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3DR Y6 Assembly Manual

Made by: 3DR
Type: Assembly Manual
Category: Drones
Pages: 12
Size: 3.16 MB

 

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Y6

D I Y

K I T S

Thank you for purchasing a 
3DR Y6 DIY Kit! 

These instructions will guide 
you through assembling and 
wiring your new autonomous 
multicopter.

 


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1

CONTENTS

Your 3DR Y6 Kit contains:

Metal nuts (23)

Nylon nuts (8)

5 mm nylon bolts (40)

6 mm steel bolts (12)

25 mm steel bolts (20)

30 mm steel bolts (2)

35 mm steel bolts (3)

11” zip ties (6)

18 mm threaded spacers (12)

19 mm hollow spacers (13)

Thumb nuts (5)

Accessory 

plate

APM plate

Top plate

Co-axial motor 

mounting plates (6)

C-type landing gear 

plates (6)

You will also need:

Black arm (1)

Blue arm (2)

Battery straps (2)

850 Kv motors with 

bullet connectors (6)

Option: 880 Kv motors

10 x 4.7 SF (normal) propellers (1)

10 x 4.7 SFP (pusher) propellers (2)

11 x 4.7 SFP (pusher) propellers (1)

11 x 4.7 SF (normal) propellers (2)

Electronic speed 

controllers (6)

Power module with XT60 

connectors

Deans connectors - male (6)

6-position power 

module cable

 

»

Phillips screwdriver (small)

 

»

5.5 mm (7/32) wrench

 

»

Double-sided foam mounting tape

These instructions require some minor 

soldering. If you’re unfamiliar with 

soldering, our friends at Sparkfun have 

some great tutorials that can get you 

started, including this comic: 

learn.sparkfun.com/curriculum/42

.  

For an example of exactly what you’ll 

be doing for this assembly (soldering 

Deans connectors to ESCs), check out 

this video: 

youtu.be/3LJIQeKuLLU

.

Heat shrink tubing

Bottom plate

 

»

2 mm (5/64) hex wrench

 

»

Soldering equipment

 

»

Blue threadlocking compound

30 mm threaded spacers (8)

Double-adhesive foam mounting squares (4)

Two-wire RC receiver cable

Six-wire RC receiver cable

Motor collets (4)

Power distribution board

 


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2

You may have opted to also receive:

FRAME ASSEMBLY

1

Attach motors to arms

Each arm of your Y6 will have a top motor and a bottom motor attached to the arm using 

co-axial motor mounting plates. To ensure motors are securely bolted to arms, apply a small 

amount of threadlock to each bolt before fastening.   

Threadlocking compound is an important component to ensure your motors remain 

firmly attached! For application tips, check out this video: 

goo.gl/bM3MA.

Attach mounting plates to bottom motors: 
Using two 6 mm steel bolts and one co-axial motor 

mounting plate, fasten motor onto plate as shown. 

Repeat for three of six motors.

Attach

motor

here

Bottom motor assembly

Secure with 

6 mm bolts

Attach top motors to arms:
Insert mounting plate between top motor and 

arm. Make sure motor cables protrude in the 

direction of the end of the arm. 

Fasten motor and plate to arm using two 6 mm 

steel bolts by accessing through the two large 

holes in the bottom of the arm. Repeat for all 

three arms.

Top and bottom motors attached to 

arm with mounting plates

Top motor

Mounting 

plates

Bottom

motor

25 mm 

bolts

19 mm hollow 

spacers

6 mm bolts

Secure mounting plates together:
Place mounting plates with bottom motors       

attached on underside of arm so that the three 

outer holes in the plates align. Insert a 19 mm 

hollow spacer between top and bottom holes; 

thread a 25 mm bolt through spacer and plates. 

Secure with a metal nut. Repeat for all three 

holes on mounting plates. Repeat for all three 

arms.

Micro USB cable

4 mm JP1 

jumper connector
6 mm PPM 

jumper connector

3DR APM 2.6:

Telemetry adapter 

cable

3DR APM 2.6

3DR uBlox GPS+Compass:

3DR uBlox GPS 

board with compass

6-position to 

5-position GPS 

cable

4-position compass 

cable

3DR Radio:

Radios (2)
Antennas (2)
Micro-USB cable
Android OTG cable
Autopilot connectors

 


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3

Attach a threaded collet to the top of each motor using the 

four small screws included with collets. Apply threadlock to 

each screw before fastening. Repeat for all six motors.

Completed motor assembly

3

Attach top and bottom plates to arms

Attach black arm here

Attach top and bottom plates together through the 

four aligning holes near the front ends of the plates as 

shown using a 25 mm bolt, 19 mm hollow spacer, and 

metal nut. 

