I have just bought the ArduPilot Mega 2560 Full Kit... plus the Triple Axis Magnetometer HMC5883L. I should have it built over the weekend.. then i'm off to a my mates machine shop, and i'll make the splitter plate for the lower frame onto which i am going to fit the Ardupilot. the magnetometer i'll put on the tail as suggested. I am going to use my X-cell Razor 600E. For those that dont know its around the 50 size nitro heli.

Do i need to buy any other sensors i.e. the Sonar... i can fly a helicopter all day long but this is my first time flying one with stabilisation so any tips would be gratefully appreciated.

If this works well then i am going to try and use it on my x-cell gasser. i can get up to 20 minute flights with this. But i think for the time being a battery 600 is the way to go.

i'll post some pictures when i have it all together.



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I have moved the GPS to the rear stabiliser fin, this should give it a clear view of the sky. Now i'm testing Loiter i took Michaels advise against GPS multipathing.

Hi Malcolm,


Yes I had a trex450 but I will have to give it back to the people that I was trying to help with a project.  Anycase I will get my own sometime soon.  I am to scared to try it on my Trex600.  Maybe on my BeltCP.... Is your code modifications to the code somewhere available?


I also recommend to do the following setting in APM config:


We don't want any stick movement to have an effect on the GPS positioning in loiter mode.


I am learning a lot from you guys.




Hi, I plan to give my Trex450pro another chance (been stock for years) and work with you guys but do you know if anyone can make the plate for it to mount the ardu/IMU?



For GPS mount I think the tail servo mount can be used but it might cause shift in CG, I think the mounting on the stabilizer is better. The Helicommand GPS is recommend to be mounted the same way AFAIK

At the moment its better for me to have some cyclic control when in Loiter mode. 

The modification to the code was to remove a line and write "true". But try it with the stock code first.

I suspect it will be fine for a 450.


As for using a 600, why not? i see little point in being scared. the code is pretty bullet proof in stabilise, any problems that are encountered and u just change to stab_mode. It flys just like a normal helicopter.

A belt CP might be a little too small...keep me posted :)



I think randy has a post about that already. i wouldn't worry too much a bout the cg shift, just move your battery further forwards. 

I had it underneath the main blades, but I'm having a few problems with loiter mode so thought i would make sure everything has a good chance of success, before I try again.


Good to hear you are going to have a go with your 450 :)

If you're looking for a GPS mount for a 450, I'd recommend just ordering from Shapeways here.  I guarantee it fits on a real Trex450 sport.  I only make $0.01 profit so that i can keep track of how many people have ordered it.

Hi Malcolm,


Randy can help me out but I think this parameter:


#define AUTO_RESET_LOITER 0  //default it is "1" meaning it reset GPS position when stick are not at centre........


has nothing to do with cyclic control.  In loiter mode you still have cyclic control.  Yet I think if you move your sticks during loiter it will record again the latest position as the loiter position.  And if your stick are not exactly at 1500 (mid stick) both pitch and roll then it will not really lock but keep on reset to current GPS position.


Randy do you agree on this?




If that is the case then i will change the setting, i'll wait for randy to confirm.


thanks hein for the info :)

Yes, Hein's right.  There's some code in ArduCopterMega.pde where it checks if the combined roll+pitch is greater than 15 degrees.  If "yes" it resets the target position to the current location.  So, yes, this isn't cool for heli's where you're more likely to have set your trims than on a quad.


Thanks and I'm going to add this immediately to the default config for code loaded through the AP_MissionPlanner.



By the way, I didn't see issue appearing in Malcolm's logs though because the lat & lon error weren't zero.


P.S. As a quick introduction to those who don't know Hein - he's an old pro at this.  As a member of the ArduPirates he's been hacking (=improving) the code since the original ArduCopter code came out (i.e. before ACM, before NG!).  thanks again for your help!

15 degrees of trim on a swash plate would be huge though randy.
I think if it was this far out then you would need to sort out your Helicopter.

Great to know though, thanks Hein :) and i'll change it anyway for the moment, just so i know if i fly back to the same point it wont have reset..

I'm off testing tomorrow, have just been up to motors to pick up a tempest head for my Razor600E (flybarless)

Finally got round to fitting the flybarless head.

This should help with loiter mode.



so if we wanted to edit the .pde we would write in the MP terminal (in this example) "#define AUTO_RESET_LOITER 0"??


I am a little lost, otherwise it should be editedwith a text editor on the actual arducopter .pde? where can I find the .pde in the file system, or is it the one automatically loaded as the firmware onto the ACM when I load it on through the MP??



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