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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  • Hi Guys,

    Here's the latest build of my AC2 - and I am making use of a redundant control system (which will be routed through a flybarless controller and eCCPM mixer) to fall back on should any AC2 testing go awry!

  • Is my understanding correct, that in Stabilize, releasing the cyclic stick will cause the heli to level, but will not hold position (ie: wind can blow it around)?  Pushing full up stick will cause the heli to pitch forward whatever the pitch limit is, maybe 20° and then will hold that attitude instead of continuing to pitch more and more?


    And Stabilize does not hold altitude, you still have to control the collective?


    Loiter does hold altitude?  What happens when you move the cyclic or collective sticks while in loiter?

  • Developer

    ive tested loiter and auto in the sim,

    loiter - heading locks.

    guided - heads to wp and then heading locks when its within range.

    auto - tracks to the next wp, always facing the next waypoint.. ie if you fly sideways yaw will always target the next WP.

    auto end of mission - as far as i know will return, and yaw around the wp at a very close radius. similar to guided but never "heading locks"

    RTL - i beleive heading locks. but cant recall

  • Got the radio mostly set up.

    I'm amazed at how stable the servos are. With my old Flymentor setup, they constantly buzzed with it sitting on a table, even visibly twitched. With the Arducopter, they're dead quiet until you move it. Can't wait to fly it.
  • Quick note, I went to solder the bridges to enable the hardware filters on the sensors, and they came closed from the factory.  Probably a good thing too, because it looks hard to do.  If they've changed this and made them closed as standard from the factory, might want to update the wiki.

  • Got my APM kit in the mail today.  Smaller than I thought.  I hope it's not beyond my soldering skills.  I won't have a problem mounting it on the 600.  Won't need a subframe or anything.


    I've been learning the Arduino programming language, and looking at the code.  It's starting to make some sense.  Is there in existence anywhere a nice glossary of the variables and functions being used?  That would help a lot.

  • Hey guys.  I am having problems with my magnetometer.  I haven't been able to get it to return correct and consistent values.  I haven't been able to find any postings from people with similar issues.  Here is what my values look like with the heli in 4 different orientations.  Why would Z be so high?  Why would north be correct, but south be so far off?  Could it be interference or a damaged magnetometer?  Do I have to configure offsets?  I have my magnetometer mounted upside down with the pins facing left.



    Heading: 110, XYZ: 113, -97, 579


    Heading: 354, XYZ: 46, 180, 578


    Heading: 39, XYZ: 179, 106, 614


    Heading: 249, XYZ: -49, -1, 626

  • Here's a interesting video of a demonstration of a Blade MCPX going down in Vortex Ring State. It's a small heli but it does demonstrate the effect



  • Robert,
    Nobody said anything about negative pitch, of course Vortex Ring state (or settling with power) occurs when you are descending under power but within a set of specified circumstances such as a relatively high rate of descent (which you are applying positive pitch to slow) and a low airspeed which causes the air to recirculate within the span of the rotor disc itself, thereby exponentially increasing induced flow which lowers the blades relative angle of attack and causes the machine to fall out of the sky. Obviously the only escape is to maneuver the machine laterally out of the column of the turbulent recirculating air yada yada but what I was saying is that RC helis have such low relative disc loading and such a high power to weight ratio that the amount of air the rotordisc moves simply blasts air out of the way and also the scale does not lend itself to large and potentially dangerous vortexes circulating the tip of the rotor disc.
  • Lol yes, settling with power or vortex ring is really a non even at this scale, the most you will experience is you will visually see some lateral deviation and slight "turbulent" sound during a vertical decent however the power to  weight ratio/head speed etc means you can really just power out of it no worries! Otherwise every time Szabo does a "wall dead stop" thing the heli wont in fact stop and instead "vortex ring" itself along and downward until it crashes!


    Oh yes while I was building and flying large (800mm) gasser helis, I was curious and experimented with trying to purposefully enter VRS and other than the lateral deviation could not. With the power to weight ratio we are running, even on heavy gassers with cam gear its not like we need to figure the density alt to avoid over pitching dangerzones and whatnot.

    P.S while I have been kinda quiet lately I have been working on some interesting applications for the ac2 along the lines of new imaging systems and technology - as well as contributing in some way to developing safer systems for the AC2 but more later..



This reply was deleted.


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