Questions about APM with the Arducopter sw...

Sorry the title is so generic... I just got the ArdupilotMega with IMU Rev H for a homemade Quad application and have a number of issues getting it running...I wanted to add some of these here in case someone can help me figure it out. Thanks... I am sorry I am such a noob with this so please be kind! I look forward to contributing to other people's startup trials when I get past all of this. I read the manual over and over but there is so much missing that I almost dont know where to begin here...

My setup:

- Going to be installed in homemade quadcopter

- APM with IMU and Mediatek GPS, Magnetometer...

- Futaba 8FG R6008 receiver with two servos plugged into elevator and aileron channels to see visible reaction to motion of board.

-Plugging in the APM to USB tells me in the Mission Planner 0.4.27 :

Welcome to ArduCopter CLI
Firmware: 1.54

So this means I have Arducopter 1.x I assume... I will use this setup sometimes with the receiver battery plugged in when I am trying to get SOME kind of motion out of the servos using transmitter or board sensors (no movement whatsoever yet in any way) or unplugged when I am just trying to see how to test the onboard sensors in some way. (unable to so far).




1: BASIC: I cannot tell for one thing if this ardupilot is the 1280 or 2560 board.. .In one spot near a 6 pin header there is a tiny text marking AT1280 but in another near an unpopulated 6 pin header is a text marking that says AT328... The board itself says ArdupilotMega V1.4 so that is good I think. When the board arrived it had no paperwork in it and was just components in a box.


2: BASIC: The APM board has all kinds of lights as does the IMU... I cannot find much on the lights and what they mean. I see some things here and there about blue lights for GPS or something. But its confusing me terribly. Specifically:

    - The A,B,C lights on the Oilpan blink one after another A=Green, B=yellow, C=red. I have no clue what the means and cannot find anywhere what they are or mean.

    - The mediatek GPS unit has a blue led that just blinks... I have no clue what it means and cannot find any information on what it means.

    - The APM board itself has a blue solid LED near one edge, and a red solid next to a yellow solid near the RC pins. I cannot find what those lights mean.


3: APM PLANNER V0.4.27: I plugged in the APM/IMU to the USB and can run the Mission planner which tells me that Arducopter is loaded with Firmware version 1.54.  I see in many screenshots and in the Arducopter manual that you can type in commands to access things like testing the GPS, test the accelerometers and gyros, see live data from the sensors... I cannot seem to do ANY of that.. I enter the Terminal mode for instance and I dont ever see a command line interface. I only see a menu.I see all over the place how people have typed in commands to test things and I cannot find that. Its always a menu. Am I using the right Planner??? What do I select to test this board?

4 APM PLANNER V0.4.27: I cannot for the life of me see how to configure the flight Modes and the manual doesnt really explain how to do it. It just says that channel 5 will do it. I have channel 5 hooked up and it does nothing no matter how its switched. There is no affect on any three position switch on my radio and the APM. The transmitter cannot control the servos through the APM but servos directly in the receiver work just fine. When I select the Modes button in the Planner I get this following message:

Disconnect your battery if you have it connected, keep your USB cable/Xbee connected!
After battery is disconnected hit enter key and wait more instructions:
As safety measure, unmount all your propellers before continuing!!

What battery is it talking about? The Main Lipo on the Quad? The Receiver Battery (that doesnt make sense)... But why is it saying this? I want to set up the modes and which ones are accessed when I flip the channel 5 switch... Once at this message, there is no information to tell me what to do next. I have no motors connected nor ESCs. I am just testing the main board. Anyway after I hit enter it just goes back to the menu and nothing ever happens. I cannot find any instructions anywhere on how to use the APM software on the board.

This same message about disconnecting the battery  etc... comes up simply when I try to select FRAME in the Planner.. so I have yet to be able to tell it I want an X frame instead of the +...



I am simply trying to get to the point where I can have a few servos hooked up and watch them move as I tilt the board around. So far I have no movement of any kind. I cannot get the radio to control the servos directly either in the Manual mode.. Actually I cannot even SEE the modes anywhere in the software. I hit the Modes tab in the Planner and tells me to unplug the battery and all it ever says is something about the motors. I never get to any mode related setup of any kind...


I saved up all my questions for all of you. Isnt that great? Sorry.. I didnt mean to drop it all at once on you all but I am just trying to get through this initial setup and the manual is quite sparse on much of this.



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  • servos won't show any motion because it's fastpwm (ESC only)

    those blue, red and yellow LEDs are marked on the board (blue on IMU is power, red on APM is power, yellow on APM is MUX which should always be on for arducopter)


    load the new 2.x code (apm planner -> upload firmware)


    you have an APM1280

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