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QGroundControl Setup

[The best place to ask support questions is in our Slack community.]

Install QGroundControl

QGroundControl (QGC) provides flight control and vehicle setup for any MAVLink capable drone. It is available on a wide range of platforms. QGroundControl User Guide

Luci should be used with QGroundControl version 3.0.0.

Download QGroundControl v3.0.0

Install QGroundControl.

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Connect to FMU

This guide assumes you have setup Luci to broadcast MAVLink messages to your PC. If you haven't please review the Luci Powered Drone tutorial.

QGroundControl will automatically listen on port 14550 and should recognize Luci and start communicating with the FMU. You will see icons appear on the top toolbar in QGroundControl. The Attitude-rel gauge on the right of the screen should move when the drone moves.

QGroundControl

QGroundControl

Once QGroundControl is communicating with the FMU you can perform the setup procedures. On the top toolbar of QGroundControl click the icon with the gears. On the left sidebar you should see 4 buttons marked Airframe, Radio, Sensors, and Flight Modes that open configuration panels. Each button will have a red icon next to it until the necessary procedures under each panel have been completed. You can not fly until there are no red icons remaining.

Set Airframe Type

First, click Airframe on the left sidebar. You will see a panel filled with different airframe types. Select the Quadrotor x airframe and then in it's dropdown menu select Generic 250 Racer. Click Apply and Restart and wait a moment while the FMU restarts and reconnects to QGroundControl. When the FMU reconnects the Airframe icon should be no longer be red.

Sensor Calibration

Now for the fun part — sensor calibration. Click Sensors on the left sidebar to open the sensor configuration panel. Start each calibration step by clicking the buttons marked Compass, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, and Level Horizon.

Gyroscope

The easiest sensor to calibrate is the gyroscope, lets start there. Set the drone on a surface and leave it still until the red box around the airplane figure turns green.

Gyroscope calibration

Gyroscope calibration

Accelerometer

To calibrate the accelerometer you will be prompted to place your drone into different orientations and hold it still. Do so until all six boxes have turned green.

Compass

The compass calibration is the trickiest because you will be prompted to place the drone into different orientations and continuously rotate the drone in each orientation. Do so until all six boxes have turned green.

Level Horizon

To calibrate Level Horizon set the drone on a level surface and leave it still until calibration has been completed.

Setup Tutorial Video

If you are having trouble with the above calibration steps watch the following video of the process.

Bind and Calibrate Radio

Before you calibrate your Radio you need to set the trims on your transmitter to zero. Consult your transmitter's user manual if you do not know how to reset the trims.

If you are using a Spektrum transmitter/receiver you will need to bind your transmitter to your receiver. Go to the DS Link Status Page and click the DSM Bind button under Actions. Select your transmitter type: DSMX 6 Channel or DSMX 8 Channel depending on how many channels your transmitter supports. Click Start Bind to put your receiver in bind mode. You should see your Spektrum receiver blink orange.

DSM Bind

DSM Bind

Now put your transmitter into bind mode. The method to do so depends on the transmitter. Most Spektrum transmitters, such as the DS6, require you to hold it's bind button as you power it on. Consult your transmitters user manual. If the bind was successful, the RGB LED on Luci will momentarily flash green and the orange LED on the Spektrum receiver will turn solid.

RC Calibration

If you have properly connected and bound your transmitter you will see a column of sliders on the right side of the Radio panel. The sliders should move in response to throttle and yaw stick movement.

Click the Calibrate button in the Radio panel and follow the prompts.

RC Calibration Step 1

RC Calibration Step 1

RC Calibration Step 2

RC Calibration Step 2

RC Calibration Step 3

RC Calibration Step 3

RC Calibration Step 4

RC Calibration Step 4

Flight Mode Settings

After you have completed RC Calibration open the Flight Modes panel and assign the Mode channel to one of your transmitters available channels. The first four channels will not be available as they were assigned to Roll, Pitch, Yaw and Throttle in the previous steps.

Flight Mode Settings

Flight Mode Settings

Arm and Test Motor Direction

Perform this step without propellers. If the propellers are attached your drone will lift-off and crash.

  1. Unplug the battery and the FMU Debug cable.
  2. Reconnect the battery. The drone will make a series of beeps. This is the ESCs calibrating. Wait until all beeping has stopped.
  3. Turn on your transmitter.
  4. Arm the motors by holding the throttle down and to the right for 5 seconds. The RGB LED will turn solid blue when armed. If you are unable to arm the drone check that your transmitter is properly bound.
  5. Raise the throttle until all the motors are spinning.

If the motors are armed and do not respond to the throttle, repeat steps 1 and 2 while making sure nothing is connected to the FMU Debug port. It is important to power on the whole system together. The ESCs will not properly calibrate if Luci is receiving USB power before the ESCs are powered on.

  1. Disarm the motors by holding the throttle down and to the left for 2 seconds. The RGB LED will return to flashing blue when disarmed.

Now that we have working motors we can test motor spin direction.

Test Motor Direction

Arm the motors and raise the throttle until all the motors are spinning. As you can see it is difficult to determine which direction they are spinning. Bring the throttle back down to minimum. As the motors slow to a stop you should be able to see which direction they were spinning.

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Motor and Propeller Pattern

Motor and Propeller Pattern

Start with Motor 1. Raise and lower the throttle until you can confidently determine the motor spin direction. Refer to the diagram above and write down if Motor 1 is spinning in the correct direction. Repeat this for the other three motors.

Keys to Success

  • Take your time. It takes a while to get the hang of.
  • Keep the drone in the same orientation as the diagram above.

Once you are sure which motors are spinning in the wrong direction, disarm the motors and disconnect the battery. Flip the drone over and for the motors that were spinning in the wrong direction, unplug and swap any two of the three wires. Re-arm the motors and confirm that the motors are all spinning in the correct direction.

Finish QL25 Setup

Head back to the QL25 Setup document to finish the setup process.

QGroundControl Setup