Initial setup

Installing QGroundControl

QGroundControl is a software package that can be used to flash, configure and calibrate the flight controller.

QGroundControl

Download and install the version for your operating system from the official QGroundControl website. When asked, agree to install additional drivers.

Consult the official QGroundControl user guide if anything goes wrong.

Preparing the MicroSD card

Prepare the MicroSD card for your flight controller.

Pixracer и MicroSD-карта

  • Put the card into your computer (use an adapter if necessary).
  • Format the card to FAT32 filesystem. Right click on the SD card icon in Windows Explorer and select "Format". Use the Disk Utility in macOS.
  • Use "Safely Remove Hardware" and unplug the card.
  • Put the card into your flight controller.

Flashing the flight controller

Main article: https://docs.qgroundcontrol.com/en/SetupView/Firmware.html

Do not connect your flight controller prior to flashing.

We recommend using the modified version of PX4 by CopterExpress for the Clever drone, especially for autonomous flights. Download the latest stable version from our GitHub.

Flash the flight controller with this firmware:

QGroundControl firmware upload

  1. Open the Vehicle Setup tab.
  2. Select the Firmware menu.
  3. Connect your flight controller to your PC over USB.
  4. Wait for the flight controller to connect to QGroundControl.
  5. Select PX4 Flight Stack in the right bar.

To use the recommended Copter Express firmware:

  • Check Advanced Settings checkbox.
  • Select Custom firmware file... from the dropdown list.
  • Press OK and select the file that you've downloaded.

To use the latest official stable firmware just press OK.

Wait for QGroundControl to finish flashing the flight controller.

Do not unplug the flight controller during the flashing process.

Read more about the firmware in the "Pixhawk Firmware" article.

Configuring the flight controller

You can use the Raspberry Pi to access the flight controller over Wi-Fi for the rest of the setup process.

This is how the main QGroundControl settings window will look like:

QGroundControl overview

  1. Parameters that require setup: Airframe, Radio, Sensors, Flight Modes.
  2. Current firmware version.
  3. Current flight mode.
  4. Error messages.

Selecting the airframe

QGroundControl frame selection

  1. Open the Vehicle Setup tab.
  2. Select the Airframe menu.
  3. Select the Quadrotor X airframe type.
  4. Select the Generic Quadrotor X from the dropdown menu.
  5. Return to the top of the list and press Apply and Restart button, confirm by pressing Apply.
  6. Wait for the settings to be applied and for the flight controller to restart.

Setting parameters

Open the Vehicle Setup tab and select the Parameters menu. You can use the Search field to find parameters by name.

QGroundControl parameters

Press the Save button to save the changed value to the flight controller. Changing some parameters require rebooting the flight controller. You can do that by pressing the Tools button and selecting the Reboot vehicle option.

Configuring PID regulators

Averaged PID coefficients for the Clever 4 drone
  • MC_PITCHRATE_P = 0.087
  • MC_PITCHRATE_I = 0.037
  • MC_PITCHRATE_D = 0.0044
  • MC_PITCH_P = 8.5
  • MC_ROLLRATE_P = 0.087
  • MC_ROLLRATE_I = 0.037
  • MC_ROLLRATE_D = 0.0044
  • MC_ROLL_P = 8.5
  • MPC_XY_VEL_P = 0.11
  • MPC_XY_VEL_D = 0.013
  • MPC_XY_P = 1.1
  • MPC_Z_VEL_P = 0.24
  • MPC_Z_P = 1.2
Averaged PID coefficients for the Clever 3 drone
  • MC_PITCHRATE_P = 0.145
  • MC_PITCHRATE_I = 0.050
  • MC_PITCHRATE_D = 0.0025
  • MC_ROLLRATE_P = 0.145
  • MC_ROLLRATE_I = 0.050
  • MC_ROLLRATE_D = 0.0025

Note that you should fine-tune the PID parameters for each drone individually.

Cicruit breaker parameters

  1. Set CBRK_USB_CHK to 197848 to allow flights with the USB cable connected.
  2. Disable safety switch check: CBRK_IO_SAFETY = 22027.

Next: Sensor calibration.

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