Cube FPV

BetaFlight 4.2 Setup Checklist

This checklist covers all the procedures and main BetaFlight setting required to set up a new FPV drone. The list here is specific to flight controllers with Betaflight 4.2 firmware installed. Please check your Betaflight version before continuing. If you have a more recent flight controller, you may actually have the newer BetaFlight 4.3 firmware installed instead. 
I use this checklist when setting up all my new drones so I don’t forget any of the steps or settings.
Note: This page is a work in progress and instructional videos will be added to each step in the near future. 

STEP 1: Install all hardware and wire up all electronics. Set your camera angle to approximately 30 degrees.


STEP 2: Open TX / Edge TX set extended limits and disable ADC filter


NOTE: In this guide we will refer to the transmitter software as Open TX. If you are using Edge TX you can just follow the same procedure.

1. Set Extended Limits in Open TX
MODEL MENU –> SETUP MENU and check that Extended Limits (or E-Limits) is enabled.

2. ADC Filter – Check that ADC Filter is disabled in your radio settings.
Navigate to the HARDWARE menu in Open TX, scroll down and uncheck ADC Filter to disable it.
NOTE: The ADC Filter is a radio setting, so it only has to be done once. However, if you update your transmitter firmware you will need to disable it again because it is set to “on” by default.

STEP 3: Check for any wiring problems which may cause short circuits


Use a smoke stopper and connect the battery to it to power the drone. If you don’t have a smoke stopper, then buy one.

The alternative method of using a multimeter is not as safe as using a smoke stopper.
You can use a multimeter and check for continuity between pos and neg on the battery connector connected to your flight controller. If you have soldered a capacitor to the battery pads on the flight controller, there may be a short beep when you connect the multimeter as this capacitor discharges. Swap the multimeter probes over and check neg and pos again. If the multimeter shows no continuity, then you are okay to power the drone from the battery.

If the smoke stopper trips or you get continuity with the multimeter test, DO NOT PROCEED. You have a short and you need to go back and check your wiring, find out why and fix it.

Note: Only use a smoke stopper for this initial test. After this, you should connect the battery directly to the drone. The reason is that later in the setup process you will need to spin up the motors in BetaFlight to test the motor order and direction, and this sometimes can’t be done with a smoke stopper between the battery and the drone.

STEP 4: Connect battery to test power is supplied to all electronics and set VTX power


1. Connect the battery to power up the drone and check that the RX, flight controller, VTX and / or GPS’s  lights are blinking. Use your goggles to check the VTX is transmitting. At this stage all electronic components should be getting power, so If any of the components are not lighting up, go back to your wiring and find the problem.

For DJI VTX setups, bind the air unit to the goggles and set the unit power to 25mw and also turn on over-temp protection. Leave the DJI unit set like this until after the setup process is complete.

2. Ensure your receiver is bound to your transmitter. This is usually indicated by a steady light instead of a flashing one. You can confirm the connection by going to the Telemetry screen in Open TX and scanning for telemetry data to see if any is present. If you can’t bind your receiver to your transmitter, don’t proceed. Fix this problem first.

STEP 5: Do a “Dump All” and “Diff All” to save initial firmware settings


1. Connect the flight controller to a computer with a USB cable and open Betaflight and connect

If this is the first time to connect this flight controller, Betaflight will prompt you to calibrate the gyro. Place the drone on a flat surface and do the calibration process.

2. Doing a “dump all” allows you to save the default settings specific to your flight controller to your computer. “diff all” saves just the settings that are different to BetaFlight default firmware.

Go to the CLI tab in BetaFlight, type “dump all” and hit enter. It may take a while for the process to finish. When it’s done click the “Save to File” button and save a copy to your computer. Do the same with the “diff all” command.

STEP 6: Setup BetaFlight settings for receiver and test functionality


Most receivers will power up when a USB cable is connected to the flight controller. If not then you will also need to power the drone with the Lipo battery. You will need to know which UART (Rx Tx) pads on the flight controller you soldered the receiver to when you installed all the electronics.

1. Connect to BetaFlight and go to the Ports Tab
Enable Serial Rx on whichever UART the receiver is connected to – save and reboot

2. Connect to BetaFlight and go to the Configuration Tab
Receiver Mode – Set to Serial Based Receiver

3. Serial Receiver Provider – Set the Receiver type (CRSF etc depending on your receiver type)
Save and Reboot

4. Connect and go to the Receiver Tab
Turn on your transmitter and check that the bars move correctly as you move the transmitter gimbals.
If not, Check the channel map on the top right of the screen is correct and adjust as needed. Where it says something like “TAER1234”, you can type over the letters to re-order them. Adjust the order of these letters until your sticks are working correctly.

