There are a lot of loose terms thrown around in this industry. So let’s clear the air a bit…

DRONE-

This is probably the most overused, and incorrectly used word. True RC hobbyists really dislike this term, as it’s meaning doesn’t really belong in the RC genre. Drone is more correctly used for an unmanned aircraft flown beyond line of sight for the military. These drones are capable of dropping missiles and performing spy tactics hundreds of miles away. A little different than the DJI ones we are flying in our backyard… It is now becoming used so often, that the term “drone” is slowly becoming synonymous with “mulirotors.” It really doesn’t bother us, as we happen to use it quite often ; ).

how_drones_work_drone

TYPICAL MILITARY DRONE

MULTIROTOR-

A multi rotor is a rotary aircraft with more than two rotor systems, typically unmanned. Multirotor is the general term for any unmanned system that isn’t a traditional helicopter. Examples being: tricopter, quadcopter, hexcopter, octocopter, etc…Since there are such a wide variety of rotor systems, it’s easier to classify everything into a common group called multirotors.

how_drones_work_hexcopter

HEXCOPTER WITH CAMERA GIMBAL

UAV – “UNMANED AERIAL VEHICLE” 
UAV is any machine capable of unmanned flight. Drones and multirotors fall into this category as there is no physical pilot onboard. They still can be directly operated by a pilot elsewhere. UAV’s are slowly transitioning to full size fixed-wing and helicopter models. Airbus has been developing unmanned platforms for a few years, while the military has been doing this for quite a while. It is no question that UAV’s will slowly start to become the new norm. Not only does this solve a pilot shortage problem, but will help lower insurance requirements and costs for civilian operators and put less military pilots in the crosshairs.

 

What are the parts of a Multirotor?

Frame – the frame of a multirotor works in much the same way the frame of a car works, there to support and add strength to the vehicle. Frames are typically made from plastic or carbon fiber, and can be arranged with different arm variations (tri, quad, hex, octo). The end of each arm houses the motor and propeller, while the center holds the flight controllers, gimbals, and other electronics. Most of the weight should always be towards the center of the ship, as this leads to the best flight characteristics keeping the center of gravity (CG) towards the center.

As with each part listed below, weight is an extremely crucial element. The heavier the frame, the less lift can be achieved. However, you don’t want a super lightweight frame that will break on you. Carbon fiber tends to be a favorite because of its strength and light weight.

Motors – there is a separate motor for each blade/arm. Motor decisions are based on required power, and what you want the motor to do. If the multirotor is being built to carry heavy payloads and have the best possible flight times, then a slower spinning, higher torque motor is ideal. This is in contrast to an aggressive, fast system with lots of maneuverability, having faster spinning rotor systems. The measure of the RPMs, or speed of the rotors, is its kv value. Faster builds will be upwards of 1400kv, while slower, longer battery life builds are roughly 300-900kv. These figures only work properly if the correct battery and propellers compliment it accordingly.

Be sure the motor is compatible with the ESC and battery you have chosen.

Propellers – can also be made from plastic or carbon fiber. Carbon fiber being the higher end choice, but also more expensive. When picking propellers, be sure to check that your frame can house the size you are selecting. Most frames will have a max propeller size to them. The size of the propeller should match your intended purpose. If you wish to have a more aggressive build, then choose propellers on the smaller end of the spectrum. Vice versa with higher payload, longer flight time builds. Propellers generally come packaged as a pair, one being a CW (clockwise) spinning prop, and the other being CCW(counter-clockwise). If you are building a quadcopter, you will have to order two.

Propellers need to be balanced before precise flight can be achieved. Although a select number of props can be purchased already balanced, most should be hand balanced when you get them. Check out our prop balancing video to learn how to balance the props and the hubs.

Battery – batteries come in a wide variety of weights and capacities. It seems intuitive to always pick the largest capacity battery to achieve the longest flight time, but this is not always the case. As the capacity of the battery increases, so does its weight. There is a certain point where more capacity is no longer beneficial, and the benefits are no longer there. Ecalc is a great tool to play around with and find your ideal battery weight and capacity.

