Mayday will automatically eject your parachute in case of a failure!

The Mayday Parachute Failsafe is used to automaticaly eject a parachute in case of a drone malfunction. The Mayday is primarly made for agile multicopters, at this time it's not clear if it's suitable for fixed wing systems.  The device uses a IMU (inertial measurement unit) and barometric sensor to detect if the drone is falling, or flipping.  The Mayday responds quickly to a failure and will eject the parachute typically after falling just 15 ft.

Purchase the Mayday Failsafe Controller here.

Much of the information to suport the Mayday can be found at  The Mayday comes with a quick start instructions that is usefull for setting up the Mayday for use. 

The information below helps to augment this information and assist in using this device with Fruity Chutes products.

IMPORTANT - Mounting the Mayday: The current Mayday documentation does not make clear that the Mayday board needs to be mounted with at least one of the primary axes aligned on the vertical axis.  THE MAYDAY WILL NOT OPERATE CORRECTLY UNLESS MOUNTED THIS WAY! 

When using the Mayday on the Skycat Phantom 4 Parachute with Mayday bundle we include a printed wedge that can be put under the Mayday that aligns the controller.  If you salready have a Skycat Phantomn 4 Parachute Launcher and want to use the Mayday contact us to get the Mayday wedge.

Mayday operation: While the quick start guide included with the Mayday helps you with most operations it can be a little confusing.  Here is the Interface Flow chart from Mayday boards that can help with use.

Tip: When using the Mayday and after the Parachute Deployment event you need to explicitly disarm the Mayday.  Until you do this you will not be able to re-arm the Mayday or do other functions. 

Note: Once the Mayday is armed the Mayday will stay armed between power cycles. You do not need to disarm and then rearm the Mayday between flights.

Calibration: When calibrating the Mayday make sure the drone is in the same orientation as in flight!  You can not arm the Mayday unless calibrated.  Calibration can only be initiated by applying power while pushing both buttons.  Once the Mayday powers up and you see the lights flashing and you can release the buttons and the calibration will continue.  At the end you will see a bright flashing green light, and then go to Idle (bright blue light).  If there is a calibration error you will see the red light, and there is a seperate little red "error" light on the Mayday board near the center.  Do not fly if the red error light is on.

Once calibrated no combination of button pushes for normal operation will cause you to need to recalibrate.

If you move the Mayday to a new copter be sure to revalibrate it in case the position has changed.

Fruity Chutes Firmware

Fruity Chutes has a special Mayday firmware version that allows the Mayday to be used with the Skycat parachute trigger.  The stock firmware only produces the servo pulses for the time needed to move the sweep arm from one position to another.  This is done to save battery power and works well for mechanical servos.  However this will not work for the electronic servo switch used in the Skycat trigger or other similar devices.  All these switches reley on the servo pulse sweeping from  approximatly 1ms to 2ms, or back in order to operate.  The momentary servo operaton causes problems for these switches. The Fruity Chutes firmware has an extra feature that allows the servo output to be on all the time so the servo switches work.  The firmware also allows the use of the Mayday with a seperate Rescue Radio that can also trigger the parachute ejection. 

External Rescue Radio Trigger Feature

Use the Mayday with seperate Rescue Radio: The Fruity Chutes sofware patch supports the use of the Mayday failsafe with a secondary Rescue Radio.  This allows a servo output from a independent RC servo to be plugged into the Mayday power in connector.  In this case the Mayday gets power from thereceiver.  When armed the Mayday senses the servo signal from the receiver and monitors the servo pulse for the configured pulse width, plus or minus the set tollerance (see below), and when detected it will trigger the parachute ejection. For example, if you have your radio setup to eject the parachute at 100% right (2ms if not reversed), when the Mayday detects this pulse width  it will trigger the parachute ejection.  If the tolerance is +- 10% then the allowable pulse with detection is 180 - 220 ms will trigger the parachute. The detault tolerance setup for Mayday boards shipped by Fruity Chutes is +- 10%.

Setup of External Trigger Detection: Setting up an external trigger is easy.  Connect your radio receiver servo channel to the Mayday power and turn on your receiver (and Mayday) and your transmitter.  Set the transmitter so the servo channel is in the parachute eject position.  Then do the Mayday servo position calibration procedure.  During calibration the Mayday will measure the servo pulse width and save that at the external trigger pulse width. 

Software Updates

NOTE: All Mayday controllers shipped by Fruity Chutes will have our firmware preloaded and with the servo always on option set, external trigger tollerance of +- 10%!

Update you Software: Most of the information for updating sofware is provided here:  In order to update firmware you need to install the Mayday PC software on your computer.  To install follow the Mayday 2.1 Install Instructions here.

Fruity Chutes Firmware: Here is a link for the Fruity Chutes Firmware V2.5.  Download this and install on your Mayday if needed. TIP: To download as a .hex file right click on the link and select "Save Link As".

Enable and Disable Servo "Always Always On" Feature and External Radio Trigger Tolerance

After upgrading the software, or for upgrading a Mayday you may already own, please follow the instructions below to use the Servo features:

  • Connect to Mayday to your computer via a mini USB cable and start the Mayday 2.1 windows program. Make sure you are on the Main tab.
  • Once connected type Ctrl+Q enable the Text command interface. This lets you send special configuration commands to the Mayday.
  • In the textbox send "pwr1" to turn on servo always on or "pwr0" to turn the feature off.
  • use "tolr" + value uto change tolerance of pwm signal .  This sets the pulse width tolerance allowed when detecting a servo signal from a seperate rescue radio. For example "tolr100" is 10%, "tolr150" is 15%.
SKYCAT TRIGGER TIP: For use with the Skycat trigger you must use the "Servo Always On" feature or the Skycat trigger board will not properly detect the Mayday output.  The Skycat trigger will activate when the Servo signal goes from left (pulse width less that 1.5ms) to a wide pulse (pulse width > 1.5ms). The default software shipped with the Fruity Chutes supplied Mayday should have this feature defaulted to On so it should be set.  If it seems like you can't activate the Skycat strigger when calubrating the servo positions be sure to make sure this feaure is enabled.

Contact Fruity Chutes if you require assistance!


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