Hi all,

So this is the first time I've sought help on here since I got my first APM (2.5 latest firmware).  I've managed to make it this far with all the good info here and in the wiki.  Here's my kit, followed by my problem.

Stock Gaui 330X-S

Spektrum 2.4Ghz Rx and DX6i Tx

So, I had the above taking off and hovering no problem with the stock ESC's (see here for make up of parts)

The ESC's that come with the quad are reputed as being of low quality so I decided to replace them with something a bit better to see if I could make it fly a bit smoother.  These replacement ESC's come widely recommended, so I got some.

Cut a long story short, I cut all the connectors off my old ESC's, soldered them all to the new ESC's and rebuilt my quad with the new ESC's.  Eventually figured out how to calibrate them (which I did manually) and I'm confident this has been done correctly (as I did it several times before locating the instructions and doing it properly).

My problem is, quad wobbles and flips immediately after leaving the ground.  I've ran through all the troubleshooting steps in the wiki numerous times yet I'm still experiencing the same problem.  The only thing I can't get working in the test is the motor CLI test:

Have you run the Motors command in the CLI Setup to ensure that all the motors are hooked up right, turning the right way and the pusher/puller props are on the right motors and oriented the right way?

The motor CLI test simply does not work for me, it just doesn't spin the motors as per instructions.  I have no idea why and I promise you I have quadruple checked that I have set everything up correctly.

  • All sensors tested and working
  • Radio Calibrated - all end points on 100%
  • Quad levelled
  • Props and motor in correct orientation, I can see which way they're going when they start/stop spinning from full speed
  • APM orientation fine (using 'x')

Here's the weirdest thing.  If I give the quad even just a little throttle then take my hands completely off the Tx, it'll sit there on the ground, all props spinning but they will very slowly speed up to the point where the quad will take off on it's own if I don't drop the throttle.

Another test I did was to hold the quad while giving it a little throttle.  It seems to work exactly how it should when I do this in that it will correctly compensate if I tilt it in a given direction.  If I only lightly held it, it tended to start wobbling.

I've tried everything that seems to be listed on the forums/wiki but am at a loss.  Could it be that I need to do some tuning of PID's before I can even get it to take off properly?  I didn't need to touch a

thing with the stock ESC's to get it hovering ok.

Please see my quick video of it increasing the throttle by itself and the flipping.

Flip Vid

Sorry about the "War and Peace" entry.  Any suggestions/questions are more than welcome.


You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones

Email me when people reply –


  • I know this is a very old thread but I am having the very same problems as the gentleman who started this! Exactly! The throttle increasing on its own and the precise flipping. Mine is a larger and much more powerful quad, but same behaviors! I can't find if he resolved all of it! I'm desperate and almost ready to be done with it.

    I have other Pixhawk powered multi rotors that are functional. Their own issues but nothing to this magnitude!
    • Hi,

      I also had similar issue and asked in above comments.

      After calibrating ESC & Motors my problem was fixed mostly. Then I had to fine-tune PID gains.

      good luck

  • Ben,

    Thanks so much for your post here.  I was constantly wobbling on takeoff and crashing my new homebuilt quad and tried everything from firmware changes to CG changes to electrical.  I followed every single step in the troubleshooting page here: http://copter.ardupilot.com/wiki/troubleshooting-2/#ArduCopter_tilt... but none of them fixed the issue.  I thought I'd have to return my APM thinking it was defective.  But nothing worked until I tried tuning down my rate roll P.  This solved everything and now I'm a happy flyer.  So thank you!

  • Hi,
    I'm having exact same problem with my arducopter.After I changed ESCs and Battery. It started wobbling like crazy and when I try to fly it, at some point it flips. A couple of times i managed to elevate it to 1 meters and tried auto-landing, and it worked.

    Everything is okay, sensors, radio, board heading, prop rotation, red wires cut.

    I cant get motors to spin in CLI Test/Motors too.



  • I'll stand on the other side of the fence from Will. no offence..... My secret is to keep changing things until it works.

