Disconnect Motors During Setup!!!!! (WARNING: GRAPHIC!)

3689424243?profile=originalNow let me start off with YES I have read the manual where they state millions of times disconnect the motors, or take off the props whenever you are making certain changes.


I would consider myself well-versed with the entire APM, but I have chosen in the past to not get into the discussions on the forums, which is likely to change.


So I haven't had any problems with the motors spinning up AT ALL during the initial setup phase for any of the distributions. I have been flying and setting up this quad since early July of this year, and trust me, I'm absolutely hooked. Today, however, was an entirely different story. I was having some problems with ALT_HOLD pulsing in the most recent release, so figured might as well test out 2.0.42 and see how that faired for me.


I loaded the code for 2.0.42 (through the arduino software, which I have lots of experience doing with other arduino projects in the past) and then opened GCS in order to do the initial setup of my Quad. Reset the thing fine, and moved onto my controller calibration (neglecting to take off the props, or disconnect the motors).


Here I pressed calibrate, and tried calibrating my radio, but nothing was showing up, weird. Hit save, and realized my controller was off, turned that on, and before I could even blink I heard the whirl of my quad taking off at 100% throttle. Still connected to my computer via USB, and without direction from me. Without even looking I reached my hand out to prevent liftoff, and, well, too late.


It took off in my living-room, tore through my hand, across my laptop, and ultimately smashed into the couch, still running.


Now keep in mind this was a custom build of mine (The original Aeroquad frame directions) with 350w 910kv Motors. A little overpowered to begin with:




So here are the results of me attempting to stop my quad from taking off in my living-room (WARNING: GRAPHIC):






This one sure goes down in my own record books as my most expensive whoops so far.

New MBP Screen

New MBP Keyboard

One Motor, 2 Props

Frame looks okay

APM Board got caught in my bloody crossfire, but cleaned it and should function fine.

12 Stitches and 3 hours in the hospital! Woooo!

Thankfully no tendon damage, but you can see a small portion of it on the left side of that open wound :)


So what did I learn from this:

Clearly my quad is not an indoor flyer

RTFM and Listen to it!

And props HURT.......BADLY

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  • If it makes you feel better I just did a similar thing unplugged my motors to do my radio calibration and loading new firmware (2.5) then plugged motors in left radio on 100% throttle i thought it was 0% (tried to reverse the throttle because it was backwards, worked out i need to reverse on the RC controller not the apm)  and didn't unplug the apm before pluging the motors... 

    note only plug in motors with battery d/c

    damage: arm not as bad as yours and I smashed a prop and smoked a motor.

  • @Gustav Still, that Sucks! glad you didn't loose your nerve for flying!

  • @ Craig, I said "sometimes" :-)

    It's like the nerve endings are trying to reconnect, but getting the wiring wrong !

    Jordan, pity about the notebook, but at least the scars will give you some street cred :-)

  • Distributor

    Sorry that you hurt yourself and broke your laptop :(  But its a good reminder to all of us to be that muc hmore carefull.



  • @Gustav Wow dude, that must have been hectic! That must be so annoying something itching that you cant feel!

  • In the days before digital cameras, I had three occasions, when my mind wandered, and props from glow motors bit me :-(

    Still have the scars, and a finger with no feeling.....

    (sometimes it itches though)

  • Wow, unlucky!! I had a incident when a motor powered up, LUCKILY the prop was on upside down and didn't fly up into my friend! I'm very happy for my minor mistake!!

  • Oh yeah sorry about the hand. Get it stitched and watch for infection. Those pops are filthy. 


  • Are you running HKGCS with parallels or bootcamp?


  • T3

    Poor laptop! Oh and sorry about your hand. Kidding aside, hopefully it was just enough of an injury to teach you a lesson but not enough for permanent damage. Heal up and fly safe.

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