Arducopter first tests and questions


I did two successful test flights with RC_01.
It seems all is set correctly. Behavior is as expected (very sensible, but I like that).

Now the questions :
- one ESC does not work (broken ? It does not output any voltage on the motor side; BEC is good instead at 5V). I exchanged it with one laying around. It works, but I prefer to have all ESC the same type. Unfortunately the original is out of stock. Is the one showed on the pictures (Turnigy, probably the same) a recommended substitute ?

- during the flights I had some issues, with motors suddenly stopping (and copter diving :( ; fortunately I was expecting some issue and then flying very low, so no damage). 
What is going wrong ? 
I noticed that there is another ESC which does not work properly, sometime stopping to work (?!). 
I already found a bad solder on a motor connector. I have then to check for them all, but in this case I would prefer to solder my connections myself from start, not having to check for bad solder joints ... or experiencing them during a flight ...

- is NG firmware already flyable, assuming it is a beta (alfa ?) revision ?

This is a starting point.
I have some other questions about stabilization etc, but I would like to check all that better, with flight experience, before asking.

Out of curiosity, 10 minutes of hovering are 2220mAh consumption from a 3300 3S lipo.

Best regards,


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  • Hello3692137792?profile=original

    I  currently assemble my Arducopter n°115 and I found that bad weldings.

    Warning, it can be very dangerous for the first tests.

    Can you go up information to Arducopter team.




  • Hi,

    Has anyone successfully for a red light on (GPS lock) with the latest NG code and a EM406 in NMEA mode at 38400 baud??

    Using Sirf i can see i have a 3dfix and a good number of satelites.

    The Red led on the EM406 is flashing but no GPS lock red light on oilpan.

    Any suggestions anyone??



  • Is the telemetry still not implemented ?



  • Hard test :)

    I just did a 9' flight.

    Firmware NG  r1133.

    Wind average 8.1 m/s, max gusts 19.9 m/s.

    Arducopter was stabilizing amazingly, but the wind was so strong that it was hard to keep Arducopter on place and sometimes it was blown away from wind gusts. Full down pitch was not enough to bring it home and I had to wait for gusts calming down.

    To have more authority on controls do I have to decrease P as usual, or is there another way (e.g. decreasing this value: #define STICK_TO_ANGLE_FACTOR 12.0) ?

    I already decreased 

    #define YAW_STICK_TO_ANGLE_FACTOR 150.0

    to 130 and have a more satisfactory yaw control.

    I guess I misunderstood something about GPS. Is it not enough for GPS lock when GPS blue led stop blink ?

    Is it GPS already implemented (position hold working) ?

    When I switched to position hold I got a red led and no yellow led.


    Anyway this was only a hard test to  watch how it behaves in extreme conditions. After 9' at 1°C my hands were purple. No way to do a second one. Shame I wasn't able to test position hold. It would be nice to watch if it is able to really stay at place in those conditions.



  • Hi,


    I'm mounting a magnetometer. I guess that it has to be aligned to the APM even in case of x configuration.

    I mean it will be 45° ccw too, am I right ?





  • I just uploaded NG code and after some checks I discovered that:

    1) if magnetometer is enabled, but not connected, GPS will not lock. Is that right ?

    In this case would it not be better to disable it as default value to avoid confusion and issues ?


    2) the answer to my question #3

    using NG and x configuration, has the related switch to be up (like on wiki page) or down (like on the code comment)?

     seems to be "the wiki is right, the code is wrong (see below). Switch has to be up for x configuration.


    3) the answer to my question #4

    using NG the board remains in the same position (pointing toward left front arm, 45° ccw) or has to be mounted facing forward, between the two fron arms ?

    seems to be "in case of x configuration the board is oriented 45° ccw".

    Sorry if I was not able to get it from the code, but I find it confusing (see below).


    Now still remains open two questions:

    1) is it true that I can calibrate ESCs as per those instrucions all togheter when connected to APM and ready to fly ? I am worried about disconnecting the main battery with USB cable attached (blown APM outputs ?)

    2) do PWM outputs blow only when I do a "program" with main battery disconnected, but I can use USB connection for Configurator and serial monitor without the main battery ?


    Those are the comments that confuses me:

    // Frame build condiguration//#define FLIGHT_MODE_+    // Traditional "one arm as nose" frame configuration//#define FLIGHT_MODE_X  // Frame orientation 45 deg to CCW, nose between two arms// 19-10-10 by JP
    // This feature has been disabled for now, if you want to change between flight orientations// just use DIP switch for that. DIP1 down = X, DIP1 up = +


    New questions :

    - which is the function of throttle disarming when at minimum for n seconds ?

    is there a way to disable it (setting throttle safe value to 0 ?) ?

    - is it possible to have yaw control more "aggressive" ?





  • Ok, time to sing is coming :D

    I soldered all the motor / ESC cables directly. I did three flights, more than half an hour of flight.

    No glitches at all. Batteries stays cool, motors are hand warm, ESCs a very little higher.

    This was definitely time good spent (soldering and flying).

    Thank you very much Doug and Randy (and Rich) stimulating me to do that.


    But I still am disappointed with the quality of those connectors. I don't even want to imagine what could happen if testing this will be a beginner instead of experienced pilots.

    I strongly suggest to swap them at factory to higher quality or force direct soldering. This is a vital part of a multicopter.


    In those flights I was finally able to watch how well it stabilize itself. You can notice exactly where ground effect starts.

    Under about 60cm it start oscillating slightly, while above it is completely still.


    Anyway I will start sing after some more flights, but better no one hears at me.




    P.s.: wanting to move now to NG, I will really appreciate if someone could give me useful answers on the questions I already asked.

  • Hi, shouldn't the NG code be released already with the sonar feature? It's a much accurate sensor for low altitude and also is already being used in the tinny quad in the branch.

    Arducopter team, It should be a very nice feature to be released in this first NG release already.




  • Hi,


    I changed either female and male Deans connectors. I did a flight and had exactly the same behavior.

    I had a broken propeller too.

    I'm wondering if I (we) am still alfa testing the hardware.

    I'm very disappointed. Wasted money ?



  • Chasing the same demon.



    Going to try replacing a couple of "rattley" male bullet connectors on suspect ESCs.

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