This topic contains 10 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Marty 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #61514

    Marty
    Participant

    I just need a little direction/push in the right direction. Hope I am in the right thread.

    Just a little context about my building ability,,,,I have built numerous FT fixed wing models to start with. David’s wooden boomed KK2 board based Tricopter was my first multirotor a number of years ago and have had great fun with it. Recently I made the jump to mini quads building successfully two KISS V1 FC Aliens (using my Mac computer for all of the flashing to this point). And I am a Spektrum radio user.

    I really like Davids tricopter designs and have wanted to build an upgrade. A little while back I purchased his F3FC Racing FC (before it became replaced with a different board). So, I have a frame and this board and I seem to be lost in the informational enormity to the point of not knowing which way to turn.

    #1 my multi rotor base is KISS,,,,not Betaflight/Triflight
    #2 I am a Mac user and the little I see is Windows based
    #3 using the outdated F3FC,,,,,I really haven’t found basic build information/videos (in the back log of forum information)

    Do you see the source of my anxiety,,,,,I just don’t know where to start. Could you point me in some direction? Anything would be VERY helpful and appreciated. Thanks SO much for your time

    Marty from Texas

    #61523

    jihlein
    Participant

    There’s a Mac installer for the dRonin flight software here:

    dRonin for Tricopters! (TriRonin)

    It supports the F3Fc you have. I’m not too fluent with a Mac, so we will have to figure out how to initially flash the dRonin firmware to your F3Fc. Since most of my development work is on Windows, I normally do the initial flash there, and then I can use the board on Windows, Mac, or Linux implementations of the GCS.

    I would think there is a Mac based version of the Betaflight configurator. If that’s true, that can be used to do the initial firmware flash. If you decide you want to use Betaflight, you’ll need that configuration tool anyway.

    #61534

    Marty
    Participant

    Thank you so much jihlein for your input. Now that I have your ear I have a basic question to get me up to speed with the tricopter language. Explain “dRonin” to me. I have seen this mentioned a lot but don’t have the background of what this term stands for. Is this another name for Triflight? This will help a lot in my current confusion. Once I see how this relates to the building process that I know it will begin to flow.

    I forgot to mention that I do have the Betaflight configuator on my Mac. The FT boys at FF Texas put it on my laptop after I purchased a Gremlin. So I have it. Haven’t used it but have it. Now all I have to learn is how dRonin/Betaflight configuator/& Triflight all relate.

    Thanks again for the help and to anyone else who chimes in

    #61535

    Marty
    Participant

    Shucks,,,,forgot to add one thing. As far as the flashing,,,,at what point of the build does this take place. Is the FC flashed before anything is solder to it or after ESC’s, PDB, motors and all are assembled.

    #61551

    jihlein
    Participant

    There are a number of different flight firmwares available, each with different features functions. Betaflight, Cleanflight are two of the more popular. dRonin is simply another flight firmware with a different feature set.

    Triflight is the name given to some algorithms designed to improve tricopter flight/handling. They were originally written for Cleanflight, then moved on to Betaflight. I ported Triflight to dRonin with some minor changes.

    Flashing the firmware can happen anytime, and will likely happen many times over the life of your build, as firmware features are added, or you simply want to try a different firmware.

    There are some fundamental differences between the *flight firmwares and dRonin. The most noticeable is the setup program. Betaflight uses the Betaflight configurator for flashing and setup, dRonin uses their CGS. The communication between the flight control board and the configurator/GCS is very different. If you decide to use Betaflight, all you need is their configurator, as the F3Fc comes pre-programmed with Betaflight if I recall correctly. For dRonin, we need to perform a first load of the flight firmware, then the GCS can be used. This can be done one of two ways, use the Betaflight configurator, which is easiest for most users, or use the software tools provided by STM, the makers of the chip which runs the firmware.

    FWIW, I like dRonin better, but either will work for you. The one thing that dRonin has that Betaflgiht lacks is an autotune function, that will automatically set the PID gains. It does very well on the pitch and roll axes, yaw still needs a little bit of tweaking by the user. Betaflight has a much larger user base.

    Sort of like drinking from a fire hose at first…… 🙂

    #61555

    Marty
    Participant

    I love your comical analogy “Sort of like drinking from a fire hose…..” Good stuff. I thought (back in the day) it was an accomplishment flashing my KK2 board! Ha Ha Ha That is why I went KISS on my quads (and I think that was still a good (lucky) decision (even though there was a learning curve there also).

