Home » Build » 6s Quadcopter Long Range Build : Part 2

6s Quadcopter Long Range Build : Part 2

6s Quadcopter Long Range Build : Part 2


In part 1 of the 6s quadcopter long range build, we did all the physical build and soldering.  Part 2 of the build will be binding the TBS Crossfire Micro TX to the Nano RX, flash ButterFlight with settings, BLHeli32 and flight footage.

Parts used in this build

A build kit is available for this build.  It will include the cheat sheet, Taranis program file, ButterFlight program file (CLI dump) and all the small misc parts needed for this build.

Tools Used in this Build
  • Weller Solder – I’ve had this workhorse for over 15 years.  Still going strong.
  • Gorilla Glue Heavy duty double sided tape – super strong double sided tape.  Works even in the cold.
  • Wagner Heat Gun for heat shrink – ditch the lighters.  A heat gun will give you a much cleaner shrink
  • Wiha Metric Hex Driver – my workhorse drivers
  • Wiha wire stripper – love these wire strippers.  it has a little screw that makes it easy to adjust for different size wires.
  • Soldering Vise – Makes soldering boards easier
  • Solder Wick – helps you clean up boo boos when soldering
  • Butter Mount grommets –  instead of nylon standoffs, these can be used to create a super low stack.  can be cut in half to adjust for the perfect height
  • Multimeter with continuity setting – a must for any quad builder
Other Recommended Parts Needed
Crossfire Setup

There are two things needed to be able to use the Crossfire, Taranis firmware version 2.2 LUA or newer and the most current version firmware on the Crossfire Micro TX.  See this post on updating the Taranis firmware 2.2 LUA.

Before you bind the RX to the TX, you need to update the Micro TX to the latest version firmware.  I had issues trying to bind the nano RX to the TX.  It worked fine with the original Crossfire RX but it needs the most current version for it to bind to the nano.  Once the TX is on the latest firmware it’s super easy to bind.

To update the Micro TX

  1. Download TBS Agent
  2. Plug in the Micro TX to the computer via USB
  3. In the dropdown, select the most current firmware, I’m using v2.32
  4. Click Update
  5. The LED on the back of the Micro TX will slow flash yellow
  6. Let the process finish, done.

Before you bind the RX to the TX, you need to update the Micro TX to the latest version firmware.  I had issues trying to bind the nano RX to the TX.  It worked fine with the original Crossfire RX but it needs the most current version for it to bind to the nano.  Once the TX is on the latest firmware it’s super easy to bind.

Bind the Crossfire RX Nano

Power up the quad.  The green LED on the Nano will slow blink green.  Turn on the Taranis with the Micro TX plugged in.  Press and hold the menu button and scroll down to page 2/9.  Select CROSSFIRE.

6s Quadcopter build

Highlight crossfire.lua Press and hold – select Execute

6s Quadcopter build

Right now only the TX option will be shown.

6s Quadcopter build

Select Binding.  Select Update Receiver.  The LED will turn red on the RX then flash green rapidly when it’s transferring the data.

6s Quadcopter build

Once updated the Nano RX will show up.

6s Quadcopter build

Set the Failsafe Mode to Cut

6s Quadcopter build

Set output map like the image below.

6s Quadcopter build

Set the RSSI/LQ (link quality) to output on Ch8 which is AUX 4

6s Quadcopter build

The Crossfire RX should now be bound and setup in the Taranis.

ButterFlight

All the drama aside, ButterFlight is awesome.  ButterFlight is a fork of BetaFlight but with some special filter mojo added.  I use ButterFlight on all my BetaFlight boards now.  There is a noticeable improvement in the flight performance.  The Helio Spring comes flashed with ButterFlight but it’s usually a good idea to flash the firmware to the newest (stable) version.

