Quad is spinning on take off

I finished my build last weekend.  

-TBS style frame

-APM 2.6

-Sunnysky V2216-12 800KV motors

-Hobby King 30A Blue ESC (f-30)

-GPS-6M+HMC5883L Compass module

-3s 5000 mah 20c LiPo Zippy

-3DR Power Module

-Hobby King Orange receiver and Futaba T8FG Super transmitter

The issue I am having is that immediately upon take off the quad spins out of control.  

The steps I have taken so far include:

  • Ensuring motors are securely fastened, prop installation and prop directions are correct
  • Re-installing the firmware on my APM 2.6 (many times)
  • Re-installing the firmware using X style frame type (where I was using the "Spider" style frame before)
  • Resetting the APM in the CLI and re-installing the firmware
  • Calibrating the ESCs together
  • Ran the Test>Motors in the CLI to ensure that I have the motors hooked up properly
  • Ran the Test>Compass in the  CLI to ensure working compass as well as the GPS
  • Adjusting the trim via my Transmitter (I can get it to spin the opposite direction but doesn't settle out)
  • Using the "Save Trim" setting in the Extended Tuning menu to try to trim out the spinning (same outcome I can over correct, but not correct the issue)

Today a friend gave me a tachometer and I noticed that at 50% throttle both of my counterclockwise motors seem to spin at about 1.5-2k rpm faster than the two clockwise motors.  I ran this test about 3 times with the same results.

I also ran the ESC calibration and noticed that when I am at the part of the ESC calibration where the motors power on all of them seem to run at the same RPM at about 30% and 50% throttle.

This leads me to believe that there may be an issue with my APM 2.6.  I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on this.  I am new to builds, have about a years worth of experience flying a RTF quad, don't rule boneheaded mistakes out :)

Thanks much!


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  • It’s been years since I’ve dealt with this but I recall that I purchased a new APM and that seemed to solve the problem leading me to believe that that I had a faulty sensor or other hardware component.
  • I Have same problem

    pixhawk , latest ver AC3.5.4


    tiger motor mn3510 kv 360

    tiger esc 40a

    AUW 5.4kg , 2.7kg fram + 2.7kg battery (Lipo 6s,22A)

    battery install at CG in bottom the copter

    use mag+GPS with 30cm distance with any electrical power system

    many times Re-install and calibration ACC,Mag,Radio,... but no used

    changing  Kp,KI,KD in yaw direction but no used.

    I notice that one of the motor (Southwest) slower than the other! but flying

    with increasing yaw Kp, solved 45 degree Cw in take off but in backward cruise when release stick spinning in CCW about 360 degree!

    also when decrease throttle for descent spinning in CCW

    latest flash log: 

    Log File C:\Users\...\AppData\Local\Temp\tmp5B3C.tmp.log
    Size (kb) 3669.646484375
    No of lines 45213
    Duration 0:03:27
    Vehicletype ArduCopter
    Firmware Version V3.5.4
    Firmware Hash 284349c3
    Hardware Type
    Free Mem 0
    Skipped Lines 0
    Test: Autotune = UNKNOWN - No ATUN log data
    Test: Brownout = GOOD -
    Test: Compass = GOOD - mag_field interference within limits (9.50%)

    Test: Dupe Log Data = GOOD -
    Test: Empty = GOOD -
    Test: Event/Failsafe = GOOD -
    Test: GPS = GOOD -
    Test: IMU Mismatch = GOOD - (Mismatch: 0.19, WARN: 0.75, FAIL: 1.50)
    Test: Motor Balance = FAIL - Motor channel averages = [1428, 1506, 1387, 1538, 1640, 1193]
    Average motor output = 1448
    Difference between min and max motor averages = 447
    Test: NaNs = GOOD -
    Test: OpticalFlow = FAIL - FAIL: no optical flow data

    Test: Parameters = FAIL - 'THR_MIN' not found
    Test: PM = GOOD -
    Test: Pitch/Roll = GOOD -
    Test: Thrust = GOOD -
    Test: VCC = GOOD -


  • I have the same problem with

    Board            APM2,5 APMPRO

    Firmware       ArduCopter V3.2.1 (36b405fb)

    Frame type : Tricopter

    board orientation  YAW90

    GPS orientation   YAW45

    While trying to take off with mode stabilize arducopter can not control the yaw and starts spinning.

