Onagofly Hacking

How to get the Onago to, well, fly!

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Ah yes, when you buy a piece of junk just to hack it. Anyone into drones knows by now that out of the box the Onagofly is a way over-priced certified P.O.S. But under the hood, is it really that bad, or is it actually a good drone that's just software crippled? I'm embarking on an expedition to make this thing work!

The first time I saw an ad for the Onagofly, I wanted one, but much to my disappointment I began seeing tons of bad reviews, and it became evident that the thing just doesn't work. A YouTuber "TheMightyThor" inspired me by publishing some videos revealing that, as I had suspected, the Onagofly is actually a decent piece of hardware that's severely software crippled. Thor revealed that the flight controller is actually a modified Pixhawk PX4, and out of the box you can connect it to Mission Planner and APM Planner via the drone's micro USB port. This provides access to a wealth of settings. He also mentioned that he listened in on an interview with the Onago team, and they mentioned that they hate their own app and did most of the flight testing with a standard RC controller. Laughter aside about hating their own app, that comment implies that somewhere inside the Onago is a PPM solder pad. Hmmm...

Now, about acquiring one. There's no way I'm paying $300+ for one of these things, but you can let someone else take the hit for you! Turns out lots of frustrated Onago owners are ditching their drones on Ebay, and you can get a working one for $100-150. Happy hacking!


My parameters as of April 8, 2017. These are for APM firmware v3.4.X, and will not work with the factory firmware. See my "Flying! still working on tuning" build log for details.

param - 10.03 kB - 04/09/2017 at 02:27


onago defaults.param

The default parameters for the FACTORY firmware.

param - 6.92 kB - 04/09/2017 at 02:27


  • Flying! Still working on tuning...

    agm77704/09/2017 at 02:16 0 comments

    First, the progress update video:

    Here's where I'm at in tuning. I do have it flying much better than it does stock, but it still needs more work. ~Back up you current parameters before trying these.~ First, altitude hold is funky, and I'm yet to figure out how to dial it down, so I recommend flying in stabilize mode (manual throttle) indoors. Note that I am configuring using Mission Planner and using APM firmware v3.4.3.

    Update the following parameters (full parameter list page):

    ATC_ACCEL_P_MAX and ATC_ACCEL_R_MAX = 59065.5
    ATC_ACCEL_Y_MAX = 36000
    If you want the motors to stop at zero throttle, MOT_SPIN_ARM = 0

    PIDS (extended tuning page):

    Stabilize roll and stabilize pitch: 5.983694
    Stabilize yaw: 4.5 (default)
    Rate roll and rate pitch:
    P: 0.080
    I: 0.080
    D: 0.007
    IMAX: 0.15
    Rate Yaw: defaults

    So try that and let me know how it goes. Again, these are not the most optimal PIDs, but better than stock.

    If you can't get the motors to arm, check these:


    Additionally, I have uploaded my parameters file for if you update the firmware and it won't do anything. I recommend manually editing your parameters using the info above, but if all else fails, here's what to do:

    1. Backup your current parameters.
    2. Upload my parameters.
    3. Calibrate the accelerometer.
    4. Calibrate the compass.
    5. Change your flight modes back to whatever you had them before.

  • PPM Receiver Installed

    agm77701/09/2017 at 00:54 1 comment

    So I have the micro PPM receiver successfully installed in the Onago. No flight yet (it just wants to flip over the moment I give it throttle, have to debug that), but it is receiving commands from the FlySky TX.

    Note that I am using the 10 channel mod on my FS-i6, so I have to use i-bus. PPM doesn't work correctly with the custom firmware. FlySky has released an updated version of this TX called the FS-i6X that does natively support 8 ch PPM and 10 ch S-bus and i-bus, and I'd highly recommend this updated version unless you already have the older model like me. You could, of course, use a different TX, such as a Taranis.

    Edit: forgot to mention that a firmware update is required on the Pixhawk to use the i-bus protocol. That's why I don't have a flight video yet; the newest APM firmware is giving me trouble.

    Here is a picture of the receiver connected to the flight controller:

    I also have a video:

  • FOUND: PPM input

    agm77710/27/2016 at 23:46 0 comments

    I FOUND IT! Sure enough, on the top side of the flight controller PCB is the PPM connector I had theorized about. Poked the board with my multimeter to figure out the pinnout (shown below). Just placed an order for a Flysky micro PPM receiver. Now waiting for my order from Banggood to show up...

    EDIT: Just like on the real 3DR Pixhawk, the PPM port also accepts S-BUS and, with a firmware update, i-bus (what I'll be using).

  • Mission Planner Settings I

    agm77710/27/2016 at 22:05 0 comments

    If you have an Onagofly and want to make some quick improvements without cracking the case open, update these settings on Mission Planner.

    1. Perform an accelerometer calibration.

    2. Perform a compass calibration.

    3. Setup your failsafes.

    4. I also strongly recommend setting up a geofence, as the Onago app does have a tendency to crash, causing the drone to fly away. A geofence will limit how far it can go by activating RTL if it goes too far. However, don't turn this on if you use "follow me" mode, as it will follow you to the geofence and then RTL. I have mine set to 50m, and can confirm that it does work with the stock firmware.

