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Old Oct 31, 2012, 12:26 AM
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typicalaimster's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jan 2005
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Originally Posted by philthyy View Post
I suspect that those that quickly got the Ardupilot working were VERY closely following a proven, existing setup. So all the bugs were worked out by others already, setup and so on was already done, and so on.
This was true in my case with the Skywalker. There is still some tweaks I need to do before I'm happy with the setup. However not the case with the H-Quad I setup. I went through about 4 props before I could even hover the thing. It's all about reading the instructions and tuning according to the instructions.

Quote:
ALSO, I believe those that did such were also experienced RC fliers, who knew how to correctly trim and CG their planes BEFORE trying autonomous flight. Which seems like its obvious but I know there are those who have bought various OSDs with RTH feature (essentially a very simple autopilot, in one sense) and tried to set up the RTH feature...without truly first getting their plane trimmed and balanced right!
I think you hit the nail on the head here! I've been doing FPV and modeling for a few years now so I know what to expect going in to a UAV project. I've watched many FPV pilots go out and buy several hundreds of dollars worth of equipment.. Only to lose their plane the first flight. It's about taking the time to tune the system before flipping over to a greater challenge. If it doesn't fly conventionally it probably won't fly autonomously.
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Old Oct 31, 2012, 10:36 AM
David1
bmw330i's Avatar
USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philthyy View Post
I suspect that those that quickly got the Ardupilot working were VERY closely following a proven, existing setup. So all the bugs were worked out by others already, setup and so on was already done, and so on.

ALSO, I believe those that did such were also experienced RC fliers, who knew how to correctly trim and CG their planes BEFORE trying autonomous flight. Which seems like its obvious but I know there are those who have bought various OSDs with RTH feature (essentially a very simple autopilot, in one sense) and tried to set up the RTH feature...without truly first getting their plane trimmed and balanced right!

As you can imagine, this resulted in crashes, flyaways and other heartache. Can this be blamed on the OSD? NO! It doesn't matter which autopilot or OSD you're trying to fly, if you are going down your own created path (unusual airframe or power system and so on) and you don't take the time to get it flying correctly WITHOUT an OSD or autopilot, you WILL have heartache and disaster. Its that simple.
That's good honest advice and information. I do not doubt for a second people with a lot of experience can get it going. It's not magic to get any autonomous thing to follow instructions much less fly them. You can with patience and dedication get there. That's all I am hoping to do is get more comments like this that are realistic and honest.
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Old Oct 31, 2012, 03:01 PM
Project Tormentor is flying!
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I really feel like realistic and honest comments like mine are necessary, especially as we DO live in a world where many complex things are available that are essentially plug and play. This encourages those without much understanding/knowledge to reach into deeper, more complex projects WITHOUT doing research or tests.

It saddens me to see those with an interest in UAV's or FPV get bit by the flyaway or terrible performance or total destruction crash and give up, simply because they did not take the time to learn a bit more about what they were trying to do, the steps to go about it the right way, and to LEARN about the concepts/issues/and points of interest or focus.

I feel like I am sometimes an unknowing contributor to this problem, when I throw around terms like "CG" or "trim an airplane". Those just beginning to look into this hobby, because it is fascinating to them, likely do not even know what those simple, everyday terms mean. Of course, it is not up to us who are experienced to go about breaking everything down into simple terms. If someone is truly interested, they will actively seek knowledge. And it IS out there, in easy to understand terms.

My point is, those just looking into this hobby can mis-read the banter/conversations here and over on DIYDrones and FPVLab, and begin to think it is just as simple as buying some components and throwing them on a plane and going out for fully autonomous flights or FPV out to 20 miles on their first flights.

I honestly don't know how to help those from making those kind of mistakes. It happens all the time, but it shouldn't! How can we, as RC enthusiasts, help beginners avoid these pitfalls?
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Old Nov 01, 2012, 07:32 AM
Gaftopher
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Nottingham Road South Africa/Bedford UK
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By making sure they can fly a paper dart properly to start with, no I am serious!
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Old Nov 01, 2012, 02:56 PM
Project Tormentor is flying!
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Heh. It sounds sarcastic, but there truly is a wealth of important information to be learned from free flight airplanes. Even paper airplanes. I suppose most of us grew up with a love of all things that fly and were always building paper airplanes, rubber band powered airplanes and so on. Well, I did anyway. And I KNOW I learned alot about model flight in those early years that helped me tremendously once I got into bigger, radio controlled models.
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Old Nov 01, 2012, 04:17 PM
Gaftopher
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I think we could actually learn stacks from the free flight crowd, elegant simple machines that get the job done.

Sometimes I see RC creations that look just like they are forcing themselves into the air.

All APs have issues, especially in poorly setup overloaded airframes. (actually its the pilot hand flying that normally has the issue)
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Old Nov 06, 2012, 05:58 PM
David1
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USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Mortimer View Post
I think we could actually learn stacks from the free flight crowd, elegant simple machines that get the job done.

Sometimes I see RC creations that look just like they are forcing themselves into the air.

