PID setting for MultiWii Copters - RC Groups
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Apr 17, 2011, 11:11 PM
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PID setting for MultiWii Copters

I orginaly posted this some time back and have been asked multiple times for it, so here it is, easy to find with a few edits from further learning/tuning experience.....

Let me define CSD as transmitter Control Stick Displacement. In the case of MultiWii, 1500 is center, so the control channel receiver output -1500 is CSD. This value will be positive or negative number depending on direction of stick displacement

And define GYRO as the gyro output. The gyro(s) are calibrated to zero at start up. Sense of angular velocity is a positive or negative number depending on direction of rotation. GYRO is a measurement of angular velocity like degrees/second or RPM.

There are 4 items that make up the output of the PID forumula.

1) CSD

2) P is GYRO *times* the P coefficient. "P" will always try to stop any and all angular velocity(pitch, roll or yaw movements). This result drives GYRO back to zero and stops motion.

3) I is the cumulative sum of the CSD - GYRO. This is trying to match the GYRO to CSD meaning the CSD is really trying to act like a request for angular velocity(gyro output). If the angular velocity matches the perceived CSD request for angular velocity the result would be zero. Don't forget it's cumulative, each time it's calculated, it's added to the previous result. So the "I" term can and will "wind up" but is limited to a maxium sum which is about +/-20 degrees of rotation. This "I" term is what I think of as heading hold. The best way to tune the "I" term is to watch what happens when you release an input. If the machine coasts to a stop then increase the "I" term, if the machine rebounds and actualy corrects back the way you can from then reduce "I". With a properly tuned "I" term, the machine should STOP when you stop your inputs.

4) The D is change(delta) of GYRO from the previous reading (last 4 readings actualy). "D" is trying to do is prevent angular acceleration. This was the part that I did not previously understand. If the angular velocity stays constant (no angular acceleration) the result of the "D" term is zero.

This is still from the original post, please note that from version 1.7 the negative sign has been removed from the "D" coefficient:
Today I used this newfound understanding to go back and retune my tri & quad and I am very pleased with the results. The Tri is large, about 38" dia, the quad is small and squirrly @ 17" diameter. The feedback frequency (wobble) is very fast on the quad and much slower on the tri due to their size difference. They are both pretty light.

In both cases I decreased the pitch & roll "D" to absolute maximum(Note this is a negative value). I can see no downside to this and in both cases I was able to increase "P" as well because the large "D" coefficient trys to resist angular acceleration which dampens the feedback (wobble) normaly caused by a large "P". Both machines are now flying better and the low throttle descent wobble has been greatly reduced/nearly eliminated.

Both machines fly like submarines now. They are so well dampened that it's like flying in water rather than air

One more thing to be aware of is the tail servo output response on a tri does not include the "I" term at low throttle. This is to prevent "wind up" on lift off preventing a large yaw jump. Because of this, I as I compaired the servo response with my PID changes, I was confused until I finaly figured this out!!! To observe the real yaw servo output, move the throttle stick to hover position (motors on or off).

Hope some of this makes sense, it took a LONG time to get thru my thick head!
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Aug 21, 2011, 09:30 PM
Registered User
This is great.
Thank you!

I flew so much today I seized a bearing - haven't had this much fun with the quad since I built it.
Do you crank the "D" all the way on your quad yaw as well?

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