Flight Control System Configuration

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Chen Rosen

Cleanflight Configurator is a free open source Chrome app that enables you to update, configure, and tune your Falcore flight controller. 

The Cleanflight Configurator app is available as a Chrome extension at the following link: Cleanflight – Configurator

Information and tutorials for use of the Cleanflight configurator are available on the internet. Below are a few highlights of common maintenance and setup options for Falcore.

 

 

Upgrading Flight Controller Firmware/ Re-Flashing / Restoring Factory Defaults

  1. Install Falcore drivers from Falcore Downloads section.
  2. Install Cleanflight Configurator 1.2.4 Chrome Extension from here.
  3. Download the Falcore flight control firmware hex file and save it on your PC.
  4. Open the USB cap (1) in the flight controller cover.
  5. Connect the USB cable to the drone socket (2) and to your computer.

  6. Launch the Cleanflight Configurator app.
  7. Select the Firmware Flasher tab (1) on the left side of the screen.
  8. Make sure that the No reboot sequence (2), Manual baud rate (3) and Full chip erase (4) switches are in the OFF position.
  9. Click the “Load Firmware [Local]” button (1) on the lower right corner of the screen.
    A browser window opens.
  10. Select the hex file you downloaded previously.
  11. Click the “Flash Firmware” button (2). A progress bar is displayed. If the flashing fails or does not start, disconnect the USB cable from the PC, , wait a few seconds, reconnect and press “Flash Firmware” again.

Note:

For some firmware upgrades you will be asked to Reset Settings (see Returning to Factory Default Settings section below) after flashing.

 

 

Firmware Upgrade - Force Bootloader

In some cases (after flashing incompatible firmware, or incomplete flashing) it might be necessary to force bootloader mode to flash firmware:

  1. Completely remove the top cover (see Removing the Electronics Assembly)
  2. Connect the USB to the drone, but do not connect the other end to the PC yet.
  3. Use the Falcore 2mm hex tool to gently press and hold the boot button (1) located to the left of the FC (Flight Controller) USB socket.
  4. While holding the boot button pressed, connect the USB cable to the PC. Wait a few seconds and release the button.
  5. On the Firmware Flasher tab, turn the Full chip erase (4) switch on.
  6. Perform Upgrading Flight Controller Firmware as described in the previous section.
  7. Calibrate Accelerometer - see Calibrating the Accelerometer below.

Displaying the Setup Options Tabs

  1. Open the Cleanflight app on your PC.
  2. Connect the Falcore flight controller to your PC (see Upgrading Flight Controller Firmware section above).
  3. Press the Connect button on the Cleanflight screen.

The setup options tabs are displayed on the left side of the screen.

 

 

Returning to Factory Default Settings

  1. Select the Setup Tab.
    The Setup screen is displayed.
  2. On the Setup screen, click the Reset Settings button.
    Rates, Modes and PID settings revert to factory default values.

 

 

Calibrating the Accelerometer

Perform Accelerometer Calibration only when necessary.

To perform the Falcore 6 point accelerometer calibration:

  1. Select the Setup Tab.
    The Setup screen is displayed.
  1. Place the drone leveled on a solid surface.
  2. Click the Calibrate Accelerometer button once, do not move drone.
    The Calibration Finished message is displayed when the calibration is complete.

Note:

Do not support drone by hand while calibrating.
Calibration quality is affected by how static the drone is during calibration, not by how accurate leveling is in each position.

  1. Repeat the calibration procedure for the following 5 positions:
    • leveled upside-down
    • on its right side (90 degrees right roll)
    • on its left side (90 degrees left roll)
    • nose up
    • nose down
  2. Trim the drone. See Trimming section.

Updating Video Transmitter Firmware

To update Prosight Video Transmitter firmware, telemetry must be turned off.

  1. Select the Configuration Tab.
    The Configuration screen is displayed.
  1. Turn Telemetry switch at the bottom of this screen off during update and on again when update is complete.

