After I finish soldering a new copter or make a significant change, like updating the flight controller firmware, I always have to review the remaining setup steps to ensure a safe first flight.
I've documented them here for my own record keeping. Leave comment if you have a suggestion how to improve!
Before updating the flight controller firmware, open the CLI and run the
DUMP command. Copy the output into one side of the https://www.diffchecker.com/
Flash latest version of BetaFlight to flight controller
Now open the CLI and run
DUMP again. Copy and paste the output into the other side of the diffchecker. Now compare the two sides and copy any changes you want to keep into a new document. Run these changes to update settings in the CLI.
On the main settings page in the Configurator, calibrate the accelerometer. Calibrate the magnetometer too, if you have one.
set align_board_yaw = 90or however many degrees the board is rotated.
Check rc midpoints and endpoints: 1500, 1000-2000
set rx_min_usec = 885 set rx_max_usec = 2115
Turn down min_check and up max_check
set min_check = 1040 set max_check = 1980
Configure aux channels -- arm via switch, etc.
Turn off arm on switch kill switch
This means the motors will not be turned off even if the arm-switch is turned off, unless the throttle is at 0
It helps prevent falling out of the sky as one more step (throttle down) is required before killing the motors
There are 2 failsafe stages
Stage 1 handles momentary loss of signal, up to the default of 1.5 seconds, defined by
All channels are set to whatever you've defined via
I use the defaults, except for the throttle channel, which will get set to 0 by default. I change that to hold the last value with
rxfail 3 h
Stage 2 handles loss of signal after the
failsafe_delay has expired
Turn on your quad, I do this with props on so I can check autolevel. Do this at your own risk.
Hold your quad. Safety glasses are pry a good idea. Arm the quad and throttle up beyond
failsafe_throttle. Turn off your transmitter.
Watch the quad continue (Stage 1) for 1.5 seconds, then it should throttle down and go into autolevel mode. Wait for the copter to stop, turn the TX back on and try to arm. It shouldn't work. Turn everything off.