Monday, February 16, 2015

Quanum Nova (CX-20) with APM FC - Pilot Tips

In this post, I thought I would summarize some important tips. I will add them here (as they come up) if they don't seem to fit anywhere else. But in general, be sure to use top Blog Search.

Arming Tips:
Arming in Loiter, and then switching to Stabilize before take-off is best. If Arming in Loiter, HDOP (GPS quality) must be 2.0 or better or it will not Arm. So give it (up to) 5 minutes before first Arming attempt. Just because you get a get GPS 3D-Fix (7 or more satellites, so green led steady-on) doesn't mean HDOP is good enough (actually, lower is better). First flight of day will take the longest (as gps-almanac is updated). Otherwise, as a test ... you can Arm in Stabilize. I still recommend at least a 3D-Fix (green led steady-on ) but HDOP is not checked. Therefore, do not utilize GPS dependent flight modes during that flight (including Loiter or RTL). Also, GPS doesn't really work indoors.

Arming Trouble:
- Check that TX radio itself and FC radio inputs are properly calibrated (center stick trims first).
- Be sure no TX radio Inputs are reversed. Also, that Throttle goes down when stick is down.
- In MissionPlanner/FailSafe, be sure correct radio sticks are correctly assigned (ie for Mode-2 Throttle and Rudder/Yaw are on left stick gimbal.
- In MissionPlanner/FailSafe, be sure correct radio sticks respond and in gradual and linear fashion.
- Normally, MissionPlanner's main-screen HUD will show the Pre-Arm error. Repair sub-system in error.
- Try Arming Motors in APM Stabilize mode ( aka CX-20 "Manual" mode). It requires no GPS-Fix.
- Try disabling GeoFence (if you have used the MissionPlanner Setup Wizard lately, it might be on). If it's ON, you must have a GPS 3D-Fix (even in Stabilize). So basically, you can only Arm Motors outdoors.

Confusing Cheerson Flight-Mode Names:

True APM Modes and comparable (Nova-CX20 Mode):
Stabilize (Manual)
Loiter (Stable)
Simple (Direction Locked)
Altitude Hold (Altitude Hold)
RTL (Return To Home)
-   In my docs, I always use the true APM flight-mode-names.

Stock-white Radio Note (using confusing Mode-names from Nova/CX20 Owner's Manual): If you are having trouble Arming quad, here is a summary: If you have GPS-3D Lock (solid green light) AND hdop <= 2.0, you can (and should) Arm in Stable switch mode. Then, switch to Manual mode and take-off. Otherwise, you can just Arm in Manual mode ... but don't expect RTH (pilot invoked or emergency) to work during that flight. Also, don't switch to and try to use any GPS dependent modes like Stable during that flight.

GPS Operation (in layman's terms):
I think 6-7 sats is minimum to get a basic GPS-Fix (Nova's green rear-led on steady). HDOP is one way to measure quality of that fix. To Arm in Loiter, you need a hdop of 2.0 or lower/better. IIRC, what Dkemxr said ... the stock GPS module's resolution is 2.5 meters. So hdop of 2.0 is 2.5m * 2.0 = 5.0meters (15 feet). So, anything GPS dependent (Loiter, RTL) can have a 5 meter location variance and still be within acceptable limits. You can see why lower hdop is always better. As for hdop definition, Google is your friend. Main thing to remember is H stands for "Horizontal" or location "across" the earth (not altitude). I'm no expert, and this is just my very basic understanding of how it works.

The compass plays an important role in GPS navigation.  In "GPS Dependent Flight Modes" like Loiter, PosHold, or RTL, the APM Flight-Controller calculates a desired lat/lon position, compares it to the current lat/lon position, and then lastly uses the compass to know which direction to go to get there.
If the compass is "off a little" the new position will be off, so the process will repeat resulting in a circling hover (aka "toilet-bowling" or "toilet-bowl effect"). A good/clean/accurate/proper compass calibration is the fix. Any time the compass mount is disturbed or changed, a new compass calibration is again necessary.

Mission Planner basics:
  • Install Mission Planner for Windows (download)
    • The APM Flight-Controller/ Arduino drivers for Windows will also install.
    • You will see drivers load either now, or when you later connect USB cable
  • Connect Nova's LiPo battery
  • Connect USB cord to laptop. Listen for Windows "new USB Device Connected" chime
    • Be sure you are using a real USB cable and not just a cell-phone "charging-only" cable.
    • If Windows can not detect Nova's "Arduino Mega 2560" Flight-Controller, Mission-Planner will surely not be able to either. Fix this problem first (should look similar to image below, but COM port number might be slightly different).
    • If it won't detect using Nova's lower (Mini-USB) external port, open Nova shell and connect USB cable directly into side of Flight-Controller (a Micro-USB). Be sure it fits thru white FC case to seat completely.
    • Still having detection problems? Use a known good/tested short USB cable. Connect to real USB-port on back of computer (no hubs or extensions). Try a USB-2.0 port. 
    • Press Reset button on FC before connecting to USB port.
    • Be sure external yellow/amber LED on Nova is not flashing (signifies FC is in a self-induced calibration mode).
  • Start MissionPlanner. Set comm-port to Auto and then click "Connect" button (top-right)
  • Ignore prompts to upgrade firmware unless you know what you are doing and what you are getting yourself into.
    • The shipped (CX-20 custom) version of ArduCopter v3.1.2 works fine for initial flights.
  • When finished, click "Disconnect" in MP before disconnecting USB cord.
    • NEVER disconnect USB cord while MP is connected-to and communicating-with FlightController (it has been known to corrupt FC firmware).
  • Shutdown MP
  • Disconnect USB cord (this order prevents triggering Nova's LowVoltageWarning).
  • Disconnect Nova's LiPo battery


Analyzing Logs:
While I used to log more items, I'm now backing down to Default+IMU. LOG_BITMASK,958 which is ATTITUDE_MED GPS PM CTUN NTUN IMU CMD CURRENT (the basics plus vibrations). See this page for help using logs.

Simplified Full Nova/CX-20 Setup:
A simplified version of this. While I don't have a stock-white-radio set, this should work for those setups. Could be used as a basic build-up (with default parameters), just to make sure quad hardware is functional and core FC software is working. This is not meant to be a "final" config ... just a simple-flyable one.
  • Start with base quadcopter, with no payload or optional equipment.
  • Check all wiring for good connections at connectors and soldering points.
  • Remove propellers and use (known good) fully-charged 11.1v-3s LiPo battery
  • DO NOT upgrade firmware on a new Nova/CX20. The version installed from factory is fully functional. If you must do it, see "Firmware Upgrades" section below.
  • Press Reset button on top of FlightController to MasterReset it before starting. Give it time to reboot.
  • Attach USB cable to bottom of quad and secure to landing-gear so it doesn't accidentally become unplugged. Windows should detect USB device.
  • In MissionPlanner, select Auto com-port and click Connect.
  • In Parameters Full List, click "Reset to Default" button
  • Do all "Mandatory Hardware" calibrations in MP
    • Radio first, then all the other hardware devices.
  • Click Write parameters and wait 20 seconds
  • Calibrate ESCs (outside of MP). Test motors.
    • For RTF models, this can probably be skipped for now. PnF/BnF models likely need it done at least once in it's ESC's lives.
  • Test FailSafe
  • Click Write parameters and wait 20 seconds
  • Backup Parameters (They are Defaults with current Calibration data).
  • Install propellers (in proper way) and bolt-on tight. Also install all body screws.
  • Carefully do "Holding by Landing Gear" test and verify Throttle, Pitch, Roll, and Yaw.
  • Take outside to grass field with light or no wind. Stand safe distance behind quad. Get GPS-3D fix.
  • Arm in Loiter, but take-off in Stabilize. Give it plenty of throttle (60% ?) to get into the air. Try to hover 6ft off of ground.
    • Please note that your ANGLE_MAX parameter might be set rather high by Default. This will allow quad to save-itself in an emergency RTL/RTH situation (including in stronger winds at higher altitudes). So, "take it easy on the sticks" and use caution when pushing them toward full gimbal travel.

