My X-UAV Talon Setup

My X-UAV Talon Setup

X-UAV Talon Setup

(I’ve some feedback that some descriptions are a bit vague, so here is version 20150713)

This guide assumes that you have more than basic RC skills,

And that you have a good understanding of APM and Mission Planner.

So, my setup, specific to my Talon and radio, but it might help!

Airframe:X-UAV Talon, with wing extensions.

Power Setup:Turnigy 3548 900 Kv Motor

Turnigy 60 A ESC

Turnigy 8 A UBEC

3DR Power Module

12000 mAh 3S LiPo

12 X 8 APC E prop

Electronics:3DR APM 2.5


3DR Airspeed and Pitot

3DR 915 MHz Telemetry

JR 9X II with FrSky V8JT module

FrSky V8FR II HV Receiver

Basic Wiring:(Radio Specific)


1 Throttle3 1Aileron

2 Aileron12Left Rudder

3 Elevator23Throttle

4 Rudder44Right Rudder

7 Mix Out8Modes


APM power link removed, the one next to the power module connector.

APM powered by Power Module.

Servo side powered by 8 A UBEC (Can be powered by ESCBEC)

3D Robotics Telemetry to TELEM port, if required, I consider it essential.GPS connected.

Basic Radio Setup:

I fly Mode 1, TX configured as straight forward conventional aeroplane, Aileron, Throttle, Rudder, Elevator. (NO V-tail mixing!)

I fly Manual with 45 % Exponential on Aileron and Elevator, Linear on Rudder.I mix AUX2 (Flap) and AUX3, to give me 5 different modes to control the APM.This mix is presented on channel 7 on my RX. More on that later.

The RX failsafe is setup to command APM to AUTO.

Transmitter Setup:


ThrottleNormal+100% -100%

AileronReverse+100% - 100%

ElevatorReverse+100% - 100%

RudderNormal+100% - 100%

GearNormal+100% - 100%

FlapNormal+100% - 100%

AUX2Normal+100% - 50%

AUX3Reverse+110% - 110%

AUX4Normal+100% - 100%

Programmable Mixer:


Point 0-100

Point 1-85

Point 2-67

Point 3-51

Point 4-32

Point 5-13

Point 6-0

Again, this is radio specific.

If your radio has a “Servo Monitor” function, confirm that as you switch through the modes, the servo output on the channel you will use for mode switching, moves smoothly from +100% to -100% throw.

APM Setup:


(Don’t ask…)

Ok, so everything is connected as above.

I’m not going to go into the finest detail, the WIKI explains it much better than I can.

Load ArduPlane firmware onto the APM, and go through the calibration sequence as per the Wizard.

At this point, the Throttle and Aileron controls should work normally, in manual. If not, your radio is different, and those channels need to be reversed.

Connect to Mission Planner, open Config/Tuning, Full Parameter List.

Find and change/confirm the following:








(If your radio is different, play with this setting, this changes the directions of the Vtail mix in APM)


(If this is too small, Talon will struggle to loiter in strong winds)

These are my values in the Basic Tuning Setup

They work for me, but most probably can be improved on.

I try Auto Tune later, still flying with older firmware.

Final Checks:

Confirm that in Manual Mode all controls function as they should.

Up Elevator, both rudders move up, opposite for down.

Left Rudder, left rudder moves down, right rudder moves up, and the opposite for Right rudder.

Or to look at it another way, roll Talon so that one fin is vertical, and see if it behaves like a normal rudder should !

Left Aileron, left aileron moves up, right aileron moves down, and again, opposite for Right Aileron.

In Stabilise mode:

Keeping Talon pitch level, roll it right wing down. Right Aileron goes down, left aileron goes up, and right rudder comes up, left rudder stays neutral, opposite for left wing down.

Think “Coordinated Turn  “

If in a roll, and the nose pitches down, both rudders should show an upwards movement, and if the nose pitches up, both rudders should show a downwards movement.

If this doesn’t work in Stabilise, don’t even think to fly.

Below are just a few links available on the DYI Drones web pages, Forums, and Blogs.

Learn from other peoples’ mistakes, life is too short to make them all, yourself 

Short Checklist and Pre Flight

Are all the servos moving in the correct direction in Manual ?

And in Stabilize ?

Are all the control surfaces mechanically zeroed in Manual ?

Are all the screws and such on the control horns tight and secured with a drop of glue ? (I use UHU POR)

Are you sure the radio calibration was done with all the trims centered ?

Are you sure the Flight Modes have been set up, and you know how to switch them?

Have you checked that the CG is correct ? (Mine is about 10mm back from recommended, use at own risk)

Check the magnetometer calibration by aligning Talon with a prominent feature like a road, on Mission Planner Talon should point in the same direction. Rotate Talon upside down, the direction should remain the same. If you have moved a few hundred Km from where you initially calibrated Talon, you would probably need to re calibrate the magnetometer, think “Declination” !

First Flight

Please connect to Talon with telemetry and a laptop.

Confirm you KNOW your mode switches.

Confirm you have GPS lock.

GET somebody to monitor the laptop for you, and report any warnings

I launch in Manual, full UP elevator trim on the TX, anything from 75% to 100% Throttle.

With the wing extensions I now have on mine, I don’t need as much “up” trim.

Firmly throw Talon LEVEL and HORIZONTAL, and you don’t need to run, even in calm air.

As it climbs, bring the elevator trim back to center.

Climb up to however many Oh Sh1ts you want to be above the ground.

Fly around a bit, to calm your nerves, my Talon can stay up over an hour!

There is a comprehensive section on first flight, tuning, and setup in the Wiki, please read it.

Now that that has been said, I have a very simple test to confirm that all is working, well, hopefully!

If you are at a comfortable height, and Talon positioned in your comfort area, switch it to Loiter, DON’T use “Circle”, it is a failsafe feature…..

Talon HAS to do a perfect circle in Loiter mode, not drifting away.

It might do a “S” figure before establishing the circle.

If Loiter works, Auto and RTL should work.

I usually set my first waypoint in auto missions quite closeby, so I can take back control if Talon doesn’t execute the first waypoint properly.

If at any time you lose GPS lock, ONLY Manual or Stabilise modes will work to bring the plane back, by YOU!

If you are unsure about your chances to do this, if it is too far away, use Circle mode.

Talon will attempt to do circles, but will drift with the wind.

At least you might be able to run, or drive, to get closer to it……..

Landing Talon requires a long, low approach.

I do NOT using the Brake function on the ESC, since the windmilling prop sort of acts like an airbrake.

Good luck!