For all you multirotor fans or pilots our there this might interest you very much. Our friend Alexander Schultz of PitchBitch sent us an email notifying us of an extensive text and video review they did for the DJI Wookong M Autopilot System. Thanks Alexander for sharing your experience and information for the DJI Wookong M system.

Continue through to read the extensive review and watch the vid brought to us by PitchBitch.

Note: Both the text review and video are in German. I do not understand nor read German, but Google Translate automatically translated the text review resulting in a understandable text. Although as noted by Alexander in his email to us, the review with attached pics and video are self-explanatory.

PitchBitch.EU – DJI Wookong M Review / Test / build / Video

Recently we have tested the GAUI 500X Quadrocopter and detailed discussion. It served the now somewhat elderly GAUI GU-344 as a control unit. As an alternative to the GU-344 GAUI wants the future Quadrocopter control system GU-INS offer (Inertial Navigation System). In addition to an outdated system that includes a GPS gyro module and optional telemetry functions. GPS-based multi-rotor controls are mainly for aerial photography and first-person video-Flights (FPV) is interesting. As the GU-INS is not yet available, we have assembled in the price dimension of up to 1.000, – EUR looked around at the competition.

And so we inevitably stumble over the Wookong multi-rotor control unit of the Chinese manufacturer DJI Innovation . I have allowed myself to feel the DJI Wookong M “cult” once on the tooth. In this country the Wookong M outside the multi-rotor scene is still relatively unknown. Very few have ever seen Wookong in use since the system with nearly 900, – € off the price league of many multi-rotor fans plays. Given the price and the occasional exuberant reports on the DJI Wookong M in the mains, my expectations of the system was high. With the result, we derive the same as our new format “PitchBitchTV” one. The approximately 12 minute video of the test, which gives you a detailed overview of the control unit and the software that we include at the end of this review.

Kindly us FEEL TRONIC one DJI M Wookong provided. Feeltronic is the official distributor for Germany DJI Innovation provides and DJI M Wookong a German translation of the English-speaking guide. I recommend checking with the English original pattern , since this is currently being updated. Thus, for example, the functionality of X1 to X3 ports changed recently. DJI holds power in a separate ” mini-site in front “for the DJI Wookong M. There, you should check this site regularly, if your system uses the Wookong.

The big difference for the DJI Wookong M GU-INS is that virtually every available Wookong M multi-rotor system to support tri-Octocopter. In the present state of the GU-INS will only support quadrocopter. In addition, can be configured manually with the M Wookong the engine mixture, ie you are not tied to the manufacturer’s presets. But now we look only at what the supply is all included.

Unboxing / Setup:

The following is included in the Wookong M:

● Central control unit (MC – “Main Controller”)
● Integrated Measurement Unit, IMU (3-axis gyro / speed sensor + barometer)
● GPS Compass Module
● Power Management Unit, in short: PMU
● USB 2.0/3.0 cable
● 10 x 3-pin power / patch cable (note: not suitable for spectrum)
● LED indicator (3 color)
● GPS-fixing (3 lengths, aluminum flake + tapes)

Test Model: 500X GAUI Quadrocopter

As a test model we used was a GAUI 500X frame with BL Scorpion motors (1050KV/400W), 8 “prop, 10A, and small knobs. As a receiver I’ve used a Spektrum AR8000 with satellite. Details of the construction of our GAUI 500X can you test taken. Otto Bauer quite normal model is used. When unpacking the DJI M Wookong I was pleasantly surprised. I have rarely kept as dibasic processed electronic model components in the hand. Although we can not in my view, even for just 900, – EUR expect, but I’ve also seen another. In the network we read different statements with regard to the complexity of system design. How to Hold a persistent rumor that the system was complicated to build. This is utter nonsense and falls into the category of the forum myths.

Although a number of different modules fall into the hands during unpacking, and a first look at the manual reveals many sites that need to be read, but both the building and the software is fairly self-explanatory. Despite this you should read the manual carefully, because it contains many important tips when it comes to optimal positioning of the individual components. What else I noticed in the building, and should be honored by you, you can learn in the following.