Top plate

Bottom plate

Attach at four points

25 mm bolt + 19 mm spacer + metal nut

Next attach the arms to the plates. The black arm will 

attach to the narrowest angle of the triangular plates. 

The two blue arms indicate your copter’s front-facing 

direction and will attach to either side of the front of the 

plates.

Place the arm between the two plates so the two holes 

in the arm align with the holes in the plates. Insert a bolt 

into each hole from under the bottom plate and secure 

with nuts above the top plate. For inner holes use 35 mm 

bolts and metal nuts; for outer holes on blue arms use 30 

mm bolts and thumb nuts; for the outer hole on the black 

arm use a 25 mm bolt and metal nut. Insert bolts from 

below the bottom plate so that nuts are attached above 

the top plate.

Attach blue arms here

25 mm bolt + arm + metal nut

Inner holes use:

Outer hole (black arm) use:

35 mm bolt + arm + metal nut

The top and bottom plates will form the main frame of your copter. We’ll attach these plates 

both to each other and to your copter’s arms.

Install motor collets

2

Motor collet assembly

30 mm bolt + arm + thumb nut

Outer holes (blue arms) use:

Thread motor cables through arms:

Thread the cables from the top motors through 

the ends of the arms. You’ll want to distinguish 

between top and bottom motor cables, so use a 

pen or piece of tape to mark the protruding ends of 

the top motor cables before threading the bottom 

motor cables through the arms. 

 


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4

1

POWER WIRING

Place power distribution board

2

Solder Deans connectors to ESCs

The power distribution board (PDB) allocates power to 

your copter’s motors. Place the PDB in the center of 

your copter through the hole in the top plate, resting on 

top of the bottom plate. You may want to experiment 

with the orientation of the board to accommodate all 

necessary wiring.

Electronic speed controllers (ESCs) regulate how much power is applied to each motor. To 

connect the six ESCs to the PDB, you will need to solder the provided Deans connectors to the 

ESCs’ black and red wires.

Add a half-inch length of heat shrink tubing onto 

each ESC red wire and black wire. Solder the 

positive Deans connector plug to the red wire 

and the negative Deans connector plug to the 

black wire. Shrink tubing over connections.

Add heat shrink and align wires to correct plugs.

Deans to ESC:

Negative = Black

Positive = Red

- +

Soldered connectors

4

Assemble legs

For each hole, position spacer between holes; 

secure from each side with nylon bolts. 

Repeat for all three legs.

Attach legs to arms with C-shape facing 

toward motors (to provide clearance for 

propellers on bottom motors). Align the two 

top holes in the leg with the two holes in the 

center of the arm. Insert two 25 mm bolts and 

secure with metal nuts.

Your Y6 has three legs, each comprised of two C-type landing gear pieces. To assemble each 

leg, align the two pieces and attach through four bottom holes using four 18 mm threaded 

spacers and eight 5 mm nylon bolts.

Leg assembly

25 mm bolts

18 mm 

spacers

Metal nuts

5 mm

nylon

bolts

PDB between top and bottom plates

 


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5

PDB

3

Connect motors to ESCs

Starting with the ESC labeled  

, connect the ESC three-wire cable to the corresponding 

position on the PDB pins (M1 - M6 for motors 1 - 6) with orange wire positioned at the top. 

Connect ESC Deans connector to any PDB Deans connector. Note that the order of the ESC 

Deans connectors does not matter, while the ESC three-wires cables must match the 

motor numbers on the PDB pins. Repeat for all motors and ESCs. 

Y6 motor order

4

Connect power module to PDB

Connect power module 6-position cable to the power module 6-position port. Place power 

module in the center of your copter near the PDB. Connect PDB red and black cable (with 

XT60 connector) to power module XT60 connectors.

Motor connected to ESC

Conect each motor to an ESC using bullet connectors. The order of the bullet connectors 

doesn’t matter at this point but will become important later when we set motor directions, 

so make sure you can still access these bullet connectors after assembly is complete. Each 

ESC should connect to only one motor. Label your ESCs by motor number according to the 

diagram below.

Don’t secure the ESCs to the frame until you have confirmed that each motor spins 

in the direction specified in the diagram above (see motor setup instructions at 

copter.ardupilot.com

).

ESC connected to PDB

Deans

Pins

Motor #

labels

#1

Label ESCs by motor 

number; match ESC 

motor number to 

PDB pin number.

Power module with 6-wire cable

 


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6

INSTALL APM

APM plate

Place the GPS module onto the square end of the accessory 

plate with the arrow pointing towards the center of the plate. Use 

double-sided foam tape to secure case to plate.

