Late happenings at ArduCopter "Factories"...


Another milestone on releases, few weeks ago we had our first official Alpha software release and now saga continues..


It's been long and fast ride in past 6 months. It all started as a dream to create nice expansion for original ArduPilot electronics. Then Jordi and others created new even better and more compact electronics for IMU use, after that people started to create more and more their of flying devices. So finally we decided to take it to next level. Level of ArduCopter and it's full line of electronics, frames and other R/C equipment.


We on development group owe a bit thanks to the whole DIY Drones community and people who are playing key roles on it. Now we already have nice and rather well working ArduCopter software written for the latest hardware and well working fixedwing software so things are looking good on our users perspective. Sure there are still many things to develop, and new development happens every single day, maybe some of our users won't always see it but there are a lot of things done behind the scenes.


In totally on ArduCopter project it self we have around 20 people working with it, some as occasional commiters, some of us are more or less working as full time and some even all day around 7 days per week... Why, well we just like it a lot and we want to provide these good experiences to our users.


I should not need to tell that what we are trying to do here but let's say it anyways. Thing what we try to accomplish with ArduCopter and ArduPilots projects in generally is to create low cost and easy to use UAV platforms that can be extended easily to higher levels. We try to keep designs as simple as possible so people even with low mechanical skills would be comfortable to build them and enjoy of flying.


Naturally our platforms is not for everyone but at least we try to make it suitable for as many as possible. And you can be part of that process. So if you have any ideas just let us know. We are constantly looking new ideas and ways to do things.



ArduCopter KITs

Long waited time has come. We have been using hundreds of people to find all suitable parts and part providers for us, thousands of emails has been sent back and forth and now finally ArduCopter v1.0 release is at hand.

Also long waited prices for KIT's are here too. Our original goal was to create a multirotor platform with less than $1,000.00 USD, and yes Sir, we did it. Actually we did it way under of our first price goals. So here they finally are:

ArduCopter Quad v1.0 Full KIT price will be $499 USD
- ArduPilot Mega
- ArduPilot Mega IMU / OilPan
- MediaTek GPS
- Needed connectors for GPS and APM
- Motors (850kv), ESCs (20Amp), 10x45 Propellers
- Full Frame kit

You only need to add Radio/Receiver and battery to make it complete.

ArduCopter Quad v1.0 Frame KIT, $290 USD
- Full Frame kit
- Motors (850Kv), ESCs (20Amp), 10x45 Propellers

ArduCopter Quad v1.0 Frame itself $160 USD
- Just all frame parts

All frame KIT's have Fixed delivery price of $55 USD and it works most of countries. But due some countries can have high delivery costs, we will cover extras costs as long as they stay under 25%, if it goes more than that we might need to charge small extra for delivery. We are constantly looking better and more economic methods for deliveries.

Hexa and other frames will be available later after basic production is running properly on Quad frames. There also is going to be full range of extra accessories and spareparts for all frames.

Frame itself contains parts like in earlier Beta frame had plus some extras and upgraded parts based on our beta tester comments and proposals. Main changes are in Arches, Power PCB, MotorMount, New choices for arms, landing gear fins, spareparts and also some extra connectors are included on this new frame kit.

Originally we planned to have pre-orders and Asian/European orders under PhiFUN but due legal issues and taxation, we moved it to more official company to ensure that everything is done legally. So we are using Fah Pah Electronics new site that I have been building last week for all our deliveries. All PhiFUN operations has been moved under Fah Pah. (My working table is still on same place and full of tiny AC parts as always hahah).

After normal deliveries has started, ArduCopter KIT's and parts can be found from following shops: (for US only) (rest of the world)

There will be few local distributors, their names/locations will be announced later (edited to here)

Estimate to start deliveries is now on 1st week of November. Depending on how our Motor and ESC shipment is arriving from factory. We are keeping parts arrival records on our Wiki so check it out.


Now let's fill the world with ArduHappines :)

Jani / The headless ArduCopter man on Youtube ;)

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  • Developer

    @Kevin, no problems. I hope you received some emails now... if not send PM to me


    @Chris, not currently. there were only few beta frames made and we are still working on those.

  • Developer

    Kevin, this is not best and correct place to post this type of details due the rules of blogs/forums. I checked emails that has left out and will sent more information to your private email.


    I don't know where the problem is but quick look showed at least 2 mails even on January.


  • Are they in stock anywhere?
  • On the up side, I didn't know FahPah had a Hexa frame available, and now I do. :)
  • Developer

    Kevin, your hexa frame was only shipment that was on waiting queue and it was shipped yesterday to you as promised on last weeks emails to you.

  • how do you preorder on the fahpah website? if u can't add the item to your cart how can I place the order? I'm trying to order the pretested kit now. and this probably is a stupid question yet what does it mean by "ARF 50% Kit"?
  • Thanks for usefull answers and hints, obviously a few things I must look closer into. I was not aware of the bullet connector issue. I think all of mine can be turned, allmost without applying force at all. So I guess I should re-solder all of these(?)


    The pdf-manual I had not seen before. I was looking at the manual: which is linked directly from DIY Drones. I did however buy the assembled kit, so I have not soldered anything else then a dean's plug to connect the battery.


    As for spare parts, I allready have a bunch of props and a crash kit. Will definitely buy a few esc's and motors as well with next order.

  • brakar: Definitely props and motors.  Don't goof around with the bullet connectors, solder those pairs up tight!  If you have any that feel loose, DON'T FLY.

    Once I got the bullets/burnt-motor resolved, I completed my first flight with the FahPah kit yesterday.  Success!  It's very stable, but the (Experimental) GPS hold was a bit wonky.  I'll have to think about that more today.  I have no magnetometer.

    I have XBee attached to my Arducopter and can connect to the Configurator with it.  It's not useful for much, except a live plot of the sensors at this point.


    Regarding the +5 & Ground connections, you have a lot of options -- Every one of the Servo connectors is on the same power and ground bus, so you can connect wherever it's convenient.  Same for powering the XBee.  You can use male-to-male servo cables for a clean setup.  The PDF manual is very good, and I would start there.  Some of the Wiki instructions are outdated or odd.  Did you solder your Power Distribution board per the Wiki pictures, or per the PDF?  They are different with regard to the Front facing side.

  • @brakar

    just to be certain, you don't need the magnetometer or xbee, unless you need heading hold or telemetry (in the future) - you can fly ok without either

    as for spares i would certainly recommend spare props & arms, and maybe spare motor & ESC as you'll regret not having one if one did fail. You may also want to resolder the motor bullets as they seem bad and several of us have had a motor fail (or worse a crash) due to this..

    as for the power to the IMU, its actually the APM board, you want to connect to. You connect the 2pin lead from the PDB to the GND and +5V on the APM (+5V in center, GND on bottom) - this goes directly under the motor signal wires at the right hand side (so normally under the white/right motor lead). The IMU gets its power from the APM board.

    you should see it towards the end of the manual here:
  • 3D Robotics
    brakar: telemetery is not yet supported in the software, which is why Xbees and adapter boards are not mentioned. Once we have telemetery ready to release, we'll offer instructions and options to buy wireless modules.
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