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Jan 30, 2013, 12:55 AM
Radd Graduate '06
Mochaboy's Avatar
Thread OP

APM 2.5 / Ardupilot Mega / RCTimer Arduflyer Discussion Thread (updated 5/8/13)

Passing the librarian torch


We're going to try to make some sense out of the firehose of information surrounding the ArduPilot Mega Project so I'm going to build a link index to all the latest information and do my best to keep it up to date.

Here goes nothing...

PSA: As you embark on your journey - please take a moment to consider the following:
* These are not toys. In fact they're flying bricks with spinning razor blades. Please treat them accordingly. OR ELSE
* The moment you lift off, you become an ambassador for the hobby. DO NO HARM.
* We want you to be successful. Build in stages, don't try to do it all at one time.

LINK Index (This is a link dump for now - I will organize it to be more readable as time goes on)

=== NOOBS start here ===
* Step by Step Quickstart Guide
* Another Arducopter Quick Start Guide
* Jumpy07's APM Setup Guide

==Links 5/6/13 - dropping here for now == - to sort
A few links you may like to add to the first page APM 2.5 / Ardupilot Mega / RCTimer Arduflyer Discussion Thread

How to connect power and ESC to ArduFlyer 2.5

Power ArduFlyer and 3DRradio with USB charger for BENCH TESTING

Test your Acceleromter first - no doubts later

Where to obtain 6 pin cables, shells

Mavlink-OSD connections

Installing Rctimer C&V Sensor 90A to ArduFlyer 2.5

Play back downladed logs

3DRadio Antenna Gender

GPS wait 5 minutes AFTER 3D Fix BEFORE flight

Selecting a USB cable that fits well

== Configurations == if you find any content that satisfies these topics - please send to me
* Beginners Setup
* Intermediate Setup Mageus' Build Notes
* Advanced Setup

== Mission Planner ==
* Mission Planner Overview - Intro to Waypoints

== Firmware ==
* APM Github Repository (latest beta firmware code as of 1/15)
* Introduction and Features
* ArduPilot Mega Project site
* Arducopter Wiki
* ArduPlane Wiki
* APM 2.9 Firmware Release Thread

== Flight Controller ==
* APM 2.5 Pinout
* APM 2.5 Board Overview
* Connection Diagram for APM 2.5 Board
* APM 2.5 Board Review
* Flitetest APM 2.5 Board Review

== 3DR Telemetry ==
* 3DR Radio Info
* How to get CLI working over 3DR 1 | 2

== Bluetooth ==

== GPS ==
* GPS Pinouts 1 | 2 | ...
* GPS FTDI Connection Diagram
* Configuring your GPS (not necessary but nice to know)

== OSD ==
* MinimOSD-extra Firmware
* MinimOSD Regulator issue (earlier versions)
* MinimOSD Configuration (Crius but I will record one for APM)
* Alternate MinimOSD Charactersets

== Sonar ==

== Voltage Sensing ==
* Options for voltage and current sensing
* Voltage Divide Calculator (if you don't want to use a complete current sensor setup)

== Mods ==
* Adding a Piezo buzzer
* Adding external Arming LEDs

* Foam mod for your barometric pressure sensor

Helpful Posts
* ACRO Mode implementation Support ACRO Mode development - chime in and say "I fly ACRO!"
* Chris Anderson on the clone debate
* Product Photos
* Connector reference thread
* Powering your board via UBEC
* Reasons for NOT using or relying on ESC BEC
* Programming ATMEGA32U2 on ArduFlyer 2.5 when Atmel FLIP doesn't work
* Reliable way to calibrate ESC One At A Time
* Extend wires from Lipo to ESC or ESC to Motor ? effect of wires on Compass
* APM 2.5 Hex Files (for the brave with Atmel programmers)
* How to reset home position in Mission Planner

* Download Mission Planner
* Bluetooth Configurator
* UCenter (for UBlox GPS configuration)
* CADSoft (to view the board SCHEMATICS)
* AndroPilot (Mission Planner on Android?)

Setup Guides
* Jumpy07's Setup Guide (offsite)
* First Flight
* Loading Optimized 3DR GPS configurations and what it LOADS
* MinimOSD Setup Video
* How to configure your radio for different flight modes

* Dave C's PID Tuning Guide - String Method
* Arducopter PID Tuning Wiki
* Motor Balancing
* I would consider this required viewing

* 3DR Radio Connections
* ArduPPM Encoder 2.3.13 addresses issue with Futaba PPM/FASST

* 3DRobotics Original
* UAVObjects (US)
* RCTimer (Much further away)
* Ready to Fly Quads (ReadytoFlyer board)
* Altitude Hobbies (starter quad package)
* Digikey (electronic components)
* Pololu Connectors, Robotic gear

UAV Milestones
* UAV Outback Challenge 2012 - APM stands on top
Last edited by Mochaboy; Dec 04, 2013 at 12:51 AM.
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Jan 30, 2013, 12:56 AM
Radd Graduate '06
Mochaboy's Avatar
Thread OP
rev 2.9 Auto Takeoff - Auto Land - yeah - that happened.
ArduCopter V2.9 Final - Full Auto mission with autotakeoff and autolanding (1 min 45 sec)

Not your momma's APM
ArduCopter V2.9 - Stabilize at high speed (0 min 57 sec)

