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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  • Yes Nic. Gareth, my partner started with a quad pod then when to the Ardu copter and is now onto the Octo copter. I have been watching the progression and i've taken and interest. Also we do it together so I video and he flies. I would like to learn, but there seems to be an issue with the drift so I have to wait till that is sorted out. Flying objects are interesting to me and life is about learning so why not??! It's also got me into photography which is awesome. I didnt realise how fun it was and also difficult :)

  • @Karla, Yes, Cape Town. Flown 3D helicopters for a few years but now looking at starting on a UAV. Im a little torn on the idea of whether I like quads or planes more. Wasn't aware there was much UAV action happening in South Africa but very inspiring to see your vids

  • Are you from SA Nicolas?

  • Great to hear a South African accent and see some local action online :)

  • Hi Guys! Same drifting problem here! How about some good photos about techniques to isolate the APM in the wiki?

    @Chris Will there be any hardware changes in the APM2 before the real production begins?

    That's a big Rooster indeed! :D

  • Moderator

    Cool- please don't take what I wrote as slamming your gear. It's just a recollection of my experience. (not that we should rule anything out either though- QC can be a dodgy subject)

    Anyway, this should give us a clue as to where we can focus to get it flying straight. 

  • @John, Im using the standard AC 850kv motors. Rotating the motors sounds like a good idea.

    Im having fun regardless of whether things work or not :)

  • Moderator

    Yep, software could get around this. And, maybe it will someday. I just have to say that I, too, faced what appears to be the exact issue when getting into APM (long, long ago now). I felt like a right fool after swapping motors out for a set that cost more than $12 a piece. All I want is for everyone to be enjoying their time in the air!

    That said, we know that the software can't account for everything right now. So, what can we do? Let's try to isolate the issue. Can those of you who have a persistent lean rotate your motors one arm to the right and see if the lean follows?

    Let's get these things to the point we can all be having fun. It's the weekend, damnit!  :)

  • I mounted the APM2 on 6 layers of foam tape (total: 15mm thick). I run the motors up to a third throttle and the vibrations on the board are absolutely minimal.

    After arming, the copter lifts off perfectly vertical, i dont even have to add any pitch or roll. After 20seconds it drifts to the left. I land. Then when I try lift off again, it doesnt lift off vertical. Leans to the left quite badly. Resetting the board fixes the lean.

    Perhaps I need to isolate it even more?

    @Jason, could you send me a photo of how you mounted your board so I can do the same.


  • Yes, I think we do need some sort vibration analysis tool or logs.  However, given that we have a controller running stabilization software, it should still be able to adapt to a certain degree of imbalance.  I would like to see the software be able to do self analysis, and provide a "vibration factor".  This would determine how much stabilization it has to apply to try and keep the craft stable.  I mean if we physically balance everything to the point where it's perfect, then the drone would not need any stabilization routine at all, would it?  I don't know about others, I tend to balance to a certain point, and then let the stabilization software take care of the rest.

    The main issue with the "leans", if indeed, this is what Gareth is seeing, is that the algorithm, and existing sensors.  This would not get fixed unless, a new kind of sensor is invented, or if we find a better algorithm than DCM.

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