kiss fc setup

KISS FC – Easy to Follow Setup and Review

KISS FC – Setup and Review

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I have to be honest and admit, I put off flying the KISS FC because I was intimidated.  One, I didn’t want to learn a new software because it doesn’t run off Cleanflight or even Baseflight, gasp!  Two, take a look at the KISS FC manual and it will send you running with unanswered questions.  It’s super confusing…and I’m not talking about the parts that are in German.

When the KISS FC first came out there were a lot of mixed reviews.  Just like anything new, there will be resistance.  Sometimes you just have to ignore what the people in the forums say and just go out and try for yourself.  Boy and I glad I did.  The KISS flight controller is insanely good!

This will just be an intro and simplified setup and review post of the KISS FC.  Hopefully I can help de-mystify the hardware and software part for you.  Good new is that once you learn the basics it’s actually really easy to setup and tune.  Dare I say it’s easier than CleanFlight, yes!

kiss fc setupKISS FC Specifications
  • 32 bit STM32F303CCT6 processor
  • MPU6050 Gyro, same gyro used on the DODO and SP3
  • Can handle 2-6s
  • Built in 5v 500mah BEC.  You can power the KISS FC directly from the battery
  • Supports pretty much all the popular RX types out there including SBUS on the FrSky with telemetry
  • 4.6g
  • Dimensions 36 x 38mm
  • Mounting holes 30 x 30mm.  Yes it’s .5mm smaller than the standard 30.5 x 30.5mm mounting like all other flight controllers.  Dont worry, a firm press and it will sit fine.
 Parts Used in this Post
KISS FC Install

In KISS lingo, PWM1 means motor 1, PWM2 is motor 2 and so on.  Keep in mind the motor layout is not the same as Cleanflight.  Remember this when you are connecting the signal leads to the KISS.

kiss fc

The KISS FC paired with KISS ESC will give you the option to have ESC telemetry.  It can show you info like battery voltage, current consumption, ESC temperature and motor RPM.  Since I built this Alien with the PowerOSD (mainly for the LC filter), I can already see battery voltage and current info.  I don’t care about ESC temperature and motor RPM so I won’t be connecting the ground or telemetry signal from the ESC.  To be able to see this info from the ESC you’ll need to have a Micro MinimOSD or KissFC OSD.  Both options are very messy and unnecessary in my opinion.

Here’s how my KISS FC is installed in the Alien.

kiss fc setup


kiss fc setup
KISS FC Update Firware

Dont even bother reading the firmware update in the manual.  It’s super confusing.

  1. Download most current firmware from here.  As of this post, the most current is v1.02RC28
  2. Download Chrome if you haven’t already.
  3. Add the KISS FC configurator
  4. Hold down boot button and connect usb.  Keep button held down until flashing is done.
  5. Load firmware and flash
  6. Done.  Get a beer

The KISS FC configurator looks confusing at first if you are coming from the CleanFlight environment.  It’s actually really simple.  Here are my settings for my ImpulseRC Alien using the FrSky XSR with telemetry.

kiss fc setup

  1. UAV Type “Quad X”
  2. Receiver “S-BUS”.  All you have to do is select this to have the telemetry info setup.  No port configuration or any other options to enable like in CleanFlight.
  3. FS. Levelmode Sec “0” this is your failsafe.  I want my quad to drop immediately if I lose rx signal so it’s set to zero.
  4. Min Command “1000”.  Default is 1070.  In order to enable AirMode, Min Command needs to be set to 1000 and the Arm function is set to a switch.  If you don’t enable AirMode you won’t have any control at zero throttle.
  5. FC Rotation “180”  Only set this if you have the arrow on the KISS FC facing the rear.
  6. Set the switches for your Taranis, Arm, Buzzer, Level…

Hit “Save Settings” and that’s it!  I will skip the PID part until the next build video, Lumenier QAV-X.  Just remember, as a safety feature, the KISS FC configurator will not save any settings if the battery is plugged in.

WARNING: Any tuning on your table must be done with your PROPS off.  No joke.  There were several times when I was setting up on the table the motors spun up at full power.  If there props were on, it would have shredded my face or cut my finger.  Either one, very bad.  PROPS OFF!

I’m using KISS 24A ESC on this Alien quad so no calibration is needed.  But if you using the KISS FC with any other ESC that’s not KISS you’ll need to calibrate.  The KISS FC configurator doesn’t have a motors tab like in Cleanflight so you’ll have to do it manually.

Calibrate Non KISS ESC

  1. Put the KISS FC in disarm mode
  2. Connect FC to USB and set Min Throttle to 2000, hit save
  3. Arm the FC with your transmitter, no battery
  4. Plug in the battery, wait for the calibration chime
  5. Disarm the FC
  6. Unplug the battery
  7. Set Min Throttle back to 1070 or whatever you like, save
  8. Disconnect and unplug USB

How can I describe how the KISS FC flies?  In a way it flies like it’s in molasses, in a very good way.  Right out of the box, there is a great deal of control and feel without the extra little movements like jitters, bounces, flutter or oscillations.  With just some tiny tweaks to the PIDs the quad felt incredibly lock in like no other quad I’ve flown.  The quad just does exactly what you want it to do.

It’s hard to describe how well the KISS FC with the KISS 24A ESC flies.  It’s like trying to describe the color red to a blind person.  You just have to experience it for yourself.  So if you were one of the people on the fence or intimidated by trying new hardware and software like I was.  Do yourself a favor and pick up a KISS FC with KISS ESC setup.  You’ll thank me later.

Check back soon for the Lumenier QAV-X with KISS FC and KISS 24A ESC build video.