Flash ButterFlight

  1. ButterFlight d0wnload the configurator for your computer system.  As of this post 10.4.2 is the most current version
  2. Open and install the program
  3. Download and install the VCP and CP210 drivers if you haven’t already
  4. Plug the Helio to the computer via USB cable
  5. Click Firmware Flasher
  6. In the top drop down menu, select “HELIOSPRING”
  7. In the bottom drop down, select the most current stable firmware.  As of this post it’s 3.5.1: 1.0.6-RC9
  8. Click “Load Firmware [Online]
  9. Click “Flash Firmware”

Once you have ButterFlight on your computer, plug in the Helio and connect.  Before you do any settings go to the CLI tab and type “imufupdate” and hit enter.  This will set all the baseline settings in the Helio.

6s Quadcopter build butterflight

In the Ports tab enable Serial RX for UART3 and on UART5 select TBS SmartAudio for Peripherals

6s Quadcopter build butterflight

In the Configurations tab, I like to run reversed props.  I find my camera lens stays cleaner because the props aren’t flinging grass into the camera.  Select DSHOT1200, enable 32kHz sampling, 32/16kHz.

6s Quadcopter build butterflight

For the Receiver select Serial-based receiver and CRSF for the crossfire.  Set the other features as the image below

6s Quadcopter build butterflight

Since ButterFlight puts out so many updates I didn’t show any PIDs in the video.  The PIDs can’t be changed in the video but I can easily update the PIDs on the website for whatever firmware I’m currently using.  These are the PIDS I’m for both the 6s quadcopter racer and 6″ long range quadcopter on 3.5.1: 1.0.6-RC9.  Yes, these PIDs are nearly stock.  That’s how good the Helio with ButterFlight is.  If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

For the 6s quadcopter racer, the rates are more subdued at around 450 degree/second.

6s Quadcopter build butterflight

For the freestyle, the rates are a bit snappier at around 1000 degree/second.  Very soft in the center but fast rolls and flips at the end of the sticks.  This will help in getting very smooth HD footage.

6s Quadcopter build butterflight
6s Quadcopter build butterflight

Change the channel map to TAER1234 and set the RSSI Channel output to AUX 4.

6s Quadcopter build butterflight

Modes6s Quadcopter build butterflight
To enable turtle mode.
6s Quadcopter build butterflight

Make sure you do the Motors tab with the PROPS OFF!  Plug in the battery and spin up each individual motor to see if they correspond to the diagram on the top left.  If any of the motors are not spinning in the correct direction, make a note of which ones that need to be reversed in BLHeli32.

6s Quadcopter build butterflight

6s Quadcopter build butterflight

BLHeli32

BLHeli32 is a stand along program that runs on windows only.  Unlike BLHeli-S which is a App in Chrome.  I’m using Mac so I have to run windows off Parallel.

  1. Download BLHeli32
  2. Open the folder and select the exe program file
  3. Plug in the battery on the quad and plug in the USB on the Helio.
  4. On the top, select “BHLeli32 Bootloader (Betaflight/Cleanflight)
  5. Make sure you are on the correct COM port on the bottom left
  6. Click connect then Read Setup
  7. Highlight the ESC you want to change the settings on and make the settings like reverse Motor Direction
  8. Click Write setup
  9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 for each ESC you need to make settings
  10. Once you are done close the program and you will hear a tone from the motors.

6s Quadcopter build butterflight

Finish building the 6s quadcopter

The rest of the build is pretty straight forward so I won’t get into it here.  Watch the video.

proton crossfire antenna mount

Even on the stock PIDS with just slight changes to the D setting the quad already flies great on this setup.  On stock pids the motors ran a little warm but lowering the D just a touch fixed the issue.  Even after a balls out rip on 6s the motors are just slightly warm on a hot day.

This is a really fun quad.  I love the versatility of the configurations.  Being able to switch from a 6s quadcopter on 5″ arms to a 6″ long range cruiser in just a few minutes.  It’s like bringing the right weapon to the fight.

