Weatronic have released a revolutionary range of 2.4 Ghz modules and receivers a couple of years ago.
I consider this equipment as revolutionary because they did set a new standard for the industry in terms of functionality and redundancy.
Although some radio makers did reach the technology level offered by the Weatronic system, no one has been able to beat the feature to price ratio that they are offering.
The Weatronic 12-22R gyro III GPS is still unmatched in terms of functionality and price to this date.
I will not go back to a complete description of all the functions available since my friend David Gladwin has done it excellently many times in RCJI.
1. Why this article ?
Weatronic systems offer so much functionality that I realized that most of the users were either using the system partly wrongly or were using only a few of the advanced functions.
So this article is not a product review. It is aimed at all Weatronic users who want to understanding and using all the functions of their systems and become power users. On that matter it can be considered as a power user manual.
It represents the sum of all the users experience as well as my own one. I have accumulated a very significant amount of data through the RCU Weatronic diagnostic tool thread available here:
On that matter I would like to thank again my modeler friends who sent their results to me and gave me so much interesting feedback to work on.
I was able to write this article thanks to you David, Harry, Jean-Fi, Stephane, Carsten, Sebastien, JPZ, Oistein, Rob, Stripe, Sid, Stanislas, Mark and all the others I am forgetting…
2. Setting up the system
2.0. Before starting: firmware update
The Weatronic team is quite reactive to customer’s feedback. They do take into account the customers and beta testers comments and improve the products on a regular basis by releasing new firmware. So it is quite important to keep your devices up to date by uploading the latest firmware.
Bare in mind that some firmware upgrades are not downwards compatible. This means that if you choose to upgrade your system, you will have to upgrade ALL the components. This can take a certain amount of time. Also note that version 2.63 does reset the receiver to default, thus erasing all servo setup and modulation/alarm specifics. So make sure that you have saved the configuration on your PC before going the upgrade way. Also make sure that you disconnect all the servos that could block, before switching your receiver ON again. It will take a few seconds to do a full rebind after the firmware update and load the saved model again. During this time, you might have a servo binding against its full stop position or against each other in case of parallel setup if you are not careful.
The firmware update procedure is explained in a separate document available in the Weatronic folder of your computer ( typically c:/ Program files/ Weatronic/ additional documents/ ) or on Weatronic web site:
There are two update philosophies on the Weatronic devices: direct card reading or USB module update.
2.0.1. Direct card reading firmware update
The devices with a memory slot are upgradable through a direct reading of the firmware from a card. This is the case for the antenna module and the big 12-22 receivers.
The card reading method is quite easy except that it is sensitive to card formatting specifics. Format the card with a good reading device and use FAT 32. I found out that bad cards/ bad card contacts during the formatting and firmware transfer from the PC tot the card could block the firmware upgrade process.
The usual failures of the update are due to bad card quality, wrong formatting protocol, bad reader used for transferring the file, or wrong file used.
2.0.2. USB firmware update
The devices without a memory slot will need to be upgraded by plugging a USB updater module from your PC to the USB port of the device. This is the case for the micro, clever and smart series.
You will need to buy the specific update module for this task. The update procedure is well detailed in the manual cited above. One critical thing: the power up sequence must be strictly followed.
It is absolutely vital for the success of the update procedure that you follow this sequence:
Load the program via Gigaupdate
Plug the update module
When the window ”connecting to target” appears, switch the receiver ON.
Then the update sequence will start.
If the receiver is ON while the gigaupdate program is started, the update procedure will fail.
2.1. Transmitter module description and considerations
2.1.1. Placing the module in the radio slot and proper connection
The transmitter module is only here to collect the transmitter signal in numerical form and transfer it to the antenna module. It only processes low power electrical signals. The antenna module has the duty to transfer these data to high power through the air information.
It is essential that the data stream is transmitted correctly to the antenna module. If not, the module would only transmit what is available to it without detecting the errors ( crap in, crap out effect). On that matter, make sure that you have inserted the transmitter module in the transmitter slot correctly and that the contacts are perfect on the module plug.
2.1.2. Placing the patch cable
Similarly, make sure that the patch cable that connects the transmitter module to the antenna module is inserted correctly with perfect contacts. Make sure that you have the new off white color cable and not the older black round cable that could develop intermittent contacts.
