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Old Nov 23, 2013, 04:27 PM
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My Journey With The Xaircraft SuperX Flight Controller



My Journey With The Xaircraft SuperX Flight Controller


Hi guys, I am starting this thread to share my journey with the SuperX. There are other threads on the SuperX however I wanted one where I can share my personal experiences without having to deal with a free for all type of sharing environment.

Questions are welcomed, and I will try my hardest to help anyone in need. With that said, I now lay claim to a space on RCgroups. Remember my posts will be truthful and to the best of my knowledge accurate.

I enjoy sharing what I learn, as well as helping anyone in need. I hope to keep this thread on topic and void of any trollish behavior. I hope we can have fun as I move forward with the SuperX. AKf

Ok Lets get started. I built a 1100mm Carbon Fiver Aerial platform for my DLSR rig. GoPros are nice, however sometimes you need better image quality as well as FOV. Anyways after many months of person debate as to which FC I wanted to use, I went with the SuperX. The built went as planned, in the air machine flys wonderfully. The GPS lock is supurb, and this is where the story take a drastic turn for me.

This is a short clip of the first take off (there is more to this clip than meets the eye and I will explain)
F'ed take off Day (0 min 15 sec)
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Old Nov 25, 2013, 12:35 AM
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Some images during my Initial Build

ESC Install (1 of 1) by tomshue, on Flickr
Placemnt of the ESC's with the Castle Creation Ice ESC's they say to strap them tightly in place. They need to have a little movement. Mine are mounted with Velcro between the top and bottom plate.


W48-22 kv390 with 1447 CF props by tomshue,
I am using Foxech Disc Motors (W48-22 kv390) with 1447 Carbon Fiber Pros. I use the CF props because they wont flex like the APC props do. When building a heavy lifter, you do not want propeller flex.


And here is what she looked like after the inital build. Notice the battery tray on top. Well is the location that was selected by design. The Frame is the also from Foxtech, it's the Mantis. It is a really nice frame for the money. However just the manufacturer designs something a specific way, doesnt mean it is the best way to do somthing, as I would later learn.

1100mm Hex by tomshue, on Flickr

Lastly here is a quick tip on how I leveled my motors to insure they are perfect..
Level The Motors 1 of 1 (0 min 28 sec)
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Old Nov 25, 2013, 12:49 AM
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In the video at the very top, it shows the first take off with the SuperX. When I say The SuperX (SX) is a nice Flight controller, I really cant tell you enough how great this thing is. When you are up in the air, there isn't another Flight controller that I have used that makes flying a multirotor this easy or rock solid stable.

Don't get me wrong, if you do somthing against what the manufacturer recommends, somthing will go wrong. Not always will you even know what you even did wrong to cause a problem. This is why the SuperX black box capabilities are so important. The SA, "Black Box" sees everything. And if a qualified person spends some time to analyze the information, they will tell you exactly what the problem is. To me, it has simply invaluable.

Here is an example of the Black Box in action. I had test flown my machine a few times without a problem. GPS lock and hover is super solid, that is until one day when it wasn't. My Hex started to sneak away on me, ever so slightly it drifted away and I was quick to blame the FC. Wrong.... it was my fault. I failed to heed the warnings of the manual.

See the video here and see what it did wrong, then I will tell you why in the next post.
Unexpected Drift with Xaircraft SuperX Flight Controller (3 min 52 sec)
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Old Nov 25, 2013, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akfreak View Post
In the video at the very top, it shows the first take off with the SuperX. When I say The SuperX (SX) is a nice Flight controller, I really cant tell you enough how great this thing is. When you are up in the air, there isn't another Flight controller that I have used that makes flying a multirotor this easy or rock solid stable.

Don't get me wrong, if you do somthing against what the manufacturer recommends, somthing will go wrong. Not always will you even know what you even did wrong to cause a problem. This is why the SuperX black box capabilities are so important. The SA, "Black Box" sees everything. And if a qualified person spends some time to analyze the information, they will tell you exactly what the problem is. To me, it has simply invaluable.

Here is an example of the Black Box in action. I had test flown my machine a few times without a problem. GPS lock and hover is super solid, that is until one day when it wasn't. My Hex started to sneak away on me, ever so slightly it drifted away and I was quick to blame the FC. Wrong.... it was my fault. I failed to heed the warnings of the manual.

See the video here and see what it did, then I will tell you why in the next post.
http://youtu.be/8FmCt67lANk
Power lines!
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Old Nov 25, 2013, 01:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XAir America View Post
Power lines!
Well I was planning on revealing this information in the next post, but thanks for doing so Mr. Drew.

Ladies and Gentlemen. One of the best guys in the multirotor world, Mr. Drew Wagner. Drew owns and operates Xaircraft's USA distribution center. In fact he, and his legendary service is one of the main reasons I finally bought a SuperX.

I mean what good is the best electronic box on the planet, if when you have a problem, you have no support. For me having to send product to China for any sort of repair, didn't seem like a good thing to me. With Drew being a stocking dealer South Carolina it really help push me into the SuperX. If you need to buy a FC, go here and just do it, I promise you wont be sorry. Did I mention he has a real phone number, and he answers his phone.

Ok back to the drifting problem, He's right, I was operating near power lines. This is a no no if you need 100% GPS lock. Yep the power lines. In the manual it say beware of operating near power lines. These power lines create magnetic interference and in turn wreak havoc with the GPS compass. Your machine, if faced with magnetic interference will do all sorts of strange stuff. Stuff like, "sneak away".

