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Flying with stabilzation off...AUGHHHHH!!
#1
Hi guys...

I apologize for this potentially lengthy post….I tend to ramble a bit.  I am a newbie as I am sure you’ve already guess.  First, my thanks to Oscar….I have learned a ridiculous amount of information following and reading his blogs…Thanks Oscar.

At Christmas I received a drone as a gift and promptly flew it into the river….and it didn’t float…not even a little bit.  But it was too late, I had been bitten by the bug.  I promptly got another one which I still have and after a gizillian crashes I was finally able to keep in the air.  I got another one and learned how to fly it pretty well……..using stabilization.

I want to get into FPV and am currently building a 250 quad.  Knowing that flying without stabilization gives more control, I decided I was going to learn.  The second quad I bought allows me to turn off any stabilization assist, so I did……DAMNNNNNN!!!!!!  How on earth do you guys do it???  So far I have taken out one of the outside lights and several of my wife”s plants….boy…THAT was a mistake : (.  Anyway, MY problem seems to be over control.  I can lift off and maintain control.... for about 3 seconds. So I guess my question is…is there a trick to it…a smoking gun?  Or is it just a matter of hammering at it until you get it ….and I suspect that’s the answer.

This is a great forum and I promise I won’t ask too many stupid questions……..Maybe.  : )  Thanks Guys!

Chris
[-] The following 1 user Likes sirdude's post:
  • Xtopher98
#2
Assuming you are on Rate mode as you described it as "turn off any stabilization assist, so I did". and if you are on Cleanflight can you check if you are running the FC on defaults.

A couple of things will make the quad very twitchy in rate mode, some of which we can tame and some we cannot.

If you are all on default Rates for Pitch , roll and yaw you could go to the receiver Tab in cleanflight and adjust RC Rate, back it off to a good beginner start point of around 0.70, and then alter Expo to about 80, save and test fly.

If your Rates for Roll, pitch and yaw are already populated with numbers like 0.70 etc Tone them down, it will make the quad very twitchy for a newbie on Rate mode.

The part you need to train yourself on is Stick control. No more large aggressive stick movements in rate mode, as we all start off in rate we tend to just slam the sticks left and right up and down like when in Angle or Horizon modes, that is because we are fighting the stabilization. So, nice small movements on the sticks will make all the difference.

Things to consider and get your head around. In stabilized modes when you roll, pitch or yaw and centre the sticks stabilization modes always try to bring the quad back to level, with rate mode if you pitch forward say 2mm stick the quad will tilt forward and hold that angle until you apply the opposite amount of back stick, self level modes will do this for you automatically.

It is very hard to teach anyone how to fly rate in words on a forum, the best teacher is the 3 P's, Practice Practice Practice. The more stick time you get the better you become. and do not worry about crashing , it is going to happen a lot in the learning phase, and trust me, still happens when you think you have it mastered, Shit happens.

Things to help you fly rate mode, apart from the forementioned are:
Set out a course like a figure 8 and use markers as a pathway, and practice flying the figure 8, don't focus on flips and rolls and all that cool stuff yet, just get to grips with control. Again I say..small stick inputs, and remember to use opposite stick to centre the quad again, as YOU, as the pilot are now the self leveller.

Welcome to the world of Rate mode. It is a lot of fun, and once you get better you will wonder how on earth you actually flew on self level modes.
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#3
Sure thing, moving from stab to acro mode is a big change: that helping hand that was always there now is gone!

As Biggles said: its all about stick control. The thing that happens when you fly stab is that you can go as much as you want with your stick and the multicopter won't go more than the programmed angle the flight controller has.
Now in acro mode there is nothing holding it back, what you input is what the copter does.

Small stick movements is the way to go, like really small. And believe it or not, it;s all about throttle control; most of the time the right throttle input will grant a lot more control than smashing the sticks in whatever direction you believe will correct the vehicle.

When I started out with Acro mode (after breaking some props), i just practiced hovering at about a foot above ground, going front/back and left/right. If i felt too nervous or freaked out, i would just drop it and at that height i never damaged anything.

As I tell anyone that starts out in the hobby: Remember you always have control.

Happy Flying!!
[-] The following 1 user Likes orejass's post:
  • Akuwu
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#4
Guys.....