All APs have issues, especially in poorly setup overloaded airframes. (actually its the pilot hand flying that normally has the issue)
Very true, really the place to start is with a well trimmed flying RC aircraft. Well trimmed as in you can take your hands off the sticks in level flight and it will continue to fly straight and level.

Then you start by testing semi autonomous (Paparazzi has two autonomous modes). Then fully auto (AUTO2). I suppose another good place to start is planning. Very careful planning about the airspace, what's nearby, are you near an airport? Antennas, overhead wires...Paparazzi has a radius you set. Say for this 1km radius. if the autopilot GPS says it's outside that ring it will do the failsafe. Return to Home. Or if it's 1.5x outside the ring kill power. People claim Paparazzi is so hard but really it should be until you understand what you are telling it to do. You must know what the failsafe is, does, how to set it. etc...In all my years flying I've never had Paparazzi fly off. I've lost RC tons of times. It just does what it's supposed to do. Comes back and often I don't even turn on RC I just let it land where I told it to.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 03:21 AM
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United States, FL, Melbourne
Joined Mar 2012
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hmph

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Originally Posted by bmw330i View Post
Well, as I said a few people seem to magically just open a box and fly. This guy sure could use your help as this is what I'm speaking to: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...91&postcount=1
Ardupilot seems to be magic or mystery. That's really odd. The people who struggle detail very clearly their issues in their pleas for help. Those that have the magic experience can explain in 1 or 2 sentences their whole build and flying process as it by magic it just worked. I really don't believe in magic. Flying a UAV in an autonomous controlled safe way is not magic. It's not that easy. No one should make it out to be as it just misleads everyone.
No, it really is that easy. APMs are selling by the hundreds if not the thousands and with that many, some are going to manage to screw it up. It's just statistics. The vast majority just connect and fly and you never hear about it because it just works, and works perfectly. My quad is a tiny x250 7, inch prop home built, and it flies perfect. It's nothing like any of the default kits, yet it flies like a dream. I've sent it on 1.5k missions with ROI targets, and it does exactly what I told it to do. I don't know what axe you've got to grind with the APM,but what you are spreading here isn't very accurate.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 05:02 AM
A man with too many toys
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Originally Posted by cyberbillp View Post
No, it really is that easy. APMs are selling by the hundreds if not the thousands and with that many, some are going to manage to screw it up. It's just statistics. The vast majority just connect and fly and you never hear about it because it just works, and works perfectly. My quad is a tiny x250 7, inch prop home built, and it flies perfect. It's nothing like any of the default kits, yet it flies like a dream. I've sent it on 1.5k missions with ROI targets, and it does exactly what I told it to do. I don't know what axe you've got to grind with the APM,but what you are spreading here isn't very accurate.
I agree APM has made it extremely easy. I now have two of them. I remember when the APM 2.0 first came out and everyone was finding out how good they were. They were cranking out 1000 per month and there was still a waiting list. They have since added a second production line so they can keep up with demand.

You will not be disappointed with APM – make sure it’s a genuine APM and not a clone. The clones have sub standard components and not worth the risk.

The APM 2.5 has a refined design so that’s the one that you want to buy today.


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Old Nov 10, 2012, 05:11 AM
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tignmeg's Avatar
Australia, WA, Drummond Cove
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Originally Posted by RC Man View Post
The clones have sub standard components and not worth the risk.
.

Yeah right
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 09:41 AM
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United States, FL, Melbourne
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He's right

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Originally Posted by tignmeg View Post
Yeah right
The clones don't have the proper bootloader, and there's some issue with a watchdog timer not being able to reboot it or something. Can't remember exactly.because I didn't read about it that closely.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 10:03 AM
A man with too many toys
United States
Joined Feb 2001
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Originally Posted by cyberbillp View Post
The clones don't have the proper bootloader, and there's some issue with a watchdog timer not being able to reboot it or something. Can't remember exactly.because I didn't read about it that closely.
Buy cheap buy twice!


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Old Nov 11, 2012, 10:24 AM
3D Crazy
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Putrajaya, Malaysia
Joined May 2010
795 Posts
I have flown Ptreyx, Cropcam and Mikrokopter UAV systems. Last month a friend ask me to install and setting a brand new APM2.5. (still covering with plastic and inside 3dr box!)

What i can say is, it is a 'plug n play' autopilot. On 2nd flying, I flew a lawn mover pattern flying covering some 600m/square while i just standing and watching my pc (as usual!!!) until it loitering on top of me.

What a surprise looking a usd200 autopilot can do! Satisfied!
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 02:23 PM
David1
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USA
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No axe to grind. Convince me. Saying it just works is not very convincing. Back it up with some data then. YouTube video? Some guy flew a quad for > 2hrs. Should we just take his word for it?
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 05:54 PM
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United States, FL, Melbourne
Joined Mar 2012
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Here's my first attempt at ROI, it didn't work, I reported it, and after the next update, it did. The second link is my next ROI mission and it works perfectly. Well until my battery ran out that is... All I did was draw dots on a map and hit "auto".

MINI0001 (6 min 12 sec)

APM2 2.8.X ROI and distance/time test. (8 min 54 sec)
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