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You Don't Know Quadcopter Acronyms? Look Here

There are lots of Quadcopter and Drone technical terminology and they can be difficult to understand sometimes, most of them you will find are acronyms. Hopefully this Quadcopter glossary will help clear some of the confusions.

Acronyms
Stands For
Explanation
ACC
Accelerometer
A device that measures acceleration forces in a specific direction.
Active Braking

AKA Damping Light. A feature in BLHeli that improve throttle responsiveness.
AH
Altitude hold
A flight mode that maintain height, it uses “BARO” sensor
AIL
Ailerons
Also known as roll
AL
Auto Levelling
A flight mode that allows the copter to stay level. It uses “ACC” sensor
ALT
Altitude
The vertical distance you are from ground
APM
Ardu Pilot Mega
A type of flight controller board
Arducopter

A flight controller firmware software
ARTF
Almost Ready to Fly
An ARTF aircraft package usually includes everything you need to fly, but it requires simple assembly.
AUW
All up weight
Max weight of a copter including LiPo Battery and other parts, ready to fly
BARO
Barometric Altimeter
It measures altitude by using barometric pressure
BEC
Battery Eliminator Circuit
A voltage regulator found in some ESCs. Designed to provide constant 5V voltage for RC equipment such as Flight controller and radio receiver
BNF
Bind and Fly
A BNF plane, helicopter, or quadcopter requires only one thing to fly: a BNF transmitter with enough channels. If you’ve got such a transmitter you are all set! Otherwise you just need to buy one.
Bootloader

Special code stored in non-volatile memory in a microprocessor that can interface with a PC to download a user’s program.
CC3D
CopterControl 3D
A type of flight controller
COG or CG
Center of Gravity
The average location of the weight of a copter. It’s important to make sure the COG of your copter is right in the middle (or close enough)
Crius

A type of flight controller board
DD
Direct Drive
A type of prop designed to go straight on a motor shaft without a gear reduction.
DOF
Degree of Freedom
It give clues as to whats on the “IMU”. For example 6DOF = 3 axis Gyroscope (gyro) + 3 axis acc; 9DOF = 3 axis Gyroscope + 3 axis Accelerometer + 3 axis Magnetometer; 10DOF = same as 9DOF and adds a Barometric Altimeter
Drone

An unmanned aircraft that is guided remotely by a pilot. For military use, these aircraft have weapons and/or surveillance gear. For personal/recreational use, these aircraft often have HD cameras. The term is popular in the media and can be misleading sometimes.
DSM / DSM2 / DSMX
These are proprietary technology of an RC equipment maker, Spectrum, and DSM stands for “Digital Spectrum Modulation”.
DSSS
Direct-Sequence Spread Spectrum
DSM uses Direct-Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) modulation technique. As with other spread spectrum technologies, the transmitted signal takes up more bandwidth than the information signal that modulates the carrier or broadcast frequency. The name ‘spread spectrum’ comes from the fact that the carrier signals occur over the full bandwidth (spectrum) of a device’s transmitting frequency.
EEPROM
Electonically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory
A type of non-volatile memory used in computers and other electronic devices to store small amounts of data that must be saved when power is removed, e.g.,static calibration/reference tables. Unlike bytes in most other kinds of non-volatile memory, individual bytes in a traditional EEPROM can be independently read, erased, and re-written.
ELEV
Elevator
Also known as pitch
EMI
Electromagnetic Interference
EMI is disturbance that affects an electrical circuit due to either electromagnetic induction or electromagnetic radiation emitted from an external source.
ESC
Electronic Speed Control
The ESC is used to convert signal from Flight controller or radio receiver, and apply the right current to the electric motors. It also usually includes a Battery Elimination Circuit (BEC), which provides power for the RC system and other onboard electronics.
FAA
Federal Aviation Administration
An United States Department of Transportation Agency, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of American civil aviation.
FC
Flight Controller
Flight Controller is the brain of your multirotor.
FET
Field-effect transistor
FET is a device which enables us to use one smaller electrical signal to control another bigger one.
FOV
Field of View
A measurement how much environment you can see through a camera lens. Usually measured in degrees.
FPV
First Person View
A technique that uses an onboard FPV camera and wireless connection, to allow a pilot on the ground to see a live stream video while flying, throught a FPV goggle or monitor.
FTDI
Future Technology Devices International
The name of the company that makes the chips. A standard to convert USB to serial communications. Available as a chip for boards that have a USB connector, or in a cable to connected to breakout pins.
GCS
Ground Control Station
Software used to monitor a Flight Controller Board. The OpenPilot GCS for example.
Gimbal

