Category Archives: FPV

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D4R-II Telemetry Setup

Category : FPV

In Part 4 of the ZMR 250 4S build we’ll take a look at how to setup telemetry  using the FrSky D4R-II receiver and the Taranis X9D Plus transmitter.

So far in this ZMR 250 4S build series we’ve installed new motors and ESC’s, flashed our Rev. 5 NAZE 32 board to betaflight 3.1, and covered how to setup failsafe with the D4R-II receiver.  You can view those parts here: ZMR 250 4S Build

Telemetry is a great feature that gives you access to large amount of information about your quad copter, such as main battery voltage and receiver signal strength – plus a lot more! With a Tarnais transmitter, these data values can be read aloud during a flight for example.

Setting up telemetry will require you to open the Betaflight Configurator and enable a couple of additional settings that we did not enable during our initial setup in the “betaflight setup tutorial

Once you have connected the flight controller to your computer,  in the betaflight configurator, click on the “Configuration” tab on the left menu.  You’ll want to enable the two settings shown in the photo below: SOFTSERIAL and TELEMTRY.

 

Once these two settings are enabled click the SAVE AND REBOOT button at the bottom right of the screen.

Next we’ll need to enable the SOFTSERIAL1 in the “Ports” tab in betaflight configurator.  Also be sure to select the type of “Telemetry Output” – in this case we’ll be using the FrSky option with the D4R-II receiver.

Click the SAVE AND REBOOT button.

With these settings in place, your receiver should now be ready to send telemetry data to your radio. In order to accomplish that, you will need to install the green wire on the connector included with the D4R-II receiver to channel six on your NAZE board.  Telemetry data be sent through this channel to your receiver.

In the photo below you can see how I’ve connected the board and receiver.  I used some single jumper wires and soldered this into the green wire that connects to the D4R-II receiver.  You could also just do a direct solder if your board doesn’t have the pins already in place. You can purchase these single jumper wires from Amazon: LINK

With every thing above setup, you can now power up your transmitter and PAGE into the TELEMETRY screen.

From the main screen press MENU once, then press AND hold the PAGE button and this will take you back a page into the last screen – which is the TELEMETRY screen.

At first you may only see 4 sensors.  Use the – (MINUS) button to scroll down to where it says “Discover New Sensors”.  Press ENT once to begin the discovery process.

NOTE:  Telemetry data is only sent once the quad copter has been armed.  MAKE SURE THE PROPS ARE REMOVED BEFORE ARMING YOUR QUAD!

Once the quadcopter is armed, immediately you should see quite a list of sensors show up!  For my particular case I’m seeing 18 sensors!  Make sure to set Voltage Source to VFAS if you will be monitoring the pack voltage.

Once the sensors are showing, you can then setup your “Screens”.  In my case I’m only interested in the pack voltage and the receiver signal strength, So I’ve setup screen 1 to show the RSSI and Cels options.

 

There are a number of sensors you can show – here are just a few of them:

  • Cels – Main pack voltage
  • Cel – individual cell voltage (calculated)
  • RSSI –  receiver signal strenth
  • Accelerometer AccX, AccY, AccZ
  • A1 – RX voltage.
  • Alt – Altitude.
  • … the list goes on!

Once the telemetry data is setup, you can now setup the Taranis X9D to monitor the battery voltage for example and have it give you a voice read out if the voltage drops to a certain level.

With that all said, that concludes our 4S conversion build series for the ZMR 250!  Please contact if you have any questions or comments!

 

 

 

 


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Taranis D4R-II Failsafe Setup

Category : FPV

In Part 3 of the ZMR 250 4S upgrade conversion, we’ll take a look at how to setup failsafe on the Taranis D4R-II receiver!  Failsafle is a very important item to setup on your quadcopter!  If you were to lose signal at full throttle your FPV racing quad would mostly like continue it’s full throttle setting until the battery ran out.  Who know’s where it would be by then!




There are a few steps that need to be followed precisely when setting up the failsafe on the D4R-II receiver.  For this example I’m using the Taranis X9D Plus transmitter for this procedure, but the following steps should be similar to most Taranis transmitters.

