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Arkansas Drone Pilot

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I posted some questions under welcome and still need anyones help on which firmware would be best for stability for a 250 Quad Racer I built from scratch. I built it months ago and flew it three times and crashed it everytime because it drifted like a ***** dog in heat running all over the place. There are a ton of firmware updates to use for flying with the Open Pilot, but I don't have a clue as to which one is the most stable so that I can learn to fly the racer. I have several Phantoms, but the racer is a whole different ball game. thanks for any help or advice.
 

kandelin16

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I posted some questions under welcome and still need anyones help on which firmware would be best for stability for a 250 Quad Racer I built from scratch. I built it months ago and flew it three times and crashed it everytime because it drifted like a ***** dog in heat running all over the place. There are a ton of firmware updates to use for flying with the Open Pilot, but I don't have a clue as to which one is the most stable so that I can learn to fly the racer. I have several Phantoms, but the racer is a whole different ball game. thanks for any help or advice.
Not sure as to what firmware you should use, but you could try tuning your PID values. Here's a great explanation of how that works. How to Tune a Quadcopter: The Simple Way to Tune
 

Hebrews12v2

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I would move your CC3D from Openpilot to Librepilot or even Cleanflight/Betaflight. As far as to which firmware to use, I recommend using most up to date one for the CC3D near the top of the list when you go to the upgrade tab. Sorry I am at work right now and can't get a screenshot, but if you are familiard with Openpilot then Libre will make you feel right at home. OpenPilot is no longer supported and everyone is moving away from that disputed platform.
 

DroneNut

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I posted some questions under welcome and still need anyones help on which firmware would be best for stability for a 250 Quad Racer I built from scratch. I built it months ago and flew it three times and crashed it everytime because it drifted like a ***** dog in heat running all over the place. There are a ton of firmware updates to use for flying with the Open Pilot, but I don't have a clue as to which one is the most stable so that I can learn to fly the racer. I have several Phantoms, but the racer is a whole different ball game. thanks for any help or advice.
I also bought a robocat 270 with cc3d. lots of good tutorial on you tube. I watched the vids and did trial and and error from what I learned. I too still have some kinks to work out. Make sure when u level the gyros you are on a level surface and trim out the rest of the drift with your radio.
 

Arkansas Drone Pilot

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Thanks for the suggestions on this. At this point, would just like to get it off the ground and be able to fly in a circle real slow. Oh well, just take some more trial and error.
 

Jack Ley

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Thanks for the suggestions on this. At this point, would just like to get it off the ground and be able to fly in a circle real slow. Oh well, just take some more trial and error.

What really helped me was practicing with a mini drone, one about the size of the palm of my hand, the controls are so small and sensitive it makes it tough to fly. Once you get good at the mini drone and can fly it for a while without crashing and do some tricks, you can go to your racing drone and it will be soooo much easier to fly. My first two times flying my 250, I crashed it just about every time I put it up, I then practiced in a big garage, or my basement, for a week or so with the mini drone, when I got to fly my 250 again, it was a HUGE improvement, I hardly crashed at all and I felt much more comfortable. Just a suggestion though, do what ever works for you.
 

Hebrews12v2

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What really helped me was practicing with a mini drone, one about the size of the palm of my hand, the controls are so small and sensitive it makes it tough to fly. Once you get good at the mini drone and can fly it for a while without crashing and do some tricks, you can go to your racing drone and it will be soooo much easier to fly. My first two times flying my 250, I crashed it just about every time I put it up, I then practiced in a big garage, or my basement, for a week or so with the mini drone, when I got to fly my 250 again, it was a HUGE improvement, I hardly crashed at all and I felt much more comfortable. Just a suggestion though, do what ever works for you.


Great advice Jack! I also started this way. it is great in the way it familiarizes you in the way your sticks work, as well as teach you the finer aspects of control. If you practice enough, you will naturally progress to the more powerful 250 or more Quad and quickly learn how to handle the increased power and maneuverability of these wonderful machines!
 
