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X8 help, which remote? Setup?

Discussion in 'X8+ Help' started by Ryan88, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. Ryan88

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    Hi, new to the drone world except for a fpv racer i have but i got a used x8 for a good deal with no transmitter. Which transmitter will work? Any 2.4ghz? Which software do i use to setup the transmitter? I am pretty much clueless on how this thing needs to be setup.
     
  2. Ryan88

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  3. Pushjerk

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    What's up, Ryan. Hope you got good deal. I built 3DR's Y6 a couple years ago. Tons of fun - a mean flying bird. I have parts to build an X8 but just haven't gotten around to it.

    I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess you are new to RC?

    You stated you have an FPV Racer - did it come pre-built with a transmitter and all? Did you have to do and Radio binding, calibration, setup, etc? If so, What you will be looking forward to with this X8 will be similar. If the answer is no, and you have not had to do any setup, binding, calibration, etc, then this will be a fun little adventure for you.

    If you're even semi-competent with computers and technology, and if you can follow instructions, this process should be pretty doable. There will be some trial and error, but you'll manage.

    First some notes about what you got.

    So 3DR sold this bird as an "RTF" system. It came with everything you needed to get flying - a pre-built X8 copter running Pixhawk, battery, and Radio. All of the programming and calibrations for Copter and Radio were done by 3DR so the buyer could, after some simple setup, simply charge the battery and go fly.

    This bird is a little different than other RTF systems out there like Solo, Phantom, etc, as it used legacy RC technology in a DIY style package - It was no different than all the other DIY Arducopters out there running Pixhawk, it's just they did all the setup for you.

    So all you have to do is do the Setup, Programming, and Calibrations that 3DR did, and you'll be ready to fly.

    More to come...
     
  4. Pushjerk

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    From your pictures, your bird is equipped with a FRSKY RC Receiver (RX). You'll need to acquire a Radio Transmitter (TX) of the same protocol - i.e. FRSKY. You will just have to Bind the Taranis to the RX already on your copter, and you'll go from there.

    Personally, I'm partial to the FRSKY Taranis - it's a super hot radio, and sorta has been all the rage in the RC/FPV communities for the past several years, and for good reason - it's of pretty ok quality, and is super capable and flexible, running OpenTX software, and has a feature set of radios that cost many many hundreds if not thousands of dollars - all for about $200, less if you get one used.

    Another great reason, to go Taranis, there are some great tutorials and Youtube videos out there on setting up a Pixhawk with a Taranis, step by step.

    FrSky Taranis X9D Plus 2.4GHz ACCST Radio (Mode 2)


    You have options too. You can simply pick up a TX and RX of any company - JR, Spektrum, Futaba, any budget HobbyKing variety, and setup to work with your gear. The FRSKY would just be the simplest way to go since the RX is already installed on your copter.
     
  5. Pushjerk

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    This is but one battle. You'll have a few more before you conquer this beast. Here is a link to some really good reading material on Arducopter that you should get super super super familiar with before going to fly.

    Copter Home — Copter documentation

    On the left side of the page is the menu. I recommend reading very thoroughly, if not multiple times, the first three sections and all of their sub-sections:

    Introducing Copter

    First Time Setup

    First Flight

    Once you have made it through these, you should be pretty good to go out and get this bird in the air, after familiarizing yourself with all FAA and RC Modeling Community Safety Guidelines, of course.
     
  6. Ryan88

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    I cannot thank you enough for all this info, i have mainly done rc planes and cars for about 15 years but recently i have got into fpv and quad copters plus my other project with long distance fpv with a skywalker x8 wing. I got a great deal on this x8 or at least i think so at 140$. Came with the 3dr solo radio though haha.

    I did setup the software on my 250 racer quad with librepilot, will i need the adapter cable to perform the calibration for this drone through a tablet, laptop, or mac?

    Is pixhawk the name of the software online that i will need to download to perform the calibration? I will definitely read through everything and order that frsky radio.

    One thing i noticed is frsky the same as flysky?
     
  7. Pushjerk

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    Ryan,

    Killer to hear you have a background in RC. Doing what you're about to do without one would be a heck of a lot more difficult.

    My first love is Fixed Wing FPV, so you're in good company. I do some scale bush plane flying and RC crawling as well.

    Great deal on the X8, considering this thing was around 1K when it was selling.

    Clarification, Pixhawk is the name of the flight controller that's installed on your copter. It is a proprietary 3DR flight controller based on Ardupilot code. Lot's of history there, that's another conversation.

    The Software to setup this flight controller is called Mission Planner, or APM Planner, depending on which route you decide to go, Mac or PC, etc.

    As you'll find when reading the "First Time Setup" section on the Arducpter website, one of the first steps is to "Download the latest Mission Planner Installer." Mission Planner is the most standard PC application I believe that is used to interface with the Pixhawk Flight Controller.

    I believe there is a Mac version of APM Planner, which is very much like MP. I am a Mac guy, but have a cheap PC Laptop I use for all my RC stuff. I opted to go PC with Mission Planner as I was going to also use an Android Tablet to interface with Pixhawk while flying (something the telemetry radios on your copter can do, this is getting a little ahead).

    I do believe that Frsky and Flysky are indeed separate companies.

    Do some reading, get a good radio, consider getting a cheap tablet to run the Tower Application with your telemetry radios. BTW, did the copter come with only one telemetry radio on the copter? Or with an extra one to plug into a tablet?
     
