I have successfully tested the Cheerson CX-20 Auto-Pathfinder (also called the Quanum NOVA). This quadcopter uses an APM v2.52 with the ArduCopter v3.1.2 already installed. It fly very well and all the Arducopter features are working very well....

Above, a video during the maiden flight of the CX-20 has been taken with a  GoPro 3 "Black Edition" mounted on the anti-jello mounting base.

Test conditions: Wind 22 Km/h gusting 33 Km/h 

The APM 2.5.2 (with an external magnetometer) with the Arducopter v3.1.2 handle very well the CX-20, the flight is very stable in loiter mode in spite of the strong gusts.



Below the factory PID installed:


The flight modes set by default:


I have added a telemetry datalink and tested sucessfully the Droid Planner v2.0 (Android) and the Mission Planner (PC).


More infos at:

Stay tuned,


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  • Hi Jean-Louis,

    Can you go into detail as to what you did when you added the telemetry, mainly the 3DR Radios in the set-up, did you upgrade the firmware? if so to what version? what steps did you go through in the Mission Planner? how were you able to get 3.1.2 loaded (I have no option to choose the firmware version, only get 3.1.5) my issue is that Mavlink keeps timing out, even though all other aspects are showing good, for example 3Dr Radios have solid green LED confirming a link, Ground Radio has the flashing Red LED to show that it is transmitting data, but the Air Radio merely has the occasional blip with the Red LED.


  • Quick Question : I got the Nova (Cheerson cx-20) from hobbyking RTF but it would never Loiter but flies away ; same thing when in RTH ; Mission planner says (GPS bad) , found two wires loose from the GPS module ; fixed it ; now I see two leds on the GPS goes On : Red and Blue) ; still its not getting a GPS fix ; anyone knows What the LED lights should do if you get a GPS fix ( now blue stable/red flashing) ; I understood blue should flash slowly with GPS fix ; I got 3.1.4 firmware uploaded ; It flies great in stable mode ( had to do re-calibration) but terrible in Loiter or RTH , practically non-functional; The interior is the same as the cheerson shown above . ( APM 2.5.2) ;I will ask later about a telemetry issue but I need to fix the GPS first . Suggest tio change the wire connectors with new ones ? or Change GPS module ? or the whole APM board ? or try a GPS module with integrated Magnetometer?

  • Developer


    If you cannot arm/disarm the motors, there are some reasons:

    1. if you have replaced the original receiver by another (such as Futaba, Hitec... receiver):
      • You need to disable the throttle cut setup by putting the throttle trim down to the lowest value.
    2. try to do a radio calibration with the mission planner and check that the yaw trim is really set to the middle position (about 1500 µs).

    I hope this will help you.


  • Jean-Louis, I hope you can help me. I cant unlock the motors on my Nova. I had several great flights on it then the moters just quit unlocking. I've checked off the normal stuff and the rx and tx are bound and working properly. I think it's something in apm locking it out. You seem to know more about these quads than anyone else. will you help me please?

  • Hi Jean_Louis,

    Thanks for doing and posting these two tutorials in your github (i.e. Hacking Telemery and Mission Planner Mod).

    (Just put these things here, so I can locate them later on, once I get my own CX-20 for hacking) :-).

    Vertical Take Off and Landing drone experimental research and development area - jlnaudin/x-VTOLdrone
  • Well done Jean-Louis.....   I look forward to receiving my CX-20 and giving the APM telemetry mod a shot as you described on your blog.

    Thanks for your efforts in detailing this new quad.

  • Developer

    Here a test video of a FULL AUTONOMOUS MISSION under flight plan (in Mode AUTO) with the Cheerson CX-20 (Quanum NOVA).
    The ALTHOLD flight mode (factory default) of the CX-20 has been changed into the AUTO mode with the mission planner.
    The WP_YAW_BEHAVIOR parameter has also been changed to 2 so as the CX-20 heading is still maintained towards the next Waypoint.
    With this feature enabled, the on board GoPro 3 camera is able to look forward during the flight.
    There is no Gimball stabilization in this test setup.

    A flight plan (FPL) of 8 waypoints has been uploaded to the CX-20 autopilot (an APM v2.5.2 loaded with the firmware ArduCopter v3.1.2) and then the AUTO mode has been enabled.
    The Take Off and the Landing sequence is fully automated. There is no action of the pilot during all the flight until the stop of the motors. All the flight is fully automated.

    Wind conditions: 19 Km/h, gusting 31 Km/h



  • Excellent JLN, nice comparison. Rather DJI seems drop in altitude however CX-20 with Arducopter 3.1.2 was doing great .

  • Developer

    Here a test video of the RTL mode (Auto-Return To Home) with the Cheerson CX-20 (Quanum NOVA).
    The Cx-20 has been moved to a far position (in LOITER mode) and then the RTL mode has been activated.
    The CX-20 come back to the HOME position automatically and do a full AUTO-LANDING.
    Wind conditions: 9 Km/h, gusting 24 Km/h



  • Nice beginning of comparison.

    It would be interesting to compare them dynamically, as static GPS performances is different than the dynamic ones.

    Some relevant things to check/compare:

    - HDOP and NbSats during high angles input (eg in Alt_Hold mode)

    - Altitude stability: is there any altitude drop when you go forward and release pitch is (or pull stick back).

    - Maneuverability

    - Payload

    - Autonomy

    - ...

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