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 so the purchases make it possible for me to keep making them.  Thanks in advance, I greatly appreciate it 🙂

2018-09-24T22:20:50+00:00 Build|22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Fernando 06/06/2018 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    I opened this in a hurry when I read “Freestyle build” thinking the new FlightClub Brisket (wink) freestyle frame was ready. Lol

    • Mike Tseng 06/06/2018 at 4:01 pm - Reply

      dont worry, it’s coming. there’s too many projects on the table right now 😉

      • Fernando 06/06/2018 at 4:51 pm - Reply

        I know haha I tend to be a pain in the ass when I’m excited about something 🙂

  2. Eric 06/07/2018 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    I kind of freaked out when I realized I will need to modify my Taranis X9D+ With the TBS crossfire Tx module in order to copy your build. What about all my other quads which use FrSky Rex like my Tokio X and Phuket? How does adding the TBS affect those quads. I know I have Taranis V2.2 because I followed your tutorial to get Lua script for my Tokio X. I’m just not sure about the TBS stuff. What do you think? Should I just use a FrSky Rx or is the TBS awesome-O?

    • Mike Tseng 06/07/2018 at 9:33 pm - Reply

      Hey Eric, you just gotta create a model fo the Crossfire. As long as the other models that use FrSky are still in your Taranis it wont effect them at all. I still run FrSky in my other quads too

      • Eric 06/08/2018 at 7:15 am - Reply

        OK, super, I can have both.
        Lastly, What is the advantage of the TBS system? Is it key to the whole “long range” concept? Is it a better system? Or is it just a different system? I’ll take your opinion on this!

        • Mike Tseng 06/08/2018 at 9:52 am - Reply

          This crossfire can go out 1 mile plus line of sight vs a frsky is maybe 1/4 if you’re lucky. If you’re flying in places like abandoned warehouses with lots of trees, you don’t want to failsafe. you may never find your quad!

          • lipcsey.david 06/08/2018 at 4:19 pm

            Waiting for mine to arrive, but in the mean time trying to gather some info. I would like to use it for long range (crossfire micro tx so limited to 100mw) – do you reckon with this horizontal antenna placement, 2-2.5miles could be a realistic target?

          • Mike Tseng 06/08/2018 at 6:45 pm

            I don’t know about 2+ miles but a reader went 1.6mi on this setup

          • Eric 06/08/2018 at 4:47 pm

            Cool, it’s a better system. I don’t know about abandoned buildings but I know the range of my quads with the stock Taranis is not good, as soon as I fly away from the track I start getting RSSI warnings and that’s probably about 1/4 mile. Everyone here gets that…

          • Mike Tseng 06/08/2018 at 6:46 pm

            time for crossfire!

  3. Eric Schellenberger 06/28/2018 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    I went to buy the kit and I see I have to choose 30 or 45 degree Go Pro mount, I don’t film my flights and I don’t have a Go Pro but since I jave to chhse one or the other which do you recommend for future usefulness? I am planning on going big, 6″ arms.

    • Mike Tseng 06/28/2018 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      Hi Eric, I would suggest the 45 degree. The gopro have a pretty wide FOV so even if you are flying slow the view will be fine. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  4. Eric Schellenberger 06/29/2018 at 10:01 am - Reply

    Hi Mike I ordered the 6″ kit with 1600 kV motors. Could you tell us about what props you use? You mentioned 6″ props for the long range set up but which ones and what spec? Also do you leave the same props on when switching from 4s to 5s? Anyway, i know I can get going with the 5x5x3 props I have for now but I’ll want to optimize my set up ASAP.

  5. Eric 07/03/2018 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    I’ll answer my own question by saying Mike included HQ Prop 6x3x3V1SB-PC props in my kit. So obviously those will work. He probably added them because I asked about 6″ props and I’m a PITA and I buy all his kits!

    • Mike Tseng 07/04/2018 at 9:35 am - Reply

      shhh! don’t tell people I give out free stuff 😡

      thanks eric!

