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,



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Forgot to connect the Pitot tube from the wing to the sensor, TWICE !

The second time my poor Discovery didn't survive........

Launched, and flipped the mode switch to Circle on my Skywalker, BEFORE it had GPS lock.......

It attempted to circle Earth's core........

That is why I never fly my planes without at least the Tablet GCS

I had just refitted the props after a rebalance and I thought the outdoor table under the verandah would be a good place for a warm up, apparently not, the hex was sitting behind the laptop when I armed it, I reached over to move the laptop and as I did I pushed the throttle forward.

In theory it should have departed the neighbourhood through the roof of the verandah, but luckily for me I had put a couple of props on the wrong arm and it tilted rather viscously and tried to eat my laptop lid.

It also took a dislike to me when I reached over to grab it and it took a couple of bites out of my arm as well, bad inverted lawnmower. I looked over and my girlfriend was standing in the doorway holding with a smile I might add, what she calls my most used toolbox, the first aid kit.

Now that hurt.


You will have this soon. We are doing it and has been doing since last summer. Randy is programming and I do universal scalable parachute eject system. When you hit panic switch, your motors are shut down and parachute is ejected. Program part is going to support any parachute system. If someone here has wishes how APM should do it, please tell it now.

Ideas could be added to hereDIY parachute deploy mechanism for Multicopter

Two videos:

First aerial test

A moment of deploy

Although this is originally DIY, it is going to be lot more than "homemade".

so true

"There's only two types of UAV pilots.  Those who have crashed, and those who will crash. ;)"

:-((  thanks for answer anyway...I asked developers on this forum about that more than once, but newer got ANY answer.....

WARNING! Just talking here... off topic... don't want to waste your lifetime .... you may want to stop reading here....

Well perhaps they will answer here. I would like to play with ubx7 as well but I want to buy it locally (didn't find the navilock module that has it.. :) ). From what I understand the arducopter code puts the Arduino on its knees and maybe that's one reason. Normally the GPS data appear via an interrupt that is produced by the serial line the gps is attached to when a new byte is received (also has a buffer). The interrupt normally has the parser(ublx/mtk/nmea) to evaluate each byte received, when a complete valid (checksum etc) dataset is gathered/available it is signalized with timestamp to the main nav loop "yippee, have new dataset from gps". The maincode has to recognize that and fetch the new data before they are altered again by a new dataset gathered by the interrupt. At 5Hz Datarate you have 200ms to do that - normally that is a lot of time. In the worst case, when the cpu misses that (due to loadspike and low priorization) and still has the "yippee" bit set it may read just in the moment when the interrupt wants to publish a new dataset. Without further precautions (even with "volatile") you can end up with a mishmash of gps data. There are several ways around that, automatically reset the "yippee" bit after half the time (100ms) and miss that dataset, or buffer, or a combination. I haven't looked how Arducoptercopter with that HAL layer stuff handles that so it is pure speculation from my side. When trying to synchronize two asynchron processes (mainloop & gps) and don't have mem for adaequate buffers and / or cpu cyclespikes it may produce problems. I just want to present my general conception of how that stuff may work. BTW: There are skytraq gps that do 50Hz.

Cheers Rob

I totally think, that a wrong barometer reading or a strange voltage rating shouldn't cause such a problem. It would point (at least for flights under remote control) to a severe problem in the Ardu firmware. Does anyone know exactly why the barometer should have any impact on the thrust while under remote control?


I am sorry for if I ranted a bit too much but as I just broke my right wrist,  a few weeks ago on an icy patch and all my plans for winter building went down the drain I'm feeling pretty miserable right now.  In fact,  I am using DragonDictate,  to respond to this.  (A program  that did not work nearly so well 10 years ago when I bought the first version ) So I do believe in advancements  in technology. I absolutely love how programming as replaced mechanical skills,  or building skills,  as a means to fly a model aircraft. Whether it be a helicopter or fixed wing aircraft. I worry, that today's young youth believe that everything works as advertised.

The biggest challenge in my hobby career has always been making it work, not just  following instructions and assuming  that it would work as on the video .

I understand videogames have a reset button, and that this is  what most people expect . I understand that model planes involved a lot  over  time. Still; I am a hopeful that the advances that have been made in the last five years  will lead to better things  in  are hobby. I only hope that others appreciate all that we old-timers have contributed to their ability to open a box, insert four AA batteries, and go fly.

Recently,  I have been teaching a nine-year-old  to fly RC. His biggest fear is crashing.  I keep telling him that if you can not  enjoy the crash,  you are in the wrong hobby.  It is from mistakes that we learn;  and hopefully mistakes  that caused no injuries  to others .


Woof! Now *that* a blooper! :-o

I bought mine here with separate ublox antenna wich they also sell... http://www.csgshop.com/category.php?id_category=16

do not forget to buy this as well


its not in Germany but its not far away....

Make that two of us Gustav. I have a quadcopter that is running quite nicely. I have completed about 80 flights to date (15 of them the latest firmware) and no problems. 

I think the thing about running APM (or any flight control system for that matter) is that there are many variables. Read, read and more reading is the key. Staying on top of what firmware release does what and then training for a situation is key. 


A little feedback on my thought about apm

Every time a new Firmware is released and people are screaming for help I ask myself when does 3DR come with a simple APM Lite board.

The current APM board is good, but the board itself has a lot of overhead and features that 80% off all users will NEVER use. Strip this board down to the size of a NanoWii board. People who do want to start with multirotors just need a basic flight controller with basic flying modes. And if there was such a APM Lite board those people could start with 3DR from the beginning and learn the basics to build and operate a multirotor in the APM environment. When these beginners become more experienced and would like to have more features they could buy an APM 2.6 or Pixhawk.

The latest Arducopter firmware’s are becoming too complicated for people who start with multirotors. There are just too much features and too much settings and configurations to set before flying. Strip down the firmware to only basic features. 

As an example I never use GPS auto navigation modes, because gps is unreliable. Where I live we do not have miles and miles of open space. I just want to minimize the risk that due to the unreliable gps my copter fly’s away and crashes on someone’s head. I fly a lot with FPV, but the cam is fix. It’s not mounted on a fancy gimbal. The APM 2.5 board has a lot of features that I’ll never use. Mounting a NanoWii would be good enough for my multirotor any for many others. But still I want to use the 5 times more expensive APM 2.5 board because it has some advantages (beter pc gui, beter wiki, community,…) . So heavying the option to buy an APM lite at half the price would be great for a lot of poeple I think.


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