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Everything posted by Spitfire76

  1. Spitfire76

    My UAV Build

    Replaced landing gear for a retractable set - HML680 from HK which are made of carbon fiber and so are incredible light but hopefully strong. My S500 frame looks a bit small on it though but I wanted to test it out first before moving to a larger hex frame. I know that the main reason to have retractable landing gear is to allow the camera to have an unobstructed view but I just thing they look great. My only concern is if it fails to deploy....
  2. I am not familiar with the Crazyfile project you had posted earlier but It seemed rather expensive for a very small UAV. The great thing about building an UAV based on the ardupilot is that there is a lot of documentation and community support. Also regarding programing you might want to check into http://dronekit.io/
  3. Looks like http://scanse.io have created an affordable LiDAR sensor that could be used in building a drone with collision avoidance capabilities. Their kickstarter project is over but this video gives a brief intro into their product called "Sweep". I am going to do some more research into this product as I would be interested in building a drone that can fly autonomously indoors where GPS does not work.
  4. I would suggest building a quadcopter around the "ardupilot" open source hardware and software as it does provide the ability to program an autonomous flight plan via a ground control station. http://ardupilot.org/copter/index.html
  5. I was considering replacing my APM 2.6 flight controller with a Pixhawk but just read that there are plans from 3DR to release a new version in the next few weeks that has a more powerful processor and newer sensors. It was not clear if this is the same as the one that they use in their Solo but I imagine it is. I'll add to this thread as I find out more information.
  6. @Benjamin I can't download the dataflash logs as MP keeps display a "Getlog" timeout. Since I don't know if these will really help you may as well try some new ESCs as I can't think of anything else.
  7. @Benjamin I am having some issues getting those logs from the APM to MP at the moment but will send you some once I get it to work. @Cpt HB The sbus is not being used, the connections from the RX to the APM are all PWM.
  8. @Benjaminwe have the same APM software but was the MP version a typo as I have 1.3.37 ?. The only other thing that I can suggest would be to see if the telemetry or data logs provide any information. http://ardupilot.org/copter/docs/common-mission-analysis.html I have not done much with this feature of the APM but we could at least compare files. It looks like a data log would be the most useful.
  9. @Benjamin One thing that I did not ask you, is what version of the APM software you installed. The version number should appear in the upper left corner of mission planner and displays the version for both mission planner and the APM firmware. Also when you calibrated the ESCs did you hear beeps when connecting the battery with the throttle at max and again when moving the throttle to min ? One other check, I found a similar issue on the diydrones forum where the parameter THR_MAX was set to 80 instead of 1000 although I don't recall having to change this on mine. http://diydrones.com/forum/topics/apm-not-giving-full-throttle-signal-to-escs
  10. You maybe right but before you order new ESCs can you check that you have performed the basic TX calibration.
  11. @Cpt HB Good point, I do have a switched BEC in my ESCs.
  12. If my previous post checks out then the only thing at the moment I can think of is power. Is the battery fully charged ?. Its a good idea to have a battery checker connected to the balance leads during flight as each cell of the battery should not be allowed to fall below 3.2volts. The one that I have will beep when one of the cells goes below 3.7 so it gives me time to land. I would like to eventually get a sensor that sends that information back to the transmitter using the Taranis telemetry. Typically the main leads of the battery are connected to a power distribution board which in turn supplies power to the 4 ESCs. One of the ESCs will supply +5v to the APM and the APM will also power the RX.
  13. You connection mapping appears to be good. This is how I have the connections. RX to APM X8R pin 1 to APM input pin 1 (ROLL/AILERON) Right stick left/right X8R pin 2 to APM input pin 2 (PITCH/ELEVATOR) Right stick up/down X8R pin 3 to APM input pin 3 (THROTTLE) Left stick up/down) X8R pin 4 to APM input pin 4 (YAW/RUDDER) Left stick left/right X8R pin 5 to APM input pin 5 (FLIGHT MODES) 3 position switch for stabilize, loiter and RTL APM to ESC APM OUTPUT 1 to ESC connected to motor 1 (front right) APM OUTPUT 2 to ESC connected to motor 2 (rear left) APM OUTPUT 3 to ESC connected to motor 3 (front left) APM OUTPUT 4 to ESC connected to motor 4 (rear right) The only difference maybe is that I only have one of the ESC/BECs suppling the power to the APM. I've removed the + (middle pin) from the other 3 so just the GND and signal are connected.
  14. @Brian Sounds like you had good advice in selecting a radio as even if you don't use all knobs and switches initially they come in handy as you add more features to your UAV. I am glad that I purchased the FrSky Taranis X9D as for $200 I got 16 channels, several 2 and 3 position switches as well as knobs and sliders. Like you I have the switches setup for flight modes. I also use one of the side sliders to control the pitch of my camera gimbal. The other great thing about getting a decent radio is they usually support different model profiles which is of course very useful if you have more than one UAV or fly other RC models.
  15. What size are the props ? Are they secured to the motor ?. One way to test is to tightly hold the body of the motor between finger and thumb on one hand and turn the prop in the direction that the motor will spin with a finger of the other hand. There should be no slip. I use a spanner to tighten the prop caps. You don't want to over tighten but certainly don't want them too loose. Also I have the red prop caps on the front right and rear left so just wanted to check if you have the same. If this checks out then check that you have the correct connections from the APM to the ESC/motors. http://ardupilot.org/copter/docs/connect-escs-and-motors.html I am using the QUADX configuration.
  16. Spitfire76

