hey everyone! I am a novice apm copter user coming from KK2.0. I have an rc explorer tricopter which I decided to convert to apm 2.6 piloted drone. However I struggle just to stabilize the copter. for some reason it tends to drift to the left. I tried swapping motors with no result, also made sure that the motors are mount true to the ground. arms are 10mm square cf rods with wooden dowels glued inside - very straight and strong, only 60g more weight totally than hollow cf. no drift issues with KK2...  props are gemfan 11x4.7 a little soft, but my AUW weight w/o FPV equipment and 2700mah 3s zippy flightmax is about 950g. my compass/gps are mounted on a 10cm mast away from any DC wires. also, I performed acceleration/compass calibration multiple times as well as synced ESCs (plush 30amp). 

with KK2.0 I used to take off from my garage and into the street around my house. with apm2.6 I cannot keep it within 4-5 feet in the horizontal plane of the spot I need it to be. 

I would happily provide more info about the build  if necessary, just do not know which is needed. 

Thank you! 

p.s. apm is in its case mounted on little pads of the Kyosho Zeal Gel Tape just in the corners of the case.  

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here are some pictures of my build

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have u run an auto trim?

when arming the copter leave the rudder stick over for 15 sec then fly and in stab. it will record your in puts and re trim after landing and disarming pretty simple

http://copter.ardupilot.com/wiki/autotrim/

I solved the problem by changing the CW rotation prop position, I put it on the tail motor, now lifts and holds alt in stab mode very-very close to my kk2. 

will try autotrim function this weekend. I am using plush esc, my silabs programming toolstick comes in the mail tomorrow I will be putting blheli on them. my tri flies well with stock ESCs, but than suddenly just goes crazy overshooting while stabilizing roll (not every time).  this happens when I try a very abrupt coordinated turn: going full throttle forward, than hard left bank an yaw. so far happened three times to me, the first time  low alt didn't give me any chance to recover, next 2 times killing throttle and gently raising it again while in the free fall did the trick and I was able to land very softly. 

another question, I asked it on the apm copter forum, but no one replied there, 

again, happens sporadically and not every time, when "not-so-soft" landing apm disarms itself. i haven't noticed this behavior when first started using apm, but started happening after the crash landing on the first "crazy roll overshoot" i described earlier. Does it mean that one or some of the apm sensors gone bad and it goes into fail-safe of some sort? fail-safe not set, the only flight mode available - stabilize. 

I have a somewhat similar tricopter running an APM and found it was very susceptible to twisting of the tail arm. I started with 10 mm Poplar arms and had all sorts of problems. Stiffening them up by epoxying on a thin layer of fiberglass cured most problems. You have some heavy motors on those arms and the APM can make changes very fast, perhaps faster than the KK board you are used to. This can lead to some interesting resonances in the airframe, especially since you have your heavy battery hanging on the equivalent of a big spring.

As for your second question, I believe 3.1 has some new crash detection programming that will disarm the motors in the event of what it thinks is a crash. I know if the craft is inverted it will, but perhaps if you have a hard impact that could do it as well. The other possibility is you have a loose electrical connection somewhere.

My booms are square CF tubes from HK plus I glued in poplar dowels inside. They are very strong and stiff. 0 twist.

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