OK, THIS IS A RANT!!
I am done with Arducopter! I have been trying to get this platform to be reliable for way too long.
I don't even want to add up all the damage, time and money I have wasted trying to get this flight
control system to work as advertised.
I actually thought with the new firmware and M.P., that the developers had finally got out all of the
As I write this, I notice that the top discussion is unexpected scary start-up.
This is what happened to me:
I dumped all programs from my computer, and reset my APM 2.5, I started over.
I downloaded the new versions clean, without any of the zillions of updates.
I was so excited to see that my project was finally working very well, a doing what I told it to, and it
worked very well for two days. On the third day, without any changes at all to anything, it did a full
throttle cut. I turned it off, rebooted my computer, and started over. It behaved normally for about two
minutes, then two motors cut out. I was only up about six feet, and over a lawn, so no damage.
As I approached my machine, to unplug the battery, two motors started to spin at different speeds.
Then they all spun up to full throttle. I always carry my Aurora 9 with my left thumb on the throttle
stick, so there can not be an accident.
OFF IT WENT, into the sun. Hit return to home, no joy. I said goodbye to it, as it went to an unknown
altitude, and into the sun, (downwind, it was just trying to go straight up).
I found it the next day, see the picture. Two miles of walking and searching and cussing.
I went over the logs, and determined that there were error codes all over the list, and it breached the
geofence, but kept going anyway. It had a mind of it's own, TOTALLY NOT COOL, and VERY, VERY
If this had happened in a more densely populated area, I might be in jail right now, or being sued, or
worse. "Drone kills baby", on the eleven o'clock news. My machine is big, heavy and damn-near
indestructible. I do not know how far it fell, I going to guess at somewhere between 700 and 1000 feet,
(angle of sun, do the trig.) Now it's broken.
I want the FAA to let us do this, but if these kind of failures keep happening, someone's going to get
hurt, and then the Government will make it illegal! Game Over!
What is up with all the flaws in this platform? Ardu may kill any chance for guys like us to go out and
make money with this tech, before the FAA and Congress even make their decision next year.
Oh, and by the way, I was to show and demonstrate my machine to a government contractor, with a
C.O.E., who shall remain nameless, the very next day. I got to show them a hulk. The only plus was
they were impressed by my build, because it's still repairable, and the expensive stuff lived.
My suggestion to ARDU is to get your shit together. Something very bad is going to happen, it already
has to me, and if someone had gotten hurt the other day, and I was being sued, I would sue ARDU.
Then it's all over the news, and all over for us. This "mishap" was of no fault of mine. Does the
software rewrite itself? Did someone embed malware into it? Did the hardware just "decide" to melt
You guys need to perfect this, or it's not going to go well with the FAA.
If they were to ask me if it is a safe and reliable platform, I would have to answer "HELL NO!, take it of
the market, before somebody gets killed." I am not giving up on this technology, just Arducopter,
and SO SHOULD YOU ALL!
Replies are closed for this discussion.
Have you posted the log file anywhere so folks can debug the flight?
As I write this, I notice that the top discussion is unexpected scary start-up.
That was 100% caused by the user's own non-standard setup.
Where are your logs?
What kind of props are those? They look like the horrible black plastic props that I have sitting in a box somewhere because they are so flimsy and vibrate so badly.
I think its all to easy to point the finger
I have 3 quads 1 dji naza controller and 2 no 2.5 apm only ever had two problems with apms fly aways which were my fault sorted now but
you don't blame others for something you build yourself
at least I wouldn't
I assume you built it?
just my two pence worth
Those are not flimsy props, they are very stiff, carbon and nylon impregnated, and how could a flimsy prop cause an out of control full throttle spin-up? It can't.
I'll try and put up the log, which says error on the first four lines.
And I don't want to get in a war over this, I'm just really, really, a dissatisfied customer.
Nothin' but trouble with Ardu.
Log attached. The nightmare starts about halfway.
And, yeah, I built it. My build is not at fault, I do not write code. All settings were default.
If I did something wrong, I'd like to know, and will admit my error, I just can't think of it, or find it.
Thomas, can you please post the dataflash log. I find them much more helpful for doing analysis than just the tlog.
Yeah, then those are the props that I thought they were. I found them absolutely horrible. The carbon doesn't really do anything to make them stiffer, and they have much lower power limits than APC's or other high quality props. Yes, they can cause a flyaway in Alt Hold or Loiter, as they can cause massive vibration that can trigger the very common vibration aliasing problem.
I don't know if that is the problem or not, as I don't have any data. It's just one of the few things I got from your picture and it jumped out at me as I had such a bad experience with them.
Barometer went Crazy.
I'm looking at your Tlog, one thing I notice is your Vcc is very low, and very noisy. How were you powering it? Average is about 4.5V, and it dips below 4.3V at one point. That's not good.
I also see a throttle input dip below 900 at one point, that's not good either.
Can you show a better picture of the APM installation? Was the Baro covered?
I see the altitude spends quite a lot of time "underground". When it finally went full-throttle, it's because it thought it was falling, and I'm guessing it really wasn't.
Playing back the log now, I can sort of see what happened.
You were flying in Stabilize mode. You did one test flight, where the Altitude Estimate drove itself down to -200 meters. This is highly indicative of a vibration problem. I could also be sunlight hitting the barometer though, hard to say which. Then you land, and the altitude estimate reading stays at -190ish meters, even after you disarm. This would seem to indicate that it's definitely a sunlight problem, and not a vibration problem.
Then you arm, and take off again, and the altitude estimate shoots up past 125 meters, at which point your Fence triggered and it went into a Fence breach RTL. I saw one quick change to Alt Hold, then right back to RTL, then Land. At some point it took off like a rocket flying southwest, while it was actually trying to land.
I notice your Motor 1 was pegged for the entire failsafe event, this might be what eventually brought it down, prop failure or motor or ESC failure on #1.
My guess as to what happened is this:
Your baro is uncovered, and exposed to sunlight. You flew in Stab mode, and rotated the craft such that the baro was being hit directly by sunlight. This drove the baro down falsely, but had no effect as there's no negative altitude fence. You landed, and it was sitting oriented with the sun hitting the baro still. Then when you re-armed the quad, the altitude reset to zero. Then you lifted off, went up in Stab mode, and rotated the quad. Once it rotated, the sun came off the baro, so the false offset that was saved came into play, and altitude estimate jumped up. From there, it entered a fence breach RTL. Why it went bad from there, I can't tell. Could have been further sunlight. Could have been vibration causing it to climb falsely, I'm not sure yet... that part is weird.
Power: Castle creations VR set at 5 volts.
Props: 12" Gemfans from Monto RC. It never flew better. Fully balanced.
Data flash logs are not present as I could not load them.
It sat in a field overnight, with a tacoed 300 buck batt sitting many feet away, and I have not yet tried to see if the APM survived the crash.
Barometer, wow! APM sits on solid foam, never had a problem with vibrations, and it sits under a dome, so no prop wash on it. I don't understand why it thought it was below ground, Maybe it tried to fly back to zero, but there was no throttle command coming from me. It just took of all by itself, with me watching, helplessly and having a frikkin' heart attack.
It was in super simple stabilize mode.