I am building a quadcopter using the tutorial The Ultimate PVC Quadcopter.

When ever I go to lift off, at full throttle, the motors spin but the quadcopter doesn't go anywhere. I have checked again and again and the motors are spinning in the right direction, and have the right propellers. Does anybody know why my quad won't fly?

I am using a KK2.1.5 flight controller, propellers marked with 1045r on the counter clockwise motors and the propellers just marked with 1045 on the clockwise motors.

If I switch the propellers, 1045r clockwise and 1045 counter clockwise, then my quadcopter flips over.

The layout of the motors is:

1. CW     2. CCW
4. CCW    3. CW

I am a beginner and this is the first drone I have built/owned.

P.S. My quadcopter weighs 3.2 pounds, is using 980 kv motors, 10" propellers, 20 A ESCs, and a 3S 50C 2200 mAh Li-Po battery.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Robotics Destinie. Thanks for the additional information, hopefully someone familiar with quadcopter dynamics will be able to suggest a solution to your problem. $\endgroup$ – Mark Booth Mar 10 '17 at 15:10
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    $\begingroup$ Could you rephrase the title? It's not very suggestive and the "plz help" part is not very inviting! I would suggest something along the lines of "Why do the motors of my quadcopter saturate before takeoff?" Or "Why do the motors of my quadcopter not deliver sufficient power?" $\endgroup$ – JJM Driessen Mar 13 '17 at 22:01

If I'm understanding you correctly, you are saying that the motors spin, but they don't spin fast enough to generate enough thrust to get the drone off the ground.

It sounds to me, if this is the case, that you maybe haven't done the speed calibration for the electronic speed controllers (ESCs).

Here is the Hobbywing page on calibration, if you are using the same speed controllers used in the tutorial you linked; here is another tutorial for more generic instructions (go to the "Manual ESC-by-ESC Calibration" section).

Basically you need to be sure that the speed controller "understands" that the full throttle signal you're providing it actually means full speed.

Of course, the other obvious problem might be a dead battery.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes I throttle calibrated my escs. $\endgroup$ – Destinie Mar 10 '17 at 19:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Destinie - Can you clarify what the problem is? The motors are spinning and it "won't fly" - does that mean it doesn't fly stable? It doesn't lift up at all? Can you verify the batteries are charged? $\endgroup$ – Chuck Mar 10 '17 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry for not being clear :) $\endgroup$ – Destinie Mar 10 '17 at 20:53
  • $\begingroup$ When I lift up on the throttle and go full throttle, the motors spin really really fast, but the quadcopter stays on the ground. :) @Chuck $\endgroup$ – Destinie Mar 10 '17 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Destinie - And the batteries? What is battery voltage when you try to take off? $\endgroup$ – Chuck Mar 10 '17 at 21:51

Either the battery levels are low or the flight controller hasn't been set up yet.

First, calibrate the flight controller sensors.

After, Calibrate the ESCs. (Do this without props!) Then set up the flight controller, so set the motor max values and min values.


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