Hello DIY Drone world....
Well it's been about a year since my last blog (http://www.diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/quading-vacation-no-wheels-included). I built a new quad in the spring (photos attached) It has been a struggle but I have it flying great now. Problems with the APM 2.5 (3DR) since day one. First the new 2.5 lost its flash memory. (same problem I had with my APM 2.0). Tried everything , I re-soldered parts of the board, I checked for voltages but no success. I went with it as everything ells was working properly. About a month ago the APM wood fail to boot occasionally until it stopped altogether. Stressing the board would get it to boot. I used a microscope and identified a pad (see photo) that must not have received an adequate amount of solder past during production. I re-soldered the pad and now it seems to work properly. Due to the 2 strikes I felt the 3rd strike will cost me my drone so I have retired the board and replaced it with an ArduFlyer that seems to be performing great for me.
I purchased a brushless bimbal from China for $100 bucks and does that make a difference with to Gopro. The video has a mixture of with and without but you can see the difference. I still have some vibration on the frame but I almost have it mastered.
Some of the flights I did this fall were in some very remote areas at low temperatures (5-10C). It showed me the need for a battery warmer. Initial flight times were unpredictable but once they warmed up they were dependable. I worry that I may be stressing the batteries by charging them cold. I plan to use a small piezolectric cooler/warmer to warm them. (with a thermostat set for 28C). After flying I can use it to keep the beer cold.
As fall is setting in and the temperature is dropping I am starting to think of my next winter project. I need more power and longer flight times.