X525 Quadcopter Build Setup & Test

X525 Quadcopter Build Setup & Test

LAST UPDATED: June 13th, 2014 | by: Marty 0 comments

x525 Quadcopter KitAfter weeks having fun with my little Hubsan X4 mini quadcopter, I decided to upgrade to something with a little more kick, the trial & error I had will be outlined in this post, hopefully it will help others that’s having issues getting off the ground!

This build is focused on the X525 Quadcopter build with the KKMulticopter V5.5 Blackboard flight controller running XCopter v4.7 firmware by kapteinkuk

I settled on the X525, simply because: 1) the price, 2) the size…  

I had to wait 3 or so weeks for the delivery from China! below is a list I put together of other things needed for this build , chances are a few things may be lying about the house! Use the links to jump to each section for faster browsing. As always leave your thoughts or comments below!

Quick Links

Other Parts Required

Transmitter & Receiver

Fly sky FS-CT6B I got myself a fairly cheap 6ch Transmiter & receiver pack from ebay FLY Sky FS-CT6B, with the 6 channels, I’m hoping to hook into my spare 2 channels for a possible camera pan & tilt system.

Lipo battery & Charger

lipo-batteries-2200mAh I picked up 2x 2200mAh lipo batteries from ebay, this should provide enough power for a few minutes of flight time, (I have since updated to a 4400mAh 3S Lipo for a longer flight time, even though the battery is larger and a little heavier, I still get around 10mins of flight time from this, compared to the 5,6 mins on the 2200)

XT60 Connectors

XT60-connectors The XT60 Connectors will provide direct connection from the battery to the power distribution board, the kit originally came with the “T” connector for the battery.

Low Voltage Alarm

lipo-low-voltage-alarm This little life saver will stop your battery draining to the point were the motors will just shut off, causing the quad to crash, using the voltage alarm connected to the battery in flight, will send out a high pitch alarm to warn you the battery is going dead! this gives you enough time to get it back on the ground without incident!

Extra Propellers

x525-10x4.5-props-blueGrab your self a few extra propellers. the kit came with 4 blades, 2x Clockwise(CW) 2x Counter Clockwise(CCW) When I tried to get my quad setup, it flipped a few times breaking props on each side, which is a pain in the arse if your just getting off the ground!

x525-10x4.5-props-red I would advise on a few packs from china, even alternate the colours, I chose Blue(Front) Orange(Back) they may take a while to come depending where you get them, but at some point they’ll come in handy!

Extra Protection

cd-box I used the lid from a CD box like this one, to protect the KK 5.5, along with the receiver and other electronics, just in case it flips or hits the deck, it will provide a little protection! (I hope) I also wrapped the inside with a few blue LEDS for extra position awareness.

LED Lighting

led-12v My brother had a few RGB LED strips from his camper van project, these were direct 12v connections, which could just hook up to the power distribution board or as I did, to an on/off switch


X525 Quadcopter kit

X525 Un-Boxxing

X525 Quadcopter instructions

  • X525 V3 folding frame.
  • KKMulticopter blackboard v5.5 with USB flashing adapter.
  • XXD 2212 KV1000 brushless motors with propeller adapters.
  • 1045 / 1045R – 2 of each Propellers.
  • x4 Hobby power Brushless 30A ESC.
  • ESC Power Distribution Board.
  • Reinforced Protection cover.
  • 3.5mm gold bullet plugs ( 12pcs male + 12 pcs female )
  • Heat shrink Tube x2 (50cm red + 50cm black)

Building the Frame

there were no x525 Quadcopter Instructions, I had to use a mashup of pictures from all over the internet, so I put together a quick time lapse of it, to save others the hassle.
(using the GoPro hero3 – 10Sec)

KKMulticopter V5.5 Blackboard

Pin 1 on the KK board for the USB programmer is located here:

KKboard_pin1

Based on the KK 4.7 firmware, connect your motors according to the picture beneath.

Motors 1 & 4 should spin CW,
Motors 2&3 should spin CCW.

You can test the direction in which they move after connecting your ESC to current, receiver (throttle port) and motor.
Switch two wires from ESC to motor if it spins in the wrong direction.

quadcopter_x_flight_dynamics_yaw_pitch_roll

The control board should contract less vibrations from the motors as possible. To achieve this, you can use rubber or foam to dampen vibrations.
This will ensure that the gyro’s on the board won’t get interfered.

Finished layout

Wiring Connections

Before configuration be sure to wire your control board according to the manual you got with your KK board. Should be like something like

Flashing KKMulticopter v5.5 Blackboard

follow the steps below to flash kkmulticopter v5.5

Before you plug in the usb programmer you should install:
USB Driver
KKMultiCopter Flash Tool
Java

Start up the flash tool & use these settings
kk-flashtool-success
Click the Green Icon (Running Man) to start the flash process,
If you get an error like ‘error setting the fuses‘ attempting to upgrade the control board, be sure you selected the right controller board

ESC Calibration

ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) has to be calibrated to be used on the Quadcopter.

If you have a programming card like this 1…

esc-programming-card

!!!NOTE!!! DO NOT SET UP YOUR ESC LIKE THE PICTURE ABOVE – FOLLOW THE TABLE GUIDE BELOW!!!

