Building an F450 Quadcopter – Day 6 – Ready to Fly?

AssemblyFinally the weekend arrived and, with the new flight controller in hand, we could get to work.  S. was at a sleepover again so on Friday I performed the ESC calibration and confirmed that in all motors were finally working!

Unfortunately when I tried to run a normal flight test (minus the props) the double flashing red LED told me the pre-arm checks were failing.

I pondered the problem for a while and then realized the FC was in loiter mode which requires a GPS signal to work.  There’s not much GPS signal reaching my basement!  Switching it to “stabilize” mode had it firing up and we were finally ready to put everything together.

IMG_1544I waited for S. to arrive and we set to work.  She installed the anti-vibration plate, flight controller and radio receiver.  I put the GPS post together and she added the GPS to that.  The post had a little hinge on it and I couldn’t understand why, so when S. asked me which way it should go I told her it didn’t matter.  I figured out later that it allows for lowering the mast for transport.  By pure luck it turned out we had installed it correctly.

We had a hard time figuring out where to put the power module and it ended up awkwardly squeezed alongside the battery.  That might need to be moved if we decide to go for a larger battery in the future.

IMG_1556S. checked the motor rotation, installed the props and then, all too soon, it was ready to fly!  It wasn’t pretty but we were both over the moon with it.

S. had insisted that we set up my phone to record a time-lapse video, which I had to admit was fun to watch.  See below.

Not much to do now but give it a test flight, or so I thought.  With the conditions outside being 13f and 20-30mph winds it looked as though we would have to hold off for now.

To be honest I was nervous about this first flight.  I’ve seen a lot of videos where something small or silly caused the quad to flip and when it happens, it happens FAST!  

I went to bed worrying about that and, as is often the way, woke up with an idea on how to make that first flight almost foolproof!

Next post:  The first flight (why second guessing your daughter is a bad idea).

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7 Comments

Filed under Building Multirotors, Education, Technology

7 responses to “Building an F450 Quadcopter – Day 6 – Ready to Fly?

  1. rainabba

    Looking forward to day 7 and your great idea! Thought you might enjoy this timelapse too. It was my first and me rebuilding an F550 for the 2nd time. http://youtu.be/Me7kzzh–vs

  2. rcguy1231

    How were you able to connect the anti vibration board to your f450 frame? Because I noticed none of the holes line up.

  3. Chuk

    I know this is an old post but I’m currently building one and not sure how the gps antennae is suppose to be so the compass will work. Mine has no markings. Thank you.

    • Mine has the cable coming into the back, but they are not all that way. If you calibrate your compass before you fit it to the copter and then plug into mission planner it will show you which direction your compass is pointing on the map and you can work it out from there. Hope that helps!

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