being a complete novice with autopilots and quadrocopters in general, I just got my stock 3DR kit completed and was able to fly.
Some observations that might help newcomers to get the stuff together:
- If you think you have checked everything - do it again. There's certainly something you missed.
- Getting the right motor connections to the PDB board is a nightmare. Even if you follow the instructions, you almost certainly end up with a wrong order of motors. Even if the CLI motor test works as per instruction, it might still be wrong. I had to switch front and back motors to make it work. The best test ist the "hand test" - hold the copter over your head and apply some throttle. Feel how the copter reacts to movements. Even if you never have done this before, you will feel when it is right. The copter will feel incredible stable in your hand. If it just does "something", then there's probably something wrong.
- To change the order of motors, instead of disassembling the frame and to resolder the PDB, I just swapped pins in the connector from the motor output of the APM to the PDB. Much easier.
- I had to reverse the pitch channel on my R/C. Don't know why, but when I pulled the stick, the back motors increased speed instead of the front motors.
- Definetly think about getting telemetry - flying the copter is so much fun, you will need the battery monitor ;)
So much for today - need to update the copters firmware ;)