Initial Quad Setup Trouble:
  • First Flight with ArduCopter
  • After a hard landing ... while sitting on level desk, Mission Planner main-HUD shows Nova NOT to be level.
    • Open quad and verify Flight Controller is still mounted properly (level and perpendicular to front of Nova).
    • Re-calibrate Accelerometer (includes gyro).
  • Nova (or CX-20) orbits in a small circle or "toilet-bowls" or while Loitering
    • Note: Loitering depends on all instrumentation sub-systems
    • To Loiter properly, Nova needs a GPS-Fix (preferably with a good hdop)
    • Calibrate Compass
    • Calibrate Accelerometer
    • Barometer (Altimeter) calibrates itself on power-up
  • All ESCs are beeping
    • ESCs are getting main (hard-wired) run voltage from main LiPo battery, but ESCs can tell they have no PWM control (control signal that tells them to stay Off or stop, Arm motors and start them, speed-control, etc.)
      • Check in this order
      • This can be caused by no BEC (+5v) voltage being connected to RX radio (and therefore, also no power being passed to FlightController).
      • FC might not be getting power (usually via CH-1 Aileron connection)
      • FC can tell that Radio-Calibration has not been completed.
      • FC might be damaged or malfunctioning
        • FC might have a corrupted firmware and needs to be reset and Firmware re-loaded with MissionPlanner.
          • Followed by loading of Default params & complete calibration.
  • All of a sudden, MissionPlanner for Windows can not connect to Nova quad any more.
    • Remove the body shell.
    • Unplug the quad's USB extension cable from side of FlightController.
    • Use a slightly different cable. Plug your spare Micro-USB cable directly into the Flight Controller and then directly to laptop.
    • If this works, the quad's built-in USB extension-cable might be bad.
    • See "Mission Planner basics" above.
Firmware Upgrades:
DO NOT upgrade firmware on a new Nova/CX20. The version installed from factory is fully functional (even the Uart port for 3DR Telemetry radio works). If you expect your firmware is corrupt (unlikely) or would like to go-back a version, you can use MissionPlanner to load desired AuduCopter version (non-beta). If you need "Terminal" to aid in Troubleshooting, load ArduCopter v3.1.2 or AC315 (v3.1.5). After hardware passes, you can always load a newer version.
  • Start with base quadcopter, with no payload or optional equipment.
  • Check all wiring for good connections at connectors and soldering points.
  • Remove propellers and use (known good) fully-charged 11.1v-3s LiPo battery
    • Press Reset button on top of FlightController to MasterReset it before loading a different firmware.
    • Connect USB cable to Windows
    • If you want to backup your Parameters, now is the time.
    • Start MissionPlanner but do not click "Connect" button.
    • Upgrade firmware to desired version from "Initial Setup" screen
      • You can load current ArduCopter v3.2.1 Quad (no Telemetry on this FC)
      • You can click "Load Custom Firmware" and load custom v3.1.5, 3.2 or 3.2.1
        • Once you select the file, the upgrade will start. You will not get a chance to abort or cancel.
        • The Firmware will Load, and then Verify.
          • The read red-led is off. The green-led flickers quickly
          • When Done, light go back to normal
      • You can click "Pick Previous Firmware"
        • Select one with AC at the end. For example, you might want AC315 
    • Follow all prompts and directions
      • Don't be in a hurry. Don't let USB cable become unplugged.
    • Now that firmware is installed, press Reset button on top of FlightController to MasterReset it one last time.

Battery Tips:
I use a Turnigy 11.1v 2700mah 3s 20-30c LiPo (102x35x28mm). I have 2 identical ones that I rotate. They usually take-in around 2700ma again, but I've seen them both take-in as much as 2800ma before. Not sure about all LiPos, but these are obviously rated 2700ma between their useable range of 9.0v-12.6v. If you take-into-account that they hold more like 2800 ... rated 2700ma between their (safer) useable range of 10.0v-12.6v.

I Balance Change at 1C (2.7amps) and it takes about 90 mins. My AccuCell-6 Charger also has a Discharge setting. I never use it, but I did test it the other day. It's voltage limit is not adjustable (only by cell count). It always discharges to 3.00volts per cell. Contrary to forum reports, I think it's highly unlikely that draining to this level damages LiPos. And think about it ... that's less than 20% of rated 3.7v cell voltage. I tried it ... took 3S down to 9.0volts. You guessed it ... no damage, fire or LiPo explosion. Not sure where pilots get some of these crazy misconceptions.

Also tested/observed ... when starting to charge my 3S-2700 back up from 9.0v, it gets back to 10.5 volts after only taking in about 25ma.

To apply Ohms Law ... Power (watts) = Volts * Amps.
So, as Volts goes down, you can still reach your required Power target if you have sufficient Amps (to make-up for it). Pretty sure that is where the High-C or Current ability comes into play. Battery must be able to deliver increased current toward the end of the flight.

I also have a Predator 2200mAh that works fine, but I only use it while Nova is on workbench or office (getting logs, params, etc.). This way, my 2 main 2700's are always fully charged and ready when I get to the field.

The Nova is currently 1002g (All-Up-Weight with Mobius and battery). I am getting 11-12 minutes on each 2700mah battery. The first single-beep LowVoltageAlarm first sounds around 10.9v. A minute or so later, the continuous beeping/flashing LVA happens at 10.6v (and I'm already landing at this point). According to forum reports, the Nova's LVA is sometimes inaccurate, but seems to be working fine for me so far. This will have to do until I wire-up a Power-Module to Telemetry. I also use a count-down Timer on the Taranis.

217 comments:

  1. I think I have done everything correctly but my cx20 does not turn(rotate) when heading to a waypoint it just moves left to right and front to back. Any help?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like to use WP_YAW_BEHAVIOR = 2
      - This determines which way the craft points when flying a mission in auto mode (or RTL). The factory setting of 0 doesn't yaw (turn) the craft when moving from waypoint to waypoint. 1 is so that it points the front of the craft in the direction of the next waypoint. 2 is same as 1 except not for RTL.

      Delete
  2. Thanks, it flies great now. What do you set your low voltage warning to? I am running a tenergy 11.1v 2700 mah.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool, ya I like 2 best because it follows the way-points but when RTL, it's backs-up to you. I have no PowerModule, but Nova PowerBoard is hard-coded to about 10.6volts.

      Delete
  3. With my camera I am getting beeps around 5-1/2 mins in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Might be normal with low "C" battery. Also, use a real hobby-grade charger (not stock-charger).

      Delete
  4. My cx20 just sits on the ground I have tried about everything. I will give it full throttle and does nothing expect spin but not take off. I have replaced an ESC and I have calibration the TX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Check propellers and direction. Do ALL calibrations (including ESC) and observe during them. Also, check for THR_MAX,1000

      Delete
  5. I had a hard crash and subsequently have checked my level with MP (great software) and physical condition of the flight controller to be level and pointing in the right direction. recalibrated gyros, and compass.
    Now when trying to lift off the Cx, it keeps tilting forward and grounds the front props in the grass. I tried to compensate by pulling back the right stick gimbal, has little effect on the drone response. Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Do you have the cheerson cx 20 open source stock firmware?

    Tks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, but you don't want that v3.1.2 anyway because there is a bug. You want custom Cheerson v3.1.5

      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2015/05/upgrading-firmware-to-315-cheerson.html

      Delete
  7. Hi does anybody know how to increase yaw going backward on a cx20 using mission planner forward is good but backwards is rubbish

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi, A few days ago i had great HDOP 1.3 - 1.7 and 10-12 satelites (indoor!!). Of some reason i wanted to but the GPS in the dome so i disconnected the GPS wire from the FC so i could mount it inside the dome. I did that and now the HDOP is 4-5 and only 4 sats (indoor and outdoor)
    So i thought, well i put it back where it was and everything will be fine.
    Thing is, it's still HDOP 4-5 and 4 sats. I have no clue what to do, have i broke the GPS or the FC or im i doing something wrong??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Personally, I wouldn't test GPS indoors (it's not designed for that) or use indoor performance as a measure of anything. Also, you can connect GPS-Module to laptop and remove quad from equation. Finally, GPS cables and Modules are fairly cheap. See lower section ...
      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2014/12/no-gps-again.html

      Delete
    2. Thx alot, will test that out.

      Delete
    3. I saw this: If you ever connect VCC power to GPS-Module backwards (reverse polarity) you have likely fried it completely. You might try removing the battery (or is it a super-capacitor) or otherwise master-reset it's memory.

      I think i did that because when i powerd on the cx-20 first time there was no led blinking on the gps. When i turned the cabel to its right side again and powerd on it seemed ok, blue led blinking and all but only 4 sat and 4-5 HDOP. If it's fried do you think the led would be flashing at all and that i could get 4-5 sats like i do? (sry for my bad English)

      Delete
  9. Hi friend i need stock firmware wheere is the download can you send.me.? 3.1.2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is not available. You can load v3.1.2 from MissionPlanner, or I suggest v3.1.5
      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2015/05/upgrading-firmware-to-315-cheerson.html

      Delete
  10. Hello Tesla, i have a little problem, after installed a power module by crius, in mi cx20, the external plug wire conection is not working g+12v , but the usb works fine,, where is the problem?, bad plug wires,, or need some other setup for works well whit power module?,, i need to use that ports for conect gimbal a rx, thanks friend

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 12v gets to lower ports from thin wires attached to PDB in same place as battery

      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2015/09/new-nova-modding-for-flight.html

      Just trace it out. No Power Module should not affect that.

