Pi Zero Drone Part 4: Calibrations

Pi Zero Drone Part 4: Calibrations

May 23, 2018

Michael Perry

In-between post there have been multiple snags in getting the quad copter in the air. Each are listed below in order of headaches:


1. Power Sources:


I would like to thank Ohms Law for convincing me that overloading the Pi Zero with too much voltage will indeed fry the voltage regulator. This will cause the PCB to smoke and make your board useless. DO NOT CONNECT THE POWER MODULE AND THE 2A POWER SUPPLY AT THE SAME TIME. I blame my lack of attention and ignorance for this mistake. My solution is to order a new Raspberry Pi Zero but in the mean time I will continue the build using a Pi 2 B+. This does have its advantages in more CPU power and faster processing. I will like to compare the two computers for future builds.


2. ESCs:


My original ESCs were HiTech 18Amp with no BEC power connection which became important in powering the ESCs for ultimate control. I then traded them for 12A Afro ESC.


3. Wi-Fi Dongle:


This part of the project had me researching network protocols and taught me a lot about specific IEEE protocols that help me pick the appropriate adapter. Because of the Wi-Fi hotspot on the PXFmini emitting a 5 GHz band and my failure of creating a similar frequency band, I choose Netgear AC600 Dual Band wireless AC adapter. This adapter is capital of emitting 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency band.


Once these changes were made the Wi-Fi hotspot from the PXFmini was visible and I was able to connect using APM Mission Planner 2.0. Once the connection was made the accelerometers and gyroscopes were active and receiving positioning from the quadcopter.  Steps to configure the copter along with the radio controller and ESC can be found on the link:




Rotor Direction:


To successfully control the quadcopter the Rotors have to spin in two different directions (Clockwise – C & Counter Clockwise – CC.) The figure below indicates what motors spin in the desired direction.


pi zero


To test this without the propellers attached, I placed small sticker tabs on each rotor and determined the rotation. To change the direction switch any two leads and double check the direction. Now is time to test!