these accessories, which include:
• APM 2. 5+ assembled and tested flight controller,
GPS, current monitor.
• GPS upgrade.
• Minimal OSD module.
• 433 MHz two-way telemetry module.
How did it work?
I built a Flyer specifically for testing this system.
There is a ton of information on the ArduPilot website
( www.diydrones.com), but I need to point out that
much of it is outdated, so it's hard to sift through the parts
that apply to the APM 2. 5. Once I located the correct web
pages, however, I was able to get the controller, radio, and
It flew well. The two-way telemetry worked great and I
was able to track my progress in real time — even through
my crashes. Stability became a problem, however, after
several flights, when the flyer would simply fall out of the
sky. Signal range wasn't the problem as I was standing only
a couple feet away during several of the drops. For that
reason, I feel the APM has great potential, but I would not
trust it to fly my $4,000 camera around — at least until
some of the kinks are worked out of the software.
That being said, I did an experiment. I added the system
to one of my NAZA controlled craft and used the APM as an
advanced telemetry unit. While I used the NAZA to fly my
craft, the APM flawlessly reported GPS information to my
laptop. I am going to experiment with this more, as I have
high hopes of using the APM to control a multi-axis camera
gimbal via remote control.
Before closing, I’d like to shed some light on a couple
of available frames that are interesting. The frame shown in
Figure 25 — by Hover Things.com — is a great FPV (First
Person View) frame. While it does not have an isolation
platform, I am told they are working on one. I consider this
to be a middle of the road frame with a lot of potential.
The second frame from FPVmanuals.com shown in
Figure 26 is the cream of the crop, and the most
expensive. It sports aluminum arms and an isolation
platform. This is the frame that all others try to copy.
While I would stick with a square frame for aerial
robotics, these two frames are at the top of their game
when it comes to FPV flying. Be sure to check them out.
Notice the UNM (Universal NAZA Mount) on each craft. I
can move my NAZA, GPS, and receiver from craft to craft
without changing a single setting.
One More Thing: This was to be the last article in this series,
however, I have received several requests to look deeper into the
APM 2. 5+. I have completed the setup of the APM 2. 5+ and
updated to its latest firmware. I say it’s time we automate our Flyer
and had it run some waypoints. Next month, I will dive into the
flight tests of the ArduPilotMega and its latest firmware.
This has been both a fun and
exhausting series. Much of the research
will continue on my website at
www.kronosrobotics.com. Be sure to
visit often, as I will be posting the
sources for all the products mentioned
in this article along with videos. You can
also check things out at the article link
for updates. Please post any questions
you may have to the SERVO Magazine
forums at http://forum.servo
.php?f= 49&t=16866. SV
SERVO 03.2013 51