      I'm not sure I trust them. Also, soldering on the lower-port PCB is often questionable causing shorts for some pilots. So I did it this way on Nova #1 and ran my own JST

      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2015/05/gimbal-install-eachine-light-2d.html



      Delete
    2. thanks Tesla, was a bad solder , now everything is woorking, but if return faulty i will use your setup ....for now i need a big capacity batrery whit my 4000mha multistar lipo =12 mins whit gimball and rx connected, what do you think?, at the moment all mods are good assembly, osd, power module,telemetry... but maybe needs a little best setup config in mission planer,the mha not shows correct in a osd screen,,, but good,,, following the best masters,,, like you,, hehe
      regards

      Delete
  11. Hello , i have a quanum nova at full thrtle don t go up the engine have no full power
    What can is the problem
    Thans

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Be sure it's fully calibrated, including the ESCs.

      Check param ... THR_MAX,1000

      Delete
    2. Thanks, the thr max there are 80 i put at 1000 and fine works
      Thanks

      Delete
  12. Hello All,
    This is very interesting blog. Great work.
    I got an open source cx20 and in 5mins I broke it badly, basically it went high altitude and I stopped the throttle completely to bring down, but it got flipped upside down and after that none of the control worked, tried pushing the throttle to max, the propellers didn't spin(sounds weird for me, as I do this often in my Syma x5sw ).
    Free fall upside down was pretty hard, the wires that goes to the usb connector got disconnected, I connected them back. The white wire that runs from the power board (big square board to connect esc) to reciever was disconnected, I soldered it. Now I have two problems.

    1. The green led (gps) blinks but never the orange one, I disconnected the led and tested with 2AA batteries, the orange one never worked. May be I should replace it, do you know where can I buy it, tried ebay, wish, gearbest ...no luck.

    2. Most important: when I power it, all the motors sing correctly and stop, but the small buzzer in the power board keeps on beeping. Donno what does it indicate. Tried disconnecting easy of the esc from the power board and getting different buzz from each motor, so I think the motors and esc are working fine and getting signal from microcontroller. Searched for several days on the net to understand the significance of the continuous beeps from the power board but 😡

    For info: succeeded connecting to MP successfully but couldnt able to write down any setting changes. The write button keeps on running saying it is writing for more than 5mins and I disconnect the usb .

    If anyone have any idea for me to try, please do share. Thanks in advance .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet a lot of the answers you seek are here if you search.

      That white wire might have been intentionally cut.
      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2014/07/quanum-nova-power-distribution-board-b.html

      1. I just posted this about why LEDs flash and how to troubleshoot
      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2015/09/nova-external-leds.html

      2. The Power-Board (PDB) can alarm due to LowVoltageAlarm, but so can each ESC (usually due to lack of PWN signal)

      The Flight Controller needs to be opened and examined. It might be damaged internally or needs to be erased, reset, and firmware reloaded. There are also Diags in MP-Terminal.

      Each component is quad needs to be tested individually. Then, later as a whole aircraft.

      Delete
  13. My quanum nova is pulling to the left, I've tried trims sub trims, no mix is applied to aileron nor elevation. push the throttle up and it flips. opened up this evening I don't see anything wrong, APM planner shows that everything is ok. Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Be sure you have no Trims at radio. Fully calibrate. Erase Auto-Trims

      AHRS_TRIM_X,0
      AHRS_TRIM_Y,0
      AHRS_TRIM_Z,0

      If it's not out-of-balance, it should fly ok. If not, you might have to Auto-Trim

      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2014/08/autotrim-flight-2.html

      Delete
  14. Flew my cheerson cx 20 today on swa1 and sw2 setting landed soft cannot re arm i have tried heaps of times with new batteries
    I loaded mission planner for help but do not understand
    Is there a simple reset i could try
    Gps is solid green , red flashes
    Heaps of beeps but no go

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After you click Connect in Mission Planner, it will tell you why it's not Arming (with messages in Left-Hand HUD window). Remember, DO NOT upgrade anything ... just use it. Might just need to recalibrate everything in "Mandatory Hardware".

      Delete
  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure why you deleted your own post? Anyway ... Check that your Barometer/Altimeter is working.

      Also check these parameters ...

      RTL_ALT,4000
      RTL_ALT_FINAL,0
      RTL_LOIT_TIME,5000

      Delete
    2. I thought I was posting in the wrong area,so deleted. Can I add to my post, see below
      It flies beautifully and does everything it says on the tin. Problem though is the return to home, yes it does it all, if low climbs, if high drops but this all happens and the CX20 stops at 20' and hovers and just sits there. I then have to take over and bring her down, she has done the complete return and land twice, I can not seam to find what I did to enable it on those occasions. Anything I am missing.
      To do it for me must mean its software is ok, I think... ok! I am lost with the above, where do I find these parameters, I am completely new to UAV i'm used to r/c aircraft that do not have a mind of there own like these bits of kit do

      Delete
    3. You check/change parameters in MissionPlanner.

      Since you don't have Telemetry radios, check the barometer the best you can while CX-20 is connected to MissionPlanner.

      On first connection to MissionPlanner, DO NOT update firmware or anything at first (just use it). Also, do all "Mandatory Hardware" calibrations.

      Delete
    4. I know mine is the open source version
      I am assuming I need to open it up to get to the socket to plug my laptop into it

      Delete
    5. Hi,
      Update! As I said I connected the CX-20 to mission planner and did a system set up, (avoiding and firmware updates it was suggesting) I ran through many different things compass set up, GPS etc until I arrived at my auto land section, there were several, signal loss, low battery etc. Well all these were disabled and enabelled the ones I felt would be of use to me. After my first test flight she now lands every time using the RTL switch. and also when the transmitter is turned off to simulate a signal loss... Thanks for your help. Strange to supply a model with these features and have them off as default, then tease about them in the manual. Well I can now enjoy the hobby with the reassurance of the get out of jail free card in the form of RTL
      Oh for any others reading this mine is and open source version and i'm not sure if the other types have the above already enabled, I'm sure they must based on the video's on you tube.

      Delete
  16. Hi, i have a serious problem with my quad. Its cheerson cx 20 bigshark i think. Whenever i plugged battery to the quad, it keeps on beeping and no LIght at all. I tried to connect it to computer but there's no response.. But before this happens i was calibrating esc by removing m1-m4 and the throttle and the pther 2 (i cant remember). I mark them before i unplug to FC. After i unplugged the batt and plugged after 20 sec it just keep on beeping but no light. , please help me.

    I dont have accoount here but you can email me here: jamesvytiaco@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You must verify if BigShark or APM-based.

      I don't know anything about BigShark Flight Controller version of CX20, but there are forums dedicated to it on RCGroups.com

      Delete
  17. All the systems ie RTL and signal Los RTL were disabled by default. I did not enable battery failsafe because it would shoot up to ready for landing, not good if say beneith a tree. I did a full set up and didnt upgrade any software... I have sinve hovered in manual mode but will test properly in day light.. I will keep you informed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I setup Fail-Safe like this.

      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2014/07/failsafe-setup.html

      If you don't have optional APM "Power Module", keep Battery FailSafe turned off.

      Delete
  18. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  19. @Tesla1856 I was wondering if you could help me with my cx20? I can't get my drone to unlock( holding throttle bottom right. GPS gets acquired, I can calibrate controller and orientation no problem. Just can't get flight in either manual or stable modes. Please help! I've been trolling for days on anew answer. Would be greatly appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Turn off Geo-Fence for now. Switch to Stabilize Mode (aka Manual). If it still won't Arm, Connect to MissionPlanner (but do not update anything ... just use it). It will tell you what is preventing arming (in HUD window).

      Delete
    2. Wow man! Thanks for the wicked fast response. Since my cx didn't come with software or even a link or cable to connect, I haven't used/installed MP. Not familiar with Geo-fence. Been mostly trying with Manual. Pretty sure I forgot to re-lock after last flight if that makes any difference. Would using the reset button on the main board resolve this w/out having to use MP? Thank u so much for the help! Seriously

      Delete
    3. If not using MP yet, then unlikely GeoFence is on already. Yes, checkout MP. It will allow it to display Arming problem to you, fully calibrate all Mandatory Hardware, change parameters (when ready), get logs, and more.

      Delete
    4. Ok @Tesla1856 I've installed MP. Went to store and got a mini usb/usb data cable. Computer sounds off recognizing plug. When I click connect in MP this is the msg I got."Timeout waiting for autoscan/no mavlink device connected". I see in your directions above you suggest to plug in to a "micro usb" if MP doesn't recognize plugging straight into flight contoller, guessing that's the lower right slot just below the PWR plug?

      Delete
    5. Please re-read. Connect to bottom of quad, but if it doesn't work, connect straight into side of FC (must open quad).

      Windows must "chime" and detect FC as pictured above.

      Set port to Auto, then click Connect in MP.