Make sure that the cable routes correctly to the module with no tension or possibility to get it pulled from outside interaction.
The early 2.4 Weatronic sets had a black patch cable. This one is prone to developing bad contacts with time. If you have one of these, get it changed by Weatronic to the new tan white patch cable.
Change the patch cable at the end of every flight season to avoid developping false contacts. It is only a few dollars but will garanty perfect operations all the time.
2.1.3. Description of the data stream from the radio to the module and antenna properties.
The data stream from the radio to the antenna module is collected from the radio module, carried by the patch cable and processed in the antenna module. The type of data is dependent of the modulation chosen from the radio. Although various PCM and PPM schemes can be chosen, only channel orders are sent to the antenna module. This module will then process the channel orders and send them to the receiver using Weatronic’s own transmission protocol.
So choosing between the different transmission modes in the transmitter only matters in terms of number of channel available and number of source frames. PCM protocols usually use less source frames. For example the standard JR PCM protocol transmits 25 frames per second on 10 channels, whereas the PPM protocol transmits 50 frames per second on 9 channels. So that is twice faster, but you’d lose one channel. The Weatronic system transmits 100 frames per second on two independent RF links. So choosing a JR PPM mode will make the Weatronic system transmit each source frame from the Tx twice in a row till the next new frame comes from the Tx. Choosing the standard JR PCM mode will make the system transmit each Tx source frame 4 times in a row.
The description of the modulations modes and optimal setup for your radio is explained in a separate document available on the Weatronic download site in German:
To access the source frame transmitted information, you’ll have to look at the NavView tab of Gigacontrol, in the live data window.
The transmitter module antennas are placed along the edges of the case. These antennas are very sensitive to body masking. This is because of the short wavelength and the fact that this modulation is very well absorbed by organic tissues. So do not place your hand along the antenna module while flying and do not allow anyone to pass in front of you.
The receiver wire antennas have a standard cardioids reception diagram. This means that the sensitivity field looks like an apple centered along the antenna wire, with the least sensitivity along the wire axis. This is the reason why the manufacturer recommends placing the antennas 90 degrees of each other: to avoid having the two low axis of the two antennas coinciding and “looking” at the transmitter. The hemispheric diagram of the patch antennas does not create this problem.
Also bare in mind that the wave of a 2.4Ghz signal is only a few centimeter long. So large conductive objects like the thrust pipe or the engine may mask an antenna. I found out however that the receiver is doing quite well with carbon fiber structures.
2.1.4. The antenna module LEDs description.
The antenna module has a series of 3 LEDs set on the long side of the case. It is important to install the case so that the LEDs are visible from the top.
It is also equally important to understand the blinking functions and meanings of these LEDs.
This was described in the original 2.4 user manual published in August 2009. However this description was not complete. A new separate document has been issued and is available in English language here:
Note that the red LED blinking will coincide with a beep emitted from the headset port. The beeping scheme follows the red LED scheme with a distinction between the receiver and the transmitter that is quite important to understand. A high pitch beep is emitted for a receiver failure, whereas a low pitch beeper will indicate a transmitter failure.
For example, if you ear two high pitch beeps, this indicates a receiver battery threshold reached, whereas is you ear two low pitch beeps, this would indicate a transmitter battery threshold reached.
For people having uploaded the English voice file into the DV4 antenna module with firmware 2.63, the meaning of the beep will be enonciated in plain language.
2.2. Choosing and setting up the batteries
The micro and smart receivers: they use direct current from the batteries, without any built in regulators.
The 12-22R Gizmo unit: it has 4 power bus regulators that are distributed by row. Regulator 1 distributes to servo 1 -8, regulator 2 to servo 9-18 etc...
A line protection function monitors the resistance downstream the regulator. If it drops suddenly ( shortcut ) the regulator and supply row shuts down to protect the other devices.
The typical voltage regulator drop is 0,6V. This means that if a battery drops below 6,5V while the regulator is trying to maintain 5,9V, the later will be disconnected and the second battery will be used.
A battery test routine is being done every time the Gizmo receiver is switched ON. It is user configurable. In the receiver configuration tab and set to trigger by default at 0,5V drop.
Each time the Gizmo receiver is powered up, a 7 amp load is applied to each battery for 25 ms. If the battery voltage drops during that time below the programmed value, the system will issue a battery warning.