It is important to play close attention to the number of cells your battery has and what your motor, ESC, and flight controller requirements are. This is often an overlooked detail that can get people in trouble. If you want a high capacity 10,000 mah 6s batttery, be sure your motors and ESC are 6s, and that your flight controller can support it.

ESC – “Electronic Speed Controller” run the motors you have. ESCs are rated for the amount of current they can consistently supply to the motor system. Since the motors are constantly spinning at different speeds, they need a speed controller to dictate that to them. If the motors all ran at the same speed, you would always be hovering. Since we are not changing the pitch of the rotors, pitch of the system is through difference in motor speeds.

It is highly recommended to use four identical ESCs. Although this doesn’t necessarily need to be true, you will more than likely have a better running system using identical parts. Also, running ESCs flashed with SimonK firmware is highly advised. There are more efficient and smoother operating ESCs and have built up quite a reputation.

Transmitter and Receiver – this combination is the “remote control” to operate your multirotor. The transmitter “transmits” the signal, and the receiver “receives” it. The receiver is connected to the flight controller delivering these inputs and outputting the responses to the motors.

The choice of transmitters is a little more basic. Transmitter choice is most often based on the number of channels required for operation. For multirotors, the bare minimum is four (roll, pitch, yaw, and throttle). More is always a nice convenience. A separate channel can used for autopilot, operating a camera gimbal, retractable landing gear, etc…

Setting up the transmitter in either mode 1 or 2 needs to be considered. Mode 2 is set by default for the US, but lots still prefer mode 1. Mode 1 vs Mode 2 is the difference in what the control inputs on the transmitter do.

 

How Does A Multirotor Fly?

Now that you have a basic understanding of the different parts of a multirotor, it’s time to discuss how these all come together to achieve flight.

Let’s use a quadcopter for the following examples. A quadcopter uses four different propellers, powered by four different motors, on 4 separate arms. Easy, right? Each spinning propeller creates its own torque. Newton’s Third Law states “to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” So if that propeller is spinning, the arm holding it will want to spin the opposite direction. This is the law of Torque Reaction. This is why a traditional helicopter has a tail-rotor, to compensate for that fuselage torque.

In a quadcopter, we don’t need a tail rotor. Why?  Because we can combat that per-propeller torque with an equal and opposite torque (the propeller opposite it).  Notice in the picture how the opposite propellers are spinning in the same direction. They are canceling out each other’s torque effect.

how_drone_works_cw

This allows quadcopters to hover extremely well. If you were to hover a helicopter and apply more power, then there will be more torque, and more power will be needed from the tail rotor. This takes lots and lots of hours to master, especially to make it look smooth. These problems obviously don’t exist in multirotors because power increases are always done equal and opposite in the propeller system.

We want to do more than just hover our multirotor. If we wanted a forward motion, then both forward propellers will apply less power, while the back propellers add more. This pri" />

There are a lot of loose terms thrown around in this industry. So let’s clear the air a bit…

DRONE-

This is probably the most overused, and incorrectly used word. True RC hobbyists really dislike this term, as it’s meaning doesn’t really belong in the RC genre. Drone is more correctly used for an unmanned aircraft flown beyond line of sight for the military. These drones are capable of dropping missiles and performing spy tactics hundreds of miles away. A little different than the DJI ones we are flying in our backyard… It is now becoming used so often, that the term “drone” is slowly becoming synonymous with “mulirotors.” It really doesn’t bother us, as we happen to use it quite often ; ).

how_drones_work_drone

TYPICAL MILITARY DRONE

MULTIROTOR-

A multi rotor is a rotary aircraft with more than two rotor systems, typically unmanned. Multirotor is the general term for any unmanned system that isn’t a traditional helicopter. Examples being: tricopter, quadcopter, hexcopter, octocopter, etc…Since there are such a wide variety of rotor systems, it’s easier to classify everything into a common group called multirotors.