      Delete
  20. Hello, Tesla1856,
    Thank you for your input and suggestions. There is so much I have to digest and I have so many questions to ask. For now, only two - during MP Wizard calibration, when "wiggling" around the throttle stick - upper right corner and upper left corner - the right hand motors sound a bit different than the left ones. They seem/sound very slightly slower. Any suggestions?

    I have flown it (only) 5 times (doing all the calibrations in MP first) and after flying relatively good for about 5 min. (during which I would land it and take off) it would crash - it starts wobbling and goes down. The first 3-4 flights I had the guards on, using carbon fiber 9450 props. The last time I took the guards off. It sounded way better, but still went wobbling down after about 5 min. ??? Thanks again, Luby

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't follow you. Motors don't run during calibrations, do they?
      There is a thing called "ESC calibration".
      Prop guards affect thrust and maybe even motor sound with CF props.
      I wouldn't be using FC props as new pilot. Whatever props you use, they must be balanced.
      Check vibrations in Logs or just go ahead and install Zeal under FC.

      Delete
    2. Thank you guys! I got it. Under TX calibration it says (in MP) "Make sure the controller is bound." I thought I have to arm the copter - so, my mistake there - that's why the motors run.
      I have done the ESC calibration. And I see why the guard are no good. I'll have an update on the progress. Thanks again.

      Delete
    3. Hi Tesla1856, or anyone else,
      I didn't think I'll bother you so soon, after my two happy successful flights, BUT - I was playing with the gimbal settings in MP and it crashed. I had to force close it. I have 3 param. files saved so I loaded the first one. Then the others, None worked. I cannot arm the motors. For a while I was getting proper response from the sticks in "Calibrate TX" and soon even that is not possible any more. I hear 12 beeps at power up (which someone said means fault.) I have ticked off the "ARM ..." in "Standard Parameters" and that doesn't do it.

      I am still with 3.1.2. Should I load 3.1.5 to see what that would do or is there another step I could try? Thank you so much!

      Delete
    4. Update,
      I did an ESC calibration again and during this, the TX can make motors spin, as they should. When that's done (and put back the plugs) at power-up I hear again 12 beeps and no arming. ???

      Delete
  21. I had the unlocking problem after connecting to MP, the MP is set as enabled by default, it needs disabling.
    Check arm/disarm go into config / tuning, then std parrameters tag, look at the very first settings at the top, arming check. You need to select disabled.
    Then click on the top green write perameters and send to the CX20
    This worked for me after i was told the above alao

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Paul,
      I did that. In my MP (maybe newer ver.), there is no "disabled" - there is a check box for "All" and/or then for individual items, like GPS, compass, etc. I had the "All" unchecked and checked several times (writing the par. each time). It seems that at the moment, the TX is not bonding with the copter at all. As I wrote to Tesla1856, there are 12 beeps as I plug the battery in. It is frustrating!

      Delete
  22. Hi Guys,
    What a lucky day! It was raining, so I rushed to the field and completed Auto Tune. Then I flew two batteries time - about 20 min. - my wife was waiting so I didn't drain them to the end.
    This is the first time the CX has flown the way it is supposed to. Thank you, Tesla 1856 and all the rest. I am happy! Now I have to do Auto Trim. Luby

    ReplyDelete
  23. I don't know how to edit (I didn't preview).

    I meant - it wasn't raining. I am sure you got that and I wanted to make sure. Luby

    ReplyDelete
  24. My mission planer version is 1.3.32.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for writing! Yes, mine too. On mine, under "Standard Par." I have a long line of check boxes for compass, gps, etc. The very first box is "All".
      Anyway, I saw a button (I forgot about it) "Reset par. to default" and I did it. Now it seems to work. It is late and I stopped so I don't mess up something. I'll continue tomorrow.
      Thank you again.

      Delete
    2. I must have been very tired last night - obviously I had the "All" unchecked. Now, when this is unchecked the motors run, but they keep running (very slow) even with the throttle all the way down; I can rev them but not stop them. And it still beeps 12 times at power up. The compass, GPS, accels calibrate good. There is something else wrong. I'll keep at it.

      Delete
  25. Set parameter to MOT_SPIN_ARMED,0

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tesla 1856,
      The default par. had 70 there. I had saved the parameters after the Auto Trim and there this value is 0. So, I learned that.
      It still beeps 12 times at power-up with pre-arm check disabled but at least it arms and spins properly.
      I don't like to introduce another "unknown" but I am tempted to load 3.1.5. Do you think this may fix things?

      Delete
    2. Hi Tesla1856 (or anyone else),
      Do you know anything about these 12 (or so) beeps at powerup? I couldn't find anything on the rcgroups - maybe I don't know how to search there.

      Delete
  26. Hi again, Tesla1856 or Paul,
    When you connect the battery (power-up) how many beeps do you hear? Now, for me, after the 12 beeps, everything seems to work - with the "All" checked. I am afraid to fly it though, because of those beeps. I heard from a video that this indicates a fault. Is this true?
    Thank you much for your time! As you probably know - this is driving me nuts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm assuming it's the motors/ESCs beeping and not the LowVoltageAlarm. My original Nova (with v1.0 ESCs) beeps 4 times. My new Nova (with v1.6 ESCs) beeps 7 times on power-up and operational.
      If you have corrupted your firmware (maybe when MP crashed) you can load v3.1.5-custom. Sometimes corrupt firmware causes strange beeping.
      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2015/05/upgrading-firmware-to-315-cheerson.html

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Tesla1856,
      Wow, this post came in (for me) today - Nov. 15.
      It may not be raining today, so I'll take a chance to do AutoTune again and will let you know what happened.

      Delete
    3. It wasn't raining and I could do AutoTune again - went fine and then was able to finally get "three batteries" flights without crashing. Took video which was a bit shaky maybe due to gusts of wind (I thought Walkera gimbal should "correct" that). Overall - very happy to be flying. Thank you for your help, Tesla1856!
      Yes, it beeps 12 times - had to record the sound to make sure. On my XGW_ESCs it says: ver2.4b
      Next is to load firmware. Should I go directly to the latest 3.2.1 custom or do 3.1.5 first?
      Thanks again!

      Delete
    4. Good work on 3 flights and video. If you upload somewhere like YouTube, be sure to post a link here so we can check-it-out.

      Maybe it's just those v2.4 ESC like to beep more to signal something (3 cell lipo or whatever). Do not know, but maybe it's normal since quad seems to be flying good.

      Firmware upgrades are your choice.

      Delete
    5. Thank you, Tesla1856,
      Well, I'll see how it goes. Right now it is pouring cats/dogs, so I don't want to do anything. I got the white DJI 9450, so I have to balance them.
      Here is the link to the video - heavily edited to keep it not boring.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbPEktmYNfg
      I have stubbornly tried to use the rcgroups and somehow it does not work for me, so your help has been a great comfort!!!

      Delete
    6. Nice video Luby. Glad I could help.

      Delete
    7. Well, I couldn't do other videos. On the second day, I was about 40 feet up and one of the self-tightening 9450s unscrewed and now I am to pieces. Ordered a SK500 since everything other than the body is working and a Nova, while it was still $160. I think it was a combination of my error (revving up and pulling down the throttle and not tightening them too tight) and who knows what.
      Tighten your self-tightening props as tight as you can and check them before each flight!!!

      Delete
  27. I have a 47 inch LG 3D smart TV that had a Wiimote fly into it and cracking the screen to unusability. I'm wondering if it's possible to get this fixed and will it be cheap enough to not just go buy a smaller new TV?
    Led video wall

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi

    I have purchased CX-20 (open source) through banggood.

    I have been out for about 5 flights with some crashes. Out of the box flight was very unstable and calibration helped but I'm still funHi

    I have purchased CX-20 (open source) through banggood.

    I would like to find out more about mission planner for CX-20.

    1. Can mission planner destroy the cx-20?
    2. I would like to check and change some settings/parameters such as return to home.
    3. Does it work on windows 10?
    4. Is there help documentation for mission planner?

    Your help will be appreciated. Finding it unstable in GPS stable mode. manual is more stable. I therefore would like to connect MP to check settings as I believe the quad should be much more stable.
    I would like to find out more about mission planner for CX-20.

    1. Can mission planner destroy the cx-20?
    2. I would like to check and change some settings/parameters such as return to home.
    3. Does it work on windows 10?
    4. Is there help documentation for mission planner?
    5. How to connect quad to MP?
    Your help will be appreciated

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, David, Things rarely destroy other things - humans do. MP cannot damage your CX unless you change some parameters which you don't know what they are doing. If you just plug it in (plug the battery too), click "Connect", then click "Disconnect" - nothing will happen to your copter. I don't know if it works with Win10 (I think it doesn't). If you get it hooked up, make sure that the first thing you do is go to Advanced Parameters and "Save to file" - to save your original parameters. And backup this file too. A nice Guide is on the following link: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2206138 You can get the Mission Planner + info there: http://ardupilot.com/downloads/?did=82 Also check: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2112759

      Best of luck and have fun!

