Hi all! After some pid tuning, but require further adjustment, today i made the first real flight with my "heavy ArduXOcto", i open this thread for sharing my experience if someone else wants build a similar  "heavy configuration" using ArduPiloltMega 2560, IMU, GPS and Baro, etc.
I have previously tested more expensive systems like Mikrokopter and Wookong, and unfortunately i think there is still much hard work over the code for make this electronic flight like the competition, but considering the price i would say  that goes too well.
I'm still quite satisfied, even though my copter in some aggressive maneuvers tend to wobble a lot, and in the Loiter mode some circles is inevitable because I believe that the management of the accelerometers correction is not optimized or inactive.
Over the baro range i've a good altitude precision, max 20/30 cm of excursion.
This is my hardware configuration:

- APM 2560
- Mediatek MT3329 GPS V1.6
- XL-MaxSonar MB1200 (with active filter and "thermal mods", 4 x 10 ohm resistor around the case)
- ESC HiModel Pro 30A, in high timing mode
- Two switching BEC 6V 5A (connected to electronics through two diodes 3A, the tension output is 5.33V)
- Motor TigerMotors MT2814 710 kv (mounted with 3° inclination for increase YAV control)
- Props APC 13x6.5 "E" (X8)
- Two-Way telemetry "Mikrokopter Wi232" (890 MHz)
- Six led strip connected to APM (pins AN8<->AN13 through ULN2003), thanks to u4eake for the code
- Homebuilt frame, mixed aluminum / vetronite (by AleBS, thanks dude! :P) + homebuilt hood
- Lipo 4s2p 5000 mhA 40c
- TX Futaba T12FG
- RX Futaba R6008HS

Total weight (with 2 lipo pack): 4.3 Kg...i forgot something or not? :-)

I'm uploading the video on my youtube channel, post them soon, for now I leave you some pictures.
I enclose
the parameters used for the flight test in a soft wind, but there's one error, the real "Rate Pitch I" is set to "0".






One of the first flight:

New video with "X8" frame and "ArduCopter V2.4"

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  • 3692940903?profile=originalThis is one of my latest Tr-copters. It will have a 41.5 Megapixel camera removed from the latest Nokia Cell Phone.

    I don't yet know what the final weight will be, but very light. The original had one of Time Cops Funfly 32 boards with a DJI PPM Rx. really small and light but this one will be trying the APM 2.6. system  The motors are cheap but well made Hobby King MultiStar 370 Kv. and they have the best efficiency that I have yet tested. At the estimated hover power, I am seeing 15 grams/Watt. from each motor. That is almost double what a DJI Phantom Vision can do. That figure was achieved at 3s and was slightly up on the 4s test.

    The main feature that is different from the usual Tri. is the yaw control; which is what that rear vane is all about. The props. are 16.5 x4.5 Supreme from Foxtech and nothing that I tested even came close to the efficiency they showed when everything was dialled-in including the ESC 32's.

    As well as being the most power efficient, Tri-copters are quite nice to fly if done right. Apart from the overall vertical lift control; the front motors run opposite directions and just create the roll stab. The pitch is done by the rear motor and the yaw comes from the vane. Importantly none of the motors have to slow down or speed up during a yaw turn. This makes for greatly improved stability in a turning descent. I may even introduce vanes to the front arms to aid fwd. flight as the model will not need to pitch down so much. 

    I expect this one will have almost two hours duration with li-ion battery technology. 

    As we are all going to find ourselves under threat from the legislators once they realize what can be done. I decided to try and get a head start in the super light trends.
  • nice sharing buddy. following eagerly

  • glad i found this thread. having one heck of a time getting a heavy quad dialed. how much time do you think youspent getting it tuned? i spent most of the day tuning and still dont feel confident hovering. lots of wobbles. very poor yaw control.

  • T3

    Hi there, have you done any waypoint navigation with this copter?  If so, would you be willing to share the Nav PIDs?  I am tuning an Octo that weighs around 3kg, and its navigation is not going as well as I'd like.  The desired speed is 5 m/s, but between waypoints the ground speed usually ramps up to over 10 m/s, especially after pulling out of a loiter.  So I guess I'm just trying to see if my Nav PIDs are even in the right ballpark?  Thank you!

  • I also found out in Win 7 you must set the Arduino execution file to run as administrator. Otherwise sometimes it wont upload the code and will give an error.

  • Hi Marco

    I am converting a X8 from a hoverfly setup.

    The motor rotation directions are opposite to arducopter.

    Is there anyway I can change a Yaw control setting so I do not have to rewire all my motors?


  • Marco

    Thank you for so generously sharing your expertise and insight on octo-copters!!

    As you have flown both flat 8s and X8s which do you prefer in terms of performance, stability and endurance?

    I like the co-axial design but they have been avoided in my 100% scale rotary world due to aerodynamic interference problems.

    Migliori riguardi / Best regards,  Enterprize

  • amrco, I am trying to get my x8 up and running using APM 2.  I have wiring correct, but I think I am loading the wrong firmware maybe, I am not getting the right motor spinning when I run the motors test. 

    Do I use Ardu coptor V2.5.3 octa X firmware?  I have all my motors setup as per wiki X8 counter rotating diagram, but when I run the motors test, it does not conform to the video in the motors test.

    Motors are absolutely wired correctly, I disconnected and listened for esc beeps to test location, and they are correct, what am I doing wrong?  Instead of 1-6 4-7 3-8 2-5 like the video, mine is firing 1-3-8-4-2-6-7-5, I can't find any info on proper firmware setup for this config, any help would be appreciated...

  • Developer

    Excuse me if I answer only now, but version 2.5 is coming out and we are working diligently!

    @Juan Carlos: no mods, X8 is full supported in 2.4 and of course in 2.5.
    Follow the wiki for the connection and the right direction of the props.

    @Velociraptor: level of reliability that today I would say ArduCopter is proving a very stable system, provided that they comply with the proper parameters of construction and assembly of the quad.
    Up to version 2.3 I was not able to be able to say now after many tests and have never had a problem without "blocking" I would say that there is stability.
    But you know, a system is reliable until it crashes, a friend a few days ago has disintegrated an octo with Mikrokopter by several thousand dollars.
    Until now I always used MK for my video productions, but do not rule henceforth use ArduCopter for this.

    @Piero: l'impostazione high del timing dovrebbe stressare meno i motori anche se perdono un pò di coppia, ed avevo letto da qualche parte che era l'impostazione consigliata per i TigerMotors (in effetti questi sono a tutti gli effetti dei TM) ma son felice che hai gli stessi esc e motori, mi auguro di poter scambiare opinioni riguardo a molte cose.
    Farò prove anche con timing low e ti so dire.
    Che configurazione hai? Octo? Hexa?
    Il mio frame nasce da un progetto sviluppato da me e dal carissimo amico Alessandro Parisi (aka "AleBS")...

    Bests, Marco

  • Hi Marco,

    Since your experience with multirotors I would like to know how the arducopter compares to DJI WK-M?
    Are they on the same level? What the goods and bad points of each?


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