I have purchased several ArduPilotMega1.4 and IMU shields (4 of each) cause I tought I can get them working soon as I saw manuals, how-tos, etc. in internet. But I was wrong! I'm expert computer programmer and I have good skills in soldering and some basic electronics. But no luck at all!
a) At first I'm not able to connect ArduPilotMega1.4 via Arduino and upload ArduCopter code to it. Simply I get sync error and programmer not responding errors. I've already read all pages related to that error, did all suggestions, like acetone and RTS reset checkbox etc. No luck at all!
b) I uploaded ArduCopter 2.4.1 firmware via MegaPlanner (latest version). After I uploaded firmware, I was able to connect to ArduPilotMega via MegaPlanner and change it's settings like settings mode to + or x and calibrating radio. Altought I connect to APM after 10 times of try, I see some random irrelevant chars in terminal at startup of terminal while I'm pressing enter 3 times. etc. In a word, I get uploaded firmware and I can connect to it to do changes with a lot of trouble, but let's assume I can do it.
c) I calibrated ESCs with manual mode as explained in AC2_ESC page. Automatic mode wasn't working for me (calibrating all ESCs and motors at once)
d) I have a Futaba 6EX and Futaba617FS receiver. At first When I hold stick down it's max PWM which should be wrong, as far as I know, when you put stick to up it's max power. Anyway, I cannot get any motor running.
When I go to terminal -> setup -> motors
and if I don't disconnect it after motor tests, I can JUST (simply JUST) start 4 motors by putting slider to down and up. If APM powered off, nothing works again! Nothing!
I don't know what to do! I created a power distribution board and I sync all motors with a single LiPo battery.
Also I have another bunch of motors and ESCs which each ESC has it's own LiPo and Motor. All connect to OUT1 OUT2 OUT3 and OUT4
in RC (futaba R617FS) I connected
Channel 1 RC to Input 1
Channel 2 RC to Input 2
Channel 3 RC to Input 3
Channel 4 RC to Input 4
Channel 5 RC to Input 8 (I saw in some page and I also connected Channel 5 to Input 5 also sometimes)
In a word, nothing works! I connect via MegaPlanner and I see random chars in terminal, I can connect via USB after 10 times of try only! I cannot start engines in sync, I cannot control it, I cannot take it off!
Please give me some advice, I purchased 4 APM1.4 and 4 IMU Shield, 8 ESC and 8 Motors, I created aluminum shape for my Quad, but I cannot get it powering/working/taking off with APM.
Please advice, please...
Well. Let's start from the beginning ! You have a lot of errors when connecting via Arduino... are you using relax patch available in the download area ? If so, are you selecting proper com port and baud ? (115200). If not using relax patch, download it, unzip it, put the libraries folder from the arducopter folder inside the folder where you have the arduino relaxpatch libraries, open arduino, go to options and on the preferences, select the folder where you have Arducopter folder as your sketchbook folder, close arduino ide, open it again, go to sketchbook and select "arducopter".
You metion you have full pwm with stick down... which stick ? wich ch ? throttle ? pitch ? If it's pitch is ok, if it's throttle, I believe the radio have a config that allows you to reverse that channel. So you have max pwm with stick up.
Next. Ch 5 to input ch8 ? YOU SHOULDN'T CONNECT ANYTHING ON CH8 INPUT, that's on the instructions. If you are using a variable ch from the radio (a potentiometer) and you want to use it to select the mode, you should connect it to ch5 input of the apm. See if any of this help in anyway and comeback for more :)
Thank you so much Rui
I've tried relax patch. No luck!
It was pitch stick.
a) Where Ch 5 and Ch 6 of RC should connect in APM?
b) Should I do something special and magical in my Futaba 6EX to make it working or take off my APM?
c) How should I be sure I have calibrated my ESC and motors properly? or my wiring is correct or my powering is correct? Powering each motor with a different battery and powering APM from a 6V battery and connecting all signal and + and - cables into APM slots is correct?
Thanks once again!
As for a)...
are you on Linux, Mac or Windows? This important as you don't need the relax patch on linux, BUT you do need to set up the terminal/com port differently..
As for b)...
You cannot connect to MP, until you uploaded firmware (looks like you done so). As for garbage characters, that's the binary info coming across before entering terminal mode (ok). Just wait--when you hook up wireless (56k baud, fyi), you'll see all binary in the terminal...
As for c)...
You on the right track--manual ESC cal is the way to go, period.
As for d)...
In the radio cal on MP, there are reverse check boxes. just check the channels that need reversing and responds to correct way regardless of the PWM values--it's happens as rx's models can be different...
Also, having 8 ESC and 8 Motors, let me guess, octo? That requires soldering the channel outputs for the last 2 motors on the APM (I assume you already did that)...
I can't explain how I felt when I read your comment, it was like reading what I have in my mind, I'm like you, expert in programming, C/C++, ASM, AVR, Windows and Linux programming, kernel programming, etc. etc. And have good knowledge in electronics, I can't do anything but as you said a lot of people did it, I was thinking about hammer like you!
Could you give me a good STEP by STEP from soldering part to flying guide? So I can go step by step from beginning?
Thank you so much!
Hi Jonathan again! Thanks.
I have 2 Quads, one with strong ESCs, Lipos and Motors which I power each with seperate LiPo and seperate ESC, etc. I left that one for some while as that's so harder to test as motors are really strong and batteries also.
Other Quad is with 930KV motors all powered from a single LiPo 11.1V and APM also powered from this Lipo and all motors and esc also gets power from this Lipo.
Any ideas now? I'm reading all comments, applying all comments and ideas from people, trying to solve it, but I know I have a simple problem, trying to find that one.
Overally thank you for your valuable comments. I'll try to read and read more and do it all again.
A) This sounds like 2 different problems. One is a FTDI driver for your PC so you can talk serial. The second is selecting the correct board from the tools menu. It's most likely the 2560 board. Also make sure you have all the pins soldered up on the board to connect the top and bottom. If you miss some, you will have additional issues.
I need to run to a meeting, so I'll follow up later.
Hi Jason, thanks for comment.
a) I have APM 1.4 with 2560 board. When I compile ArduCopter with 2560 board, I get errors, if I compile it with 1280, it compiles. When I try to upload code from 1280 compiled code, I get sync error, if I try 2560 as it doesn't compile I can't test upload.
b) FTDI cable is exactly correct cable, both FTDI cable for IMU shield (mini USB) and FTDI cable with green to black cables is also same as I purchased all from sparkfun.
What I think Jason meant by the FTDI driver is, have you installed the correct drivers?
check here: http://www.ftdichip.com/FTDrivers.htm
What are the errors you are getting when you compile?
Got that part working, thanks. But still I cannot see any move in my motors, see my last comment, any idea?
For some unknown magical reasons, I got it working with Arduino IDE, now I can upload code via Arduino IDE.
a) Still I see some random chars in terminal part if it's error
b) When I try to calibrate motors using:
setup -> motors
command, I see just 1 motor spinning to max and coming down, next motors goes to max and slowly comes down and stays a little turning with lowest speed, but other two motors doesn't spin.
What more I should do to test it or get it working?