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How To Build A Quadcopter
With A Pixhawk Flight Controller

Step 1  Step 2  Step 3  Step 4  Step 5-1  Step 5-2  Step 5-3  Step 6  Step 7  Step 8  Step 9-1  Step 9-2  Step 9-3  Step 9-4  Step 10  Step 11  Step 12  Step 13 Maiden Flight!

Step 9: How to Setup and Configure
the Mission Planner Ground Station Part 4

Radio Calibration

We are now ready to do the radio calibration in the Mission Planner setup wizard (below photo). To begin, turn on the radio and then click the CONTINUE button. (At this point the radio transmitter and receiver should already be bound together. If they are not you'll have to go back and redo Step 4.)

Mission Planner Radio Calibration screen 1
Mission Planner Radio Calibration screen 2

Once at the radio calibration screen click CALIBRATE RADIO (above photo). Click OK for the next two small dialogue boxes that appear. Move both sticks on the radio all the way up, down, and to the left and right. The green bars should move up and down and the red lines will indicate the range for throttle, yaw, pitch and roll. In our initial radio setup we set all the auxiliary channels to GEAR, so now turn the GEAR switch on and off a few times so that the range for channels 5 through to 8 are calibrated as well. The radio calibration screen should now look very similar to the photo below.

Mission Planner Radio Calibration screen 3

Your radio calibration results should be in the neighbourhood of the following ranges:

  • Ch1 1160 | 1728
  • Ch2 1215 | 1793
  • Ch3 1099 | 1973
  • Ch4 1054 | 1893
  • Ch5 1053 | 1888
  • Ch6 1470 | 1499
  • Ch7 1052 | 1889
  • Ch8 1052 | 1888

Note: We believe that there is a bug in the Mission Planner software whereby the radio calibration is handled differently on various devices. If your radio calibration numbers seem very low, then you may have to install the Mission Planner on a desktop PC for the calibration and configuration process. We have brought this to the attention of the developers and as far as we know they are working on this situation.

Mission Planner Radio Calibration screen 4

To continue click the CLICK WHEN DONE button. A dialogue box will appear that says, "Ensure all your sticks are centered and the throttle is down", after doing so, click the OK button (above photo). The next dialogue box that displays will give you a list of the channel minimum and maximum values (below photo), when OK is clicked these values will be saved to the on board parameters. Click the NEXT button to move on. Do not click the COMPLETED button or the Mission Planner wizard will take you back through the radio calibration process.

Mission Planner Radio Calibration screen 5

Flight Mode Selection

The Mission Planner software will select the flight modes based on the radio setup. At this stage in our setup and configuration these should all display as STABILIZE (below photo). Click on the SAVE MODES button and then click NEXT. Note: The Pixhawk flight controller can only be armed in the following modes; stabilize, loiter, acro and althold.

Mission Planner Flight Mode Selection

Failsafe Options

By default all the failsafe options are disabled. For now we will leave them as they are and click NEXT. Later, you can come back and set the desired failsafes to enabled.

Mission Planner failsafe options


When enabled the GeoFence settings determine the flight resticted area that the quadcopter or multicopter will be limited to (altitude and radius) and the actions that the vehicle will take if these are violated. For now we will leave this disabled, but it is a good idea to come back and enable this function for the maiden voyage. Click NEXT to continue.

Mission Planner GeoFence options

Finally, we can click FINISH and we are done the Mission Planner setup and configuration.

Mission Planner finished setup and configuration screen