Construction / components

The assembly of the modules has cost me more than ten minutes. If you have wired your motors and controllers already, then no further soldering, etc. are essential. The instructions can be found right at the beginning of a detailed diagram, you can see where your, where each plug goes. The system is due to the diagram in the manual and the various connectors true plug and play. Important: Is there together until everything before you sticking any module to your multi-rotor, or permanently fixed. On the GAUI 500X it was because of all the modules pretty closely, and I changed the position of the central control unit multiple times. Ultimately, I placed the receiver and the PMU under the central piece. Since I planned because of the video recordings was under some time pressure, my design wins certainly not a beauty contest (see video test). Ultimately, I’ve only paid attention to the fact that the disturbance-sensitive components such as the IMU and GPS / Compass sensor is positioned optimally.

A Note on the Spectrum / JR users among you: The included 3-pin patch cords are designed to Futaba, ie they do not fit on your spectrum receiver. That is, either you cut the edges of the included cables from easy, it uses common 3-pin Servo-/Gyro-Patchkabel. Including at least 5 pieces of distress, are able to fly the quad. In order for your full functionality of Wookong can use M, you should always 8 channels schedule, at least if you address a gimbal-mounted camera support via the optional gimbal control, and want to use the optional directional control as “Course Lock”. Again, five channels are minimum in order to control the Wookong M.

Where is your central control unit (MC) brings plays no role. The same applies to the Power Management Unit (PMU). With the integrated measurement unit (IMU) and GPS / Compass module programmed it looks different. DJI recommends that platizieren IMU as close to the center of gravity (CG) of the multi-rotor. That is checked in advance where the focus of your quad. The printed side of the IMU must look upward. Skin, the IMU as possible with a nice big mirror tape on the central plate. It does not matter which way the arrow of the IMU, which is printed above, shows. Because the orientation of the IMU is set later in the software. Important is only a parallel orientation of the axes. Unlike the GU-344, the IMU can not even swing by DJI.

The IMU contains a 3-axis gyro and speed sensor, a barometer, which works very well. Thus it is possible the Wookong to keep without the GPS altitude. For indoor flight, this option is very useful. The GPS module also contains a compass that constantly informs the system about the alignment of the quad. 3 different bars in the package are included, which must be bonded to two aluminum mounting pieces. On top of your stick then the Compass GPS unit. Important: The module must match the red arrow to the front at a minimum distance of 10 cm to the motors are mounted (preferred), otherwise it may cause interference to GPS reception or lead to resonances. The three thin rod attached to win, unfortunately, no rupture test competition. They are quite thin and prone to vibration.

As long as the rod does not break, should the principle be straightforward, but if your speed flying over sporting or similar thinking, then perhaps you should you worry about a separate holder. The external LED in 3 different colors (red / yellow / blue). Depending on the cruise phase, operating status and GPS signal it emits light from the sky. You should here they fixed so at your multi-rotor, it can be seen well from the ground at any time. The LED just to attach to the back showing how sometimes on a photo by DJI to see is, I think is pretty stupid. Finally, looking at a multi-rotor not only from behind.

Main unit (Main Controller) SetUp

The central control unit MC is the brain of Wookong M. He is a little larger than a standard helicopter stabilization. The small device has a USB 3.0 port, and a status light. The USB cable is included.

You can only access to the MC, if you give the PMU at least 5V to the system. You should always, the system only via the PMU “live” set. Because sometimes not everyone adheres. But that you should, otherwise very “warm” to your controller around can be.

If you are in front of the box, then the connections are left to the recipient for (A) ile, (e) lev (T) and hro (R) udder. There follow U, X1, X2 and X3. About the “U” channel of the different flight phases are switched. To change the phase of the flight you need a spark with at least one toggle switch. If you for example have only one spectrum DX6, then you can “complications” to use only two stages of flight. I have in my range switch the gyro-DX8 with the Gear channel busy and connected a 3-pin patch cable from the Gear channel of AR8000 with the U-port of the MC. Notice the correct polarity. You can doubt that in the original cables for the precise location of the pen, the notches facing forwards, the servo signal. At different stages of flight that later.

X1 is in the patch cable, which is firmly connected to the PMU. About X1 controls the system including the battery voltage. The original pattern is the indication shows that are cut after the learning phase, the controller adjusts the red, as the Wookong take care of the supply. I have not made it ran anyway.

