I recently reviewed the falcon 180 which is a great mini FPV quadcopter, but it does require a few tweaks to get it working nicely out of the box. So this is a quick guide to show you the main things you should setup to get the most out of your Falcon 180 FPV racing quadcopter .
I am not sure if future versions will fix these issues (i hope they do) but for now these are my recommendations on what you should change before you go flying
Setup your Flysky i6 Radio Switches and Flight Modes
Out of the box, the radio is configured to have the aux switch to the the rotary knob
VrA. Although this works it just about makes it impossible to change flight modes while flying unless you have a third hand. So we will need to change this to the 3 position flick switch
SwC on the radio. This will allow us to change between 3 flight modes very easily on the quadcopter while in flight.
To do this you need to turn the radio on into programming mode to access the menu.
- While holding the yaw trim to the right, and the roll trim button to the left (also known as the Vulcan salute).
- Once the radio has booted up long press the
OKbutton on the right until a menu screen appears.
- Using the up and down buttons on the right, select the
Functions Setupmenu and press OK.
- Select the
Aux. channelsoption and press
- The flysky i6 radio has the option for 2 axus channels, channel 5, and channel 6. However by default channel 5 source is the
VrAknob, and we need to change that to
- Once selected long pres the
Cancelbutton to save. Yes I know its weird but that is what you need to press to save the settings.
Now when you go back into cleanflight and move
SwC you will see it moving between 3 positions, allowing you to configure 3 flight modes.
I suggest you set Acro, Horizon and Air Mode as shown below: Si when the switch is in the neutral position your falcon will fly in Horizon mode, but then you can flight to angle mode, or air mode to fly acrobatics (only do that when you know how to fly).
Setup Throttle Failsafe
Another critical step before you fly is to setup the throttle failsafe. If your radio looses contact with your falcon it will send a failsafe signal to let cleanflight know. By default this is not enabled so if you loose radio contact your quadcopter will most likely continue as it was and fly away. The failsafe is setup quite easily by doing the following.
- Again boot your radio up into programming mode (as above by holding the yaw, and roll trims inwards while powering on your radio).
- Now select
System SetupMenu and press
- Scroll to select the
RX Setupoption and press
- Within the RX Setup menu now you must select the
- Once in the Failsafe menu scroll down to
channel 3(throttle) and select OK.
- Make sure your throttle stick is all the way down and press the down button to turn the channel 3 failsafe to on. Once done press
OKto go back to the failsafe menu.
- Now you should see the channel 3 values reads -99%.
- To save this you need to long press the
Fine Tune the PID’s
Out of the box, the PID’s are good enough that the quadcopter can fly, but overall I would say they are not great. So its a good idea to change them.
To change the default PIDs simply connect to cleanflight, and go to the
PID Tuning page.
The first thing is to change the
PID controller via the drop-down menu to choose
Multiwii (Rewrite), as this overall is a better PID controller than the default. Once that is done change the values for the Roll, Pitch and Yaw PIDs according to the values below (thanks to Shaun Tan for the PIDs):
- Roll: 4.2, 0.02, 40
- Pitch: 5.8, 0.02, 30
- Yaw: 5.0, 0.04, 0
This should give you much better precision while flying. Once done, hit the save button to write the settings to your board (not literally as you could damage your computer).
Rotate the SP Racing F3 Controller
If you ordered your falcon 180 with the SP Racing F3 flight controller its best to rotate the flight controller so that you can easily access the USB port (as this is something you will probably do fairly often). If your falcon uses the naze32 flight controller then you dont need to do this as it already has the USB port on the side.
Its a fairly cumbersome process as you need to first remove the top 5 screws to undo the top carbon fiber plate. You then need to carefully unplug the FPV camera. You then need to unscrew the metal standoffs to lift the lower carbon fiber plate to access the flight controller. Rotate the flight controller 90 degrees so the USB port is on the side and re-assemble your falcon quadcopter.
Once everything is back together you will need to open cleanflight again and set your board orientation. This is done on the configurations tab where you change the
Yaw value to 90 (if the USB board is on the left) or 270 (if you USB port is on the right). The tilt is -10 degrees because the motors are mounted at 10 degrees.
Go out and Fly
So now with these simple steps when you go out on your first flight the falcon 180 will fly like it should out of the box. If you have any feedback or suggestions please let us know so I can update the guide (even if there are typos/spelling mistakes). Hope you have fun flying your falcon 180 if you get a chance when its not raining (Here in the UK we are having a terrible summer so far with loads of rain…)