Can I trust Arducopter?

Hi guys!

I've been away from the Arducopter community for around 2 years now. I never got the early APM1.x to work stable, so I've been using other FC's the last couple of years.

Do you think the newest Arducopter is a stable/solid solution now? Is it advisable to trust it for professional use with expensive equipment and cameras, or does it still have "bugs"? I will, of course, test the system extensively, but I would like your opinion before getting involved again.

 

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  • Another day with success!

    Today I experimented with "fly to here" and auto/waypoints etc. Everything worked. Even turned off my tx to test RTL/failsafe. It felt so wrong turning it off, but it came home and landed with no problems at all. This looks very promising!

  • First flights with APM 2.6 with external 3DR compass/gps completed. Here is my first impression.

    I'm using a cheap quad for testing purposes until I get to know the APM. Didn't want to risc my octo. I spent some confusing hours trying to figure out the compass. Could not get it to work correctly. It showed North when facing South etc. When disconnecting Compass, I still got Compass Readings but it was not correct. I had ordered a APM 2.6, but on the casing it says "2.5". So I suspected I had received wrong model with internal compass. I opened it up but could not see much of the trace that is supposed to be cut to disable internal Compass on 2.5. So I just cut a little between the pads. Voila, the external Compass worked! After setting everything up, calibrating Compass, accellerometers etcm and adjusting Rate P and a few other parameters, It flyes great! Rock steady Loiter and altitude hold.

     

    Tomorrow I will test further and maybe "Fly to here". If everything Works this good, I will be moving the APM to the octo much faster than planned! Very impressed so far. APM has come a LONG way since I tried the earlier versions!

     

    Does anyone know if APM2.6 has a internal Compass? I suspect the problem was that the Compass just was not "properly" disabled, if not I have received a APM2.5. No problem for me, but do you know if there is anything else I'm missing out on if I have received a APM2.5 instead of 2.6?

  • Ok, APM 2.5+ received, starting my Arducopter Project.

    What Version is considered to be most stable, any recomendations?

     

  • Developer

    In overall I would say that APM hardware and software is getting it's mature state already so it is safe to use it. Sure just like all other flightcontrollers there can be minor glitches with rare combinations but if we think that there are already over 40.000 APM's around the world. We are developers would see/know rather fast if there are something wrong with the systems and currently there are no any major issues open. Let's say if we have seen 80 people to complain about weird things, it's still 0.002% of overall users. And for those you never know are they use our special made frames/motors or something that are fully home brew.

    Me as a head of jDrones, we have had only few incidents in past years with our ready made systems and most of those have also been just user errors. Errors like in wrong PID settings etc. Yes there has been also few real hardware failures, when we have seen those we always replace hardware on these rare cases.

    So summasummarum.. I would say that APM is mature enough to trust.

    jD-main
  • How do paparazzi release stable versions?  I think this would be a good idea for newbies as well as those who want to buy an expensive airframe or put expensive camera's on their airframe.

    If newbies use only stable versions then ardupilot won't get such a bad rap.

  • Kristian, have you had any flyaway or other FC issues with WKM ?

    What do you think about recent naza flyaways ?

  • Developer

    I think all manufacturers have flyaways on some level.. There are APM's that have flown away but so is DJI systems. Is it acceptable no but things sometimes happens. Naturally all our developers tries their best to avoid problems and in past 1 year development has taken huge steps.

    If you don't want "fly-aways", don't fly  (bad joke but true) :)

  • Anyhow don't forget to report back your crashes here: http://flyawayclub.com/

  • Kristian, 

    Having had an "Naza experience" and since moved over to the APM 2.6, I am quite happy with the transition. I believe that you can trust the APM more so then the Naza as you are able to log, troubleshoot and discover problems through the software which isn't possible on a Naza. Of course, one should make sure there is no problems with their copter before they throw all of the expensive equipment on it... 

    If you can wait for the PX4 "Pixhawk" - I would... if not then the 2.6 is more then enough hardware.

    I'm fairly new to APM (10 flights or so under my belt) so if you need any help shoot me a PM and I'll see what I can do. 

    (Euan - I am a DJI "Flip of Death" victim - F550, all arms, two motors and an ESC)

  • Wait for a version without "glitches" that suddenly ground your expensive copter.

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