This feature is firmware versions 4.0 and higher. In Copter versions before 4.0 similar functions were implemented using the CHx_OPT parameters. See Auxiliary Function Switches (3.6 and earlier) page.
This page describes how to set up additional features which can be invoked from the transmitter’s auxiliary function switches or from external buttons.
Configuring which transmitter channel is used¶
Any RC input channel can be assigned any auxiliary function. However, the RC channel should not be used by any other function, such as flight mode selection or flight controls. By default, channels 1-4 are used for flight controls, channel 8 is used for flight modes in Plane and Rover, as is channel 5 in Copter.
Assigning the Feature¶
The RCx_OPTION parameters control these features. For example, the RC7_OPTION parameter controls which feature is assigned to RC input 7. Each RC channel has its own RCx_OPTION parameter that can be accessed in the full parameter list.
|RCx_OPTION value||Feature Description||Copter||Plane||Rover|
|0||Do Nothing (Default)||X||X||X|
|3||SIMPLE mode (Copter)||X|
|23||Parachute 3 Pos Switch||X|
|24||Reset Auto Mission to start||X||X||X|
|25||Attitude Controller FF||X|
|26||Attitude Controller AccLim||X|
|28||Relay 1 On/off||X||X||X|
|30||Lost Vehicle Sound||X||X||X|
|31||Motor Emergency Stop||X||X||X|
|34||Relay 2 On/Off||X||X||X|
|35||Relay 3 On/Off||X||X||X|
|36||Relay 4 On/Off||X||X||X|
|38||ADSB Avoidance Enable||X|
|41||Arm Disarm (4.1 and before)||X||X||X|
|46||RC Override Enable||X||X||X|
|47||Rsvd for custom function||X|
|48||Rsvd for custom function||X|
|49||Rsvd for custom function||X|
|59||SIMPLE mode (Rover)||X|
|61||ZIGZAG mode - Save Waypts||X|
|66||Relay 5 On/Off||X||X||X|
|67||Relay 6 On/Off||X||X||X|
|74||Sailboat Motor 3Pos Sw||X|
|75||Surface Tracking Up/Down||X|
|79||RunCam OSD Control||X||X||X|
|82||Q_Assist 3Pos Sw||X|
|84||AIRMODE(not a flight mode)||X||X|
|86||Non Auto Terrain Follow Disable||x|
|87||CROW Mode Switch||X|
|90||EKF Position Source||X||X||X|
|91||Airspeed Ratio Calibrate||X|
|97||WindVane home dir offset||X|
|102||Camera Mode Toggle||X||X||X|
|105||GPS Disable Yaw (testing only!)||X||X||X|
|106||Disable Airspeed Use||X||X||X|
|152||SIMPLE mode heading reset||X|
|153||ARM/DISARM (4.2 and higher)||X||X||X|
|154||ARM/DISARM with AIRMODE on||X||X|
|155||TRIM RC/SERVO Save||X||X|
|156||TORQEEDO Error Clear||X|
|157||Force FBWA Long FS Action||X|
|159||Force Flying State||X|
|161||Turbine Start (Heli)||X|
Intended as continuous PWM range control inputs:
|RCx_OPTION value||Feature Description||Copter||Plane||Rover|
|211||Walking Robot Height||X|
|300-307||Scripting RC channels||X||X||X|
Description of Features¶
in descriptions below, LOW and HIGH for a channel refers to PWM <1200us and >1800us, respectively.
Any feature ending with “mode” provides the ability to switch the vehicle into that mode by setting the RC channel to high. You can have multiple “mode” option switches and more than one can be high at a time. The last “mode” change switch will determine the current mode, as well as any change of the normal mode switch.
For example, if you have a “LOITER mode” switch active and then an “AUTO mode” switch is switched high, the mode will change to AUTO. Changing the normal flight mode switch will again change the mode to the new flight mode setting, even though both RCx_OPTION mode switches are high. Lowering an active RCx_OPTION mode switch back to low, will return the flight mode to whatever is set on the flight mode channel, but only if the current mode matches the mode set by that switch. Otherwise, it will have no effect.
Copter and Rover mode changes are not guaranteed. They may be denied if the conditions required for that mode are not met. For example, changing to LOITER mode in Copter would fail if GPS lock is not active, whereas Plane will always change to the demanded mode and operate as best as it can.
If mapped to a three-position switch then the SUPERSIMPLE mode function will allow SUPERSIMPLE and SIMPLE modes to be enabled using the high and middle switch positions, respectively (a two-position switch will enable/disable SUPERSIMPLE mode only). See here for more details .