About X2 using a separate channel, the advanced flight controls are activated or used (eg price fixing). X3 is the pitch control of a gimbal-mounted camera support (gimbal), which can optionally be connected to the Wookong M with up to 2 servos to the MC. This are the intended ports F1 and F1 on the right side of the MC. Using F1 and F2, the Motoren-/Regleranschlüsse M1 to M6 are. To F1 and F2 can optionally be connected motors or their controllers, ie the system up to a maximum of eight engines blended.

At this point, one important note: If your from GAUI GU-344 migrate to then please respect the fact that one of the engines DJI counterclockwise, clockwise GAUI with contrast. At a quadrocopter is thus in the M Wookong front right motor 1 , motor 2 front left , rear left motor 3 and the rear right engine 4. In GAUI motor 2 is back on the right and left front engine 4. If you do not take this into account, then you immediately crashes the quad! Unless your controller already learned, you must not repeat this.

Otherwise, of course, important that your screwed on it according to the different propeller of your multi-rotor setup correctly. Stay tuned for the direction of rotation. If this is not the direction of rotation according to the manual, you must change your brushless with a phase between the controller and motor. If you’re the GAUI 500X already flown accordingly, you have to change anything so far, to change the direction of rotation of the motors is (obviously) nothing. If your you’re sure that each component is seated at the desired location, then you can simply attach all components with mirror tape (eg Scotch) on the frame and center piece. Current is an XT-60 connector that is connected to the PMU, applied to the system. It is supplied with a T-plug-Dean-on-XT-60 connector.

There is more to organize the system to be ignored. As I said, the whole is very slight of hand.

Software configuration / adjustments

The software configuration of M Wookong you must download and install from the Internet. For this you need either Windows 7 or Windows XP with Service Pack 3rd MacOS and other systems are not supported. Previously, you must have the 32 – or 64-bit install drivers for the M Wookong. I have the 64bit driver and the assistant software v1.2 installed on a Windows 7 64Bit system. This worked without problems. Reason that no software should be included, that the DJI to a constantly updated firmware and software, and secondly, that a compulsory registration over the Internet before the first use of software has to be done. The activation is required only once at the beginning. The software can be run in either English or Chinese. If you you’re unsure, have a look at the German translation of FEEL TRONIC.

After successful registration, the software when the Internet connection will automatically check the latest firmware is installed on the MC. Access to the MC via USB is only possible when power is on the system (ie the PMU). The firmware update went through smoothly. For the test I have updated the Wookong M to the latest firmware 5.02. It can be played depending on the version of their software assistance, and another version of the firmware. A Onigramm on the manufacturer’s website can be found to fit the software to which firmware. The very old software assistants are no longer available.

Mix motors

Next it goes to the basic configuration of the quad. You can see the whole thing very well in the video review, where I am for you all menu items once gone through, and will show you using the DX8, how to configure the different flight phases. In the menu item “Mixer motor “the engine mixture is adjusted correctly. Since I Wookong M on a GAUI 500X have placed, I have quad rotor X selected preset. There are presets from tri-to Octocopter. Customizing via the mixer can also be given their own values. Important: Check out the rotation direction of your rotors according to the requirements of DJI. In the 500X Quad GAUI must – as mentioned above – as far as anything to be changed, since the rotational direction coincides with the quad-rotor motors X-preset. If incorrect direction of rotation should not simply replace a phase between the controller and brushless motor. Furthermore recommends DJI, remove the propeller to configure, should the Quad unexpectedly accelerate. For me it has never happened.

IMU alignment

Under the menu item “mounting” is set as the first alignment of the IMU. Next, you must live in centimeters (cm), removing both enter the IMU and the GPS / compass unit of gravity. I honestly only estimated “gross” and the system has completed the flight test anyway without objection. If in doubt, but you should work with a slide caliper to get the maximum. Please keep in mind that can shift with the focus of your payload, not yet existing multi-rotor. Correspondingly, the distances in the software will be reset again.

Transmitter Calibration

Another important point in the software is “Tx Cali”. As the name already suggests, is here calibrated the remote control. If the calibration of the two clubs was successful verification, then should the slider in the software with the stick at the middle position green. If one of the slides go wrong, then please reverse. For me it was as Elevator (gas type = t-wrote slider moves to the right; Rudder right = R slider moves to the right, Nick / Elev moves to the front = D slider to the right, Aileron right = A slider moves to the right ). When X2 and X3 are used as a channel, then these must be calibrated as well.

