I am running my ArduCopter without any form of remote control.  Today, I attached the props for the first time and tried to takeoff using a "TAKEOFF" waypoint in auto mode.

The motors spun enough to almost lift the copter off the ground, but not quite enough.  It wobbled a tiny bit as it struggled to get off of the ground, but never actually lifted off.

Any ideas on how to fix this?

As a sidenote, I never did get a chance to calibrate my ESCs.  Could this be related?  From the wiki, I seemed to gather the calibration is typically for use with your RC system, to get used to the throttle and such.  If I'm not using RC, is there any reason (or even way) to calibrate my ESCs?

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  • While it is possible to control it without RC, it is NOT possible to setup ESCs without it!!!

    And while it MAY fly, it is NOT safe to have no RC in hand, because something will go wrong eventually

    Get a RC remote, borrow one if needed, but stop before you hurt yourself or destroy your quad!

  • Is it possible to take off without giving a throtle command from radio or from something else like joystick? As far as I know in auto take off throttle is manual. 

  • another vote for getting a RC system.

    if something happens you need human intervention...  forget about losing the quad or APM. those props can do ALOT of damage to a person.

    I know of people that have had major lacerations to the hand from motors smaller then the ones we use for quads.

    if you insist on flying without a controller, at least have the quad tethered so it can't take off and hurt someone.

  • ++1 about not flying without radio control.  That is a BAD idea.

    Unless you are lucky, the quad won't fly properly without tweaking.  This requires you to manually fly it, unless you want your quad in many pieces.  BTW, the ESC's need to be calibrated so the motor speeds all track.

    Also, Auto has a failsafe that requires the quad to be Armed and Throttle lifted before it will run the mission.  This requires RC unless you are fudging something - not a good idea from the safety angle.

    Those 10" props are like razors and will act just like meat slicers if the quad goes out of control and hits someone :-(

  • I believe that I've narrowed it down to a PID issue, because I'm using a non-standard frame.  I've read through the wiki page, but I'm still not entirely sure which PID value I need to fix for it to affect AUTO mode.  Would the throttle PIDs affect AUTO mode, even though I'm not using a remote control?

  • You have no radio control at all? ... Its really not a good idea to fly it without!! This would be the fastest way to lose your quad and APM. Your lucky it didn't take off.

    Wait until you have one. Then you will be able to fly in stabilise and then use a switch on the TX for auto and all other modes.

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