New Arducopter survives maiden flight, with grace and style.

My DIYDrones Arducopter survived its first few flights without incident!  This is my first quadcopter, and first Ardupilot project, so I'm actually a little surprised it flew so well.

Very stable.


This is the FahPah "all up" kit, with an added XBee Tx and Futaba R6008HS.

Arducopter NG software, untouched except to enable XBee.  No magnetometer.

Turnigy 2200 3S batteries.

All bullet connectors soldered shut, which resolved the burning-motor problem.



I'm not sure I mounted the ESCs as intended.. it appears each of the arches has a protrusion that may or may not be useful for ESC mounts.


The in-tube motor wires makes a very clean package, and the "wedding cake" racks make for a compact center.


The GPS Hold mode was the only confusing thing, since it seemed to have a lot of wander and a very aloof and unauthoritative throttle control.  It tried to drift down into the weeds and I had to switch out of GPS Hold to recover it.


So far, so good!

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3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on December 27, 2010 at 12:01am
Glad to hear it! Thanks for sharing..
Comment by Zhiquan Yeo on December 27, 2010 at 12:39am
i flew mine for the first time this week too and the stock code is ridiculously good... managed to take my hands off the sticks to answer a phone call.
Comment by Ground Loop on December 27, 2010 at 12:31pm

Mine has a little bit of list to the left.

Is it critical that the ship be perfectly level during accelerometer calibration, or will a small bias get tuned out?


I'd rather get the parameters correct on the Ardupilot, rather than trim at the Tx.  It's almost, but not quite, hands-off, which was startlingly good.   I've never had a helicopter come up this easily. :)


Comment by Ground Loop on December 27, 2010 at 12:32pm
Also, should it be level by the prop nuts, or by the arms, or by the base?  Maybe it doesn't matter, but it seems like the prop nuts should be level for calibration?
Comment by Ground Loop on December 27, 2010 at 7:46pm

I did some current draw measurements today, and suspect the Zippy 2200 20C lipo packs are undersized.


Power on: 350mA

Armed & Idle: 1.5A

Hover: 11.5A at 11v (!)

A quick stab at the throttle peaked at 35A and 350W.

If I don't want to taunt the battery and ESCs, 8-10 minutes hover, tops.

What kind of batteries are folks running?  Power seems fine.. maybe two of these in parallel is a better idea?



Comment by Jani Hirvinen on December 27, 2010 at 9:41pm

Hmm that looks similar what I have on my table.. wonder why :)


Yes you can use those little hooks on Arches to mount ESC's or you can mount them like you have now. As long as you are happy with their mount, all are happy. This was first bigger batch of ArduCopter kits and I am sure that they will change a bit in future. More people means more ideas and that's what this community is all about.


2200 - 5000 mAh batteries as far as I know. It really depends on how long you want to fly and what other devices you plan to carry. with 2200 mAh battery 9-10 flight time should be easily achieved with normal free flight.


7-10 mins is time what most heli/quad/fixedwing people flies when flying normal free flying. 8 mins with helicopter and usually it's pilot who runs out of power first :)


When doing mission flights situation is different and you might need to have longer flight times.

Comment by Ground Loop on December 29, 2010 at 7:17pm

I tried a 5000mAh 3S pack today, and it works.  The hovering current draw goes to 15A, so flight times are only going to be 70% more than the 2200 pack.  Stability was fine, but it had a little left/right roll oscillation.  The (standard) motors were working a bit harder.


I'm going back to the 2200 packs. (US$8 at HK today)


I'd be curious to see a picture of a ship with the ESCs mounted on the arch-hooks.


First person with a HeroHD camera mount gets an order. :)


Comment by Ground Loop on December 31, 2010 at 3:44pm

I had a curious Oops today with the Arducopter.  It wanted to flip over instead of take off.  Not sure why.  A battery disconnect/reconnect fixed it.


Do the gyro's have a certain period after power-on where they must not be disturbed?

Must the arducopter be powered on only while level?  Perfectly still?


That's all I can think of, anyway.  Each time I would try to lift off, it would tilt to the right (X configuration).  Fortunately, just scuffed the blades a bit on the pavement and no actual damage.


Comment by Taylor Cox on December 31, 2010 at 3:54pm
When that happens to me, its almost always because I have one of the props wrong, like CCW instead of CW or something like that.
Comment by Mauro Rodriguez on January 2, 2011 at 8:43pm
Very Nice! How did you measure current/voltage/power???


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