PID Tuning using Transmitter Multiwii

by Oscar

The MultiWii flight control software has the built-in functionality of using an attached LCD for viewing and adjusting PID settings. That would make tuning PID values so much easier without connecting to the computer and use the GUI every time. Even you don’t have a LCD or OLED display, you can still do so by memorizing the steps of tuning the PID gains.

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If you have a potentiometer on your transmitter, you might be also interested to this thread where people discussing the possibility of using that to tune PID values on the field.

There are 2 ways to reconfigure the values:

  • With a GUI running on a computer and a conventional USB connection between the multicopter and the computer.
  • The use of a specific combination of stick movements or potentiometer (with or without a LCD). With this method it is possible to quickly adjust the settings on the field. The LCD is not necessary when you know (and memorize) exactly what you are doing (advanced users only)

Follow these steps to enable and tune your PID settings using transmitter sticks.

Enable functionality in “config.h”

To use a LCD or OLED for configuration, uncomment

#define LCD_CONF

You also need to choose a LCD model by uncommenting the conresponding line. But if you still want to change PID settings using sticks and don’t have a LCD display, uncomment this line instead.

#define LCD_DUMMY

To include setting the aux switches for Aux1 -> Aux4 via display, uncomment this line.

#define LCD_CONF_AUX

If you get error of “program too large” or you do not have channels Aux3 and Aux4, it is possible to given up some unwanted Aux3 and Aux4 controls in config menu.


Navigating the menu and changing values is done either via TX stick combos or via key presses.

Start the Transmitter Stick PID Tuning

Tilt the yaw stick right and tilt the pitch stick forward at the same time. This initializes the LCD (if there is one), the arm LED flashes and the first parameter P is then ready to be configured.

The configuration process will be in this order, Roll P > I > D > Pitch P > I > D > Yaw P > I > D

Notice that Roll and Pitch’s P will be configured at the same time with the same value if you don’t specify pitch P value independently.

In setup mode, tilt the pitch stick back to move to the next PID parameter, tilt pitch stick forward to move back to the last one. The selected parameter can be changed sequentially and the LED blinks each time a new parameter is pointed.

Change parameter value

In setup mode, tilt the roll stick right (increment) or left (decrement), the LED blinks at each change.

  • For the P parameter: the variation is in steps of 0.1, with a minimum value set to 0.
  • For the I parameter: the variation is in steps of 0.005, with a minimum value set to 0.
  • For the D parameter: the variation is in steps of 1, with a maximum value set to 0.

If we “count” operations, we can know the value of the parameter settings without LCD connected..
But we can quickly be lost if we made too many changes.

End of configuration mode

When you have finished tuning, tilt the yaw stick left + tilt the pitch stick forward at the same time. The LED blinks twice to indicate the exit of the PID settings. You can now arm it and get ready to fly again.

Here is a demo video of how this work on a LCD. By memorizing the sequence and steps you can do this without a LCD. (Note this video is not up to date, but the principle is identical)

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Dj_Garfield 23rd December 2014 - 10:11 pm

huhu , I learn KK2 , APM ‘languages’ , and soon CC3D … Nice trick :) is the Display worknig with serial link to the board ? Because we can find very fine and cheap LCD everywhere … the first in memory the famous Nokia 5110 + serial shiled or already shielded and this would do the job :) Isn’t it ?

Oscar 24th December 2014 - 9:45 am

I think this is kind of outdated already. The best solution now is to use a bluetooth module, and connect it to your smart phone/tablet. It’s much cheaper and easier :D