how_drones_work_hexcopter

HEXCOPTER WITH CAMERA GIMBAL

UAV – “UNMANED AERIAL VEHICLE” 
UAV is any machine capable of unmanned flight. Drones and multirotors fall into this category as there is no physical pilot onboard. They still can be directly operated by a pilot elsewhere. UAV’s are slowly transitioning to full size fixed-wing and helicopter models. Airbus has been developing unmanned platforms for a few years, while the military has been doing this for quite a while. It is no question that UAV’s will slowly start to become the new norm. Not only does this solve a pilot shortage problem, but will help lower insurance requirements and costs for civilian operators and put less military pilots in the crosshairs.

 

What are the parts of a Multirotor?

Frame – the frame of a multirotor works in much the same way the frame of a car works, there to support and add strength to the vehicle. Frames are typically made from plastic or carbon fiber, and can be arranged with different arm variations (tri, quad, hex, octo). The end of each arm houses the motor and propeller, while the center holds the flight controllers, gimbals, and other electronics. Most of the weight should always be towards the center of the ship, as this leads to the best flight characteristics keeping the center of gravity (CG) towards the center.

As with each part listed below, weight is an extremely crucial element. The heavier the frame, the less lift can be achieved. However, you don’t want a super lightweight frame that will break on you. Carbon fiber tends to be a favorite because of its strength and light weight.

Motors – there is a separate motor for each blade/arm. Motor decisions are based on required power, and what you want the motor to do. If the multirotor is being built to carry heavy payloads and have the best possible flight times, then a slower spinning, higher torque motor is ideal. This is in contrast to an aggressive, fast system with lots of maneuverability, having faster spinning rotor systems. The measure of the RPMs, or speed of the rotors, is its kv value. Faster builds will be upwards of 1400kv, while slower, longer battery life builds are roughly 300-900kv. These figures only work properly if the correct battery and propellers compliment it accordingly.

Be sure the motor is compatible with the ESC and battery you have chosen.

Propellers – can also be made from plastic or carbon fiber. Carbon fiber being the higher end choice, but also more expensive. When picking propellers, be sure to check that your frame can house the size you are selecting. Most frames will have a max propeller size to them. The size of the propeller should match your intended purpose. If you wish to have a more aggressive build, then choose propellers on the smaller end of the spectrum. Vice versa with higher payload, longer flight time builds. Propellers generally come packaged as a pair, one being a CW (clockwise) spinning prop, and the other being CCW(counter-clockwise). If you are building a quadcopter, you will have to order two.

Propellers need to be balanced before precise flight can be achieved. Although a select number of props can be purchased already balanced, most should be hand balanced when you get them. Check out our prop balancing video to learn how to balance the props and the hubs.

Battery – batteries come in a wide variety of weights and capacities. It seems intuitive to always pick the largest capacity battery to achieve the longest flight time, but this is not always the case. As the capacity of the battery increases, so does its weight. There is a certain point where more capacity is no longer beneficial, and the benefits are no longer there. Ecalc is a great tool to play around with and find your ideal battery weight and capacity.

It is important to play close attention to the number of cells your battery has and what your motor, ESC, and flight controller requirements are. This is often an overlooked detail that can get people in trouble. If you want a high capacity 10,000 mah 6s batttery, be sure your motors and ESC are 6s, and that your flight controller can support it.

ESC – “Electronic Speed Controller” run the motors you have. ESCs are rated for the amount of current they can consistently supply to the motor system. Since the motors are constantly spinning at different speeds, they need a speed controller to dictate that to them. If the motors all ran at the same speed, you would always be hovering. Since we are not changing the pitch of the rotors, pitch of the system is through difference in motor speeds.

It is highly recommended to use four identical ESCs. Although this doesn’t necessarily need to be true, you will more than likely have a better running system using identical parts. Also, running ESCs flashed with SimonK firmware is highly advised. There are more efficient and smoother operating ESCs and have built up quite a reputation.

