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ZOHD KOPILOT Flyaway

sumone

Active member
#1
Last week i installed the ZOHD KOPILOT in my ranger 1600 .
I'm not very familiar with flight controllers and my main reason for getting one was so i can fly fpv and if i should lose signal it should RTL.
this feature worked great when testing it out last week and the auto launch feature was super cool.

Today i took it out to a new location for an fpv flight (Big dry mudflats in front of me and tall grass over 1.5 meters tall and thick bush land behind me with houses behind that).

I switched to manual mode and launched but when i tested RTL the motor died and was not being able to get the motor to re-arm i tried switching through to different flight modes so had to glide it back down.
This happend on the first 2 launches.
This should have been enough for me to realize something is not right and mabey pull the pin go home and investigate.
But i was so keen to have a fly i plugged the battery back in waited for it to re-arm and went for round 3.
BIG MISTAKE!!
This time when testing RTL the motor didn't disarm but throttled up and i could tell from my fpv feed it wasn't heading back.
I ripped off my googles and desperately tried to find it in the sky.
I could faintley hear it flying away but had no visual and could tell it was a long way away.
Then it went silent ( Either too far away or the motor dis-armed )
I walked for about an hour and a half with my googles with me in the hope i might pick up a video signal and my radio constantly tellling me rssi low,/critical telemetry lost, telemetry found .
I felt sick in the guts as I'm sure the bushland is riddled with snakes and with the tall grass it could be anywhere (Tree, Burried in the tall grass in someones yard or roof) and just as i was about to call it quits and head back i found it.
As luck would have it it landed in the shorter grass (Long way from RTL) in front of the heavy scub and trees
So very lucky.
The warnings were there and i was silly enough to ignore them. ( I've learned my lesson).

So now to my question .
Any idea what might have happened ?
I'm thinking when i hit RTL the ESC's BEC might be having trouble providing enough power for the 4 servos ,receiver and the flight controller .
maybe it's shutting down the ESC temp. and then trying to reboot the flight controller.
Not sure.
 
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Merv

Well-known member
#2
when i tested RTL the motor died ..... i plugged the battery back in waited for it to re-arm ....This time when testing RTL the motor didn't disarm but throttled up

Any idea what might have happened ?
I'm thinking when i hit RTL the ESC's BEC might be having trouble providing enough power for the 4 servos, receiver and the flight controller. maybe it's shutting down the ESC temp. and then trying to reboot the flight controller. Not sure.
The first 2 times, when the motor “died”. Is it possible the FC was trying to land?

It’s very possible you are drawing too many amps and rebooting the FC. Especially if your BEC is rated at 3 amps.
 

sumone

Active member
#3
The first 2 times, when the motor “died”. Is it possible the FC was trying to land?

It’s very possible you are drawing too many amps and rebooting the FC. Especially if your BEC is rated at 3 amps.
This FC has RTL but then it switches to loiter (No landing or cut throttle function).
I think you are right about the amp draw and the FC rebooting.
I have a UBEC floating around here somewhere so i will give that a go .
I think i might mount the GPS outside the plastic blow molded fuselage as well.

After what happened with the fly away this next flight is gunna be pretty stressfull . :cautious:
 

Merv

Well-known member
#4
...I think i might mount the GPS outside the plastic blow molded fuselage as well.

After what happened with the fly away this next flight is gunna be pretty stressfull . :cautious:
Plastic and foam generally do not block radio signals, if you have a metallic paint or carbon fiber infused foam, it’s a possibility. It’s a good idea to keep any antenna away from anything electronic, metallic or carbon fiber.

I wonder why you were not able to get it back in manual mode during the fly away?
 
