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Anti-Vibration Camera Platform

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:48 am
by msimpson
I have created an FRMP system that is an upgrade for the Kronos flyer. You can see them here: ... r-platform

Re: Kronos Flyer Series

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:50 pm
by BoWingo
Very nice.

Re: Kronos Flyer Series

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:32 pm
by MarkKellogg
Just received the last of my orders from Hobby King, Kronos Robotics (frame kit), and others, and will begin the build after the holiday. After a whole bunch of research, or maybe indecision(!), I've decided to go with the Arducopter flight controller. It's my first multi-rotor, or helicopter for that matter, so we'll see how the learning curve goes. I'm getting back into the RC stuff after many years absence. I'm glad to see you (Michael) are going to experiment with the Arducopter controller as well.

I agree there are lots of words written about the Arducopter controller, but few step by step instructions. I did run into this on the DIY Drone site, which looks pretty good for initial tuning... ... ning-guide

Nice picture of the finished Kronos Flyer with the Go Pro all hooked up.

Re: Kronos Flyer Series

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:50 pm
by BoWingo
Hey, Mark. Glad to hear that we've got a little more company in the ArduPilot department. I'm also looking forward to playing with the APM. Thanks for sharing that Tuning Guide link. Good luck with the build.

Re: Kronos Flyer Series

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:09 pm
by MarkKellogg
Thanks Bo. I'll post progress reports and, I'm sure, many questions as I move forward with the project...

Re: Kronos Flyer Series

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:24 am
by msimpson
Started the install and configuration proccess of adding a ArduPilot (APM2) to the KRonosFlyer.

One of the problems I had at first was finding the correct documentation. Once I did locate it, I started the installation and configuration.

First observation:
If you want something that is very easy to setup and fly, stick with the NAZA. Its intuitive and very easy to setup.

Installation Ratings
NAZA 9 out of 10
APM2 6 out of 10
KK2 7 out of 10

Configuration Rating
NAZA 9 out of 10
APM2 2 out of 10
KK2 8 out of 10

Im still configuring the ArduPilot so I have not had a chance to fly it yet. I suspect its going to take me a few days to get it setup.

Re: Kronos Flyer Series

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:48 pm
by msimpson
Ardupilot update

I got the correct firmware on the ArduPilot board. I do get a verification error, but it appears to be working.

The board is all configured and tested. The GPS upgrade is worth the extra money. It lock onto the satellites in my basement shop.

I will follow up with a maiden test flight with stock PID settings.

Re: Kronos Flyer Series

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:50 pm
by msimpson
Did the maiden flight. Only flew a few feet off the ground but I was able to hold it in the air in stablized mode (no Alt hold). It was a little wabbily, so here are my out of the box flight stability comparisons.

Out of the box flight comparisons
NAZA 9 out of 10
APM2 4 out of 10
KK2 1 out of 10

I now need to look at tuning the board.

Re: Kronos Flyer Series

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:35 pm
by BoWingo
Well, I was pretty pleased with the fact that I selected the KK2 as my "basic"/backup flight controller, but I'm a little concerned about that 1 out of 10 for out of the box flight. Does the KK2 tune up well?

Re: Kronos Flyer Series

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:03 pm
by msimpson
There are two basic modes that flight controllers fall into. These are manual mode and stability mode. All the controllers support manual mode and work pretty much the same in this mode. I don’t recommend manual mode for a beginner unless you have a lot of experience with helicopters.

The KK2’s manual mode has the ability to use the accelerometers in this mode and if tuned properly does make it slightly easier to fly.

Stability mode is called something different with each craft.
KK2 = Auto Level Mode
NAZA = Attitude Mode
ArduPilot = Stability Mode

In this mode the craft uses all its resources to keep the craft level and flying smooth. The KK2 board has a couple problems in this mode. It has only gyros and accelerometers sensors. The NAZA adds a barometer, and optionally a compass and GPS. The ArduPilot adds a compass, GPS, Barometer, and optionally a sonar, Air pressure, and flow meter.

I have never been able to hover the KK2 hands free.
This craft is using a KK2 board. It’s certainly flyable. It’s not very stable, even after extensive tuning. But at $29 it worth a try.

The ArduPilot flies much better out of the box, not as well as the NAZA.

This is the NAZA, there is no substitute. Even a very fine tuned ArduPilot won’t fly this stable. What you have to understand is that when its hovering, I’m not doing anything with the controls.

