qav-x

How to Setup a Lumenier QAV-X

In Build, Review by Mike Tseng20 Comments

How to Setup a Lumenier QAV-X
Time to finish up the QAV-X build!  In part 1 of the build, we did all the soldering and physical build.  Part 2 we will program the Taranis, flash and configure the KISS FC then go for some test flights.

Parts used in this QAV-X Build

3D Parts

The QAV-X Build Kit will include everything listed above plus a bag of misc parts (heat, shrink, buzzer, vbat cable…), backup files for the Taranis and KISSFC and the cheat sheet.

Let’s get Started!

The setup on the KISS FC is a little quirky.  You have to do part of the setup in the KISS configurator, then setup the Taranis, then go back to the KISS configurator.  You’ll see why.

Flash the KISS FC
  1. Download most current firmware from here.  As of this post, the most current is v1.02RC28
  2. Download Chrome if you haven’t already.
  3. Add the KISS FC configurator
  4. Hold down boot button and connect usb.  Keep button held down until flashing is done.
  5. Load firmware and flash
  6. Done.  Get a beer

For now, there’s just one setting that needs to be in the KISS configurator.  Under the receiver tab, select “FrSky S-BUS”.  Hit save.

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Taranis Setup

Even though I was perfectly happy with my old beat up original Taranis running firmware 2.0.8, I got a brand new Taranis Plus running the latest firmware 2.1.8 just so it would make it easier for everyone to follow along with the setup.  Good excuse to get a new transmitter eh?

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First, create a new model and name it whatever you want.  Set Timer 1 to “THt”.  This timer only starts when the throttle goes above zero not when you turn on the Taranis.

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Then bind the Taranis to the XSR. Install the XSR on the QAV-X.  Change the mode to D16 and select bind.  The Taranis will start beeping.  Hold down the failsafe button on the XSR while plugging in the battery.  Unplug the power and exit out of binding on the Taranis.

Set up the switches you want for Arm, buzzer and flight mode.

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This is how my Taranis is set up:

  • SE switch is flight mode
  • SD is Arm/Disarm
  • SA is buzzer
Taranis Telemetry 101

After you configure the KISS FC to use FrSky S-BUS as your RX, in the Taranis firmware 2.1.8 you have to do an extra step to get VFAS and RSSI to show up.  Plug in the battery with the XSR installed/bound and scroll down to page 12/12 telemetry screen.  Go hit “Discover New Sensors” and a lot of new sensors will show up including the VFAS and RSSI.

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To save time, I’ll just show my telemetry screens and logic screens.  For a better explanation check out out my other post on the Taranis telemetry.

To set up the Taranis telemetry, there are two main parts, Logic and Special Functions (actions).  Here are my Taranis screens for the telemetry.  This will give you an idea of how to set up the logic and actions.  You can play around with this and configure this to do whatever you want.  Here’s the basics.

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Logical Switches
  • L1 sets the low RSSI threshold at 55
  • L2 low battery voltage warning 14.5v
  • L3 critical battery voltage set at 14v
  • L4 throttle timer (THt) 2 minutes
  • L5 throttle timer (THt) 5 minutes

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Special Functions
  • SF1 play track “engine on” when the quad is armed
  • SF2 SH up will play the battery voltage
  • SF3 play track “engine off” when the quad is dis-armed
  • SF4 when RSSI drops below 55, speak RSSI value
  • SF5 when battery drops below 14.5v speak battery value
  • SF6 when battery drops below 14v vibrate Taranis
  • SF7 at 2 minutes, speak timer
  • SF8 at 5 minutes, speak timer
  • SF9 SG down will speak RSSI value
Telemetry Screen

Set Voltage Source as VFAS.  The telemetry screen has 12 placeholders for display options.  You can configure it to show whatever you want.

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KISS FC Configuration

See this post for more info on the KISS FC.

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  1. UAV Type “Quad X”
  2. Receiver “S-BUS”.  All you have to do is select this to have the telemetry info setup.  No port configuration or any other options to enable like in CleanFlight.
  3. FS. Levelmode Sec “0” this is your failsafe.  I want my quad to drop immediately if I lose rx signal so it’s set to zero.
  4. Min Command “1000”.  Default is 1070.  In order to enable AirMode, Min Command needs to be set to 1000 and the Arm function is set to a switch.  If you don’t enable AirMode you won’t have any control at zero throttle.
  5. FC Rotation “180”  Only set this if you have the arrow on the KISS FC facing the rear.
  6. Set the switches for your Taranis, Arm, Buzzer, Level…
ESC Calibration

If you are using KISS ESC with a KISS FC, no calibration is needed.  But since we are using XS20A we’ll need to calibrate the ESC.