A specialized camera mount which have the ability to rotate and tilt using servos or brushless motors. This allows the camera to stay in the same position, regardless of the drone’s movement, making for a very still and smooth looking image.
GIT

A version control system for software developers.
GPS
Global Positioning System
Used to track movement or hold position at pre-defined coordinates
Ground Effect


GYRO
Gyroscope
Provides the angular velocity around 3 axes of space in degrees. Assists with keeping a quadcopter level and facing the same direction.
HEXA
Hexacopter
A type of multicopter, that has 6 motors, no servos, all motors on same level.
HK
Hobbyking
A famous RC Vendor based in China but with EU, US, AU, RU warehouses as well.
I2C
Inter-Integrated Circuit
A serial bus that allows multiple low speed peripherals, such as sensors, to be connected to a microprocessor.
IMU
Inertial Measurement Unit
A Break Out Board containing sensors that reads and sends data to the flight controller
JST-SH

A type of Connector
Kalman Filter

The algorithm used in Multicopter Flight controllers. It is primarily used to combine accelerometer and gyro data to provide an accurate description of aircraft attitude and movement in real time.
KK
Kaptein Kuk
Multicopter controller by Rolf Bakke
LC FILTER

An LC Filer is a circuit that removes frequencies (noises) from a power supply and smooths / cleans it so the equipment being powered
LIPO
Lithium Polymer Battery
Aka LiPoly. Most used power source for RC Hobby these days because of its high energy storage density-to-weight.
LOS
Line of Sight
When you are flying your aircraft by watching your aircraft directly, you are flying LOS. The way of flying is FPV.
LPF
Low-pass Filter
A technique that filters out high frequency signal
MAG
Magnetometer
An electronic compass – used to let our FC ( Flight Controller ) know which direction it is pointed in, compared to the Earth’s Magnetic field
MegaPirate

a flight controller program software that copies Arducopter
MWC
MultiWii Copter
MultiWii is a general purpose software to control a multirotor RC model. It can use various sensors but was initially developed to support Nintendo Wii console gyroscopes and accelerometers
OCTO
Octocopter
A type of multicopter, that has 8 motors, no servos, all motors on same level.
Oneshot
Oneshot125
A faster way of communication between FC and ESC.
OSD
On Screen Display
A piece of hardware that overlays flight data in text or graphical form over an existing live stream video.
PCB or PWB
Printed Circuit Board
A board with copper traces used to connect various electronic components such as ESCs, Video transmitter LEDs etc.
PID
Proportional Integral Derivative
The three parameters that you can adjust to change the copter’s flight performance. In theory PID is a control loop that attempts to minimize the difference between a measured process value and its desired value by adjusting the control input of a process.
PPM SUM (CPPM)
Pulse Position Modulation
A way of sending sequence of multiple signals down one signal wire
PWM
Pulse Width Modulation
The square-wave signals used in RC control to drive servos and speed controllers.
QUAD
Quadcopter
A type of multicopter that has 4 motors, no servos, all motors on same level.
RC
Radio Control
The foundation of our hobby, it’s also used to refer to the hobby as a whole, radio controlled cars, multirotor, planes boats and more.
RCG
RCGroups
A very popular RC forum
Revo
Revolution
The 3rd generation of OpenPilot Controllers
RF
Radio Frequency
Common frequency bands RC hobby use are 5.8gHz, 2.4gHz, 1.2gHz, 433mHz, 900mHz Not all bands are available in all countries, and some require a HAM (Amateur Radio Operator) license.
RPM
Revolutions Per Minute
the number of times a motor shaft rotates a full cycle in 60 seconds
RSSI
Received Signal Strength Indication
RSSI is a measurement of how good your radio signal is.
RTF
Ready to Fly
Refers to the multicopter you buy has everything you need to start flying. You just open up the packaging, charge and install the batteries, and off you go!
RTH
Return to Home
A GPS feature that when enabled, it returns the aircraft to the “home” position where it took off.
RTL
Return To Launch
Same as RTH.
RUD
Rudder
Also known as yaw
RX
Radio Receiver
A device that receives commands from our radio Transmitter, and sends them directly to the servos or to the Flight Controller.
SBUS

