A Date with Ms. Purple (APM2)

Some interesting videos of my morning flights with the latest firmware and APM2.

Dont forget to watch the last video ;)

1st loiter

Arducopter, now with REAL chicken sound effects...
Loiter worked quite well considering the drift issue...
It only started to drift after a while.
Seems like the more stick input you give, the worse the drift gets.]

2nd loiter It went better, I tried to stay away from using too much stick.

1st alt hold. Went beautifully, as good as the sonar! Still the drift issue in stabilize.

low level alt hold
Pool noodles rock!

Karlas first attempt
I suppose I should fix the drift issue before I let my GF fly it...
Fortunately I was controlling the throttle and trying to film.
Funny as hell! It landed on the roof...

Loiter and Alt Hold work fine. But the drift issue makes it un-flyable!
The only thing that fixes the drift issue is resetting the board.
Then it works for 20-30s and then cant fly it anymore.
Running the level command and in-flight leveling doesnt do sh*t.


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  • I want a hybrid car.

    Ellison lucky I didn't crash it properly. Also It wasn't all my fault at least. Next time we'll do it ina bigger area with no buildings. I think I need more simulator time.

    I think if anyone needs to work on something to do with drones, it's the blades!!!

    Gareth has got grey composite blades and they are awesome. The don't seem to break.

    We need to get those for the Octo Copter. Gareth is also sitting with no props cause they broke so easily.

    Boring blades is still better than nothing!!

  • @Jean-Louis: Im using v2.2 b2.

    @Jason: I also went from using APM1 (no drift) to APM2 on the same frame. It doesnt say anywhere that APM2 is more sensitive than APM1.

    Iv run the in-flight level commands multiple times using APM1 and it works like a dream. But with APM2 it seems to make things worse.

    The vibrations on the APM2 are no worse than on the APM1.

    Is the APM2 more sensitive to vibrations?

    Thanks everyone for all the help :)


  • Since I'm an avid recycler and even drive a hybrid car, here's me recycling a comment from another discussion:

    Gareth, I bet it got worse after loiter.  It's probably due to the well know "leans" problem.  There's quite a bit of discussion on the Aeroquad forum.  My understanding of the cause is partly due to vibration, and mostly due to the fact that the accelerometer is not able to properly measure centripetal/centrifugal accelerations, and leads to errors creeping in the  DCM, orientation math.  It's no just a problem with APM2, if it's the leans problem.

    Karla, don't sweat it.  I just  crashed my new Firefly frame against a wall this morning, and killed the only set of cool looking 3 blade props.  Now I have to put boring 2 blades back on, until new ones come.

  • Jean-Louis i used firmware 2.1 to 2.2b.


    I use the exact frame and setup as I used with apm1. With apm1 no drift. With apm not flyable after 3mins. The only thing changed was swapping apm1 for apm2. Prop are balanced and everything. So if vibration is the problem. Then i have to conclude that apm2 is way more sensitive to vebration then 1. And that will cause a lot of people issues. I have tried dampening the apm2 with sylicon, velcro, etc. I now ordered some apc slow flyer props and will try more.

  • 3D Robotics

    Ruben: full APM 2 software support will be coming when full production begins in Feb. Until then, we're focusing on optimizing the code for the 5,000+ APM 1 users out there. We really appreciate the feedback from you and the other few dozen APM 2 early adopters who are using it on multicopters, but I'm afraid you're just ahead of the dev team on this. We're working as fast as we can, so all we can ask for is your patience.

    In general, APM 2 is more sensitive to vibration, which is causing the drift. So until we can put in some optimized filters in the code, balance your props and mount the board on foam and see if that resolves the issue. 

  • Developer

    Running the level command and in-flight leveling doesnt do sh*t.

    Let's not confuse people. These two commands do exactly what they should be doing. 

    Drift is caused by the DCM taking in bad Accel data that is corrupted by high freq vibrations. The best thing to do is remove the vibrations. You can test by disabling the drift correction, but that's very hard to do in a practical sense because it's what tells the copter what is true level when flying. 

    Prop balancing helps, encasing the board in foam helps. With these two I get no drift at all.


  • Developer

    What is the version of the firmware tested here ?


  • I also have the APM2 the drift has nothing to do with the. The copter just start leaning more and more in 2-3min. After resettting the board it will be fine for 30secs dan start again. APM for now is not flyable on a quadcopter due to this issue. There are other apm2 users with the exact same issue. So it appears to be a APM2 issue. We already made a thread on this in the forum. But we get completely ignored by :( :( that's the thanks you get for being the first to support the new hardware. For me this is a total disappointment and an eye opener. I even made some comment about this in the apm2 thread. No reaction form diy drones. They even promissed us PID settings for over 2 weeks now. They stated that they tested this board last year extensively so the settings should be available. For now don't pre order the apm2 beceause you get zero support.

  • The drift problem isnt caused by wind. As I fly the drift gets progressively worse until iv maxed out pitch & roll.

  • Thanks Randy. The Rooster is very spoilt. He's a real character. He gets very upset when there is a loud noise. They are very verbal creatures.

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