  1. Put the Transmitter into BIND mode.
    1. Power on the transmitter
    2. press MENU once
    3. press PAGE once (should now be in the MODEL SETUP screen)
    4. press the – (minus) button until the “[BIND]” word is highlighted.
    5. once highlighted, press the ENT button once.
    6. you should now be in bind mode and hear a “chirping” sound
  1. This step helps to have an extra setup of hands. Press AND HOLD the F/S button on the D4R-II receiver WHILE you power it up – continue to hold this button down for approximately three seconds.
  1. With the X9D still in bind mode, power off the transmitter – DO NOT POWER OF THE RECEIVER YET.
  1. Turn on the transmitter once again.
  2. Press the F/S button ONCE – just a quick press – don’t hold.
  3. Power off both the transmitter and the receiver.

Failsafe should now be set.

NOTE: the steps above assume that the throttle stick is at it’s lowest position during this entire process.

 

 

 


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ZMR 250 4S Conversion – Basic Betaflight Setup

Category : FPV

In part 2 of the ZMR 250 4S conversion build series we’ll take a look at migrating from Cleanflight to Betaflight with the NAZE 32 F1 Revision 5 board. This tutorial will also serve as a guide to those who may be setting up Betaflight from the get-go!

We’ll cover the following steps:

  • Flashing Cleanflight to NAZE 32 board
  • Basic settings using Betaflight Configurator
  • Taranis D4R-II Receiver setup using CPPM

The purpose if this tutorial is intended to be very basic in order to get you in the air quickly and not get bogged down with complex setups.  Let’s get started.

Flashing Betaflight to NAZE 32 Board
If you haven’t already, be sure to download the Betaflight configurator extension from the Chrome store.  Connect your board with a USB cable and launch the Betaflight Configurator.  Click on the “Firmware Flasher” tab on the main screen.  Choose your board from the dropdown menu  and choose the most recent version of the Betaflight release from the firmware dropdown menu.

The only other setting on this screen that should be changed is to enable “Full Chip Erase” so we can start from a clean slate.

 

Basic Setup Using Betaflight Configurator
Once the Betaflight firmware has been flashed to the board it will reboot.  Click the “Connect” button in the upper right of your screen which will take you directly to the main “Setup” tab.  On the setup screen you will see a graphic of your quadcopter showing it’s orientation.  Move the quad copter around making sure each axis is moving the correct direction.  For example, if you roll your quadcopter to the right, it should roll to the right on the screen.  Check each axis: roll, pitch, and yaw.

If a particular axis is NOT moving in the proper direction, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the configuration tab
  2. Scroll down to the “board alignment” section.
  3. Only change one axis at a time – using the dropdowns to the right to adjust the board in the desired direction.  Once you make a change click on the SAVE AND REBOOT button on the lower right of the screen.
  4. Go back to the setup tab and check each axis again for proper movement.
  5. Repeat as needed until each axis is oriented correctly.
  6. Adjust only one axis at a time until that is set properly.

Now that the board is aligned properly, move on to the Configuration Tab (we’ll come back to the ports tab in a later tutorial once we setup telemetry with the D4R-II Receiver).

Here are the basic settings you need to check and set properly for your particular quadcopter.

  • Mixer – Choose quad type (Default is quad x shape)
  • ESC/Motor Features – Set ESC protocol based on your particular ESC, for this example we’ll use MULTISHOT for the LittleBee 35 amp BLHeli_S ESC’s we are using.
  • Min and Max throttle – I like to set min to be a min of 1000 and a max of 2000
  • Minimum command ( you can leave this as default or change it to match the min throttle setting if you don’t want your props to spool up slightly when armed.)
  • Receiver – Set this to match your Receiver, for this particular quad I’ll set it to PPM RX Input – since we will be using CPPM on the D4R-II Receiver.
  • All other settings on this tab can remain as default for now.
  • SAVE AND REBOOT!

Quadcopter should now be responding to Inputs from your transmitter.
With those basic settings in place, we can move on to the Receiver tab to make sure we are seeing the inputs from the correct channels.  The following assumes you have already bound the receiver to your radio.

Move the sticks around on your transmitter to make sure pitch, roll, and yaw are all on the proper channels.  For the Taranis FrSky Transmitter your channel mapping should be: TAER1234.  You can choose this from the dropdown or manually type it in.

I also like to setup an arming switch on my radio right away, otherwise you have to hold full left yaw and zero throttle to arm and disarm.  Having it on a switch will allow you to instantly dis-arm the quad in case of a crash!

To setup an arming switch on the Taranis X9d Plus, follow these steps.