On the micro series, the servo line is limited to 5A. However there is one trick that doubles this capacity. This is due to the Kirschoff's law. If you place one battery line at one end of the servo bank ( plug 1 ) and one battery line at the other end ( battery plug ), you can effectively draw 10 amps on the bank: 5 amps from each side. So I highly recommend this configuration. Plug 1 is usually dedicated to the throttle output. Just Y wire the throttle line with the battery line and you are all set...
2.3. Placing the receiver
Reading the Rx LED: it is important to place the receiver so that the status LED's can be seen for startup troubleshooting. In the case of the Gizmo units, the switching module have the LED and is easier to place.
The receiver has eight regulators protruding at the bottom of the unit. They must be cooled down properly to avoid a receiver shut-down is case of thermal runaway. I highly recommend making a square hole in the receiver tray at the regulators location. If this is not possible the other option would be to place rubber grommets under the receiver to lift it from the tray by at least 2 mm.
There is no need for flexible receiver installation in jets. Gyro equipped units will benefit from this fact with a more precise operation.
Servo lines requirements: HF ferrite rings are not necessary on the lines, on the receiver side. Good quality twisted cables are recommended as usual. I recommend the use of our MIL spec AWG22 pure silver servo cables with this equipment for the long line and/ or line passing close to the engine or tailpipe.
If the cable lines are long, you might want to put ferrites at the servo side to avoid transmission of EMIs to the servo.
Battery cables requirements: I also recommend the use of our 12AWG MIl spec pure silver cables for connecting the batteries to the receiver, along with our professional grade EMS plugs complying with Multiplex standards.
The idea is to remain coherent with the battery cables coming from the receivers as installed by Weatronic.
Access to the memory card slot:
Keep in mind when installing the receiver that you will need to remove and place the memory card very often. Make sure that you leave enough room around the base of the unit to place/ remove the micro SD card.
2.4. The switch box (Gizmo)
The switch box is a small plastic unit connected to the receiver by the means of a flat ribbon cable. Its purpose is to provide an easy way to switch the device ON and OFF through a flagged jumper.
It also houses two high intensity LED's that are meant to advise the modeler visually of the status of the system.
Although this system is nice, with the new voice file all the alerts are in plain language, making the identification of the problem very easy.
The switch box is also used to place the Gizmo receiver in binding mode or firmware update mode.
I recommend placing the unit in an easy to access location for obvious reasons. on sport models, placing the unit flush along the fuselage skin is a valid option.
cable length change:
The ribbon cable can be shortened or changed for a much longer one. Different lengths are available in the store if you need to place the unit far away from the receiver. The cable should be cut clean and straight. Make sure that you insert the ribbon cable clamp correctly into the cable: you should see the hooks passing through the ribbon plastic isolation. Also pay a particular attention to the ribbon polarization. A red line is printed on the side of the cable to help you with this.
Removing the plastic housing:
Te switch box plastic housing is quite bulky. It can be removed for those who are a bit tight with room. If you do so, make sure that the back of the switch board is seperated from any carbon fiber plate or conductive component. A shortcut of this board can result in a receiver power down.
LED codes reading: The switch box LED code is explained in a separate document available on line:
LED fault indication philosophy vs Tx module:
The LED blinking sequence on the switch board is different from the one from the Tx antenna module. Make sure that you read the document above at least once to understand the differences.
Switching plugs: braking the strap:
The flagged jumper has got a metallic loop that is retaining the red or blue flag. This loop is actually the conductive part of the jumper. If it brakes , the jumper will become useless. Since you might be tempted to pull the plug from the flag, it might actually brake after a while. This happened to me once and I recommend carrying an extra red flagged jumper in your field box just in case.
2.5. Plugging your servos: the power banks (Gizmo)
2.5.1. The servo mapping page
How to read it ?
The servo mapping page is setup as a matrix. The left column displays the channels input, whereas the upper line displays the receiver servo outputs.
Any channel can be attributed to any servo output by clicking on the corresponding square.
Assignment of a servo: usage of colors
I strongly recommend changing the name of the channel inputs and using colors as a backgoround to them. The reason for this is that when you will start mixing channels together, it will be much easier to understan what you are doing as every line of the mixer will have the color of the assiciated channel.
