How to Build a Quadcopter — Part 8 (Wrapping it Up)

Now that the ESCs have been calibrated, there are some minor tweaks that need to be done to the transmitter and FC.

The FS-T6 transmitter has 6 channels and 4 of them are assigned to the control sticks. This means there are 2 more channels (called auxiliary channels) remaining that can be assigned to other flight features. By default, the remaining 2 channels are assigned to the VRB and VRA knobs that are located at the top. Knobs can be used to turn on certain flight features but I believe most people would prefer to use switches instead. The instructions below explain how to assign the SWB and SWA switches to the 2 auxiliary channels.

  1. Press the thumb wheel on the left of the LCD screen to bring up the Menu.
  2. Using the thumb wheel, scroll to “Functions setup” and press it down to enter that sub-menu.
  3. Scroll down to “Aux. channels” and enter.
  4. For Channel 5, set the Source to “SwA”.
  5. For Channel 6, set the Source to “SwB”.
  6. Press the “OK” button to save your changes.
  7. Press the “Cancel” button twice to exit the Menu.

Now you can configure the SwA and SwB switches to trigger certain flight features. The following instructions explain how to do this.

  1. Move SwA and SwB switches to position “0”.
  2. Launch Mission Planner and connect the FC to your PC using a micro USB cable.
  3. Click on the “Connect” button in Mission Planner.
  4. Click on “Initial Setup” and select “Flight Modes”.
  5. For “Flight Mode 6”, select “AltHold” from the pull-down menu and then click on “Save Modes”.

This will assign SwA to turn on the altitude hold flight feature when it is switched to position “1”. In position “0”, altitude hold is turned off and the quadcopter flies in “stabilize” mode where the autopilot assists in the pitch and roll controls to keep the quadcopter upright.

For now, we will leave SwB unassigned. The SwB switch can be used to trigger other flight features in Mission Planner if you want to further explore the many other features in APM.

During your maiden flight, you may notice that the pitch control is reversed — pushing the right control stick (aileron) up causes the quadcopter to fly backwards instead of forwards. Most people are probably more comfortable with having the quadcopter move forwards when the stick is pushed up. The instructions below explain how the aileron control channel can be reversed in the FS-T6 transmitter settings.

  1. Press the thumb wheel to enter the Menu and select “Setup”.
  2. Select “Reverse”.
  3. Change Channel 2 from Normal to Reverse by using the thumb wheel.
  4. Press the “OK” button to save your setting and then press the “Cancel” button twice to exit the Menu.

With the channels and transmitter all set up, you now have a basic quadcopter that is ready to fly. The next tutorial will be on how to install a GPS module on this quadcopter so stay tuned.

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