To calibrate ESCs in the KISS configurator

  1. Put the KISS FC in disarm mode with the Taranis
  2. Connect FC to USB and set Min Throttle to 2000, hit save
  3. Arm the FC with your transmitter, no battery
  4. Plug in the battery, wait for the calibration chime
  5. Disarm the FC
  6. Unplug the battery
  7. Set Min Throttle back to 1060 or whatever you like, save
  8. Disconnect and unplug USB
PIDs

The KISS FC flies so well you can almost keep the PIDs stock.  It flies rock solid with stock pids.  You just need to play with the rates and curve to suit your liking.  The RC Rate is the amount of Roll/Pitch/YAW at the end of the sticks.  The higher the number, the faster the quad will roll/flip at the end of the sticks.  RC CURVE is if you want a fast roll/flip but want less reaction around the center sticks.  A lower curve like .1 will make the quad have twitchy reactions near center sticks.  A higher curve like .6 will make the center sticks less reactive, mushy or smoother.  General tip, if you want smooth video use a higher curve.  If you want a more reactive but twitchy quad, use a lower curve.  Play with the setting until you find a setting you like.

Finish the Build

Now all the programming is done we can finish building the rest of the QAV-X.  Here’s a tip on how to mount the FPV camera in the frame.  Install the two small camera side plates on the top plate.  Set the angle like below.

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Line up the screw holes on the camera to the holes on the side plates.

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Once they are lined up you can pinch the bottom end of the two side plates.  This put the camera perfectly between the plates and you can easily install the standoff on the top.

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Use the Lumenier TX5G6 3D mount to install the VTX.  If you are using a VTX other than the one I’m using I have a center SMA and offset SMA VTX mounts available.  These should making mounting any mini VTX easy.

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Wrapping up the Lumenier QAV-X Build

I love the QAV-X.  The X frame, the position of the battery and GoPro make the quad feel extremely balanced.  All up weight with the 3D protection is only 356g (no battery or GoPro).  This is pretty light for a frame that swings 5″ props.  Compare this to the ImpulseRC Alien 5″ which is 415g.  I’ve been testing the QAV-X along with the Alien the past month and I can tell you when I fly the QAV-X then the Alien there is a big difference.  The QAV-X feels much more nimble.  You can really feel the 75g weight difference when you punch the throttle.

One of the selling points on the QAV-X is the built in GoPro mount.  Good thing is that it works great.  The flight videos at the end of the video where made by just the GoPro directly mounted on the frame with a velcro strap.

Another great frame from Lumenier!  Highly recommended!

If you found this post helpful, it would be super cool if you purchased the components from my store or purchase items from my Amazon links.  These posts are expensive and take a loooong time to make!  The purchases make it possible for me to keep making them.  Thanks in advance, I greatly appreciate it 🙂

 

Comments

  1. I built the quad exactly like you did with the exception of the power cable from the power OSD board is shorter such that the power connector is touching the back of the receiver antenna mount.. I can attest that the stock PIDs work GREAT both with a Tattu 1300mAh 4S as well as the 1500mAh 3S batteries from the Eachine Racer 250 I flew originally. I do notice the 600mW transmitter does get pretty warm and down the road I might try the 200mW version just to reduce heat next to the KISS FC.

    My YouTube Channel is NarlyFPV and currently only have the Eachine Racer videos up but will be adding some QAV-R videos up soon!

    Finally, I’d like to thank Mike from FPV-FlightClub for his guidance to allow me to be successful on my very first personal build. He’s a terrific instructor and has taken a lot of time and effort to produce the videos, and website so use his store as a thank you.

     
    1. New to this sport, never flown or built before,I am sparing no expense in building two drones so I want to get this right. I am currently ordering parts to build my son a QAV 250r and I ordered a QAV x for myself. Below is what I have ordered for parts and I need some help with eCalc configurations to give me some specs on what I am building. I am looking for optimal prop size and pitch with the motor and size I chose along with optimal ESC to handle the motors on a 4s 95c 1300MAH Luminier battery.

      OEM Lumenier QAV X and QAV 250r will have PRO Tmotor F40 2600KV motors, Kiss 30 AMP ESC, 4s 1300 MAH 95c Batteries, 5045/3 Props. I seeking to get out of the 250r to 80-90 MPH and my QAV X to 95-100 MPH if not faster with decent fly time!