STEP 7: Set end points on your transmitter to suit this particular flight controller


On the Receiver Tab when fully deflecting the sticks, the bars should go from 1000 to 2000
You will almost always need to make adjustments here when setting up a new quad.

1. In OpenTX In the Outputs screen select each channel individually. Tab to move over to the second and third columns and adjust end point values. Or on a Lite Transmitter like the X-Lite, enter each channel’s sub – screen to change settings

Refer to the values shown in the Betaflight Receiver tab as you change the values in Open TX till the values in Betaflight go from 1000 and 2000. If you are not familiar with this procedure it’s beat to watch a video to see how it’s done.

2. Finally, in BetaFlight on the Receiver Tab, on the right hand side of the screen, set the “stick low threshold” to 1010 and the stick high threshold to 1990.

Save and reboot

STEP 8: Set the channel centre points by making adjustments in Open TX on your transmitter


Start with all the sticks on your transmitter centred. In Open TX on the transmitter, go to the Outputs tab. In the first column (subtrim setting) adjust the values for each channel to bring the value for centre point shown in the BetaFlight receiver tab to 1500. For Lite transmitters like the X-Lite enter the sub menu for each channel.


STEP 9: Set-up all flight modes for your transmitter in BetaFlight


Betaflight Modes Tab – Set all the flight modes you wish to use such as arming, horizon, flipover etc. If you are not familiar with this proceedure then watch a video explanation.

Note: If some aux switches you wish to use are not showing in the modes tab, check that you have all 12 channels enabled on the receiver, not just 8. This is usually done through a LUA script on your transmitter.

STEP 10: VTX Option 1: Setup VTX settings in BetaFlight (for an Analog VTX)


1. Betaflight – Ports Tab
For whatever UART the VTX is connected to, select VTX Smart Audio or TRAMP in the peripherals column – save and reboot.
Refer to your VTX documentation to see which protocol your VTX uses.

2. Betaflight – Video Transmitter Tab
Without a battery plugged in to the quad, check basic settings (top right of screen)
VTX Type: Smart Audio or Tramp
Device Ready: Should say “No” (because battery is not plugged in)

3. Setting the VTX Table
Click on the “Go to this page” Link in yellow text at the top of the BetaFlight screen to go to the linked page to copy the latest VTX table to the clipboard. In Betaflight at the bottom of the screen, choose Load from Clipboard.

Then adjust the settings as needed to customise the power levels and save and reboot. It’s a good idea to set the power level to the minimum setting while setting up the quad and then change to the actual setting you nwant to use for flight at the end of the setup process.

After saving, set a desired band and channel in the Selected Mode settings box.

Also select “On until first arm” in the Low Power Disarm section if desired

4. Plug in a battery and confirm it is working and that Device Ready now shows “Yes”

NOTE: If you have a jsn file for VTX setup from the manufacturers website, you can simply do the settings by loading that file.
Betaflight OSD Tab – Set OSD elements and positions.

5. Check that the video format is correct according to what your actual camera is. Tpo do this, put a display element at the bottom of OSD screen and then set it to NTSC. Then look in your goggles. If you see space below that element then the camera is PAL.

Set the position of the rest of the elements on screen as desired. Set timers on right hand side. If using a GPS enable GPS Sats in the OSD list.

Warnings Settings
Set the warnings to “On” then on the right hand side select which warnings to display.
Important warnings to have enabled are listed below
Arming Disabled
Crash Flip Mode
GPS Rescue Disabled
GPS Rescue Unavailable
RC Smoothing Failure
Visual Beeper
Post Flight Statistics
Don’t forget to click “Save and Reboot” when done.

STEP 11: VTX Option 2: Setup VTX settings in BetaFlight (for a DJI VTX)


Connect a LiPo battery to the quad and also power up the DJI Goggles.
1. First go into the settings on the goggles and make sure the unit power is set to 25mw if you haven’t previously done so. This is so the unit doesn’t overheat while we are doing the setup process the bench. You might also consider using a fan to keep it cool.

2. BetaFlight Ports Tab – Set the toggle to active in the Configuration/MSP column for the UART that the air unit wires are soldered to the flight controller.
Save and reboot

3. BetaFlight Config Tab – Scroll down to “Other Features” and check that OSD is enabled. If not then enable it and Save.

