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Yuneec Q500 Resource Guide

Yuneec Q500+ and Q500 4K Typhoon Tips and Resources

(Updated 3/9/16)

Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4k

Like the Yuneec Typhoon Q500? Then you're going to love the Typhoon H. Order yours from VH Drones today!

If you have purchased a Q500 or are looking to learn more about this exciting quadcopter, you have come to the right place!  If you have a question and can’t find the answer below, please feel free to contact us at support@vhdrones.com

The Q500 comes with good documentation and is easy to use but there are bound to be a few questions as you get acclimated with this wonderful drone. We have consolidated the answers to some of our customer’s most common questions and listed them here.  You will also find useful links and videos as well as the latest firmware updates from Yuneec. We will keep updating this page with the all of the latest info so please bookmark this page for future reference!

Note: This guide is not meant to replace the Q500 documentation. We recommend you review all instruction manuals before flying for the first time. We put this together to clear up some common areas of confusion and collect useful links and videos.

The Updated Q500+ and 4K are here!

Yuneec shipped an upgraded version of the Q500 drone dubbed the Q500+. This version includes a custom case, an improved camera with new lens and a microphone, and a larger 5.5" tablet display built into the ST10.

Released in July 2015 was the much anticipated 4K version of the Q500.  Sporting a slick looking gunmetal gray shell, the 4K version includes all of the great features of the Q500+ along with a upgraded 4K camera called the CGO3.  

The 3-axis anti-vibration CGO3 gimbal camera and the optimized fixed focus lens capture silky smooth videos and crisp images, which are stored to the internal memory card and streamed in real time to the ST10+ screen. The camera features a 115 degree wide-angle no-distortion lens and the ability to shoot slow motion video at 1080p 120 FPS.  All the controls expected by professionals are standard. For instance, video resolution and white balance can be adjusted, while light exposure can be controlled automatically or manually, including ISO and Shutter Speed. The camera also allows users to take pictures while recording video, and the still images are available in RAW (DNG) and JPEG format.

Updated Firmware / "Watch Me" Mode

Beginning with v1.05 of the Q500/Q500+ firmware, Yuneec included a "Watch Me" mode and improved telemetry data.  An upgrade to "Follow Me", which is described below, the "Watch Me" mode not only allows the drone to follow you but the camera as well. So now as you move with the radio, the drone will follow you while the camera adjusts its pitch and the drone adjusts its yaw to keep you in the picture. If you already have a Q500, Q500+ or Q500 4k and would like to upgrade, download the latest firmware here. Instructions for updating firmware can be found in the Q500 Firmware Update video below.

Note that the ST10+ firmware should be upgraded as well whenever you upgrade firmware on the Q500, see instructions below.

Yuneec Q500 Flight Modes

You can switch between flight modes on your Q500 via the top right toggle on your ST10 controller. These flight modes can be changed during flight. All flight modes enforce a maximum flight altitude of 400 feet, per FAA guidelines. This setting can be changed on your drone by using the Yuneec desktop GUI if necessary.

Smart Mode

  • This is the recommended mode for beginners as it enables a geofence (enforces a maximum distance of 300 feet from the operator) and the controls will operate relative to the pilot, regardless which way the nose of the drone is pointed.
  • In smart mode, the follow-me feature is automatically enabled if the Q500 has acquired GPS data from 6 or more satellites. This will be indicated by the LEDs blinking white every 3 seconds. When follow-me is active the drone will maintain a constant position relative to the ST10 controller as you move it around.
  • If you take off in smart mode, make sure you are at least 26 feet away from the Q500. In smart mode the Q500 maintains a safe distance from the operator to prevent injury. If you need to take off or land within 26 feet of your position, you must switch to angle mode.

Additional Information on Follow-Me Feature

Angle Mode

  • Recommended for intermediate and experienced pilots, this mode will orient controls relative to the position of the drone. This will require the operator to keep track of which way the drone is pointing as pushing up on the right stick will result in the drone moving forward in the direction of its nose.
  • If you ever lose orientation in angle mode, you can switch to smart mode and pull down on the right stick to bring the drone back to you. You can also activate Return to Home mode and let the Q500 do the work.
  • The follow-me feature is not available in angle mode but the Q500 LEDs will still blink white once it has acquired 6 or more satellites to let you know that it is available. To activate follow-me you will need to switch to Smart mode.

Return to Home (RTH)

  • Activate this mode to have the Q500 return to its home point and land automatically.
  • If follow-me is active (6 or more satellites), the home point will be within 26 feet of the ST10.
  • If follow-me is not active the home point will be the take off point.

Disabling GPS (Advanced)

Warning: Smart Mode and Return to Home only work when GPS is enabled.
Note: It is not typically recommended to disable GPS, especially for beginners. GPS will be enabled by default each time you power on the Q500.

