2014-09-21

DIY drone - tutorial for developers | Part 10 - Preflight checkups and maiden flight !

Before putting the props on, you have to calibrate the accelerometers.

Find a quiet and flat place to put your quadcopter on.

Fire up ez gui, connect it and go to the calibration menu.


And click AccCalibration...


Once it is done (it takes a few seconds), arm your quadcopter (still with no props) and put a little bit of throttle.

Then tilt it towards one motor putting your ear against it.

Everytime a motor is lower than the other ones it should accelerate by itself (this is how the quad stabilizes it by itself). Check the 4 motors one by one then 2 by 2.

Now that you are quite sure it won't do something crazy, put the props on !

Look carefully at the profile of the props to be sure you make them push air downwards !

-> / ->  or <- \ <-

Also try to put a different color for the front ones so you can spot the front of the quad easily in flight.

Now you still need to do some sanity/preflight checks :
  1. put it on the floor, outside, far away from anything alive, preferably on something soft as it might flip over.
  2. put the minimum of throttle possible to make the motor turn
  3. try slowly the 4 directions with your right stick to see if the right (opposite) side of the quad is lifting up and stop once you have determined that it is all OK.
You are ready, like the initial flight lesson of part 2, just hop vertically a few times to get the feeling around the new weight and throttle sensitivity and continue from there.

Next up, we will add some add ons to your quadcopter : bluetooth/screen, GPS !