Connect the three ESC wires (red(positive), black(ground), yellow(signal)) to a brushless motor, connect the smaller three-wire flat cable to the programming card and supply the ESC with power. The motor will beep a couple of times to let you know the ESC has been programmed according to the settings you specified on the card, disconnect & repeat for each speed controller.

When you turn on the QuadCopter, If… there are 3 beeps then 1, each beep represents how many Cells your battery has, if it beeps 3 times, you want to change it, so it only beeps 1 time! by changing the type of battery from Lipo to NiMH, this will stop the QuadCopter falling out the sky when the battery level gets below a certain amount of voltage!

Manual ESC Calibration

If you have no programming card you have to do it manually, follow the steps below to get your KK5.5 into esc programming mode.

  • Set YAW pot to 0%
  • Throttle to 100%
  • Turn on Transmitter
  • Power on Quad/Board
  • ESC will beep as normal, Wait 5 Sec the ESC should play a tune!
  • ESC in programming mode!
  • Listen for the beeps, Move the “Throttle” down to enter each option,
  • leave the throttle down to cycle through the options, when it beeps on your choice!
  • move the throttle up to confirm your selection.
  • If you make a mistake just reset and try again!

Throttle UP

Throttle Down

Pos

Option

Beeps

1x beep

2x beep

3xPiep

1

Brake

1x briefly

Off

On

-

2

Battery Type

2x short

LiPo

NiMH

-

3

Cut-off mode

3x short

Soft Cut

Cut off

-

4

Cut-off voltage

4x short

Low

middle

High

5

Start Mode

1x long

Normal

Soft

Very Soft

6

Timing

1x long1x short

Low

Middle

High

7

Reset

1x long2x short

Factory reset

8

Exit

2x long

Throttle Calibration

T6-Config
More info T6-Config
Download T6-Config & Driver, connect it to your pc and setup transmitter, reverse any channels as needed. make sure to bind your Transmitter & receiver

Be sure all motors spin at the same speed, we need to calibrate them. This is how you do that:
!!!Propellers Are Not Attached!!!

  • Yaw Pot to 0 (Fully Clockwise).
  • Pitch/Roll Pot to 50%.
  • Throttle Stick on Transmitter “Full Throttle” fully up position.
  • Turn On Transmitter.
  • Turn on Quadcopter.
  • When it Beeps twice (2x) Move Throttle Stick down.
  • Reset Pots to original position.
  • Finished Calibration.

KKMulticopter V5.5 Pot Settings

There’s a lot to do about the 4.7 firmware from KaptainKuk. A lot of people can’t get it to work. Including me when I started this project. I must say the board and firmware is badly documented. In the end it was a total Nightmare! so I’ve finally gotten the pots to where I think is best! here are my recommend selections,

NOTE: this is based on “what I think” Fully Clockwise is = Min(Zero)

  • YAW (75% ish)
  • PITCH (0%)
  • ROLL (45%)

POT Reverse

Normally, the three pots are on zero level when turned fully clockwise. Sometimes (don’t ask me why) this setting is reversed and zero level is fully counter-clockwise. Anyway, you need to correct this. You can check whether the POT’s are on the good setting by turning YAW and PITCH to 50% and ROLL to 0% (CW). When you connect the power to the board, the board’s LED should flash three times. If not, disconnect and try again with ROLL on 100% (fully CCW).

If this is the case, you need to reverse the pots. This is how you do it:

  • Disconnect power from board
  • Power transmitter, throttle to zero
  • Roll POT fully CCW
  • Power board (LED flashes three times)
  • Full throttle on the transmitter (board LED flashes constantly)
  • Disconnect board from power
  • Set ROLL POT to 50% again
  • Power down transmitter

YAW Reverse

For whatever reason, the gyro for YAW setting is reversed on the board.
This will let your quad spin around and you don’t want that.
Follow these steps to reverse:

  • Power transmitter, throttle to zero
  • Roll POT at 0%, others at 50%
  • Power board (LED flashes three times)
  • More YAW stick (rudder) on your transmitter (board LED flashes constantly)
  • Disconnect board from power
  • Set ROLL POT to 50% again
  • Power down transmitter

Note: Most of the times it’s not needed to reverse other gyro’s. If applicable, use the same procedure, except for moving the right stick for the desired gyro.

Fine Tuning

IMG_4726 (Copy)
After countless times to setup this quad, i found the best way to test out the configuration without going out and flipping the quad, losing another prop!
I tethered each corner of the quadcopter, just behind the motor, with string or wire I attached it to the corner and nailed it to the floor in a piece of wood, when it was secure I would give it some throttle, just enough to get it off the floor, if it wont come off the floor, just flop around on the board, I would adjust a pot based on what it was doing,

these were the settings I found to be most stable,

  • YAW (75% ish) turn CCW from center position
  • PITCH (0%) fully turned to the right
  • ROLL (45%) just a touch less than center

Flight Videos

Tethered Flight Test

Flight Test After Tether

Flight Test At Work

First Piece of Sun in ages! Battery Park Greenock

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Marty

Web Developer
Senior Web Developer who combines passionate coding skills, strategic vision with strong hands on leadership and enormous personal drive. I create re-usable industry standard code that is used time and time again, producing outstanding results for every project I work on! I also like Classic Motorbikes, Quad bikes, Downhill Mountain biking & Learning electronics using the Arduino.
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