Transmitter and Receiver – this combination is the “remote control” to operate your multirotor. The transmitter “transmits” the signal, and the receiver “receives” it. The receiver is connected to the flight controller delivering these inputs and outputting the responses to the motors.

The choice of transmitters is a little more basic. Transmitter choice is most often based on the number of channels required for operation. For multirotors, the bare minimum is four (roll, pitch, yaw, and throttle). More is always a nice convenience. A separate channel can used for autopilot, operating a camera gimbal, retractable landing gear, etc…

Setting up the transmitter in either mode 1 or 2 needs to be considered. Mode 2 is set by default for the US, but lots still prefer mode 1. Mode 1 vs Mode 2 is the difference in what the control inputs on the transmitter do.

 

How Does A Multirotor Fly?

Now that you have a basic understanding of the different parts of a multirotor, it’s time to discuss how these all come together to achieve flight.

Let’s use a quadcopter for the following examples. A quadcopter uses four different propellers, powered by four different motors, on 4 separate arms. Easy, right? Each spinning propeller creates its own torque. Newton’s Third Law states “to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” So if that propeller is spinning, the arm holding it will want to spin the opposite direction. This is the law of Torque Reaction. This is why a traditional helicopter has a tail-rotor, to compensate for that fuselage torque.

In a quadcopter, we don’t need a tail rotor. Why?  Because we can combat that per-propeller torque with an equal and opposite torque (the propeller opposite it).  Notice in the picture how the opposite propellers are spinning in the same direction. They are canceling out each other’s torque effect.

how_drone_works_cw

This allows quadcopters to hover extremely well. If you were to hover a helicopter and apply more power, then there will be more torque, and more power will be needed from the tail rotor. This takes lots and lots of hours to master, especially to make it look smooth. These problems obviously don’t exist in multirotors because power increases are always done equal and opposite in the propeller system.

We want to do more than just hover our multirotor. If we wanted a forward motion, then both forward propellers will apply less power, while the back propellers add more. This pri" />

There are a lot of loose terms thrown around in this industry. So let’s clear the air a bit…

DRONE-

This is probably the most overused, and incorrectly used word. True RC hobbyists really dislike this term, as it’s meaning doesn’t really belong in the RC genre. Drone is more correctly used for an unmanned aircraft flown beyond line of sight for the military. These drones are capable of dropping missiles and performing spy tactics hundreds of miles away. A little different than the DJI ones we are flying in our backyard… It is now becoming used so often, that the term “drone” is slowly becoming synonymous with “mulirotors.” It really doesn’t bother us, as we happen to use it quite often ; ).

how_drones_work_drone

TYPICAL MILITARY DRONE

MULTIROTOR-

A multi rotor is a rotary aircraft with more than two rotor systems, typically unmanned. Multirotor is the general term for any unmanned system that isn’t a traditional helicopter. Examples being: tricopter, quadcopter, hexcopter, octocopter, etc…Since there are such a wide variety of rotor systems, it’s easier to classify everything into a common group called multirotors.

how_drones_work_hexcopter

HEXCOPTER WITH CAMERA GIMBAL

UAV – “UNMANED AERIAL VEHICLE” 
UAV is any machine capable of unmanned flight. Drones and multirotors fall into this category as there is no physical pilot onboard. They still can be directly operated by a pilot elsewhere. UAV’s are slowly transitioning to full size fixed-wing and helicopter models. Airbus has been developing unmanned platforms for a few years, while the military has been doing this for quite a while. It is no question that UAV’s will slowly start to become the new norm. Not only does this solve a pilot shortage problem, but will help lower insurance requirements and costs for civilian operators and put less military pilots in the crosshairs.

 

What are the parts of a Multirotor?

Frame – the frame of a multirotor works in much the same way the frame of a car works, there to support and add strength to the vehicle. Frames are typically made from plastic or carbon fiber, and can be arranged with different arm variations (tri, quad, hex, octo). The end of each arm houses the motor and propeller, while the center holds the flight controllers, gimbals, and other electronics. Most of the weight should always be towards the center of the ship, as this leads to the best flight characteristics keeping the center of gravity (CG) towards the center.