Thanks for your input I really appreciated it. The quad I am using now has no way to access the FC or the software on it (not for the consumer anyway). It's just a toy quad and I am sure it has a proprietary board in it. It "ACTS" like it's going into rate mode when I kill all the help. I shall just keep plodding along. I really want to get into proximity flying...so well see. It'll be a few weeks before I get the one I am working on finished (not a whole lot of time to work on it right now), but I would kind of like to have at least a partial handle flying without stab before I take my shiny new quad and trash it (from stupidity anyway). Thanks for your help! : )
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#5
this simulator on the computor helps alot also
https://fpv-freerider.itch.io/fpv-freerider
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#6
Thanks! I'll give it at try.....when my transmitter gets in...........
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#7
After flying and crashing thousands of times (it seems like it), I FINALLY was able to make a coordinated turn flying Acro the other day.  WOO HOOOO.  Of course I was so excited after making the turn I ran into a tree.  That is one reason I think it is taking me so long to learn.  I don't have a wide open area to learn in.  It's fairly congested with trees/flower beds etc.  So I am not only learning how to fly Acro, but learning how to maneuver around stuff at the same time.  Or........maybe I'm just clumsy and uncoordinated! Cry   In any case, once I do learn this will be a great area to fly proximity, but mean time, I'm off to buy some more props!! Big Grin
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#8
(05-18-2016, 07:41 PM)sirdude Wrote: After flying and crashing thousands of times (it seems like it), I FINALLY was able to make a coordinated turn flying Acro the other day.  WOO HOOOO.  Of course I was so excited after making the turn I ran into a tree.  That is one reason I think it is taking me so long to learn.  I don't have a wide open area to learn in.  It's fairly congested with trees/flower beds etc.  So I am not only learning how to fly Acro, but learning how to maneuver around stuff at the same time.  Or........maybe I'm just clumsy and uncoordinated! Cry   In any case, once I do learn this will be a great area to fly proximity, but mean time, I'm off to buy some more props!! Big Grin

Of course, there is more than one way to learn rate mode, but here is the basic path I took, and it worked very well for me.
I got a Blade Nano QX.  Flew it about 20 times before I started dabbling in rate mode.  Though I quickly grew disappointed with the lack of authority this quad offers, it served as a nice trainer, since it offers both flying modes (toggled by the Tx) and is very light.  So, I never broke anything from crashing.  I probably flew it about a dozen times in rate, before moving up to a “racer-style” 250.
 
I then got a Spedix S250, and reverted back to flying horizon mode, as I learned how to adjust the (KK2) flight characteristics and manage the immense increase in power compared to the Nano QX.  After about 20 flights, I had it dialed in and felt very comfortable with it.  Now here is where my advice differs from many, but I feel very strongly about it.  Some folks recommend jumping into rate mode 100% and not looking back.  But I chose to wean myself off of it gradually, and the transition went very smoothly by doing the following:
 
1) I decreased the self-leveling gain incrementally.  I don’t know the comparable setting in other FC software, but suspect it’s available.  This reduced the amount/speed the quad would level itself when the sticks were centered, causing much more drift, which required me to add some manual input to counter the motion.  After decreasing this gain a few times, I had it so that the quad’s correction was less than 50%.  At this point, I took the final step.
 
2) I increased the self-leveling gain to nearly its original value, but only to serve as a “panic” mode, which could be activated via a Tx switch.  At this point I was practicing 100% rate mode, but any time I got disoriented or felt like I was out of control (which was often!), I could flip the switch, and the quad would stabilize itself almost instantly.  I want to emphasize that this may be the most significant step of all.  Having horizon mode on a switch prevented a LOT of broken parts, virtually eliminating downtime and disappointment.  Though I only fly rate now, and strongly prefer it, I still have horizon mode on the switch, and occasionally take advantage of it.  Since I like to do aerobatics and fly LOS aggressively, and fly FPV proximity, there are instances when I lose orientation.  When the quad suddenly gets spun around and tilted after clipping a tree branch, I can flick the switch faster than I can determine which direction and angle I’m pointing.
 
Following this progression made the entire journey enjoyable, without any frustration.  And I don’t believe it takes any longer to master.  After every flight, there was a sense of accomplishment, as I could feel myself improving... and I wasn’t spending any time on the workbench making repairs!  I’m sure my experience with flying micro FP & CP helis helped me progress a little faster, since the fundamental control techniques are similar.  Though I didn’t practice rate mode on a simulator, I do believe it’s also an excellent tool for this.  I just don’t enjoy sims much.

I hope you are also enjoying the journey into rate mode.  It's very rewarding when it starts to feel natural.  And I promise that will happen. Wink
[-] The following 1 user Likes Knight Owl's post:
  • Akuwu
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#9
I basically just left stab. cold turkey and started on rate. Took a while for things to start falling into place, but I can now get around fairly well. I am a long way from tearing through the woods like a crazy person and may never get there, but as I've said before, I'm having fun and I AM getting better....so who knows. I need to buy stock in Genfan as I think I am keeping them in the black singled handedly! : ) My copter has taken some NASTY hits but seems to be holding well for the most part.

I am indeed enjoying the journey and I am already to the point that I have a hard time if I try and go back to fly stab. I want to keep that skill set in my back pocket so should I ever need it, I will have it.

