HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
Reply
Thread Tools
Old Jul 25, 2013, 08:17 AM
Chris
The Netherlands, NB, Eindhoven
Joined Sep 2010
1,939 Posts
Discussion
APM on a Plane: UAV/FPV

Since quite a few of us Bixler(1/2) owners are using APM boards (Ardupilot Mega, Arduflyer, ReadyToFlyer etc), and the APM thread is mainly aimed at multirotors, I thought a Bixler-APM thread was in order. Many others in the Bixler 2 thread thought it was a good idea, too, so we made this Fixed Wing APM thread!

Basic info about setting up APM and peripherals can be found here (the infamous APM thread). The first few posts contain answers to most questions, so please, please, please read/skim that before asking here!

Especially for initial setup, you absolutely have to read about the basic topics explained in that thread. Otherwise you're gonna pay for it in money, waiting time, building time, frustration and of course crashes.

Build logs and pics are welcome
cmavr8 is offline Find More Posts by cmavr8
Last edited by cmavr8; Mar 23, 2014 at 05:08 AM. Reason: Changed links to APM thread
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Jul 25, 2013, 08:18 AM
Chris
The Netherlands, NB, Eindhoven
Joined Sep 2010
1,939 Posts
So here's my own build:
(external links to a wiki)

Overview

Electronics layout pics

More info about connecting OSD, GPS, making shielded wires etc

I am not copying the info from the wiki here, cause it's not static. I'm going to update the wiki with other people's info/pictures, so that everything is concentrated there.
cmavr8 is offline Find More Posts by cmavr8
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2013, 10:42 AM
Registered User
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jul 2013
20 Posts
Thanks!

Thanks for creating this thread, and for adding the links to your configuration!

I found it interesting how you set up the internal wiring. Since I am in my initial build of my Bixler2, I was debating where to place everything. I didn't want to place things where I wouldn't be able to access them once the two halves were mated together, but maybe you aren't permanently joined.

I had debated placing my GPS at the outer part of one wing, but the new APM2.6's GPS has two wire sets (9 wires total). I would need to rig up my own wire harness and string it out to the far side. I do like the idea of shielding the wires - I was debating that or just using twisted pairs.

What was your reason for using the two BECs? Sounds like no one is trusting the ESCs any more.

Thanks again.
PhotoBoyJack is offline Find More Posts by PhotoBoyJack
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2013, 11:15 AM
Flying Wood For Fun
irun4fundotca's Avatar
Canada, ON, Harrowsmith
Joined Jan 2012
7,455 Posts
You could add easystar to the list
irun4fundotca is offline Find More Posts by irun4fundotca
RCG Plus Member
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2013, 03:48 PM
Burt KF7ULM
United States, AZ, Phoenix
Joined May 2007
100 Posts
Are you hand launching?
If so do you know your final weight?
Reason for the questions, I tried to setup my Bixler2 very close to yours, and COULDN'T hand launch it. I did finally get it in the air by setting it on my rc car.
It did fly great. Had to find the level point and set the APM up to that. The first few flights was nose high when switched to Stab.
Have stripped it of all electrons right now, but plan on rebuilding it soon for the flying season here in AZ, Only this time with landing gear.
Burt
.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmavr8 View Post
So here's my own build:
(external links to a wiki)

Overview

Electronics layout pics

More info about connecting OSD, GPS, making shielded wires etc

I am not copying the info from the wiki here, cause it's not static. I'm going to update the wiki with other people's info/pictures, so that everything is concentrated there.
burtgree is offline Find More Posts by burtgree
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2013, 04:03 PM
Chris
The Netherlands, NB, Eindhoven
Joined Sep 2010
1,939 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoBoyJack View Post
Thanks for creating this thread, and for adding the links to your configuration!

I found it interesting how you set up the internal wiring. Since I am in my initial build of my Bixler2, I was debating where to place everything. I didn't want to place things where I wouldn't be able to access them once the two halves were mated together, but maybe you aren't permanently joined.
Yes, I decided to place the electronics so that interference is minimized. For example, high current wires (especially battery->ESC->motor) must not be close to the APM (magnetic interference).

