I've been searching around the forums and I am still stuck with something I could really use some help with.

The APM I am using came off of an old 3DR quad and I did try the PID settings without any luck.

Recently I bought one of these 3DR DIY kits and I am using the following:

3DR APM 2.5 w/external compass/gps (trace cut on APM board)

3DR 880Kv black motors

QBrain 4x20A ESC (all calibrated)

3S 5000mAh liPo battery pack

10" APC Props from 3DR

The apm was on an older 3dr quad, so I reset everything to factory defaults. I also upgraded to the latest non-beta firmware I think it's 3.14.

I have balanced the props & motors, calibrated the accel and compass. The problem I am having is that I cannot seem to get basic PIDS tuned right, the defaults make it oscillate rapidly, I tried tuning down various gains going by this guide here http://diydrones.com/forum/topics/arducopter-tuning-guide?id=705844...

I don't know if that guide is still valid but I cannot get my quad in the air without losing control.

Does anyone have some basic PID settings I could at least start with? 

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In regards to the battery:

"As for your tech question, 3s for 4000mAh and 4s for 6000 mAh. Those ratios are pretty standard for LiPo Batteries"

Where are you located?

It doesn't look like I will be able to try this today, too windy again, and it's not getting any better with passing showers. Maybe tomorrow I will have better luck..

I'm located in the northeast...

Just wanted to report back, I was lucky enough to get a break in the weather and I was able to get my quad actually tuned!!

Night and day between using 3S and 4S, it's got quite a bit of punch to it now and I was able to auto-tune it as well and I attached the results..

I still cannot believe I wasted an entire day trying to get this to work with a 3S pack and then with the 4S 5000mAh pack it took one pack to get it tuned. I am able to get 10 minutes of flight time with over 20% left at the end, but if I add any camera/tx gear to it, i'm guessing I will have to break down and get a 4S 6000mAh pack...

That's awesome, I hope I have the same good news after I receive my parts.

The 880's run best on 4s if you only have 10" props or your rig is very heavy.  In general a 12" prop on 3s runs very good as well.  A 10" prop on 3s is never going to work well at all.  At 4000 -5000Ft in altitude (were I live and fly) a 13" prop flies best.  The most efficient setup with that motor is a 12" prop at sea level on 3s if your rig is light enough to hover in the mid 40% range with a full charge.

I'll be  running a 11,000 3S...those straps will be fine for me :-)


I'll be running 12", and motors etc from a previous quad which was lighter, but not by much. I'm hoping for around 20 minutes flight time (no gimbal, just FPV gear). Time will tell.

I went through my log from yesterday's flight this morning and I had to change the hover setting to around 42%. (after tuning I was hovering for a few minutes to see where mid was). With the 4S and the 10" props when I was done flying and tuning, the motors were barely warm and the battery pack was barely warm.

The only other gear I will be adding is probably a small camera and vTx.  

This evening I was able to get some flight time in, unfortunately I didn't have much luck. With no settings changed from my last flight and using the same battery pack I have a quad that wobbles, so I figured okay, redo the mag dance as well as calibrate the accel, made no difference, as soon as I get it in the air I get a medium wobble. 

I reset the APM and started over, hand tuned as best as I could and then did another auto-tune, which the auto-tune I thought went well, however after accepting the new settings and then flying again I ended up with a worse wobble, to the point where it just tipped over less than a few feet in the air.

So I am now out of time for this evening and two battery packs that I have to re-charge again. I am starting to suspect the q-brain ESC I installed in this. I guess i'll try the 3dr ESC'S to rule out the qbrain and start over again.

Lastly, to make thing even more interesting, as I was taking everything down(laptop/etc/etc) the antenna on my 915mHz radio, falls off, not just the antenna, but the antenna that "used" to be soldered to the board.

Just one of those days I guess


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