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Chris G

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Ya, practicing with a finger drone is great warm up. OR, you can spend that on a few extra props and maybe a motor and an spare antenna or 2, and just get past those first 100 crashes.
But you will first need it tuned well enough to take-off, And Hopefully you can test all the failsafes first: Like joystick Power Off, Dead signal drop, and if you have a gps, add a virtual barrier.

After my build and calibration of Spike, I practiced by flying around 2 pieces of tissue paper streamers hanging from my house power line, about 10 ft apart, and I did figure 8's around them, getting closer and closer each time. Try to stay low, so you don't eat up the streamer too fast.
 
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Arkansas Drone Pilot

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Thanks Guys for the advice. Appreciate the comments and such. What happened is that did a download from Open Pilots for the board and took the quad out and flew it around , but kept on crashing so decided to download a different program for the board and skipped a step and when I took the quad out to test it, could not start motors, so now I have to go back and download a complete program for the board and was hoping that someone else had used one of the Open Pilot programs and if so, which one did they select? So I am still looking for help on which program in Open Pilot I should try and use to fly my 250 Racer with. Any help appreciated.
 

QuadCopter102

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I suggest you not only move off the defunct OpenPilot firmware in favour of LibrePilot - that you bypass the current 15.09 stable version and use this link. It announced the 16.09 RC2 firmware update - so update your CC3D with this : 16.09 RC Downloads - LibrePilot Documentation - Confluence
This page twill allow you to to read up on AUTOTUNE Release Candidate - 16.09 RC2 Now available for testing
At the moment it will require you to allocate a 3 position switch or a dedicated 3 position Flight Mode switch to carry out auto tuning. The LP team advise a single switch will kick of the autotune process is planned soon.
 
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Arkansas Drone Pilot

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I suggest you not only move off the defunct OpenPilot firmware in favour of LibrePilot - that you bypass the current 15.09 stable version and use this link. It announced the 16.09 RC2 firmware update - so update your CC3D with this : 16.09 RC Downloads - LibrePilot Documentation - Confluence
This page twill allow you to to read up on AUTOTUNE Release Candidate - 16.09 RC2 Now available for testing
At the moment it will require you to allocate a 3 position switch or a dedicated 3 position Flight Mode switch to carry out auto tuning. The LP team advise a single switch will kick of the autotune process is planned soon.

The more I read, the more confused I get when it comes to the programming of Quads, I really thought I was up to it last year when I built mine, but at this point, I think it would be much better for me to send this off to someone who really has a true understanding of the protocols and such and maybe be able to test fly everything and then just send it back to me ready to go. Of course it would mean having to pay for the help, but right now it is the only option I have. Any takers?
 

QuadCopter102

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The more I read, the more confused I get when it comes to the programming of Quads, I really thought I was up to it last year when I built mine, but at this point, I think it would be much better for me to send this off to someone who really has a true understanding of the protocols and such and maybe be able to test fly everything and then just send it back to me ready to go. Of course it would mean having to pay for the help, but right now it is the only option I have. Any takers?
Well...if you were within driving distance of the Central Coast in Australia...I would came come arround...

