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Full Text Searchable PDF User Manual
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
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)
mounting plates (6)
C-type landing gear
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)
Power module with XT60
Deans connectors - male (6)
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:
For an example of exactly what you’ll
be doing for this assembly (soldering
Deans connectors to ESCs), check out
Heat shrink tubing
2 mm (5/64) hex wrench
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
You may have opted to also receive:
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:
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.
Bottom motor assembly
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
Top and bottom motors attached to
arm with mounting plates
19 mm hollow
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
Micro USB cable
4 mm JP1
6 mm PPM
3DR APM 2.6:
3DR APM 2.6
3DR uBlox GPS+Compass:
3DR uBlox GPS
board with compass
Android OTG cable
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
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
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
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
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.
Place power distribution board
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
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
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.
25 mm bolts
PDB between top and bottom plates
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
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
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
ESC connected to PDB
Label ESCs by motor
number; match ESC
motor number to
PDB pin number.
Power module with 6-wire cable
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.
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
on APM points
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
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.
35 mm bolt + thumb nut
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
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
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.
Wire additional components to APM
Attach accessory plate to APM plate
Place accessory plate onto the four 30 mm spacers
protruding from the APM plate, and secure with four
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
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
6 AUX 2 (OPTIONAL)
5 AUX 1 (MODE SWITCH)
4 YAW / RUDDER
2 PITCH / ELEVATOR
1 ROLL / AILERON
APM Input Signal Pins
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
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
Device Driver Installation Wizard
Mission Planner Setup Wizard
Launch Mission Planner to explore
the capabilities of your autonomous
Mission Planner will notify you when an update is available;
please always run the most current version of Mission Planner.
Mission Planner: Update Message
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
, and select
sort by date
MissionPlanner - MSI
(Microsoft installer package). For the same features as
Mission Planner for Mac, download APM Planner from
Mission Planner Downloads Screen
MissionPlanner - MSI - 1.2.62
Select MSI to download
most recent version.
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.
complete Mission Planner
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.
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.
to install flight code firmware onto APM.
On the left side of the Initial Setup screen, select
You will need to
perform each of the calibration procedures listed under this menu.
: Select your configuration: Plus or X (cross).
: Select the options to enable the compass, to allow automatic declination, and
to select your autopilot type. Select
to launch the wizard, and follow the
: Check the box for
, 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.
MOTORS & PROPELLERS
Safety Check! Ensure writing on props faces up.
USE NORMAL PROPELLER
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.
Y6 motor order
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.
Complete all configuration procedures as described at
before attempting your first flight.
Show me! Watch videos demonstrating live calibration techniques at 3DRobotics.com/learn.
: Turn on your RC transmitter, select
, and move all sticks and
switches to their extreme positions. Select
Click when Done
once the red bars are set for all
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
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.
Before flying, use zip ties to secure ESCs to the frame.
To collapse the legs, remove the bolts and nuts from the inner holes where the legs attach to
Remove nut and bolt
from inner hole.
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.
Remove thumb nuts and
bolts from outer holes.
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
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.