In later firmware versions, GPS can be disabled by selecting the Gear icon in the lower right hand corner, accepting the warning, and scrolling to the bottom of the list. Then select GPS Off.

For earlier firmware versions the following procedure will disable GPS:

  • While the ST10 and Q500 are powered on and linked (and the motors are NOT running), move the Proportional Control Rate Slider on the right side of the ST10 to the uppermost (rabbit) position.
  • Move the right-hand stick all the way to the right and hold it there until the next step is completed.
  • Move the Flight Mode Selection Switch from Smart to Home and Home to Smart mode 4 times in 3 seconds.

When GPS has been disabled successfully the Q500 will emit an audible indication and the GPS status on the ST10 screen will show ‘Disabled’. Also, the Main LED Status Indicator will flash purple and the Below Motor LED Status Indicators will flash three (3) times per second then will stay off for one (1) second.

No-Fly Zones

With a suitable GPS signal/lock it will not be possible to start the motors, takeoff or fly the TYPHOON in the ‘No-Fly Zones’ within a 4 mile (6.4 kilometer) radius of most major airports. If you have an FAA Section 333 exemption, contact Yuneec customer support. They may be able to provide you with updated firmware that removes the no-fly zone restriction.

Memory Cards for CGO Camera

Whether you have the orginal CGO camera, the CGO2 that comes with the Q500+, or the new CGO3 (4K) - the type of memory card you need is the same. Look for a micro SD memory card that is Class 10 and has a UHS rating of 1. See the picture below for an example of the markings you want to look for. The packaging will state "Class 10" and the 10 might be shown inside a "C". UHS rating is shown with a number inside a "U" symbol.  Go for Class 10, UHS 1 and you will be in good shape!

ST-10+ Memory Card and Firmware Update

The ST-10 has a micro-SD memory card slot located behind the battery. It accepts the same type of the memory card that comes with the Q500 and fits in the camera. The primary purpose for this is upgrading the software on the ST-10 controller.

ST-10 firmware update instructions
ST-10 firmware download

Note: If you update the software on the ST10 you must also update the firmware on the Q500 as well.  You can do this by installing the desktop GUI and connecting the Q500 to your PC or Mac. Once you’ve installed and started the GUI, follow the instructions on the front page to connect and update your Q500. Links to download the desktop GUI can be found below.

As a side benefit, the memory card in the ST-10 can also be used to record the video stream from the device during flight. The resolution of this stream will be lower than the one that is captured by the camera but could be a good fail safe measure to aid with recovery should you have to put the drone down in an emergency situation. A video which shows how to record from the ST10 can be found below.

ST-10 and Q500 Firmware Update Video

ST10 Recording Video

Yuneec Q500 GUI

The desktop GUI is a tool which allows you to upgrade the firmware on your Q500, calibrate your drone, and run diagnostics. The GUI is only required if you need to update firmware, debug an issue, or install a new motor. If your Q500 is running fine, no need the install the GUI unless you are just a technically-curious person (like us!).

Desktop GUI screenshot on Windows

One of the features of the GUI allows you to test the motors on your Q500. To do so perform the follow steps:

  • Remove propellers from Q500
  • Connect the Q500 to your PC via the supplied USB cable (remove gimbal adapter from cable first)
  • Turn on the Q500
  • On the GUI, click on "Sensor Information"
  • Check the box labeled "Enable Testing"  
  • Click and hold down the mouse button over any one of the motors in the diagram to get them to spin up 

Links to download the desktop GUI can be found below.

Helpful Resources

Q500 Unbox Video

What to do if your CGO3 Gimbal Wires detach from the Q500 aircraft?

This video from our friends at Terrestrial Imaging explains how reattach your camera using the alternate wiring setup.

 

Documentation

Q500 Instruction Manual (v2.1)
Q500 Quick Start Guide (v2.1)
Q500 LED Status Cheat Sheet
Q500 Compass Calibration Procedure
Q500 Follow-Me Feature
Q500 Safety and Warnings
Q500+ Quickstart
Q500+ Instruction Manual (v2.0)
Q500+ Cheat Sheet and Warnings
Q500 4k Quickstart
Q500 4k User Manual (v2.0)
Q500 4k Cheat Sheet and Warnings
ST10 Firmware Update Instruction
ST10+ Quickstart Guide

Desktop GUI Download

PC (v1.01)

Mac (v 1.01)

Firmware Download

 

Visit Yuneec Download Page

 

Purchase Parts and Accessories

Yuneec Q500/500+/4k Parts and Accessories

YUNEEC USA Contact Information

5555 Ontario Mills Parkway
Ontario CA 91764 USA
844-898-6332
uscs@yuneec.com

http://yuneec.com/support