First setup with Navio+ wobbles

Hey guys, I’m a newbie who just finished setting up my first quad using Navio+.
Here’s my parts list. FYI, I’m planning on upgrading the cheap Turnigy 5ch radio to Turnigy 9ch,

HobbyKing 20A BlueSeries Brushless Speed Controller
4108-380KV Turnigy Multistar 22 Pole Brushless Multi-Rotor Motor With Extra Long Leads
Carbon Fiber Propellers 13X6.5 LH and RH Rotation Pair
Turnigy Talon Carbon Fiber Quadcopter Frame
Multistar High Capacity 4S 4000mAh Multi-Rotor Lipo Pack
Turnigy 5X 5Ch Mini Transmitter and Receiver (Mode 1)

- YouTube

I followed the steps in and went through all the steps in first setup.
I calibrated my ECSs, RC, compass, and accelerometer accordingly.
So I tried my first flight today and I noticed that when I give some throttle for the quad to hover
(50cm~100cm above ground), it wobbles dramatically towards either right or back.
At the moment, I don’t have channel 7 on my radio, so I haven’t tried Auto Trim yet.

So my questions to you guys are,

  1. When you first flew your copter, did it tend to shift dramatically to one side?
    I thought the calibration process and the accelerometer inside Navio+ did some self correction in Stabilize mode. I don’t have GPS connected at the moment.

  2. If it’s so difficult to maintain position, how would one go about doing Save / Auto trim?
    It says Auto trim can be done on ground without flying. Any comments on that?

Thanks a lot for your reading and help. I hope to post some awesome videos once I get stable hover.


It should not drift to the side like this. It is normally quite stable in stabilize mode with default settings and easy to control.

I would double check the following:

Is each motor/ESC connected to the correct channel?
Is each motor/ESC turning to correct way?
Is each prop mounted on the correct motor?
Is the NAVIO+ orientated correctly?

Once you are absolutely sure this is correct. I would look at ESC calibration.
You may want to increase the PIDs, it does not seem to oscillate, so it should be safe to increase them.

Sorry, I do not mean to be rude, but if any of the mentioned errors would be there, the copter would not even lift off. It would flip immediatly.
I would check ACC calibration and raise the PID values, because as short as the video is, it looks like the copter does not even try to hold a level attitude.

I agree Sebastian! Raising PID and ACC calibration is definitely worth trying!

I did set-up the props and motors to the correct direction. As @schuermannsebastian said, since it’s flying at least, I guess the setup is okay. Based on you guys’ input, I will try the following.

  1. ESC calibration again
  2. Check ACC calibration
  3. Change PID values.

I will post video again in few days. Hopefully a better one.

Do not try an autotune, if it is flying like this. Autotune starts with the given PID values and tries to optimize them. If the copter is barely flying, it will surely flip during autotune.
Raise the PID values by hand in small steps.
The Arducopter wiki states 0.2 (0.25 in rare cases) for Rate P as the max value. So I would raise it in steps of 0.01.

Also, consider balancing the props.

So this weekend, I did the following things.

  1. Changed props from 1245 to 1365.
  2. Balanced the props
  3. Balanced the motors.
  4. Calibrated RC, Acc, and compass.

Here’s the result of above steps.
This was actually my very first ‘Normal’ flight.
I’ve flown nano quad copters indoor before, but this 500 frame feels soooo much different.

At this moment, I didn’t do anything with the default PID values.
I find it very difficult to maintain stable position.
I believe this is something I have to get better with. Am I correct?

I am planning to do image processing and aerial photography with this guy.
But before I get there, I need to practice. I will post the result of PID tuning.
I believe newbies like me will find this thread helpful.


First, it is always a good plan to learn how to fly any aircraft with as little help from the electronics as possible.

I really despise the guys that go online, order their RTF quad for a couple of hundreds and go flying in the local park. No skills, just relying on the electronic gizmos and if anything goes wrong, it is always the vehicle, never the pilot. Youtube is full off good (or bad) examples.
(Sorry for ranting)

Stabilize mode is the default flying mode for APM:copter, but it just keeps the vehicle level, without roll/pitch input. You have to maintain height without assistance and you can not flip the copter over.
It will drift with the wind and you have to counter those influences by hand. With no wind (in a big room for example), it should stay more or less in one place. Flying close to the ground is another thing, because the copter is flying in ground effect, which usually is less stable. With big props and a leightweight copter, this effect gets worse. Try to hover above 1m.
It is not that hard to fly the copter in stabilize mode, so if your copter is feeling to “soft” at the sticks, you have to tune the PIDs. No other flightmode will work, if stabilize is not properly tuned.

Yeah, it’s those people who keep making the law against the drones stronger and stronger.
I will definitely have to do the PID tunings as the copter feels too twitchy in response to the sticks at the moment.
I will keep updating the results here, for any other people in need of help.