Quad copter Autonomous tests

Suggestions on improving flight are welcome :)

Testing the quadcopter in autonomous modes. I normally fly in Stabilize mode but today we tried switching to loiter and then tried to use the mission planner to "fly to here".

I have some work to do on getting it to fly right, yaw seems to react badly to control, yaw right and it gains altitude, yaw left and it looses altitude.
Sonar was useless...i wonder if this was the grass, not sure. Maybe a power cable that runs close to the sonar unit.

There is about a 3 second delay between switching flight modes which caused a crash in the end of the video. After we sent the "fly to here" command it carried it out but i couldn't stop it so when i tried to take manual control it just fell out of the sky.

The first attempt at "fly to here" didn't ask for a target altitude so it flew straight in to the ground.

Also snapped 2 propellers at different times, 1 in flight and the other in a crash. One side of the prop just flies off mid flight, amazingly it compensated and i landed without incident!

All in all a great round of test flights, ended up with 2 slightly bent booms and 2 broken props.

On-board cam battery was flat on arrival at the field...dang, better luck next time.

APM (original) + GPS + Sonar + 3DRradio + battery alarm
Ground control station: laptop + 3DRradio + 4G modem (for Google earth integration)

APM Firmware: AC 2.0.40 Beta
Mission Planner 1.2 Mav 0.9

3cell 2.2A battery, gives ~7-8 minutes flight time.
Motors are 980KV 
Props 10x4.5

Thanks go to...
Miky for running the laptop side of flight. Co-Pilots are a must for this stuff!
Dave for manning the camera even though he was sick.
The great team & community at DIYdrones.com for all the information, help & parts.
Also multiwiicopter.com for selling really nice aluminium frames and carbon fiber bits.

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  • Developer

    Chris, now you can fit the new firmware inside your 1280, just use the latest GIT and disable AP_LIMITS:


  • Doh!

    i fried the servo outputs on my original atmega2560, the replacement board i bought has an atmega1280..i never noticed :(

    APM 2 sounds like the right choice :)

    Thanks Chris.

  • 3D Robotics

    Chris: Yes, that's ancient and very buggy software. Much has changed in the last year ;-)

    The APM 1280, which was retired more than a year ago, is no longer supported. You don't need to upgrade to APM 2, however. Just upgrade your APM 1 base board to a 2560 and you'll be back in the mainstream. 

  • AC 2.0.40 Beta
    Mission Planner 1.2 Mav 0.9

    My bad, i should have checked the versions. I see that ArduCopter is up to 2.7.1
    When i tried to upgrade the firmware it says "Firmware is to big for a 1280, Please upgrade your hardware!!"

    What is the newest firmware i can use ?
    Is it time to upgrade to the APM2 ?

    Settings and logs from yesterdays flight (2MB Zip) 


  • 3D Robotics

    Which version of the ArduCopter software were you using?

  • Thank you for posting your experiences!

    That was great video luck catching the prop coming off in flight.

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