User group for those flying ArduCopter on traditional helicopter platforms

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  • Thanks Yall,  I found the functional differences between APM 1 and APM 2 section Of the Wiki, and it definately seems tat the APM2 is the way to go, I was planning on an external GPS and using the 3d printed plates recommended.  


    Had a thread in the traditional helicopter section but ill keep an eye out on the arducopter 2 -x- traditional forum.  


    R Lefebvre,  LOL I know that it is impossible to make something that flies fire fighter proof but it is a goal LOL. And I may give a quad a go again in the future but IMHO they are less stable then a Heli, I can fly helicopters and planes but when it comes to multirotors I am better at catastrophic dissassembly.   Perhaps Ill try again one of these days with a prebuilt one just to get the idea of how to fly one.   


  • Developer


        Re the choice of APM1 or APM2.  The two have pretty much the same features but personally I'd go for the APM2 because it's smaller and it's got a combined gyro-accelerometer (the MPU6000) that we may start making better use of in the near-ish future.

         If you go for the APM2, I'd say getting one without the GPS attached is a good idea assuming you're going to mount it using the trex mounting plates.

         As Robert implies, I suspect a Quad will be more stable than a tradheli.


  • Hi Carl, this is not the best place to discuss things like this.  Please open a new discussion here:

    IMO, you will never make a TradHeli "firefighter proof".  It's basically impossible.

  • Howdy y'all,   I had a question as to what APU to purchase, The 1 or the 2,  The reason I ask is that In another discussion I was told that there is a diffrence in features between the 2,  I am looking to guide a 600+ class FBL electric heli with a camera pod,  Along waypoints,  preferably with auto land, or land assist.  The idea is to make a Heli that is fire fighter proof.  I know I am going to need a magnetometer GPS and Sonar, but I have not been able to figure out the diffrence between APU's  

    I am going to install it on one of the test 450's that I have on the bench currently as I have 3 HK450's One is a trad heli with gyro and manual controls the other is a Flymentor Machine, and the third is just a bare frame at the moment,   I have a go pro camera pod that just attaches to the skids with a servo/gyro for tilt.  

    Basically when I get it fire figiter proof I am going to scale up to a 600 with a FLIR systems thermal imager and video transmitters to relay data back to a observer for search and rescue.  The GPS way points are pretty much a necessity as for primary search the ground crews use GPS to ensure that an area has been searched it is just slow going.  So the ability to use a drone for primary search and to get an idea of where to start a indepth ground search can save lives.  



  • Hi, can anyone give me some guidance regarding my project? i have a x-cell gasser heli 700, all the info that i have found on the forums/google etc. all point to a flybarless electric heli which doesnt have throttle controls, where as i require a throttle control linked with pitch control,

    any guides etc will be appreciated, please be advised, i have no coding experinced at all on arduino.

    kind regards


  • Hi

    Are anyone from germany? my english is so bad and i have any questions for trad.heli and the cli heli setup.

    thank you

  • Developer

    @Tedd re mouting an APM2 on the heli,

         yes, I think at the back, in the crux where the tail meets the body is the best place.  There's mixed reports on whether heli blades interfere with GPS or not so interested in seeing how it performs for you.

         I suspect we will get the mounting options for the APM2 a little more clear (and update the wiki) in the near-ish future as more trad heli users switch to the APM2.

  • Randy

    yea you are right its a risky job to Desoldering the GPS it was for saving some $$ and dead weight. I think I am going to live the GPS unit  in place for now and try to mount the APM2 on the "gyro place" in stead of under the heli,hope its no interference from the CF-blades? ...Hmm if they made the sister board like a breakoff board ... so if you wants external GPS you just break off the GPS part from the sister board plug in the cable and you are good to go , no need to order external GPS :)

  • Developer


         re separating the gps from the APM2 for the trad the GPS sounds dangerous to me but it's your APM2!  When you order you can actually get one without a GPS..if it's two late for that...well..if  it were me I'd probably cut some traces on the daughterboard to disable the GPS..and then buy a separate one.

         You should need at least 4 wires between the main board and the GPS.  Because you need GND, power, tx and rx because the Atmel2569 talk to each other with a bi-directional serial connection (The APM sends a bunch of config messages at start-up time to the GPS to get it into the right mode).

  • Ok you can do the separation with cable but the worries is there any danger for any interferens?

    Maybe it's better to de-solder the gps module and etch a new PCB for it ?

    then you only need 3 or 5 cable.... it's what i can see in the EAGLE files

    only 3 cables if you move some of the external components to the GPS unit also


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Trex450 with pixhawk miniVbar and RPM sensor.

HelloSeems that traditional heli is fadding off .... I'm trying to check the latest ardupilot traditional heli setup on trex450, in order to later scale up to 550 and 700 helis.i'm puzzeled about using the miniVbar flybarless controler with the pixhawk.  i have the pixhawk commanding the FPL controller via SBUS, and lacking the traditional throttle HOLD function.Started with flyber system, and had all work as requested, but on the FBL the throttle comand is working all time, even if the fixhawk…

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APM 450 Helicopter tuning

Thanks in advanceNewbie to APM helicopter and need some advice. I have used APM 2.6 and 2.8 board for a few years now on quads and tricopters. I have watched videos of APM helicopters flying waypoint missions with no input from the transmitter a they are smooth and steady, I cannot get mine to fly anything like that with me controlling the sticks? Actually heli with APM is only a small amount more stable than flybared? I am pretty much using stock parameters except in extended tuning Rate pitch…

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Using ALT HOLD with a helicopter

Thanks in advance for any HelpI have a Trex 450 clone, Tarot FBL head, APM 2.6 with v3.2.1 firmware, flysky 9X transmitter using heli1 setting.This unit is wired with the receiver ch3 connected to the APM ch8, and the receiver ch6 to APM ch3, unit flies pretty good with some parameter tweaking.Need help setting up ALT HOLD, could someone explain how I can set this up in mission planner for a helicopter, I do not know what I am doing wrong, I have used alt hold in Quads with no problem?I have…

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Can Stable Simple Mode be used with helicopter

Thanks in advanceTrex 450, Flybarless head, APM 2.6, Arducopter 3.2.1, Ublox 7 GPS with compass, flying fairly well with mostly stock settings.Question in mission planner flight modes can I use Stable with Simple mode with a helicopters?Does this work the same as with a 450 Quadcopter, as to direction unit is pointed does not make a difference to the controls?Thanks

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