So how exactly do you know if you machine is suffering from magnetic interference? Well this is easy.... look at the black box. The information of how the GPS performed during your flight is collected and stored. It"s collected every time you fly, and is recorded right to your flight controller. Just hook the FC to the computer, grab the, "Log" then upload it to the XA Black Box server here. Not only will it show you the Magnetic performance of the GPS, it will show you almost every critical aspect of your multirotors performance. It's truly an invaluable tool, one that I am still fully learning to utilize.
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Old Dec 02, 2013, 11:11 PM
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So the next item up for my little journey with the SuperX is my 1100mm Hexrotor is/was tilting over on me during take off. The result was 4 lost props, and a broken motor. The flipping over event resulted in an almost complete tear down, with lots of research to find the problem.

It seems when you build a very large multirotor, they can give a flight controller a very difficult time when it comes to leveling up. When dealing with heavy lifters, you have large props that create lots of lift, also if the center of gravity is too high, the machine will flip over easily if there is not enough thrust to compensate the sudden shift in CG. The result is the Flight controller does not have enough time to level up, so you pull the power, but the machine still tips over and you smack the props.

My observations show reveal a dead area when transitioning between not enough lift for flight, but enough enough lift to pick up one side of the craft. There is a unique combination of events that take place on a large multi's that just doesn't happen on smaller crafts. The SuperX behaves differently on smaller machines like a 650 than it does on an 1100mm craft.

On a smaller craft, the amount thrust, and leverage and CG shift is not enough to create the dead zone that over is uncorrectable by the flight controller. Thus you will not experiences these types tip over issue.

During my tear down, I did some testing, and found my CG to be too far vertical creating a situation where the machine could easily tip over if tilted even just a little to far. I placed a single peg on a tripod and using velcro to keep the hex rotor from slipping off of the peg, I easily revealed the CG problem. Let me rephrase, part of the problem.

Here is a crappy video showing my problem that lead to the tear down.
Machine Flipping Over
F'ed take off 1 of 1 (4 min 0 sec)

After the machine flipping over I tore it down and tried to ID the problem.Here is my Little CG machine.
Machine W/O Battery's on top
Measuring CG Without Battery Pack (1 min 17 sec)

The 16,000 mAH pack on top reveals a major problem.
Measuring CG with Battery Pack (2 min 9 sec)
.
Lastly this video shows how I correct the major CG problem
Hex Project CG Problem Solved (2 min 7 sec)
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Old Dec 02, 2013, 11:12 PM
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So, today I solved the mystery of the smooth takeoff and how to avoid it flipping over on slow take off. If you ever build a heavy lifter, you will face different issues along the way. You can only research products for so long, until you make a choice and buy somthing. In my case I wanted the most reliable Flight Controller I could find that had rock solid GPS lock and a return to home feature if the radio fails. Naza was out of the question, the flip of death and all of the fly away's scared me right into the arms of Xaircraft's SuperX.

After my initial build I few it 5 or 6 times without any sort of issue. However, after further testing I found a design flaw. I am not saying it is a SuperX design flaw, you see these multirotors we build aren't proven designs. You have to test your machine and make adjustments if you find any sort of negative flight characteristic.

If you read the above information, you would know that my problem is the machine would roll over and smack the props if I chose to roll in the throttle slowly. Well this is how I like to fly, I need to feel like every aspect of the flight is within my control. I also know it is a good idea to get a multirotor up and off the ground as quickly as possible and out of ground effect. Well with these lumbering over propped beasts, I find it hard to just turn loose of all that power if I don't feel 100% in control. Thus the need to roll the power in slowly and have the machine pick up nice and smooth.

In the video below, I show you how my machine acts after I relocate the batteries to the limit of the vertical CG limit. Also I show you my little discovery into how I can now take off a slowly as I wish.

Learning How To Take Off Slowly Without Flipping Over with A SuperX

SuperX Take OFF Issues & CG Answers... Finally A Solution (12 min 48 sec)
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Old Dec 02, 2013, 11:13 PM
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Ok, yesterday Xaircraft released a firmware update for the SuperX. We went from verion 1.07 to 1.08. In a nutshell Drew Wagner from XaircraftAmerica reached out to the gurus at Xaircraft in China and explained to the the problems myself and another fellow was having with takeoffs. The other fellow has the same frame and motors as I do, and experienced exactly the same flipping problem on take off.

Xaircraft took about 2 weeks to develop and roll out a fix for the problem, they also added new GPS features like a return to home without any GPS signal, as well as the ability to fly non symmetrical machines, manly the new Xcope

I wasn't planning on upgrading the firmware on my machine, because only a day earlier I was able to easily take off without flipping over. My battery change to a Low GC configuration, combined with taking off in ATT mode was recipe I had been looking for a month or so. After hearing the great news about fw1.08 from the fellow who was also having flipping problems, I was stoked to hear about the upgrade. He explained that the machine takes off like no other and he was ecstatic in the new found performance. So without hesitation, I did the upgrade and recalibrated everything.

Today, armed with a new sense of confidence, I took my hex out in 20mph+ winds and did some take offs for testing. All I can say is wow, if I tried this before the fw upgrade, I would of never got my machine off the ground. I cant wait until there is no wind so I can fully test, until then I can still fly anytime I want to.
Xaircraft SuperX FW 1.08 Update Takeoffs In 20MPH+ Wind (2 min 16 sec)
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Old Dec 02, 2013, 11:13 PM
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reserved II
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Old Dec 02, 2013, 11:14 PM
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reserved III
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Old Jul 09, 2014, 04:44 PM
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did you drop off the face of the earth?
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