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.
@Florian: don't replace the bullet connector, when possible remove them, all! ;-)
Taken from one of my big birds:
In my opinion the title of this thread is probably wrong, it would be better "Multirotor or russian roulette"... :P
We have analyzed a large number of crash log and the vast majority of the problems were not attributable to the APM Copter code, i mean in this last year.
There's new interesting commit by Randy (thanks) to check the "motors out-of-sync" problem in CLI.
Hehe - now i can laugh about it and always have a story to tell to every doctor.. - by the time it was less funny, but.. hehe
I agree with Marco's arguments, the quality of hardware and the care in assembling makes the difference.
Large majority of crashed with multi rotors depends from bad hardware design or behavior, those can also lead the software to act in a weird way . For sure it would be better that software could detect wrong informations from sensors or illogical scenarios and enter in a safety state not allowing complex operations, but foresee all possibilities is really hard especially if you not have a close system with a defined hardware.
Sometimes users assemble their copters with outstanding optimism, I saw a guy complaining about his Apm 2.5 quad flight capabilities with four different Esc and three different kv motors .
Replicating the same build many times is a way to detect easily small problems because in fact the same multi rotor is used by different people in different situations.
I will never trust a Dji platform till the day it would provide a complex log system, similar to Arducopter one, that allows user to understand what had happened during a flight.
A final word, do not fly with boards that had a serious crash, multilayer PCB can have some microscopic cracks that can manifest erratic contacts with vibrations during flight, a recommendation that MK users should consider very seriously .
I must have been more than two hands full APM installed, for clients. Archaeologists, geologists. never had problems ..
the customer get me a flight training, and get ready for a 2weeks Exercise Copter with.
APM is a safe product.
There are countless reports of crashes throughout the world in any type of flight electronics, so Thomas i'm very sorry for your crash but this thread for me is obsolete and creates unnecessary alarm, or rather alarmism should be general, not related to APM Copter.
A few months ago I've got big injury to a hand because of a MK multirotor of a friend with FC problems, when I connected the LiPo all the motors go to max throttle, we flew 10 minutes before without any problem.
My hand a few days after this bad event:
These things can always happen, there must convince, live with it and try to minimize the risks.
If you want to be 100% sure to never crash just leave your multirotor on the table, without the LiPo connected, this is the only way to do crash, 100% secure, unless then do not go off the table alone... :P
Hi Bob, I have since been informed that what you say is correct. Apparently there have been problems with sunlight going right through the case. I hadn't heard of this before nor experienced the problem myself. Not sure why...
Confirmed by own experience: Naza1 suffers from that too. The baro must be kept absolute sunbeamfree - no way around that. I believe that no clever code in the world will get around that fact.
+1 Marco! Opening ESC, cutting wires and soldering everything up by yourself is the best way. And it is the most non timeconsuming way as well, because the time you need to do that pays off later 10 fold.
Florian, I've heard that at least some of DJI's products have the exact same problem with sunlight on the Baro, getting right through the white plastic casing. Some now open them up and put black tape inside...
which is almost incredible, flying the DJI for all.
Florian, that APM crash you posted is likely not APM's fault. It's hard to tell exactly what happened with out logs, but the pilot first struck the ground. What happened after that is not clear, but before impact, you can hear the sound of a motor having lost sync. This is what we call an electro-mechanical failure, it is not the fault of the flight controller. No controller can fly a quad with a motor stalled. (notwithstanding Vicon systems in labs...)
Yes, it's a solution but there are very few Ampere for a big birds, experience teaches us never put a power switch in series for turn on/off the main LiPo power, be careful!