Is tuning necessary?

I have a general question about tuning. I’ve made a couple attempts with my 650mm quad, each time foiled by windy conditions or battery life. However, with just the default PID, the handling is pretty good with no obvious oscillations. Is it worth trying to tune still? The weather here never seems calm enough for it.

Always. Well, unless there is a parameter file that exists for your exact craft. There are some of those around like the Long Range 7" project. I built one of those and it was dead on from the 1st flight but only because the Developer did a lot of tuning work 1st and published the parameter file.

Each user has a different opinion on what is enough.

  • Clueless beginners are happy when it does not crash
  • Professional users want a dependable, reliable drone even on windy conditions, and are willing to read a wiki to achieve it.

I can tell you that it is well worth the time you spend tuning it!!!
We do tune it a bit differently though we build a mathematical model and after that we optimize it according to the desired requirements

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Also what “looks” to be flying well can still be struggling when you check logs, for example motor outputs could be noisy or oscillating or D term could be too high causing hot motors. Much of this is invisible to the observer.
Apart from reliability and having a good baseline for the future, it means there will be trouble with some situations like strong or gusty winds, temperatures, different payloads and so on.
Once you get the tuning just right it’s awesome to see your copter leaning into a strong wind yet holding a position in Loiter like it’s mounted on a pole.

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Thanks all. I will persist!