ALTA Hints and Tips

Discussion in 'ALTA' started by Steve Maller, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Being fortunate enough to have my ALTA for a little while now, I thought I would start a thread for everybody to share their discoveries that might be of interest to other ALTA owners and operators.

    Here are my first couple discoveries...
    1. Don't use Height Hold super close to the ground (1 meter or less). It might be common sense, as most of us know that Height Hold operates using barometric pressure, among other things. But I discovered that the Synapse gets very confused when the ALTA is really close to the ground. Top-mounting the MōVI allows me to fly much lower than one could safely do with the MōVI on the bottom. I discovered that it's quite difficult to maneuver vertically when this happens. It's as if the throttle becomes inoperative. Not sure if this is a bug or just the edge of its functionality, but be forewarned.
    2. Fitting Tattu 10000 on the bottom battery tray/landing gear (and maybe the new Freefly 10000 flight packs) can be done, but there's a small mod available from Freefly (probably included with later shipments) that changes the geometry of the battery straps so that they work better. I did the mod (with my own parts as the Freefly parts are en route) and it worked great. I noticed in Tim Sessler's amazing "Nostalgia" BTS video that he was flying with his batteries loosely secured, although the ALTA is so smooth it probably didn't cause anything to move.
    Anybody else? Happy ALTA flying!
    Steve
     
  2. Sam Fleishman

    Sam Fleishman Member

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    One feature I believe will come in handy is the preset config files. You can change your finely tuned flight parameters that you preset for different camera payloads, in seconds. One less thing to worry about during prep day.

    Have you just been using the stock settings Steve? After a good deal of playing with the Alta I've noticed the stock settings really do need to be dialed in in order for Height Hold and Position Hold to work as advertised. I'm flying the m5,aero gear, gh4, tattuu 10,000. I was going to attempt to follow the steps written in the manual to dial in the flight parameters tomorrow.


     
  3. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    To be honest, I haven't seen the need. Aside from the Height Hold issue I discussed above, Freefly's default settings have worked brilliantly for me. I haven't really changed anything. I've fiddled around quite a bit with my MōVI settings, as I find that my assumptions for my old X8 heavy lifter are not at all applicable. I can run higher stiffness settings than I could before. Makes for smoother footage.
     
  4. Kyle Foley

    Kyle Foley New Member

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    Has anyone fooled around with the different vibration isolator cartridges that came with the Alta yet? I just have the stock ones on there for now...
     
  5. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    I just last night pulled off the teal ones and replaced them with the red ones, but I haven't flown it that way yet. I'm flying a M5 and GH4 with a 12mm prime, which is a really light setup, so I wonder if it'd be a little smoother with the lightest set.

    The original ones were a bit of a pain to get out, but I just got an improved set of them from Freefly and the new ones went in much easier. I'm sure new ALTAs are shipping with this improved set.
     
  6. Sam Fleishman

    Sam Fleishman Member

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    Hey Tim,
    I'm curious I haven't heard or read of these new bottom battery tray mods, or new isolators. Is this just info through email?
     
  7. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    I assume you meant me, not Tim.
    I did hear through emails about these updates.
    Do you have your ALTA yet? If you just received it (or haven't yet), it's likely that it'll include these updates.
    Remember, mine was the very first one delivered, so I guess they've figured out a few little things as they've been shipping more of them.
     
  8. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    I suspect that is because the aircraft is now in ground effect and that's a turbulent bubble of air with wildly varying air pressure. As you can figure out, that is confusing for the Synapse.

    Could you amplify this, Steve. What do you mean "quite difficult?" Is the throttle sluggish or are you referring to the possibility that the CoG is now in a different place?

    Thanks
    Andy.
     
  9. Gary McCready

    Gary McCready Active Member

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    The new Phantom 3 has an ultrasonic and visual sensor. Would be nice for the Alta at low altitudes?
     
  10. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Overall handling felt exactly like when the MōVI is on the bottom...I really couldn't notice anything different.

    My reference to the difficulty was specifically about the Height Hold issue "down on the deck". The throttle didn't seem to have any effect, even though my clamping setting for vertical speed was at the middle of the range. Once I disabled Height Hold, the copter handled beautifully, with very precise and accurate throttle response.
     
  11. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Thanks for the clarification, Steve.
    Andy.
     
  12. MIke Magee

    MIke Magee Active Member

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    Your Alta Serial number can be found right above the status light at the back of the Alta.
     
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  13. Brad Meier

    Brad Meier Active Member
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    Steve, this is because while you are in height hold the max you can get in climb rate depends on what you have set in the app. At half rate clamp, this is further reduced to.. half. So say you have 3 m/s set as the max, then the clamp is to half (so now max is effectively 1.5 m/s) and then you only move the throttle stick from the middle position, hover (50%) to say 3/4 (75%) then your only going to be commanding 0.75 m/s.... and that may not be enough to overcome the changes in barometric pressure the Synapse is sensing. It will seem sluggish but its doing exactly what is commanded.
     
  14. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Thanks for the clarification, Brad. It's great to have visibility into what my flight controller is thinking. :)
     
  15. Sam Fleishman

    Sam Fleishman Member

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    Sorry Steve!! I was thinking of another copter kingpin.


     
  16. Sam Fleishman

    Sam Fleishman Member

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    One thing I have noticed with the default tune on the Alta, is that when you switch to top mount, you get oscillation in height and position mode. Manual mode no vibrations.

    This is with m5, connex, green isolators (tried half green half red as well) dual tattu 10,000 and gh4 with Panasonic zoom lens.

    I'm assuming I need to turn the stiffness settings in height and position modes down a tad. Anyone have any thoughts or tuning suggestions for top mount with different payloads? From gh4 to dragon.

    For bottom mount with this setup I went with green and 2 reds to take the edge off with a non stabilized lens. A lot of variables at play here with Movi tuning Alta tuning and vibe damp tuning.

    I really like that the app lets you save tuning configs so you can get super anal about setting up the rig for different payloads.
     
  17. Tabb Firchau

    Tabb Firchau Administrator
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    Sam - try reducing the vertical stiffness to 12 - I think this will help clear up the oscillation.

    Note - the first ALTAs went out with a vertical stiffness default of 18. We have now changed the default to 12 to try to avoid vertical oscillations with a wider range of payloads

    T
     
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  18. Keith Colodny

    Keith Colodny Member

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    Just curious if anyone else has an issue with the wifi antenna getting sheared off due to placement in the case? The Alta only goes in the case one way and it places the wifi antenna down into the bottom battery tray storage area. When the Alta is removed, it catches on the sharp carbon fiber tray and gets sliced.
    I have also noticed the stiffnes of the dampener rings when trying to remove, but I was never notified of any new ones?
    Lastly, I have seen the service bulletin on the steel screws used to mount the GPS board, but have not received any replacement hardware. Has anyone attempted to replace with their own?
    Keith
     
  19. Hi Keith - The service bulletin you are referring to was only sent to the 5 people it impacted (along with the requisite items needed to make the change). I don't recall seeing your name on that list. Did you receive the service bulletin from us directly or did you see it somewhere else? If you received it directly, please email support@freeflysystems.com so we can resolve the issue for you asap.
     
  20. Keith Colodny

    Keith Colodny Member

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    I received the bulletin through Quadrocopter.
     

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