How to setup Betaflight for the first time (Part Two: Configuration)

How to setup Betaflight for the first time (Part Two: Configuration)

Now that you've flashed your Betaflight FC with the latest firmware, it's time to get all the settings right! 

In Part One, which you can read here, I showed you how to Flash your Betaflight board. From here on out we're in the BF GUI, it can be pretty daunting because there are so many things you can change. Often you can get away with leaving most of it all stock, but there are some bare bones things you need to setup so that your drone will fly. I'm going to run you through all the basic settings you need so that you can get out and in the air!

First, connect your quad to betaflight!

You’ll be greeted by the first tab, which is where you can judge your FC orientation.


Setup Tab:



The Setup Tab is funny, because it’s the tab where you do the least amount of setup.

When in this tab, move your drone forward and back, side to side on the desk. The drone graphic will move with your real drone, and you have to make sure the movements are the same. If you’re moving your quad around, and the graphic is doing something different, you can fix that in the Configuration Tab, which I’ll get to later.


Ports Tab:



The Ports Tab is basically for all your accessories. Accessories include things like VTX control, Telemetry, sensors, GPS, and most importantly, your Rx. None of those are vital to getting in the air, apart from your Rx.


You’ll see some options on the left side of the ports table. USB VCP is the port used for the USB connection to BF. Don’t touch that!


UART 1, 2, 3, and 6 are where you enable the accessories you’ve installed.


Physically, UARTs are the ports where these things are soldered to on your FC. So if you soldered your Frsky Rx to an SBUS pad, that SBUS pad is a UART.


You can’t turn on more than one function on each UART.


In order to make your FC listen to your Rx, you need to turn on one of the options in Serial Rx.

Quite often the right one will be enabled when you connect, like in the screenshot, but if not, you either need to find out which UART to enable, or you go through the list until you get feedback in the Radio Tab (Which I will explain later, in Part Three)


For now, you can ignore everything that isn’t Serial Rx.


Always remember to click SAVE AND REBOOT whenever you change something.


Configuration Tab:


This is where the real work gets put in!


Most of this stuff can be left as-is, but I’ll walk you through the bare bones settings to use so you can get in the air!



Mixer: Leave this as it is, but later on you’ll need to make sure your motors are spinning the same direction as the arrows in the picture. I’ll show you that in Part Three as well.


ESC/Motor Features: This is a setting where it pays to know what ESCs you are running. It’s kind of for setting the language that your FC uses to speak to your ESCs. If you bought this gear based off the Ultimate Shopping List blog, or if you bought the ESCs within the last 6 months, then you will most likely have BLHeli_S ESCs. These will come with firmware that understands any of the options here apart from DSHOT1200 and PROSHOT1000. Those two options are what you use if you have BLHeli32 ESCs.


I have selected DSHOT600 for my quad because it uses BLHeli_S ESCs, and I prefer to use that ESC protocol.


The Motor Idle Throttle Value can be left as it is, but sometimes it can be better to raise it to 5.


System Configuration: This is the setting that governs how fast your FC thinks. It comes stock with the Accelerometer, Magnetometer, and Barometer switched to ON, but if you’re flying in acro mode with no stabilization (Which I recommend), then you can turn all three of them off. However, if your graphic quad from the Setup Tab wasn’t working properly, leave the accelerometer on for now.


For the Gyro and PID Loop update frequencies, you want these as high as possible. Why? Just because it's better! Raising these both to 8kHz is best, or even 32kHz if you are using BLHeli32 ESCs. Just be careful of your CPU Usage when doing this. Go as high as possible, but if the little bar at the bottom goes above 25%, it may be too much, so you need to drop them both down. Try keep them the same frequency though.

Board Sensor Alignment: This is where you fix the drone graphic from the Setup Tab. You just have to rotate it until the graphic mimics the drone you’re setting up. Usually you only have to mess with the YAW Degrees option because the FC is pointing the wrong way.


You can just leave all the other settings as they are. Now scroll on down to the next section!



The windows on the right can be ignored.


Receiver: This is where you choose what Rx you’re using so that the FC will listen to it. If you’re using Frsky gear like me, you’ll choose Serial Based Receiver. This option is also what you’ll use for Spektrum, and Crossfire gear.


I have chosen SBUS because that’s the protocol my radio and Rx use to communicate.


Other Features: This is exactly what it appears to be. Other features! The options enabled in the screenshot are not enabled by default, but they’re what I automatically enable when I do my setup. You could also enable telemetry if you have an Rx that uses it, and you have wired it up. Telemetry will let you get info from your FC to your radio, but I don’t personally use it because I get it through OSD. For now, I would just enable what is in the screenshot.


There are other options further down the page, but they’re all for beeper sounds and you don’t need them.


That brings us to the end of Part Two!

Part Three can be read HERE! Part three runs you through setting up your radio controller, arm switch, and the rest of what you need to get flying!


Thanks for reading!




Posted: Wednesday 6 June 2018