Inspiration arrived this evening. Does anyone recognize this common item I used for my APM and Telemetry Radio mount? It just fits the top plate of the DJI 450 Clone Frame with room to strap it down through the two outside slots in the plate.
This evening after an absolutely AWESOME Annular Solar Eclipse which appeared as an inverted crescent (horns downwards just before sunset) I got the electronics installed .
I used one esc to power the electronics and it heated up quite a bit so plan B is a separate UBEC (shown in the pic a few post up) which I plan to install tomorrow. I got all the escs calibrated and all the other setups done. I just have to get my head wrapped around the different flight modes and how to program my radio to control them. I also need to use some blue locktite to secure the motor screws. The frame screws seem very tight already so I may leave them till a later date to see how they do. Also have a Sonar module for very accurate low altitude hold on the way which should be here later this week. Resolution is .394" (1cm) and range is nearly 25' (7.62 meters).
Very successful flight today . I was able to hover and maneuver fairly well. It was indoors with a 25' ceiling but I did not have my computer with me to monitor telemetry with the radio link. No crashes. It looks like I may be able to get about 15 minutes from a Turnigy Nano-tech 3000mAh LiPo discharged to an 80% depth of discharge (20% remaining). I will say that I had an extreme amount of issues with instability to begin with. It would not even lift off without wanting to flip over. this was very puzzling since it tested OK in my living room at home. Then I realized that my radio was set to a RC Powers X-31 Model Profile. One with Elevons. The quad did not know what to do with that flavor of channel mixing. Changed the transmitter to Quad Profile and it was smooth as glass :applause:. Now I have to set up and test altitude hold since I got the sonar installed and may test simple mode that lets me ignore copter orientation as long as I don't reposition myself after takeoff. I like this board enough I grabbed another for a fair discount, that another flyer had purchased but never flown.
OK I am really starting to LIKE this controller. APM2 ArduCopter Firmware 2.5.5. I flew it for 10 minutes today with full telemetry streaming to my laptop at the same indoor location and it is rock stable and I was able to fly it fairly aggressively (for me with a copter I DO NOT want to crash). I have been doing some tweaks to the controller setup and radio setups for different flying modes but unfortunately most of them require GPS lock and that is not going to happen indoors. One of these days the wind will stop (I hope) and I will get to do some auto-tuning outside. I will report back here as I progress. A guy took some video of it last weekend and I am hoping to get a copy of it to post.
I finally got an outdoor flight today :applause: for about 10 minutes with wind only to about 8mph. What a dream compared to a KK board. I was even able to take my hands off the sticks of the remote for 10 or 15 seconds. I only flew in stabilize mode so I still haven't tested any advanced functionality such as Altitude Hold, Simple Mode or Auto functions for takeoff, landing or way-point travel.
I did stream telemetry to my desktop computer in the house so I have logs and GPS coordinates overlayed on Google earth to replay. I don't know if I have time to get my batteries recharged in time to get another flight today but I hope I can because this thing is a pleasure to fly. I also wish I could talk my wife into recording the flight but no such luck so I am going to have to rig up a "hat cam" to do it myself.
Did another outdoor flight today in front of a bunch of teenage boys and girls and a parent or 2. Conditions were much less than ideal. Wind was 10 to 20mph and gusting between two buildings and trees and around and over houses nearby. With my KK board I would have lost the multi in a heartbeat with those conditions but with the APM2 all was GOOD! There were a couple of occurrences where I got some fairly severe jitter on descent and hover when the wind would suddenly gust or stop completely for a few seconds but I am flying stock out of the box parameters. I need to do some auto trim and tuning but I want to get a feel for how the craft handles and a firm grasp of the tuning process and parameters before I start to play with settings. I flew for about 5 minutes although with the wind it seemed longer. At one point the craft in a rapid upwind run gained altitude to about 125' and that put it in an entirely different wind pattern where for a moment I thought I would loose it but it doesn't do for a 53 year old man to have to cry in front of teenagers so the craft was brought in to a very smooth landing without a scratch. :applause:
I got the new ArupilotMega today - quickly soldered the headers and programmed it with the latest version - seems to work OK but I still have issues with ailerons - not the same ones but others...must be doing something wrong as 1 aileron stop working depending on MODE
I changed plans and dug out the Y-cable that came with the Bixler and use this instead of 2 separate channels.
With some luck there can be an Aeroplane-maiden this week.
If even more lucky (assume it just works) I have preset RTH and a small waypoint nav