As with each part listed below, weight is an extremely crucial element. The heavier the frame, the less lift can be achieved. However, you don’t want a super lightweight frame that will break on you. Carbon fiber tends to be a favorite because of its strength and light weight.

Motors – there is a separate motor for each blade/arm. Motor decisions are based on required power, and what you want the motor to do. If the multirotor is being built to carry heavy payloads and have the best possible flight times, then a slower spinning, higher torque motor is ideal. This is in contrast to an aggressive, fast system with lots of maneuverability, having faster spinning rotor systems. The measure of the RPMs, or speed of the rotors, is its kv value. Faster builds will be upwards of 1400kv, while slower, longer battery life builds are roughly 300-900kv. These figures only work properly if the correct battery and propellers compliment it accordingly.

Be sure the motor is compatible with the ESC and battery you have chosen.

Propellers – can also be made from plastic or carbon fiber. Carbon fiber being the higher end choice, but also more expensive. When picking propellers, be sure to check that your frame can house the size you are selecting. Most frames will have a max propeller size to them. The size of the propeller should match your intended purpose. If you wish to have a more aggressive build, then choose propellers on the smaller end of the spectrum. Vice versa with higher payload, longer flight time builds. Propellers generally come packaged as a pair, one being a CW (clockwise) spinning prop, and the other being CCW(counter-clockwise). If you are building a quadcopter, you will have to order two.

Propellers need to be balanced before precise flight can be achieved. Although a select number of props can be purchased already balanced, most should be hand balanced when you get them. Check out our prop balancing video to learn how to balance the props and the hubs.

Battery – batteries come in a wide variety of weights and capacities. It seems intuitive to always pick the largest capacity battery to achieve the longest flight time, but this is not always the case. As the capacity of the battery increases, so does its weight. There is a certain point where more capacity is no longer beneficial, and the benefits are no longer there. Ecalc is a great tool to play around with and find your ideal battery weight and capacity.

It is important to play close attention to the number of cells your battery has and what your motor, ESC, and flight controller requirements are. This is often an overlooked detail that can get people in trouble. If you want a high capacity 10,000 mah 6s batttery, be sure your motors and ESC are 6s, and that your flight controller can support it.

ESC – “Electronic Speed Controller” run the motors you have. ESCs are rated for the amount of current they can consistently supply to the motor system. Since the motors are constantly spinning at different speeds, they need a speed controller to dictate that to them. If the motors all ran at the same speed, you would always be hovering. Since we are not changing the pitch of the rotors, pitch of the system is through difference in motor speeds.

It is highly recommended to use four identical ESCs. Although this doesn’t necessarily need to be true, you will more than likely have a better running system using identical parts. Also, running ESCs flashed with SimonK firmware is highly advised. There are more efficient and smoother operating ESCs and have built up quite a reputation.

Transmitter and Receiver – this combination is the “remote control” to operate your multirotor. The transmitter “transmits” the signal, and the receiver “receives” it. The receiver is connected to the flight controller delivering these inputs and outputting the responses to the motors.

The choice of transmitters is a little more basic. Transmitter choice is most often based on the number of channels required for operation. For multirotors, the bare minimum is four (roll, pitch, yaw, and throttle). More is always a nice convenience. A separate channel can used for autopilot, operating a camera gimbal, retractable landing gear, etc…

Setting up the transmitter in either mode 1 or 2 needs to be considered. Mode 2 is set by default for the US, but lots still prefer mode 1. Mode 1 vs Mode 2 is the difference in what the control inputs on the transmitter do.

 

How Does A Multirotor Fly?

Now that you have a basic understanding of the different parts of a multirotor, it’s time to discuss how these all come together to achieve flight.

Let’s use a quadcopter for the following examples. A quadcopter uses four different propellers, powered by four different motors, on 4 separate arms. Easy, right? Each spinning propeller creates its own torque. Newton’s Third Law states “to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” So if that propeller is spinning, the arm holding it will want to spin the opposite direction. This is the law of Torque Reaction. This is why a traditional helicopter has a tail-rotor, to compensate for that fuselage torque.

