Getting a quadcopter stable in the air isn’t trivial. Stability of a quadcopter relies on the harmonious working of all of it’s parts.
An unbalanced propeller produces excessive vibration. This vibration travels through the entire airframe affecting the handling of the aircraft, produces inaccurate readings by the sensors, and creates premature failure of motor bearings and parts. A balanced propeller is paramount to a stable aircraft. A balanced propeller produces less vibration and draws less current, which results in greater stability and extended flight times. You should balance any propeller before installing it on your aircraft. Balancing a propeller requires the use of a special tool, you guessed it a propeller balancer. The propeller balancer that I use is the Top Flite Propeller balance. It is essentially a shaft held by two magnets. The magnets create a frictionless surface for the shaft to spin freely. Read More…
There are several communities developing software for the ArduPilot Mega platform. Currently, the communities supporting ArduPilot Mega are ArduCopter, ArduPirates and AeroQuad.
The Arducopter and ArduPirates share the same code base. The ArduPirates community has branched off and is developing the ArduCopter software for their own needs. I initially chose ArduPirates but recently switched to the ArduCopter code because the code is well commented, simpler and easier to understand. Both code bases work well, but I find Arducopter code easier to modify.
The only reason why I did not chose AeroQuad is because I could not get wireless communication with Scout working as I could with both ArduPirates and ArduCopter.
Wireless communication allows the freedom for on-the-fly tuning and reading sensor data from Scout without having to connect a USB cable to it. If I had GPS installed, wireless communication would also allow for real-time updating of the flight path without having to bring Scout back to the base station for programming.