Quadcopter (Arduino, MultiWii)_temporary
Updated: Feb 14, 2022
I. Components (Hardwares)
1. Arduino Nano x 1
2. GY-521 MPU-6050 x 1
3. ESCs (Brushless motor speed controller) x 4
4. Brushless motors x 4
5. Propellers x 4
6. FPV frame Dragon Hx5 X5 5 inch x 1
7. Lipo Battery 5400 mAh x 1
8. DC converter (Input: 7-26V, Output: 5V)
9. Remote controller & receiver Fly Sky FS-i6X x 1
10. Lipo Battery tester x 1
11. Screws & cables
1. Making the circuit
Essemble Arduino Nano, GY-521, Rows to connect ESCs and few extra things follow these diagrams.
Remember to design the circuit yourself as small as possible because is can save the space on your frame to place to wires.
The final result
2. Assemble the frame
To assembling the frame, at first we need to know the actual size of this frame. We need to know the distance between motors. Base on these values, we can imagine the size of this frame. This step will help you chose the most suitable frame and the wings with suitable size for your drone.
You can choose between make the frame yourself or buy one and assemble. We chose to buy the FPV frame Dragon.
Here is some steps that we assemble the frame
- Get the drone arm together and assemble it to the base plate.
- Next, take the rectangular plate and place it with the same screws, tighten everything down with the bolts provided and that is the finish of the body.
- At the front of our drone, we have the metal part in the front. Screw the triangular plate to around the metal front tubes, and similar to the both sides. Also there is a small metal part that allow to move and adjust with the camera.
We had some difficulty in assembling the frame because all part did not fit together completely, so you can fix a little bit for easier work.
3. Install software and visual test
The software we used to embedded is MultiWii 2.4, you can download it on GitHub. Remember to fix some value to satisfy your want. In MultiWii 2.4 also included the program allow you to visual test all the value on your computer like the image bellow.
You can check the calibration, arming, value, .... thanks to this program
4. Assemble components
Every quad need to include the elements listed below in order to fly, which a various parts, and we will cover these parts in a detail summary as the article goes on:
- Motors: The most important parts to create the thrust that allow the quadcopter to get the airborne. Brushless DC motors each of them is separately controlled by an Electronic Speed Controller (ESC). Remember to merge 4 wires (+) and 4 wires (-) of for ESCs into 1 wire (+) and 1 wire (-) in order to connect to the Lipo battery. Beside that, the position of motors and the direction of propellers are very important, you must follow this to make sure the drone works correctly.
- ESCs: Like a nerve which delivers the movement information from brain (controller) to muscles (motors). ESCs regulate the power the motors get, which determines the speed and direction change of the quad.
- Propellers: Depending on the type of a quadcopter you build, you can use 9 to 11-inches props (for stable aerial photography flights), or 5-inch racing props for less thrust but more speed. Here is the props size base on the brushless motors
-Receiver: receive the command from controller
Place the antennas in the angle of 90 degrees like in photo for the best signal. You should read the document of the controller and receiver for easier control.
5. Calibrate and arm the ESC's
Base on your controller mode, follow the document to calibrate and arm the ESCs before place it into the drone
6. Change PID value through bluetooth module
To change PID via bluetooth, you use an Android app named EzGUI, you can download it on CH Play. When you want to change PID value, connect the bluetooth module into circuit and connect to the app. After that you can put the bluetooth module off.
7. Indoor flying test
You should make a flying test to make sure the quadcopter work correctly before real fly. We use the foot of the fan to make the test base like in the video. You can make the test base yourself by what you have :3
8. Outdoor flying
Our outdoor flying. It worked okay but still have problem. We must adjust time by time until it works well. So don't worry when it flies weirdly at first flies :3
III. Problems Impact
1. Problem about forgetting to calibrating and arming the ESC's
At the early, we just calibrate and arm the gyroscrop, through the software of multiwii 2.4. So that when we launch the quadcopter and fly sky controller, the motors didn’t working correctly. So if you have done everything but the motors don’t work, you should check if the ESC’s are calibrated / armed or not.
Base on your Fly-Sky controller stick MODE:
Yaw -> min
Pitch -> min
Throttle -> max
Throttle -> min
Yaw -> max
Throttle -> min
Yaw -> min
2. Problem about voltage of Lipo Battery
The first Lipo battery we used is 2200 mAh. This voltage of battery is not good for testing and flying because it will soon become run out of power. So after that we used is 5400 mAh for longer time using.
The 5400 mAh one is quite heavier but it is worth the longer flying time
3. Problem about the quality of ESCs
At the few first outdoor flight, the quadcopter flied weirdly. Going up was okay but when the throttle was reduced, it dropped quickly. And for few times like that, the ESC’s went fuming, even burning. After that we replaced old ESC’s with the high quality ones, and it worked well.
It is very important to use high quality ESCs, because they decide the correct performance of the quadcoper (source code, components, assembling, ...)
4. Problem about throttle curve
Throttle curve effects directly to the height of quadcopter. The first our maximum throttle is 50%, and with poor quality of ESC’s, the quadcopter going up slowly and weakly. Depending on your habit of controlling, you can change the value (shape) of throttle curve in Fly sky controller for easier control.
5. Problem about the voltage in circuit
The arduino nano work best with supplier’s voltage is in 6 to 12V. But the maximum voltage of the Lipo battery is 12.6V. This can damage the board. It is no problem with one or two first fly, but it can be broken down in the future, and this is also our problem. To solve this, we use DC converter to make sure that the supplier’s voltage for arduino nano is 5V.