If you found this post helpful, it would be super cool if you purchased the components from my store or purchase items from my Amazon links.  These posts are expensive and take a loooong time to make!  The purchases make it possible for me to keep making them.  Thanks in advance, I greatly appreciate it 🙂







25 responses to “KISS FC – Easy to Follow Setup and Review”

  1. Regan Vowels Avatar
    Regan Vowels

    Although I don’t own a kiss flight controller nor do I plan on getting one in the future.
    You did a really fantastic job, with the diagrams of where everything is laid out and how you explained it.

    Regan V.

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      thanks Regan!

  2. Sree Avatar

    Awesome video as always bud!
    Would love to see a build by you on the Bolt RC Black Ops.

  3. Yama86 Avatar

    Hey Mike,
    I’ve read that if you don’t solder the signal ground, from the esc to fc, that you may have desync/twitching issues. Have you had that pop up in any of your builds?
    I plan to completely skip an OSD on my current build, so I’m going to skip running telemetry from the esc to fc. I’ll run signal of course, but I’m really debating about running that signal ground.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      I’ve never had an issue cause by not using a ground in all the quads I’ve built. The Alien here is not using the ground and flies smooth as butter.

  4. Paul Avatar

    Love your builds! Always so clean… how did you get the PowerOSD to work without having the battery into the PowerOSD first?

    I’m assuming you figured out a way since the XT60 is soldered onto the Alien’s PDB and the PowerOSD battery terminals look unused?

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      hi paul, i’m going to cover this in the Alien build but for now send me note and i’ll walk you through it. there’s a certain way you have to hook it up for it to work properly.

  5. Larry Avatar

    I’ve tried going through this process, but no dice. I keep getting the following error: FAILURE: Failed to detect chip flash info, resultCode: 4

    Any idea as to what error this is referring to? I may try and load through the terminal as I’m seeing this being the recommended method by a bunch of peeps in different forums. I’m running OSX 10.10.5

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      when are you getting this error? trying to flash the board or connecting?

      1. Larry Avatar

        I got this error when trying to flash. I did end up using a PC which allowed me to do it pretty easily, following the instructions on the kiss site. I have been able to use the kissFC configuration tool on my Mac since it was flashed. Now, just trying to diagnose a motors spin up issue as once I disarm, the motors immediately spin up to about 1500, which will likely will make this quad sail. If you’ve seen that definitely let me know, but seems like others have had similar issues.

        1. FlightClub Avatar

          do you have 3D mode enabled? if so your motors will spin up very fast on startup.

          1. Larry Avatar

            3D mode isn’t activated. I tried to lower the throttle values. What’s interesting is that it’s a gradual speed-up and sounds like a jet plane without the props.. the engines race up to about 1500 power and then drop down, only to repeat the cycle. Throttle command respond, but may have to tweak some of the settings. Definitely scared to fly it this way as who knows what will happen.

          2. Larry Avatar

            So after checking around, this looks like it could be that the controller flips to air mode. The manual states the following:

            “In Airmode on the Ground you might find the FC trying to regulate “something” though it is sitting still. However the Airmode only makes sense in flight. On the ground some motors start to spool up. Instant take-off will avoid this effect.”

            Going to test that theory in my backyard (it’s a tiny space). Let’s hope that’s the truth.

  6. Rob Norris Avatar

    Can I run power for go pro from kiss fc or pdb? 5v 1a bec

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      no you can’t. the kiss isn’t made to power a gopro

  7. JB Bennett Avatar
    JB Bennett

    AUX1-AUX4 channels not responding to Tanaris input. Stick controls and telemetry are work fine. Firmware updated. Any idea where to go from here?

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      did you assign them to switches in your taranis?

  8. Benoit Courbin Avatar

    Very nicely written article! I have tried setting mine up, but SBUS with my Futaba radio doesn’t seem to work. Any ideas so I don’t have to get a radio to fly the quad?

  9. Brett Avatar

    Just one question…can I power up the kiss FC just with 5V (250mA max) taken from RROSD pro pdb through 5V BEC on Kiss FC? Thanks for any reply.

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      The KISS fc has a built in 5v regulator so you can plug it directly to the 3s or 4s battery. No need for an external 5v source.

  10. tanner frisbee Avatar
    tanner frisbee

    Hey brother I have wired my kiss up to the pdb and just to see it if work I hooked up my 4s and the lights started to dim like it was going to go out and blow something so I quickly unplugged it and tried a 3s and it works fine ???? What am I doing wrong

    1. lrryhll Avatar

      @Tanner – Probably a loaded question – there could be a couple things I’d check on my build if I saw something strange like that:

      1) Solid connections – everything soldered is solid (battery cable/ESCs); no crossing wires or wire-ee hairs that could be touching something else.
      2) PDB – was it blown? I once didn’t even realize my PDB was blown (quadrevo) and plugged the battery in. Sparks flew and my FC died. A multi-meter helps to ensure current is still flowing.

      If it was dimmed, it almost would seem as if it’s not getting enough power. You may just want to sanity check and see if you plug in the 4s again if it works. Sorry if my experiences aren’t helpful but you’ve got a strange situation on your hands indeed.

      1. tanner frisbee Avatar
        tanner frisbee

        That’s the thing is it was bright then when dim I had the same thing happen on my naze cuz I didn’t have a bec but I know this has one so wasn’t to worried but with the 3s it works fine I can leave it on for as long as I want

  11. Jordan Avatar

    I bought the AR610 Reciever but I have no idea on how to connect it to the Kiss FC. Is it even compatible?

  12. Justin Preston Avatar
    Justin Preston

    I am attempting to build this alien quad and using most of the same components you did, plus I bought most of your 3D parts….any time frame on when the alien build will drop? Thanks for all the help, great job.

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