So.......as Admiral Farragut said in the Battle of Mobile bay....... "Damn the torpedo's.........Full speed ahead!!!!" : )
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#10
(06-01-2016, 05:01 PM)sirdude Wrote: I basically just left stab. cold turkey and started on rate.  Took a while for things to start falling into place, but I can now get around fairly well.  I am a long way from tearing through the woods like a crazy person and may never get there, but as I've said before, I'm having fun and I AM getting better....so who knows.  I need to buy stock in Genfan  as I think I am keeping them in the black singled handedly! : )  My copter has taken some NASTY hits but seems  to be holding well for the most part.

I am indeed enjoying the journey and I am already to the point that I have a hard time if I try and go back to fly stab.  I want to keep that skill set in my back pocket so should I ever need it, I will have it.  

So.......as Admiral Farragut said in the Battle of Mobile bay.......  "Damn the torpedo's.........Full speed ahead!!!!"  : )

That's great.  Sounds like you found a method that works for you, since you're having fun.  That's what it's all about!  Just keep at it, and before you know it, you WILL be tearing through the woods like a crazy person!  LOL.  Just keep an ample supply of props on hand.  You never stop needing those, but breaking them like this couldn't be more fun. Tongue
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#11
(05-29-2016, 06:19 AM)Knight Owl Wrote: Of course, there is more than one way to learn rate mode, but here is the basic path I took, and it worked very well for me.
I got a Blade Nano QX.  Flew it about 20 times before I started dabbling in rate mode.  Though I quickly grew disappointed with the lack of authority this quad offers, it served as a nice trainer, since it offers both flying modes (toggled by the Tx) and is very light.  So, I never broke anything from crashing.  I probably flew it about a dozen times in rate, before moving up to a “racer-style” 250.
 
I then got a Spedix S250, and reverted back to flying horizon mode, as I learned how to adjust the (KK2) flight characteristics and manage the immense increase in power compared to the Nano QX.  After about 20 flights, I had it dialed in and felt very comfortable with it.  Now here is where my advice differs from many, but I feel very strongly about it.  Some folks recommend jumping into rate mode 100% and not looking back.  But I chose to wean myself off of it gradually, and the transition went very smoothly by doing the following:
 
1) I decreased the self-leveling gain incrementally.  I don’t know the comparable setting in other FC software, but suspect it’s available.  This reduced the amount/speed the quad would level itself when the sticks were centered, causing much more drift, which required me to add some manual input to counter the motion.  After decreasing this gain a few times, I had it so that the quad’s correction was less than 50%.  At this point, I took the final step.
 
2) I increased the self-leveling gain to nearly its original value, but only to serve as a “panic” mode, which could be activated via a Tx switch.  At this point I was practicing 100% rate mode, but any time I got disoriented or felt like I was out of control (which was often!), I could flip the switch, and the quad would stabilize itself almost instantly.  I want to emphasize that this may be the most significant step of all.  Having horizon mode on a switch prevented a LOT of broken parts, virtually eliminating downtime and disappointment.  Though I only fly rate now, and strongly prefer it, I still have horizon mode on the switch, and occasionally take advantage of it.  Since I like to do aerobatics and fly LOS aggressively, and fly FPV proximity, there are instances when I lose orientation.  When the quad suddenly gets spun around and tilted after clipping a tree branch, I can flick the switch faster than I can determine which direction and angle I’m pointing.
 
Following this progression made the entire journey enjoyable, without any frustration.  And I don’t believe it takes any longer to master.  After every flight, there was a sense of accomplishment, as I could feel myself improving... and I wasn’t spending any time on the workbench making repairs!  I’m sure my experience with flying micro FP & CP helis helped me progress a little faster, since the fundamental control techniques are similar.  Though I didn’t practice rate mode on a simulator, I do believe it’s also an excellent tool for this.  I just don’t enjoy sims much.

I hope you are also enjoying the journey into rate mode.  It's very rewarding when it starts to feel natural.  And I promise that will happen. Wink

Referring to the text above... Would this be the same as having three modes set on a switch such as Acro, Horizon, and Angle. Just cycle up through them for the same increasing stabilization effect, no?

If not, please explain, because it sounds like yours responds faster than just switching flight modes...
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#12
(12-22-2016, 08:47 AM)XPitVipRX Wrote: Referring to the text above... Would this be the same as having three modes set on a switch such as Acro, Horizon, and Angle. Just cycle up through them for the same increasing stabilization effect, no?

If not, please explain, because it sounds like yours responds faster than just switching flight modes...

Yes, I believe that would accomplish the same thing with modern flight controllers.  But since this quad had a KK2, it didn't offer traditional flight mode options.  AFAIK, it could only be toggled between autoleveling and rate mode, and the autoleveling mode had to be set to a single value.  That's why I mentioned gradually reducing it over time, as I became less dependent on it.  Once I could fly in true rate mode, I set the autolevel (gain) to be very aggressive, so that it would respond very quickly when I flipped the switch.  I've since done essentially the same with a CC3D FC and OpenPilot GCS, and was still able to make it respond quickly.  I estimate it returns to level within one second.  If yours is slower, I think you should be able to increase the response for that mode, but I don't know exactly what it would be called in your software.
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