      Delete
    2. 1. No, not really. But it can reprogram your firmware, so skip that when asked.
      2. Sure
      3. It should
      4. Yes
      5. USB or by 3DR-Radio

      Delete
  29. Hi. I have FPV on my Open source CX20. I decided to move the GPS module to the top of the upper housing and cover it with copper tape to shield it form the FPV TX. After doing so the GPS will not light up and I can not arm the motors. Does anyone have idea what might be going on with it. Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Check the cable (see my blog posts). Check for blue led light on bottom of GPS-Module PCB. In MP or DP are you getting any hdop/sats?

      Delete
    2. Okay I will do that first chance I get, Thanks for the reply. Much appreciated

      Delete
  30. Hello
    I change one motor (red side) as it was slightly tight. My CX20 now just beeps continuously and the lights on the control panels feeding power to the motors (under carrage lights) have all 3 LEDs blinking on the green motor arms and 1 LEDs and 2 LEDs only blinking on the RED motor arms?
    Should I reset the APM board or does it need to be reset on a computer?
    Do you know what the different blink lights mean?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I don't think it means anything other than PowerDistributionBoard or maybe ESCs is making them light/flash. Yes, might as well try resetting APM, reload firmware, recalibrate all ... including ESCs.
      There is a motor test in MP, and/or in Terminal.

      Delete
    2. Trying to execute the motor test I got the message "command was denied by the autopilot". Googling I read that the motor test is not working with v 3.1.2, for example in this post http://ardupilot.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9671&p=23178 an user was able to use the motor test feature after installing firmware v3.2 RC-12.

      Delete
    3. Rosario, It works in 3.1.2 and 3.1.5 . There might be two different places in MissionPlanner. I'm talking about the one in Terminal. You connect in Terminal mode, and type commands to test various components.
      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2015/01/nova-rebuild-apm-radio-setup-winter-2015.html

      Delete
    4. Ok. The other place in the Mission Planner is --> Initial Setup /Optional Hardware /Motor Test.

      After setup the motor test procedure I noticed that in motor test motors turn quicker than when they are activated by TX.
      Comparing the sound emitted in motor test to sound of motors activated through throttle it seems that motors during tests with 100% throttle turn quicker than motors with throttle stick in the up position. The motor maximum speed from TX is about the 80% throttle of the motor test.
      The comparison was executed after the calibration of radio, accell, compass and ESC though I am not sure about the ESC calibration as it is executed without the guide of the MIssion Planner.

      What I can do to increase the motor maximum speed and try to reach the speed obtained in the motor test? Maybe a non sufficient motor speed is the cause blocking the quad to rise.
      Thanks in advance for any advice.

      Delete
  31. This is really a good article,
    I like it,.
    Drones

    ReplyDelete
  32. I installed a new GPS unit (the same as stock model) in my Cheerson CX20 open source. I get a GPS lock but I can not arm the motors. I can get it to go into celebration mod but still no arming of the motors.
    Any idea or help would be appreciated. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Connect to MissionPlanner (ignore any upgrade requests for now). What does it say in HUD about Pre-Arm Errors?

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the come back Tesla1856. I have tried to connect to the computer but I get a timeout error.

      Delete
    3. Tesla1856 Thank you I finally got the CX20 to connect to MP and now it will arm. I didn't really change anything but it now ARM's There are a lot of settings that I saw through out the MP. Is there a way to desensitize the yaw. Thanks again

      Delete
    4. I would start with careful and exact calibration of all Mandatory Hardware. If you still need more:
      http://copter.ardupilot.com/wiki/tuning/
      or
      http://diydrones.com/forum/topics/apm-3-1-rc4-yaw-pid-tuning

      Delete
  33. Hi, i hope you all had happy Holidays. I got today the Nova. And Already got a Problem. i have the PNF Version and did everything like the YouTube Video from them. (not PPM connected). Now i was on the Part to connect it with the Computer to check the Receiver. But when i connect the Nova it just beginns to Beep and the LED's Keep flashing. I can connect it with MP however but the beeing wont stop. I even downloaded Default paragam to reset it it wont work. Any idea on how to solve this? Greetings from Switzerland

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, my second Nova did that (see my blog post). Try calibrating the radio first, and then the rest.

      Delete
    2. What do you mean by calibrating the Radio? Or can you Link me your Blog Post? (Ist not this one right?)

      Delete
    3. In MissionPlanner.

      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2015/09/new-nova-modding-for-flight.html

      Delete
    4. Not sure if you are connecting to the computer without the battery connected or not. On my CX20 if connect to the computer without the battery hook up it will beep due to a low voltage alarm.

      Delete
  34. Hi anyone can help me. I have upgrade firmware and crashed my cx20. I have bought new body shell and installed. How can i go back to factory default? I mean firmware and parameters. Please help me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can load v3.1.5custom and then Reset to Default Params in MP.
      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2015/05/upgrading-firmware-to-315-cheerson.html

      Delete
    2. Do you have any video guide for this? Will i have to calibrate all the things. I mean gps. Compass and accelometer? Because i am not very brave for mission planner. Thank you very much

      Delete
    3. There is no calibration for GPS, but yes ... all devices in Mandatory Hardware. MissionPlanner is your friend and best way to see what your quad is thinking and logging. Use it and get familiar with it for long-term satisfaction with your APM-based quad.

      Delete
    4. Dear sir but i dont have telemetry system. So how can i do compass calibration? I saw a video with compass calibration dance. I dont know how to calibrate. And i am scare to do auto calibrate. Mean live calibrate. Because my drone crashed while live calibrate

      Delete
    5. And please tell me what version of the mission planner is best for me

      Delete
    6. Use a long (2 meter ?) USB cable. You do NOT need to do Auto-Tune (live calibrate). Default PIDs are fine. Use the latest version of MissionPlanner.

      Delete
    7. Thank you very much dear. You are the best.

      Delete
    8. I have updated firmware that you told me. Everything looks good. I didnt do any calibrations. Do you think that can fly it for test

      Delete
    9. After updating firmware to 3.1.5, I suggest you do all calibrations of "Mandatory Hardware" devices.
      Before flying, you can also do "Holding by Landing Gear" test and verify Throttle, Pitch, Roll, and Yaw with radio.

      Delete
    10. Thank you very much. I will test and let you know the result. You are the best

      Delete
    11. Please help me. I have bought a gimbal from gear best yesterday. Here is the problem

      https://youtu.be/sYtOhCbJ3cg

      Delete
    12. New CX20. Okay, ran MP. Worked on bench. Arm/disarm okay. Haven'tflown it. Today, iI put back on MP. Didn't change anything that I know. Now, yellow blinking light on left is blinking and the Drone is beeping loadly. Really stumped, can't even get back into MP to check anything. Help

      Delete
    13. When yellow/red leds are strobe-ing, usually means you have invoked a calibration mode from TX itself (like Auto-Trim or ESC-Calibration).
      You might have to finish it or just press Reset button on FC. Maybe you corrupted firmware. Never disconnect USB cable from quad ... until MissionPlanner is "Disconnected" (button) and done talking to quad.

      Delete
    14. Hi, only yellow light blinking, no red. Tried to reset button on the apn, and unplugged it. Still, yellow flashing light. Will not arm. Can't get back into MP. Can I plug the USB mini port to the apn? Reflash it?

      Delete
    15. Yellow light blinking, will not arm. Can'tget back into MP. This is on my new Cheerson cx20 open source. Buy a new FC module?

      Delete
  35. Yes, try connecting directly to side of FC (micro-usb). Is Windows detecting APM as USB device?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Going to try that in morning. It was in MP. I changed max angle 3500. Armed fine last night, then today wouldn't arm. This blinking yellow light. Pulling my hair out. Didn't want to plug the mini USB into the FC without asking! Should i be running a battery. It's beeping like crazy. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I keep the LiPo plugged-in to silence the LowVoltageAlarm while using MP. Is that the beeping you are talking about, or is it the ESCs/Motors beeping (because they are not getting a PWM signal)?

    ReplyDelete
  38. OK, tried going directly to the apm, the one USB to Mini did not fit the apn connection. I tried an Samsung phone line, but I don't believe that worked. It fit, but i dont believe it tramsmitted data. I'm stumped now.

    ReplyDelete
  39. The beeping reduced in sound when lipo was plugged in. All 4 motors are twitching, for the lack of a proper term. Right Green GPS light still blinking, left light is only blinking yellow, No red! When the apn is disconnected, the sounds stop.

    ReplyDelete
  40. OK, opened it up. Downloaded firmware through the mini USB directly on the FC. OK. Got the yellow light off. Saved all changes. It armed on the bench. Tried it again, could not arm. 10 sat and .3 hop. Any help please. Once I learn this I'll be okay.thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you are making progress, and got it to Arm a few times. Did you fully calibrate again? MP HUD should show Pre-Arm failure or maybe even log them. For now, keep GeoFence off.

