Noise In Your Quad? Hot Motors?

I was out flying with a buddy of mine and he was flying a different type of flight controller.  He was playing with some of the built in settings native to that system.  On one setting his motors came down after a quick hoover really hot.  Not quite smoke your motors hot but hot enough that had it been more than a quick hoover and fly by, it could have been bad.
 I had an issue with one of my builds giving me undesireable flight carachtoristics.  My yaw was really twitchy, and unpredictable.  Sometimes I would get random pitch and roll introduced while I was flying.  While it wasn't substantial, it did effect my flight where I didn't feel confident flying.   Also, my motors were coming back hot.

What's going on?

My buddy's quad:

He swapped some settings and his motors came back nice and cool.

My thoughts are he needed additional filtering for his quad.

My quad:

Turns out I had a bundle of wire bouncing on my gyro, giving it bad information.

Why does filters on one quad fix an…

Rates in Betaflight

Rates are a strange thing. People talk about their rates, other's rates and famous people's rates.

Rates are a very personal thing, there's not a direct answer to what's right or wrong for your rates.  I've talked with other race pilots, some say they never touch their rates, others say they change their rates based on the track they are flying on.

Before I jump off into explaining rates and how they translate to your quad, we should start with your transmitter.  Quads will come and go, quads will get crashed, quads will get slammed in to trees, into posts and whatever else you can imagine.  Your transmitter will be there side by side with you.

You might be wondering at this point why I would start with talking about your transmitter.  Its because your transmitter is a physical item that will effect your rates.  Your sticks can make your quad feel different.  I recently discovered this when changing transmitters.  My quad felt sluggish.  I didn't change my rate…

Building Consistently for Consistency: Wire Colors.

These are things I like to do consistently through out all my builds to help me know what I did so I can go back through my previous build with less confusion.

I run a consistent wire color system.

Don't deviate from the following:

Red: Positive Power source (IE: power from your battery*, or 5v to your camera*)
Black: Ground for Power source. (IE: black lead from your battery, or ground to your camera)

More information on basic electrical theory will be found on this link, when I get the electrical theory post finished.

This is my system and you can change it up how you see fit, BUT keep yours consistent.

Green: Receiver Signal Wire
White: Almost Always ESC 1-4 on the ESC's I've seen, I also use it for TBS Smart Audio and Receiver Telemetry.  I try to use this wire for some kind of data when its NOT an ESC signal wire.
Blue: Battery positive for runcam OSD and ESC Telemetry.
Black: Ground for runcam remote
Yellow: Video signal wire, and ESC current sensor

*power from: means …

Aikon F4 20x20 Flight Controller Pinout

This is the Aikon F4 Mini Pinout.

Additional Information for New Builders:
The flight controller will get battery power and ground from your ESC wires.  If you followed my Panda Multirotor Cavity guide, I used an Aikon AK32 and it has a harness that plugs directly into the FC and ESC.

Aikon AK32pin 20x20 Pinout

Aikon pinout for the Aikon 6s 20x20 AIO ESC.

Information for new builders:

The pads labeled motors are for the motor wires, and one motor is tied to one set of pads.  IE: for Motor 1 you solder your three wires from the motor to the ESC on Motor 1, Pad A, Pad B and Pad C.

The Flight controller port is where the pigtail that comes off the flight controller is plugged into. I'm going to do my best to explain what each wire is for.

GND: This is the ground wire TO the ESC
BAT+: Battery power FROM the ESC
ESC 1 - 4: These wires do the same thing for each of the ESC's on the board.  The flight controller uses this to communicate with the ESC.  IE: throttle up on Motor 1 or throttle down on Motor 3
Current: the current sensor for the ESC
Telemetry: ESC telemetry, additional information in real time from the ESC.  Like the ESC temperature, and motor speed.

NOTE: ESC telemetry is (to my knowledge) only available to 32bit ESC's.

Building on the Panda Cavity

OK guys here it is, my favorite racing frame.

This document is dynamic and it will be added to and clarified as I receive feedback.

The Panda Multirotor's Cavity, you can pick it up here.

How to assemble the Panda Multirotors Cavity can be found here.

Parts List can be found here.

Technical Jargan Dictionary can be found here.

Your completed build will look similar to the purple on the right.  The Cavity on the left is one of the older cavities. 

What minimal tools you will need to complete this build:

Soldering Iron (minimum 40watts)
A wet paper towel or sponge to clean the tip of your iron

1.5mm hex
2mm hex
5.5mm socket or deep nut driver
Wire cutters
A multi-meter

Additional Helpful Tools:

Solder Sucker (in case you have used too much solder)
Wire strippers
Tweezers (for holding the wires as you solder)
Jeweler's needle nose pliers (or other tiny pliers)
Wire mesh for cleaning the iron, it works better than the sponge method
Different tips for your soldering iron


The Rough Days

After my first build it happened to me.  My first race I saw it happen to another pilot.

Hitting the ground hard, crash after frame f-in' crash.

That bad day.  The day I hated FPV.

All I could focus on was how much I sucked as a pilot.  How stupid I was with my finances to put so much into a hobby.  Now all of my gear is useless because I don't have a bird to fly.

I was already stressed out on the day I lost my first quad, but I didn't loose it in the traditional sense.

I did what most new pilots do, I look at all the parts that offered all the features in a quad I wanted.  I had all my parts on the bench.  I soldered them up, I made a clean build.  I had my first balls-ripping quad assembled.  Configured it through Betaflight, and Blheli_32.  I even got it to hoover.  It was going to make me the next most awesome freestyle pilot in the world.

I had big plans, I was going to use my Runcam Split 2 to fly by my wedding and get some footage of my wedding with my freestyle qua…