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I have not bought any parts yet, but I am making my own quadcopter. I have done the research and know all about the parts that I need, but many guides are sponsored and cost thousand(s) of euros/dollars while not explaining things entirely clearly.

Firstly, I have found this flight control board. Would I need another microcontroller (such as the Arduino nano) for it to work? (IF ANYONE has experience with this board, let me know!).

Secondly, would the above board work with this radio controller. Are controllers universal?

(Please tell me if I'm not in the right section here, or if this doesn't count as a relevant topic).

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome... no problems with this being OnTopic. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Nov 15 '12 at 7:14
  • $\begingroup$ Hey Andrew. I have all the answers I need (Stack Exchange is amazing!). Am I meant to somehow close the thread? Rate answers? $\endgroup$ – AlexanderK47 Nov 15 '12 at 17:13
  • $\begingroup$ Please select the answer that has been most helpful, and "Accept" it (tick the tick) - this gets the answerer a onus in reputation, and so do you (plus if its your first Accept, you get a Badge) $\endgroup$ – Andrew Nov 15 '12 at 18:12
  • $\begingroup$ And don't forget to come back :) $\endgroup$ – Andrew Nov 15 '12 at 18:13
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specific answers;

yes that controller will work fine, and is pretty popular. No it does not need anything additional other than to be hooked up to the receiver. from it, you hook up four speed controllers, and to them 4 motors.

yes that transmitter receiver will work, but it is a little on the 'too inexpensive' side. You do realize it requires hooking it up to a computer to reverse a channel don't you? If you really can guarantee that will not be an inconvenience, then it will work, but usually people opt for the turnigy 9x (http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/_8992_Turnigy_9X_9Ch_Transmitter_w_Module_8ch_Receiver_Mode_2_v2_Firmware_.html). The great thing about it is that it often flashed with an improved firmware; http://code.google.com/p/er9x/ It is only a few more dollars and will be a much better choice. If you are at a point where 30 dollars makes a difference, do NOT get involved in this hobby. Radio controllers are universal, and what you buy now should last you for many years, so spend the extra $30 and get something a little better quality and more popular.

Edit - update: I purchased both of these since writing this answer. The transmitter is still work in progress but will become a long range transmitter (10 or so miles). The KK board has been pretty impressive, I've been pleased with it so far. watch

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the reply. I don't fully understand the advantages of the Turnigy 9x over the one I mentioned (besides more channels). I also think I have a false understanding of channel reversing. Could you please elaborate? $\endgroup$ – AlexanderK47 Nov 15 '12 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ The biggest advantage to me me is the 9x is very popular, and thus many people find it suitable. I have never known anyone to have the other radio you mentioned. $\endgroup$ – Spiked3 Nov 15 '12 at 16:51
  • $\begingroup$ Reversing a channel is needed because of mechanical design, for example left and right depend on whether or not your mechanical linkage is in front of or behind a hinge area on a plane (same for up and down). In the case of quads and controller boards (non-mechanical), it is dependent on how the board was designed and differs from manufacturer, so you will need to change it at least initially. For example, my Guai 330 quad needed 3 out 4 channels reversed. $\endgroup$ – Spiked3 Nov 15 '12 at 16:57
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We have used an older generation of that board in our lab. It takes it's commands via RC which means you would not need another microcontroller. It is only a hover controller however so if you want to do any autonomy you will need another solution.

One possibility is to use an Arduino and an Xbee to replace the RC system and use your computer to control it. We have been doing this in our lab for nearly a year now and it works fairly well.

Another solution is to use an ArduPilot (instead of the aforementioned controller) and communicate directly with it via an Xbee. Again you will use your laptop, desktop, or tablet to control it.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the (very quick) reply. I don't need anything GPS related (like waypoints) or the ability to hold a position. Other than that, the controller seems very good, especially for a $30 board. $\endgroup$ – AlexanderK47 Nov 15 '12 at 16:36
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As I understand it, the flight control board allows you to control your Quadcopter using a standard 5 or 6 channel RC receiver. So you don't need any other equipment. The radio controller you suggested is 6 channel, so that's plenty. The flight control board just provides stability, as it would be almost impossible for a human to control the speeds of all four motors rapidly enough to keep it stable.

You'll be able to steer the quadcopter using the controller, but won't be able to use GPS or anything clever without adding some more electronics.

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