My friends at DIY Drones:
Following the Arducopter online manual, I have finished building my first Arducopter, calibrated my ESCs, initialized it with the configurator, setup the RC, and ran successfully through the Pre-Flight test. As far as I know, I followed all the steps correctly.
In terms of parts and configuration, I have a pretty standard Arudcoputer:
ESCs: Turnigy Basic 18A
Front/Back Props: APC 10x4.7 Propellers, lettering facing up
Side Props: APC 10x4.7-P Pushers, lettering facing up
RC: Futaba T10CHG Tx (in airplane mode) & 8-channel Rx.
Frame Arms: aluminum arms from beta kit
Frame center: several thin sheets of perforated aluminum, same size as beta kit
Battery: zippy 2200 3 cell lipo
Total Weight: 967 grams
I just did my first flight test. I arm the motors. Then I push the throttle forward. The front and back props spin proportionally to how far I push the throttle forward. The left and right props don't spin if I push steadily forward, but if I tilt the joystick to the left or right, then they'll come on, but at the same time, the forward and back props go off (even though the throttle is well on). As I move the joystick around, the front/back spin hard or the left/right spin hard, but seldom do they spin together (though sometimes rarely they do). My first question: Is this normal behavior? I guess I assumed all the props would be spinning more-or-less all the time to a greater or lesser degree. I wasn't expecting two props to go off when the other two props go on.
As I do this, even when when I push the throttle all the way on, the arducopter does not lift off. It's not even attempting or struggling to almost lift off. It's working extremely hard at something, but taking off isn't it. As I move the throttle joystick around (or the right joystick also) I can see the motors responding and the unit rocks back and forth, and tries to turn, as it changes the engine speeds, but no lift off at all.
My first thought was that I have the propellers on backwards or something, or the motors are spinning backwards, but I tried to be careful on those points when I assembled it (When I first built it, I did switch the direction of two motors by switching two of the ESC wires so that the motors were turning consistently with the diagram in the manual).
So, I'm not sure what the problem is. If any of this sounds familiar, or if you could help narrow my tests and diagnostics, I would appreciate it. It could be that you'll hear these symptoms and know from experience where I've gone wrong.
At this point, with out any further information, I'm going to start a general diagnostic process to see if I can isolate the problem:
1. When I got to the motor calibration step in the manual, I tried to do that properly, but the beeps are a bit hard to interpret (I come from the robotics world rather than the RC world, so ESCs and this type of brushless motors are new to me).
2. I'll double check all my motor/prop directions to make sure the right ones are CW and CCW, etc. Maybe in my attempts to make sure I got these on right, I did it exactly backwards or something.
Any clues you can provide to help me in my diagnosis of the problem would be much appreciated.