For Prosight update see Prosight Update Tool section.

 

 

Configuring a Third Party RC

When using an RC other than the Falcore RC, perform the following:

  1. Click the Receiver tab.
    The Receiver screen is displayed.
  2. At the bottom of the screen, select the relevant option from the following settings:
    • PPM/ Serial
    • Serial protocol.
  3. Make sure that the RC sticks are correctly assigned to roll, pitch, yaw and throttle using the bars on the top of the tab.
  4. Make sure that the RC sticks direction is correct: bars should move to the right when moving sticks right or up.

Flight Control Modes and Functions

Use the Modes tab to assign flight control modes and functions to RC control channels. Each function can be assigned one or more activation ranges within the RC auxiliary channels.

Each mode or function is displayed as a bar with the following controls:

Mode name (1) – the function set by this line. A green name frame indicates this function is currently active, grey indicates inactive. “Add Range” will add an additional line to activate the function. Function will active when either of the ranges is active. A range can be removed by pressing the X on top right corner of the line.

Auxiliary channel number (2) – channel controlling this function. Channel 5 in RC is Aux 1, Channel 6 is Aux 2 and so on.

Activation range (3) – the range in which RC command need to be to activate function. This range can be modified by moving the handles at each side of the green range.

Current RC command (4) – the current RC command for this channel. When this indicator is at the Activation Range (4), function will be active.

Falcore Modes and Functions

  • ARM – enables motor spin and drone flight.
  • AIR MODE – prevents motor stop and loss of control during flight when the throttle is at zero. To use this function: Set the MOTOR STOP switch (disabled by default in Falcore) in the Configuration tab to OFF. Warning - Do not use this function unless you understand what you are doing.
  • STOP AND LAND – activates the Stop & Land function – it is recommended to assign this to a momentary switch.
  • MODE LOCK – prevents change of flight mode.
  • ANGLE – activates self-leveling flight mode with limited pitch and roll angles.*
  • HORIZON – activates self-leveling flight mode with rate behavior at extreme stick deflection.*
  • ALTHOLD DIRECT – activates SHIELD Mode automatic height control.
  • RATE PROFILE 1/2/3 – activate 3 different rate and expo value sets. Profile 1 is used for Shield mode, 2 for Horizon, 3 for Acro. To change rates of a profile, activate the relevant profile.
  • BEEPER – manually activates the drone beeper.
  • FAIL SAFE – manually activates failsafe – Stop & Land in Falcore.
  • AUTO YAW – activates SHIELD Mode automatic yaw when using the rolling function. Disable this to use standard roll in SHIELD Mode.

*When no other flight mode is selected, ACRO flight mode (Rate based flight mode with no self-leveling) is used.

Note:

The Falcore RC uses a single auxiliary channel to control all modes. If you use a third party RC, it is recommended to split ARM, Flight Mode and Stop & Land into 3 separate channels.

 

 

Changing Control Rates

Rates determine the sensitivity of RC controls. Higher Rates will cause a sharper drone reaction to a given stick deflection.

Falcore uses a different set of Rates for each flight mode. The displayed rate in Cleanflight Configurator is for the currently selected flight mode.

To change rates:

  1. Select the PID Tuning tab.
    PID Tuning screen is displayed.
  2. Remove motor arms or props.

 

Warning:

You MUST remove motor arms or props before proceeding. This procedure is done with the drone powered and ARMED!

  1. Turn RC on to STBY and insert the battery to the drone.
  2. On the RC unit, select the flight mode for which you wish to modify rates - Shield, Horizon or Acro.
  3. On the RC unit move power switch to Arm.
  4. On Cleanflight Configurator PID Tuning tab, modify the Rates fields on the right side of the screen.
  5. Press Save button on the bottom right corner of the screen.
  6. To modify rates for another flight mode, repeat steps 2-6.

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