General configuration

It's recommended to use USB connection instead of wireless telemetry connection for the steps below.
YOUTUBE

First of all, connect to the flight controller using links management menu on the top right. Later, click the Gear icon in the left part of toolbar, flight controller settings popup will appear.

General

General tab provides the major information about the hardware you're using, installed firmware version and unique ID of the flight controller.

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Airframe

Airframe tab allows you to configure the type of your vehicle. Image

Click AIRFRAME and choose your airframe from the list. If you can’t see your airframe there – feel free to contact us and we’ll add the new airframe type for you. Image

Channels mapping and propellers rotation are shown on the corresponding images.

System orientation

You can choose the desired orientation of the flight controller and GNSS Module from corresponding orientation menus.

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Landing Gear

SmartAP allows you to configure automatic control of retractable landing gear. Simply select the output channel where servo is connected to and adjust min / max values. You may apply reverse if needed.

Motors IDLE speed

If you want the motors slightly spinning when the system is Armed you can set Motors IDLE speed to the desired value.

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Radio

Go to RADIO tab and choose the RC receiver protocol corresponding to the one you’re using. SBUS or PPM receivers are recommended. This change will take effect after the system is restarted. Therefore, you will need to reboot the autopilot and connect again if you want changed to be applied immediately.

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Go to Settings > RADIO again and make sure that your RC radio is turned on. You’ll see the sticks positions displayed. Press CALIBRATE button and move all sticks and switched of the radio to their end points.

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When it’s done – press OK button to stop calibration and save parameters. You can remap any action to the desired channel and apply reverse if needed.

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Sensors

Sensors configuration tab allows to perform accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer calibrations which are very important for excellent flight performance.

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Accelerometer calibration

Click CALIBRATE button near accelerometer data. Click START and follow the instructions which will be shown after procedure started.

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For accelerometer calibration you’ll have to place the autopilot in 6 positions:

  • Top side up
  • Top side down
  • Left side down
  • Front side down
  • Right side down
  • Rear side down
It’s highly important to hold the system still in each position during the calibration. In each step the axis should be aligned with g-acceleration vector as precise as possible.

Gyroscope calibration

Click CALIBRATE button near gyroscope data. Don’t move the board, put it still, click START and follow the instructions which will be shown after procedure started.

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Magnetometer

Magnetometer calibration is highly important for precise position hold and autonomous flight modes. Make sure that you’re outdoors and don’t have any metals around and in your pockets (e.g. keys, cell phones, etc) before calibration. Press CALIBRATE near magnetometer data follow further instructions. You will need to rotate the vehicle around three major axes (roll, pitch, yaw). After 60 seconds magnetometer calibration will be automatically completed and pop-up calibration message will go out.

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GNSS Configuration

Make sure that the GPS module is connected to the autopilot before proceeding to this step. Also, make sure that the green LED indicating power supply of the module is solid green.

Sensors tab allows to configure GNSS module with the default parameters and messages required to work properly with SmartAP Autopilots. Click CONFIGURE button near GNSS data. Click CONFIGURE in the new window again and configuration changes will take an effect after system reboot.

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Battery

Set battery sensor type. The system supports several battery sensors:

  • Generic power module
  • SmartAP PDB
  • SmartAP 3.x internal monitoring
  • Custom

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Set battery’s cells number and capacity. the system will notify when the charge is too low.

If you're using custom sensor then select Custom and provide the scalers for voltage and current. The scale value can be calculated as follows:

SCALE VALUE = SENSOR RANGE / 4096

Tuning

SmartAP AutoPilot is based on P-PID control algorithm. It means that the stabilization (the ability to stay in the air) and navigation (the ability to follow desired trajectory) control algorithms include two loops: angle and rates control and position and velocity control. By default the gains (PIDs) are set to be the average for the majority of airframes, configurations and etc. Of course the parameters can be tuned precisely for better flight performance.

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Here is the brief guide and explanations for PID tuning:

  1. Set all values by default.
  2. It's very important to tune Stabilization loop as perfect as possible, navigation is based on stabilization, so if it's not well - then the vehicle will not hover and fly waypoints precisely.
  3. The most important parameters are Stabilization Rate Roll / Pitch. Increase it until you see high-frequency oscillations or decrease if you can already see them. Normally, this value is in between 0.1 – 0.2 depending on your airframe size, motors, ESC, props and vibration level.
  4. If you can see low-frequency oscillations – it means that your Stabilization Angle Roll / Pitch is too high and you need to decrease it. This value lays in range between 3 - 6.

Navigation gains can be tuned using the same approach, however, this is not really important to tune this values since they’re fine by default for the majority of the vehicles.

More information on default gains is available in Standard PID Presets section.

Control

Control tab allows configuring user’s manual control sensitivity, horizontal and vertical speed limits in various modes and failsafe actions.

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OSD

OSD tab provides the settings for On-Screen Display module configuration.

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In OSD settings you can:

  • Enable / disable OSD module
  • Select Metric or Imperial type of the units depending on your preferences
  • Narrow the overlay area to fit the information on the screen
  • Choose specific parameters you would like to be shown

OSD support both PAL and NTSC video standards with auto detection and selection. Typical information layout is shown on the images below:

PAL Layout
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NTSC Layout
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The actual layout on the screen typically looks as following: Image Image

Camera

Camera tab allows you to configure the camera gimbal and shutter control settings. Image

Gimbal: The system supports 3-axis gimbal stabilization with flexible configuration for minimum and maximum output angles as well as minimum and maximum raw output values on the physical layer (PWM is used). As an option, the output can be reversed.

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Shutter: Shutter configuration has settings for minimum and maximum output values for the triggering pulse. Interval is the time of how long the pulse should be in active state to initiate the shutter of the camera to trigger.

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Parameters

Parameters tab gives you direct access to all parameters available in the system.

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