Hey everyone, recently I've been working on a second Arducopter because I lost my first one in a terrible crash :( I am using standard arducopter frame with the standard jDrones 20A ESCs and the 2830 850kv motors. The only parts recycled from the first copter was the ArduPilot Mega (1280), the sensor shield, Power distribution board, GPS and RX/TX.
Frame, battery, ESCs, and motors are all brand new. My problem began a couple weeks ago when I tried to fly for the first time with my new copter. Immediately, I noticed struggle to take off because copter wanted to veer to one side. I noticed controls were behaving "backward" and that it seemed front and back motor were switched, so I reversed "elevator" in the TX. This seemed to have solved the problem, but silly me, the arducopter was still sending "compensation" signals to the wrong motor, so when i tilted the copter back, the front motor would increase in power, shifting the copter even more back!. I thought that I had perhaps wired the signal wires in the distribution board wrong, but I double check at it is correct (according to wiki). This was also the same power board from my first copter which worked perfectly, so the signal wires couldn't be backwards. So I simply switched the ESC signal wires for the front and back motors and this fixed the issue (although I still find it weird the ardupilot had it backwards in the first place? maybe my mistake somewhere?) Anyway, now with that fixed, copter still did not takeoff very easily, I needed to compensate heavily to keep it stable while trying to takeoff.
Today, I decided to try again. About the 4th attempt to get off the ground, the copter "locked up" and did not respond to any of my TX commands. I even turned off the TX but the motors were still running (low power, thank god, it was still on the ground). I had to disconnect the battery. Now, when I reconnect the battery, the Arducopter does not even arm. I changed the batteries in the TX, and put a fresh LiPo in the copter, but to no avail. The ESC I'm using for power is outputing a pretty stable 5.21v. All lights seem to be on and nothing is warm, it just doesn't arm. I checked the output channels using a pocket o-scope and it shows a pretty constant 5.3% PWM duty cycle on all 4 channels (which seems appropriate for disarm). I uploaded firmware again and performed the first time setup again but no luck :(.
The only thing that has changed on the APM since I had the copter running fine a month ago was that I soldered the gyro dampeners and uploaded the most recent arducopter 2 code, and of course, crashed it! :(
Did I somehow destroy the ArduPilotMega? I guess its time to get the new version anyway. Has this happened to anyone else?