Synerduino Arduino FAQ / Troubleshoot

You are here:
< All Topics

What is an Arduino?

Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. Arduino boards are able to read inputs – light on a sensor, a finger on a button, or a Twitter message – and turn it into an output – activating a motor, turning on an LED, publishing something online. You can tell your board what to do by sending a set of instructions to the microcontroller on the board. To do so you use the Arduino programming language (based on Wiring), and the Arduino Software (IDE), based on processing.

To know more about Arduino, visit their website www.arduino.cc

What is a shield?

Shields are boards that can be plugged on top of the Arduino PCB extending its capabilities. The different shields follow the same philosophy as the original toolkit: they are easy to mount, and cheap to produce. think of them as Companion boards to the Arduino

Which Arduino board is compatible? 

The shield works with Arduino Mega 2560, Arduino Uno Rev3 IC and SMD, Gizduino Lin-Uno, and Gizduino Uno-SE. This is a growing list as we test the shield with other micro-controllers.

Is this shield compatible with other Arduino Kits?

yes , due to its Arduino layout you can combo it with Arduino robot car kit or Arduino basic electronics kit utilizing Sensors , Motor Drivers , Chassis , Communications .

How do I configure the shield to work with other vehicle types?

  • The Output.cpp tab in the Arduino sketch allows for custom motor and servo mixing for custom vehicle types apart from the given defaults.
  • This feature also allows you to allocate output pins for certain functions or bypass a failed output PWM pin.
  • This also supports reversible ESCs for brush or brushless motors. 
  • It is possible to support fix wing, single/dual rotor collective pitch or fixed pitch helicopters and Surface Vehicle types thru the mix table and the proper ESCs
  • Alternatively the Quick Guide also indicate the use of the Hex uploader to upload Pre-made Hexfiles of the vehicle type

What is the power rating of the board? 

  • Supports both 2s, 3s, 4s batteries. 8.4V -12.6V-16.8V (distribution Lines)
  • Built-in power distribution can support up to 20A per ESC. (for higher currents advice to use a separate distribution board )
  • Support 1.5A on the 5V PWM power rails
  • Should additional Servos and external Sensors are required, Recommend Use 5V UBEC or 5V Buck Converter with input matching your power source

Motors , Props and ESCs

250mm size Frame motors of 2000kv to 2500kv with Stator Diameter of 22mm-23mm would be suitable 2200 or 2300 series motors. 5″ props

450mm Size Frame Motors of 850Kv to 950Kv with Stator of 22mm-23mm would be suitable 2212 series motors 10″ props

ESC 30A

ESCs Over Heating

  • Ensure your Motor Current Draw Matches the ESC installed
  • In Rare Case for multiple ESCs with UBEC Conflict Power distribution disconnect the 5V power (Red wire) PWM line from all but one ESC. or Run a Separate External BEC with sufficient Amps

On arming the aircraft, it either does not start or jumps suddenly into the air.

  • Make sure that each ESC is calibrated, check your ESC manual how to calibrate.
  • ESCs are calibrated by raising your throttle to full until you hear a beep sound from the motor, then you drop the throttle to the bottom. (see instruction Manual for ESCs that came with one)
  • Check your ESC PWM ranges or you can adjust it on your transmitter for the servo range 
  • check on the Arduino sketch Config.h if its set to combination stick arm or Aux switch in the FlywiiGUI

Drone Cannot Arm

  • Drone ACC and MAG Must be Calibrated on the FlywiiGUI Dashboard (ACC Calibration – keep drone level surface for 10 seconds) (MAG Calibration – Rotate the drone 360 degrees in all axis for 60 Seconds) Blue LED flashing
  • GPS Flight Modes must be in off position before Arming. (GPS Home , GPS Hold , Missions) on the FlywiiGUI RC Control Settings
  • Throttle Stick place at lowest position on your transmitter
  • in Config.h
    • #define ONLYARMWHENFLAT //prevent the copter from arming when the copter is tilted
    • define ALLOW_ARM_DISARM_VIA_TX_YAW // stick combinations to arm/disarm the motors
  • on some Frame Types Arming is only possible at RC control settings by setting one Aux channel as Arm

Drone does not hold altitude and/or position steadily.  

