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Noob Tricopter Keeps Flipping getting discouraged

Loc8tor

Senior Member
#1
I have Turnigy Multistar esc's. 2-30amp ones and 1-15amp one.
a kk2 board.
batbone frame

I kept flipping on what I wanted to be my maiden flight. I can't even get it to hover. I Hexa checked that props and motor rotation were correct. I thought I calibrated the esc's because i heard the beeping sounds when following the button 1 and 4 procedure. Then I had read that you can't calibrate the multistars. Had the KK2 board mounted in it's foam box it came in. I thought maybe the wires that I had stuffed in the batbone were pushing up on the bottom of it so i pulled the wires out so nothing would be pushing up on the bottom and hot glued the bottom of the foam box flat to the batbone and hot glued the kk2 to the foam. I know it is facing the correct way because of the arrow on the bottom of the board points to forward. When building I had a screw stick to the magnets of the front right motor. I heard the spark and unplugged battery. I found I had fried two esc's but the motors tested fine when hooked to the still good 15 amp speed control. Is it ok to have different amp esc's? Any suggestions on what I should do next to get to a hover?
 

Loc8tor

Senior Member
#3
Check or try reversing the servo from +100 to -100 or visa versa.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6K4NXoq-Qk&t=34m20s
Ok. I tried that. I still cannot get off the ground. Keeps flipping over to the left. In that video he said to do that if your tricopter spins like a top when you start to hover. I am not able to even get to the hovering state to even know that yet. But, I do believe I am using a digital servo, so you may have prevented a future problem for me. Thank you for your help.
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#4
It might just be that your board calibration is off. Make sure the copter balances right at the board, and do a sensor calibration on your KK2. Make sure the copter is flat and level when you do it. Also, make sure you are not in autolevel until you can get the board dialed in. Autolevel will do funny things on the stock firmware such as flip your copter. Flash it to 1.5 or 1.6 if you plan on using the autolevel later.
 

Loc8tor

Senior Member
#5
It might just be that your board calibration is off. Make sure the copter balances right at the board, and do a sensor calibration on your KK2. Make sure the copter is flat and level when you do it. Also, make sure you are not in autolevel until you can get the board dialed in. Autolevel will do funny things on the stock firmware such as flip your copter. Flash it to 1.5 or 1.6 if you plan on using the autolevel later.
I have had auto level on. I'm afraid that if I don't use it, cause I've never flown a tricopter, that I will have to constantly do quick adjustments to keep it hovering. Like i'd be guaranteed to crash without it. But if that's what I need to do I will try it. Does the new flash not cause issues like that with autolevel on? Thank you very much for you information. I will search on how to flash the kk2 board. I know i've come across it several times reading the forums.
 

Johan

Senior Member
#6
You said you did check rotation on props and motors, just to make sure: Did you get past this phase:


That happened to me when I (in my haste) swapped the front right and rear propeller, causing both to push down.

Does the behaviour look differently?
 

Loc8tor

Senior Member
#7
You said you did check rotation on props and motors, just to make sure: Did you get past this phase:


That happened to me when I (in my haste) swapped the front right and rear propeller, causing both to push down.



Does the behaviour look differently?
I checked double checked well I checked it 6 times. The props are facing the right way and rotation is correct. The high side of the angle of the props are cutting in to air if that makes any sense. But I am grateful that people are helping me figure this out. All input is welcome. Thanks.
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#8
I'd bet it's the auto level doing you in, brother. Just turn it off and go slow. Nice smooth control adjustments on the sticks and have some room so you can let it drift around without panicking. You will need to control it more with the autolevel off, but it's not too bad. Small corrections are your friend and if it starts to get away from you, just land and regroup.

Don't be afraid to fly it without the autolevel if the autolevel is flipping it...if it doesn't flip, you'll be that much further ahead.
 

Johan

Senior Member
#9
I checked double checked well I checked it 6 times. The props are facing the right way and rotation is correct. The high side of the angle of the props are cutting in to air if that makes any sense. But I am grateful that people are helping me figure this out. All input is welcome. Thanks.
Sorry Loc8tor, did not want to doubt your checking, the prop orientation sounds good as you describe it.
What xuzme720 says could well be the cause, the older (before 1.5) autolevel had some quirks.