Is extremely important once the correct calibration of the selected flight phase switch, with the U -port is connected to the MC. As I connected with the U-channel of AR8000 Gear and this switch on the gyro- DX8 was down there I can in the gyro menu item 3 different values ​​if, in my case were the Pos 0 (=- 39%) for Fail safe, Pos1 (=- 4%) for Atti-fashion, POS3 (= 92.4%) for GPS mode. The calibration I also show in the video. If your spark offers only three phases per switch that you want but use a fourth phase of flight, ie, eg, “Manual”, then another switch are occupied and are mixed according to the instructions in your spark in the channel that contributes to you U to influence the value so that the flight phase jumps in the software. For the test I used only three stages of flight, since I was in primary aim was to test the advertised “auto pilot” functions.

Autopilot, flight phases

Under the menu item “autopilot” in addition to many games can clean the Enhanced “Fail-Safe” can be configured. The choices are “hovering” and “Go Home & Landing”. The Fail-Safe can be triggered in two different ways. Either by a switch (in my example, flight phase 1), alternatively by a loss of signal, you say on such a simple test of your spark. Your support for the latter must always fail-safe receiver. With a range of receiver is the fail-safe configuration when binding through top leave or premature removal of the bind plug (either loss of signal is reset, or the receiver holds the last signal on the channels). Whether you want your recipient to have properly configured accordingly in case of loss of signal, you can find out by your simple off your transmitter, and see what happens in the software below TX-Cali. If the MC is connected to the software should be in case of loss of signal jump of U-port valve to a “fail-safe” area.

The “controlled” Fail-Safe with GPS as the flight phase is useful if you lose control, or simply did not want to land yourself. Provided for the GPS sensor provides satellite are available (it must at least 6 units to be = LED flashes blue), the quad line up immediately independently, at a distance above the ground from 20 meters to climb or fall, and the starting point to fly back shortly hover above the starting point, and then automatically end up exactly on the meter. You can change by the cruise phase to “Atti” or “Manual” to take back control at all times. If during flight the signal of the U-Port go (for whatever reason) lost, ie even when the signal loss, then the quad is in choosing the “hover” Fail-Safe automatically for landing at the point where he is currently located. In the “controlled” fail-safe, ie your own triggered the fail-safe, and we still have a signal to “U”, then the quad would simply float just at the point where he finds himself. This is handy to loss of control in flight at the Quad intercept. InSb. FPV pilots for these options should be interesting.

Depending on the size of your multi-rotor, it may be necessary for you to the autopilot gain parameters have to play around. The default settings for the fit wonderfully GAUI 500X, which means I have no need to change. If you notice that your multi-rotor rotates continuously in one direction or drift (please test with no wind or indoors), then the gain may be set too sensitive. DJI is recommended to go down in 10-15% increments and then to re-examine the true sensitivity. With “yaw” (inertia) you can increase the response of MC to reduce your stick commands /. Should you overdo it, the quad will be unstable, because the value has direct effect on the control of the motors. Whether the “Vertical Gain” (vertical) is correct, you can find out by your gas left stick (Mode 2) in the middle and moved straight on a flight makes about Nick. In the “Attila” fashion of the quad should then “snap” to the selected height. If you have problems so far, then you should increase the gain a little (max. in 10% increments).

Attitude also has two sensitivity values. This means that if you the “autopilot” is slow to respond to rising gas, then you can change this value. The higher the value, the more crisp the autopilot respond to your input, ie the reaction takes place immediately after or with the control input commands (feels like EXPO at the spark). If the value is too high, then the multi-rotor is rigid at low setting to get the autopilot problems with keeping the height or the “slowing down” the multi-rotor.

If you want the values ​​during the flight and do not always adjust the software, then you can ensure the multi-function ports X2 and X3 using the MC, ie, X2 and X3 may each have a channel of your transmitter and receiver to be addressed, and the GAIN to influence values. DJI recommends the “Advanced Parameters” the finger to be. An adaptation of this parameter is required only for failed multi-rotor systems.

