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Feb 23, 2016, 05:42 PM
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Delta Ray - Stabilized by a multirotor flight controller

Along with changing out Delta Ray motors and wanting to use traditional ESCs I've been looking at mostly inexpensive flight controller and receiver alternatives to replace the DR SAFE receiver that includes a number of other features that are either necessary or desirable to replace/improve:

- Twin electronic speed controls (for standard 180 brushed motors)
- Stabilization including rate correction, auto-leveling, angle limits, & panic
- Elevon mixing of aileron and elevator channels
- Differential thrust control via rudder stick

Not having seen many long or active threads about using a CC3D flight controller with Open Pilot firmware for fixed wing really slowed down my search. It was on the radar very early, but I've tried a variety of other gyros due to the lack of good fixed wing info about the package.

Late last year two threads encouraged me to give it a try for a couple of my planes, including the Delta Ray.

- Using an OpenPilot CopterController as a Rate and Auto-level fixed wing stabiliser

- Brushless Delta Ray Conversion with Flight Stabilization

Below are some pictures of the FC mounted to replace the DR RX.
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Feb 23, 2016, 05:43 PM
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Open Pilot offers several flight modes. The list below excludes modes not supported by CC3D.

Stabilization Modes

Acro+ = It allows the pilot to go from very modest rates to full on madness.

Attitude = The user controls the orientation of the craft. sticks center mean level, full deflection is a fixed maximum bank angle. Good for beginners.

AxisLock = Same as Rate but less drift, useful especially for Yaw control. (I've been told not to use this on fixed wing.)

Manual = The user controls actuators directly.

Rate = The user controls how fast the craft turns around that axis. Good for aerobatic flight.

Rattitude = Crazy! Fly like in Attitude but do flips and rolls!

WeakLeveling = Letting go of sticks slowly levels vehicle.


Several stabilization parameters that can be configured for each mode.
Last edited by GottaZoom; Mar 03, 2016 at 02:05 AM.
Feb 23, 2016, 05:44 PM
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25 Feb - Tons of power comes on quick, the motors are still not powering up evenly and the rudder is WAY too touchy ... gonna need to try some expo and play with the settings some more.

1 Mar - Zeroed out the differential thrust and the motors are now even. Tracks straight on runway. Very brief maiden. Lots more power than stock, initial impression is that Attitude mode (6 axis) is very smooth.

5 Mar - some quick raw notes for later since I was away from home and couldn't do any tuning.

There is a slight rate oscillation (mostly on pitch, I believe) so I'll turn the gain back down a little (or a lot - found I had more than doubled gain so will be testing closer to wizard levels when weather allows) and hopefully take the laptop to the flying field for an extended tuning session. It could be the gyro is loose (I used the sticky pad that came with it and may replace it with some thicker pad), but it was do even in all orientations so I suspect it is gain. Same problem with one of the ESC mounting pads. (Quick and dirty mount still seems solid - it will be improved but not immediately)

I also need to add a few degrees of angle to the unit mount orientation to level it out a bit. It was OK into wind but decidedly nose down otherwise. (I recalibrated and it seems OK now.)

14 Mar - Changes made clear improvement. Still want to improve it a little bit when I can really set up for a tuning session.

16 Mar - Moved up to using 100% rates with 40% expo with arms still in stock holes. Roll was much better, though not axial. Some flutter/oscillation noticeable when flying against strong wind at full speed.
Last edited by GottaZoom; Mar 16, 2016 at 05:20 PM.
Mar 28, 2016, 04:43 PM
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26 Mar - Went to the field prepared to do some stabilization tuning. Unfortunately I messed up again with stabilization settings. Still not positive, but I think switching from bank 1 settings to bank 2 settings may have been the cause.

On the positive side, I can now show a view of the install from the inside (where the nose used to be. Now easy to see the remote receiver.
Jul 18, 2016, 05:14 PM
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A while back it occurred to me that one could use a multirotor PDB (power distribution board) for sharing power to the DR's motors. Plus there would be pads that could be used for LEDs, a UBEC, etc. The images below are just one example - this one has manual sliders on the back edge to turn on/off the low current pads.

I've been thinking of robbing the CC3D EVO for another project and replacing it with a different uncased board - then I could stack the boards,, being careful to ensure separation/insulation.

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