Bringing up a PX4 on a FlameWheel F330

I recently got a PX4FMU plus PX4IO board kit and I am installing it on my little DJI Flamewheel F330 that I had been using previously with my APM 2.


The F330 is a perfect candidate for this because it is an excellent and sturdy test bed.

It flew very well with my APM 2.

Previously I was using An Oring suspension mount on the 4 standoffs you can see in the photo above.

This time I decided to try mounting the PX4 stack on a thin fiberglass plate plate which is mounted on some 1/2" pads of Kyosho Zeal anti vibration gel. 


The PX4 stack is already pretty high so I thought I'd try this before using both the Zeal and the O-ring mount I had planned.


The Zeal Gel which comes with double sided tape on both sides is almost a quarter inch thick and it seems appropriately flexible and vibration absorbent in this application with the four 1/2" square pads.

The Accel readings will tell the tale.

Note that the inter board connector on the left is about 2mm  shy of closing. 

3DR supplies 8mm M3 standoffs and I think that 6 mm ones would work better, although their would be a slight interference fit at the other end of the board.


Notice all the stuff still hanging off of it.

The GPS, the arming switch, the buzzer and the battery power leads for the PX4's built in power supply.

Still have to figure out where to stick all this stuff on my little Flamewheel.

I have already installed the firmware and bench tested this PX4FMU plus PX4IO stack. 

The PX4 stack is upside down from normal spec, but it makes the connectors easier to get at and it is easy to do with the new Mission Planner adjustable Board Orientation parameter.

I will also be attempting to use one of the little 3DR Receiver servo to PPM-Sum out converters, so this promises to be an interesting adventure.

I will keep everybody posted and new pics as this build - test continues.

Please feel free to post comments and questions.

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  • this is a bit frustration inducing since I have been at it now since 2009, bought the original ardupilot etc, never flew because it never worked correctly, so I gave that up and waited a few years, now tried PX4 which has also never worked correctly and thus never flown :P. Sofar 5 airframes, 5x "autopilots" and none have ever left the ground. 

  • hum, I think my PX4FMU is borked, I built a carrierboard for the microquad for it, everything checks out except it does nothing with the ESCS other than init them. It arms as it should etc, but throttle does absolutely nothing... So I ripped it off and put the KK2.0 on it hooked up the same way which works as expected (crashing into closed object as soon as stabilize is engaged, but what can you expect from a $20 controller :P).

    So for now all my PX4 gear is just gathering dust while I try to figure out what to do next... Lorenz told me to speak to 3DR about an RMA but the problem is I didn't buy it from 3DR, I bought it from BYOD. And I am not convinced the issue is hardware based either. 

  • I will try the F330 PID's plus expo, I'll upload a pic tomorrow of what the setup looks like I seem to have misplaced the cable. 

    Anyways made a PX4 adapterplate out of veroboard this evening, that uses standard KK2.0 spacing to attach to the quad, and the narrower PX4 spacing to stick the FMU on there. Nothing fancy but for mechanical/electrical fit :)

  • Hi Noth666,

    If your micro quad is twitchy, you can try my F330 PID values, but you might also dial a little expo in on your transmitter I have -40% on mine. (Hitec uses - Expo, Spektrum and others use + Expo.).

    Dont mess with the end points though.

    and Hi Chester,

    Looks like stock PIDs work really well for your XAircraft.

    Nice solid flight.

    I take it you were using Alt Hold and Loiter in addition to Stabilize.

  • I have tested my px4 but not on F330. It was on XAicraft hexa. All pid are stock. Here is the video.

  • The parrot setup doesnt have escs as such, it uses custom stuff that don't have a calibration, the issue is that px4 fails to detect and initialize one of the motors. All the motors run the same firmware etc latest version, so it's not that. The parrot board reports the non detected motor as "type 2.2" versus "type 1.1" for the ones that work with px4, but that's as much as I can dig up and it hasn't gotten any answers on the px4 answer site in a few days. 

    I will try those values with my microquad + px4 once I get new props for it and see how it goes. It hovers around 35-40% throttle and is quite twitch

  • Sorry Noth666.

    Not using the Parrott IO board, but it is possible that ESC calibration isn't (try temporarily switching ESCs if possible).

    My little PX4 Flamewheel F330 is flying like a champ, In alt hold mode it literally stands still.

    Cut the rate P and I basically in half: .08 P and .05 I.

    If you have a real Flamewheel F330 with DJI motors and ESCs that is about right, P no higher than .1 anyway.

    The F330 with DJI motors is a real hot rod in comparison to the 3DR ArduCopter defaults, probably twice the throttle performance so should use about half the Rate values.

    At least give those a try, they are changing the way the PIDs interact and those may not be valid for the newest releases of the PX4 code.

    I am going to be switching to the new 3.0 Beta and I will get back to you on the PIDs.

  • any more flight testing with this done? videos? 

    I seem to be getting setback after setback, and will apparently have to abandon trying to get the px4 to work on my AR Drone frame. It does not initialize one of the motors, nor attempt to spin it up, and no fix to be found. The motor is fine and works perfectly with the parrot board so the issue is on the px4 side of things, but no apparent way to fix it, nor it is a hardware issue as all connectors etc are solid. 

    Which means I only have my micro quad to try the px4 board on... Did you have to change anything in the defaults to get it stable with the F330? My microquad is a fair bit smaller than f330, mine is 230mm diagonal motor to motor, 16.3mm side. 

  • Nice, sounds like it would be handy indeed! Just this evening I was messing around with my nano quad calibrating stuff and trying to get CG, and noticed I kept forgetting to disarm it as it has no ocbvious clue other than a small red LED for Armed state...  thats a KK 2.0 board on while I get the platform sorted out, then a PX4 is going in. Thinking about it not sure the PX4 has much of anything going LED wise with arming/disarming. Not that I would see it anyways on my current PX4 platform as it has a canopy covering all of the electronics, but a remote button would make sense. 

  • I actually have my F330 / PX4 flying very nicely in stabilize as of today.

    I had motors 3 and 4 reversed which resulted in a lovely takeoff back flip.

    I checked by holding the copter at low throttle and testing for it working against your tilting it and it worked in two directions but did the opposite in the other 2 immediately indicating 2 motor servo connections reversed.

    I have really good cheap GemFan carbon props and did it on grass anyway so no harm done.

    Possibly better to check first next time though.

    By the way the little pre arm button with the green LED that comes with the PX4 system is a real asset.

    I was doing some handheld motion testing as above when my undercharged transmitter gave out and it was running at medium throttle at the time.

    Pressing the pre-arm button for 3 seconds shut it down.

    It would have been a genuine problem if that hadn't been there.

    I really like the pre arm button as an extra safety step required before take off too.

    There is no mistaking it.

    If the green LED is blinking continuously and evenly it is not pre armed and cannot be armed with the throttle.

    If it is blinking twice with a longer pause between each pair it is pre-armed and can be armed with the throttle.

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