First I would like to congratulate you guys who have developped the ArduCopter/ArduPilot kits ! I recently bought and built an AC2 from JDrones, explanations on the Arducopter Wiki were perfectly clear, and the copter behaved as I had intended !
My first test flights went perfect...until this weekend where I messed up with the simple mode (yeah, reorienting yourself to follow your copter is not a good idea...), ending in going right into a tree instead of avoiding it...hopefully my AC2 only suffered minor harm (propellers and 1 arm bent...) and should be back in the air this weekend.
Here are my (many) questions now. I looked through the Arducopter Wiki and searched through the discussions and blog articles on this site, but didn't find a crystal clear answer to these questions (I am using Arducopter 2.0.49).
1) What is your feedback about auto-mode ? Is it stable enough to use it or should I use it with care (and fear...) ?
2) About altitude of waypoints in mission planner. If I understand correctly the manual, you set waypoints altitude relative to the takeoff altitude. But how is the 'relative' and 'starting altitude' measured ? Through GPS or throught the barometer ? If through GPS, it means you have to wait for a 3D fix before launching auto-mode, right ?
3) Are auto-takeoff and landing available without a sonar ? Are these functions 'reliable' or would it be better to manually take-off and land ?
Moreover, I don't fully understand the "note: If you takeoff from the ground, your most recent Alt_hold throttle value is used as a baseline for throttle control." from the Wiki, can you explain a bit more ?
4) I remarked that my AC gets woobly when descending, even if not descending so fast (i.e. ~1m/s). What kind of descending speed should I expect when using auto-mode (and going from a waypoint to a lower waypoint) ? Should I change some PID values like explained in the manual or just let it like that and do some tests?
5 (and last...)) I have a Spectrum DX7: When the connection between the transmitter and the receiver is lost (i.e. too far away for example), all channels on the receiver go off (Which is cool for an RC car, but maybe not so optimal for a plane...)
My question is: if I plan a flight through Mission Planner, launch the auto-mode and lose connection between transmitter and receiver during the flight, what will happen ? Will my AC just stop spinning its motors and crash or continue until planned flight is done (and maybe retrieving the connection) ??
I hope I am not too long for my first post...