Other functions are:
Vehicle will flip on its roll or pitch axis depending upon the pilot’s roll and pitch stick position. See Flip Mode .
|Save Waypoint||Save the current location (including altitude) as a waypoint in the mission. If in AUTO mode no waypoint will be saved, instead the vehicle will RTL|
Camera shutter will be activated. See more details here.
RangeFinder is disabled when switch is in low position, enabled when in high position.
|Fence||Fence is disabled when switch is in low position, enabled when it high position.|
Turn on automatic leveling in the ACRO flight mode.
Turn on the crop sprayer when switch is pulled high.
Operates the gripper. Switch pulled low releases the gripper, high closes or grabs.
Enables the automatic release of the parachute (this does not immediately trigger the release).
Immediately triggers the release of the parachute as long as the vehicle is not landed or too low.
Switch pulled low disables the parachute. Switch in middle enables the parachute for automatic release. Switch pulled high triggers release of the parachute as long as vehicle is not landed or too low.
Reset AUTO to run the first mission command in the command list.
|AttCon Feed Forward||Turns on/off attitude controllers feed forward. For developers only.|
|AttCon Accel Limits||Turns on/off attitude controller acceleration limits. For developers only.|
Move the camera mount to its retracted position.
|Relay 1 On/Off||
Switch pulled low turns off the first relay, pulled high turns on the first relay.
Deploys or Retracts Landing Gear
|Lost Vehicle Alarm||
Plays the lost copter alarm though the buzzer
|Emergency Stop Motors||
Stops motors immediately (video)
Motor Interlock controls the way the heliRSC (motor throttle control) output is generated in Traditional Helicopters and HeliQuads. If > 1200us, it enables the Motor Interlock function, below it is disabled. When <1200us, it is similar to what is sometimes referred to as Throttle Hold in RC Helicopter terminology for Traditional Helicopters and HeliQuads. For Mulit-copters, it is used as a motor stop function when <1200us. (video).
Invokes the Brake flight mode when switch goes high. Bringing switch back to low will return the vehicle to the mode indicated by the ch5 flight mode switch.
Switch pulled low turns off the second relay, pulled high turns on the second relay.
Switch pulled low turns off the third relay, pulled high turns on the third relay.
Switch pulled low turns off the fourth relay, pulled high turns on the fourth relay.
Invokes the Throw flight mode when switch goes high. Bringing switch back to low will return the vehicle to the mode indicated by the ch5 flight mode switch.
When switch is high, ADSB avoidance (avoidance of manned aircraft) is enabled, otherwise it’s disabled
Turns on/off Precision Loiter. I.e. holding position above a target in Loiter mode using IR-Lock sensor.
|Arm/Disarm(4.1 and earlier)||
Arms the vehicle if the switch goes high (subject to arming checks). Disarms the vehicle if brought low.
Enabling inverted flight only changes how ArduPilot stabilizes the vehicle. It will stabilize it with a roll of 180 degrees from normal whenever inverted flight is enabled in a stabilized mode. Unless the vehicle is capable of inverted flight, do NOT use this option.
|RC Override Enable||
This is a 3 position switch which enables (high) or disables (low) the use of RC overrides from the Ground Control Station.
This starts the cruise speed and throttle learning sequence on Rover when switched to high. See Tuning Speed and Throttle .
Clears currently loaded mission waypoints.
Inflight compass offset learning. See Automatic Offset Calibration section of Advanced Compass Setup .
Any high to low, or low to high change on this channel will start a tack with opposite direction to the last tack. See Sailboat Configuration and Setup .
When switched high, forces throttle reverse in Plane for steepening descents. Normally, this is controlled by flight mode via the USE_REV_THRUST parameter. See Automatic Landing for more information on setup of reverse thrust.
Simulates GPS failure by disabling GPS.
|Relay 5 On/Off||
Switch pulled low turns off the third relay, pulled high turns on the fifth relay.
|Relay 6 On/Off||
Switch pulled low turns off the third relay, pulled high turns on the sixth relay.
|Sailboat Motor 3Pos Switch||
This three position switch controls the Sailboat motor. Motor is always used when high, never used when low, and as needed, otherwise.
|Surface Tracking Up/Down||
This three position switch determines if surface tracking via rangefinder is toward the ground (low) or ceiling (high), or disabled, otherwise.
This puts the autopilot control loops into a soft standby mode so that a parallel, redundant autopilot or companion computer can assume control of the vehicle. The PID loops, position, altitude controllers are modified such that the autopilot can smoothly resume control of the vehicle when standby is subsequently disabled. Switching of outputs or other peripherals must be done by external circuitry.
