New build/configuration/guide Long Range

Looking forward to seeing/hearing from you about how it flies and how long you can fly for.

I think the GPS setup will be interesting as not too much betaflight specific info that I have seen (but I have not looked much either since I dont use GPS on betaflight)… although the GPS recovery mode in 3.4 is a valid reason to start using a GPS to be fair.

And in the next video.
The video will be up soon…

I talk about smoke stoppers and me toasting an ESC’s cause I didn’t have one


The fourth video has now been published on youtube.

Covering a build update, continuity checks, smoke stopper and where not to place your thumb when plugging in the usb cable.

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I Killed it… I killed the FC

Well yesturday I had to fess up to @unmannedtech that I killed the Airbot Fireworks v2 FC he had sent me for this build.

I recorded the finished wiring video and then went on to the configuration video covering the runcam, FC, ESC, VTX etc… but only to find that the FPV feed was black… No OSD, no camera.

A black FPV feed normally mean no video is being received from the camera and no OSD mean no feed from there either.

When I soldered the video out from the FC to the VTX I lifted the pad killing all video out to the VTX.
I tried to fix it and it did work… until you knock the wire then it goes again :frowning:
I could maybe get it to work again… but its not worth the risk flying with the chance of the FPV feed going black is never going to end well.

So I ordered a new FC that should be here in a day or two.

The good news
I can finish all the build and configuration videos.

The bad news
I have to fit a new FC with this being an All In One (AIO) board I have to de-solder everything and do it again.

What did I do wrong
I have a variable heat soldering iron were I can adjust the temp from 250 - 450c I court the switch and turn my iron up to 450c

What can I do next time
Check the tempeture each time before using the iron or buy a better iron.
Maybe this is the excuse I need to get a TS100


I was sceptical about this soldering iron, but @UnmannedCam has one and its great, especially after you flash custom firmware onto it


Think I made a boo boo…

So the other day I killed my new Airbot Fireworks v2 FC by lifting the OSD pad.
This is the pad I lifted and killed…

So I ordered a new FC from unmannedtech which arrived today… thanks alex @unmannedtech

I had a look at the new shinny FC and noticed :frowning_face: on the other side of the FC…

Is a repeat of all the solder pads on the top of the board… including the OSD video out pad.

So I don’t think I needed a new FC.
My job now is to lift all the hardware off the frame and solder onto the OSD pad on the under side of the FC.
Its a bit of a hassle but easier than soldering in a whole new FC.

On a plus note… I have a spare FC. :+1:


Spare FC :+1:

Cos god knows you’ll need one at some point haha

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haha that’s how it always works… but if you want to return the replacement FC just let me know :slight_smile: But if you fly anything like me its only a matter of time until you will need to replace the FC! :boom:

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Good news…

Soldering the VTX to the OSD Video out pin on the bottom side of the FC has fixed my problem.



Nearly finished now.

The next video in the playlist is ready…

The wiring is all done and tested and working. :slight_smile:

Long Range Build - Wiring Complete

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Thats it…

I’ve just finished recording the Configuration video for the playlist…
Its currently 50 Minutes long… But with some editing and index links it should be fine.

Editing may take a while…

Getting closer to that first flight…

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We have been having a heat wave for weeks and now the build is finished it rains :frowning:


Charge everything…

Tomorrow if its dry… It’s going up.

Also I’m checking my SD Cards to make sure they are already and empty.

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I cant wait to see that beauty up in the air :blush:


So whats happened over the passed couple of days…

Configuration Video
The configuration video is being edited but one of the videos (the one above the quad) was corrupted so I’ve lost that footage :frowning:
So I have to redo some of that footage.

First Flight
Well it flys, flew a whole pack no issues no hot motors and didn’t fall out the sky. :slight_smile:

Very RAW Footage

It wasn’t without its problems…
No GPS signal (need to check mounting, something is blocking the GPS signal)
Lots and Lots of oscillations during the first flight, then I was unable to arm and fly again on the second pack.
I kept getting calibration errors, I did fix this by changing “gyro_calib_noise_limit” from 48 to 100 but now that doesn’t work… :frowning:

After spending the night fault finding, I believe the gyro has failed and I’m now unable to arm with a PID loop higher that 8k/8k (so no 16k/8k or 32k/16k which this board can do)

The only option now is to replace the whole FC (good job I have that spare)

So the current plan.

  1. Finish the configuration video.
  2. Start/Finish the first flight video. (Phone Camera footage (maybe to bad to use), DVR and HD footage)
  3. Video the failed Gyro video (to help others)
  4. Remove and fit the new FC.
  5. Redo the first (second) flight video.