In a quadcopter, we don’t need a tail rotor. Why?  Because we can combat that per-propeller torque with an equal and opposite torque (the propeller opposite it).  Notice in the picture how the opposite propellers are spinning in the same direction. They are canceling out each other’s torque effect.

how_drone_works_cw

This allows quadcopters to hover extremely well. If you were to hover a helicopter and apply more power, then there will be more torque, and more power will be needed from the tail rotor. This takes lots and lots of hours to master, especially to make it look smooth. These problems obviously don’t exist in multirotors because power increases are always done equal and opposite in the propeller system.

We want to do more than just hover our multirotor. If we wanted a forward motion, then both forward propellers will apply less power, while the back propellers add more. This pri" />

The projects are critical, your review is required.




The Drones Story!

The Drones Story!

Sponsored by Bailout Nigeria , September 13, 2018

Category: Workshop
Target Amount: NGN0.00

The story

There are a lot of loose terms thrown around in this industry. So let’s clear the air a bit…

DRONE-

This is probably the most overused, and incorrectly used word. True RC hobbyists really dislike this term, as it’s meaning doesn’t really belong in the RC genre. Drone is more correctly used for an unmanned aircraft flown beyond line of sight for the military. These drones are capable of dropping missiles and performing spy tactics hundreds of miles away. A little different than the DJI ones we are flying in our backyard… It is now becoming used so often, that the term “drone” is slowly becoming synonymous with “mulirotors.” It really doesn’t bother us, as we happen to use it quite often ; ).

how_drones_work_drone

TYPICAL MILITARY DRONE

MULTIROTOR-

A multi rotor is a rotary aircraft with more than two rotor systems, typically unmanned. Multirotor is the general term for any unmanned system that isn’t a traditional helicopter. Examples being: tricopter, quadcopter, hexcopter, octocopter, etc…Since there are such a wide variety of rotor systems, it’s easier to classify everything into a common group called multirotors.

how_drones_work_hexcopter

HEXCOPTER WITH CAMERA GIMBAL

UAV – “UNMANED AERIAL VEHICLE” 
UAV is any machine capable of unmanned flight. Drones and multirotors fall into this category as there is no physical pilot onboard. They still can be directly operated by a pilot elsewhere. UAV’s are slowly transitioning to full size fixed-wing and helicopter models. Airbus has been developing unmanned platforms for a few years, while the military has been doing this for quite a while. It is no question that UAV’s will slowly start to become the new norm. Not only does this solve a pilot shortage problem, but will help lower insurance requirements and costs for civilian operators and put less military pilots in the crosshairs.

 

What are the parts of a Multirotor?

Frame – the frame of a multirotor works in much the same way the frame of a car works, there to support and add strength to the vehicle. Frames are typically made from plastic or carbon fiber, and can be arranged with different arm variations (tri, quad, hex, octo). The end of each arm houses the motor and propeller, while the center holds the flight controllers, gimbals, and other electronics. Most of the weight should always be towards the center of the ship, as this leads to the best flight characteristics keeping the center of gravity (CG) towards the center.

As with each part listed below, weight is an extremely crucial element. The heavier the frame, the less lift can be achieved. However, you don’t want a super lightweight frame that will break on you. Carbon fiber tends to be a favorite because of its strength and light weight.

Motors – there is a separate motor for each blade/arm. Motor decisions are based on required power, and what you want the motor to do. If the multirotor is being built to carry heavy payloads and have the best possible flight times, then a slower spinning, higher torque motor is ideal. This is in contrast to an aggressive, fast system with lots of maneuverability, having faster spinning rotor systems. The measure of the RPMs, or speed of the rotors, is its kv value. Faster builds will be upwards of 1400kv, while slower, longer battery life builds are roughly 300-900kv. These figures only work properly if the correct battery and propellers compliment it accordingly.