40 MPH - in LOITER mode!
Ardu450 over Antioch (10 min 7 sec)
Last edited by Mochaboy; Jan 30, 2013 at 10:48 PM.
Jan 30, 2013, 12:57 AM
Radd Graduate '06
Mochaboy's Avatar
Thread OP
Setup Videos

AutoTrim Procedure
ArduCopter V2.9 - New AutoTrim procedure (3 min 30 sec)

Another AutoTrim Video
How to Auto Trim APM 2.5 (ArduCopter Firmware 2.8.1) for Stable Flight (6 min 28 sec)

RCJose's Bluetooth Configuration Tutorial - (Change Baud Rates)
Part 7 - Blue Tooth (17 min 3 sec)

Accel Calibration in 2.9
(2 min 34 sec)
Last edited by Mochaboy; Jan 30, 2013 at 11:14 PM.
Jan 30, 2013, 12:58 AM
Radd Graduate '06
Mochaboy's Avatar
Thread OP
APM Builds

Jabram's Quad
Jumpy07's Quad
Mochaboy - Tricoptex (Shows Crius but this will get an APM)
Last edited by Mochaboy; Jan 30, 2013 at 11:40 PM.
Jan 30, 2013, 12:58 AM
Radd Graduate '06
Mochaboy's Avatar
Thread OP

* Is Naza > APM?
Last edited by Mochaboy; Jan 30, 2013 at 11:26 PM.
Jan 30, 2013, 03:13 AM
Registered User
Last edited by jabram; Mar 16, 2015 at 02:31 AM.
Jan 30, 2013, 04:13 AM
Registered User

Thank You

Well many thank's for taking the time to get this thread started Mochaboy,your a star in my eye's,your's,Marty.
Jan 30, 2013, 04:46 AM
Registered User
Locko's Avatar
UAVobjects doesnt ship out of US?

BTW thanks for the thread, very useful info on here, saves a lot of time
Jan 30, 2013, 05:37 AM
FAA Certified Pilot
Originally Posted by Locko
UAVobjects doesnt ship out of US?

BTW thanks for the thread, very useful info on here, saves a lot of time
My software does not have ability...Yet to do International Shipping...

I have a work around though...

Create an account using Mozilla or Chrome.....IE is a pain and does not see my site HTML code correctly

Create a Cart with Items you wish to purchase....but do not check out

Send me an email: [email protected] to get my attention

I will convert to an Invoice and check shipping rates

I will return the total amount and my paypal account info

When payment is verified I will notify you of shipping date and Tracking

Sorry for the pain.....


Jan 30, 2013, 08:14 AM
Registered User

Since this will be the new tread for the Arduplane user I will post my question here.

This week I received my last parts needed for my drone project, the RC timer Telemetry air and ground module. I already tried several attempts to connect my APM to the laptop trough the wireless link but without success.
I followed the description on the wiki pages for the 3DR radios but without any result.
I tried several times to upload the firmware and setting the same values in the ground and air modules but without any results.
When I hit the connect button it begins the countdown than the message that there were no heartbeats received appears.

Do we need to program the apm somewhere to let it know that the radio is connected, or are there some hardware mods necessary to the board?

I suppose that the apm TX port goes to the RX port on the radio en vice versa.

Anyone here that can help me?

Kind regards,

Jan 30, 2013, 08:36 AM
Registered User
Last edited by jabram; Mar 16, 2015 at 02:29 AM.
Jan 30, 2013, 08:43 AM
Registered User
I powered the APM true an external BEC but with no results.

Jan 30, 2013, 09:19 AM
Registered User
Last edited by jabram; Mar 16, 2015 at 02:31 AM.
Jan 30, 2013, 10:20 AM
Done it all

Your problem is one of the following. SEE Above, the procedure is here, if you need it.

1. Your USB Ardu drivers are not installed. I went through this myself. When installing the Mission Planner, a popup menu will appear to install the drivers, Do not continue without selecting install from that pop up menu. After notification that drivers have been installed, continue with next on the initial program installation screen, the next click will end the install and close that screen. If you click on that first, the drivers will not install.

2. Program and drivers installed: Start mission planner, look to upper right, you will see 115200 bod. to the left is a drop down menu that says ACP or something like that. use youe mouse and try to drop down a menu, you should see Mega ??? and the com port. If you don't see this, your drivers are not installed.

3. So far so good:Open your computer "Control Panel" Select "Hardware and Sound", then select "Device Manager", there should be a drop down Com port menu in Device Manager, right click on Mega ??? com ???, select "Properties", then one of the menus within properties will display a drop down menu to change the baud rate. Using the mouse, change it to 115200. It probably will be at 9600.

Close the Device manager, you should be good to go in the Mission Planner. Select Firmware, click on your multicopter picture, the version 2.9 should then upload to the board if connected to a USB port on the computer. After the 2.9 is loaded on the card, select "connect". The Mission Planner should connect with the card and if you move the card, the artificial horizon on the left screen should move. If a GPS is attached, your position on Google map will be desplayed with a "X". You might have to blow up the map to see the "X" marked "home"

PS: You must do all this with the card plugged into the USB port, or the com port will not appear. Have the card connected throughout the whole process.

WOW, that's it.
Last edited by SCALEFAN; Jan 30, 2013 at 10:26 AM.
Jan 30, 2013, 11:31 AM
Registered User
Last edited by jabram; Mar 16, 2015 at 02:29 AM.

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