I have my halves taped together, so I can separate them...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoBoyJack View Post
I had debated placing my GPS at the outer part of one wing, but the new APM2.6's GPS has two wire sets (9 wires total). I would need to rig up my own wire harness and string it out to the far side. I do like the idea of shielding the wires - I was debating that or just using twisted pairs.
This is where I got the idea of using shielded cat5/6

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoBoyJack View Post
What was your reason for using the two BECs? Sounds like no one is trusting the ESCs any more.

Thanks again.
Yeah, two BECs for sure. One of them is too small for the servos, too. I should have used a 7.5A one. The other one is for the electronics. ESC's becs are linear. They create heat and tend to not be able to deliver their max amperage. A small UBEC's weight is nothing for this plane Better safe than sorry.

I'm really happy that you found the info useful
cmavr8 is offline Find More Posts by cmavr8
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2013, 04:06 PM
Chris
The Netherlands, NB, Eindhoven
Joined Sep 2010
1,939 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by burtgree View Post
Are you hand launching?
If so do you know your final weight?
Reason for the questions, I tried to setup my Bixler2 very close to yours, and COULDN'T hand launch it. I did finally get it in the air by setting it on my rc car.
It did fly great. Had to find the level point and set the APM up to that. The first few flights was nose high when switched to Stab.
Have stripped it of all electrons right now, but plan on rebuilding it soon for the flying season here in AZ, Only this time with landing gear.
Burt
.
Yes, hand launching. Left hand, too (I'm right handed, and not very muscle-y). It needs a hard toss and almost full throttle. AUW is 1.2kg. Oh and 50% flaps down!

When all these were done, I had no problems. If I fail to do one of the three, it "lands" immediately.
cmavr8 is offline Find More Posts by cmavr8
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2013, 04:37 PM
Done Posting, Gone Flying
JNJO's Avatar
Sweden, Uppsala County, Balsta
Joined Jun 2012
1,246 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by irun4fundotca View Post
You could add easystar to the list
Can I come too?
I made the first flight with ArduPlane on my FunCub today.
Not a Bixler, but I did chase a Bixler-like plane, does that count?
FC FPV (0 min 18 sec)

Worked right out of the box, but some fine-tuning is still needed.
Also, the MinimOSD firmware I'm using (MinimOSD Extra Copter) doesn't display the correct flight modes, and altitude is off by +16 Meters compared to Mission Planner.
I guess I'm seeing GPS-altitude.
What MinimOSD firmware are you guys using?
I can adapt the one I have, but getting a working version seems easier.

NVM, just uploaded Extra_PreRelease_Beta 2.4_Plane_r663 which sorted the flightmodes, and it turns out that altitude in OSD is MSL.
Not really useful that.
Has anybody managed to get it to display AGL? Not true AGL of course, but it would be nice to see altitude over home, like in Mission Planner.

Altitude is sorted now. It's called "Home Altitude" in the Config_OSD tool.

Fly safe,
/J
JNJO is online now Find More Posts by JNJO
Last edited by JNJO; Jul 26, 2013 at 03:57 AM. Reason: Found it....
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2013, 05:22 PM
Registered User
GraKez's Avatar
Australia, QLD, Brisbane
Joined Apr 2013
297 Posts
Yay!

Great beginning to the this thread Chris, thanks for putting in the start-up work.

I have laid back at night going over & over wiring configs in my head, & seeing your photos really help!

One question is what range are you getting on your FrSky setup? I have FrSky too. I thought about putting my FrSky antenna there, but someone said that reception may drop off when you point your Bixler back to home (RX is behind FPV transmitter) I would be keen to hear about your range etc.

One comment: My version of FrSky receiver is also a transmitter for RSSI and so I wont be game to put mine that close to the GPS receiver. I was thinking of mounting my 8 ch receiver out on one wing.

Graham
GraKez is offline Find More Posts by GraKez
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2013, 08:31 PM
Wait...what?
gbmarsh's Avatar
Canada, BC, Abbotsford
Joined Sep 2010
1,200 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by JNJO View Post
Can I come too?
I made the first flight with ArduPlane on my FunCub today.
Not a Bixler, but I did chase a Bixler-like plane, does that count?
http://youtu.be/s4gGVIoQvwQ
Worked right out of the box, but some fine-tuning is still needed.
Also, the MinimOSD firmware I'm using (MinimOSD Extra Copter) doesn't display the correct flight modes, and altitude is off by +16 Meters compared to Mission Planner.
I guess I'm seeing GPS-altitude.
What MinimOSD firmware are you guys using?
I can adapt the one I have, but getting a working version seems easier.

