Newbie can't fly - RC Groups
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Nov 07, 2017, 07:20 PM
Newbie Can't Fly
Discussion

Newbie can't fly


Hello everyone! I am a college student and for a project we are working on building a quadcopter. Eventually the goal of the project is to take off the flight controller and build our own. But for now we are just learning about them in general. We are trying to build our first quadcopter and are having problems. Right now I am so confused I'm not even sure what our problem is!

Here is the equipment we are trying to use:

Flysky FS-I6 with FS-IA6B receiver.
F4 Flame Race Spec STM32F405 Flight Controller.
Racestar RS20Ax4 20A 4in1 ESC
And a power distribution board.

I'm not even sure where to start with how lost we are....

With my setup, should I be doing PPM or iBus?

Does anyone know how to calibrate these ESC's and gotten it to work? I have the manual for the BLheli firmware, and it is supposed to beep a certain pattern, but we can't get it to follow the pattern in the manual.

My tx says I'm bound to my rx, but my ESC never sees any throttle.

I'm sure that I need to answer more questions before we can figure out what to do, so please ask me whatever more details you need to know. I don't know enough to know what to post!

I could really use any help we can find. Thank you so much.
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Nov 07, 2017, 08:24 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexisfire02
Hello everyone! I am a college student and for a project we are working on building a quadcopter. Eventually the goal of the project is to take off the flight controller and build our own. But for now we are just learning about them in general. We are trying to build our first quadcopter and are having problems. Right now I am so confused I'm not even sure what our problem is!

Here is the equipment we are trying to use:

Flysky FS-I6 with FS-IA6B receiver.
F4 Flame Race Spec STM32F405 Flight Controller.
Racestar RS20Ax4 20A 4in1 ESC
And a power distribution board.

I'm not even sure where to start with how lost we are....

With my setup, should I be doing PPM or iBus?

Does anyone know how to calibrate these ESC's and gotten it to work? I have the manual for the BLheli firmware, and it is supposed to beep a certain pattern, but we can't get it to follow the pattern in the manual.

My tx says I'm bound to my rx, but my ESC never sees any throttle.

I'm sure that I need to answer more questions before we can figure out what to do, so please ask me whatever more details you need to know. I don't know enough to know what to post!

I could really use any help we can find. Thank you so much.
IBUS because it is a faster protocol.

ESC calibration is the same as other ESCs. Plenty of videos on how to calibrate. If you plan in using digital DSHOT ESC protocol, then there is no need to even calibrate.

ESCs will not see any throttle until you arm your FC. This is done through stick arming or switch arming. Most of us use switch arming. Which means assigning a switch to a channel (usually 5 or AUX1 in your TX) then in configurator mode tab setup the arming.
Nov 07, 2017, 09:28 PM
Newbie Can't Fly
Thank you so much for the tips on switch arming. I haven't tried that at all. I have followed lots of different videos on how to arm the ESCs but I bet it just didn't work because I was skipping switch arming.

I'll give that a shot tonight!
Nov 08, 2017, 12:38 AM
Don't call it a drone!
flyandride's Avatar
In the specs on the 4 in 1 ESC you bought it says that it supports Dshot 300. In Betaflight configurator, on the configuration tab, you should pick Dshot 300, then you won't have to calibrate the ESCs.

Sounds like you are new to all this and unfamiliar with Betaflight configuration. Search Youtube for Betaflight setup.

In brief, on the ports tab you need to set the correct port for Serial RX, choose Serial RX on the configuration tab, and pick ibus. Once that's set up, the bars on the receiver tab should move when you move the sticks. You may have to change the channel mapping if the sticks move the wrong bars, also on the receiver tab.
Nov 08, 2017, 12:15 PM
Newbie Can't Fly
I am very new to this for sure. I have been watching videos on configuring with Cleanflight. Do I need to use Betaflight instead? Or do I just pick one and go with it? I have the ESC set to Dshot now in cleanflight.

I think my problem is getting the TX armed.
Nov 08, 2017, 12:26 PM
FA3PR9WM79
Oldgazer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexisfire02
I am very new to this for sure. I have been watching videos on configuring with Cleanflight. Do I need to use Betaflight instead? Or do I just pick one and go with it? I have the ESC set to Dshot now in cleanflight.

