DROIDWORX CX4 with Arducopter & FPV

Well, I pulled the trigger and ordered a Droidworx CX4 airframe a few weeks ago.  I have been researching and contemplating this build for a while now and am really taking my time...

I already have a Gaui500X which I am setting up (Arducopter) for a friend who says he doesn't have time to set his own one up.   Plus he's not that experienced with electronics (soldering etc).  I have so far had really good luck with the GAUI.  I have recently set up flight modes in my radio and plan to test these more this weekend.  

I also have some extra motors and speed controllers from udrones which I will be putting in a 450x airframe with no fancy electronics which I will use to get better at flying these multis.

I have been flying model airplanes for years and have flown a little helicopter, just not enough to consider myself any good, but I don't usually get too mixed up as long as I keep the copter low and close...  To assist in my transition to multi's, I bought a used copy of RealFlight 5.5 and am using the multi they have there to get my reactions intuitive like they are when flying planes.  





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  • I swapped in some APC 12x3.8 props today, I don't need the power of the 12x6 props right now.  I ordered these props in glass and carbon fiber.  I will only use the carbon ones for display for the most part..

    Well, I am very happy to report that arducopter 2.3 is a little twitchy with the GAUI500X, but today I took the CX4 out for a short skip maiden flight and am more than happy to report it is more stable than the GAUI with the factory PID settings.  In fact I had not a single twitch making a few nice skips, hops and hoverfloats:)

    The only thing this newb noted is that the copter tended to float a little right and back and I have to use the sticks to maintain level flight.  I assume this is because the CX4 and how it relates to the arducopter APM gyros, isn't perfectly level.  I immediately noticed this when starting up the motors as one always (back right) started last and finished first.  Since I am a newb and this was the maiden using stabilize mode only, I clicked in about 5 clicks of left trim and about 8 of forward.  I will read a lot more this week about exactly how to address this, but I am so excited about the factory PID thing I am just gonna enjoy a successful day:)  The copper really looked outstanding on the grass outside.  

  • Well, I spent some time looking at how I can put another center plate on top of the speed controller/power distributer plate and ended up just using stacked double sided tape.  I hope the tape works well for vibration too.
    After connecting the APM to the MK ESC's I went ahead and tested the motor directions.   I had labeled them in the default MK setup, but as soon as I fired them up, they were spinning all the wrong ways..  This was easy to fix by swapping 2 leads to each motor from each ESC.
    With this squared away, I put on some props and checked the controls (while holding the multi).  Well, this was another surprise as the thing would have flipped right over had I not done this in my hands.  Somethings way off...
    I noted that MK uses a different orientation of it's motors, so I had to remap the MK orientation to the Ardu orientation.
    I then checked the controls (again in my hands over my head).
    Now I do note a strange dip in the motors when I use the rudder, but I am not sure this isn't because I am using big motors on this thing...  I will figure this out.  Now it's time to set up the xbee's:)
    Right now I am using 10x4 props and they are way too small.  
    I ordered some 12x3.8 props from Quadrocopter which should be in later this week.. 

    I will get some pictures up in the next few days..  
    I am curious if my ardu GPS will work through my painted body or if I am gonna have to extend the leads and put it on top..  I will figure that out soon.. 

  • Ok, well the AVROTO motors are tested with the BL2 ESC, but I am not too impressed with these motors so far.  Basically, they are advertised for A/V specialty, yet they make a lot of noise, even without having a prop on them.  The AXI's are a lot quieter, simple whistle.  These AVROTO have a whistle with also a somewhat gritty sound:(  At least the ESC's are configured and testing working with my RADIO....:)

  • Cool, I made a few changes which I saw had worked for someone else's quad airframe, and they seem to be working pretty well for the GAUI500X.  I am basically making hops hovering 1-3' and noted a far smoother hover, especially over 2-3' where the washout isn't an additional issue I guess.
    I set the Stabilize P to 3.80 and the Rate Roll P to .1.
    It's looking like the next thing I gotta check is the Alt_Hold..  I would just rather do that with my cheap clone, but sadly, I am still waiting for the frame parts which were omitted from my kit:(..  I will probably wait, just 'cause I don't want to pay to fix someone else's airframe.  

  • Well, I guess the inside term is PID values, which I am starting to modify.  The GAUI500X has scorpion 960kv motors, and I am running a 3S battery with the factory 10" props.  
    I lowered a few of the factory values a bit and experimented with them.  My last experiment had a little less oscillation, but was way sluggish, so I am going back to the drawing board..  These are good tests, as I assume the majority of those who dislike the arducopter fail to make these corrections properly.  I know that I am no exception right now, but unless something crazy happens, I plan to stick with it..  Any assistance is appreciated..

    I also note this latest MIssionPlanner constantly states there is an update available, I just cancel it, but I wish there was an option, "Do not automatically check for updates".  This would be useful in this case, but who am I to ask..  Just noting in the case anyone who cares is reading this post..

    I can't tell you how many products there are, where I read the reviews which basically trashed the product, then I somehow got myself the product, and by following the directions and applying logic and some experience, ended up noting the product worked exactly as they claimed.

  • I found this page with tuning tips doing a google search:

    Here are some more useful links for me:

    Tonight will probably connect up the MK speed controllers and check their functioning.  Unless I get this arducopter dead smooth, I won't be running it in my CX, that's for sure.  I have the GAUI and a basic clone framed quad to test with, so I am giving it some good time and effort.  I  know that I could use a different brand commercial grade controller that would not give me all the same, options, but would simply do the job without so much config..   

  • Well, I have been flying the Gaui500X in stabilize mode for the last week (about 1-3'), and though it's a little bit of a bucking bronco (oscillating), I am feeling more comfortable with Ardu and feel ready to slowly and cautiously, dive in and start adjusting the P value settings.  
    I am gonna spend tonight looking in to these p value settings, as I assume these scorpion motors are a bit more powerful than the udrones motors the multi is factory set for.  Any assistance would be appreciated??

  • I am gonna add the two nylon washers and I think that will do it.  That looks like the ticket for me:)  
    Thanks to Droidworx for a quick support response!

  • Here is the response I got from Droidworx today:
    Hi Caleb,

    I cant really tell from the pictures but i think you need to place the 2 M3 x 5mm nylon spacers between the front body bracket and rails(see attached) to raise the bracket to its correct position. If you have done this then i will have to have a re-think.
    Please let me know if you have any more concerns.


  • Well, I didn't have much to do this Christmas, so I picked up a Parrot AR Drone to fly inside.  This toy is actually what got me looking at the market of multis.  A lot of people have been critical of me for choosing Arducopter, but I prefer to work within a community and really liked the potential I saw for Arducopter.  
    Getting back the the Parrot AR, well, I had flown over a few fountains with fair luck, so I thought I would try another fountain I had never flown over.  Well, the sonar showed it's weakness in form of cutting all power to the motors, where I landed smack dab in the middle of the spout;-)  Fortunately I had my GoProH2 mounted to the ParrotAR, so that this costly mistake (1 main board, 1 engine $150), wasn't a total loss.
    Here is the video of the fountain fail:

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