The power bus and voltage regulator distribution:
The Weatronic Dual Receivers are fitted with a high current power system for dealing with modern high current digital servos and consists of 8 separate voltage regulators, all of which are protected against shorting or excess current consumption. Each circuit can draw a maximum of 5 Amps continuous, which means that you can safely draw up to 40 Amps in total providing that the receiver is sufficiently cooled down from below and for short (burst ) periods even higher currents can be drawn.
Each voltage regulator has 3 to 4 servos output hard assigned. The assignment occurs vertically on the power bank. and can be seen directly on the receiver casing.
Voltage regulator 1 is powering servos 1, 9, 17 and 25.
Voltage regulator 2 is powering servos 2, 10, 18 and 26.
Voltage regulator 3 is powering servos 3, 11, 19 and 27.
Voltage regulator 4 is powering servos 4, 12, 20 and 28.
Voltage regulator 5 is powering servos 5, 13, 21 and 29.
Voltage regulator 6 is powering servos 6, 14, 22 and 30.
Voltage regulator 7 is powering servos 7, 15 and 23.
Voltage regulator 8 is powering servos 8, 16 and 24.
It is important to understand this fact in order to balance the power requirement for each voltage regulator. Try to split the big current consumers between the different regulators. Also this will have the added benefits of keeping redundancy if one line shuts down due to a shortcut or excess current consumption.
It is also important to understand that a powerful digital servo binding could result in a temporary voltage regulator shut down. So spreading your important flight controls servos between the different power banks is a must on this receiver.
As a consequence, you will see that every time you assign a channel input to a servo output in Gigacontrol, this will have for effect to blank 3 other servo outputs on the servo mapping grid. These positions will turn pink on the grid. On the screen capture below, assigning channel 1 to servo 1 has for effect to blank positions 9, 17 and 25. In other words, the program tells you that a channel cannot be assigned twice on the same power bank.
2.5.2. Assigning your servos
Similarily, several considerations must be taken about assigning the servo to different channel/ output combinations.
First of all, you'll need to check the servo torque requirement for your application. That can be computed using the Control Calc sheet available here:
For more details on how to use Control Cal, please refer to my blog here:
Then you will have to check the maximum current draw for the torque required. This is normally given by the manufacturer on the spec sheet of the servo. However I have found out that the information is sometimes difficult to find. For Futaba servos, this is available from the Servo city page.
Otherwise, you can use this graph as a frist approximation where the current is in Ampere and the torque in oz.in:
Servo voltage requirements and strategy:
If you mix high current servos with low current servos, you will need to keep in mind that if a servo bank is set at a certain voltage, all the servos on that bank will operate under the same voltage. For example if you set the voltage regulator 1 at 7.2V, servos 1, 9, 17 and 25 will operate under that voltage.
Servo line length:
The servo line length does not really matter with the Weatronic system. The voltage regulator will meet the demand required by its power bus. That is because the regulator is constantly checking the line resistance and adapts in consequence ( this is the feature that is used to trip off the regulator in case of a short circuit which equate in a sudden drop of the line resistance.
Placement strategy on the power bus:
As a general rule, I'd recommend to place one of each main control surface on a different regulator, then assign other less important servos.
2.6. Gigacontrol setup.
2.6.1 General philosophy: Tx editing vs Giga Control editing,
Although some transmitters have very advanced mixer and servo curve editing possibilities, Gigacontrol allows you to mix channel entries and servos outputs within the receiver.
This has several advantages. Among some of them the graphic presentation of the servo curve is very precise and easy to read. As well the mixer presentation is most of the times much easier to understand and verify than the Tx one. Also the mixer curve can be modified along 30 points. This is a very rare a powerful function.
2.6.2 Servo mapping tab general considerations:
This window, together with the “NavView” tab forms the heart of the GigaControl software. Within this window a multitude of parameters can be altered which will improve every model’s performance from large scale jets through to gliders. The left hand side of the matrix lists the transmitter’s channels or functions and the software is currently capable of handling 12 channels but this will soon be raised to 16. The top row corresponds to the receiver outputs of which the micro series receivers have 8 to 12 and the 12-22 R series have 22 to 30 outputs.
The standard servo mapping window for the micro 12 receiver. 12 input channels, 12 servo output.
The standard servo mapping window for the Gizmo 12-30 R HV receiver. 12 input channels, 30 servo output.