 

  1. From the main screen press MENU once
  2. Then Press PAGE until you get to the INPUTS screen (5/12)
  3. Press the – (minus) button on the right of the transmitter until you highlight the next available empty input – (in most cases it should be right after the rudder input on this screen).
  4. Press Enter Once to enter the setup area for this new input.
  5. Set the SOURCE to be the switch you want to use.
    1. use the – (minus) key to highlight the SOURCE area and press ENTER once.
    2. Then simply toggle the switch up and down you wish to use… it will then record this as the input you want to use.
    3. Press exit until you are back to the Input screen.
  6. Next, press PAGE once more to advance to the MIXER screen.
  7. Use the – (minus) button to navigate down to the next open channel – usually this will be CH5. Press enter once.
  8. Go to the “SOURCE” area once again and choose either the switch name or the name of the input if you named it on the INPUTS screen.
  9. Press EXIT until you are back at the main MIXER screen.

You should now see the switch show up as AUX 1 in the Betaflight configurator. You may have to connect your flight battery to power the Receiver – MAKE SURE THE PROPS ARE REMOVED!!!

Add additional switches as needed.  For CPPM on the D4R-II Receiver they recommended NOT using MORE than 6 channels.

Finally we will move on to the Modes tab in the Betaflight configurator.  We’ll use this new switch we setup to Arm the quadcopter for flight.

With the receiver inputs all moving the proper way, we can adjust the ARM sliders to be activated when the arm switch is flipped up or down.  In this particular case with the ZMR 250 I set the ARM mode to activate when the switch is in the UP position. Adjust the sliders so they cover where the little yellow tick as shown.

SAVE AND REBOOT!

In Part 3 we’ll take a look at setting up failsafe using the Taranis D4R-II Rreceiver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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ZMR 250 3S to 4S Conversion – Motor and ESC Upgrade

Category : FPV

In part 1 of the ZMR 250 3S to 4S conversion we will be upgrading the motors from DYS 1806 2300KV motors to the more powerfull 2204 2300KV XNOVA motors. Migrating from 3S to 4S packs will also require an ESC upgrade so we are going to be installing the Favourite Little Bee 35 amp ESC’s.

XNOVA 2204 2300KV Motor Specs:

  • 3S – 4S compatible
  • 5mm Prop Adapters included with locking nuts for each
  • two sizes of motor mounting screws included with package to accommodate different arm thickness
  • 2300KV
  • Precision balanced and hand wound
  • some cool decals!





Favourite FVT LittleBee Spring 35A BlheliS Specs:

  • 2S-4S Compatible
  • Blheli_S Firmware (with Blheli bootloader)
  • Able to upgrade firmware through Cleanflight/Baseflight pass-through
  • 35 amp continus with 40 amp burst
  • Supports:
    • Damped mode
    • Oneshot125
    • Oneshot42
    • Multshot
    • Dshot – (if supported by Flight Controller)

Let’s get started!

First we will start by installing the included 5mm prop adapters using the supplied hardware.  Make sure to use some thread locker here as we don’t want these things flying off!

 

Once the motors are prepped I like to install them on the quadcopter right away.  This will make things easier when we solder the ESC’s in place later since we can trim the wires to fit exactly.

NOTE: with the ZMR 250 arms and the 2204 motors the wires aren’t positioned directly over the center of the arm so I made sure to point that toward the back of the copter.

With the motors installed we can turn our attention to the ESC’s and getting those installed.  As you can probably tell from the photo above there is a lot of extra wire that we will cut down so everything fits nice and tight to the frame!  Start by removing the shrink wrap around the ESC so we can remove the signal and ground wires (small white and black wires) from the ESC and trim these to size. 

Once the signal and ground wires are shortened to the desired length, place them on the quadcopter are in there intended position and secure temporarily with some electrical tape. With the ESC in it’s desired location we can then solder the main power wires to the PDB board on the ZMR 250.

If your ESC connections are a little tarnished or diry you can clean them with a bristhl brush and a little window cleaner!

Before…

After… nice and clean!

 

With the ESC’s installed on all four quadcopter arms you can start to wire the motors in one by one.  Also when wiring up the ESC’s and motors this can be a time consuming and tedious process so make sure not to be in a hurry here! Since I removed the factory shrink wrap you can replace it with a color of your choice and re-attach the original label.  I also like to place a small piece of double sided tape under each ESC and between the arm then secure with a zip tie as shown in the photo below.  One added benefit of of the securing with a zip tie in this position is that it gives the quadcopter some “landing legs” of sorts!

In part 2 we’ll take a look at migrating the original F1 NAZE 32 from Cleanflight to Betaflight!


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