Hey all,


Been looking on the DIYD site for a couple days, thinking it's a great community you have here. I have some experience with RC (though by no means an expert), but I'm perplexed by something about the requirements for drone conversion. Here's the diagram from the ArduPilot wiki:


The "getting started" portion of the DIY Drones website states that you'll need at least a 6 channel remote to make a drone with this system. But the ArduPilot diagram seems to indicate you only need four: Aileron, Elevator, ESC and ArduPilot activation.


So do I really need a 6 channel? Will this still work with just four?

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Will it work with 4?  Well, depending on what you want to do and what hassles you are willing to put up with, then yes.  The limitations with 4 channels are that:

  1. You will only have 3 control channels.  This is usually rudder, elevator and throttle.  You cannot do aileron, elevator, throttle, rudder for example.  Nor can you do more interesting things like pan-tilt control for a camera, etc.
  2. Most 4 channel radios just have 2 gimbals with 2 channels on each.  This means that your flight mode selection channel will be on one of the gimbals.  Usually you would set up a radio so that your flight mode selection is on a toggle switch, 3 position switch or the combination of the 2.  Having it on the same gimbal as your throttle will be a real P.I.T.A.

Ahh, I see.


Yeah, that would be difficult having the autopilot on the throttle gimbal. I could see a pilot could getting into a messy situation that way.


I am, actually, planning a pan/tilt/zoom camera with live streaming video as part of the system. This would function to track ground objects while in autopilot, but also could be locked straight ahead for FPV flight and navigation capabilities. So I could see how having an extra couple or three channels could be useful -- one could operate the camera without having an entirely different, camera-specific RX/TX package. Save weight and money.

I've never heard of anyone wishing they had a radio with fewer channels - LOL.  I would prefer a cheap 9 channel like the Turnigy over a "quality" 4 channel (eg Futaba).

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