    I used 4 of these http:// http://www.hobbypartz.com/07e-flyfun-30a.html

    Never flashed em, left all 4 power wires hooked up. My theory is that I don't want all the 5v load coming from one esc and heating it up. Also, they only supply 2amps, which is alot, but I got video tx, telemetry radio, lights and so on. I'd rather not burn up an esc by overloading the 5v line.

    They take the cool programming card so no funky stick work to set them up.

    My apm2 is on sorbuthane on a carbon deck, and ALL the wiring is below that deck. I did because I thought it looked cleaner, but I found out cf is conductive, so that probably helps keep the rf out of the apm.. 

  • The Wiki says theres some debate about leaving all of a linear ESC power lines hooked up.....But those ESC's don't fall into that category. You may want to spring $10 on a UBEC to power your copter. I ran all 4 of mine hooked up for a bit and didn't get the wobble so maybe there is some noise in your system. A quality BEC will do much better then those ESC's your using to power the APM.  Oh, and I cut 3 of my wires before realizing I could just have unclipped them....DOH!

    But if you want to improve your ESC's.....

    I would consider Ordering  that 19.99 Programmer

    Seems to have allot of people flying much smoother.

    as well as the avr so you can hook it up to your computer and flash those ESC's with simonk firmware. lots of People are reporting that will give you the best ESC for a quad. Although personally when buying an ESC I would either get the 5.99 non programmable version of those for 5.99 (and flash them with the simonk) or pay $10 for the blueseries..AKA mystery ESC's. of course people are even flashing those..... but that flash will get them setup for multicopter.  Almost every ESC out there was built with planes in mind.

    And that will flash most ESC's, So far Ive heard the plush, the SS, and Mystery are all good to go. Some trouble with the red brick though.

  • Taking a stab in the dark here - This is exactly what my quad does when the battery gets too low. The ESCs are designed to shut off at some (programmable) voltage to prevent over draining your LiPo. In airplanes it's a safety feature but in quads, because one of the ESCs will inevitably shut off before the others, it causes flips.

    It's possible you're seeing this manifest in your new ESCs and not the old ones because they have different cut off voltages. If you read the ESC's calibration procedure you can usually set how sensitive to low voltage they are. I keep mine as insensitive as possible.

    It makes since that this will happen shortly after takeoff. As you increase the current drawn from the battery the voltage will drop. Depending on your battery it can be anywhere from 0.2 to 3 volts. It may be informative to hook a multi-meter up to your battery and see what the voltage does as you spin up. If it drops much (more than about half a volt immediately following spinning up), it's probably time for a new LiPo.

    An easy way to test this is to plug a motor and ESC directly into your receiver. Spin it up for a bit and see if it cuts out on you. Remember, because it's one motor drawing current and not four it may take a bit longer.

    I don't think this is a problem with proportional gains being too high. The flip was incredibly sudden. Flips caused by dynamic instabilities are usually oscillatory, not purely divergent. That is, it will wiggle and the wiggles will keep getting larger and larger until it eventually flips, not flip instantly.

    Best of luck, I know it's a real pain right now but once you get things working it'll all be worth it


  • My problem is, quad wobbles and flips immediately after leaving the ground.



    Lower pid's....


    This is common with high pid's. Drop them till it stops. Should fix it.







  • I don't know your radio, and it's really hard to see from the picture, but it looks to me like you have channel 1 going to input 3, channel 2 going to input1, Channel 3 going to input 2. 

    With a mode 2 radio, I thought it was pretty straight one to one input. Depends on your radio though.

  • Wow. You've got a bucket of trouble, sorry to hear about it.

    To be clear, this system was working - APM integrated into the Gaui and hovering - before you swapped ESCs?

    To eliminate the 'throttle bump' issue try setting the throttle trim very negative (down). This is supposed to put the 'trip point' of the ESC above moving the throttle stick up. My DX6i is setup in ACRO mode.. DX6i pic I did it that way to eliminate the Ch5 movement with the throttle when set up as Heli. I didn't dig deeper to figure out if I could 'unslave' Ch5 in the radio.

    Have you grabbed a log file from the APM immediately after one of these failed launches? It will show the throttle in/out values and could shed some light on the problem.

This reply was deleted.