Be sure the motor is compatible with the ESC and battery you have chosen.

Propellers – can also be made from plastic or carbon fiber. Carbon fiber being the higher end choice, but also more expensive. When picking propellers, be sure to check that your frame can house the size you are selecting. Most frames will have a max propeller size to them. The size of the propeller should match your intended purpose. If you wish to have a more aggressive build, then choose propellers on the smaller end of the spectrum. Vice versa with higher payload, longer flight time builds. Propellers generally come packaged as a pair, one being a CW (clockwise) spinning prop, and the other being CCW(counter-clockwise). If you are building a quadcopter, you will have to order two.

Propellers need to be balanced before precise flight can be achieved. Although a select number of props can be purchased already balanced, most should be hand balanced when you get them. Check out our prop balancing video to learn how to balance the props and the hubs.

Battery – batteries come in a wide variety of weights and capacities. It seems intuitive to always pick the largest capacity battery to achieve the longest flight time, but this is not always the case. As the capacity of the battery increases, so does its weight. There is a certain point where more capacity is no longer beneficial, and the benefits are no longer there. Ecalc is a great tool to play around with and find your ideal battery weight and capacity.

It is important to play close attention to the number of cells your battery has and what your motor, ESC, and flight controller requirements are. This is often an overlooked detail that can get people in trouble. If you want a high capacity 10,000 mah 6s batttery, be sure your motors and ESC are 6s, and that your flight controller can support it.

ESC – “Electronic Speed Controller” run the motors you have. ESCs are rated for the amount of current they can consistently supply to the motor system. Since the motors are constantly spinning at different speeds, they need a speed controller to dictate that to them. If the motors all ran at the same speed, you would always be hovering. Since we are not changing the pitch of the rotors, pitch of the system is through difference in motor speeds.

It is highly recommended to use four identical ESCs. Although this doesn’t necessarily need to be true, you will more than likely have a better running system using identical parts. Also, running ESCs flashed with SimonK firmware is highly advised. There are more efficient and smoother operating ESCs and have built up quite a reputation.

Transmitter and Receiver – this combination is the “remote control” to operate your multirotor. The transmitter “transmits” the signal, and the receiver “receives” it. The receiver is connected to the flight controller delivering these inputs and outputting the responses to the motors.

The choice of transmitters is a little more basic. Transmitter choice is most often based on the number of channels required for operation. For multirotors, the bare minimum is four (roll, pitch, yaw, and throttle). More is always a nice convenience. A separate channel can used for autopilot, operating a camera gimbal, retractable landing gear, etc…

Setting up the transmitter in either mode 1 or 2 needs to be considered. Mode 2 is set by default for the US, but lots still prefer mode 1. Mode 1 vs Mode 2 is the difference in what the control inputs on the transmitter do.

 

How Does A Multirotor Fly?

Now that you have a basic understanding of the different parts of a multirotor, it’s time to discuss how these all come together to achieve flight.

Let’s use a quadcopter for the following examples. A quadcopter uses four different propellers, powered by four different motors, on 4 separate arms. Easy, right? Each spinning propeller creates its own torque. Newton’s Third Law states “to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” So if that propeller is spinning, the arm holding it will want to spin the opposite direction. This is the law of Torque Reaction. This is why a traditional helicopter has a tail-rotor, to compensate for that fuselage torque.

In a quadcopter, we don’t need a tail rotor. Why?  Because we can combat that per-propeller torque with an equal and opposite torque (the propeller opposite it).  Notice in the picture how the opposite propellers are spinning in the same direction. They are canceling out each other’s torque effect.

how_drone_works_cw

This allows quadcopters to hover extremely well. If you were to hover a helicopter and apply more power, then there will be more torque, and more power will be needed from the tail rotor. This takes lots and lots of hours to master, especially to make it look smooth. These problems obviously don’t exist in multirotors because power increases are always done equal and opposite in the propeller system.

We want to do more than just hover our multirotor. If we wanted a forward motion, then both forward propellers will apply less power, while the back propellers add more. This pri


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