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Old 12-30-2012, 02:53 PM   #1
nof55
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Default Preprogramed flight

I eventually would like to set up a heli to be able to fly a set pattern on a 1/2 mile by 1/2 mile field while recording pictures or video, not necessary to view but that I can review later. This is still in the preplanning stage, I want to start learning all I can. So my questions are
1: what size heli would I need? ( maybe plank would be better suited idk, never flown one)
2: what is involved in pre-programmed flight? (big question I'm sure but basics for now)
3:is there some thing already set up for this? ( I read in some farm mag. some body doing it but lost the article and think he set it up from scratch)
This is probably way beyond me but never too old to learn right? Any comments or help would be appreciated. Thanks GEORGE
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:15 PM   #2
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are you talking about like playback DVD style?
hit a button and take off?
im not sure that is possible but i know there are some gps thingys that can help in making flights more controlled in terms of where they go
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:45 AM   #3
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Two most popular routes to pre-programmed flight are DJI and Arducopter. The first option sets you back a few thousands of dollars while the second costs a few hundred dollars. Plus what ever amount you spend on the aircraft itself, naturally. The first one most likely works out of the box like a charm, the second one you have to tinker with quite a bit to get decent performance. But then again you might get lucky and have Arducopter work as intended (almost) straight out of the box - and you might not get DJI stuff to work at all and destroy your airframe.

You can have different levels of autonomous flight. The most basic is autonomous hover where the aircraft uses GPS and other sensors to stay in place in the air without human interaction. One level up would be automatic RTH (return to home) where the aircraft returns to the point of take off if there is some kind of a problem or you tell the bugger to do so. Again, one level up is single waypoint flight. You specify a waypoint and the aircraft travels there autonomously. On some systems you "program" the waypoint by flying to that specific point and flicking a switch on the radio, more advanced systems handle the programming via a laptop and wireless data link.

Next step from single waypoint flight up is obviously multiple waypoint missions. You might need to get one step higher, though, and reach the level which has waypoint routes with assigned actions in each point or during the transition. In other words, you might need to be able to control the camera at certain points to capture the images or videos you like. Or maybe it is enough to just shoot continuously during the pre-planned mission (= the waypoint flight)?

DJI Wookong + data link + multi-waypoint add-on and Arducopter are both able to do multi-waypoint missions. Start googling around those two and soon you are a lot wiser!

What it comes to the question about multicopter or fixed wing, that is entirely up to you. Fixed wing aircrafts are generally more simple and a lot more affordable than any other aircraft but have certain limitations. DJI does not work with fixed wing planes/planks, the Ardu stuff (under name ArduPilot) does.

You want to forget traditional helicopters right from the start. DJI flight controller with waypoints for an ordinary helicopter costs as much as a small car... And Arducopter is still not quite ready for traditional helis, I think.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:49 AM   #4
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Thanks Trnquill. Now a lot of research on my part. This is what I was looking for. Do you have this, or have you used it?
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:26 AM   #5
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Yeah, you really only have 2 choices here. The full-boat Ace One at $13,000, or the Arducopter system at ~$300 fully loaded. Quite the price differential.

Arducopter does work on traditional helis. No problem. It is fiddly to get it running perfectly. If we had more users there would be more experience to offer help with the tuning.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nof55 View Post
Do you have this, or have you used it?
I have experience with Arducopter and DJI waypoint stuff. Currently all I have is DJI Naza, which has only loiter (= position hold) and return to home modes. I'm currently building a new quad with latest Arducopter firmware & software.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:32 PM   #7
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"Full Boat" Ace One Waypoint as you put it, is $11,300 not $13,000 as you seem to like to espouse.

An expensive system yes, but it is a finished product vs a a mangle of PC boards that must be mounted, soldered together, and programmed. No computer engineering degree would be needed to get the DJI Waypoint system setup, but it ALWAYS helps the read the helifreakin manual....
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:41 PM   #8
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I don't "espouse" anything. I thought you had to pay for the Ace One View on top of the Ace One Waypoint. Maybe you don't, it's not entirely clear to me but if that's what it is, fine. $11,300 vs. ~$300.

Ardupilot is not a mangle of PC boards, and it does not need to be soldered, mounted, or programmed. You do have to flash it with firmware which is easy to do via the ground control program, just push a button. Probably similar to what you have to do with DJI.



No computer science degree required here either. But you do have to know how to tune a few PID's. The system is obviously somewhat more complex, because it offers so much more capability, and user customization.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:40 PM   #9
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took the plunge, ordered hexacopter with ardupilot, telemetry, sonar, camera gimbals, Look forward to your help in understanding all of this. Going to be a learning curve for me for sure.
R_Lefebvre will probably task you to the max over next couple months. Thanks in advance.haha
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:54 AM   #10
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Hey cool! The best place to get help is going to be the DIYDrones forum.

Getting the hex flying should be pretty easy, as a lot of people have that with an APM of course, so getting the right parameters should be easy. Should be almost plug and play. Build it, push a button to flash the code, get somebody's parameter file, couple clicks to install it and you're flying.
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:22 PM   #11
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My apologies, I was looking at these pictures, Looked like pc boards to me.

As I have not had the opportunity to work with one of these systems, I will leave the expertise to you.

Apparently you are also NOT familiar with the DJI, so maybe you should do the same.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:32 PM   #12
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Yes, they've been fully assembled since APM2.0. It was just too much trouble (tech support) when people had to do the through-hole soldering themselves.

I am trying to familiarize myself with DJI. I consider them the benchmark for performance and ease of use. If I made a mistake of about 15% of the price... not a big deal.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:06 PM   #13
nof55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Lefebvre View Post
Hey cool! The best place to get help is going to be the DIYDrones forum.

Getting the hex flying should be pretty easy, as a lot of people have that with an APM of course, so getting the right parameters should be easy. Should be almost plug and play. Build it, push a button to flash the code, get somebody's parameter file, couple clicks to install it and you're flying.
yes spent most of afternoon reading on there, looks like a lot of good info.
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