Home > Blog > Quadcopter - DIY Receiver Signal Generator using MSP430 LaunchPad and Nunchuck Analog Stick

Quadcopter - DIY Receiver Signal Generator using MSP430 LaunchPad and Nunchuck Analog Stick

Posted by admin on March 31, 2012


I received my test electronics yesterday, and went to play with them this afternoon.

First issue was: I dont have any Transmitter/Receiver equipment, or batteries. What i do have is lots of old electronics equipment and an MSP430 Launchpad.
So using code written by Rob_G from the 43oh.com forums, the Nunchuck Analog stick i desoldered from the board, an ATX (PC) Power supply, and some cut hard drive ide cables stripped and cut to size, i created my own Receiver Signal Generator. With this i can test the hardware, but also reconfigure my ESC's, or test the MultiWii Software once i added a channel

As always, code and parts in the full post, but first, a video:

The Build:

First i started with an old ATX (PC) Power supply. Old pc's can be found for free if you pick them up. Also contain IDE cables usually, i use those for connecting everything.

Next i took the NunChuck Analog Stick that I desoldered from the sensor board earlier and soldered it to a piece of protoboard. Did not exactly fit, had to cut some tiny pieces of plastic from the bottom, and bend the pins a little. But it will not be used intensively anyway so should be solid enough. Just for quick programming and testing.

Then i added some wires and female headers for the Launchpad connectors. The two outside pins of each Pot (2 on the Nunchuck Analog Stick) should be connected to ground and voltage. If you build this, make sure you connect them right, otherwise control will be reversed. Can be changed in software, or desoldred ofc, but will make things needlessly complicated.
Center Pin of the pots are connected to LaunchPad pin 1.0 (and 1.1 if used) that has ADC (Analog to Digital Converter)

After that I connected Port 1.5 (for 1.0 input) of the launchpad to the signal wire (white) of the ESC, and connected grounds. Port 1.4 is for the second input on port 1.1 if both are used.

If you are paranoid about protecting your micro/launchpad, you might want to add some protection components. But the ESC does a pretty good job itself, so dont think its really necessary.

Just soldered the 3 motor wires to the ESC. Order does not really matter, since you almost always want to reprogram your esc (maybe using the setup described here ; ) , and can change that setting. Otherwise, just change any 2 wires and it will turn in the other direction.

Finally connected the ESC to the Power Supply, and as you see in the video above, things just worked! :)

The Parts:

* MSP430 Launchpad (Farnell or Texas Intruments)

* Nunchuck Analog Stick (desolder from nunchuck. Ebay or local)

* HobbyKing 10A ESC (doh)

* 2000kv Micro Brushless Outrunner (Hobbyking)

* ATX Power Supply (You dont have one?)

The Code:

All credits go to RobG from 43oh.com, but i included the code:



The Schematic:

Basics of msp430 part, but will do for now. Again, by RobG from 43oh.com:


Will add full schematic once i have found a good way to draw them quickly. Tips welcome.


Posted by Sanket khedkar on
sir,i need some detail information about building quadcopter using msp430 launchpad.i have already bought launchpad kit.please suggest me asap!
Posted by Richard Raimondo on
For the schematics and layout, you can use PCB creator that has a free version for both.
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