      Delete
  41. Tesla love the help you have offered many people is this blog Good Work.. I'm new to Quad Flying and purchased a CX20 for Xmas.. I'm starting to get the hang of flying my quad although i had a few minor crashes but really enjoying it. I want to learn and use mission planner I have the open source version and have a question maybe you could help me with. Can I connect a fully charger 2700 mah lipo battery as well as the USB connected to my laptor. I read somewhere that voltage from battery and USB cable together can damage the board ? Hope you can help me before i venture into the world of mission planner. P.S I have connected mission planner no problem without lipo battery with Windows 10 and all works but there is that annoying low voltage alarm when connected minus the battery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I keep the lipo battery connected with no problems. Yes, to silence LowVoltageAlarm. But also, there are some tests like "no-props motor test" that use both lipo and usb at same time.

      Delete
  42. Dr. Tesla, we are so lucky to have you in the ER team of this drone. It seems that a lot of these units will end up on the dissection table sooner or later.

    I own the open source CX-20, APM_2.52_500, firmware, version 3.15. After a hard landing, it will only fly in Manual mode. Although the GPS is showing a full green LED, the drone is not holding the altitude in GPS mode or ALT-Hold mode.
    With the throttle in 1/3 position and no props if I hold it at 1.5m altitude, the motors and the position LED will loose the power. Holding it steadily at this height, if i move the CX-20 up or down it will start to get power again. I am not sure if the Altimeter sensor on the APM board will cause this problem or is something else. In MP screen, the Altitude reading and GPS position seems to be ok. Should I replace the whole FC unit ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would try a full reset and re-calibrate. Maybe even re-loading v3.1.5-custom and then re-calibrate. A hard crash can corrupt memory and calibration settings. Work toward a "Master-Reset" or All-Memory-Clear / Ram-Clear.

      Be sure to use Terminal and run all tests and resets. Sometimes running those tests resets on-board devices. Pretty sure there is a barometer/altimeter test and I think the accelerometer/gryo gets tested on the way-in to those or maybe it was compass.

      Delete
  43. Tesla, thanks for ALL your help and experience. Finally, got it down. MP is a must!!! Everything is working great. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I read something above that bugs me. On my CX 20, your saying to arm in loiter/stable function, but take off in manual mode? Won't RTH and other GP functions work if you arm in manual mode???? I can arm in loiter/stable function, but won't take off unless you switch to manual... Please explain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a way to make sure your GPS Sats/hdop is strong enough before take-off so those gps-dependent functions WILL work good. Many pilots don't have Tower/DP3 running (or some other way) to see sats/hdop in real-time.

      Delete
    2. Okay, got it. A good safety check? In order to see that real-time info, can this be seen (sats/hdop) with a different controller and receiver? If so, can you suggest any which are good, but affordable? Thanks.

      Delete
    3. 3DR Telemetry radios are normally required, but you can also send over FrSky back-channel to Taranis with Teensy Project. Tower/DroidPlanner-3 might be more common.

      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/search?q=droidplanner

      Delete
  45. Okay Telsa, totally getting it. So, in my condo living room, on MP, it says 1.9 hdops and 8 satellites. All settings set, such as auto compass, max angle 3500. Geo fence disabled. So I am more confident that RTH and other features will also work properly now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At field, it might be different. Even weather, clouds, and stray WiFi signals can affect it. You can take laptop or Android device to field. Use direct connect USB or 3DR-Telemetry radios if you have them. Or, just "Arm in Loiter" if you don't have those devices with you ... better than nothing.

      Delete
  46. OK...
    Tesla, Thank You for all your effort!!! I am sure everyone is grateful for that.

    I have cx20 open source and I've "played" last month with the firmware (s) 3.1.2, 3.1.5 and 3.2.1.

    Everythig looks fine until Today when I crashed it badly after all motors stoped on 50-60m attitude.
    I was preparing myself to send my "baby" on a bit serious flight - 6km mission (about 20-25 min flight)

    The setup was:
    -fw: 3.2.1
    -carbon fiber 9450 props
    -5600 mah battery (400g)
    -samsung s2 for telemetry and video recording
    -gimbal for pitch only (1 mini servo "home made")
    -default parameters + calibration

    I didn't have the opportunity to try with your 3.1.5 fw but in 3.2.1 I love PosHold option I where i can do YAW in steady position, but i hate that I can't have the logs to analyse and that I crashed uncontrollable badly for the first time.

    So, when i get a new body, I would like to know please, what is your opinion about what should I do for my final goal:
    - 3G/4G live telemetry
    - 20 min autonomous mission (or modified during flight)

    Best regards,
    Kirk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suggest v3.1.5custom + Logging on this Cheerson APM-FC. For 3.2.1 or higher, try a PixHawk or PH-Lite. Sounds like you are ready for a larger custom-frame build (fly CX-20 on simpler missions).

      Running Telemetry over 3G/4G (instead of 3DR/SiK 915mhz) sounds interesting, but I have not tried it.

      Delete
  47. Hello there what an interesting and informative article you have provided.
    I now have my second Cheerson CX20 having done major damage to my first one. Apart from structural damage, landing skids, props and both shells I had one major screw up which (perhaps unfairly) I place at the door of MP. I have read that the firmware on the autopilot should not be updated and yet the first screen on MP indicates that it is going to do just that. Also under the tab "Initial Setup" there are 3 options: Install Firmware, Wizard, and Optional Hardware. I chose Install firmware and that was that (big mistake I think), from that point on I got continual beeping with no stopping it short of unplugging the USB. I believe that at that point I bricked the control board. What is the difference between that selection and the one on the first page of Initial Setup which indicates that it will update the firmware on the board See this image: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v504/ewen/AutoPilot_zpsd6ftlh7t.jpg . I am still in the process of calibrating my new CX20 manually and this morning I had a successful take-off and landing but on my second flight I could see that the quad was drifting in the wind and I opted for a "return home" at which point the quad flew in circles, panicked I switched the controller off but the craft motors kept on going and although it was spiraling down slowly I could do nothing until it hit the ground and somersaulted across the grass. What the devil happened? Last night I noticed that the compass dome was not level and I corrected that and I am wondering now whether that had something to do with it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My apologies that link should be:

      http://smg.photobucket.com/user/ewen/media/AutoPilot_zpsd6ftlh7t.jpg.html

      Delete
    2. Pretty sure that any prompts to upgrade something when MP first starts is related to upgrading MP program itself. But regardless, that's why it says above to ignore ALL upgrade prompts because MP is new enough to work, you just want to get whatever done. And upgrading APM firmware is a significant decision and should be considered and scheduled for later. Also, I don't use or run the Wizard (notice above) ... maybe for your reasons or I just don't like it doing lots of things hidden from me.

      Delete
    3. Thank you for your reply Tesla1856, much appreciated. I gather from your reply that you don't advocate the use of MP and that I should stay away from it until I know what I'm doing (which unhappily is very little at the moment). Did the fact that I had worked on the compass dome have anything to do with the drones erratic behaviour the following day?

      Regards Ewen

      Delete
    4. No, quite the opposite. I really like using MP. It tells you what is going on with the quad, and you can use it for diagnostics. As well as fully calibrating it. I just don't use the Setup Wizard, or let it force APM Firmware upgrades on me.

      Re compass ... possibly. Just remember, it you move or remount the compass, you should recalibrate it. Also, don't get anything metal or magnetized near it.

      Delete
    5. It would seem I have misunderstood you and I apologise for that. That being the case where then would I start using MP... at the Config/Tuning tab, and if so how do I start? Do you have a reference to a guide or do you have one yourself? I have just completed a rebuild of the damaged puck/compass dome and have re-calibrated the compass and the transmitter. I had hoped to do a test flight this morning but nature has blessed me with a very windy day instead. AS I have mentioned earlier I am worried that I run the risk of wrecking my second drone and being a complete newcomer to this aspect of the hobby you can understand my fears. I respect your experience on this subject and I must say that your blog has been the most informative of all the pages I have read to date and I thank you.

      Delete
    6. I have written several MP tutorials. One is in the main post above. There are several others in my Blog, like this one:
      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2015/01/nova-rebuild-apm-radio-setup-winter-2015.html
      You can also search Google and YouTube for APM and MP Tutorial. Good luck and if you have specific questions just ask.

