OK. So after a minimum of 400 hours or research and testing I'm going to go ahead and ask for help before I rip all this APM/Arudpilot/3dr radio stuff in the trash and waste more money putting in a Naza v2.
Here is my current setup:
- Tarot 690s (all carbon fiber frame with folding arms and Legs
- Tarot 2 axis Brushless Gimbal for the GoPro Hero 3 (works awesome for professional footage)
- 6 = Tarot 2814 / 700kv Brushless motor (2 are red and 4 are black in color for orientation)
- 6 = 13inch Carbon Fiber Props
- 6 = DJI 30 amp Brushless ESC
- 3DR APM 2.6
- 3DR GPS Antenna
- 3DR Power Module
- Foldable GPS Antenna Mass
- Hexatronics Power disturbution board with all Bullet connectors used
- 2 = Century 4000mah 3s 11.1volt Batteries
- 1 = Zippy 5800mah 3s 11.1volt Battery
- Hitec X1 all in one Battery Charger (can charge both Transmitter and Copter Batteries)
- Turnigy 9XR 16 channel programmable Radio
- Century 3s 11.1volt 220mah Lipo Battery for Transmitter
- FrSky DJT Telemetry 2.4ghz Module
- FrSky V8FR-II High Voltage 8 Channel Receiver
This is my first non-Phantom build (not that you build a phantom, but upgrades, etc.).
Got it all built right. But during setup I had some issues connecting to Mission Planner. Had to go into CLI, setup>reset>factory reset.
Bam. Ok, now I can get into MP. Go through the wizard. Calibrations. Setup channel 7 for auto-tune.
So after I'm finished setting up it. I figure I should test the motors before I put her in the air. So I click on test motors in the GUI. All I get "command denied by ardupilot". Hmmmmm weird.
Ok, I go to Flight Status screen to make sure i'm not getting any Pre-Arm check errors. Nope. I arm the motors and spin them up. Then I disarm. Hmmmm why can I arm this thing and the motors spin up but I can't test them. Same in CLI mode. test>motor test .... "command denied by ardupilot". Keep in mind that these are Opto 30amp ESC, you cannot calibrate them.
So that's problem #1, and I can't even find a single hit on Google when i search "command denied by ardupilot" when testing the motors so I'm apparently the only one on planet earth with this issue.
The 2nd and probably bigger problem and possibly related to #1.
The 2nd problem is I cannot arm the copter once I take it outside and plug the lipo in. Take it outside, plug it in. I get a solo beep from the ESCs, then the little musical tone like I should. On the APM board when I plug it in. The input side is working, orange tx light is flashing, GPS connector is green, GPS antenna is powered and locks onto sats. but...BUT, the output side of the board or something is hosed up. I get nothing on the APM led indicators. The red led flashes once or twice the very first second I plug the battery in and then nothing. So I can't arm it. So it's not an "arming" issue per say, but the APM is not initializing or booting up as it should.
To make matters more confusing. If I plug my copter in Mission Planner via the USB. APM powers up as regular and I can arm. If I plug my LiPo (tried 3 different ones) while it's connected to my PC, then disconnect the USB, I can bring it outside and fly it.
Possibly the PMU could be bad, but I HIGHLY doubt it. If it was a power problem, the problem would persist as soon as I unplug the machine from the USB.
There is something going on between these Opto 30amp ESC and the APM board. It seems impossible to troubleshoot because I don't know the boot routine on the APM 2.6. If I plug the LiPo in before the USB on the APM board and then hit connect. I get two beeps from the ESC and a timeout. If I plug the LiPo in before the USB and connect to APM via CLI it connects fine but the ESC beep non stop. Then I run motor tests, the beeping stops but the motors never actually test.
Does anyone have any clue where to start trouble shooting on this? Any logs I could check that show what the hell is going on inside APM at such an early stage?
I'm desperate over here.