  • Ensure that the IMU at the center of the shield is covered with foam or an enclosure. You can simply cut out a small box to prevent propwash from disturbing the barometer readings.
  • Propellers and motors must be checked for balance as vibration can affect flight performance. 
  • In the FlyWii GUI sensor graphs tab, you can monitor and log individual sensor status while in flight.

Drone / Vehicle moves in wrong direction when moving the sticks on my transmitter

1.In FlywiiGUI FC config check if the servo direction is in the correct relation to gyro and Accelerometer Data in Graphs tab . which case for Servo or Bi-Drectional ESCs vehicles/Aircraft can be reverse in the FlywiiGUI FC Config Tab by clicking on the reverse Box or Change Rate 1 to 2 the vehicle/Drone should attempt to correct its orientation when disturb this can be check by activation Mag for Heading and Yaw , Horizon for Roll & Pitch in FlywiiGUI RC Control Setting Tab .

2. Check your Transmitter Servo Reverse mode appropriate to your control and responds input on the FlyWii GUI . put the drone on a testing Rig to check for input changes.

Servo/Motor Output are Reverse

FlywiiGUI FC Config Tab by clicking on the Reverse Box – which reverses the RC PWM input or Change the Rate 0 , 1, 2 (0 Neutral / 1 Norm / 2 Reverse) Change the Synerduino PWM output

Surface Vehicle slow to responds to navigation input (Tank / Car / Boat)

  • in FlyWii GUI Flight Tuning Tab you can Adjust the Rate/Expo controls on the lower Left . an increase Roll/Pitch/Yaw RATE can improve the Vehicle respond especially for surface vehicles as it have to overcome the surface its on.
  • Wheeled Vehicles would required a higher RATE to overcome rolling friction on the ground to respond to Navigation inputs properly (Throttle stick is place on middle position when in Mission/RTH/Hold)
  • in PID (Yaw and Pitch) Proportion rates are place High (5.0) while Integral and Derivative are lower (1.0) for surface vehicle as they are less susceptible of correctional drift
  • Not applicable PID should be set (1.0) Altitude/Level/Roll

Surface Vehicle over correcting and shaking in its Yaw Axis

  • Drop the P Yaw rate and possibly servo rate
  • Ensure the compass is correctly calibrated

Drone flies off / Vehicle Drives off in the wrong direction or spins in circles on autopilot, GPS hold, or return-to-home modes.

  • Open Config.h in the Arduino sketch and ensure that the sensors are active, and orientations are correct.  
  • You can check sensor activity and orientation on the FlyWii GUI graphs tab.
  • In FlyWiiGUI ( Magnetic Declination ) must be set in the RC Config Tab and (Magnetometer/Compass must be calibrated ) on the Flight Deck tab ensure the compass if pointing to the proper heading as this is important for Navigation and GPS flight modes
  • FlywiiGUI FC config check if the servo direction is in the correct relation to Gyro and Accelerometer Data in Graphs tab . which case for Servo or Bi-Drectional ESCs vehicles/Aircraft can be reverse in Flywii GUI FC Config Tab by clicking on the reverse Box or stating Function 1 , 2 the vehicle/Drone should attempt to correct its orientation when disturb this can be check by activation Mag for Heading and Yaw , Horizon for Roll & Pitch in FlywiiGUI RC Control Setting Tab
  • Position Metal parts and High current Wires of your Drone away from the Sensor IMU module as much as possible. Voltage Buzzer ,Screws , Batteries with metal casing. as these will interfere with the onboard compass .
  • Avoid powering up the drone or calibrating on a metal surface . this interferes with Sensor IMU module
  • Check motor and propeller rotation order.  
  • Check ESCs PWM order

How do I prevent flyaway loss radio link?