The background as well as text content and color of each input and output can be changed. This is quite important and extremely useful as soon as you start implementing mixers or using gyros.
To edit the text, text color or background color, simply left click on the field you want to change and select the available options.
In this example, servo 1 was changed to "ECU" with red background and blue text and Channel 1 was changed to "Throttle" with orange background and blue text.
It has the following effect:
I'd recommend to make a sensible use of the colors. Use a family of colors for the flight control and another family for the accessories for example. Each servo output in the family can have a different shade of thhat color. This will help you to immediately recognize what you are doing. Furthermore, I'd recommend you to save a base configuration of the Gigacontrol window when you have finished editing the names and colours. This way, next time you need to create a new model, just upload the base config and you will save a lot of time avoiding to re-create all the allocations.
You can link up to a maximum of 8 receiver outputs to each transmitter channel or function which will allow you to drive up to 8 servos or other devices simultaneously, almost as if you had an 8 way ‘V’ cable connected to the receiver output but with the exception that each servo can be programmed independently.
To assign an output to a function, simply click onto the relevant field with the left mouse button which will turn the field to a green background.
To delete an allocation simply click onto the green field and after acknowledging the following warning message the selection will be cleared.
The field that displays in green can be configured by right clicking on it. Let's do it for the first field re-labeled Throttle/ ECU.
A configuration window will open as followed:
This is where all of the settings for each servo output can be adjusted relative to the control input. Any setting changed must be stored before they become effective.
Note that the servo output index has turned in red color and the channel input index in orange color.
To save your settings, click the ‘Store’ button which is located in the lower right hand corner. If you do not wish to save the changes, click ‘Abort’.
Lets first look at the window located in the top left hand corner:
In this example, as previously explained, servo 1 is now called ECU and is a single servo not expanded through any multi box option. Pulse rate can be changed from 3 ms ( very fast professional servos ) to 30 ms ( slow analog servos ).
The servo failsafe has not been attributed yet.
The servo has not been slowed down. It is important to understand that the slowing option will affect the output ( concerned servo ) not the input ( concerned channel ). If you want to implement a door sequencer function ( to be detailed further down ) the servo slow option here will have no effect on the sequencing and should therefore not be used for this function.
To the right of the servo configuration window, you will see the gyro setup area. Gyro setup will be discussed further down in part 7.
Then you have the servo synchronization window that will be discussed in part 7 as well.
2.6.3. Configuring servo curves
Use the right mouse button to select the output which you wish to configure to access the curve window The servo curve is represented in the diagram shown in the lower part of the window which is pictured above. Initially the servo curve will be a straight line, shown below as an orange line, as if the transmitter function has been highlighted with a background colour, it will be displayed in that colour ( orange here ).
The orange index (2) below the servo curve represents the transmitter channel position and will follow the stick, switch or slider as it is moved. The red index (3) to the left of the servo curve represents the actual servo position as it moves related to the curve shape. To ease the identification of which function/servo is being viewed, both of these bars will be in the same colour as the backgorund colour that was set in the servo mapping screen, as illustrated above. If no colour has been set, the bars will default to green.
To the right of the servo curve there are 5 buttons, labelled, for example, “Move curve“, Invert curve channel and servo, reset curve, assume failsafe, maximum, minimum. They will help in adjusting the servo curve..
Under normal circumstances the servo travel will be a linear function of the channel travel with the neutral point at the centre.
The white area represents 100% of servo throw and the upper and lower red areas are the values which a servo can theoretically travel t,o up to 200%.
Once you have activated the“Move curve“ button using the mouse the whole curve can be raised or lowered by clicking on one of the red points, holding down the mouse button and moving the curve (line) upwards or downwards.
The same effect can be achieved by clicking onto the curve (line) and by using the keyboard’s arrow keys to move it. Using the arrows will achieve a much thinner result and you will need at least 5 clicks of the same arrow to see the curve moving a tiny bit.
In moving the curve you can adjust the middle (neutral) point for each servo.
This option will be partially useful to accurately set-up any function which is driven by two or more separate servos, for example, flaps, airbrakes ailerons or elevators. Servo neutral (middle) position adjusted by moving the curve.
HOWEVER! Every servo is different in as much as how far it can rotate before it will damage itself. IMPORTANT! Always be careful when adjusting the servo curve, in particular when the values are within the red fields. Connect a servo to the receiver when adjusting the curve and always observe the manufacturers.
