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I have made a drone using Arduino on my own, but unfortunately, it is unable to fly. What I mean by that is that the motors are working perfectly fine, but even after going above 70%, my drone is still on the ground. In fact, at 77% throttle, my drone just halted right then and there (went straight to 0%). The battery was able to power it again only after 15-20 minutes. Why is all of this happening and how can I get it to fly successfully at lower throttle as well?

Specifications of the Arduino Drone:

  • Total Weight: 1035g
  • Frame: F450 Frame
  • Diagonal Length: 45cm
  • Battery: LiPo Battery - 3S 11.1V, 2200mAh
  • Motors: A2212/10T 1400KV Motors
  • ESC: SimonK 30A ESC
  • Propellers: 1045 Propellers (10inch x 4.5inch pitch propeller)
  • Flight Controller: Arduino Mega 2560
  • Power for Flight Controller: 5V, 2A BEC from ESC
  • Sensors onboard: GY-521, HMC5883L, BMP280
  • Communication Method to Transmitter: Radio Frequency
  • RF Module onboard: nRF24L01 RF Module
  • Heat Sinks attached: Yes (on all 4 ESCs, two 4cm by 4cm heat sinks on each ESC)
  • PDB included: Yes (the bottom plate of frame has a PDB for LiPo battery and ESC)

I would appreciate any help from your side.

Update 1: I did a thrust test using a weighing scale and kept my drone on top of it. Initially, the weight was 0g (as I kept the drone before turning on the machine). I throttled up to 100% while taking a video of what the weighing scale is showing. And later when I checked the video, it showed a maximum of -602g (602g of lift was produced). But unfortunately, as soon as I throttled up high enough, I saw smoke coming from the drone (probably the ESC or battery, not sure). So I immediately got it back to 0% and finally, I am not sure if it did actually reach 100%. Later, I saw that the battery XT60 connector wires which I had soldered to connect to the drone's PDB has melted down. Earlier as well, it had once happened that the positive terminal wire of the battery had got its tip cut off (it was a jumper wire). So maybe this test is inaccurate, but it may give an insight on why my drone is unable to takeoff. Also, I found out that the 1400KV motor is NOT suitable with the 1045 propeller as it can burn out the ESC if used at 100% throttle. To conclude, I will provide another update once I get my 8045 propeller tomorrow and provide the conclusions of the thrust test with that propeller.

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I'd guess that your battery isn't able to output sufficient power, and its voltage dropped to the point where the ESCs cut off.

That might just be because it was nearly empty, or it might just be too small (or to tired) for the current your motors are demanding. The fact that the battery could power it again later implies that it was being pushed harder than its chemistry could handle, then recovered slightly when the load was removed. If you can measure the voltage and current under load, you'll probably see the voltage dropping below 3v per cell at full power and the current approaching the 'C' limit for the battery. A watt-meter is a really handy tool for this sort of issue.

FWIW, that size battery and just one of those motors (with a smaller prop) is a good combination for a fixed wing.

Also, double check that all your motors are blowing air downwards - it's easy to get something reversed.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hey, thanks a lot for the answer. I guess that the drone turned off at 77% because my wire's solder has come off (the one which I did), but it's mostly not a heating problem because the rest of the wire including plastic insulation was perfectly fine. Once resoldered, it was working perfectly fine. I'll attach a voltage sensor and measure the voltage during flight and let you know in some time. I've done some further tests and research and would like you to check the update done in the question. $\endgroup$ Jun 5, 2023 at 12:19

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