3

Mount GPS

Accessory plate

1

Mount APM

Place APM 2.6 in the center of the APM plate 

with the arrow on the case facing forward 

(toward wide end). Use four adhesive 

foam squares to secure the bottom of the 

case to the plate (one on each corner). 
Ensure APM and foam squares are firmly 

attached so the position of APM does not shift during flight.
For APM 2.5: Mount APM to the top of the accessory plate.

3DR APM 2.6

Ensure arrow 

on APM points 

forward!

Ensure arrow on 

GPS points forward!

Locate the PDB six-wire cable (multicolored) and the power module six-position cable (red 

and black); thread these cables up through the slots in the APM plate where they can connect 

to APM.

APM plate

Using the four holes shown across, insert a 30 mm 

threaded spacer over each hole and secure from 

below with a 5 mm nylon bolt.

5 mm nylon bolt + 30 mm spacer

The APM plate connects to the ends of the three 35 mm bolts 

securing the inside holes of the arms. Place the three outer holes in 

the APM plate over the exposed 35 mm bolts on the top plate and 

secure with thumb nuts.

APM plate

35 mm bolt + thumb nut

2

Connect APM to power module and PDB

Connect the power module six-position cable 

(red and black) to APM’s PM port. Connect the 

PDB six-wire cable (multicolored) to the APM 

output signal pins (top row). Ensure that the 

individual PDB wires are connected to the 

corresponding APM output signal pins. For 

example, the wire originating in the position 

marked M1 (motor 1) on the PDB must connect 

to APM output signal pin 1.

PDB to APM wiring

APM output 

pin positions

PDB wire 

positions

 


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7

 

 

 

     3DR uBlox GPS with Compass:

      

 

 

     Connect the 6-position to 5-position cable to the GPS  

 

                    

                     6-position port and to the 5-position APM GPS port (use 

 

 

 

     top-entry port not side-entry port). Connect the 4-position  

 

 

 

 

     cable to the GPS 4-position MAG port and to the APM I

2

C port.

3DR Radio air module:
Attach antenna to 3DR Radio air module.  

      

Connect telemetry cable to the air module pins  

 

 

 

 

 

(ensuring that the red wire aligns with the pin    

 

 

 

 

 

marked 5V) and to the APM Telem port.

4

Wire additional components to APM

5

Attach accessory plate to APM plate

Place accessory plate onto the four 30 mm spacers 

protruding from the APM plate, and secure with four 

nylon nuts.

Accessory plate

APM plate

30 mm spacer + nylon nut

GPS without compass: 5 mm nylon bolt + 30 mm spacer + GPS + nylon nut

For GPS without compass: Attach GPS board to four holes 

as shown using four 5 mm nylon bolts, four 30 mm 

spacers, and four nylon nuts.

Radio control (RC) receiver:
To connect an RC receiver to APM, use the six-wire and two-wire cables provided with 

your copter.
Note: APM also supports one-wire PPM connection with supported receivers.  

 

See copter.ardupilot.com for instructions.
Use the six-wire cable to connect the receiver’s signal pins to APM’s input signal pins. 

Use the two-wire cable to connect power and ground pins between APM and the receiver.

APM inputs wiring

APM input pin numbers

Connect six-wire cable to signal pins (top row, “S”).
Connect red wire to power pin (center row, “+”) and 

black wire to ground pin (bottom row, “-”).

Match the correct control channel 

with its corresponding APM input 

signal pin.

6  AUX 2 (OPTIONAL)

5  AUX 1 (MODE SWITCH)

4  YAW / RUDDER

3  THROTTLE

2  PITCH / ELEVATOR

1  ROLL / AILERON

APM Input Signal Pins

 


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8

Now that your Y6 assembly is complete, the following 

steps will get you started configuring your copter.

After selecting the most recent MSI, read the 

safety information and select 

Download

:

Download

Open the downloaded file to run the Mission Planner Setup Wizard. Select the option to 

proceed if prompted with a security warning.

Mission Planner Setup Wizard will 

automatically install the correct device 

drivers.

Device Driver Installation Wizard

Mission Planner Setup Wizard

Launch Mission Planner to explore 

the capabilities of your autonomous 

vehicle! 

Mission Planner will notify you when an update is available; 

please always run the most current version of Mission Planner.

Mission Planner: Update Message

INSTALL SOFTWARE

Mission Planner is free, open-source software providing multiplatform configuration and full-

featured waypoint mission scripting for autonomous vehicles.

To install Mission Planner on your ground station computer (Windows only), visit 

ardupilot.

com/downloads

, select 

Mission Planner

, and select 

sort by date

 (short link: 

goo.gl/Si5grC

). 

Select the 

MissionPlanner - MSI

 (Microsoft installer package). For the same features as 

Mission Planner for Mac, download APM Planner from 

ardupilot.com

.

