been really looking forward to if you would be so kind to tell me, where do you ask for the frame kit, fans and motors. I really want to do this job it's just my favorite one thanks for sharing.
Amazing :) wish I had that much talent
can we move the helicomper in the left and right direction
I have a Multiwii Microwii flight controller and I am able to arm the motors but not disarm them. <br> <br>Thanks for the quick response, <br>Nikhil
Hey Frank, <br> <br>I finally finished making the quadrotor but I was wondering how to turn it off. <br>It's kind of a stupid question but are you just supposed to unplug the battery or is it necessary to install a switch
Safety the quadcopter (it's a stick command). There is a LED that indicates safety. Once it's safe, unplug the battery.<br><br>A true kill switch that can handle that much current is not feasible
where do u put the 12 gauge sandard cord wire <br>
How do you use the battery monitor and battery charger ?
hi <br>i cant use avrdude is there any other program to use the bootloader and please if you can explain how to use avrdude and plz plz upload the docs in any site other than google code because i cant use google code if you can please email it to me
Frank <br>could i use Arduino mini for my flight controller instead of designing my own cause I dont understand how to design it at all <br> <br>Thank you <br>Please Reply <br> <br>
Yea, just look at AeroQuad Mini, or MultiWiiCopter, both of them actually use the Arduino Mini
so just to be sure instead of doing step 9 I would just substitute your microcontroller with Arduino mini and still follow the rest of the steps <br> <br>Oh and can you give a link of the Arduino mini to buy because I'm really confused <br> <br>Thank you
Frank <br>My previous comment has been there for a long time and you still havent responded <br>Please reply <br>
He replied right above you,<br> <br> <strong><em>Aug 3, 2012. 10:22 PM<br> Yea, just look at AeroQuad Mini, or MultiWiiCopter, both of them actually use the Arduino Mini</em></strong>
Frank <br> <br>Your Quadcopter is an excellent one. I was just wishing that if you would kindly tell me , from where did you order the frame kit, fans and the motors. <br> <br>If you would be kind, can i have your email address. <br> <br>Thanks.
I like the store Hobby King, that's where I buy everything<br><br>My email is on my website, in the title as an image so spam bots can't detect it.
Hi Frank, <br> <br>Amazing instructable you've created! I'm currently nearing the final stages and am about to program but was just wondering about a couple of things as I'm new to all this and completing this for a school project. <br> <br>Just wondering with the solder jumpers, if the solder jumps across the whole thing (3v3 and 5v as well as ser0 and ser1) or if you choose which to use, and whether all 4 LED's should be lit when it is plugged in for programming, as currently only LED-PWR and LED1 are lit <br> <br>Thanks! <br> <br>
I was extremely impressed by this project and I've decided to try to make one myself. I was hoping that you still have at least one leftover blank PCB because it would save me the trouble of having them shipped from elsewhere. I live in Ontario as well so you shipping to me would be far easier than shipping from the U.S most likely. <br> <br>I plan to start building this in my school&acirc;€™s manufacturing shop so I would like to get my hands on a PCB sooner than later. I would earnestly appreciate a quick reply. <br> <br>Sincerely, Alexander

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Bio: I am an electrical engineer. I graduated from U of Waterloo. I used to work for Adafruit Industries as an EE. Now I work for ... More »
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