Good, Bad, or Ugly - PPM encoder with APM 2.6

Seeing how these devices were going out of stock at 3DR, I purchased one, should I decide to upgrade to Pixhawk.  Odd events followed.  I had a crash after takeoff.

I did redo the RC calibration prior to this flight.  After the crash, I noticed some of the tuning PIDs were zero'd out.  I re-baselined those PIDs from the stock 3DR Y6b online file.  It flew but it was sluggish, and despite good GPS, Alt Hold and Pos Hold were straying all over.  Next, I set tuning PIDs to those values I had saved from last October, and I had much smoother results.  The second flight was in strong and gusty winds.

When I get a calm day, I intend to run an auto-tune.

Questions:  Is anyone else successfully running APM2.6 with a PPM encoder?  Has anyone taken their old Y6b (3DR kit built or RTF) and upgraded to Pixhawk?

Rhetorical Question:  Should I just bench this and save up for a 3DR solo for the camera automation (or something similar).

My goal is a smooth camera/gimbal platform for hobby purposes, which I had prior to adding the PPM encoder addition.

Some facts:

1. 3DR Y6 kit purchased in 2013

2. Tarot 2D Gimbal with GoPro (not on the copter during the above flights).

3. Using APM Planner on a Macbook Air for setup, PIDs etc.  Was v2.0.18 now 2.0.20

4. Last year using 3s 6000 batteries, but switched to 4s 6000s (re-did the ESC calibration).



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  • I would not buy a Solo at the moment. Too much, or not enough, going on with 3DR. It's like one company that made all the previous models, based in Mexico/Texas, Iris, Y6, X8, etc. etc. THEN, there's this other company, from China, that makes the Solo, and that's all they offer.

    The Y6 will work very well for video, especially with a Pixhawk. I put a fairly cheap 3 axis gimble on mine, and it's video is rock solid. Sometime you get a prop in the picture during maneuvers, but with a slight down pitch of the camera, it's fine. And with 6 motors, you have a little more redundancy than with a 4 motored Solo. Just my opinion. BTW, I own 4 Iris+, and 2 Y6's, along with around 20 other flying multirotors! I miss the old 3DR.   Sorry for the cwappy youtube rendering

    • I appreciate your feedback.  Weather here still not calm, will try the autotune, but so far the last few flights it has remained relatively unstable (with respect to using it once again as a camera platform).


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