How to calibrate ESCs without a radio

I got a quadcopter with an Xbee set for telemetry. I know it would be wise to get a radio but that is no longer an option. When I attempted my first take off, the quadcopter immediately flipped. I checked the APM orientation (made sure it was facing forward), props location, wiring, and ensured level ground. All that's left as far as I know is to calibrate the ESCs. However the documentation only explains how to do this with a radio.

How can I calibrate using my means of connection?

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  • Developer

    By the way, I need to stress that it's a very bad idea to fly without a transmitter and receiver.  Especially with 2.9.1b there is no proper failsafe if you lose telemetry contact with the vehicle, the stick positions will probably just remain at their last known value.  AC3.0 has a GCS failsafe that you can enable and it should trigger an Return-to-launch although it needs more testing to be sure it is triggered reliably and quickly enough.

  • Hi Jay,

    I am interested to know a bit more about how the quadcopter flew without the Radio module on it. as I have one without Radio receiver, too. I have connected Xbee to the telemetry port, and communicated through Mission Planner, yet cannot get it to fly, of course, I have dismounted the propellers to not actually have it flying, but servos are expected to work, what am I missing? any particular action in Mission Planner? or another hardware setting?




  • Do not do a first flight without RC control. 

    You can calibrate with mavlink but first flight without RC is rather dangerous and if you have little mis-configuration, your copter will fly away, flip, start a fire or just crash. 

    If you are asking question like this you should not try to do it before you underestand the inherent dangers of the system you are trying to use.  (unless you got too much money).

  • Moderator
    Get a radio, or don't fly, that is my suggestion. I think it is irresponsible to fly without a radio. That being said, you could calibrate using mavlink. If you can figure out how to do this, then you probably understand the system well enough to make your own risk decisions. A cheap radio will be a lot easier, though.
  • Developer

    I'm not sure that's possible.  I suppose that maybe if you have a joystick it might be possible...

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