  8. Ryan88

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    Well fixed wing fpv is exactly what i just got, got a crazy deal on that model too. Still trying to figure out all that long distance and equipment i need versus what i got but thats another long conversation.

    I actually do the same exact same thing as you, i have a cheap laptop i use for rc stuff but dont really put much on my mac. I also recently got a android based amazon fire tablet so that should work good for that.

    Honestly this thing has many more connections and wires then i'm used to I feel like im staring at bigfoot haha. It looked like only one telemetry on the copter as far as I can see, but when i get home I can take a few more close pics so maybe you can tell if anything has been changed or removed. The obvious is that the Camera gimal is gone but it has a few wires that aren't connected to anything.

    I will definitely pick out a decent radio considering its such a rare thing to come by for this price, i dont think the guy who I bought it from had any idea what it was or how to work it. How many channel radio do i need? Is 9ch necessary for the x8? Do you think the radio i have (spektrum DX7) would work with this copter considering is only 7ch? is that frsky receiver on the copter a radio receiver or is that just telemetry for the radio?
     
  9. Pushjerk

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    the FrSky RX is your RC RX, the Telemetry Radio is the 915mhz radio on the back, just aft of the GPS mast.

    In the setup documentation I sent your way, in the First Time Setup>Configuring Hardware>Radio Control Calibration you get this nugget (Radio Control Calibration in Mission Planner — Copter documentation):

    Channel mappings
    Copter default channel mappings are:

    • Channel 1: Roll
    • Channel 2: Pitch
    • Channel 3: Throttle
    • Channel 4: Yaw
    • Channel 5: Flight modes
    • Channel 6: (Optional) Inflight tuning or camera mount (mapped to transmitter tuning knob)
     
  10. Ryan88

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    Ok cool, again thanks for the info. Here are some pics of the quad.... The reciever only has 2 connectors on it instead of all six wires for each function attached to it like described above. Is this normal? Empty slots on a connector board on the back? Three separate connectors on top? I might have to trace them to there origin to figure out what there used for maybe for gimal. The one on the far right has 7 pins... 20170131_200629.jpg 20170131_200533.jpg 20170131_200722.jpg
     
  11. andrew.baker.142

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    Ryan88,
    I second the recommendation for FrSky Taranis. Great radio. I use mine for fixed wing and multi-rotors.
    Download the assembly instructions for the 3DR DIY Quad. It is identical to the X8 (with the exception of only having 4 motors and 4 escs.
    You did get a great deal on your X8. It is a beast.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  12. Ryan88

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    I was looking for some assembly instructions and now i know where! Thank you for that information.

    I am definitely considering the new taranis q x7. Looks like a solid radio for that price and my dx7 is quite a dinosaur so it seems like a good time to switch over.
     
  13. Ryan88

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    So I downloaded the mission planner software, attached to my windows laptop, and attempted to connect. It connected but it wouldn't get past the step of connecting to MAVlink. It wouldn't connect at all.

    Checked the mico sd card slot, no sd card slot....

    Added at micro sd card, no difference.

    What should i try next? Its the most up to date mission planner and i have a micro sd card. Do i need a specific sd card?
     
  14. Pushjerk

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    You following the Loading Firmware section in the First Time Setup on the links above?

    Loading Firmware onto Pixhawk/APM2.x/PX4 — Copter documentation

    The COM Port business can be tricky. All USB cables are not created equally. Try different USB ports. Try another computer if you have one.



    I recently updated FW on a Y6 w/PH. Wouldnt connect to MP. Could not do it with my PC Laptop and latest MP. Just wouldn't work. After many many different tries I got ArduPlane to load just to test, but could never get copter 3.4.4 to upload to PH.

    Finally tried a Mac with APM planner just to get the FW on there. Then connected no prob to MP on PC.


    There are a lot of tricks for Firmware uploads and even just connecting to MP I've heard of - SD re-seat, reset FMU, unplug peripherals. Keep playing.

    You can also get 3DR in chat on 3DR.com and get tech support real time for Pixhawk.
     
  15. Ryan88

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    Solved, I had to plug in my 4 cell lipo then plug in the usb cable to the x8. Passed right away, seems like it needs a certain amount of volts to get the MAVlink to work.

    Thanks for the quick reply, so far so good.
     
  16. Pushjerk

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    And there's another trick - sometimes the voltage from the USB is not enough for the PH to do some things.

    Glad you got it sorted.
     
  17. andrew.baker.142

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    If your computer has the 'high power' USB outlet, be sure to use it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. Ryan88

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    Okay so i got everything working, put the props in the proper places, and now it drops the esc calibration everytime I unplug the battery.

    Also when i do calibrate it and i throttle it up it has no response from my remote besides the throttle. It literally just falls backwards when i give it enough throttle without taking off.

    So, I was going to run through the radio calibration again since it seems I have no input or controls besides the throttle. Thats all i can think of doing....

    I read somewhere else that if the radio calibration is not completed the throttle calibration will not be memorized??

    Ill try that first, if anyone has anymore insight let me know. Thanks.
     
  19. Ryan88

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    Okay so I reset the calibration and checked the status of the errors on the flight data. Looks like a pre arm error for compass, i disabled the compass that was getting an error to see if that changed and all the errors stopped.

    Can i disable the compass or will i need a new one. It says its compass #2?

    Also the throttle still needs to be cslibrated everytime I plug in the battery.

    I have a solid yellow light? What does solid yellow mean? Should ut be solid green? I can not find a light reference for the x8.
     
  20. Ryan88

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    Here is a picture of my flight screen. 20170211_113547.jpg