ArduCopter or ArduPlane?
The manual should be pretty complete; some of those comments may have referred to older versions. Let me know if you have any questions as you get started.
Thanks. I had a fun day building yesterday. Everything went as expected from reading the manual.
I powered up the APM2, got a GPS lock and watched the artificial horizon move.
I connected my receiver and calibrated my radio. One question here, when I get a PPM receiver should I use the the solder or the APM1 method when I install it?
I plugged in the airspeed sensor and blew on the end of it to watch the numbers change.
I made a wiring harness for the MinimOSD and plugged it in. I had to update it's firmware but that was painless. I wrapped the OSD in clear heatshrink, but then noticed it got slightly warm, do you think the protection is worth some extra heat?
Then I installed the whole thing in my plane, which is starting to look a little full now.
Everything seems to be working right on the ground. Mode switching is reflected on the OSD display and if I put it in stabilize mode then the controls react when I tilt the plane around.
I had to remove the magnets that held the canopy on, they definitely stuffed up the compass.
So I guess it's ready for a test flight on the next calm day. Flicking the mode switch in the air is going to be a big step, but I'm looking forward to testing RTL once stabilize and FBW have proved they work acceptably.
Oh, one last question. On the wiki it says the Bixler param file is being updated and we should use the defaults, but I found the old param file in the downloads section. I've already written it to the plane, was it bad and I should go back to defaults (if so, how) or is it still ok as a starting point?
The ArduPlane code has been updated since that config file was made, and it may no longer be appropriate. So until we check it, stick with the defaults. It is a good idea to remove those cockpit magnets, since they can mess with the onboard magnetometer on APM 2.
The cockpit magnets had already been removed. I'll reset the plane to defaults tonight.
One other question I thought about today...
I created some vents in my Bixler a while ago to keep the ESC and FPV Tx cool. There's an inlet vent in the nose and an outlet vent at the end of the fuse before the tail. I tried to make them both the same size.
I mounted the APM2 on the floor of the internal space under the wing spar. Do you think that when the plane is at high speed, say 80kph, there will be any pressure difference inside the plane that would affect the barometer? I thought about testing it by doing a high speed, low run across a field and comparing that to the ground altitude when landed.
I'm afraid I don't know. I usually mount mine in the cockpit, so I can get to it.
I found a GPS/Barometer mix setting. Do both the values get recorded in the log, or just the mixed one? I had a look at the "status" values but I could only find "alt". It would be nice to log a flight and compare the two values.