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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  • Thanks. I didn't have a chance to try that yet although I had increased the P value and decreased the I value in roll.  Let's just say the outcome was so bad that I will no longer try AMP on this platform. I almost died.  Luckily a car window took the force instead of my chest. The blades made contact with the tail fin mounted GPS and sent it flying through one window and shattered the next.  The only thing I saw was the heli looked like it had exploded. I'm thinking of either selling the unit or moving to quad. uBlox gps is ruined. I'm sick good luck with this. 3692499654?profile=original3692499601?profile=original3692499518?profile=original3692499533?profile=original

  • So I have everything all wired up and "working" but the first spool up wasn't too great.  I have all the default PIDs and the heli is level and swash works on the bench just fine.  The problem occurs when the main blade starts spinning.  The higher the head speed the more right roll the helicopter does all the way to the point that I can put full left in the TX and it still tries to lean to the right.  I am not too familiar with PID settings and I have read how to adjust them but I am not sure what to adjust.  Any suggestions and maybe a screen shot of your PIDs. BTW it is on a Raptor 50 Nitro. Your help is greatly appreciated.

  • Well, I think I have found the source of my vibes causing my leans.  The front and rear tail shaft bearings have failed again.  This time after only 3 flights.  When I did the rebuild, I noticed they had failed which I thought was weird.  So I replaced them, and then as I say, 3 flights and they're done again.

    I know I set the belt tension tight.  I had it skip a while back which is freaky, so I put more tension on. But I guess this is too tight, though frankly, it wasn't THAT tight!  So I dunno.  Replace them again.

    This does sound exactly like what I've heard of people with some of the other controllers (SK720?) where a bearing starts to go, so they lose stabilization.

  • Hey guys, here's a video of my flights yesterday.  Did my first really high speed flying with the heli.  Pretty cool!


  • Here's a video of some quality hover time trying to find a happy auto trim in some very minor wind. I think it's good enough to take the training gear off and start playing with the optical flow sensor :-)

  • I just flew 3 packs on my 600, after the thorough rebuilt.  It went fairly well.  The first pack went quite well.  The second pack was a little less well, and I started getting "leans".  I kept doing Auto_Trim to it.  When I landed and took it back to the GC, the HUD showed almost 45° lean with it sitting flat!

    So I went through some old DevList emails, and tried something suggested by Jason.  I turned AHRS_RP_P from 0.1 to 0.  This shuts off the accelerometer compensation, and makes the attitude solution rely COMPLETELY on integrating the gyros.  I spun it up on the ground in flybar mode, and the attitude instantly went to about 30°.  So, then I turned AHRS_RP_P to 0.4, which I think is the old setting, and spun it up again and this time it held much better.

    I flew a third back, and still got some "leans" but not as bad.  It's much better.  I was able to do some really precise hovering without having it wander all over.

    I think anybody fighting this problem should try adjusting that parameter.  I don't know how high it could go or what would happen, so be careful.

  • Argh, I'm having a rough go of this....

    The tail is exhibiting some strange behavior that is new to me. It begins an oscillation that increases in magnitude rapidly. If I give ANY input to the tail it instantly locks down -oscillation gone- and rotates correctly relative to the input. Let off the stick and the oscillation starts then increases until it's doing the mad weed whacker, the longer I let it go the worse it gets.

    I'd shoot a video but I'm home alone today. I can tell you that zeroing out the I terms and disabling the compass yaw ahrs does not change the problem at all. The Stab_yaw_P does slow the increase in oscillation, but only after I have no tail authority at all.

    Any ideas?

  • I just uploaded 2.7.2 directly from trunk into my 600 and tested the new flybar mode.  So now in Acro mode, I have direct control over the swashplate with ZERO interference from the APM.  Seems to work well so far.  Haven't flown it yet but it works as expected which is good.

  • Anyone feel like taking a few minutes to post up a quick 101 on how to view logs for the PID's?

    I have enabled them and started trying to look at them but I'd like see the PID loops the same way I have in some of the post's I've seen here on the forums.

  • Well I got the APM 2.5 mounted and all wired up. The maiden went OK for having no trim and using all default pid's.

    The 45 degree pitch took a few seconds to get used to again, propably should have dialed it back to the 18 I'm used to, but I wanted to see what it was like raw.

    The tail wants to rotate pretty bad, but with the APM centered under the main shaft I suspect it is just getting a more tame yaw gyro now... I'll give it some more Rate_P tomorrow after I re-trim mechanically.

    The mechanical trims seem different for some reason? I had to put it up over 1600ms to level the swash when I was below 1580ms on the 2.0??? I suspect the same difference is what has killed the trim on the tail too.

    Here's a video, the first 30 seconds is me getting into the swing of it, the yaw movement is unintentional and I battled it the whole flight. When the heli rotates clockwise 360' with the training gear touching the ground that is how much it wanted to rotate, I just wanted to see if it was trying to get to a certain angle or if it just wanted to perpetually rotate (which it does).

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