Apart from the KK2 calibration xuzme720 mentioned and trying to calibrate the ESC's (I also have the multistarts that can't be calibrated, but appear not to need it, found out the same way as you did):

Did you calibrate your transmitter / trims: this might give input while centered?

After that you can check with a 'dry' run (REMOVE PROPS!!!):

-transmitter on
-connect battery
-arm the KK2
-pickup the tri (again NO PROPS)
-give enough throttle so all motors are just running
-now leave the throttle where it is
-try ailerons (right: left front motor should spin up, left:right front motor should spin up)
-try pitch (forward: rear rotor should spin up, backward: front motors should spin up)
try rudder: (right: tip of the tail rotor should turn left, lef:tip of the tail rotor should turn right)

If that checks out and all other components are calibrated(Transmitter and KK2 sensors) you should be OK, only the auto level behavior of the KK2 can cause flips from here or radical input on the sticks (or component failure, but lets not assume that).
Without auto-level you should still be able to hover if you go easy like xuzme says
 

Loc8tor

Senior Member
#12
Johan I was not upset at all. Had I not checked that would have been helpful. I have checked that before that they speed up when changing direction on the transmitter. Also checked the the receiver test and the direction I input are correct. Also when tilting the copter the motors change speeds. From what I'm hearing I'm guessing it's the auto level I will try today if weather is permitting. Also ordered the ubs programming thing and cord. Still don't know what software I will need to download to flash it or where i'm going to plug it in on the board but I have probably 2 weeks to learn that before the shipment arrives.
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#13
loc8tor,

If it hasn't shipped from HK yet (and you're not picking up other things in the order that you need), you might consider cancling the order and getting a USBasp devices from local online vendors. It's a common programmer used by electronics hobbyists, so HK does not have the market cornered on this. It might cost a few bucks more, but could show up at your door in a day or two. Just make sure you get a 6 pin adaptor or cable with it -- the 8 pin cable is more standard but needs an adaptor. Think I paid $10 shipped for mine, but got the fancy plastic case that goes around the USBasp.

As for software, search "lazyzero flash tool" in Google, and you'll hit on:

lazyzero.de/en/modellbau/kkmulticopterflashtool‎

This is the tool of choice. Once the drivers are installed and the USBasp is working properly (check with who you bought it from), the flash tool will find, download and flash one of many firmware versions for the KK2 or ESCs.

Don't know which firmware you want? click the button and it'll open the offical webpage/thread for that firmware, describing what it does, and from comments, how reliable it is. That alone, could be handy while you wait, to look into the versions and see which one you want. Last I checked there are at least three branches of the stock KK2 firmware, and two entirely independant firmware projects. It's worth the time learning what people have done with this board.
 

Loc8tor

Senior Member
#14
I ordered it from ebay. It comes with a cord and i think there is an adapter
On the end of it. I couldnt find any local ones and was going for a lower cost.
I hope i didnt screw up cause idk if knowing where i bought it will help or not.
I hope i can still use the software you recommended. How do i know where to plug it in on the board? Or if the right colored wires
Are set to the right pins?
Thanks dan
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#15
You might need to build an adaptor if it came with the 8 pin connector. the pins are all there, you'll just have to build something to re-route them might even be able to build it out of a pin headder and a spare male-male servo wire. Most of these cables aren't "colored". If yours are, it'll help for sanity, but it won't follow a standard.

Once it's installed (the drivers, I mean), LazyZeros flash tool will work. It knows how to talk to a standard USBasp.

BTW, one more gotcha -- when you flash, unplug the ESCs/servos from the board -- it can cause the USBasp to brownout mid-flash --you really don't want that.
 

