Flew my SkySurfer/Bixler today for the first time with the ArduPlane.  I've been flying the plane for the past few months when i had time/weather at the local AMA field with an instructor learning to fly (don't really like crashing/breaking things :P), Finally started flying solo a few weeks ago and got around to testing the arduplane today.  I have one of the DIYDrones Store's Bixler chassis (pan/tilt cam mount on the way!) and its pretty nice for keeping all electronics (Mounted battery under the wing to maintain CG with the extra nose weight).

Only tested out Stabilize and FBW_A modes, which worked perfectly even in the strong headwind.   A couple of the older guys at my club were actually impressed with my landing in a strong choppy wind with the bixler as it tends to get tossed around, FBW_A mode made landing nice and easy :P  Though i'd like to see how FBW_B handles in terms of glide slopes on landings in the future.


Camera is on the way, and when thats in i'll be testing full auto missions, and RTL.  For now I'll continue playing with Stab and FBW modes as they're fun as hell :P.  
Stuff I'm using:
Bixler/Sky Surfer v1 (same plane different name)

DiyDrones Electronic chassis for the Bixler

Turnigy 9x radio with ER9x firmware and 6 position switch from ebay

APM 2.24, xbee900, magnetometer and differential pressure sensor attached

2200mAh 3cell lipo


Havent tested how long i can fly (i lost my Attopilot voltage/current sensor and have another on the way so i can measure while flying and get good accurate flight time estimations)

Also i had to slightly tune the 6pos switch.  The one thats in the blogposts and on ebay for the Turnigy9x radio works perfect, problem is the values are tuned to a stock turnigy9x radio.  ER9x firmware "calibrates" sticks and pots, so when calibrating the 6pos switch it didn't end up with the required values.  To compensate I simply changed the endpoints for the output channel, and mixed the pot to a curve that i tweaked while watching values in the mission planner, works great now :)
Suggestion to anyone using it though, Always nice to have a CutOff of sorts, rather than try to turn the knob all the way back to manual, I have a switch set to fix Mode channel output to Manual when flipped (and the knob when the switch is off).  can never have too many failsafes :) 

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Great report! Thanks for sharing...

Thanks for your post.


I was wondering how you did the mixing bit?


I cant figure out what to set each bit to the make the mixing wirk. I have a 6 pos'n switch and it is not working correctly but I cant figure out how to set the mixing. ie what settings do I change?


Also I like your idea a a fixed switch to go to manual. How can you do that with the mxing as well






Brian:  On the ER9x what i did for mixing was first was recalibrate sticks/pots.  With pots centered, and the 6mode switch on position 3 or 4, and sticks centered for the "centered" part, then moving them to min/max on the next part of calibration.

second, i made a mix on a free channel (i used channel 5) with the source being p3 (or which ever pot you replaced for the switch)

then set endpoints (its the screen after mixes screen i believe), to around -68 to 68 for the channel I assigned the switch to (technically a pot as far as the code is concerned, not exact values, don't have transmitter on hand, but about those).  Using the Mission Planner to look @ values, adjust the endpoints to the min/max values for modes.

Finally continuing to use the mission planner to look @ values, on the mix screen for the channel 5 pot mix, went to curves, added a new curve, started with the standard x=y (straight line bottom left to top right), then went and started with the 2nd from last point (second to top right)  not the last or the first point, because those are set by the endpoint just fine.  But starting from that 2nd to last, adjusting the values to fit it in the range for modes.  By adjusting the 3 middle points on the curve i managed to get all 6 positions to give proper values just fine, not dead on but well within the acceptable range (before they were teetering on the edge of mode ranges for some positions)

In the end you can ultimately simply just calibrate it, check all 6 values, and change the ArduPlane/Copter code to fit the outputs you're getting, but thats a hassle for upgrading.

As for the cutoff, look in one of the last pages of the er9x menu, there should be a cuttoff/failsafe menu which you can simply select a switch, and assign a value to, which will put only that value to that output no matter any mixes/inputs.  I set that for ch5 to be 68 or so (what ever the manual mode output is), which is quite handy,  you can also set up a throttle switch in there, to the throttle switch (the big one in the back thats not spring loaded) which is a nice safety feature (irritated my instructor a couple times when he couldn't figure out why throttle wasn't working on an electric haha)


Thanks for your reply


I have V2 one and I do not think it has curves, etc on it. The manual I downloaded is confusing and I am stuck on this mixing. Love to know how to set curves like I saw on youtube.


Considered changing the code but as you say upgrading is a problem.





Its not a problem so much as just an annoyance, every time you upgrade you'll have to download the new code and modify it.

Are you using the ER9x firmware?  If not you should be, its so much easier, smoother, calibrates sticks/pots, and mixing is super easy.  Consider getting the smartieparts AVR programmer board (google ER9x and they have a link to the smartieparts board, its designed for the TH9x, and comes with a backlight, very convenient)
If you are using ER9x and still having trouble, i'll try to make a youtube video 



No I am not using the ER9X firmware. Just backordered a board from supplier as you suggested.


Are you using ER9X or TH9X firmware?

ER9x is what i'm using, its nice and gets the job done, they are all good though, you'd honestly have to read up on the differences because i'm not sure of them, i just know most people prefer the ER9x variant.  Once you get it in and firmware loaded let me know and i'll make a small video for making the 6mode switch work perfectly :)




Appreciate it!



Hi again


Finally my Smartiepants board came in and I flashed with er9x.

Working through it but some things are still a bit confusing.

If you can do the small vid would be much appreciated. I suspect others would like to see it as well





That should help you out, try to get those  values in the range with the curve like in teh video, the range is here

Pos 0: <= 1230 = 1165 Target
Pos 1: 1230 - 1360 = 1295 Target
Pos 2: 1361 - 1490 = 1426 Target
Pos 3: 1491 - 1620 = 1556 Target
Pos 4: 1621 - 1750 = 1686 Target
Pos 5: >= 1750 = 1815 Target

So remember, first calibrate with the position in 3 or 4 (in the middle)
Then set the mix on your output channel to p3 (or which ever pot you replaced)
After set the position 1 and position 6 values by adjusting the endpoints in the menu page 6 i believe, to 1165 for position 1, 1815 for position 6
Then add a new curve starting off with a linear -100 -50 0 50 100 value, then adjust the 3 middle values to get the rest of the positions to their target values


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