This page is being edited 18.4.09
- Initial Check
- Connecting the Sercon to the PC
- Writing and Reading Settings from the MK Tool
- Setting the Transmitter channels
- Checking direction of the Props
- Calibrating the Compass
- Setting the POTI Channels
- Initialisation of the GPS
- Activating the Height Control
Once you have built your MikroKopter (MK) and are happy with the mechanics and construction, it is important that before you try to get it off the ground you set up the boards and controls. Unlike most other flying machines, the MikroKopter relies solely on electronics to keep it under control as it has no control flying surfaces. It is vitally important that the various parameters are set before you try to fly.
Connect the power supply to the MK and switch on. The motors will all rotate one after the other and beep. The following LEDs will be on
Green LED on each of the BL-Ctrls - If not goto http://www.mikrokopter.de/ucwiki/en/BL-Ctrl_Manual
Green LED on the Flight Controller - If not goto http://www.mikrokopter.de/ucwiki/en/FlightCtrlManual
Red LED on the MK3 Mag - If not goto http://www.mikrokopter.de/ucwiki/en/MK3Mag
Green Led on the GPS - If not goto http://www.mikrokopter.de/ucwiki/en/MKGPS
Red and green LEDs on the Navi Board - If not goto http://www.mikrokopter.de/ucwiki/en/NaviCtrl
If all the above are correct then the MK can be setup using the MK tool http://www.mikrokopter.de/ucwiki/en/MikroKopter-Tool?action=show&redirect=en%2FMikroKopterTool
Connecting the Sercon to the PC
The MK tool will only work on a PC using a 'real' serial port. Using a USB - Serial port converter will not work properly and may cause problems. If your PC does not have a serial port than a PCMICA adaptor will work.
1 - Connect the 10 pin ribbon cable to the 'Debug' terminal on the Navi Board. If you do not have Navi Board then connect this to the Flight Control Board.
2 - Open the MK tool on the PC and switch on the MK and TX. (to avoid any accidents it may be advisable to remove the props )
3 - The yellow LED on the Sercon will be on.
4 - The MK tool should now show values from the MK. If not check the right COM port is being used by clicking on the 'Terminal' tab and selecting the COM port on bottom left hand corner of the screen.
Writing and Reading Settings from the MK Tool
The Flight Controller (FC) can store up to 5 different sets of parameters called "Settings" . One parameter set can be used at any one time and is selected prior to starting the MK by moving the sticks to specific positions. The MK tool will display any one of these 5 parameters sets stored in the FC board by reading them from the FC board. When the MK tool is activated the last used 'Setting' is displayed. The 'Setting' number is shown just above the bottom left "Parameterset" .
In this example Setting 3 I have renamed to 'Norm Camera'
The default settings are:
- Setting 1 - Sport
- Setting 2 - Normal
- Setting 3 - Beginner
- Setting 4 -
- Setting 5 -
The values of any of the 5 Settings can be saved onto the PC by clicking on the "Save' button
To load any previous saved 'Settings' into the MK tool click on the "Load" button and locate the file. The MK tool will now display the 'Settings' from the PC. Any changes you make to these parameters will not be stored on the FC until you "Write" them to the FC by clicking on the "Write" button. The MK will beep 1 for 'Setting 1', twice for 'Setting 2' etc. This will overwrite all the values for that 'Setting' onto the FC board.
To see the values now stored on the FC board click on the "Read" button.
You may like to leave the 3 default settings alone but make some changes and write them to Setting 4 or 5 as follows:
1 - Connect the MK tool and select the Flight Control.
2 - Click on the 'Settings' tab. You will now see the Configuration screen
3 - Using the MK select the setting you want from the FC board by using the sticks. The MK will beep once for setting 1 twice for setting 2 etc.
4 - Next to the 'Parameterset' box you will see the Setting number you have chosen.
5 - The MK tool now has those parameters loaded and you may now alter any of them.
6 - Now using the 'Parameterset' up/down arrows select the 'Setting' number you wish to write to - say number 4.
7 - Click on the "Write" button and MK will now beep 4 times to say you have written to Setting 4.
8 - The MK will now use "Setting 4" until you alter the Setting using the sticks.
A word of warning - Changing parameter settings can have a dramatic effect on the control of your MK. While it is necessary to change some parameters to set up the MK, it is not recommended that you make drastic changes without first understanding how the values interact with the MK's control. Changes to some values will not have the same effect on your MK as on another due to differences in weight, motor spacing, props and operation etc. Always make small changes and note the effect.
Setting the Transmitter channels
The transmitter (TX) channels must be configured in the MK tool so that the correct channel controls the correct function. It sounds obvious but, since there are different Modes on some TX's the channels will need to be assigned to correspond the Mode you have selected.
1 - Connect the MK tool and select the Flight Control
2 - Click on the 'Settings' tab. You will now see the Configuration screen
3 - Select the 'Channels' tab
ToDo: Screenshots and Instructions
Checking direction of the Props
For an MK with 4 motors the direction of the props are
- Front and Rear - Clockwise
- Left and Right - Anticlockwise
For other motor configurations http://www.mikrokopter.com/ucwiki/mkm
Each motor is connected by 3 cables. To change the direction of rotation of the motor simply swap any 2 connections.