      Delete
  48. Thank you for those handy links, I'll be sure to follow them up. Your assistance is much appreciated. Regards

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to help. As you can see from my pasts posts ... I've had my share of crashes and problems as well. So, I know what you mean about making sure aircraft is 100% before trying again. I ended up methodically going through mine and questioned everything. I found some interesting things and learnt a lot. Both of mine are flying fine (so far) :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you for reply I have one more question if I may. As I have already mentioned I bricked my first CX20 and today (after my previous post)I took my new one out after a complete re-calibration for a test fly. All went well until I gained some altitude and hit the loiter button. The quad kept gaining altitude and I suspect it must have hit an updraft so I hit the RTL switch and it promptly started rising very fast. Sad to say it slowly drifted out of sight and northwards, to China no doubt,and I fear I have lost it permanently. I did search the area where I think it could have come down but to no avail.
      Back to my bricked one... am I correct in thinking it is just the flight controller that is damaged or is the entire quad circuitry damaged as well? I thought that if I were to replace the controller I might very well have a flyable quad again at a reasonably low cost, about AU150.00 I think. Either way it seems I have a lot of new and used accessories to put on ebay.
      Thank you again for your time and regards.

      Delete
    3. Ewen, Sorry to hear about your fly-away. Obviously, that should not have happened if quad was calibrated properly, correct params, good GPS signal, working compass etc. I think I would have just switched back to Stabilize (Manual) and landed it.
      Don't give up. If this was easy everyone would be doing it.
      As far as the bad FC, use my blog and MP to try to revive it. Or, like you sais ... a full APM clone is cheap.

      Delete
  49. Hi Tesla would love your recommendation on a FPV setup. My CX20 is flying well now thanks to your help provided on this page. I am interested in some First Person View flying not so much for flying using FPV but more looking to see what i'm recording during flight. I'm looking something simple and was thinking of a WiFi camera connected to my laptop or android tablet. I read the 2.4Ghz controller transmission can be affected my the WiFi signal and can cause all sorts of problems. I have a low budget so trying to compromise to get some half decent photos and video recordings. Would a 5.8Ghz wifi cam work with my CX20 and would you recommend. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to hear your CX-20 is flying well. No, don't use any kind of WiFi or 2.4ghz for FPV (that's the frequency of 2.4ghz RC Remote-Control Radio). I haven't done much with FPV yet, but I do have a set of Boscam 5.8ghz FPV radios. You can get video-out from some (most) dash-cam/quad video cameras.
      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/search?q=5.8

      Delete
  50. Thanks Tesla for reply. Great video shot would love to achieve that sort of video from my CX-20 someday. Just to be clear on what your saying, I need a camera, transmitter on board my CX20 and receiver for laptop right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right. But to get video into your laptop, you would likely need something like a USB-based "Easy-Cap" or similar. Most pilots just send composite video to little LCD monitor or goggles.

      Delete
  51. Thanks so much Tesla i appreciate you feedback keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hello,

    I am a beginner with quadcopter and my technical language and know how about drone is basic so sorry for that. After this premise, my post is about the difficulty to use Quanum Nova quadcopter.

    I did two attempts and both cases the drone crashed to trees.

    In the last flight, after commanding return home , the drone that was right up the take-off point it flew away and stopped against a tree. The log of the flight is available to the following link.

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7mxrrfk6ho0tlqh/AAC7TyiS308QYQ1X8TayjXkga?dl=0

    Is there anyone that can help to understand the cause of the bad behavior of my quanum nova helping me to understand the log file?

    Moreover, before crash I filmed the drone when I was trying to take-off it as I saw that the back right arm turns slower than the others upsetting the drone. In the above link you can see the video of drone trying to take off. How can I try to resolve this issue? Is there some configuration change or physical recovery that I can implement before to replace the motor?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What firmware are you running (stock v3.1.2 or v3.1.5). Running stock parameters? Is quad's Mandatory Hardware completely calibrated (including ESCs)?
      If it has crashed, you have to re-calibrate (especially accelerometer/gyro).
      Usually, you have to give it more throttle than that to get it off the ground ... then it finally has a chance to level itself.

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    2. The firmware is v3.1.2.

      The complete quad parameters list is available at link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7mxrrfk6ho0tlqh/AAC7TyiS308QYQ1X8TayjXkga?dl=0
      are there some parameters out of range?

      After the first crash I performed again the Mandatory Hardware calibration.

      In the last flight I gave high level of throttle to get quad off. I got up 15 meters from ground if a bit.

      The mission planner tool advice me to upgrade firmware to v3.2.1, is it safe?

      Delete
    3. No, stock firmware v3.1.2 is good for now.

      Good to hear you got it to fly. It should be fine.

      Parameters look ok.

      Have you tested compass with no GPS or Internet/WiFi connection on MissionPlanner computer? Be sure compass is truly working.

      Also, are you waiting for good GPS (steady green LED) before taking off? (see above main post).

      Delete
    4. I completed the calibration of all mandatory hardware and the result is that the all arms seem turning at the same speed but my quad does not take off.

      The video of last attempt is available here:
      https://www.dropbox.com/s/bfhuwf3utdxd0hx/VID_20160410_194140.mp4?dl=0

      Do you suggest to execute again the calibration of all staff or there is a specific change that could be the cause of the quad's behavior?

      Delete
  53. Hi again Tesla.. Can you help me out again.. I am looking to know which APM board I have fitted to my CX20. Is there anyway of identifying which board is fitted without having to screw open the copter and looking at the board directly. I have mission planner working on version 3.2.1 and working well but with CLI now disabled with APM boards running firmware 3.2.1 I have no way of identifying my board model. Hope you can help and thanks for taking the time to read this post.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Need to know if anyone can help. Extra parts on my wrecked CX20 are going on a 450 frame. Need to know where I can get the compass/GPS dome tower about 5" high. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  55. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hi, Great to find a place to ask about cx20. Great info for a newbie to drones like me. My question is my cx20 got quite far so I switched to RTH and it went out of sight. I took off in the last direction I saw it go and 6 mins later I found it just holding about 100m up. I switched back to manual and landed. It was definitely on RTH mode and RTH has worked every time since. Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good work recovering your cx-20. The answer might be in the logs for that flight. Check your FailSafe parameters and FS operation on the ground and close-by. My guess would be a GPS glitch or stock-white-radio glitch.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your reply Tesla. Dont know how to view logs yet. I have set up the Geo fence until I get better with it and that works nicely

      Delete
  57. I bought the quanum nova FPV GPS Waypoint QuadCopter Ready to Fly with Mode2. It's very stable both in manual mode and stable mode. But i tried the return to home function, but the quad doesn't landing. When I switch the SWA to the 2nd position, the quad is go to above the take off point and it's hovering there and doesn't land. Can anyone tell me what is the problem?
    Thank you.
    Peter

    ReplyDelete
  58. Dear friends. I use CX20 several months. I noticed the biggest drawback is drifting around its axis smooth left and right ... so swimming. I think everyone CX20 or quanum nova has it. Of course, a delicate but very annoying when you are recording and flight straight ahead. Is it possible to change the settings to delete it or which settings are being affected?

    ReplyDelete
  59. Could you please clear something up for me. Does the stock cx-20 open source version have a battery failsafe of any kind. The manual that comes with it states that it will beep first when the battery gets low and after that it will land itself. I have read on forums and other places that the stock version has no battery failsafe. Thanks in advance. I have learned a lot by reading your posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will only beep. Between that and watching the clock, it works pretty good. To get it to land itself on low battery, you have to add an APM Power-Module (and program Flight-Controller for it).

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your answer. How difficult is it to add a power module and get it programed. Also is this the correct module.
      http://www.banggood.com/APM-2_6-2_5-2_52-Power-Module-With-5_3V-DC-BEC-p-925901.html

      Thanks
      Alan

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    3. Alan,

      I didn't think it was very hard. Here you go (link to the one I used and instructions):

      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2015/09/apm-power-module-install.html

      Delete
  60. Hi again, I have another couple of questions and here is the most helpful place I have found.
    First, what is the range of the cx20. I looked it up and found it's anything from 500m to 1500m. Bit of a difference there.
    And second, can you do a flight plan in mission planner on the cx20.
    Thanks Pete

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never had a stock-white radio so can't really say. In general, many different factors affect 2.4ghz range. With my Taranis & X8R, I've done 800 meters ... but only because I had RSSI built-in.
      Sure, you can do a mission. I suggest you take laptop to field. Without Telemetry radios, it might be a little nerve-racking (or exciting). Just make sure your RTL is working, and ready to be engaged.

      Delete
    2. Again thanks for your help Tesla. If you can help with this addiction I now have with always wanting to get out to fly it
      Pete

      Delete
  61. I have a problem with my cx20
    the gps locked and turns green constantly but when flying it doesn't work.
    it wont respond to any command home or hover
    what could be the problem?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Check logs with MissionPlanner. If it won't respond to ANY commands, that sounds more like radio. Fully calibrate ... including Compass.