      My eCalc configurator shows that I am not even close to desired MPH and fly time for both QAV X and QAV 250r and shows my ESC’s, (KISS 30 AMP) are too small and I,need a bigger AMP ESC’s, it also shows my Pitch is way off and shows low MPH for both QAV’s. (I could be entering the wrong information based on lack of experience which is why I need your help)

      Can someone configure both QAV’s for me and let me know the following

      a) What optimal ESC and Prop size/Pitch would be for both build configurations and what prop would you sugest?
      b) What Max Speed will be for both QAV’s QAV 250r for my son and QAV X for myself?
      c)What is the fly time for each?
      d) What is your experienced opinion about the Motors ESC, Battery and Prop selection I choose for each the QAV 250r and the QAV X builds. Is there a more efficient, more powerful lighter better combination you would have gone with to make each QAV sick performing drones? if so what would you have chosen?Please email me product info and why you would have gone that route so I can research and change products before I build.
      e) What is it you would do to maximize each QAV with the Motor, ESC, Battery and Prop to get the most out of each QAV.

      You can email me at [email protected] or text me at 989-359-1026 I will be building these QAV’s this week and parts are arriving dailey so time is off the essence and I need an experienced FPV Drone builder to help.

      Thanks, again

      Kevin

       
    1. Author

      you don’t need the PowerOSD to set up RSSI. The rssi is in the XSR telemetry to the Taranis.

       
  2. Thanks again for the great video tutorials! Super helpful! Love the clean builds!

     
  3. I will build one of these….future plans. In the mean time I have faith that you will find a way to install the ESC’s in some wacky way that will put them inside the center ‘box’ of this quad. Yeah i’m sure it will involve another 3d printed part and will add some weight but who cares. Then all that’s left is a way to hide the wires…. Keep innovating! You’re doing awesome!

     
    1. Author

      Thanks Mark. That idea is brewing inside my head. I’m tired of props killing my ESCs!

       
  4. I think i’m gonna get a kit for this summer ! This will be my first real quad.Would anyone recommend this kit over the QAV R?!. I wonder if anyone got one of those beasts in canada ?! I hate those custom fees…

     
    1. Author

      I would say wait a few more weeks. I’ve got a quad coming out that will be a good fit for anyone looking for a first quad. I’m testing it now and it can take a beating and protect all the fragile electronics. Stay tuned for a post.

       
  5. I’m having trouble getting my KISS FC v1.03 to connect to either web-based GUI or stand alone GUI program. Not sure why it’s not connecting. I’ve even flashed it through DfuseDemo with both firmware update RC28 and 1.1RC6. What I get when I open the GUI is three choices COM3, COM4, KISS WIFI. The two COMs I connect and it says connected by can’t go to any tabs and ‘nothing’. The KISS WIFI just gets stuck on ‘connecting’ and I have to close out the program. PLEASE HELP! Been stuck on this all day.

     
  6. ok, fustrated with this ‘roll of death’ thing going on. On some flights it appears one of the motors on the left side go out (maybe both) and it collapses after I do a left roll, sometimes a flip. On other flights when I’ve flown for a few minutes and then start flipping/rolling, it won’t do it until I do about 4 or 5 flips/rolls and then it’ll starting failing. It’s when I give it thrust to recover from the roll/flip is when it goes out. I’ve replaced the escs with dys 20a Dshot, and used Dshot600,..still does it. Ordered a new KISS FC from you and replaced that,..still does it. Replaced the XSR, still does it. I guess I could buy some new Tmotors and try those out next. Any suggestions or has this happened to anyone else?

    Other than this, it’s been a blast flying this quad! Great build and instruction video! Couldn’t have made it any easier for us. Learned a lot on this build too.

     
    1. Author

      hey jason, sounds like it’s a motor issue. i’ve had it happen before. when i try to flip or punch it one side of the quad will dip.

       
      1. I’m going to suggest what I would do. Keep in mind I’ve got experience in working around moving equipment. I would hold the quad very securely as when you let go of an active object is when you loose control. and I would work the throttle full and twist the quad all around testing for the occurrence.. It is possible a motor mounting screw while under compression is pressing on a motor winding.

        I know I will get heat for this but then again I have experience with moving equipment. Frankly I would beat the heck out of the drone while I was feeling which motor was giving out. This is in addition to checking all the solder joints and tie wraps..

         
  7. ahh, thought so. ended up being the last thing I replaced to problem solve, great…i have two of everything now, guess i’ll just build another qav-x 🙂

     

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