    Corrections from the remote control does not help to stabilize the rotation .


    all accel calibration is done facing the vehicle north.

  • I found it mentioned somewhere here that the IMAX setting for yaw by default for larger high thrust to weight ratio copters just isn't giving the FC enough throttle authority to manage the torque effect produced by said large thrust to weights....   It was an obscure mention of what this "IMAX" setting governed.. I simply added two and two to get my solution for this uncontrolled rotation at takeoff on large high t:w copters...

    So my scenario...

    Equipment...   A 700mm hex+ at 5.5kg with six 50amp multistar motors, at a 300amp max with a rough t:w of 4.2:1

    Software... Copter 3.3.3

    Problem... Craft would rotate clockwise at takeoff at a pretty decent rate... Several degrees/second maybe 10 but thats a rough guess... 

    Solution...  IMAX under yaw PID setting was changed from 100 to 450 which I believe is its max value.  This change and only this change enabled the craft to hold heading without torque yawing...  This is not to say that less wouldn't be better, increasing other values is of no help, or that further tuning isn't required to really stabilize the yaw especially during forward flight as I have seen where they like to wander or drift a bit left to right....

    Last Thoughts...  So if increasing the yaw's throttle authority gives the FC the ability to use what is physically present on the craft closer to its true potential then why would you want any IMAX setting for roll, pitch, or yaw to be anything other than maximum?  Wouldn't that give the craft the ability to sustain position again greater resistance IE wind...  I don't understand the low limits set here by default why wouldn't they be maximum by default.. Anyways headed off on a different argument there, and I hate to answer a question with question but there it all is...


  • I had this same problem and I know this thread is old but the fix IS  to recalibrate your ESC's.  You may think your ESC's are right but they are not. 

    You may also make sure that from SEVERAL different sources you have the correct direction set on the motors.  I have seen two different diagrams for a quad on APM where the number one motor was seen as clockwise and it is in fact NOT supposed to be clockwise.

    • Hi Pat - I am having this issue with a quadcopter and a Pixhawk flight controller. I have tried recalibrating the ESCs many times, and while in calibration mode, the motors seem to be spinning all the same speed. When taking it outside and taking off in stabilize mode, it still spins/yaws as well as sails slightly. It does so too fast to remain safe, so it's very difficult to keep it up in the air for more than just a few seconds.

      I've already recalibrated the ESCs 5 or more times - I don't see why another calibration might fix the issue. I am confident that the motors are spinning in the right direction. Any advice?



      • This may not be your issue at all, but it worked for me. I had a large quad that kept yawing to the right (clockwise) on take-off. After months of pulling my hair out I found out that it was because the integral term in the PIDs was too low in proportion to the other terms. Not intuitive at all that it seemed to only affect yaw and always in the same direction, but that is what it was. I spent so much time thinking about the motors being level, balancing, etc.

        I was using a pixhawk and had P = 0.2 (max), I = 0.250 (exact middle), and D = 0.02 (max). Yours will undoubtedly be optimal at different values, but I figure I should share them since its what I am talking about. Good luck!

      • Sounds very similar to the problem I was having. I fiddled with my computer for a long time 3 months I think - recalibrate, check escs, replace components etc etc. I ended up forking over extra money for a new computer and it seemed to fix the problem. I suspect it was a faulty sensor.

  • Did the PID tuning resolve your issue?

    • Sorry this was so long ago. I think that this thread is from before I replaced my APM.

      I think what I had was a faulty barometric sensor or something similar.I replaced the computer/APM and it seemed to fix it. Hope this helps.

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