The only downside for the NAZA is that does not have waypoints or a remote control capabilities, like the ArduPilot does.
For instance I just got my two way telemetry working on the ArduPilot. Now I can do PID tuning and other tuning remotely. Hopefully once I get it tuned I will be more stable.

If you purchased a KK2 board, I hope you purchased extra props and frame parts. You are going to crash. Don’t get me wrong I used the KK2 until I got my NAZA, I have three KK2 boards. I now have two NAZA’s with GPS. Going from the KK2 to the NAZA is like from a bicycle to a Porsche. In that analogy, ArduPilot would be a SUV.
If you ordered a KK2, don’t panic. Install it and use it with the default settings. There are a ton of information on the web on how to tune them. The KK2 will not be covered in the articles as there is not enough space. I eventually add some information on my website with some basic information on mounting.
If I can get the ArduPilot working the way it promises, I will most likely be featuring them in my upcoming books and be abandoning the MultiWii and KK2 boards altogether.

One thing the KK2 offeres that the others donr is the ability to use its LCD to setup and tune the craft.
Be sure to download the manual for the KK2 board from the HobbyKing web site.

There are a ton of tuning guides on the web for the KK2. Just do a search on KK2 tune. Be sure to find some new links as the firmware was just updated so some of the functionality has changed. I believe they made some major improvements to the AutoLevel mode.

Re: Kronos Flyer Series

Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:22 am
by msimpson
ArduPilot Update
I got my telemetry link connected and working. As soon as the weather clears I will do an outdoor flight test.

I started a little blog here showing my progress ... ndex.shtml

Re: Kronos Flyer Series

Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:09 am
by BoWingo
Thanks for the ArduPilot page. That oughtta be helpful. I'm looking forward to building my quadcopter after I get back home from Christmas. (It's the main thing I keep thinking about at this point.)

I know I keep asking you questions that are only semi-related to the Kronos Flyer build, but hey, it might have encouraged you to try out the ArduPilot (sorry about that :grin: ). I'm curious to know if you'd be willing to take a look at the Turnigy 9XR ( ... dule_.html) and tell me what you think. I mainly need to know what Tx and Rx modules I would need to add to it. Since I don't have anything yet (the old 72MHz radio doesn't count), I don't have to match any existing protocol, so this is my opportunity to define what I'm going to use in the future. Do you have any recommendations?

Re: Kronos Flyer Series

Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:11 pm
by msimpson
The 9XR is basically the same radio as the 9X but has a lot of the upgrades that came out with on the 9X. They also made it easier to do firmware upgrades.

The downside is that they don’t sell a complete system for this radio. Individual Turnigy RF modules can be hard to find. Many use Futaba or FriSky RF modules and receivers.

I have used a 9X with the NAZA and other controllers have not set one up for the ArduPilot. The fact that it does not come as a complete system keeps me from recommending it.

The 9X has two faults that the upgrades have not addressed.

1. It only has one 3 position switch, and it is a bear to setup. This is even more important with the ArduPilot as it wants to tie all the flight modes to a single switch. The NAZA divides them up between to switches.

2. No real charging system. I have rechargeable AA batteries in mine but you have to watch over charging. No support for Lipos, unless you want to hang a balance port out the back of the radio.

If you are building a robot platform, the 8 channels on the 9X are going to be a limitation in a very short time. I am using the Futaba 8FG super. It supports the use of two receivers. I connect one to the ArdruPilot or NAZA and the other can be used to control lighting, servos, or relays.

For FPV, or Photography the 9X is ok and will work when connected to all the flight controllers. The 9XR will as well but I’m not sure what firmware they are using.

Re: Kronos Flyer Series

Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:49 pm
by BoWingo
Thanks for the reply. You listed a couple of downsides to the 9XR that also apply to the 9X. Sounds like the two are pretty comparable with the 9XR having a few upgrades but a higher price (due to the fact that it doesn't include Tx/Rx modules). Unfortunately, I'm just not able to make the Futaba 8FG happen...yet.

Would you recommend the DSMX/DSM2 or the FrSky protocol?

Re: Kronos Flyer Series

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:09 am
by msimpson
I would get the 9X system. It works, However you will have to get the configeration off the web as I wont be setting one up any time soon for my ArduPilot. I do have settings on my web site for setting up a 9X for the NAZA. Probably will work on the ArduPilot as well.

Here is the thing. I have found most 2.4Ghz radio systems work about the same in range. The difference is when you get into systems like the FASST on the Futaba that supports long range radios.