Loc8tor

Senior Member
#16
Ok. Something I didn't check 6 times was which ports my speed controls were plugged into. I had motor 2 and 3 switched. Switched them back and the flipping stopped. But am not really getting a hover. I tried with and without auto level. I have a slight rotation and thing drifts around quite a bit like across my yard and my inputs are not doing very much to correct it. I have dx 5. did have a fast spin after doing the digital servo switch that was recommended. So reversed the numbers and switched back to low. IN the mixer channel 4. I will try to get some video of it's behavior tomorrow to see if you guys can see something you have gone through and have any suggestions. I appriciate all the help I have recieved so far. I thought I'd sit and wait for days before someone may have said something and that it would not be anything helpful or something criticizing me. So now that i'm off the ground any tips on getting stable? Drifting back and left. slow spin. Also, the motors stopped spinning I found because my battery was low. I hear you can turn off low voltage cut off anyone know how to do that. I do have an alarm but didn't have it plugged in.
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#17
Ok. Something I didn't check 6 times was which ports my speed controls were plugged into. I had motor 2 and 3 switched. Switched them back and the flipping stopped. But am not really getting a hover. I tried with and without auto level. I have a slight rotation and thing drifts around quite a bit like across my yard and my inputs are not doing very much to correct it. I have dx 5. did have a fast spin after doing the digital servo switch that was recommended. So reversed the numbers and switched back to low. IN the mixer channel 4. I will try to get some video of it's behavior tomorrow to see if you guys can see something you have gone through and have any suggestions. I appriciate all the help I have recieved so far. I thought I'd sit and wait for days before someone may have said something and that it would not be anything helpful or something criticizing me. So now that i'm off the ground any tips on getting stable? Drifting back and left. slow spin. Also, the motors stopped spinning I found because my battery was low. I hear you can turn off low voltage cut off anyone know how to do that. I do have an alarm but didn't have it plugged in.
Dangit, learn how to fly that thing! Oh...maybe I should have waited until Monday or Tuesday...

Just messing with you, brother. I think what you are seeing now issomething that can be fixed in the P and I settings. Have you checked out any of the setup vids for KK2?

(I'd post some for you but a power outage today took out the Motherboard on one of the desktops, unfortunately, the one with all my links on it! New on on the way, but it's here next week sometime...)

If you are flying to the point of LVC, you may want to get a timer or set up the low voltage warning buzzer on the KK2. Usually, the LVC is set on the ESC's, either through a programming card or the radio. You'll have to look up your particular ESC and see if you can find a manual for it.
 
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Loc8tor

Senior Member
#18
Dangit, learn how to fly that thing! Oh...maybe I should have waited until Monday or Tuesday...

Just messing with you, brother. I think what you are seeing now issomething that can be fixed in the P and I settings. Have you checked out any of the setup vids for KK2?

(I'd post some for you but a power outage today took out the Motherboard on one of the desktops, unfortunately, the one with all my links on it! New on on the way, but it's here next week sometime...)

If you are flying to the point of LVC, you may want to get a timer or set up the low voltage warning buzzer on the KK2. Usually, the LVC is set on the ESC's, either through a programming card or the radio. You'll have to look up your particular ESC and see if you can find a manual for it.
I have seen some vids on that. I have them set to the beginning setting and they say to turn up the P gain until it start to wobble. Then back it down until it stops. Now that i think I may have that I gain way too low. I think the I in I gain means input. And with it at I think zero my input isn't going to be very much. Do you think that is what I gain is? And the P in P gain is Program Gain. Where the program inputs responses based on the gyro info. You agree?
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#19
No. it's actually more like the P tells the copter how much to control to give on external inputs like wind or if you go up and push it, or after you release the sticks. Call P the locked in adjustment. I gain is more like an inertial adjustment, where it controls long term errors, like slow drift and whatnot. This isn't really what they are but it's close enough to get you started.

Your stick scaling will make your inputs stronger. Be careful adjusting these, you can get squirrelly quick by going too high with them. Try increments of 5 at a time until you get closer and then go 1 or 2 at a time
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#20
Just to muddy waters (ok, I like mud at times, so sue me :p ) for a PID or PI controller, P = proportional, I = integral, D = differential (which the kk2 doesn't let you set -- not sure it's implemented).

any further beyond Xuzme's description involves a *lot* of ugly math and control theory . . . lets just say the tuning guides are a lot easier and more reliable than churning though the math.