    So, after a little reading,,,,,I can at least begin to make some sense out of your helpful response. Thanks! And I still have some reading to do about dRonin (which will happen soon). But for now one question. Are you saying that the FC has to be pre-flashed with Betaflight {if so,,,,what version/hex file} BEFORE we head to the dRonin GSC (ground control station,,,,,which I take it that dRonin calls their configurator?) to re-flash with dRonin {and if so,,,,what version/hex file}.

    Am I sounding like I am getting this,,,,,,,,,a little:-)

    Thanks for the help my friend!

    #61556

    jihlein
    Participant

    The FC does not have to be pre-flashed with Betaflight, it’s just that that makes it easier since the boards typically come pre-flashed with Betaflight, and the configurator is relatively easy to use. Rather than having the configurator upgrade Betaflight, you point it to the dRonin image and flash that. From that point on, it will no longer talk to the Betaflight configurator, only the dRonin GCS, until it’s flashed back to Betaflight.

    I’ll admit I’m biased toward dRonin. It is different to setup from Betaflight, but not more difficult. I think it’s good for a beginner due to the autotune function, it can get you a pretty good set of PID values quickly and easily. The yaw values do need to be tweaked a little bit on the tricopter.

    #61574

    Marty
    Participant

    I am almost to the point of just jumping in and getting started. One last question of which I think I know the answer but want to make sure. In my build,,,,I will be using KISS 24amp esc’s. In a routine KISS (FC) build,,,,all the parts are assembled and then using the KISS configurator the esc’s are flashed all at once with the appropriate firmware version. I honestly don’t know how all the parts and pieces (FC & its particular firmware,,,,,,,,and,,,,esc’s and their particular firmware) work together or independently of one another (as standalones). I am assuming that they are independent and various “makes” can be interchanged. With this said,,,,,I will have to flash my KISS esc’s (using a KISS FC) with the appropriate KISS esc firmware prior to this current tricopter build using the F3Fc. The KISS 24amp esc’s will work with up to DSHOT600 which I guess is all that matters.

    I hope there is some clarity in what I am trying to say. I find it a little difficult when it comes to these sort of details in a new build (especially when I am integrating a new feature,,,,,FC & firmware. But in the end I hope to understand more about the process in the end). Thanks again for the help in advance.

    #61577

    jihlein
    Participant

    I’m not familiar with the KISS escs. Do they only support DShot, or do they support OneShot too?

    Reason I ask is I’m 90% sure that the F3Fc will support DShot. My F3Fc is currently connected to OneShot escs, I will have to get out the logic analyzer and confirm DShot 600.

    #61687

    Marty
    Participant

    Good news,,,,the build has begun. And I am following David’s “Baby Tricopter” build log. David does such a good job. I like his method as opposed to the YouTube video method.

    But I do have a question. I am at the point of connecting my receiver. I am a Spektrum user and my receiver is the SPM4649T (with telemetry). He does not address the Spektrum option but I looked in the comments below the build and got lucky. Someone asked a related question and David responded to use any of the UARTS and the 3.3v pad. Since I have been down this road before,,,,I am aware that the 4649 runs on a higher voltage, a 5v pad. I got that. But my experience in using a UART is lacking. Actually, never hooked up anything to one. So, I just want to make sure. The wires coming from the 4649 are: voltage,,,,ground,,,,serial. I assume that the first two go (respectively) to any open 5v and ground pad. I am not sure about the serial. For each UART there is an rx pad and a tx pad. Do I assume that my serial lead goes to the rx pad? It make sense to me but please confirm. And while we are at it,,,,,what would the tx pad be used for?

    Lastly,,,,with my 4649 properly hooked,,,,would I be able to get telemetry through the UART? I would just like to monitor battery voltage as I currently do on my two Alien mini quad builds.

    Thanks so much

    #61695

    Marty
    Participant

    Also,,,,as far as using triflight or dRonin goes,,,,do they support RX telemetry using the spektrum 46439T RX (which is what I will be using). The Spektrum people pointed out to me that this may not be a supported feature with any firmware other than Betaflight. And are there versions of Betaflight that are more optimal for tricopters than others? Thanks

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.