#5
I thought I lost my Orbit wing today with a new Kopilot in it. I launched it and forgot to take it off Launch/RTL mode and it went flying way over a creek and mangroves but after a while it came directly back to me. I remembered to flick to Stabilized mode and landed it. That was a crazy way to test out RTL. :) :)

With all my big planes I put a small 10amp UBEC in them just to make sure. Remember some UBECs are no better than the the standard BECs in the speed controllers. Also 90% of the videos on youtube show fitting UBECs the wrong way. You must not use the positive and negative from the ESC, as indicated in the video:


I have been adjusting the pots on the controller board but the rear of my Orbit wing still flaps up and down a lot when power is on. I'll keep adjusting the pots lower unless the problem is the thin double sided tape they put under the Kopilot is too thin and rigid and causing too much vibration in the controller. Hopefully I'll sort it out soon.

Is your RTL pot adjusted correctly? Hope you sort out your problem.

Col
 
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sumone

Active member
#6
I originally had my kopilot in a S800 reptile wing but had issues with the stable mode as it would bob up and down like crazy i think i just needed to adjust the gains but decided to see how it went on a more forgiving 4 ch plane.
and loved it ..until the scare last week.

I like the look of the orbit and I've heard really good things about it and if bangers would sell it as a kit would definitely get one but at the moment only sell it as a pnp and is a little to expensive for me.
I got to say I'm not all that impressed with the S800 and don't think it flys that great unless you use flight stabilization. I find my scratch built wings fly much better , Just wish they were more durable.
 
#7
I'm in Brisbane so another Aussie.

I have had over 10 wings and said I would not buy another one but as the servos are in the body and the wings just clip out, it is great to put in our small Hilux motorhome. The Orbit does fly great and does not really wingtip stall which is good. It glides forever with no power. Well it did recently when trying to land on a windy day recently.

I have already put in FPV gear but need to get it flying properly before doing FPV.

They sell them in AUand seems to be the same price but plus postage, I got mine from Banggood. It says PNP:

https://buzzfpv.com.au/zohd-orbit-wing-900mm

You could do what I did years ago and cut a wing out of a foam block and covered it with thin balsa. Just put ply ribs on each end of the foam block and cut the foam with the element stretched out. I put the element on two metal rods going through a board with the element stretched out. I think I used a 12v car battery to heat up the element. It cut the foam very good. Mine was a normal plane and flew well but maybe slightly heavier than normal.

My three EleBees I bought were foam with a covering of balsa. No I think it was fiberglass type tape with solar film over that so was heavy.

All the best.

Col
 
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Merv

Well-known member
#8
I agree with @Firepowers, you should only use one 5v power supply. If you use more than one, they end up fighting each other, one is trying to raise the voltage and the other is trying to lower the voltage, they are never exactly the same voltage,

If you use a separate UBEC, disconnect the red wire from your ESC going to the Rx or use an opto ESC.
 
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sumone

Active member
#9
Are you a club flyer or a park flyer.
I'm on the north side and a park flyer myself .
and have a few local sites that I go to early in the morning and fly my wings and glider.
Occasionally i make the trip to the south side (carindale) to fly with a group of guys called Brisbane Park Flyers.(Nice friendly group).
 
#10
I am a park flier. We have been flying only racing quads for five years but want to get back to planes.

The Brisbane City Council have provided a couple of flying fields near me at Bracken Ridge but a bit small for planes.

I have stacks of planes including two Bixlers and one with FPV and a different autopilot and a nice powered glider. It would be good to fly them again. We used to do a lot of FPV flying at a turf farm north of Brisbane but now no one can go there.

You probably live fairly close.

Col
 
#11
I agree with @Firepowers, you should only use one 5v power supply. If you use more than one, they end up fighting each other, one is trying to raise the voltage and the other is trying to lower the voltage, they are never exactly the same voltage,

If you use a separate UBEC, disconnect the red wire from your ESC going to the Rx or use an opto ESC.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
That is where 90% on youtube go wrong and only disconnedt the positive wire from the ESC. You need to disconnedt the positive and negetive fron the ESC to the receiver and only use the signal wire from the ESC when you add a UBEC. As shown at the end of the previous video I mentioned.

