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Intermittant problem

Discussion about ArduPilot hardware

Intermittant problem

Postby GarethRens » Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:14 pm

So heres the deal.

I plug everything in, APM + GPS, ESCs & receiver. The entire copter is ready.

When I plug in the lipo i get the correct beeps from the escs and the APM boots up (leds A and C flash alternatively)

Sometimes it boots fine and I get a flashing green led indicating the motors are dis-armed and a flashing red led indicating the gps is looking for a lock. When I try arm the motors, they arm perfectly and all seems to work fine.

But most of the time i get a steady green led and nothing after that...

Iv tried recalibrating the esc, reinstalling the firmware (via Arduino) with ArduCopter Version 2.0 Beta.
Iv made sure the slide switch is not in cli mode as well as checking the continuity of said switch.

Obviously an intermittant fault is normally wiring... Iv soldered every plug i could find to obviate any possibilities of dry joints. Yet the fault still persists.

My next step is to get a dedicated 5v regulator to power the APM and receiver. Then plug the signal lines from the ESCs directly into the APM.

Has anyone got any other ideas or suggestions?
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Re: Intermittant problem

Postby ArdiDrones » Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:53 pm

Hi Gareth

What do you mean by "I will then connect the signal wires to the copter directly" ? you mean from the ESC to apm and skipping the power board ?

Is your ESC wires soldered directly to the power board or do you use connectors ? also do you use connectors to connect ESCs to Motors ?

there is a common problem normally with weak connectors and causing problems like these
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Re: Intermittant problem

Postby GarethRens » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:19 pm

I was thinking of cutting out the power distribution board from the ESC to APM. There are red black and white wires. The red and black is the BEC power. They not needed if I power the APM and receiver with a dedicated 5v supply. I would then just run the signal wires from the escs directly to the APM, cutting out the PDB.

Im trying to eliminate problems sequentially.

I have soldered the escs directly to the PDB, hell I even removed the heatshrink on the escs to make sure there were no dry joints on them anywhere.

Im using the gold bullet connectors for the escs to motor connections. They seem fine, I get perfect continuity on all those lines.

(Another problem im having is i cant for the life of me, get the APM to connect to the PC anymore...?)
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Re: Intermittant problem

Postby ArdiDrones » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:38 pm

Mmm how do you have your receiver connectted to your APM ? with all servo connectors? Or only one? Try only connect the signal wires between APM and reciever except for one unless you power both separately ? Also whet happens when you connect to the pc? Might it be a case of wrong broad rate setting or board selected in Arduino?
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Re: Intermittant problem

Postby GarethRens » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:17 pm

The receivers connected to the APM via the 6 lead servo connector and its getting power from the APM. Standard setup i believe.

Right at the moment the power is being routed from the PDB to the APM then to the receiver.
Should I try powering all of them seperately or can I power the APM + receiver with the 5v reg?

The APM seems to connect perfectly now to the PC. Only since i started typing this post.............
The thing has a mind of its own. Reminds me of a woman ;)

Now I connected it to the rest of the copter, plugged in the lipo. It booted perfectly and i could arm the motors.
I then disconnect the lipo, wait 10 seconds. Connect the lipo, it boots and LED A stays lit and nothing works.

I then removed the APM from the copter, plugged it into the PC and exactly the same problem occurs.
LED A stays on and it wont connect to the PC in FLY mode. CLI works fine.....

*confused*


Thanks for all your help! I really appreciate it! :)))
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We sell all kinds of stuff, including multi-rotor UAV/Drones :ugeek:
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Re: Intermittant problem

Postby GarethRens » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:31 pm

Okay, the problem is definitely with the APM.

Sometimes when i plug it in it boots fine, other times it boots and only the green led stays lit.
Then nothing works...

Any ideas???
http://www.stuffinc.co.za
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Re: Intermittant problem

Postby GarethRens » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:20 pm

Just to close off the topic. It was a faulty board.......
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