X2 is also still the “smart” Orientierungs-/Flugrichtungskontrolle. This is a feature which was released recently as a firmware upgrade. A proof that constantly expands the capabilities of the DJI Wookong M. Sun X1 X2 can optionally as a three-phase switch or assigned to a channel (Orientation Control “off”, “Course Lock” and “Home Lock”). The calibration functions exactly like the flight mode. What is good? Normally this flight direction “forward” the approach adopted by the nose of your multi-rotor. If your “intelligent orientation control” triggers, then it ultimately does not matter which direction your nose.

There are two modes of orientation for the autopilot: First Course Lock, on the other Home Lock. Render your course as before at the MC-Lock, where the multi-rotor “front” should be. If you then “forward” flies, the multi-rotor should now fly in the direction that you have selected as the “front”. The autopilot control orientation that is especially useful for tracking shots. Stick the respective commands for the locks are the latest English original pattern of the Wookong mini-site to see. This point alone covers nearly four pages in the manual. So you can play around a lot.

Gimbal Control

The menu item gimbal is interesting to those of you who want to control a gimbal-mounted camera support (gimbal) with 1 or 2 servos for aerial photography. The purpose of the gimbal control is to move the camera carrier in two directions and balance depends on the degree of inclination of the multi-rotor or moving the camera in a certain direction. The servos are connected to F1 and F2 of the MC.

If your using a gimbal, then you have the option to “on” Activate. Next, the servo travel are set so that the camera reached stand straight at the multi-rotor, the optimum position. When flying then the gimbal control the camera holds regardless of the quad position the corresponding position. If you, the sensitivity is too high or not high enough (depending on flying style), then you can still remember the GAIN (sensitivity) values ​​play around.

With the X3, the first appearance was at the M Wookong unoccupied, you can via another channel , the influence of inclination angle of the camera carrier (eg AUX3 on AR8000 or the knob for the DX8 set). Once your X3 ansprecht, control is controlled manually. The “pitch” value for “Manual Control” will affect how quickly or slowly the camera tends or lifts. . Note: In older firmwares was the manual control of the gimbal via X1, that was not the voltage sensor of the PMU on X1. Since the voltage measurement of the PMU is located at X1, has X3, the function of X1 over. So now, all three X ports used for functions.

Voltage Monitor

Under the last menu item “Voltage” monitor hides the low-voltage protection. So that it works correctly, then the corresponding output patch cable with the PMU of the MC are connected to X1. The PMU has automatically detected for me that I have connected a 3S LiPo. Under “First Level Protection” your to give what make the autopilot Safeguard is: Either the LED indicates that it is getting tight, or the quad switches to auto pilot GPS flight and flew home to land independently. Once Level 2 is reached, goes rapidly downhill. The test ran in a little fast for my taste, but everything remained intact. So this is really a dramatic response of the system in order to complete more quickly under stress to create an emergency landing. The values ​​you can specify your own. I have a 3S LiPo 9.9V or 10.3V on the values ​​(= Last Line of Defense) found me because of the default system reacted for about a minute too soon. With a 3S 2200 mAh 40C LiPo Vapor I’m on a flight time of just under 6 1 / 2 – 7 minutes come with 15-20% residual voltage (depending on flight style).

Flight Test

So much for theory. The first test flight, I have eagerly awaited. Before that you should for safety’s sake calibrate the compass by following the instructions in the manual. The first start should – I’ve done it – to be completed in the Atti-mode (barometers based). An important note: This switches the Wookong the regulator / motors sharp, you’ll have both sticks in ARM-mode at the same time move into one of the four corners. Immediately thereafter remain at 10% gas, because otherwise the engines go out after 2 seconds. Increase before the first take off then to 20% gas and only try once, if the quad with a corresponding entry in the correct direction towards “repressed.” If so far everything looks good, you can enter and withdraw more gas.

For me the start was completely uneventful. In strong winds contributed to the M Wookong GAUI 500X from perfect in the wind. In Atti-mode, the quad visible bowed slightly in the wind, and tried to balance the pressure. Even when turned off the GPS drift was marginal. An up and down pressing the quad had the consequence that the quad is always returned to the altitude, we had him in the “parked”. With the 500X GPS hinzugeschaltetem then stood as if nailed to the air. Slight pressure from below has been acknowledged by one of the engines or the dowries GAUI returned almost exactly to its original position – both high-and moderate position – back. Check out the video, there are some first shots of flying to see in the different modes including fail-safe autopilot flight. Since I did not want to directly GAUI crash at the first test, I initially “pushed” off carefully. Later I did a bit exaggerated and probably brought the 500X to crash.