    Arming questions

    Glad it solved the issue. Nice rig. Is the landing gear retractable ?.
  17. Also you may want to refer to the following for more information on ESC calibration and troubleshooting. http://ardupilot.org/copter/docs/esc-calibration.html The procedure that I was suggesting to use is under the title "Manual ESC-by-ESC Calibration"
  18. Lets try a direct calibration of each ESC to see if that helps. With the other ESCs disconnected from power and the APM, connect the first ESC directly to the throttle channel of your RX. With the TX throttle set to maximum connect the battery. You should hear some beeps from the motor to indicate the ESC is in calibration mode. Once the beeps have stopped move the throttle stick to the minimum position. Wait for a few seconds and then disconnect the battery. The ESC should now know the high and low end points of the throttle. Reconnect the battery and with the prop removed from the motor check that the motor spins faster when moving the throttle from min to max. Repeat for the other 3 ESCs and then reconnect all ESCs to the APM and try another take off.
  19. The props appear to be rotating in the right directions but I could not quite make out if you have the correct props mounted so just to be sure the left is clockwise and the right counter clockwise. If this is correct then lets check that the throttle range. Select "Radio Calibration" in MP and check the range by moving the throttle stick on the TX from minimum to maximum (no need to arm). I get 990 to 2015. What do you get ?
  20. Do you have the correct propellors and motor direction set correctly ?. With the UAV facing forward the left front and rear right motors must turn in a clockwise direction and the front right and rear left in a counter clockwise direction. The propellor thread on the motors are also directional which helps to avoid the propellers becoming loose. The red propellor caps are clockwise and the black are counter clockwise but I see on one of your photos that you have the red at the front and the black at the back. There are also CW and CCW propellors and these of course need to be mounted to the appropriate motors otherwise they will be no lift. If you find that a motor is not turning in the correct direction you simply swap any 2 of the 3 motor wires. If this is correct another possible cause could be lack of RPM to the motors and as @Cpt HB pointed out its very important to calibrate the ESCs. Its also important to calibrate the radio, accelerometer, compass etc using the initial setup in mission planner.
  21. Spitfire76

    Arming questions

    I would try it. I simply went by this guide (step 17) http://www.readytoflyquads.com/the-rtf-wiki
  22. Spitfire76

    Arming questions

    Hi @Ralph are you able to connect using multiwii.conf via bluetooth to your quad ?. If so you should be able to see the PWM range that the yaw stick is using. I recall that when I used a multiwii for my FC I aimed for a range from 1000-2000 on all sticks but had to adjust the transmitter endpoints to achieve it.
  23. I did a bit of research and It looks like they used a different connector for the compass on the 2.8 boards (mine is 2.6). Instead of connecting the external compass to the IC2 port it should be plugged into the connector near to the GPS connector. I guess this makes the wiring a bit neater. Also it does seem that there is an internal compass which can be disabled by removing a jumper rather than having to cut a trace on the board as with the 2.5 version. See the diagram below which I actually found on the AliExpress website.
  24. Actually I had another look at the photo your posted and it does look like we have the same APM to GPS/Compass wiring. If its just the external compass that is not working you might want to check if your APM has an internal compass. My understanding is that the APM board version 2.5 and earlier did have an onboard compass but it was not on the 2.6 version. An easy way to check should be to simply disconnect it and see if the compass is still working. If your APM does have an onboard compass here is a video that shows how to disable it.