NVM, just uploaded Extra_PreRelease_Beta 2.4_Plane_r663 which sorted the flightmodes, and it turns out that altitude in OSD is MSL.
Not really useful that.
Has anybody managed to get it to display AGL? Not true AGL of course, but it would be nice to see altitude over home, like in Mission Planner.

Fly safe,
/J
Well, isn't the "Home Altitude" panel item what you're looking for?
From the wiki:
Home Altitude

This panel indicates your height above your home position in meters if you set metric system for units of measurement, and feet if imperial.
It works this way:

When APM boots and gets GPS lock, it checks your height above sea level than calibrates you barometric pressure sensor. After this it is using barometric height by default. From this moment, MinimOSD-Extra stores this height, than subtracts it from your actual true height. So you see the home altitude.

(You can change it in APM parameters to use only GPS to measure height, or only barometric height (this is default) or a mix of both.)



Cheers,
Geoff
gbmarsh is offline Find More Posts by gbmarsh
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2013, 09:05 PM
When a hobby gets a passion
Thailand, Chon Buri, Pattaya
Joined Sep 2012
782 Posts
I am going to fly an FPV Raptor from Lanyu Hobby with the APM. Maybe a good idea to rename this forum to "Fixed Wing with APM"

JNJO, how to load new firmware to the MinimOSD? Use the mission planner?
Pattaya01 is offline Find More Posts by Pattaya01
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2013, 09:42 PM
Wait...what?
gbmarsh's Avatar
Canada, BC, Abbotsford
Joined Sep 2010
1,200 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pattaya01 View Post
I am going to fly an FPV Raptor from Lanyu Hobby with the APM. Maybe a good idea to rename this forum to "Fixed Wing with APM"

JNJO, how to load new firmware to the MinimOSD? Use the mission planner?
For loading firmware and character sets you will need an FTDI cable or breakout board and the minimosd extra config tool found here:http://code.google.com/p/minimosd-extra/

Also read the wiki for how to set it up here:http://code.google.com/p/minimosd-extra/wiki/index?tm=6

Hope this helps

Cheers,
Geoff
gbmarsh is offline Find More Posts by gbmarsh
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2013, 10:39 PM
When a hobby gets a passion
Thailand, Chon Buri, Pattaya
Joined Sep 2012
782 Posts
OK, thanks for the fast reply. So nothing I can do without some extra hardware.....
Pattaya01 is offline Find More Posts by Pattaya01
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2013, 10:53 PM
Wait...what?
gbmarsh's Avatar
Canada, BC, Abbotsford
Joined Sep 2010
1,200 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pattaya01 View Post
OK, thanks for the fast reply. So nothing I can do without some extra hardware.....
Just one of these, cheap and easy to use
http://www.rctimer.com/product_684.html
gbmarsh is offline Find More Posts by gbmarsh
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 26, 2013, 12:56 AM
When a hobby gets a passion
Thailand, Chon Buri, Pattaya
Joined Sep 2012
782 Posts
It will be on my next order, thanks. Anthony.
Pattaya01 is offline Find More Posts by Pattaya01
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Swapping electronics to HK Bixler or Bixler 2 High_Octane Beginner Training Area (Aircraft-Electric) 2 Apr 07, 2013 06:22 PM
Help! Need help with my FPV uav project. Soren64able Engines 9 Feb 02, 2013 05:00 PM
Sold HK Bixler with Retractable FPV Camera Mount....will trade crd FPV Equipment (FS/W) 4 Sep 24, 2012 08:39 PM
Sold FPV HK Bixler $35 Orcoz Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 10 Aug 07, 2012 03:25 PM
For Sale Ardupilot Mega APM V1/900 MHz Xbee/Bixler Chassis - $300 shipped justjason Aircraft - Electric - Multirotor (FS/W) 2 Jul 13, 2012 02:22 PM