Mission Planner Downloads Screen

Mission Planner

  

« Downloads

Sort by: 

Title

 | 

Hits

 

 Date

 

MissionPlanner - MSI - 1.2.62

Select MSI to download 

most recent version.

 


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9

Mission Planner: Flight Data Screen

Before flying, complete Mission 

Planner’s configuration utilities, 

including RC (shown below), 

compass, accelerometer, frame 

type, and flight mode calibrations.

Visit 

planner.ardupilot.com

 for 

complete Mission Planner 

instructions.

CALIBRATION

Connect APM to your computer using the provided micro-USB cable. 

Windows will automatically install the correct drivers for APM.

APM USB port

Connect APM to Mission Planner:
1  Select Arduino Mega.
2  Select 115200.
3  Select Connect.

1

2

3

Mission Planner’s mandatory hardware calibration steps allow you to 

program and configure the APM autopilot for your copter.

Now you can connect APM to Mission Planner.

Select 

Initial Setup

Install Firmware

, and 

Quad

 to install flight code firmware onto APM.

On the left side of the Initial Setup screen, select 

Mandatory Hardware

.

 

You will need to 

perform each of the calibration procedures listed under this menu.

Frame Type

: Select your configuration: Plus or X (cross).

Compass

: Select the options to enable the compass, to allow automatic declination, and 

to select your autopilot type. Select

 Live Calibration

 to launch the wizard, and follow the 

prompts.

Accel Calibration

: Check the box for 

AC 3.0+

, select 

Calibrate

, and follow the prompts to 

calibrate the autopilot’s accelerometer. Make sure to wait a couple of seconds before and 

after changing the positions of the copter.

 


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10

MOTORS & PROPELLERS

Safety Check! Ensure writing on props faces up.

COUNTERCLOCKWISE ROTATION:

USE NORMAL PROPELLER

CLOCKWISE ROTATION:

USE PUSHER PROPELLER

The diagram below shows the correct rotation direction for each motor. Before attaching pro-

pellers, test the motors to ensure the motor rotation is correct.

CCW

!

!

CW

CCW

!

!

CW

CCW

!

!

CW

CCW

!

!

CW

Y6 motor order

Blue arms

Remove plastic rings from propeller package, select 

the one with the larger internal diameter, and insert it 

into the back of the propeller hub.

Add propeller to motor collet with writing 

facing up in relation to the sky. This means 

you’ll need to attach props to bottom motors 

upside down! Add the washer and prop nut above 

the propeller; tightly fasten prop nut to threaded collet.

SECURE WIRING

Complete all configuration procedures as described at 

copter.ardupilot.com

 

before attempting your first flight.

Show me! Watch videos demonstrating live calibration techniques at 3DRobotics.com/learn.

Radio Calibration

: Turn on your RC transmitter, select 

Calibrate Radio

, and move all sticks and 

switches to their extreme positions. Select 

Click when Done

 once the red bars are set for all 

available channels.

1. Connection between motor and ESC

2. Switch two wires to reverse motor rotation.

The rotation direction for each motor is determined 

by the connections between the motor and the ESC. 

To reverse the rotation direction for a motor, switch 

two of the three wires connecting the motor and 

the ESC.

Your copter includes normal propellers (unmarked 

or marked “SF”) and pusher propellers (marked 

“SFP” or “P“). Add pusher propellers to motors 

marked clockwise, add normal propellers to motors 

marked counterclockwise. Use 10-inch props for 

top motors and 11-inch props for bottom motors.

Prop nut

Motor

Washer

Collet

Before flying, use zip ties to secure ESCs to the frame.

 


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11

To collapse the legs, remove the bolts and nuts from the inner holes where the legs attach to 

the arms.

Travel position

Flight position

Remove nut and bolt 

from inner hole.

Fold.

FOLDING

Your Y6 can fold for ease of transport. To collapse the blue arms, remove thumb nuts and bolts 

from outer holes, and slide blue arms toward black arm.

Fold.

Remove thumb nuts and 

bolts from outer holes.

Travel position

Flight position

Visit 

copter.ardupilot.com 

to learn about multicopter safety, hardware 

and software configuration, using autonomous flight modes, tuning, 

designing missions with waypoints and events, troubleshooting, and 

more. For customer support, contact us at 

help@3drobotics.com

 or 

call our support line at 

+1 (858) 225-1414 

M-F 8-5 PST. Happy flying!

ESCs and wiring secured with zip ties

Ensure that all wires are secured so they 

will not become entangled in spinning 

propellers, are not too tight around corners 

(no hard 90-180 degree bends), and do not 

pull on the APM or other components.