Instead what I suggest you do is step back and take stock. IMHO - starting into quad build with a 250 racer - was the hard way. These - as you may have found - are not easy to fly for a newbie - even one who has flown model aircraft.
I started just 13 months back and since then have assembled 2- 500 frames, 2 - 450 frames and 2 - 250 frames. The big frames all use 2212 920kv motors and without understand PIDs - each took some time to sort out. The only reason I build so many - was trying different "manufacture" motors and other bits till in the end I bought a frame to take the excess!
I still do not fully understand PIDs. I understand a mile is also so many yards , feet and inches or a kilometer is so many meters, centimeters or millimeters.
The PIDs - to me - don't seem to have a scale of comparison!
I suggest you just check your build and make sure its OK, no screws sticking up into the motors, the fixing screws through teh arms are equally tight - check often the vibrations loosen them - ditto all screws and nuts. Did you get the Centre of Gravity correct - even with the battery in place. What is your standard of soldering? If its OK then that may not be a negative, if its new to you- I suggest you get on YouTube and watch a lost of the build tutorials for how to solder. Is your wiring neat and tidy? snag with motors and ESCs on a 250 frame is... put together as they arrived and the wires are far to long. The experienced guys will cut the wires to a length that suits the frame and their way of placing the ESCs. Newbies ( us) tend to place the components and fold or twist the wires, so putting a strain on any wire that has a dry joint of a less than perfect solder join - can cause issues.
I found my biggest problem on stabilization was down to mis-matched ESC. These need to be matched to tune out any oscillation that unmatched may inject into flight characteristics.
IF you have updated your FC from OpenPilot to LibrePilot - check this out. ESC Calibration - LibrePilot Documentation - Confluence I am not familiar with the Robocat - so maybe if you list its motors , ESC and anything else you added - it may help.
IF you have crashed a few times...its possible you have bent motor shafts - it may not seem so to your eyes...but your ears should pick up a high pitched whine and maybe you eyes can pick out a wobble when you try to hover it. Have you balanced your props?

I suggest you put this frame away and start a biger build, 450 frame, 2212 - 920KV or even 820kv and use 9" and or 10" props. 30A ESC SimonK are perhaps better to o start with.
The idea is to get a quad that is not trying to set a world speed record. Slow everything down and ease off the pressure of trying to control it. Flight controllers are a matter of choice. The CC3D is perhaps the easiest and cheapest. I use the "standard" CC3D, Revolution ( for the GPS) and the Atom for the 250 frames. I also have Naze32 and and 10 dof FC....and Christmas will bring the Naza lite M combo!

If you pay somenbody to sort one frame - you will never learn how to build the second one! So your choice really is...buy RTF stuff, or start again fron day one with a build ...and use this forum as your tutor.

We are ALL new on here irrespective of our level. There will be some experts in all classes of quads on here soon and we all like to return the help we got when we started out.
 

Arkansas Drone Pilot

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Personally, I wished I lived in Australia to be honest. Have even looked into moving there but have not gotten off my butt.

Your absolutely correct on doing it myself. One thing I saw and was curious about and that was the GPS board with the CC3D and was wandering how that would mount on any quad. My soldering is sufficient for the task at hand and do not like to overheat the board when attaching wires to the power board portion of the frame. I bought a STRYKER 250 for my first build and center of gravity is pretty much dead on with the battery. I removed the camera set up as to save it from being broken. Same thing I did with my first Phantom 2 HD-3D with the GoPro set up. Store owner advised removing the Gimbal in order to keep from damaging it, best advice I got.

I did notice when I fired it back up and got the motors running again, one of the motors seemed to not pick up speed like the other three. I finally got it reprogrammed so that the motors would run which was the problem before. I programmed the CC3D board before and missed a step and of course the motors would not work. So after getting the motors to run with this last programming, will take it out and to the field and see how it flies. The initial flights I made over tall grass and even managed to hit some wet ground, which I did not mean to do. I will try to send you a complete breakdown on my build and may take it all down and tiidy up my wiring job, which I am not happy with.

Should mention I own several Phantoms, a couple of 2's, a 3P and 3S. Originally bought a forty dollar hand sized drone to learn with and then got my hands on a Real Flight 7.5 and used it to practice with. I used to fly around in ATTI with the P2's with no problem. So I have some experience, but just need to get out and fly more often is all.

I would appreciate the 450 maker you would suggest for that frame and any other suggestions for building the 450, a complete list from A to Z, maybe with your looking over my shoulder I can actually build a really flyable Quad. I bought a Spektrum 8 Channel and so far it works, but I just a heck of a time with all the switches and figuring out which each one is suppose to do.

Thanks for taking your time to write back to me and head me in the right direction.
Regards,
 

QuadCopter102

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Personally, I wished I lived in Australia to be honest. Have even looked into moving there but have not gotten off my ***.

