I am a strong supporter of switch arming over stick arming and I believe it is currently the more popular of the two methods. A typical configuration (which I use) is to have a simple two position switch on your radio set to arm/ disarm with airmode always on. However, this also creates the risk of accidentally bumping the arm switch and having your props spin up. I am guilty of the same mistake – accidentally arming my quad in my hands and cutting my finger. Here are a few screenshots from my Taranis that show the method I use to mitigate this risk:
Essentially what this does is:
- Set channel 5 (AUX1) to high – arming the quad if BOTH switches are not in the top position
- Set AUX1 to low – disarming the quad if EITHER switch is in the top position
This means that it is extremely difficult to accidentally arm your quad as you need to flip two switches instead of just one, but it is still as quick and easy to disarm as you just need to flip one switch to the top position. I used the switches SE and SG, but you can use any switches that you are comfortable reaching.
The TBS Racetracker is an extremely handy piece of equipment that lets you keep track of your lap times without having to put any extra equipment on your quad. It’s a great tool for those who enjoy racing as it helps you keep track of your progress and push yourself to get faster. However, one issue it suffers from is extremely poor Bluetooth range. Out of the box, I could barely walk 10 feet away from the unit without losing signal. Since the idea of the Racetracker is to leave it at the start gate and have your phone record and call out lap timings, this is quite an issue since you either have to stand very near the gate (dangerous) or leave your phone near the tracker ad check times later (which loses some of the functionality).
However it is possible to improve the Bluetooth range of the Racetracker. All it takes is to replace the stock antenna with a better 2.4GHz antenna. Some people use a regular FrSky receiver antenna, and others use a WiFi router antenna with a u.fl to SMA/RP-SMA pigtail. I chose to use the ‘official’ TBS Range Extension kit for a convenient and neat installation. I bought mine from GetTBS. Since it does not come with instructions, in this post I’ll be showing you how to install the range extension kit.
In this post I will take a look at some of the online resources that I found helpful when I was building my first quadcopter (and still find helpful today).
Websites, Blogs and Forums
- Oscar Liang’s blog – An incredibly helpful blog. This blog has tutorials on almost every topic related to multirotors you can think of. I don’t think I would have been able to get into this hobby without it.
- RCGroups – One of the largest RC forums out there, there are a huge number of extremely helpful and knowledgeable people who post here. Do note that this forum is massive, and threads often go into hundreds, if not thousands of pages. You are not expected to read entire threads, but it does get kind of tiring for people to have to answer the same questions again and again, so make good use of the ‘Search Forum’ and ‘Search Thread’ features. My advice is to find the threads of the products you are using/ plan to use and read through as much of them as you can and then follow them regularly. Right now, there are 14 extremely active threads that I follow religiously and several more that I follow via email subscription. These include the threads for products that I use – RCX motors, Little Bee ESCs, and the APM; firmware development – Betaflight, Raceflight, Multishot, BLHeli; as well as random threads that pique my interest like the Über Design Ü180, Turnigy Graphene, Armattan Productions etc. Some of them, like the Betaflight thread move insanely fast, and can have over 20 new pages a day.
In this post, I will take a look at the various factors you must consider while choosing an ESC for your quadcopter. The importance of the ESCs is often underestimated, but they can make a significant difference in the thrust you get from your motors, efficiency, as well as overall flight performance. This post will mostly be geared toward those building mini quads but a similar process is applicable to bigger multirotors as well.
The motors are one of the most important parts of your quadcopter. Make the wrong choice and your quad will fly like a brick. In this post, I will look at the various specifications of a brushless motor you need to consider to make your choice. I will also mention some good motors available today. This may get a bit technical, but I suggest you read through it so that you can make an informed choice. No TL;DR here 😉 So let’s get to it: