My Spektrum has expo in Heli mode but not in Acro mode. I wish I was clear about exactly why Acro is preferred (required?) as I saw in wiki. Please share your Acro setup experience.
It's not that I can't fly the quad, it's just really tricky to hold altitude. My test hops have mostly been in my backyard so it's confined a bit with trees looming all around. I did try Altitude Hold and that worked pretty well. And altitude changes might not be so critical at higher altitudes.
I put a short vid in my public folder of one test with GoPro quickly mounted on top.
file named "Quad GoPro.m4v"
Phil, just doing some research, looks like I can do a 5 point throttle curve in Acro mode by doing a Throttle-to-Throttle mix. This would allow to soften the throttle stick around the hover position.
You should give it a shot, see if your Spectrum can do it.
Phil, wow, it looks like the DX7 just cannot do a throttle curve in Acro mode?!
Generally, I think the wiki recommends using Acro mode instead of Heli because it is simpler for most users. If you are not an Intermediate or Advanced RC user, it can be confusing to try and use a Heli mode to fly AC. This is made worse by the fact that many Multi-rotor fliers have never flown a helicopter, and thus they are even more confused when they put their Tx in Heli mode. But it can be done, I've done it.
I think we really need to build a Throttle Expo function into Arducopter for just this reason. But in the meantime, if you're up to it, you should try setting up a Heli profile in your DX7 to gain benefit of the throttle curve. I can't give you a step by step as I don't know your Tx system, but here's a few tips.
1. The Heli profile must MUST MUST be set up as an "H1" swashplate. That means NO CCPM swash servo mixing. I just looked at your manual, and they call it "1 Servo".
2. On Futaba, and a few others, you have to cross servo wires, because the Tx defaults to sending the outputs on channels that Arducopter does not expect. This part is tricky. Unfortunately, the DX7 manual does a terrible job of explaining this. But I THINK, you need to use Ch2, 3, and 6. On mine it's Ch1, 2 and 6. I don't know what the DX7 does with Ch1 in Heli mode, that's just weird.
Anyway, I think you need to put Tx2 to APM1, Tx3 to APM2, and Tx6 to APM3. You'll have to play around with that a bit to get it right. Basically, you need to look in the APM radio configuration screens, and make sure the correct functions are moving with the correct stick movement. Channel 4 should go to 4, as that's Rudder, and should be straight forward.
If you figure this out, can you please let me know so I can add it to the wiki? Send me a PM.
3. Once you have that working right, then you will use the PITCH curve to adjust your "throttle" in APM. Do not use the Throttle Curve in the radio. In this case, your throttle output from the Tx will be useless to you. I have my ESC on my helicopter plugged into the throttle curve, obviously. But you don't have need for that channel with a Multi. So now you actually only have 6 channels to work with, unfortunately. Still enough to fly a Multi, you'll get your modes on Ch5, but you'll have to choose between the last channel being used for Ch6 tuning, or Ch7 functions.
Confused yet? Yeah, that's why we don't recommend it. ;)
After over a year with this project, I share the OP's frustration. Lots of the best information is on this forum, and It's really hard to find. I have spent hours clicking "back" chasing information that clearly was mentioned earlier in a forum comment thread. The worst are the "new release" threads, which are chock full of information and often a hundred comment pages long. Very hard to figure out if someone is experiencing your problem. On the other hand, I think the wiki is good documentation-- it is definitely enough to get you flying a multicopter.
A "search comments within this thread" function on the site would solve this problem for now.
So, now for the reason I got to this page. What on earth is a bloody .rlog !?
Aaron: you really shouldn't have to use these threads for basic info; everything should be in the manual. If it isn't please leave a comment on the relevant manual page asking for it to be added.
"rlog" files are just for debugging, and include all the serial output including debugging info. Most users will only want the "tlog" files, which are just the flight data.
All this is in the manual here.
Aha! My bad. I was looking for it in the "Mission planning and analysis" section. I guess a link might be in order. The documentation for this project really is quite good, especially compared to my experience trying to get an Xaircraft in the air (now THAT is a useless wiki).
Advanced search on this site would still be very nice...
Sorry, Chris, but that isn't the case - especially in the Hexacopter kit. I frequently have to go to the Quadcopter instructions to figure out the missing information. As I said before, there is no one document with the complete instructions for assembly. I would be happy with a master document with links to the other documents in the appropriate point in the assembly. Not just a list of links and leave it to the newbie to guess which order to follow them.
As you could guess, I am one of those newbies who have never built an R/C aircraft before, let alone a multirotor. (I did learn to fly the Parrot wit the McGyver R/C mod).
I am getting close to first flight, but I still have a lot to discover. If it weren't for my patient mentor who does have R/C experience and recently built and flies a quadcopter, I would be on this forum a lot more asking what to you are fundamental (and likely stoopid) questions. For example, I have no idea how to attach the propellers to the motors. Again, my mentor will help me here, but there is nothing in the assembly instructions that helps me get started.
Stephen: happy to put the team on improving documents, but I'm still unclear what exactly is missing--could you give me specifics? Quads and hexas are 99% the same, so there's no point in us creating a whole new wiki with hundreds of pages that we have to maintain just so that people don't have to see pages that are common to both.
We do have PDF guides for quadcopters created by the community. Were you wanting something like that for hexas? I can't vouch for their quality -- we didn't create them -- and such PDF guides are a nightmare to maintain, but perhaps we could crowdsource that.
Thank you for the links to the PDF guides - many of my upcoming questions will be answered there.
OK, here's my primary assembly document:
Hundreds of pages? Probably, but scattered all over two or three websites.
Up to page 9, everything is OK, except the need to ream every 3mm hole because the production drill used was too small.
Page 10. "Mount the APM2 board". Whoah - the photo shows a fully wired Hexacopter - did I miss a step or a dozen? No problem, it's ony an illustration of how to mount the APM2.
Same with the almost completed assembly photo in Page 12. OK, this is also an illustration of how to mark the arms. I'm sure the instructions will get to the wiring later....
Page 12, illustrates the mounting of the motors - with the propeller attached. Did I miss a step? Do I attach the propellers now?
Page 14, illustrates the mounting of the ESC's. I recalled reading somewhere else that Velcro straps would be a good temporary fastener until I am ready to use the zip ties. It's not in this document, though. But what's this? The photo shows the APM board mounted with thumbscrews, and the "stack" mounted above it. Did I miss a step?
Page 15, the photo illustrates where to connect the ESCs to the PDB. Fine, but what are those other six wires in the photo? Maybe I skipped the step of prewiring the ESC?
Page 16, good photo, shows me how to mount the PDB. Sort of. Do I use screws or double-sided tape? Neither of which is in the kit.
Page 18 - the instructions have me building the stackup layers. But wait? Wasn't I told on Page 10 to mount the APM? to the base plate? Do I remove it or work around it?
Page 22 - "then take the connectors from the PDB and match them to the RC outputs for each motor". Well, the wire colors in my kit are red-orange-yellow-green, but the photos show black-red-white-orange. Well if I am careful with lining up motor one regardless of color. But where is pin labels to use? Search the website again and I find it in the page titled "Connecting your RC gear":
I actually stumbled on it - there was nothing pointing me to this page. And under "what you'll need", I find: "Female to female connectors for each channel ..." Where are they? There were none in the Hexacopter kit and none in the APM2 box, so I guess I have to order them. (More shipping charges).
But, it's still very unclear where the 6-wires from the PDB go on the APM2. The photo is of an APM1 and the indicated pins on the APM1 don't exist on the APM2. The closest help I could find is a block diagram for the Arducopter (quad). I am guessing that the output pins for motors 5 and 6 on the APM go to the inputs on the PDB. Hey there's a link to "Board Layout and Schematic". That would answer a lot of my questions. But the file format is a mystery to me. the .sch file doesn't open in Microsoft Schedule, so it must be the schematic. Why can't I just see a PDF of the layout and schematic? Is there another software package that I need to buy to look at the schematic and layout?
Do you see why a newbie just might be confused?
Stephen: That's super helpful -- many thanks! I'll send that to the 3DR team so they can improve those instructions.
Don't get me wrong. I am slowly figuring it out and learning a lot in the process. But I am having fun. (I just hope to make no mistakes that doom the project on first flight.) I am hugely grateful for the work all the volunteers do.
The team just needs to remember when they were new to all this.