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An easy to build quadrocopter with the cheapest hardware available, yet very good flying characteristics.

The first flight:


The gluonpilot quadrocopter is the simplest and cheapest one possible:

  • Motors: 4x KA20-26M
  • ESC: 4x turnigy plush 18A
  • Props: 8x4.5 which I bought at cnc-modellsport. I think it's an american brand (maxxprod), so it must be in a lot of other shops as well. Don't forget the counter-rotating props. Buy some spares as well :-)
  • Battery: 3s 2200mAh
  • Controlling: gluonpilot!

Total weight: 770 grams (including safety bars).

Airframe: 2 aluminium bars with some epoxy plates to keep them together (see frame paragraph for designs).


The compile the code: Delete ahrs_kalman_3x2.c and add ahrs_simple_quaternion.c in MpLab. Add the "ENABLE_QUADROCOPTER" define in Project>Build options>Project>MPLAB C30>Preprocesser macros


Top and bottom frame keep the aluminium tubes together

To build the quadrocopter air frame you need:

  • Aluminium square tubes. The one I used have a width of 10mm and a thickness of 1mm
  • Epoxy or any other strong material

Download top and bottom frame. Download gluonpilot mount.

The propellors should rotate in this fashion:

To reverse to rotation of the propellors, you'll need to swap 2 of the 3 wires towards the brushless motor. The figure shows which motor should be connected to which PWM output. WARNING: make sure only 1 ESC's red wire (5V) is connected to the gluon module. Remove the red wire of the 3 other ESC's. Small differences in supply voltage between the ESC's would negatively effect the workings of the module. Make sure all ESC's are programmed using the same min and max throttle settings.


When you uploaded the quadrocopter-specific firmware on the module, you need to select Quadrocopter mixing. For maximum pitch and roll angles, I suggest something in between 25 and 35 degrees.


Flying a quadrocopter is not easy. Put the module in 'stabilized' mode verify on the ground that everything works as expected: with only a little bit of throttle, move the sticks. The propellors should change speed accordingly.

Start by practicing taking off and landing. Fly about 1 meter high. Give a short boost of throttle before touching the ground to make it land more gently.

Automating your flight!

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