Starting out with Quadcopters (Multicopters) can be a daunting experience. There are so many options and so many things to consider. So I decided to write a few short blogs on things I learned from the experience.
Quadcopters are actually very simple machines. It has a frame. Motors with propellers that are connected to the frame. Electronic speed controllers (ESC) that connects the motors and battery. A receiver that receives the commands from the Pilots Transmitter.
All of these parts end up being connected to the most important part, the quadcopter flight controller.
The Flight controller does the following:
- Receives commands from the Pilots Transmitter.
- Collects information from on-board sensors like Gyroscopes , Accelerometers.(External sensors can also be added like GPS and a few more)
- Calculates what each motor’s speed should be and then sends the appropriate signal to each electronic speed controller(ESC).
The amazing fact about this is that all of the above are done multiple times per second for the duration of the flight.
My suggestion would be to start with a user/beginner friendly board from Hobbyking.com : Hobbyking KK2.0 Multi-rotor LCD Flight Control Board (Around US$30)
It has a built-in LCD screen allowing you to configure the flight controller without the need of a computer. The controller can control multicopters with up to 8 motors and has a huge range of multicopter configurations.
Here is a list of some of the configurations : Dualcopter , Tricopter , Y6 , Quadcopter + , Quadcopter X , Hexcopter + , Hexcopter X , Octocopter + , Octocopter X , X8 + , X8 X , H8 , H6 , V8 , V6 , Aero 1S Aileron , Aero 2S Aileron , Flying Wing , Singlecopter 2M 2S , Singlecopter 1M 4S and Custom Mix via the “Mixer Editor” option.
The Hobbyking KK2.0 Multi-rotor LCD Flight Control Board also has an In System Programming port making it upgrade-able and hack-able. This flight controller is capable of doing advance things but overall I recommend this flight controller to beginners because it’s so easy to work with.
If you have any questions or other flight controllers you would like to recommend please feel free to leave some comments below.