hardware you have connected. If you are playing along with
the same hardware I am using, it will indicate “USB:
Revolution” as the connection device and “OpenPilot
Revolution” as the detected board type (Figure 2); click next.
The following window wants to know how the
transmitter is connected to the flight controller. We used
the pulse width modulated (PWM) configuration. Just select
that and click next. The other modes have unique
advantages and disadvantages, but that’s another topic for
another time. On the next screen, select the appropriate
vehicle type (multi-rotor) and click next again.
The multi-rotor configuration screen is a lot of fun to
browse because it shows you just how many configurations
this piece of software knows how to fly. It’s a very
comprehensive list that includes configurations I didn’t ever
dream anyone would support. Our copter is of the
“Quadcopter X” style. Though our frame is shaped like an
“H,” the motor layout and forward direction match that
shown in the figure of the X design (Figure 3).
The ensuing screen asks about the electronic speed
controllers (ESCs). Different ESCs will have different update
strategies. The AfroSlim models we are using are
particularly interesting because there is an entire community
centered around hacking the firmware on them to improve
performance and control type. If you were observant when
you took them out of the package, you will have noticed
that they even include the name of the hex file that is
Flashed on the controller on the package. That’s something
you don’t see every day! I wasn’t exactly sure of the correct
mode here, so I followed the recommendation to leave the
default setting of “Rapid ESC” selected. Turns out that was
a good suggestion.
Some users choose to make their multi-rotor GPS
enabled so it can fly to waypoints, station keep, etc. I do
plan to do that, but I think that first it is important to get
the quad in the air and make sure we all know how to fly
without something helping us fight the wind and spoiling
us. For now, just leave the GPS setting disabled. The screen
following this will summarize our settings; just click past it
as we don’t need a connection diagram. We are all set.
The next part of the setup wizard will configure the
sensor zero points and ESC start points. The sensor zeroing
comes first. Here, the software will determine the offsets
and bias for your individual accelerometer and gyro sensors.
SERVO 08.2016 9
Figure 1. Upgrading the firmware on the flight controller is
a simple and essential process to get the software and
controller to work together. It takes a few minutes to
complete. Be sure you are powering the flight controller
through the USB connection only.
Figure 2. If the software successfully recognizes the flight
controller, it should read “USB: Revolution” and “OpenPilot
Revolution” as shown.
Figure 3. Even though our airframe is shaped more like an
“H,” the relative position of the motors and the forward
direction match that of the “Quadcopter X” setting. The
difference in geometry of our motor supports doesn’t