I think my problem is getting the TX armed.
You do not "arm" the TX. You use the TX to tell the flight controller to arm the motors. This can be done with a switch that is assigned to a specific radio channel, or by stick inputs, typically throttle down and Right Yaw.

One thing that will keep you from arming the motors is not enabling motor pwm output.

Read the Wiki.

BTW: Building a flight controller is not that difficult, but you need some really sharp code jockeys to write the firmware, so someone needs to read up on PID controllers, and if you plan to use any GPS functionality knowing about Kalman Filter algorithms (AKA Liner Quadratic Estimation algorithms) is a major plus so you might consider adding a math major to the team.
Last edited by Oldgazer; Nov 08, 2017 at 12:35 PM.
Nov 08, 2017, 07:15 PM
Newbie Can't Fly
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldgazer
You do not "arm" the TX. You use the TX to tell the flight controller to arm the motors. This can be done with a switch that is assigned to a specific radio channel, or by stick inputs, typically throttle down and Right Yaw.

One thing that will keep you from arming the motors is not enabling motor pwm output.

Read the Wiki.

BTW: Building a flight controller is not that difficult, but you need some really sharp code jockeys to write the firmware, so someone needs to read up on PID controllers, and if you plan to use any GPS functionality knowing about Kalman Filter algorithms (AKA Liner Quadratic Estimation algorithms) is a major plus so you might consider adding a math major to the team.
I enable motor pwm output in cleanflight?

This is off topic for short term, but your last comments make me wonder if you've done a flight controller? We are using an Arduino, so how do we have the TX and Arduino arm the ESC? Once we get to that stage...
Nov 08, 2017, 10:23 PM
FA3PR9WM79
Oldgazer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexisfire02
I enable motor pwm output in cleanflight?

This is off topic for short term, but your last comments make me wonder if you've done a flight controller? We are using an Arduino, so how do we have the TX and Arduino arm the ESC? Once we get to that stage...
I haven't "done" a flight controller, but I know a thing or twelve about 'em.

Break out your google-fu and search for "How does a brushless motor speed controller work?"

To borrow from my High School Chem teacher: "I give open book tests. I don't expect you to know all of the answers, but I do expect you to know where to find them..."

And having said that, I'll toss you another tid-bit: Look up MultiWii.
Nov 09, 2017, 03:46 AM
Newbie Can't Fly
I think some of my problem might be wiring or some configuration setting I can't find. I realized today in Betaflight that under the Receiver tab that my AERT and Aux values never change when I move the sticks on my TX.

I'm trying to use PPM for now, since I figured 1 wire would be easier for me right now. I have 5v going from my flight controller to my RX, and a wire from the the PPM port on my Flight controller to the PPM pin on my RX. Am I missing anything? Also, in betaflight I changed the RX type to PPM. And my TX and RX are bound.
Nov 09, 2017, 10:31 AM
Registered User
IBUS is also one wire.

Did you turn off serial rx in port tab?

Photos of wiring and screenshot of configurator would be helpful.
Nov 09, 2017, 11:01 AM
Newbie Can't Fly

FC to RX wiring


I attached a photo of the flight controller wiring and the receiver. On the Flight controller I have a little JST soldered into the PPM port for now. It starts as the white wire in the FC picture but it ends up being the female red wire on the RX. Then I just have 5v from a BDB powering the RX.
Nov 09, 2017, 11:09 AM
Newbie Can't Fly

Betaflight


Here's what I have in betaflight.
Nov 09, 2017, 12:25 PM
FA3PR9WM79
Oldgazer's Avatar
Watch this:

Configuring FS-iA6B with SP-F3 Flight Controller using iBus | Tutorial (2 min 45 sec)
Nov 09, 2017, 03:50 PM
Newbie Can't Fly
I've seen that video several times.

Since I don't have that port on my flight controller that he uses, and I only have one pin on my FC for PPM, do I just run 1 wire from my PPM on the FC board over to the SBUS servo pin on my RX?
Nov 09, 2017, 07:56 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexisfire02
I've seen that video several times.

Since I don't have that port on my flight controller that he uses, and I only have one pin on my FC for PPM, do I just run 1 wire from my PPM on the FC board over to the SBUS servo pin on my RX?
Yes single wire from PPM rx to PPM FC. Configurator settings look correct.


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