This is my first blog(and I mean first ever anywhere) so please excuse the lack of the "bloginess" quality :)
I've been in testing mode with APM1 since the release of Arducopter 1 code. After a couple lost and crashed quads, I decided that my strategy for testing arducopter from now on is to start with a cheap frame/motor/prop combo, basically to iron out any bugs that maybe in newly released code or any potential errors with wiring and installation before installing it on some of my more expensive frame/motor combos. My first application of this method started with the 2.2 code and I've gotten pretty good with tuning the basic stability PIDs, essentially because I had nothing much to worry about and I was able to experiment with more aggressive PID variations to get a feel of what's going on. By the release of 2.3 code, I became mostly focused on loiter/nav/RTL tuning.
Today is my 3rd day of testing, and after running into some bad weather(sand storms and high winds), I was finally able to get some definitive patterns while varying the NAV_P and NAV_I parameters to improve the copters ability to loiter, especially that there was very little wind. I had of course tuned the copter indoors for stability and control and wanted to see what I can get in terms of navigation without changing the control feel of the copter.
For today's tests and the video below, I've followed a few basic scenarios starting from the default 2.3 navigation PIDs and only modified the NAV_P and NAV_I settings. Unfortunately and for some unknown reasons, my logs were all bad and I'm not able to show the KML files for each one of these scenarios, but I hope you get the idea from the videos.
The frame used for these tests is a Scarab Euro (from multiwiicopter.com) with KDA 1050Kv and 8X4 props.