Questions from a noob (renamed)

Hello everyone, Im new around here but I hope one day I can contribute to trad heli :)

Ive been flying helis for around a year. Ive got a 450 stretch (480 with 6s and 350mm asym blades) which I'm working on for the last few weeks. Currently I run an MSH brain FBL unit, but I wanna try ArduCopter!! Before I get carried away, Ive got a few questions I hope you could please answer..

1. Can anyone give me their experiences flying with the newest code? I aim to have a solid flying heli that will fly similar to an MSH Brain, but with the added benefit of arducopter (self level etc)

2. I'll soon be running a fixed pitch tail to elimiate the tail servo and torque tube. The tail will be directly driven by a brushless motor with a 6" prop and an ESC hanging off the tail channel. I know that a good FBL unit can be set to run this quite easily. Can ArduCopter do the same?

3. How reliable is the self-levelling currently? I know that the MSH Brain I run is very finnicky to set up, but my experience with MultiWii proves it can be very easy



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  • Here's a weird question for you...

    Test flying all weekend I noticed that occasionally my heli disarms itself mid-way through the ESC ramp-up. So to re-iterate, I'll arm, flick the throttle switch and it begins to spool up. Then, when its almost up to speed the motor cuts out. When I look at the red light on APM its flashing indicating "disarmed". Its happened about 10 times now, 2 times after the PPM encoder update.

    I'm really scared of it happening mid-flight, but it only seems to happen during spool-up.

    What could cause this? I was thinking it might be the "wobbling" that happens at spool-up when the blades arent fully straightened out yet - as though APM thinks there is too much vibration and disarms. Maybe?

  • Well my glitching is back with a vengeance. Either that, or I've worked out how to replicate the issue consistently. See the video, its similar to what Ray was talking about:

    In the video, I'm only moving the Aileron stick, not Elevator at all. You can see the elevator servo jump when the swashplate is all the way right. I also have other forms of glitching like collective jumps etc.

    Here is a log showing ch 2 (Elevator) and servo 3 (ele servo). Notice glitches correspond with APM's "iterpreted" stick inputs, only i never touched the ele stick! I thought it might be my radios fault, but after seeing that Ray fixed his with the update I might have to give that a try.


  • I had a successful flight today, I managed to arm the heli by unplugging the tail motor before arming.

    The tail is performing well except that it needs constant trim to keep it where it is. I've tried fiddling with rc_4 trim, but it seems like the wrong way to go about this? What's with that? Its like im flying with the tail gyro in "rate mode" not "heading lock"....

    RATE_YAW_P = 0.1

    RATE_YAW_I = 0.1

    RATE_YAW_D = 0.003

    RATE_YAW_FF = 0.05

    RATE_YAW_IMAX = 800

    So it doesnt oscillate, it just wants to constantly turn left/right depending on my trim :(

  • Now you've got me doubting myself lol. I'm sure I clicked heli when I loaded the firmware.

    No I cant have loaded quad firmware because the 120 swash mixing is correct. Ahhh I'll try the EEPROM reset.

    Does it need to be in Stab mode during boot? Im wondering if that was my problem, since I did have Acro as my default :S

  • Hey guys, I have my APM 2.5 finally :)

    Half way through setting it up, I have all the servos moving correctly and have the electronics functioning well. But there are some things that are concerning. 

    The servos go to random positions and stay there during init. Sometimes they do hectic binding that forces me to unplug the heli so it doesnt burn out the expensive servos.

    Another thing, the unit wont initialize unless my radio is turned off. Then I have to turn the radio on after init is complete or it just sits there blinking. This is the opposite to what I'm used to (normally tx goes on first right?)

    Occasionally during moving the sticks I can see the collective does an extremely quick small pitch pump (+/-3 deg in 0.1seconds) that seems bad, is this normal?

  • Thanks for that rob :)

    I'm in, now to buy that gear..

  • Hi, I'll try to answer your questions but I think you may be coming at this from the wrong direction.

    Currently, Arducopter is a UAV controller, not a FBL controller.  You ask if it "can" do self level, when in fact it really only does self-level.  The currently released code, 2.7.3 will only fly a heli in Stabilize mode, which means maximum of 45° pitch and roll.  There is no acrobatic ability in the controller at all.

    We should be releasing 2.9 soon, which makes the stabilization even better, and also allows limited acrobatics.  The controls are in the earth frame, not body frame, so it may field weird to a person who can fly acrobatics.  We soon hope to get body frame acro mode working which would then make this a proper acrobatic FBL controller.

    I don't see any reason why the system could not control a direct drive tail, subject to the usual problems with these which is more mechanic/aerodynamic in nature.

This reply was deleted.


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