Sunday, July 27, 2014

Technical Setup

Caution: Be sure propellers and nuts are removed.

First, Bind receiver to transmitter (RX to TX) as per. FrSky X8R manual-sheet. The F/S button is hidden under a tiny sticker on RX (but I don't recall using it). On Taranis X9D TX, I setup "Model-1" to use D8-Mode (with Telemetry). Receiver number is likely 01 or you know which number it is. Temporarily attach jumper on RX to ch7&ch8 pins and use the BIND option on Taranis TX menu. Notice that the Status light on X8R should go from Red to solid Green (indicating a solid bound link). Remove jumper and power-cycle everything.

Before connecting Nova to PC for the first time, install ground station software, Mission Planner (I'm using Windows7-64). It should also install the required Arduino USB drivers. Reboot. When running MissionPlanner during this initial setup, do not apply any Firmware Updates or software updates for now (cancel out of them). Do not connect Nova just yet.

Connect battery via XT60 ... the RX, FC, and GPS should all be lit and/or flashing.

Turn on Taranis TX and select proper model number (ie "Model-1").

Start MissionPlanner on computer. Connect USB cable from FC to computer. If this is the first time, the Arduino Windows driver should load. Windows PC should play the "new USB device connected" tone.

Click CONNECT in top right-hand corner.
Initial Setup / Mandatory Hardware / Frame Type
-   Select Type: X-Y6A
-   Default Settings: Select 3DR_QUAD_X4_RTF.param from drop-down list
-   Click "Load Params" button
-   Config-Tuning / Standard Params  ... click green "Write Params" button at top.
This should be a good set of default parameters for this quad. My thinking is:
Edit 2015-01: It has come to my attention, that the above crossed-out steps load in some incorrect or sub-optimal params for the Nova. You should do it THIS WAY instead.

Initial Setup / Mandatory Hardware / Radio Calibration
-   Use this PC screen to observe. Make the changes on radio (see below).

MP Notes: While running MissionPlanner v1.3.7, I had to disable my Dell laptop's LCD screen power-down to prevent some major Windows crashes. Looks like I am running stock/HK ArduCopter v3.1.2 with FW (Firmware) v120. The reason I said to cancel-out of any updates is that the stock v3.1.2 works fine for now, and also bypasses problems associated with upgrades (just trying to get Nova running at this point).

Reassignable Channels on Taranis TX Radio: Channels 1-5 working test setup
MIXER (5/64 assigned) - (Screen 6/13)
1. AIL 100 0-8 (Roll)
2. ELE -100 0-8 (Pitch)
3. THR 100 0-8 (Power)
4. RUD 100 0-8 (Yaw)
5. SA 100 0-8 Switch_A (Flight Modes 1-3)

Depending on the orientation of the signal only cables, your main MIXER map might be slightly different.

Click on red "Calibrate Radio" button now and follow directions. It will say "Completed" on a green button when finished. The 4 basic channels should now be setup properly.

Flight Modes Quick Setup (3 main ones on one switch)
Initial Setup / Mandatory Hardware / Flight Modes
Flight Mode 1 - Loiter
Flight Mode 4 - Stabilize
Flight Mode 6 - RTL

I set as above and then clicked "Save Modes" button. You can double-check it by using the SA switch on Taranis TX. The 5th "Flight Mode Channel" should now also be setup properly.

Power down, install top-cover, and connect compass in dome.
MissionPlanner / Initial Setup / Mandatory Hardware / Compass
Settings: Enable, AutoDec, Orientation Manual - Rotation None
Live-Calibrate Compass (point each of 6 sides toward ground, and slowly spin around a couple of time - aka. Compass Dance). I just hold mine and spin-around, but here is a similar way using a chair. Just remember to do all 6 sides. It will draw 6 circles on the globe.

MissionPlanner / Initial Setup / Mandatory Hardware / Accelerometer Calibration.
Use level table and perpendicular angles. Prop it up or hold very still when clicking the button on each step. Complete each step before MP times-out and auto-advances.

On the main MP screen (hud), be sure quad is level, the Artificial Horizon is responding properly, and the Compass points in the proper direction (even when pitching up/down).


  1. hi please help me i have quanum nova and i conect to the mission planner and i download the firmware from mission planner and mx dron always is flashing red light and have one sound always what i doing? thanks

    1. MissionPlanner should be telling you what is wrong. Probably just means radio (among other sub-systems) needs to be calibrated.

      Or, see this more generic page, or other "full build-up" posts on this blog


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