SBUS is a type of serial communication protocols, shared by Futaba and FrSky, that supports up to 18 channels using only one signal cable. Check out this post about different radio signal
SF
Slow fly
Propellers that are designed to go on a motor using a gear reduction to lower prop speed
SimonK

A famous ESC firmware optomised for multirotors
SMA and RP-SMA
Sub-Miniature Version A – Reverse Polarity SMA
Different Connectors for FPV gear.
Throttle

Controls on your radio transmitter, it changes the speed of the motors
TRI
Tricopter
A type of multicopter that has 3 motors, one servo for yaw, all motors on same level
TVL
TV Line
TVL (TV Lines) is basically a measure of how good the FPV camera resolution is. The number is based on how many alternating black and white lines can be displayed in its image horizontally.
TX
Transmitter
A device that sends our commands to the Receiver, controlled by the pilot.
UART
Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter
Serial communication port. A piece of computer hardware that translates data between parallel and serial form.
UAV
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Aircraft without a human pilot onboard. Control is provided by an onboard computer, remote control or combination of both.
UBEC
Universal Battery Elimination Circuit
a DC voltage regulator
VRX
Video Receiver
A device that receives video signal from our video Transmitter, and display the live footage on our FPV goggle or screen.
V-tail

A type of multicopter that has 4 motors, 2 tail motors form a V shape, has no servo
VTX
Video Transmitter
A device that sends video signal to our video receiver, video captured from a on-board camera.
X8

A type of multicopter that has 8 motors and of a shape of X, 4 motors on top, 4 motors at bottom, no servo
XT60

A type of connector
Y4

A type of multicopter that has 4 motors, 2 tail motors one on top of ther other, it looks like a tricopter but has no servo
Y6

A type of multicopter that has 6 motors and of a shape of Y, 3 motors on top, 3 motors at bottom, no servo
Yaw

Flight term used to describe the rotation of a drone around it’s center axis. Controls which direction the quadcopter is facing.
Source OscarLiang.net From blog.geekbuying.com 

Update 11.27
FASST = Futaba Advanced Spread Spectrum Technology

BLHeli = BLHeli is currently the most popular ESC (electronic speed controller) firmware currently used on quadcopters and other multirotors as it works realy well. However not as many people know about the OneShot mode which significantly improves the performance of your mini FPV quadcopter.

DSMR = DSMR technology is exclusive Spektrum 2.4GHz radio control technology that can be used with any type of land-based RC vehicle or boat. Its range and response, particularly in noisy 2.4GHz environments, are superb. Its also backwards compatible with DSM, DSM2 and marine-specific Spektrum receivers.

FHSS = Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum 



Comments

  1. FASST
    BLHeli
    DSMR
    FHSS
    ACCST
    GFSK
    S-FHSS
    DMSS
    AS3X
    AVC
    AVCS

    ReplyDelete
  2. FASST = Futaba Advanced Spread Spectrum Technology

    BLHeli = BLHeli is currently the most popular ESC (electronic speed controller) firmware currently used on quadcopters and other multirotors as it works realy well. However not as many people know about the OneShot mode which significantly improves the performance of your mini FPV quadcopter.

    DSMR technology is exclusive Spektrum 2.4GHz radio control technology that can be used with any type of land-based RC vehicle or boat. Its range and response, particularly in noisy 2.4GHz environments, are superb. Its also backwards compatible with DSM, DSM2 and marine-specific Spektrum receivers.

    FHSS = Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum

    ReplyDelete

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