A beginners adventure into the world of multirotor fpv drone racing and freestyle

Flight check

This is a list of checks I recommend before proceeding from the bench to the air. It be costly both on the time you spend troubleshooting and your wallet should you destroy something needlessly.

While building:

  • Check board orientation (arrow facing where camera is!)
  • Do not solder over top of your board.
  • Cover boards with tape while soldering
  • Check all boards for solder or debris
  • Check and double check connections (power, ground, signal etc)
  • Triple check connections and soldering using pin-outs
  • Check flight controller looks stable and level on soft mounts
  • Check that motor mount screws are proper length and do not push into motor or windings. As you are putting mount screws in, carefully verify and double check before using locite and putting them in firmly. This is more common on smaller motors . It is possible to permanently damage all of your motors if you improperly mount them with the wrong screws.

Before testing motors (without props) !

Betaflight (USB connection only)

  • Flight Controller firmware
    • Always back-up whatever firmware is currently on the controller! Label it with BF version and date
    • CLI: dump / diff – copy these values into different files with BF version/date
    • This will save you, especially if you have a BNF that does not have a posted Betaflight diff online if you want to revert to the old version. The diff can also help you upgrade by verifying settings
  • Check gyro
    • when rotating your if gyro is rotating incorrectly on pitch or roll, check board orientation
    • Symptom: quad will INSTANTLY FLIP OUT on motor idle or applied power. Way worse than a backwards prop!

BLHeli (USB connection only)

  • Make certain the 4 motors on ESC are displaying
  • Flash to latest BLHeli version
  • Only need to touch PPM settings if usings ONESHOT/MULTISHOT – do not touch if using DSHOT

Betaflight (USB connection with battery

  • Motors screen – override protection
  • Spin up each motor by clicking and using arrow key to bring it to idle
  • Can use this time to validate motor direction!
    • Take heat shrink tubing and place gently on motor while low revolutions and it will guide it towards the motor direction

Before testing motors (with props) !

  • Install props carefully to the Betaflight / BLHeli configuration (CW/CCW)