We're moving to a new documentation platform and this is your opportunity to give us feedback and help. There has been a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes on these over the past three months, including the 30 volunteers working within the Documentation User Group. It's now time to include the full community.

You can see a glimpse of the team's work in the betas of the new ArduPlaneArduCopter and ArduRover sites. Click on the "Instructions" tab to see what the new manuals will look like. 

Right now most of the work has been in creating new graphics and design elements to make the manuals easier to read and use, with some work on simplifying and updating the content. But because they're based on a Wiki-plugin for WordPress, it's also a much more powerful and flexible collaboration environment than the current Google Code wiki for community participation, and we can now take this opportunity to update and improve every page of the manual. 

Just a reminder that these sites are still in beta, and we won't be steering users to them until the documentation team has had an opportunity to scrub every page. We'll continue to maintain the Google Code wikis for legacy purposes, but the new sites are designed to reflect the model we'll be moving to in the future. 

Please give us feedback in this thread. If you'd like to participate, please join the Documentation User Group linked above. 

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The "documentation page" is something WordPress does automatically. We owe it no allegiance.

So I see,

I just uploaded and reformatted the Safety Page for the new ArduCopter Wiki and published it.
It was immediately stuck in the "Documentation" section at the top.

I do notice however that the "Documentation" section is editable and with a little work it could be formatted into a passable table of contents.

Now is not the time to do that though, I think first, we need to get most of the first passes at the stuff we want to install in the new Wiki in there.

Then we can reformat it to be a table of contents if we want or we can produce another one entirely.

My safety document is still pretty ugly and so far unillustrated but it will get better and I did manage to link to my Safety PDF page at the bottom.

I am catching on, lots of options available, but it's going to take a while to become familiar with them.

I agree, once all the content is in place we can make a table of it all, a la the one you built in the old wiki.

Regarding the safety doc: It would be great if we can make it work like a FAQ list, where individual items can be linked to directly when needed.

I'm a WP noob also, but I'm sure we've got the skills on the team to get the most from this tool.

Thanks for working so hard at this Gary.

Great idea Joshua,

It should be possible to link to specific items inside a section.

I'm pretty sure it will need an interior destination fragment ID for each item though.

Something like <a name="Item 1">Item 1</a>

Pretty much all the HTML I've tried on this so far works, so that should too.

Gary, great work on the safety documentation...both content and organization.  I've come to quads after 35 years away from RC flight...my last system was a Heath Kit!  Point is, I'm on a pretty steep learning curve like many others out there. 

From that viewpoint I have a suggestion for the section beginning with "Always ensure that the battery cable is (NOT) connected..."

Possibly mention the transmitter should be turned on first, and NOT turned off until the quad is safely unplugged from its battery.  Also a very simple pre-flight check list might be helpful to be repeated in the safety page. I.E. Transmitter on, mode switches in correct positions, throttle always down, GPS blue light lock...etc.

I know it's pretty basic, but for those of us just starting it should serve as a great reminder to keep thinking, even during the excitement of the first months of flying.

Thanks to you and all the other contributors my steep learning curve has been "learning", not just reading empty content.

Thanks man! I joined :)

I can confirm this. Experiencing same thing on both stock Android browser and Chrome running JB 4.1.2 on a HTC Flyer.

Thanks Troy and Mohammed!

Parentheses are used to de-emphasize text.  It's confusing to say "Always ensure that the battery cable is (NOT) connected"--it almost implies the opposite, and you really don't want ambiguity here.


Having built my 3DR quadcopter, and having therefore gone through the wiki and forum extensively for more than two months to find every bit of required information to build.assemble the quad (correctly with a minimum of understanding so as to be able to interpret /analyse the Quad behaviour), I would like to highlight what information I found to be the most difficult to find on the existing wiki and documentation (for ex some info is not on the wiki, neither in the manual but hidden in a blog post somewhere) :

1-First and foremost : information and explanation about the Power & circuitry: PDB - ESC - Motors - APM . What powers what and why and with which inputs/outputs. The actual page about the power module and alternate power methods are not extensive and not explicit/complete enough : they do not give power schemes for a bird eyes view, they do not explain the "why" of JP1 (it just says when to remove it but no explanation why). Also more information needed about the BEC role and uses of one of the four ESCs, when and why to connect it to the ouput rail, why not connect servos on AN outputs, how to power AN connected devices (with output rail or secondary BEC), etc. I personally found out with many trials and errors. I lost two weeks on that kind of information.


2-In optional additions, there is nothing in the documentation about LEDs (not talking about the color code of the APM leds, tlaking about the way to use the ANxx outputs to drive external LEDs in function of the GPS statuts, Motors status, etc). Although there is a superb blog about this : http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/adding-external-led-indicators-...

This should be added to the documentation. 


3-How to assemble the following components/options : best practices on sonar (with all of the Maxbiotic recommendations), best practices on APM vibration dampening, best practices on an optimum positionning of antennas (Telemetry, Rx Receiver, Video fpv)  to answer such questions as : should they be positionned horizontal/vertical, how far from each other, how far from potential interfering electronics, etc


4-A Test section is completely missing in the documentation. But this is probably the most important section that we should have in the documentation. I mean testing , step by step, of all critical elements in the quad before even trying to fly and then testing necessary at first flight(s). Testing documentaiton should include a checklist of points to verify before each flight, such as : are your collets properly attached on the motors (especially if you have the 3DR ones, I know what I'm saying after three crashes), are your batteries full, is your APM correctly attached, is your main battery correctly attached, etc, etc

5-An extensive section explaining the chronological and logical steps to flying an auto mission. We find here and there on the wiki some information but it has to be mentally compiled in one sequence. I would write a dedicated section on preparing an auto mission : first try alt hold, then try loiter, then find a wide field (without people or houses or cars), then program simple waypoints, etc, etc


Just some ideas,



All of your points are excellent, and were already on my personal fix-it list!
Thanks Hugues.

If I could make a request, I'd like a section on interpreting the log files. At the very least a reference on what all the values mean. My understanding is currently you'd need to look in the .h files in the code to find that out. The only real help I've found on this was a video a gentleman put together on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62TmGiwFiDU

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