“Invert curve (channel)“:
By clicking on this button the transmitter function will be reversed, i.e. left stick will produce a right stick reaction from the receiver and the function will be reversed.
“Invert curve (servo)”:
By clicking this button the direction of rotation of the servo will be reversed, and each servo can have its direction changed independently.This function is useful when more than one servo is grouped together to ensure that the linkages can be fitted to the correct side of the servo.
This button will return the curve to the default settings.
“Channel name, minimum, maximum“:
These three values can be left clicked and will have the effect of highlighting the associated curve and show their input/ output value for a given channel position in the upper "channel value/ servo value" box.
Editing "minimum and maximum" is important. This sets the hard stop point of the servo to never exceed. It is especially relevent when using gyros or mixers as these functions could drive the output past the servos limit'
Let's have a look at an example.
Here I have clicked on the "minimum" field (1). This has for effect to turn the lower horizontal hard limit line in bold green ( 2) I can now drag it to the value I want with the mouse. This value shows in the grey "minimum" window (3). Now the lower hard limit for this servo is set at -111%.
The default settings for the servo curves allocates them 5 points which are indicated by the large dots .
Servo curve adjustment points:
The green dots are the points at which the servo curve can be altered by simply clicking onto them (left mouse button) which will cause them to turn red (active) and they can then be moved by dragging them up or down. You can also use the arrow keys to move them ¥£¢¤. In addition to the 5 fixed points, each servo curve for the Master servo of a group or a single servo can have up to 31 adjustment points added to them.
To add an adjustment point, use the right mouse button to click onto one of the smaller dark dots which will ‘active’ it, it will then become an adjustment point which can be tailored as explained in the paragraph above. If you want to reverse the selection, use the right mouse button once again to click onto the Point and it will
revert to a small dark dot.
Each ‘active ‘point can now be moved as required which will allow you to tailor the curve to create, for example, an exponential function to ‘fine tune’ the control response of your model as illustrated below.
Example of a servo curve which will create an exponential movement of the servo
A servo curve which has been tailored to create differential moment which be useful if, for example, you want your ailerons to have move movement up than down to prevent adverse drag.
2.6.4. Configuring the failsafe
The Weatronic system will ignore any Failsafe signals transmitted by your transmitter, This is because we have incorporated our own user-friendly multi-function Failsafe system.
Firstly, set the Failsafe time out value which can be programmed between 100 milliseconds and 1 second. This is done in the receiver configuration tab, under Failsafe timeout window,
In the unlikely event that the receiver looses the transmitter signal, the servos will move to a pre-determined ‘Failsafe’ position or, if no Failsafe position has been set, they will ‘Hold’ where they are.
If no Failsafe position has been set, the system will default to the factory setting. The factory setting is the neutral or middle point for all servos and functions.
Weatronic differentiates between ‘Channel Failsafe’ and ‘Servo Failsafe’. The Channel Failsafe function will apply to all servos linked to that function and Servo Failsafe allows you to programing individual servos allocated to a channel singularly.
You can decide whether you want the servos to hold the position where the last known good signal was received (‘Hold’), or to move to a pre-determined point, for example, tick over for the engine (‘Failsafe’).
To choose one of these options the servo mapping window has to be opened. Within this window you will see a field labelled Failsafe type on the right hand side. In this column you'll find boxes for each channel. Each box should be set to ‘F’ for ‘Failsafe’ or ‘H’for ‘Hold’ by clicking it with the left mouse button.
If you have selected ‘F’ for any function click onto that function with the right mouse to open the Configure servo window. A green dot is visible in the upper bar and by clicking onto this dot with the left mouse button and moving it to the left or right the Failsafe position can be set for that channel . The dot will turn to red to indicate that it has been set. The position of the dot will be displayed in the box to the right of the field both as a percentage and in steps (max.+/- 2048).
The red dot in the upper field shows a Failsafe position of – 90%.
If ‘H’ for hold has been selected, the green dot will not appear as the last known good signal position will automatically be held.
If a group of servos or devices have been allocated to one channel (ECu, 2 and 3, have been linked to channel 1.
By left clicking the field labelled ‘Servo failsafe’ a tick will appear in the box and a red dot can be seen in the right hand column (labelled Failsafe position servo). The desired Failsafe position can now be set by dragging the red dot. This procedure can be applied to all of the remaining servos.