4. In the DJI Goggles with air unit powered on, go to Settings – Display – Custom OSD and set to “On”

5. BetaFlight OSD Tab – Select the elements to display on OSD and set their positions.
Check in the goggles that they are in the correct position and save.
I suggest using Battery Average Cell Voltage instead of Battery Voltage.

STEP 12: Check ESC firmware versions – BLHeliS or BLHeli_32 and upgrade if necessary


Refer to your flight controller documentation to see which firmware is being used. 

If you have BLHeli32 all is okay – no need to change anything here. Having BLHeli32 firmware on your ESCs will enable you to do some tuning later if you want to.

If you have BLHeliS ESC firmware, there are 2 Options

Option 1. Leave the ESC firmware as is. This is quite okay and I recommend doing this for the beginner. It just means that you won’t be doing any tuning of the quad. That’s okay because the quad will fly just fine with BLHeliS and default tuning.

Option 2. Upgrade to a 32 bit version of ESC Firmware which has telemetry. This will enable you to do tuning.
To upgrade to 32 bit ESC firmware I suggest JESC which is a paid version or BlueJay which is a free version.

This video shows how to set up JESC Firmware on your ESCs.

STEP 13: Check the motor order and re-map the motors if needed


In the BetaFlight Motors Tab spin up each motor and see which one spins.
Check against the X diagram at the top of the screen to see if they are in the correct order. This diagram shows where Motor 1,2,3 and 4 should be.

If the motors are not in the correct position then refer to the video below to see how to do Motor Resource Re-Mapping.


STEP 14: Check the motor rotation direction and reverse if needed


1. In BetaFlight go to the Motors Tab and with the props off apply some pieces of tape to the motor cans and spin them up to check the direction matches the X diagram at the top of the BetaFlight page. Make a note of which ones are not spinning the correct direction.

2. Use BLHeli configurator software for BlHeliS Firmware or BLHeli software for BLHeli 32 bit Firmware and for each motor that needs its direction changed, reverse as needed and click Write Setup

STEP 15: Check and set the flight controller board alignment


Connect to betaflight and go to the Setup Tab – Check the board alignment by rotating the quad and checking the image on screen rotates the same way.

If it doesn’t, go to the Configuration Tab and then in the Board and Sensor Alignment section, change the settings in the roll, pitch or yaw section 90 degrees at a time to get the quad aligned.

STEP 16: Set GPS settings in BetaFlight


Obviously only needed if you actually soldered a GPS unit to your flight controller during setup.

1. BetaFlight Ports Tab – GPS Settings – Sensor Input Column – select the UART that the GPS is connected to. Next to that set the baud rate to what the manufacturer reccomends, or set to Auto – save and reboot.

2. Go to the Configuration Tab and on the right-hand side at the bottom, enable GPS.
Set the protocol to UBLOX
Enable Auto Baud
Enable Auto Config
Save and reboot.

3. Check that light on GPS is blinking.

4. Re-connect to Betaflight with a battery connected. In Betaflight enable expert mode to show GPS settings tab. Check that the yellow GPS icon at the top of the screen is showing and highlited. 

5. Go to GPS tab and check that some signal from satellites is showing. If this is the first time to use the GPS you may need to leave it on for up to 10 minutes for it to get the initial lock on satellites. Make sure you have clear line of sight to the sky (do it outside). On the GPS tab you should be able to see how many sattelites the GPS is picking up. 

6. On the OSD tab enable any GPS elements you need to display on screen including number of satellites. Check on your goggles and see if the info is showing. The GPS icon will blink until it has aquired about 5 satellites and then it will stay on and show how many satellites are locked. 

If the GPS is not working, go to ports tab and try changing the Baud Rates for the selected GPS UART. Also try changing the UBLOX protocol in the configuration tab to another setting. Try also Auto-baud and auto-config as a last resort. You may also want to try powering the GPS from either 3.3 volts if your FC has a 3.3 volt pad or otherwise from 5 volts. 

STEP 17: Set the arming angle


In BetaFlight – Configuration Tab, on the Right hand side – scroll down to Arming Angle.

For whatever angle you set here, the quad will arm as long as it isn’t at an angle greater than this.