View all 4 project logs

Enjoy this project?



graham27 wrote 11/15/2019 at 10:36 point

Apart from the ppm pins has anyone found the telem pins or others that they would kindly like to share? I picked up one of these dirt cheap and I know out of the box they suck and the app crashes all the time on my iphone 6 with ios 12, but works ok on a older iphone 5 with ios 10, so things like pin outs people found would be very handy. Thanks

  Are you sure? yes | no

Brian Connolly wrote 08/18/2019 at 16:13 point

Hello All, has anyone got the .ong and .bin files for the original, 1 Plus, factory firmware?  I have an Onagofly 1 Plus that lost the satellite lock when I installed the 063 upgrade for the older copters.  

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highhacker wrote 06/09/2019 at 01:07 point

ok guys get the onagofly drone NEW on Ebay for only 24.50. Free fast shipping. Got my 2 in 3 days

They have a few left as of june8 2019. Item number 153472849841

Seller is ari_robot

  Are you sure? yes | no

jon brotherton wrote 12/13/2018 at 17:05 point

Has anyone documented a further pinout for this board? @svenerik.haitjema I am interested in which pins are Telem1 and any others you identified.

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danperez1108 wrote 01/19/2018 at 00:23 point

I'm a beginner needing instructions on how to install receiver please? 

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svenerik.haitjema wrote 10/02/2017 at 07:10 point

A little late for the party I see. I recently aquired a second hand Onagofly and started reverse engineering the PX4 circuit layout. For those interested, I have located the Telem1 port, and have successfully hooked up a 3DR telemetry radio. This allows me to control the Onagofly with a joystick through mission planner telemetry. By enabling the VLC stream client(ctrl-f->vlc) in mission planner, it is even possible to have the camera feed (rtsp:// directly shown in MP. For more info send a PM :)

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micahj383 wrote 07/08/2017 at 02:00 point

also I was wondering If anybody has connected  a bluetooth GC module or a (ublox 8n mini gps module for px4 yet?

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micahj383 wrote 07/06/2017 at 03:13 point

hey everybody,I have mine flying with all the help from everybody using an irangex/flysky PPM rx and devo 10 with 4in1 module and DEVIATION firmware.the only issues I'm having is Its not as agile as I would like it to be.does anybody know how to make it more agile and responsive?

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Richard wrote 05/22/2017 at 11:04 point

I have tested now with 2 onago Birds - the black edition und the white - the black has a little hardware difference. I used a 25x25x4 mm ceramic antenna - now i found a 25x25x2 mm - and a 18x18x4 mm - i will buy some and looks which one better fits. 

The second i have done is to change one plug of the charching cable to a XH plug. So i can use my junsi charger - and a 12 V balancer for using in a car - cause 8 min flight time is not much :)

After i have a GPS 3D Fix i have no problems with starting and flying. 8 Minutes with the white bird and no looses of GPS. I am flying under trees - cause i have no other "secure" test place around me.  Junsi charger displays me after flying 0,001 V cell drift and 750 mAh charging capacity.

The 3. step will be to mod a power-switch. This "plug in" of the 2 plugs and using the tool that i am able to close the door makes me always nervous.

Then .. the next task wil be to find a replacement battary - this seems to be not very easy i think. Cause of the dimension ...

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micahj383 wrote 07/08/2017 at 05:16 point

can't wait to hear about your results with the antenna mods.i just started messing with mine again after I'm able to dedicate a little more time than usual on this project.i fixed my control responsiveness, now my only issue is my gps heading(black line) spins around erratically and never stays still even with 17 satellites .I use mission planner on pc..

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Richard wrote 05/20/2017 at 14:45 point

i have replaced the GPS antenna - and have now within 5 seconds GPS 3D Fix 

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Mike Smorto wrote 03/19/2017 at 23:17 point

Just wanted to let you know there is a Onagofly page on facebook,

.  I posted a link to your project and there seems to be some interest.  Got my receiver and should have the transmitter tomorrow.  Trying to get another cheap Onagofly off of facebook to work this project.  Please keep us all posted.

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Scott Grinstead wrote 03/19/2017 at 16:14 point

just curious, have you any advance in this? I use the GPS like Kevin describes and that works great but would love to use real controllers on this. 

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Spawn Connery wrote 03/12/2017 at 15:44 point

can this be done with a specktrum ppm receiver? 

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robear6969.rb wrote 12/19/2016 at 17:11 point


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KevinPalivec wrote 12/19/2016 at 15:54 point

You can also upload waypoint missions into it and have it fly them. You have to reset flight mode 2 from guided to auto and then use the "GPS/follow me" button in the app to trigger the mission. It will attempt to keep the camera pointed towards any ROI you set in the mission. It will also obey any "take off" and "land" setting in the mission. There's one small "gotcha" on this though. when it starts the mission. It appears there's a kind of a "loop around" pre-mission built in. I theorize it's to loop the drone's possition to a better spot for follow me. I shot a video of it in action if anyone is interested?

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Scott Grinstead wrote 03/19/2017 at 16:15 point

Loved the advice Kevin, mine flys pretty well although jittery but petty well

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Mistyparrot wrote 12/14/2016 at 03:13 point

I have ordered the Skyfly transmitter and some receivers as reccomended. Any Idea if this setup will work with a Zerotech Dobby? 

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agm777 wrote 12/14/2016 at 06:46 point

If its FC has a PPM, S-Bus, or i-Bus input, then probably, but I don't have a Dobby at my disposal to hack, so I don't know.

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Mistyparrot wrote 12/14/2016 at 03:10 point

will using the RC controller disable the smart phone app? I was thinking of the camera control and GPS for tracking/ Follow move. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

agm777 wrote 12/14/2016 at 06:43 point

Don't know yet. I do have a little more progress since my last update, but no flight yet. I'll post another update soon. I'm figuring this out as I go with an unknown outcome. 

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