2.6.5. Other basic functions
Copying servo settings
Once you have found the correct setting for one servo, these values can be copied to another servo by using the ‘Copy servo settings’ function. To access this function click on the button located at the bottom of the ‘Servo mapping’ window. In the upper field you can select the servo setting which you want to copy and in the lower field is a list of the servos which the settings can be copied to. Once you have selected the ‘from’ and the ‘to’ servos in the relevant boxes, click ‘OK’ to copy the settings.
Setting the servo voltage ( Gizmo )
The Gizmo series have the ability to let you set the regulator voltage for each servo bank.
To access this function, click on the box situated at the bottom of the servo mapping window and called " servo voltage ".
A choice of two values will be available for each servo bank Either 4.8 V/ 5.9 V or 5.9 V/ 7.4 V depending of your receiver type. When you select a value for a given bank, all the servos in the bank will run on that value. Make sure that all the servo are compatible in case of selecting a voltage of 7,4V for the HV versions.
If you require a servo or function to hold a set position and not to move proportionally with the transmitter function (i.e. for Gyro sensitivity) ‘Fixed value’ must be selected in the ‘Servo mapping’window. This option is at the bottom of the window and if it is click the field will turn to green.
If you right clic the field, a window will open which is similar to the servo configuration window. You can then drag the flat line within this window to set you fixed value.
Saving your servo setting
Every time you alter the servo mapping page, you must store the new setup before you exit te window. In orer to do so, click on the "store" button at the bottom of the page.
Saving your model setting
Similarly, every time you have made changes to your model, I would recommend you to save a new version of the program with the current date emedded into the name. This will allow you to keep a trace of the model setup and revert to a previous setting if necessary.
3. Testing the system
3.1. First functional test via GigaControl
The benefits of using GigaControl with live data
The transmitter page ( Tx configuration tab )
The receiver page ( Rx configuration tab )
The Nav View page and live data function
Checking the servos and lines: the monitor page
3.2. Electrical tests and line isolation ( load shedding ) function
Temperature limits, heat sink and temperature warning
3.3. Workshop range test
Benefits of a workshop test ?
Benefits of using the Nav View live data rather than the LQI data
Setting up your warning limits
Range test function and prolonging
Antenna diagram and redundancy
Transcription of the antenna diagram
3.3. Airfield apron range test
Procedure, live view vs LQI
Validation for flight
3.3. Flight range test
Considerations: short flight, short distance, beeps monitoring, live data monitoring by helper.
Post flight data analysis for the first flights with the help of the GPS.
4. Live flight and performance monitoring
Interest of live data monitoring.
4.1. Setting up the warnings
Editing the receiver and transmitter configuration pages.
4.2. Monitoring the system: LED vs audio
Tx LED function
LED blinking codes
Audio file philosophy: beeps vs voice
Beep codes: high pitch vs low pitch
Beep codes training: range test
The voice file installation
The sensors page
Switch assignment in V2.63: speed mode, altitude mode, position mode, quiet mode
Keep it simple
4.3. Live data monitoring in Nav View
Usage by spotter
Practical case: the maiden and first test flights
5. Data logging and post flight processing
Interest of post flight data analysis and logging on the long term
Flight log example
5.1. Memory card recording: formatting
5.2. What slot to use in case of a 12-22R
5.3. How to transfer the file and naming
5.4. Reading the file in Giga Control
5.5. Data analysis
5.5.1. Configuring the windows in NavView
5.5.2. Isolating the flight data
5.5.3. Frame rates vs RSSI
5.5.4. Rx status codes
5.5.5. Event analyzing
5.5.6. Loss of Tx datalink
6. System monitoring
Initial RSSI logging and evolution monitoring
Servos monitoring: current consumption
7. Advanced programming
7.1. Using the Gyros
The gyros used by Weatronic are very decent units that are fast and sensitive enough for most uses, especially with jets models.
7.1.1. Assigning the gyros per axis
It is important to understand that the gyros have a fixed direction along the receiver casing. The Gizmo was designed to be put into relatively narrow fuselages along its length. As a result , the direction along the length is predefined as gyro 1
If your receiver is placed so that its length is along the fuselage axis, then gyro 1 would be assigned to the roll axis, gyro 2 to the pitch axis and gyro 3 to the yaw axis.
