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🔗 Drone Tip: Changing the Channel Mapping in BetaFlight

I have written about how to buy and build an AcroBee drone but nothing about what it is like to fly one. That is because I appear to completely suck at it. No matter what I did I could not get the drone to behave in the slightest. My brain simply refused to understand how I could possibly control something that moves in a three-dimensional space. I was so bad that I got to the point of blaming the controls and, you can imagine my surprise when, I turned out to be right.

I don't know much about why the controls for a drone are set-up they way they are but one thing felt wrong to me. Why was my throttle mapped to the right stick? For my Taranis X9D Plus the right stick would automatically return to its neutral center position when you released it. The left stick only did this for the left to right direction. Up and down it would stay in the same position. This seemed like the ideal way for the throttle to work because you would want to set it and not have it change when you released the stick.

I decided to use BetaFlight to swap my sticks and see if that let me control my drone any better. My googling lead me to this video upon which I realized that nearly everything about my controller was mapped incorrectly. Not just the throttle but the pitch and yaw as well. It was like I had an Xbox controller where all the sticks and buttons had been randomly swapped. Eventually I may understand what all the controls are but it is far from the ideal way to learn.

After fixing my controls flying instantly felt intuitive. I am still a poor pilot, don't get me wrong, but I am now able to recognize my mistakes and attempt to fix them.