before shutting off.
With the configuration
shown, the motors would
run at half throttle for 20
seconds (Figure 23). This
would be a slow descent
for my quad. Hopefully,
the quad would be close
to or on the ground by the
time the motors shut off.
This is a nice feature that
should help prevent flyaways, which are always a
Next, the receiver is
configured. Since I’m
using the more traditional
style receiver with multiple
PWM servo connections, I
selected StandardPCM as
the receiver protocol, but
select whichever is
appropriate for your
system. I left the rest of these
settings as the defaults (Figure 24).
I also left the defaults (off) for
the camera and battery monitoring
setting tabs. While the battery
monitoring is a nice feature to have,
I wanted to get running with the
most basic setup before adding bells
and whistles. Note that for the
battery monitoring to work, you
need to connect the battery voltage
sense lead to your power
distribution board somewhere.
Finally, accept the defaults on
the Misc tab (Figure 25). If you are
connecting sensors or other
microcontrollers to the two free
serial ports of the Quadrino, you can
modify the baud rate here. Make
sure you leave the Quadrino at the
default 115200; otherwise, the
firmware configuration tool will be
unable to communicate.
The next screen is a bit misleading as there is a finish
button, but clicking it exits the program. First, click the
Flash firmware button and watch as the firmware compiles
and is transferred to the Quadrino. After a successful Flash
of the firmware, click finish to save your settings and close
out the firmware tool (Figure 26).
At this point, I powered up the copter and was
planning to use the ground station software to finish
setting up my controller and go on a test flight. As soon as
I plugged in my flight battery, all of the ESCs began
beeping that they needed
calibration. Unfortunately, this is not
an easy process.
There is a calibration firmware
that can be uploaded and will (in
theory) calibrate all ESCs at once, but
it did not work after Flashing. So, I
won’t go into the upload process. I
ended up removing each ESC’s
control wire from the flight controller,
connecting it to the throttle channel
of the receiver, and manually
calibrating each ESC. While only a 10
minute job on a quad, it could be
much more troublesome on a hex or
octocopter. If you need a refresher on
ESC calibration, be sure to read my
previous ESC basics article.
After calibrating all of the ESCs
and quieting the storm of beeps, I
installed the WinGUI software that
makes up the ground station and
flight mode configuration. This is a Windows only solution.
The Multi Wii software is available cross platform, but I
found it much harder to use and not compatible with the
high resolution screens of many modern laptops (such as
the Microsoft Surface).
There are myriad settings in WinGUI, but the only
settings we need to worry about are under the RC Control
Settings tab (Figure 27). Here, we set what flight mode the
system will operate in and how the system is armed.
I used a three-position switch on my controller to set
the flight mode, and a two-position switch to arm and
SERVO 10.2017 41
Figure 25: The Misc tab allows you to change the
baud rate of the serial ports. Unless you have a
good reason, leave all of these at 115200.
Figure 26: Don’t forget to click the Flash
button before clicking Finish! Flashing takes
about 20 seconds.
Figure 24: My receiver is of the StandardPCM type,
but those with Spectrum or other more advanced
receivers will need to adjust this tab as necessary.
The Multi-Rotor Hobbyist