  6. Eric 07/28/2018 at 11:52 am - Reply

    I got my PROton done and flying 🙂 I gotta say your kits are freaking amazing! I am stoked with the care and attention that you put into every aspect of your product. I know I post a lot but I’m on my own out here in NOT quad land so everything I learn is from your kits and posts. I have to go to You Tube from time to time but its only to get small finishing things done. Trying to learn everything from random You Tube videos is way too messy.
    So yeah this is not a review but rather some helpful comments for other builders based on my experience only.
    The kit is PERFECT. The cheat sheet has my first PROton looking like a pro build. Fit and finish and the design itself have no equal, it’s this or “Erector Sets” that fly. I may be dating myself there, do they still make Erector Set toys? That is cool though, but I am proud to own such nice designs.
    I used your Taranis files and Butterflight CLI dump. I decided to change to your switch assignments and reversed motors and let go my old ways. Yours just make more sense. And maybe safer too! The ONLY thing I had to change was the CLI dump put Turtle Mode on the wrong line. It had Aux2 set up on the Camera Control 3 line, the Flip Over After Crash line was blank. It took all of 5 seconds to switch that but hey, builders should go through that screen and check.
    What took me a lot of extra time was NOT something Mike can possibly control. So this is not a criticism! But this build took me through a lot of computer issues. Both fun like puzzles are fun and frustrating because I don’t know what the heck I’m doing! So: I couldn’t get TBS Agent to work on my MAC, guess it is a Windows program because it worked fine on my old laptop PC. Then I couldn’t get Butterflight Configurator to open on my trusty MAC Air that I normally use for everything, Apple wouldn’t “verify” it. So I can’t do much at the field. But my older desk top MAC would run Butterflight, so I did the build programming on that. Then BLHeli32 wouldn’t work on the laptop PC that I used for TBS Agent, USB Port issues, so I fired up an ancient PC that hasn’t been turned on in years and got the motors reversed with that! Dude, computers are too fickle, and it doesn’t seem to matter what kind or how old they are (the last time I bought a PC or MAC was about 6 years ago though) 😛 Anyway Mike, I promise not to ask you computer compatibility questions! I know that if you did it it can be done. And I know that if you allow yourself to get bogged down in those kind of questions it will suck and drain away your passion for the “good stuff”.
    Finally, I may be missing something, remember I’m kind of old, but I can’t find the “links” you sometimes refer to in your build video. So I resorted to You Tube videos to see which camera controller buttons to push to remove the native OSD display from the Foxeer Arrow Pro. Childs play. And also how to change VTX settings using Betaflight/Butterflight OSD. Which is an awesome feature by the way. My problem with that was caused by two things. First was a misunderstanding, when you say “pitch up” in your written instructions with the downloads I was pulling back on the pitch stick, Pitch up means pitch stick up to the top of the transmitter. Second was that I didn’t know how to save the new VTX settings, and that every time I entered the OSD menu it started on the same settings, not what I set and saved earlier. Ah, yeah, I think that is it. Gotta play more with that.
    Well, I can’t wait to get out and really fly this, I only had time for a short hop before leaving home for work 🙁
    Thanks for everything!

    • Mike Tseng 07/28/2018 at 4:44 pm - Reply

      Hi Eric, thanks for your comments. Sorry about the computer issues, some things are out of my control 🙁

      i will look into the error with the CLI dump, thanks!

  7. _nd 09/04/2018 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    I see you do 32kHz/16kHz. Helio RC said do 16/16 or 32/32. On the workbench, usb only, one is about 13% and the other 66% cpu utilization. 32/16 is about 27%. what are your thoughts on configuring these and why? (i;m noob, used your build as my basis, different frame)

    • Mike Tseng 09/04/2018 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      for me I didn’t have success with 16/16 or 32/32. 32/16 flew great for me so I stuck with it.

  8. Maq 09/09/2018 at 4:25 am - Reply

    We created a model on taranis x9d and after that if I try to execute crossfire, it gives me message “Waiting for crossfire devices” Can you please explain me, what could be the problem? Thanks

    • Mike Tseng 09/09/2018 at 11:11 pm - Reply

      did you hit the bind button on the crossfire nano rx?

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