Hi Everyone,

Im pretty sure it cant be done but I thought i would put it out there anyway.  The boat is a 20-30ft fishing boat that will be out in open waters off the coast by about a mile or so. I am expecting the boat to be moving around a bit.

I have tried to simulate this by holding my tricopter in my hand and moving it a bit whilst plugging the battery in and arming it. It didnt go well. it wanted to be at about 90 degrees if i had let go.

Has anyone got any experience with this or have any thoughts on it.

Any help would be much appreciated.




Oh yeh, also any news on ppm channel asigning for jr users. http://diydrones.com/forum/topics/frsky-ppm-setup-help-required-ple...


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Great vid, but a far cry from my senario of a small fishing boat in choppy water.

Hi randy, if the craft is powered up and armed on the boat which is rocking on the water, how will it know at any time what is level, or does the code not work like that. Im on 2.9.1.

But just to be clear, in 2.9.1 - the flashing leds during arm is not setting the level? Ideally, we should keep it as still as possible - but level is set during the calibration with MissionPlanner?

I also plan to fly from a boat, albeit a more stable catamaran - so I should be able to keep it relatively steady during arming, but maybe not perfectly level.


On a small boat in choppy water, it will be very tough to get the quad or tricopter leveled. If you know you are going out - like I said in my earlier post. Turn on the quad or tricopter and level it on land before you leave. Yes the home point will be where you leveled it, but its not like you will make it back there anyways so that is moot.

Now when you get out to sea, you can fly. The drain on the apm batteries is minimal so even idle on the boat for 1hr will drain minimum from your lipo. If you are concerned with that, do what I do. Run a separate battery to power manage the APM - dual battery setup. Flying from a stabilize SHIP is a cake walk as you can imagine, a ship stabilized is like being on land. On a fishing boat, kayak, paddle board (which I do fly from as well) is much much harder to level the aircraft.

Best of luck with you flight!

That sounds all well and good but it's both irrelevant and dangerous in regard to the many people in this branch of r/c who have very little if any experience flying powerful electric aircraft. Irrelevant because injury and even death are obvious possible outcomes in racing, climbing, or even crossing the street, but such risks are not at all inherent or necessary in what we do here. Dangerous because there is indeed risk in hand-launching, no matter how skilled, swift and clever one might be. It's not the actual launching that's particularly dangerous, anyone can learn to do that without losing a finger. But machines, no matter how fine and wonderful, sometimes fail. If a moderate-size multi or heli fails in any of dozens of ways, electronically or mechanically, immediately after launch and you are in close proximity no amount of skill will save your face, family jewels, or whatever other parts of you Mr.Qaud decides to snack on. That it hasn't happened to you is good, but it has in fact happened from time to time to people just standing too close to ground-launched rotorcraft.

You have your hundreds of hours of experience which won't help a bit if something goes badly wrong right after you hand launch (and paddling a kayak while holding pressure on an arterial bleed would be interesting...). I have 36 years in the fire/rescue service, some of as a Safety Officer, and the things I've seen have taught me not to stick my face a foot from a running lawn mower blade. But the point here is not you or me, but to warn folks that there is indeed danger when well established safety protocols, which generally call for a pilot/aircraft separation of around fifteen feet, are dismissed or ignored.

Have fun and stay safe,



Oliver, The OP asked about water launching. I gave options, if done correctly it is safe even if things go wrong. We are not talking to the masses in this post - we are talking to the OP. Enough said, to each his own.

No, way too much said: I hope you don't someday hear of someone injured or worse who read this dangerous advice. And it's not "to each his own" because every time somebody does something reckless, or encourages such, it affects everyone in the hobby.  And the OP asked nothing about hand-launching, he was holding his tricopter at the bench to simulate what it would do from the deck of a boat. His statement that "it wanted to be at about 90 degrees if i had let go" should scare the crap out of anyone. But the most revealing statement is your "it is safe even if things go wrong." Hopefully people will consider the rest of the advice in the light of that astounding remark.

why not put floats on it? Just use two two liter coke bottles or something, a little duct tape...good to go! Heck, I should use that for landing in the snow, I've gotten more speed controllers wet and then they fail! We really need a good way to waterproof (or least make resistant) our RC gear, especially the ESC's...I had a snowflake cause an ESC failure and put me into a tree this winter. At least I got it on video...


affirmative.  Level (accelerometer calibration) is set in mission planner and NOT on every boot.  Gyro's are calibrated every boot.

So when booting the copter should sit still, but it doesn't have to sit level.

You my friend are taking this discussion into a whole new dimension, I will neither support your vision of what we are talking about or further fuel your diatribe.


Floats are a good idea, but as far as a level calibration it won't work on water. Unless the boat is in still water the chances of a solid calibration are small.

Calibrate on shore, kayak away and takeoff and land from the floats, no need to hand launch then! I've hand launched before, but it makes me uncomfortable, way rather either put on floats or a good platform on the front of the kayak, but that is risky. Highly recommend waterproofing the ESC's, even a drop and your going down. 

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