STEP 18: Adjust the gyro update frequency and PID loop frequency if needed


1. BetaFlight – Configuration Tab – In the System Configuration Tab (left hand side) set the Gyro update frequency to 8KHz and PID loop frequency to 8KHz if possible or if not then set them to 4K and 4K
Save and re-boot.

2. Come back to the main configurator window and check the CPU load at the bottom of the screen in the grey box.
Make sure the CPU load is below 50%. If it is over 50% reduce the above settings from 8K to 4K instead.

STEP 19: Set the Dshot Beacon Configuration depending on whether you have a buzzer or not


BetaFlight – Configuration Tab. Dshot Beacon Configuration uses the ESC units to make the motors beep if you don’t have a buzzer.
To set this up you first must habve Dshot enabled. You can then simply enable RX_LOST and RX_SET.

However, if you installed a buzzer when setting up the quad you should disable both of these settings in the Beacon Configuration tab. Instead enable RX_SET in the Beeper Configuration tabe below. Other options in this tab can also be enabled as needed.  

STEP 20: Set and calibrate the battery voltage sensor and Amp sensor


1. BetaFlight Power and Battery Tab – Check that the indicated battery voltage matches what is shown when testing the battery with a multi-meter.

2. If the voltages don’t match then adjust the Scale setting. Click save after each adjustment and re-check.

3. Check the Ampage Meter value (bottom left of screen). If it is showing a high value the ESC might not be outputting current data to the flight controller. On the flight controller, you can tell if there is a lead (referred to as CRT on wiring diagrams) going from the ESC to the flight controller. If there is no current sensing then set the Current Meter Source to NONE. Save and re-boot

STEP 21: Set-up your personal rate profile settings and throttle mid point and expo


1. In BetaFlight got to the PID Tuning Tab – and sub-tab for Rateprofile Settings
If you have your own preferred rates, set them here or if you are a beginner you can just leave these as default.

2. Throttle Mid Point Setting. This setting is used to give a bit more resolution around the hover point. It enables you to find the correct stick position for a stable hover easier. I use the setting below as a start.
Throttle Mid Point: 0.4
Throttle Expo: 0.3

Click Save

STEP 22: Adjust the blackbox logging frequency and mode


In the BlackBox tab, set the blackbox logging frequency to 2 kHz.

Then set the Mode to Gyro_Scaled.

This is the recommended setting if you intend to be looking at blackbox logs in the future for troubleshooting or tuning.

Save and Reboot

STEP 23: Set other miscellaneous BetaFlight checks and settings


1. Configuration Tab – Scroll down to “Other Features” and check that Airmode is enabled (it should be enabled by default).

This keeps the props spinning at zero throttle and therefore aids stability when free falling.

Save and Reboot

2. Setup Tab – calibrate the gyro (if not already done the first time you plugged in the FC).

Set the drone on a flat and level surface and calibrate the gyro.

3. Pid Tuning Tab (1st sub tab – PID Profile Settings). Turn off D-Min and Save.
NOTE: This is not a necessary setting. But if you do this, you must check for hot motors on your first test flight. if the motors are hot to touch after the flight then turn D-Min back on.

STEP 24: Do pre-flight checks


1. With the propellers off, connect the battery and arm the quad. Check that the motors spin-up, but don’t raise the throttle.

Turn the transmitter power button off and check that the motors stop spinning. This checks that the flight controller failsafe is working correctly.

2. Next, with props still removed, arm the quad and try raising the throttle just a little and check the motors spin up slowly. If the motors go crazy and spin up fast, this indicates a problem with motor direction or motor order. Disarm and go back and check this is set up properly.

3. Next attach the props checking the rotation direction of each one.

Stand well away from the quad in an outside location, and arm the quad.

Raise the throttle a little and do a short test hover.
If the quad hovers okay, then it is all set up correctly for flight.

4. Finally, adjust your VTX power setting to what you want for general flight.

STEP 25: Backup BetaFlight settings


In BetaFlight go to the CLI tab, type “diff all” and hit enter.

This will generate a list of all settings you have changed in BetaFlight from the original. It will include any motor-remapping settings also.

The”diff all” you generate and save here will be specific to this quad, and it’s final setting.

Save it somewhere on your computer and name it accordingly.

STEP 26: BLHeli32 Settings and setting up a basic tune (Optional)


From here, if you have 32 bit firmware on your ESCs you may elect to do some adjustments in the BetaFlight settings which relate to 32 bit ESCs. At the same time, you can also put a basic default tune on the quad.

See our BLHeli_32 Setup Guide Here