Once GPS is hooked up to the Wookong GAUI 500X really flew like on rails in the desired direction. Enthusiasm was mainly responsible for the fail-safe initiated with “Return to Home & Landing”. Of course, I had only read the manual properly and not even wondering why the Wookong constantly flew into the air when the fail-safe has been activated. Fearing something was set incorrectly, then I’m off again the fail-safe. The solution was found in the manual: The system is rising – as mentioned above – first to a safe altitude of 20 meters, ie about (regular) tree height. So look, relaxed, if the Wookong gains altitude. After reaching 20 meters flew Wookong back on a rail as the starting point. Ie you wondering where do you start. The Wookong stores the first starting point, and takes this as the “Home” for the fail-safe. After a short persistence on 20 meters, the 500X and gently put controls on the landing. Since I had the engine on “intelligent cut-off” is set in the software, the motor turns the gentle touchdown still slightly and then stood by itself after 3 seconds.

All in all I can say is that I’ve rarely seen a system “ready out of the box”, so the stable – is in the air – and with such a feature. There are other solutions with similar stability, but it requires the most significant training and much, much tinkering / adjusting. Maybe I can even another system for a better future, teach.

Conclusion:

The Wookong M is completely carefree package for ambitious multi-rotor pilots who are looking for a control unit and enormous stability and great functionality. In particular, the gimbal / orientation and advanced control, and the GPS flight, make the M Wookong for filming and camera work interesting. To what extent is the Wookong M for aerobatics, I can not judge. But I think, with the DJI has Wookong M is also a different audience in mind. Due to the fact that the M Wookong quadrocopter is not limited to, the PMU and swallows up to 6-cell LiPo packs with Hexa-/Octocoptern can also be very heavy camera systems are carried in the air. Look at times on some of the spectacular shots of VIMEO Hexa-/Octocoptern-Kamerasystemen from the last time. Often one of the thick pipe sticks out of the GPS-/Compass-Modul Wookong M. In short, the system has potential to become the reference system in the multi-rotor area, on the one hand, what the user friendliness, and secondly, in terms of stability and security. Ultimately you must decide only whether this system is also a nearly 900, – EUR is worth. Professionals who are just looking for a control system for aerial photography, what “works” that can be accessed safely. Much modeling experience or special skills are not needed air. Particular disadvantages I could not discover.

Outlook:

The Wookong M is just the introduction to a new generation of “drones”. With the software extensions WooKong-M View (real-time flight control via Google Maps + flight instruments), WooKong-M Click & Go and Wookong WK-M single point, the VERY ambitious amateur pilot and / or film professionals have spent a lot of money, for example, a keyboard / use joystick control of a specific data link (without regular RC transmitter) to be able to. DJI ultimately constitutes nothing mE on areas beyond the RC hobby scene, as the prices for these additional features are salted.

Pro:

● Support of multi-rotors Tricopter to Octocopter
● High-quality processing of all modules / flexibility in building
● 3 different flight modes (GPS / Atti / Manual)
● Holding altitude (Atti) and / or position (GPS + Atti)
● Fly like on rails (GPS + Atti)
● Temperature insensitivity (no detectable drifts)
● Fail-safe with Return to Home / landing (GPS) or Immediate landing (Atti)
● Autonomous Power Control (2S – 6S LiPo)
● Very bright LED display with status
● Gimbal camera control (Gimbal) / 2 power connectors
● Permanent Firmware-/Softwarepflege by DJI
● Upgradeable for optional accessories
● German Manual of Feeltronic

Cons:

● Price, about 900, – EUR

Important Note: No guarantee of flight-tips / settings from the review. Mistakes / changes are possible, ie in doubt please read instructions and try out yourself!

And here’s the video or the first episode of PitchBitchTV including testing of the DJI Wookong M (about 12 minutes – HD)

PitchBitchTV – Episode 1 – DJI Wookong M Review/ Walkthrough

Source: PitchBitch

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