After 3 years of using 4 x Mikrokopter Hexa's for aerial photography, I purchased 3 APM 2.5 boards and attempted to use Ardupilot instead just because the english was so much easier to understand and the telemetry system seems to be much better and they use the full receiver and satellite not just the satellite receiver like MK.
All the new Hexa's fly well but just dont seem to be as steady in the air as Mikrokopter, all my MK Hexa's had IS2c to PWM converters which allowed normal ESC's, some had MK motors, others hobbyking motors and all were extremely steady in the air which is important for AP. But after spending weeks adjusting all the different PID settings and tuning the Dave C way on the new Ardupilot Hexa's they just seem to wobble or twitch more in wind than MK, there has got to be something I am doing wrong, Anyone experienced this before ?
From a AP point of view (phun intended..), APM has not been all there yet, compared to some of the commercial competitors. But the new inertia based controller is showing great promise and are currently in beta testing. Official firmware release should be just a matter of weeks.
So when I view the artificial horizon in mission planner with the Ardupilot hexa connected, it is constantly moving slightly even though the hexa is sitting perfectly still on a table, and this is what it does in the air with wind. For example if I view the 3D view of a Mikrokopter in the Mikrokopter tools program when the MK is sitting on a table it sits perfectly still until I move the MK, and in the air it just seems to fly so stable as if it is hanging on a string.
So everything so far in Ardupilot works so well, Mission Planner is very user friendly, all the parts are way less cost than MK, the telemetry system is just so easy to use, everything is in English, but is the down fall this problem with a Ardu Pilot just not being able to fly as stable as a MK ?
I was sure I must have something wrong like tuning, wrong ESC's, wrong motors, vibration or something simple, I even placed a APM 2.5 board on a MK Hexa frame that I knew flew perfectly with a MK board and still had the same problem. I can still throw the Ardupilot hexa around the sky, do anything if not even better than a MK but that slight twitch or slight movement in wind is still there so is it right to say we just have to learn to live with that ?
Paul Cremin aerialshots.com.au
the AHI moving is normal, and will go away when GPS have a solid lock.
why it is so, I don't really know.
Seems you have done the same as myself Darrell, I spent weeks tuning and trying different motors and ESC's but still cannot get a APM 2.5 Octo to float as steady as a MK Octo. APM 2.5 is cheaper, outstanding telemetry and Mission planner is excellent, I have installed the latest 3.0 firmware which is still beta but still just cannot stop that slight twitch in wind. In still weather or no wind the APM 2.5 flys fine but it is as if the gyro or level control is just not fast enough in gusty wind. I was convinced it was something I was doing wrong but cannot spend anymore time experimenting.
by now, ArduCopter is far superior to MK, in both software quality, and versatility. That's be fore I mention the old-fashion compass calibration of MK and the drawbacks in that regard.
for me arducopter is very stable
you can see it on my old videos
with pixhawk it will be better in few release!
pixhawk hardware is far superior than mikrokopter board and less expansive...mk only support multirotor so it s normal if the code for multirotor is little better...but the communauty is not so big like we can have on diydrone
Thank you both for your responses
@Andre K., what is the "old-fashion compass calibration of MK"?
a very special dance, you need to perform. Where you need to detect correct magnetic north to begin with, (use a compass) gives 60-40 chance of actually working calibration and toilet-bowl.
Finally - no compass-auto-learn - which in correct setup, is nothing short of fantastic.
Not sure why the code would be described as "better" you load only arducopter code, the other are not in at the same time.
Besides - anywan that needs to improve on MK discovers that navigation code is closed (because it's soooo secret) - and the rest have German variables and comments, and is less structured and hard to understand.
you need MikroKopter help ? - Then you will discover than German wiki is always more updated, forums are primarily in German, and translate services does not work well with technical language.
For what its worth: I switched from Mikrokopter to Arducopter about 2 years ago because MK was so narrowly focused (no airplanes) and IMO difficult to use. The speed controllers were also especially unreliable (at least back then I wasn't good enough to properly construct them, I realize now it is possible to use off the shelf components). Mission Planner alone is enough reason to use ArduCopter. The telemetry features of APM are light years ahead of MK as well (at least when I stopped using MK). MK has range limits on its Navi Board. The "stack" is large and unsuitable for smaller craft.
However, all that being said, I have noticed that MK always was a little more stable in flight. Not significantly so, it just looked a little more dialed in.