It is not so important with simple cheap systems but you can get a ground loop if something fries and can take out controllers. There is a lot on Ground Loops on youtube.

https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ACYBGNS5tYSRPOsXkgFVp2gjwW60ftRElA:1578275605160&ei=FZMSXpDECf6J4-EPmL6S0AY&q=rc+plane+esc+ground+loops&oq=rc+plane+esc+ground+loops&gs_l=psy-ab.3...13460.18931..19379...0.1..0.158.775.0j5......0....1..gws-wiz.......0i71j35i39j0i22i30j35i304i39.Y3Fazc27MjU&ved=0ahUKEwjQorbm7u3mAhX-xDgGHRifBGoQ4dUDCAs&uact=5

Col
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
#13
Are you sure that your home position was set correctly? It sounds like it tried to fly HOME, but home was not set to the right location. (ie 0.000000 x 0.000000) I don't know anything about the KOPILOT, but I've flown enough inav, dRonin, Ardupilot, etc... to know that each firmware has it's own way of defining how and when home position is set. ALWAYS make sure home position is set correctly BEFORE arming. ALWAYS make sure you can get manual control back in the event that RTL/RTH goes wrong. I've been there / done that. For example, had a fly-away once at an indoor fly because the GPS couldn't get lock before arming. Then when the RX signal dropped, it defaulted to RTH and went to the roof till the battery died. D'OH. Absolutely nothing I could do but watch it.

Glad you were able to find it!

Cheers!
LitterBug
 
#14
With the Kopilot and my other autopilots I just plug in the quad or plane and wait for GPS lock and away I go. With the Kopilot I leave the canopy off and wait until the red led stops blinking and goes solid red.

It worked when I had a fly aray the other day but it came back by itself because I forgot to turn off RTH on launch. I had been doing it right previously.

Col
 
#15
sumone - you mentioned:

"This time when testing RTL the motor didn't disarm but throttled up and i could tell from my fpv feed it wasn't heading back.
I ripped off my googles and desperately tried to find it in the sky."


When did you switch off RTL? Was it when it was in the distance?
 
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sumone

Active member
#16
When did you switch off RTL? Was it when it was in the distance?[/QUOTE]

yes it was a fair distance out .
I have the RTL pot set so when it comes back loiter is a pretty tight circle .
and it has always responded almost instantly when flicking into RTL
by turning the plane around and heading back but this time i could see by the video feed it was not even trying to turn and was just flying straight off into the distance
with no manual control (as it was in RTL)
and still no manual control when switching back to manual mode or stab. mode.
I may have got a telemetry lost warning not long after i could see it wasn't coming back (mabey Indicating that the receiver lost power)
but i can't be certain if that was before or after it had crashed
as i was in brown pants mode and in a panic trying to figure out what to do
as i was not able spot it in the air.
 

Merv

Well-known member
#17
I may have got a telemetry lost warning not long after i could see it wasn't coming back (mabey Indicating that the receiver lost power)
Is it possible you lost Rx control? Nothing wrong with the FC, but your RTL command never reached the plane.
 
#19
That was the next thing I was going to say later this morning but it is 5am here and have not been able to sleep yet.

I was thinking when mine flew away it may not have been just RTL working but my fail safe.

For some reason when it flew off I did not think to flick switches but instead in a panic I turned off my Taranis and turned it on again. Maybe I did set the fail safe on the Taranis correctly and it came back when it lost signal either by me turning off the Taranis or just went out of range.

If I ever stop getting the tail to flop up and down continuously I might get to test out the Kopilot fully.
Col
 
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sumone

Active member
#20
If I ever stop getting the tail to flop up and down continuously I might get to test out the Kopilot fully.
Col
Mine always twitched when i have it in RTL on the ground but when i move the throttle to 3/4 and toss it in the air it behaves as it should the auto launch kicks in and it throttles up then RTL .
But has always twitched around when on the ground when in RTL.