General configuration

YOUTUBE

Airframe

Go to Airframe tab to choose your airframe from the drop-down menu. If you can’t see your airframe tab in the list – feel free to contact us and we’ll add the new airframe type for you.

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System orientation

You can choose the desired orientation of the flight controller and GPS Module from the dropdown menus.

Motors IDLE speed

If you want the motors slightly spinning when the system is Armed you can set Motors IDLE speed checked and set the desired value of throttle in percent.

PWM Output

Minimum and maximum output PWM values can be set.

Don’t forget to press Send to perform update and Save to SD to save changes permanently.

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. Don’t forget to press Send to perform update and Save to SD to save changes permanently. After that – reboot the board (disconnect the power and connect again).

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Go to Configuration > Radio again and make sure that your transmitter is turned on. You’ll see the sticks positions displayed. Press Calibrate button and move all sticks to their end points.

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

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Don’t forget to press Send to perform update and Save to SD to save changes permanently.

IMU

IMU configuration tab allows to perform gyroscope and accelerometer calibration which are very important for precise flight performance.

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Gyroscope calibration

Don’t move the board, put it still and click Calibrate Gyroscope button. You’ll see pop-up message showing that the calibration is in progress which will be done in a few seconds

Accelerometer calibration

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

Follow the instructions which will be shown after you press Calibrate Accelerometer button.

It’s highly important to hold the system still in these position during the calibration. In each step the axis should be aligned with g-acceleration vector as precise as possible.

Don’t forget to press Send to perform update and Save to SD to save changes permanently.

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.

IMU tab also allows to configure the GPS module with the default parameters and messages required to work properly with SmartAP Autopilots. Press "Configure GPS Module" button, press OK and reboot the board. During the next start-up your GPS module will be configured automatically.

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 Magnetometer button and rotate the vehicle around three major axes (roll, pitch, yaw). After 30 seconds magnetometer calibration will be automatically completed and pop-up calibration message will go out.

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Correct magnetic declination is very important as well. You can find the information about the declination value for your region at http://magnetic-declination.com website. Set the value in degrees in settings. Don’t forget to press Send to perform update and Save to SD to save changes permanently.

Battery

In the Battery configuration tab you can set your battery’s capacity and thresholds for low-voltage level, so the system will notify when the charge is too low.

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The system supports several battery sensors:

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

Setting the scales

Custom mode allows you to type in voltage and current scales directly. The scale value can be calculated as follows:

SCALE VALUE = SENSOR RANGE / 4096

The current sensor on SmartAP PDB might have an offset sometimes. The offset is typically around 13A but can be calculated the following way and set:

  • Measure the current output pin from the PDB with voltmeter when PDB is powered but without any load
  • You should see something around 0.43V, it's scaled to 0...3.3V for SmartAP input
  • You need to divide 0.43V (sensor output) by 3.3V (voltage range input) and multiply by 100A (sensor range), you should get around 13.03A

Don’t forget to press Send to perform update and Save to SD to save changes permanently.

Gains

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 the 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 P. Increase it until you see high-frequency oscillations or decrease if you can already see them. Normally, this value is in between 0.05 – 0.15 depending on your airframe size, motors, ESC, props and vibration level.
  4. If the oscillations start too early (e.g. you can't increase Stabilization Rate Roll / Pitch P anymore and feel that the vehicle is not enough responsive to your stick movements) then you can increase Stabilization Rate Roll / Pitch D a little bit. It will smooth the oscillations, however, you will have the same control force response. Normally, Stabilization Rate Roll / Pitch D is in between 0.0001 – 0.002.
  5. If you can see low-frequency oscillations – it means that your Stabilization Angle Roll / Pitch P is too high and you need to decrease it. This value lays in range between 2 - 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.

Don’t forget to press Send to perform update and Save to SD to save changes permanently.

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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Don’t forget to press Send to perform update and Save to SD to save changes permanently.

OSD

OSD tab provides the settings for On-Screen Display module configuration. Image In OSD settings you can:

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

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

Parameters

Parameters tab gives you direct access to all parameters available in the system. Also, you can save parameters to a file or read them from file.

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