I set up my first Arducopter APM 2.5 last week and had it flying in 6 flight modes by the next day.
i put it on a 550 hex that i built a week ago with a kk2 controller on it.
My only experience with multirotors was a quad i build a couple of months ago with a KK2 controller.
I was very apprehensive about getting the apm 2.5 because all of the discussion online about how it is difficult to set up and tune.
GPS choices, flight modes, Misson planner, CLI, PIDs, Arduino, power regulators, power modules, IMU, radio telemetry, it was all freaking me out, but i finally decided to order one after weeks of thinking about it.
I was shocked the first time i powered up my 550 hex with apm 2.5 it flew great without any tuning.
I followed the tuning guide and dialed the p and d rates in to perfection using my channel 6.
The guides on getting 6 modes out of my futaba 7c were very helpful, i made a video of my own and posted it.
I also made a video of my 550 flying in 6 flight modes. I did this on the second day after sticking it on my 550 hex frame.
i will put them at the end of this post.
My point is that if there are guys out there that are holding back like i was because i was intimidated by the complexity of the apm 2.5, only because it can do so much, Dont Hold back.
A lot of the blogs out there say to get a Naza because it is so simple to set up and use.
I almost went for the NAZA but i am glad i didn't you will definitely learn a lot setting up the apm 2.5 for multirotors but there is tons of information on diy drones and across the web to get you through.
IF APM 2.5 will be more userfriendly to tune,it will be the best plateform..i think 2013 will be a great year for ardu code.i cross my finger
Thank you for sharing your experience and progress. Good info.
You are so right about all the toughts before bying the APM :-) But also about the joy og seeing it fly. It took me 8 days of fiddling around with the Missionplanner and DIY Drones. It felt like planning a mission to the moon! Okay, I just want to understand what I'm dealing with before flight.
But now that I understand what it is all about, I can't wait to explore all the possibilities :-)
APM is joy to our world!
My only hiccup was loading 2.9 fw after successfully flying stab mode with 2.81. It crashed my first flight. I didn't know that I needed to erase the old stuff first when loading 2.9 on top of 2.81. Didn't fly right one bit. Broke my hexa-B up a bit. So that experience, plus the other panic'd posts made me apprehensive, when I started again with 2.9 (after erasing eeprom on apm) on an F450 quad this time (quad is cheaper to replace than hex).
But 2.9's been good to me in stab and alt-hold modes - and I'm looking forward to trying loiter and RTL when the weather breaks. This was my first multi-copter experience.
And even with trying alt-hold for the first time, with 2.9 - I was quite nervous, due to the postings about it. But it was seemless - very well done. Now I ignore most of the panic posts - realizing they're from folks much less experienced then myself.
I agree I had been using a 450 quad as a learning system for eventually building a heavy lift hexa. I started using a KK2 and got it flying well but never really dialed in. I installed the APM 2.5 v2.9.1, UBox GPS with power module and bam! on first flight rock solid. I had read EVERYTHING in the manual so I pre set my rate for a high power quad as mine has Turnigy 3536 1250 KV motors turning 10 x 6 Zingers (LOVE THE ZINGERS). I even flew it this weekend in 30 mph winds and it was rock solid. I initially did the flying tuning on a windless day but want to move on to the channel 6 tuning method to get it perfected.
I've also done loiter, altitude hold, circle, RTL acro and basic 4 waypoint mission all worked great. This next week I'll be installing the telemetry and FPV system.
My only complaint...I'd like to be able to change the circle speed from the default. And Also I'd like to see a much more comprehensive manual for all the features of the Mission Planner.
NOTE: To those who are new to RC flying I had been away from flying for over 20 years but was a very capable pilot back in the day. My confidence in flying the quad came quickly as my flying skills came back quickly. Those of you inexperienced at flying should, in my opinion, start with a simple airplane to get use to being "Ahead" of the aircraft.