      Delete
  62. Hi Tesla, Here is a bit of a problem i have just caused.
    While connected into mission planner one of my children pulled out the USB cable. Next time I tried to fly at the motors wouldn't arm. After a lot of problem solving I found out that in standard params, Arming check, I had to uncheck the ALL box and individually checked all the boxes except GPS. When the GPS box was ticked again the motors would not arm. My question is this, since that's just a check and I'm getting a green light anyhow is it still okay to fly normally. I have been paranoid ever since about is flying away
    Your input on this would be really appreciated
    Thanks Pete

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been reported in the forums that unexpected USB-cable disconnects will corrupt your firmware or programming. I suggest following "Simplified Full Nova/CX-20 Setup" section above to completely reset, reprogram, and calibrate FC (ie nuke-and-pave). Pre-Arm-Checks and Fail-Safes are there for your protection. Instead of disabling them, I suggest you find problem and correct it (leave them enabled).

      Delete
    2. again thank you for your reply. I am a bit cautious about messing around with it as I am new to it but i will give it a go

      Delete
  63. Hello I hope you can help me with something. I bought this power module for my open source cx-20.I don't know how to install I have some back ground in electronics I can solder and such but I just don't know where things hook up.I was wondering if you could lead me to some step by step instructions.Oh yeah the reason I want to use this is so I have a battery warning.Thanks for any help .Alan





    APM2.5 APM2.6 Power Module Current Modul XT60 Plug 5.3V DC BEC For RC Model

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the FC is the APM252_v5.0 version (with ADC port), see this post:
      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2015/09/apm-power-module-install.html

      Delete
  64. IS there a way to tell which fc is installed in my cx-20 besides physically opening it up and checking what is stamped on it.

    Thanks Alan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, not really. Check for stamping and ADC port while you are in there. White FC box snaps-apart. Replace nylon tie-strap. You might want to re-mount with Zeal while you are in there:

      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2015/01/nova-rebuild-apm-internal-component.html

      And there is a newer post when I did it to Super-Nova.

      Delete
  65. Thank you so much, this is starting to make since to me now. Any suggestions on where to physically place the power module inside the quad.

    Thanks
    Alan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I put mine on the left side:
      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2015/09/new-nova-modding-for-flight.html

      Delete
    2. Thank you Your info and pics have helped a lot.Im ready to install a power module in my cx-20.Looks like a fairly easy task after reading your posts thanks again.

      Alan

      Delete
    3. OK I I've installed the power module, it was really easy thanks to your help. I have a question about setting it up in mission planner if you don't mind. In the drop down box under sensor should I choose APM2.5+ 3dr power module or other and do the calibrations described. I hope I choose the 3dr option so I don't have to do the calibrations, I'm not sure how accurate my volt meter is.The link is the mission planner section I'm asking about.
      http://ardupilot.org/copter/_images/MissionPlanner_BatteryMonitorConfiguration.png

      Thanks Again Alan

      Delete
    4. Alan, glad I could help. I just Googled-it like you. Mine is working but I don't have all steps and settings documented here. If I ever do, I will post them at the bottom of this post.
      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2015/09/apm-power-module-install.html

      Delete
  66. Hi Tesla1856. I'm really struggling with my cx20 and would massively appreciate your advice. It worked fine out of the box on a couple of short indoor flights. Then, for no obvious reason, one of the motors stopped spinning. I recalibrated in MP but it didn't fix the motor issue, so swapped the back two motors around to see if it was the ESC or the motor that had failed. Neither motor then worked! So I ordered a new set of ESCs and motors. They took a month to arrive, now today when I'm ready to start work on it I've found that I can't seem to arm the motors any more - I don't think the radio (stock white) is binding at all. I've tried reset to default settings in MP but all this has done is make the thing bleep continually as soon as I connect a battery or usb. I've also pressed the reset button on the board, but that doesn't stop the bleeping. I'm running out of ideas and everything I've done so far has escalated the problem. Can you help? Many thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Constant motor beeping is likely because radio needs to be programmed (ESCs not getting PWM signal).
      I've never had stock-white-radio, but like any radio system ... it must bind. If it won't, you will have to fix that first. Once you get past that, MP is best way to tell what is going on (in real time) with FC. There is also a motor-test in Terminal. ESCs might need to be programmed (see blog post).

      Delete
    2. EDIT: Constant motor beeping is likely because radio needs to be CALIBRATED.

      Delete
  67. Thanks. I've calibrated my transmitter according to this process: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlMiLZ_NyL0

    I'm still have the bleeping problem. As soon as I plug in the battery, it bleeps rapidly and loudly in a single tone. It isn't the more musical tone which I always thought was the ESCs initiating. I'm scratching my head again...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You still need to calibrate the radio in Mission-Planner since it is one of the Mandatory Hardware components.

      Delete
  68. Ok. Can I connect the radio to mp directly? I didn't know that. I thought I had to connect the copter to mission planner, then bind the radio to the copter, so that mission planner only communicates with the radio via the Flight controller. Is this not right then? I'm really not able to do much with copter connected to mp - it just bleeps relentlessly, I assumed it wasn't possible to bind while its in that state.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The radio" is 2 parts (a RX and a TX). The RX is connected to the FC. Never had a stock-white-radio, but I'm pretty sure it works like any other. As long as both parts have basic power they should bind. If they don't bind, they are malfunctioning or you are doing it wrong. For example ... is there a special power up sequence, or maybe a "one-time" link-binding operation?

      Delete
  69. Cheers. I'll try that as soon as I can. Now my problem is that I can't connect to mission planner... It connected ok a couple of days ago, so I know I have the right com port and baud rate. Now when I click connect I get an error message saying "no heartbeat packets recieved". The APM wiki suggests I reset the board and describes a method which involves connecting to MP. I feel like a loan teenage mother with a screaming baby I don't understand.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Ok panic over. I pushed the reset button on the flight controller that seemed to allow me to connect to mp. Under "config/tuning" i opened "standard parameters" I disabled the first setting "arming check" by unchecking all the boxes. Then clicked "write parameters". This stopped all the sodding bleeping and allowed me to calibrate the transmitter. There are two strange things happening (which are challenges for another evening) 1) I've noticed that the motors are still spinning when the throttle is all the way down 2) the back two motors aren't spinning. I have spare ESCs and motors, but any tips on fitting them would be a huge help. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. Check that MOT_SPIN_ARMED" to "Do Not Spin".

      2. Sounds like a hardware problem. If swapping motors, be sure to watch CW and CCW rotation.

      Delete
  71. I think I might have figured out the route cause of my problems. Shortly after first flying the quad i fitted dji style prop guards. These are the easily removable types where you fit a perminant base part on each arm under the motors, with a larger guard section that slides in when you want to fly more safely and out when you don't need to. The base section is screwed on to each arm of the quad using the same screws that hold the motors in place. I might have used screws that are too long and shorted something in the ESCs. According to this video anyway... https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Hc_1G6aC2sk

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hi Everyone, first time posting here, I've read through this and other forums looking for an answer but can't find anything.
    My Bigshark CX20 has been repaired after a major crash, all is working fine, it flys as it should and all functions work perfectly with one exception, the under body red and green leds no longer work, they flash when the battery is low but not in normal flight like they used to?
    Can't see any loose wires so maybe something not plugged in properly?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know nothing about BigShark FC, but those LEDs are on the ESCs, so this might help (I think everything other than FC choice is about the same):

      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2014/10/nova-esc-and-body-repairs.html

      and

      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2014/07/b-power15-2nd-circuit.html

      Not that you asked about them, but rear LEDs are here:
      http://quadcopter-robotics.blogspot.com/2015/09/nova-external-leds.html

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the links, I will have a look and hopefully find an answer.

      Delete
    3. Hi Tesla, After looking at the second link which shows the "2nd circuit" it looks like the replacement ESC's don't have the extra wire marked "PPM" that connects to the spot also marked PPM on the main board.
      The 2 original ESC's that haven't been replaced (3&4) have a spot marked PPM but no wire, wondering if I could connect a wire from one of these ESC's to the main board to try and make the under body LEDs work?

      Delete
  73. Hi tesla. I need your expert help on this. My cx20 was ok until i slammed it to a lampost. The shell was broken but after some cement i managed to get fly again n the gps still ok. So a friend of mine gave me his nova shell and i did a migration to this nova body and thats where the problem began. My altitude hold,loiter and rth went haywire n does a fly away. I went to MP and did a 3.2.1 firmware install n it become worse. So i found ur site n did a 3.1.5 fw update n tried seems alt hold is ok and there is a slight improvement on the loiter n rth but thats just for a few second until it sudden went south north or anywhere. Still lost as to why this problem occurs coz during the damaged the cx20 loiter was spot on.
    I dont know if its gyro problem,gps problem or parameter problems. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On first swap, I hope you re-calibrated everything. Yes, many pilots have problems with Altitude after going to v3.2.1 (see blog). Reset, clean install v3.1.5 and fully re-cal. Be sure the 2 FC's PCBs are together tight or separate and re-mate. Check all cables for damage or corrosion (see blog). Loiter uses virtually all sensors (including compass).

      Delete

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