Calibrating the Compass
The compass board is a magnetic compass that reads the earths magnetic fields. It also reads any other magnetic fields that are in close proximity. It is therefore very important that all strongly magnetic devices are moved away from this board. The buzzer should be mounted on one of the arms of the MK and not on the FC board. It is also better to calibrate the compass in an area that is magnetic interference free. Places to avoid are:
- Near pylons or electrical substations
- Close to large metal clad buildings or steel framed buildings
To set up the compass you must first make sure that the YAW TX trim setting is set to zero on the MK tool. NB -This is not the same as setting the trim to zero on the TX only.
To set up the TX to be trimmed to zero
Calibration of the compass
Important: When first operated, the MK3Mag needs to be correctly calibrated! Otherwise the NaviBoard will show you "Err:6 bad compass value".
Now it is (since Version FC:0.84) very easy to calibrate the compass with a "clicking sound" .
This method has the advantage that you doesn't have to hold the Kopter "perfect" horizontally.
The Kopter should be calibrated outside, away from magnetic influences!
So please do not calibrate the Kopter directly next to a house, near power poles or metallic / magnetic surfaces.
Also, please take your cell etc. out of your pocket.
The earth's magnetic field is not the same everywhere. That's the reason why you should calibrate the compass new if you change the place where you fly.
(e.g. from Germany to USA or from north to south America)
The calibration will be done in several steps:
Example View / Function
On a transmitter in MODE 2 it lokks like in that way:
Pull Nick down 1x
Calibration of the X-Axis (Nick-Axis)
The Kopter with the front
Calibration of the Y-Axis (Roll-Axis)
Rotate the Kopter by 90°
Pull Nick 1x down
Pull Nick 1x down
Calibration of the Z-Axis (Yaw-Axis)
INFO: Here it doesn't matter if the Kopter shows with the X or Y-Axis towards South (North).
Pull Nick 1x down
3. Now that the Kopter "beeped" 2x after a successful calibration that part is done.
If everything is OK the red LED stops lighting after a few seconds on the NaviCtrl V2.0 with integrated compass.
If you use a NaviCtrl V1.1 with MK3Mag the red LED on the MK3Mag lights permanently.
If the calibarion fails (compass still reports "invalid compass value"), you can take a look here: MagnetError
Setting the POTI Channels
These channels are used to control functions and servos on the MK such as:
- Camera tilt
- Activation of the GPS
- Operation of the camera shutter
- Activation of the Altitude Control
- Activation or control of any other parameters in the MK Tool
It does not matter what functions these channels are used for, but what is important is that the POTI channel is not accidentally used to operate 2 functions at the same time by mistake.
Normally channels 1, 2, 3 and 4 are used to control GAS, YAW, NICK and ROLL, ie. the stick controls. The remaining 4 channels 5, 6, 7, and 8 are used for the POTI controls.
There are so many uses these channels can be used for it is not really possible to cover every variation. Here is how to assign a slider channel to control the camera tilt which may be used as a typical example.
1 - Connect the TX, MK and your PC and open the MK tool
2 - Select the Flight Cntrl tab
3 - Click on the 'Settings' button which will now no longer be greyed out.
4 - Select the 'Camera' tab.
5 - Select from the drop down menu the POTI you wish to use 1, 2, 3 or 4
6 - Click on the 'Channels' tab and next to the POTI number you have chosen in 5 above click through the numbers adjacent to it to select the channel that POTI will operate.
7 - Click on the 'Write' button to write these settings to the MK. 8 - If you have not already done so, assign a slider on your TX to the channel you have selected in 6 above.
Initialisation of the GPS
The GPS board has 3 modes, OFF, POSITION HOLD and COMING HOME.
Setting up the board to be activated by the TX you must assign a channel to a POTI See 'Setting the POTI Channels' on this page.
The GPS can be activated by a slider on the TX, or better still a 3 position switch.
The board, even when OFF will search and detect satellites. For more about the GPS and Navi Control Boards see http://www.mikrokopter.com/ucwiki/en/NaviCtrl
Activating the Height Control
If you have a height control sensor fitted to the Flight Control board http://www.mikrokopter.com/ucwiki/en/heightsensor then you will need to assign the activation of the sensor in the MK Tool.
The sensor reads barometric pressure and will hold an MK at a specific height within 2m or so. To activate this control you must assign a channel to control the ON/OFF of the sensor. This may be achieved by a switch or a slider on a POTI channel. See 'Setting the POTI Channels' on this page.
If you use a slider the slider does NOT control the height it simply controls the ON/OFF. The GAS or THROTTLE stick will control the height position. The height sensor will hold the MK at the that height even if the GAS is increased, it acts like a ceiling. Decreasing the GAS will make the MK descend, raising the GAS again will make the MK rise to the same position.