Not all builds go as planned.
Use them as a learning experience learn from them, don’t be beat by them.
Fixing faults is a good way of learning, how to fault find and repair.

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You should be able to replace the IMU box on the Fireworks V2 as that is the nice thing about them… you could try to swap the gyro box from your second FC to the one already installed… although depending on your soldering it might not be possible since you need to get the bottom to unscrew the gyro box.

Its been a while since I’ve updated this project.


The Bad News
I’ve had some bad luck on this build and for one reason or another the Fireworks v2 FC’s have not worked for me.

The Fireworks V2 FC where either damaged or just didn’t like something on my build.
The gyro’s where getting a lot of electrical interference when the Lipo was plugged in and just refused to calibrate and arm.
I tried two different flight controllers and a new gyro but nothing seemed to work.

The only thing that I found to work was running the RunCam, Crossfire, GPS and VTX off a separate BEC connected directly to the lipo. Only then when would the FC arm.

It looked like anything running from the FCs 5v or 9v rails caused interference to the Gyro and stopped it from working.

The Good News
So I have swapped out the FC within this build to a Matek F405-CTR AIO Flight Controller


And I’m happy to report this FC is running and the LR build now fly’s… its in need of PID tuning the default 3.5.1 PIDs seem to oscillates A LOT ( I’m working on PID tuning now )

So why this FC
It has a SD Card slot ( good for black box ).
Its has enough UARTS ( 4 = RunCam, Crossfire, GPS, VTX ).
It has separate pads for ESC telemetry.

The only down side to this FC is its Gyro max’s out at 8k /8k ( so no 32k or 16k PID loop )
As this build is a long range cruiser I probably won’t even notice the difference nor will it make a difference to its flight performance.

I’ve have to release an update video to capture the changes in the build and redo most of the configuration video but never mind.

The build is still on going moving now into flight testing and PID tuning.
More information and videos to follow.

Don’t let a build beat you, find the problem, find the fix and move on.

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So no matter how much I PID tune I can’t stop the vibrations I’m seeing in my FPV and HD feed.

ITS LOUD – Sorry about the audio its from the RunCam Split v2 – ITS LOUD

After watching a YouTube video today on Betaflight 4.0 and its filters I’ve come to the conclusion its not the PID tuning but the build its self.
The fact that I’m running a 7 inch frame with 7 inch props on low KV motors all adds in vibration.

So I’m going to flash the board with Betaflight 4.0 ( and hope its stable enough ) and try out its new and improved dynamic filtering and see if I can’t get this build to fly smooth.

Side Note:
I’m going to be trying a pre-release / development build of betaflight.
These builds may not be completely 100% stable.

Try these betaflight builds at your own risk. Anything can go wrong resulting in a simple crash or a fly away and if your on a long range flight that could be a long walk.

So true and great advice… it’s also the best way to learn… although not particularly fun at the moment

Ok update time…

So I flashed the FC with BF4.0 #1238
And tried 7x4x3, 6x4x3 HQ Props and Emax AVAN 6x3.8x2 (bi blades)

The vibrations were still there :frowning:
really really bad with the EMAX AVAN props.

So I turned to Blackbox and Plasmatree for help ( thank god for blackbox logging onto a SD Card )

Now I’m no blackbox or plasmatree expert but even I know what I was looking at was bad…
Yellow = noise not getting filtered… lots of yellow = LOTS of noise.

So I posted it on Facebook for help and I was told…

taken from FB (Group Name - Betaflight BlackBox Log Review)
there is obviously two separate throttle dependent noise bands, a lower ranging from ~160Hz - ~300hz (though falls off @ 60% throttle), and a second higher ranging from ~300Hz to ~600Hz. Dyn notch is on as well as both lowpass and dterm lowpass filters, so honestly at this point I’d start looking for any mechanical issues and ways to reduce noise/vibes onto your gyro, paying close attention to whether something is touching your FC and whether it’s nicely floating on soft mounts, and then checking for rough motors, and/or bad props.

I took a good look at everything on the frame and noticed that even though the FC could move on the soft mounts… I loosened them more, much more.

And long behold…
It was much much better 100% better…
I would share some HD footage but my SD card decided it was going to take a dump.

My Blackbox and Plasmatree data still looks bad ( too me ) but it looked some much better in the FPV feed…

Weather permitting tomorrow…
I’ll go up again and get some HD footage.