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.



Setup Instructions

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So, latest news:

I've finally received the new servos I ordered from Hobby King. 3x HK47179TM and 1x HK47902.  These are the new Magnetic Induction servos, and are rated at 2S direct.  I think this is the best way to go as it eliminates the UBEC completely.  No more worries about those failing, or browning out!  I'm planning on running a 2200mAH 2S pack for the servos, and an 800mAH 3S pack through a linear regulator for the APM.  Eventually I'm going to make an ideal diode bridge with twin regulator supply for the APM.  Then it should all be pretty bulletproof.

I'm also working on a cheap-bastard flybarless head.  Basically just a bit of re-machining of a few bits of the flybar head.  Turns out it's actually not that complicated.

I believe my head dampers were shot which was contributing to the vibes I was getting.  I've ordered some Align branded dampers as I've not had good luck with the Hobby King parts so far.

I've just checked in some changes into Trunk which do the rescaling of pitch and roll so that you get linear motion across the range.  So you guys will get that next time an update is pushed out (or you compile from GIT).  This may/will require you to retune your Stabilize PID's, since the control outputs from those equations will now be rescaled.  I expect you will need to increase the PI numbers by the inverse of the reduction in your pitch and roll max.  So for example, normal pitch max is 4500.  If you set it to 2250 (half), then I expect you will need to double your Stabilize Pitch PI.  But, if you do be careful, don't just go and double it, work up to it.  But just so you know what to expect.

And now I just realized, this probably needs to be done for Yaw too...

Next up I'll be pushing my H1 swashplate type changes.

After that, can you guys think of anything else?  There is an "issue" in the issue tracker to basically apply Expo to the collective channel, but I really don't see the point?  Why not just do that in our radios?

I'm also getting the LED code fixed up so we can have some nice running lights.

And then I'll be working on support for Tandem rotor helis. <evil grin>

@Robert, you seem to be the hardest working person on Trad Heli's at the moment. Thanks for all your hard work!!!

I'll download from the git tonight when i get in and reprogramme the Heli. 

I think my basic errors after trawling the site is not spending enough time on the STAB PID's, i fly my normal helicopters most weekends, so as long as my razor levels when i let go of the sticks then i'm not to bothered if i have to hold a little bit of elevator or aileron to keep it level. But then as soon as i hit loiter it wanders. So will do some work on the STAB settings and get the heli rock solid in the hover hands off sticks. Then i think i'll have a lot better chance of getting it to Loiter.

After that, can you guys think of anything else?  There is an "issue" in the issue tracker to basically apply Expo to the collective channel, but I really don't see the point?  Why not just do that in our radios?

Your right Robert there is not much point to this as you can do it on the TX and as long as you teach the APM zero collective then it dosent matter, you can soften it as much as you like.

I'm also working on a cheap-bastard flybarless head.  Basically just a bit of re-machining of a few bits of the flybar head.  Turns out it's actually not that complicated.

Thats the way i did it at first to make sure that the flybarless worked before i bought the expensive head.

As for the governor Robert, where should we start the discussion on that?

I think we should have a discussion in the "Helicopter" forum, or maybe Arducopter 2.x TradHeli forum.  I prefer the second, because it's on the first page and might have more visibility there.

I was doing some looking last night, and it appears like it might be fairly easy to make a stand-alone governor using a small Arduino board and a hall-effect sensor.  There's already code available and it's fairly simple.  The only thing I'm not quite sure about is two-way communication.

I have 2 small hall effect sensors, i had them on the fluke last night and was getting some reasonable readings, I was reading something about a Schmitt trigger. Is this so the ramp up voltage is taken at the same time everytime? 

I'll take some photos tonight of the Sensor and the GV-1 Governor and the spare APM1.4 i have. Then i'll  write a heading and Post the discussion in the APM2 Tradheli.

I went ahead and started the discussion.

I was reading some last night as well.  Apparently a Schmitt trigger has to do with it being latching. This is done to create hysteresis which in turn reduces noise.

with a trigger you can set a high and a low switch point so the reading is always taken at the same time. Which as you say creates hysteresis.

Glad you are trying  HK47179TM, HK47902 servos, I may want them as well, Let us know how they perform.

Some times HK stuff is good!  But as you stated "Align" parts are much better. Should be a rock solid setup.

Those servos aren't even HK, but "Blue Arrow", you can see them on their website.  I set them up with a servo driver and left them sweeping back and forth for 30 minutes last night, but not problems so far.  They did get a bit warmish, which I have heard they tend to do.  I do like the idea of the magnetic encoder rather than a pot.


Most of the HK stuff is pretty decent, I've had good luck.  Just some parts of the heli are bad.  You can see that a huge amount of the cost of genuine Align parts just goes into the appearance.  They must have a person grabbing each part as it comes out of the CNC machine and wrap it up before it goes to plating.  And all the way down the line.  HK parts, you can tell are handled in bulk all the way.  Lots of little nicks and scratches.  Doesn't bother me.

No flying for me today! ;(  That storm system that just ripped through the US is hitting us.  They are forecasting sustained wind speeds up to 70km/h with gusts over 100km/h where I live!  It's blowing a fierce gale already, I can hear my house moving as I sit here.

Hope everything is ok...........

Have you loaded the latest code from the GIT?

Yeah, so far so good.  Though my DSL internet service stopped working.  I'm using my smartphone tethered to the computer for now.  Which is actually great because it's the kick in the pants I needed to finally drop Bell Canada for internet because of their crap service.

Can you believe when I called about the problem, they told me that DSL is not available in my area?!  "Uh, you mean, it's a temporary outage because of the storm?"  "No, the systems says DSL is not available in your area.  The only thing we can do at this point is cancel your contract."

Ok, fine with me.

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