Allows starting and stopping video recording of compatible RunCam cameras. See RunCam Camera Support
|RunCam OSD Control||
Enables control of RunCam cameras OSDs. See RunCam Camera Support
Aligns external Visual Odometry with current autopilot AHRS
Disarm vehicle unconditionally and immediately. Unlike Emergency Stop Motors, which waits for DISARM_DELAY in Copter.
|Q_Assist 3Pos SW||
Low: disable Q_Assist entirely, Middle: Normal Q_Assist operation, High: Q_Assist active at all times. See Assisted Fixed Wing Flight section of Flying a QuadPlane
|ZigZag Mode Auto Enable||
Enable automatic zigzag and sprayer in ZIGZAG mode. See ZigZag Mode
|AIRMODE (not a regular flight mode)||
Enables and disables AIRMODE feature. See AirMode
Mode control for Richenpower Hybrid Power Generator
|Non Auto Terrain Follow Disable||
Disables Terrain Following in CRUISE and FBWB modes
|CROW Mode Switch||
Selects between different CROW aileron operating modes
Enables Soaring function operating modes
Moves tilt motors to upright position and optionally sets pitch for flare when landing Tilt Rotor QuadPlanes. Middle: Pilot retains pitch control during flare. High: Pitch set to LAND_PITCH_CD.
|EKF Position Source||
Allows switching between up to three source sets manually for EKF3 (only). See GPS / Non-GPS Transitions
|Airspeed Ratio Calibrate||
Activates calibration of airspeed ratio in flight. Best results occur while executing course changes over 360 degrees over time, as in LOITER mode. See Calibrating an Airspeed Sensor.
Allows reading up to a 6 position switch for controlling Video Transmitter Power. See Video Transmitter Support.
Enables FBWA taildragger takeoff mode holding elevator and tail on ground until airspeed is reached
Forces mode switch to be re-read.
|WindVane home direction offset||
This is a continuous input channel providing a -45 to +45 degree offset the initial wind direction when using WNDVN_TYPE = 2.
|Camera Mode Toggle||
Toggle camera mode (Photo/Video/etc.). Ideally, should be momentary switch since only low to high transitions toggle the camera mode. Used only with Solo gimbals presently.
|GPS Disable Yaw||
Disables yaw for testing (advanced users only!)
|Disable Airspeed Use||
Forces Airspeed Use to be disabled for testing in the air.
Allows tuning without entering AUTOTUNE mode. ie place vehicle in LOITER/AUTO with stick mixing enabled, and can autotune while vehicle is loitering by using sticks.
|SIMPLE mode heading reset||
Resets original heading reference to current heading for SIMPLE Mode.
|ARM/DISARM (4.2 and higher)||
Arms the vehicle if the switch goes high (subject to arming checks). Disarms the vehicle unconditionally if brought low.
|ARM/DISARM with AIRMODE on||
Arms the vehicle if the switch goes high (subject to arming checks) with AIRMODE active. Airmode rc option switch can subsequently enable or disable if it is configured. Disarms the vehicle unconditionally if brought low.
|TRIM RC/SERVO Save||
Saves current RC input trim and SERVO output trim for pitch. roll, and yaw in Plane and for Steering in Rover.
|Torqeedo Error Clear||
Clears error condition in Torqeedo motor controller.
|Force FBWA as Long FS Action||
Forces mode change to FBWA in Long FS, overriding the FS_LONG_ACTN parameter value for emergency landings beyond RC control range to prevent normal failasfe action from occurring.
Enables calibration of optical flow parameters.
Disables the landing detection heuristic to prevent false landing detections during a mission or manual flight if sudden Z changes can occur due to wind gusts, etc.
Enables or disables weathervaning in Quadplane VTOL modes.
|Turbine Start (Heli)||
When armed and RSC is idle, the high position signals the helicopter rotor speed governor to ramp the throttle to full and back to idle, which signals the turbine engine ECU to initiate the start sequence. The switch must be set back low and aircraft has to be disarmed to re-enable this feature.
ROLL input channel. (replaces RCMAP)
PITCH input channel. (replaces RCMAP)
THROTTLE input channel. (replaces RCMAP)
YAW input channel. (replaces RCMAP)
This RC channel will drive the output of the MainSail output (
Manual forward motor throttle in QSTABILIZE, QACRO, and QHOVER modes
Controls deployment of Airbrakes
|Walking Robot Height||
Input channel for Walking Robot Height. See Walking Robots.
|Scripting RC channels||
Allows reading a dedicated RC channel for script inputs
Check the channel range¶
The configured feature will be triggered when the auxiliary switch’s pwm value becomes higher than 1800. It will be deactivated when the value falls below 1200.
You can check the pwm value sent from the transmitter when the switch is high and low using the Mission Planner’s Initial Setup >> Mandatory Hardware >> Radio Calibration screen. If it does not climb higher than 1800 or lower than 1200, it is best to adjust the servo end points in the transmitter.