Your absolutely correct on doing it myself. One thing I saw and was curious about and that was the GPS board with the CC3D and was wandering how that would mount on any quad. My soldering is sufficient for the task at hand and do not like to overheat the board when attaching wires to the power board portion of the frame. I bought a STRYKER 250 for my first build and center of gravity is pretty much dead on with the battery. I removed the camera set up as to save it from being broken. Same thing I did with my first Phantom 2 HD-3D with the GoPro set up. Store owner advised removing the Gimbal in order to keep from damaging it, best advice I got.

I did notice when I fired it back up and got the motors running again, one of the motors seemed to not pick up speed like the other three. I finally got it reprogrammed so that the motors would run which was the problem before. I programmed the CC3D board before and missed a step and of course the motors would not work. So after getting the motors to run with this last programming, will take it out and to the field and see how it flies. The initial flights I made over tall grass and even managed to hit some wet ground, which I did not mean to do. I will try to send you a complete breakdown on my build and may take it all down and tiidy up my wiring job, which I am not happy with.

Should mention I own several Phantoms, a couple of 2's, a 3P and 3S. Originally bought a forty dollar hand sized drone to learn with and then got my hands on a Real Flight 7.5 and used it to practice with. I used to fly around in ATTI with the P2's with no problem. So I have some experience, but just need to get out and fly more often is all.

I would appreciate the 450 maker you would suggest for that frame and any other suggestions for building the 450, a complete list from A to Z, maybe with your looking over my shoulder I can actually build a really flyable Quad. I bought a Spektrum 8 Channel and so far it works, but I just a hell of a time with all the damn switches and figuring out which each one is suppose to do.

Thanks for taking your time to write back to me and head me in the right direction.
Regards,
Well you sound better grounded in our "hobby" than I am! I have a Phantom Pro 3. It seldom gets used and the second hand or pre-used market value is not worth cashing it in. The market is flooded with those sold off to finance a P4 and then the Mavix comes in at about the second value of a Pro 3! So like my many DSLR that equally dropped in value every new model ... they can all gather dust and till I am done with the planet and my kids can argue about who gets what!
I think even in ATTI mode the Phantoms are probably a better free fly than a first ever 250 size racer.
I find even a badly tuned 450 and dropping the rate down is more controllable than a 250 with motors around 2203 2300kv motors. My logic is tune it in the back garden till its stable - which saves driving miles to a wide open space. Once I get it to hover ... reasonably well and make it stays online forward and back... then it OK to take out and see what really needs tuning better.
For the 450 and 500 frames - I set them up following the LibrePilot Vehicle setup - when that's done I calibrate the ESC in the motors tab..no battery link all four and move the slider to full power...plug in the battery - wait for the beeps- pull the sliders to min and they should be OK. If not repeat till they seem OK.
I then leave the PIDs as stock in "Basic" mode and test fly in the back garden. After that its time to move to the advance settings and go for what you are looking for to fly it
My 450 frames are Chinese knock off of the DJI 450 off eBay or I use BangGood also.Ditto all other frames. I find Alexa Hobby and QuadMall are reliable sellers on eBay - but you have Amazon which is not here in Aussie. I use either MARs Motors, Emax motors and 30A and 12a ESC Motors, I also use DJI Phantom 3 motors which as we know are good.
The 500 frames never have a built in PDB the 450 SHOULD have but some cheapskate eBayers are selling a 450 clone with no PDB. The RED arms are in fact a muddy purpley brown mix and I get in extra white or black arms.

You would like Aussie.... its basically a clone of the US.! The changed over during WW2 when My old mate Doug McArthur came over and wooed them. Apart from driving on your wrong side..much is pretty well Americanized. *0% of TV is straight from the US.
Remember I am no expert at this stuff I can only relate to the problems I had and mostly overcame them - PIDs logic still makes my head spin!
Let us all know how you are getting on...
 

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