Configuration for first flight (Octocopter)


I've build an octocopter with some components:

  • Ardupilot Mega 2560 width IMU-Shield and MB1200 EZ0 Sonar
  • HK SS Series ESC 25-30A, motors Keda 20-22l, props 10"x4,5
  • 2x 3s 5000 mAh
  • MC-22s with FrSky System (D8R-II)

If i can fly this octo und it takes some fun, i'll change the motors and props for longer flights. ;) Now it's my first multicopter. My problem is, that i doesn't know somebody, who have some skills at multicopter. My friends only flies helis and planes. And I need some configuration-help before I take my first flight.

I've use the mission planner with the actual software "arducopter 2.3 octa X". I motors are not mounted on 3°. They are directly mounted at the arms (Alu 10x10x1). On the APM-Setup I took the following settings:

  • Radio Input, Calibration (Reverse Roll-Channel)
  • Modes: 1-2 Stabilize, 3-4 Position, 5-6 Loiter and SimpleMode at ALL Modes
  • Hardware: Enable Compass with the correct declination and enable Sonar XL-EZ0
  • ArduCopter2: Set X-Frame, Set Level

Is it correct, that when I reopen the setup-window, that the reverse-checkbox is now unchecked? Which modes i should use (i'm a noob!)? I'll only take easy flights and if i don't move the sticks at my control, that the copter stands "still". I use a linear-pusher for the modes.

If we done the configuration, i've some question for the preflight-check und the first start. Can somebody explain it to me (with easy english please ;)), what i must do?! I don't want to take the first start and land directly on head in a fraction of a second. ;) Which mode i should use for start/fly/land? Should I stand the copter on ground and start or should i hold it in the air and give it continuousthrottle until it hovers alone in the air? It's my first copter. I've only fly (hover) an TT helicopter ;)

Thanks very much for your helps. Best regards from germany.

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  • I need a diagram on autocad dwg octocopter arducopter, only the center plater.
    helping me

  • Thanks for your first answers.

    @ Randy: Ok, i set simple mode off. I started the engines without the props but i can't check the rpm. I mean the motors turn the same. Now if i change the position of the copter, i can hear, that some other motors turns faster/slower - but i can't see or check which motors changed their speed.

    @ Dusty: Careful is the right word. Therefore i will get some tips from this great forum. I asked same question in our german forum, but I didn't get answers and I don't will takeoff without these... Yes, I can limit the throttle to 40%. After all setup-settings I connected batteries and armed motors. Then I hold the copter on the top and increased slowly the throttle. I'm not sure, but I think the copter would take a backward-jump on head or can the reaction be a result from the holding? I have some fear that the copter at the first start directly factored. ;)

    - I've checked the reverse-box at roll-channel. Now the green bar follows the stick-direction. After the click on done I took the other settings. If I reopen this setup-window the reverse-box was unchecked - ist this correct? For the YAW-channel I reversed the direction not with the checkbox but I set the reverse at the radiocontrol. What's the better way? I don't trust the checkbox because they is unchecked after reopen...

    - Can i start and land in stabilize mode or must i change it before? (I think so)

    Now I'm really excited on the first flight.

    Best regards!

  • Yes, do what Randy said and you should do a hand test as well. There is info in the Wiki on this. Basically, you have to be somewhat careful in doing it, especially with an octo. Do you know if you can limit your throttle to say 40% ? I limited everything except rudder it won't arm if you limit rudder. This must be done after your radio calibration in APM. The other way to test without holding in your hand, is to bring up throttle very slowly and preferably on a nice grass surface. When the blades spin and you have some air, but not enough to take off, see if the copter rocks the way you would expect when gently pushing the rudder, roll and pitch controls.
  • Developer

    I think you should turn simple mode off and just fly regular stabilise mode.  You cetainly should not hold it in your hand when taking off.


    Try taking the props off first and make sure you understand how your radio controls are going to affect the engines.  With the props off you can also pick it up and move it around to see how it reacts when you lean it over.

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