On a standard model with this receiver position, gyro 1 would be programmed on 1 or 2 aileron servos ( 1 servo is usually enough ), gyro 2 on both elevator servos and gyro 3 on the nose wheel steering ( if stabilization is required during taxi ) or rudder ( if stabilization is required in flight ).
On a delta wing model like the Rafale or Mirage 2000 with the same receiver position, both tailerons would have both gyros 1 and 2 assigned. Gyro 1 would take care of the roll damping and gyro 2 of the pitch damping. Gyros actions would be reversed for taileron 1 and taileron 2.
Here is an example of gyro assignement on a F-18F
Select the servo output you want to assign ( here elevator 1 )
1, On the servo curve wiindow, select gyro 2 ( choice of no gyro, gyro 1, gyro 2, gyro 3, external inputs )
2, Select normal operations ( coice of normal operations, heading lock, normal/ hdg lock )
3, Select invert direction or not and Alt. sensitivity ( altered ) then select fixed value ( choice of fixed value or a specific channel to set the value )
- select sens gyro 1. The horizontal green gyro line will turn bold.
- Drag it to match the value you want, The value will show in the grey "Sens gyro 1" window.
7.1.2. Verifying the correct way of action
Once the gyro has been activated, it is EXTREMELY important to verify the correct way of action of the gyro. For the pitch axis, place the model on the ground on its wheels. Grab the tail and rapidly pitch the model up. You should the the elevator moving down to create a pitch down effect. If not, invert the gyro direction as shown above and try again.
For the roll axis have two people hold the plane from the nose and tail and bank the model towrds one direction. The ailerons should counter that roll effect. If not invert the gyro directions and try again.
7.1.3. Adjusting the gain: fixed vs variable
The gyros gain is a very important parameter. This will influence the stability of the model. If the gain is set very high, the model will be very stable but the maneuverabilty will decrease. Each time a servo is moving to get the plane to maneuver, the gyro will fight this action and try to keep the model straight. Furthermore a very high gain can make the gyro create a servo oscillation that can produce flutter. Here is an example shown on this in-flight video footage.
Have a look at the ailerons on high speed passes. The gain was clearly too high on that flight.
F-18F and B300F from Oli Ni on Vimeo.
Therefore it is important to be able to change the gyro gain on the first test flights ( ie to assign it to a switch ) and later on to have a dynamic gain control ( the gain reduces asa the flight control deflects ).
I will explain below how to set his up.
7.1.4. Adjusting the gain: dynamic gain
The idea here is to change the sensitivity of the gyro thanks to another channel. You could, for example, assign the gyro gain to a rotating knob and optimize the gain in flight for a given configuration.
To do so, just change the value in the window showing "fixed rate" by any channel you want ( 1 in the example below).
The next step is to get the gain to vary according to the same channel value. What is the benefits of this? Well you can get a specific damping value for each deflection of the channel. For example, you could get a higher damping value around the servo neutral position to get a high stability when not touching the controls, and then a lower damping value when moving the controls to increase maneuverability.
Here is how to proceed. In the example below, I have assigned the altered sensitivity to the elevator channel (1), Now the gyro flat curve has changed to a diagonal paralleling the elevator curve. I can now move the curve by selecting "gyro sens 1" (2) then "move curve" (3) and dragging the curve as i want (4). In this example, when the elevator channel is at -100%, the gyro gain is at -140%.
When the channel value is at +100%, the gyro gain is at +51%.
The next step is now to make the gyro sensitive around neutral and non sensitive when the channel is moved.
For this, we will need to drag the left side of the curve to a low value by hitting the "move curve" button (1), then dragging that side to -150% (2). Then deselect the "move curve" option (1) and modify the curved points by dragging them with a left mouse click. In the example below, I have increased the top gain in neutral to +45%, +50%, +45% (3) and then returned the curve to -150% (4)
7.1.5. Flight test validation
Increase the gain step by step starting from -25%
Up to +70%: manageable
7.1.6. Preflight procedure
Verify the gyro function and correction way before each flight day.
The variable gain philosophy: safer
7.2. Using the mixers
Radio mixers vs receiver mixers
Assignment: using colours
Fixed value adding
7.3. Synchronizing several servos on the same control
7.4. The sequencer function