  • Set one of the aux channels in the RC control settings tab to return-to-home or land.
  • Set your remote failsafe settings (see Radio instructions) to engage the Aux Channel on radio link loss. 
  • Return-to-home only works on Arduino Mega2560 Boards with a GPS.
  • For Arduino Uno boards, set the radio to throttle down so the drone Lands when it encounters a loss radio link
  • as much avoid using bluetooth serial as a main means of control.(they serve best for telemetry use only)

Drone flips over or jumps erratically on horizon or altitude hold mode 

  • Check sensor orientations and sensor graphs on FlyWii GUI whether they are correctly orientated to the drone‚Äôs frame.
  • Check PIDs of the sensors and adjust them accordingly to the drone type and size.
  • Check motor and propeller rotation order.  
  • Check ESCs PWM order
  • Set Throttle limits minimum throttle Arm speed in FlywiiGUI FC Config tab
  • Check servo orientation (Bi/Tri/Airplane/Wings/Helicopter) FlywiiGUI FC Config tab see if they are responding to disturbance correctly
  • check vibrations in FlywiiGUI graphs if the vibrations are erratic check propeller conditions

Excessive Vibrations

  • Check Conditions of propeller ensure no damage or bent blades
  • propeller must be match with motor data sheet , or reduce size or pitch angle
  • ensure motor, frame and Sensor cover box are securely mounted
  • in Arduino IDE sketch Config.h Tab > Gyro filters > 5hz-256hz can be uncommented to adjust the sensitivity how ever PIDs needed to be updated and re-tune

Drone does not go into any GPS modes , GPS modes not working properly , Loose GPS hold Behavior or No Satellite Fix

the Orange LED is not flashing constant on Boot up . This means the Baud rates of the Arduino and the GPS module are not matching hence Synerduino cant Read the GPS Module Or GPS module Power and Serial is not connected

  • Ensure you get a proper GPS fix indicated on the dash board as 5 – 7 sat.
  • check if the Synerduino yellow LED flash 3 – 4 times indicating a GPS Fix and GPS module flashes constantly whan satellites detected
  • Check if the Aux switch is setup into any of the GPS modes in RC control settings Tab
  • Avoid obstruction from environment (near buildings) choose a open space
  • See GPS config documentation http://synerflight.com/kwad-documentation/gps-configuration/

Mission wont run or upload the waypoint

  • in FlywiiGUI Flight Tuning Tab – see that Safe WP Distance is with in the allowable limit of your waypoint (3000m max)
  • the Distance between two waypoints or Home Position must not Exceed the Safe Waypoint Distance set
  • Waypoint must not exceed the Fence Radius Limits
  • Waypoint must not exceed Max Altitude limit
  • in RC Control Settings Aux ensure the mission is on together with Horizon , Baro and Mag.
  • Max waypoints (225)
  • Ensure your telemetry Radio is connected with correct Baud and Com

Serial Telemetry not connecting

  • The Baud rate of your telemetry radio (Xbee/Bluetooth/SIK/etc) must match the Serial Com in the Config.h of the multiwii Synerduino sketch
  • SIK Radios Telemetry protocol is set as RAW data and Net ID must Match both ground station and aircraft module
  • Identify the Com Port by searching your computer Device Manager where your telemetry radio is assign to.
  • Avoid having two devices connection to one radio module at the same time

Error Opening COM Port on Flywii GUI

If the Bluetooth or any Devices is plug to Serial 0 and you connect to your USB COM Port number this error would happen

Ensure that you dont Open the Comport Associated with USB when other Devices are plug to Serial 0

Respond Packet Error

this Errors happens when two conflicting devices are plug to the same serial, an disconnection in the RX serial pins or strong interference of radio communication

Can I pause Mission haft way in flight or Upload a new mission while in flight ?

  • While mission is active you can pause it by activating GPS Hold together while Mission mode is active this pauses the drone on its last waypoint and resume when GPS Hold is switch off
  • For Mission upload while in flight . the drone must be switch to GPS hold or Horizon mode only . have Mission switch off during the upload process.

Can I operate the Drone / Surface Vehicle using the Phone?

in APK Essentials we provide a list of Android APK thats known to work with the Synerduino shield and firmware . this should work fine for surface vehicles . however for bluetooth’s limitation 10m combine with touch screen non tactile control would prove operating aircraft difficult . we strongly advice not to use it for Aircraft other than bench testing . Fly at your own risk.

Implementing on Full Size Vehicle

At this stage we’re currently on exploratory Possibilities for Surface Vehicle Implementation , take PreCaution and always have a Manual override / safety Cut off switch When doing so.

Where can I learn how to build a drone?

Learn more about building drones on www.synerflight.com/learn

Table of Contents