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Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
Due to very windy conditions here most of the time, I am initially looking forward to the stability offered by the "fly by wire" functionality. Ultimately I am planning for an automated live FPV drone for aerial livestock and game surveillance over an 800 acre 1/2 mesquite tree covered area. The Vehicle will need to operate up to 1.5 mile radius from base.

1.5 miles as in US miles?
1.5 miles = 2.414016 kilometers
That should be no problem with 1.3

Verify RTH (return to home if signal is lost) (I have RTH in EagleTree and in Ardupilot)
Fly away from you and turn off radio - if RTH works plane should start turning back

Verify UAV flight - fly by programmed waypoints like in ArdupilotMegaPlanner - still line of sight

Lay out a safe route and increase .5 miles at a time and see how far your videlink is still active.

This sums up what I have planned for the coming summer - and when everything works I will lay a route over open water about 7km one way (4.34 miles)


Junior Member

I use APM in my Skywalker just to make things more fun. I do not know how many times it saved my plane but it was sure worth the investment. Lost video signal (bad soldering) with a hill between me and the airplane once. Switched over to RTL - return to launch and it started to climb to 150 meters before coming back to me. Nervous five minutes though.

Sometimes I just put it into Fly By Wire-mode with maximum 20 degress banking and disable elevator. That way my kids can fly FPV without crashing. If I feel brave they can fly in manual mode but then I just keep a finger close to the stabilize or RTL switch :) Also got telemetry to work with OpenLRS over the serial transparent bridge which was really nice.

So far I only had it to fly a 10 km track (in a square) round me in auto mode. Performance was extremely good and it kept the altitude with error correction +/- 2 meters in some wind.


Junior Member
UndCon - just be sure to get the RTL-function (unless in auto mode) working if/(when) the RX/TX-connection breaks.

I was doing some FPV sightseeing in FBW mode last summer over Mälaren. When I decided to go back I noticed that I could not turn back. No contact with the Futaba RX but video still worked. I could only watch my airplane disappear until it would crash because of dead batteries.

That is when I started running. :) Managed to run to a hill and got enough signal to get at least one package with the mode switch flipped to RTL. Close call.

Once again APM saved my day and Skywalker. :)
Flying at Mälaren is Nice.

I have planned several flights to verify a bunch of new features including the radio and the APM setup

1 in manual mode - make sure everything is as normal
(in this mode I will make several flights to verify performance/range of my modded TGY9X

2 RTL - make sure Return to launch works as intended by flying away from me and turn off transmitter.
(now the plane should adjust altitude and return to my start-point at desired altitude- then loiter)

3 Waypoint navigation within LOS (if connection gets lost -> RTL)

4 Enlarge waypoint area to make sure video and tx/rx works as intended. (at least 1Km)

5 make long distance waypoint navigation flight

I think I cover most scenarios...


Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
Hopefully I will get my Ardupilot board in the next few weeks. Then I can start to play. I have a HawkSky or Tricopter (unbuilt in parts) to play with.



Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
I have been procrastinating on using my ArduPilot Mega but I have flashed it with the latest ArduCopter firmware and tomorrow I will receive my 915mHz Telemetry radios for it :cool:
https://store.diydrones.com/3DR_RadioTelemetry_Kit_915_Mhz_p/kt-telemetry-3dr915.htm .
I plan to put it on my faux DJI 450 (RC Timer Frame, Real DJI Motors and 10" Props) along with my 5.8gHz home-built FPV setup (when it is finished that is)
I will report my findings here in a few weeks hopefully.

This is a test to see if I want to get a NAZA controller since they will be announcing the price for their new GPS add on for it early next week.



Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
I received my Telemetry Radios today. Cool is all I can say. I am beginning to get really excited about this project again. It took about 15 minutes to get the radios going and that included soldering a header and heat-shrink casing them. Very cool to have the data from the APM board sent to the computer in the house and being able to send new data to the APM in flight (well in a chair in the backyard for now). I am looking at ways to mount the APM and the TR on my DJI 450 clone frame so I still have room for FPV camera and transmitter. I will probably have to add another level atop the current top plate but I am waiting for inspiration.