Bench Testing the ALTA : Things to know

Discussion in 'ALTA' started by Andy Johnson-Laird, Aug 25, 2015.

  1. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,347
    Likes Received:
    1,159
    Here are some things that I learned:

    1. If you want to live dangerously, do not bother to remove the Configuration Jumper described on page 22 of the ALTA Setup Guide. This jumper is behind the close-out panel between booms 5 and 6. Leaving this jumper in means that you can seriously injure yourself and damage the ceiling if the ALTA, for whatever reason, starts up the motors with the props on. (Translation for those unfamiliar with British understatement and dry wit: PLEASE OH PLEASE REMOVE THE CONFIGURATION JUMPER WHEN BENCH TESTING THE ALTA!)
    2. You may reasonably infer that if you really do want to leave the Configuration Jumper installed, then at least take the time to remove the propellers in case they spin up and remove your face. (Again: PLEASE REMOVE THE PROPS IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO REMOVE THE JUMPER.)
    3. If you power the ALTA with a bench power supply connected to only one EC5 connector on the ALTA, the ALTA app, on the Monitor screen, will show "Battery FAIL." This is not documented in the ALTA User's Guide (yet!)
      EDIT 1: I used the left-hand EC5 when viewed from the rear. This error did not occur when I used the right hand one. I need to run further tests. I was using a voltage of 26.0 volts. The ALTA draws about 0.4 Amps at this voltage.
      EDIT 2: The message should say "Battery Overvoltage." The maximum voltage for a 6S at 4.2v per cell, for those numerically challenged like me, is 25.2v.
      EDIT 3: Note that there is a new breed of "high voltage" LiPos that can be charged to 4.35v/cell (26.1v for 6S). It is not yet clear whether these can be used on the ALTA. To paraphrase Dirty Harry: "Do you feel lucky, punk?" :)
    4. You cannot test the color assignment to the Motor LEDs because they will always flash green when bench testing because they're in a status of: Standby, Electronic Speed Control (ESC) started up normally. (EDIT: This is in the manual, btw.)
    5. You can, however, set the brightness of the rearward face status LED in the app and you'll see it change in real time.
    Let me know if there are other things that you have learned when bench-testing and I'll edit the posting above.
    Andy
     
    David Schmidt likes this.
  2. James Adkins

    James Adkins Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2013
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    21
    Thanks for this Andy. I think I am going to install a switch in the jumper circuit on the panel to save removing it every time
     
  3. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    5,211
    Likes Received:
    460
    James since the jumper only needs to be removed for a radio remapping it will be an event that is done rarely. Really no need for a switch.

    Also on the Battery FAIL I'm not sure what voltage Andy was using but mine only puts out 18.3v. So I got the warning. But with a single battery there was no warning.
     
  4. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,312
    Likes Received:
    213
    Another note, IF you are using anything OTHER than Futaba for your radio control, the receive MUST be plugged in between booms 1 and 2. It will not work between 4 and 5 (which sucks because that is the preferred location since it's at the back of the copter).
     
    matt ragan likes this.
  5. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,347
    Likes Received:
    1,159

    Working hypothesis (not yet tested), bench supply on left hand EC5 (looked at from the rear) might give the Battery FAIL. When I tried the right hand EC5, no such message. Need to test that again.

    @Josh: Thanks for that posting. Useful to know.

    Andy.
     
  6. Derek Cooper

    Derek Cooper Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    527
    Likes Received:
    34
    Andy - did you pickup an ALTA?
     
  7. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,347
    Likes Received:
    1,159
    Indeed I did.

    Andy.
     
  8. Dylan Glockler

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    23
    This may have been mentioned in the forums already but is worth repeating given the topic. Thanks to Andy for pointing it out at the Freefly event week before last. The screws on the access panel may be extremely tight so be sure to apply adequate and significant pressure when removing them with the Allen wrench to avoid stripping the screws.

    Also as mentioned in the manual, powering with the Freefly USB cable through the Futaba radio receiver allows you to connect via wifi to check the configuration prior to applying power directly to the EC-5 connectors. Definitely use the jumper. Let's just say I had an incident on a previous UAV without a safety jumper that could have been much worse. Happy to see that jumper there and a real emphasis on safety.
     
    Adam Orens likes this.
  9. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    5,211
    Likes Received:
    460
    And make sure the first time use of the supplied 1.5mm that you fully insert them in the button head on the side panels. Once you have them removed just don't tighten them up quite as much. Good technique is in the manual. For small screws use the knurled section closer to the driver end and use the large knurl at the end of the handle for larger screws.
     
    Dylan Glockler likes this.
  10. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,347
    Likes Received:
    1,159
    Gary also deserves kudos for this too -- he and I both observed the same problem -- and as Gary says, the workaround, if you want to avoid damaging the heads of the button head cap screws (BHCS, as they are called), is to use lots of longitudinal force to hold the 1.5mm driver into the BHCS. They release with quite an audible "snap."

    Andy.
     
    Dylan Glockler likes this.
  11. Dylan Glockler

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    23
    Some seem even tighter than others - while attempting to access another panel today the 1.5mm driver shattered into three pieces.
     
  12. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    5,211
    Likes Received:
    460
    Dylan don't be an Arnold Schwarzneger and tighten them down that much :)
     
  13. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,347
    Likes Received:
    1,159
    I think Dylan (aka "Arnie") was actually trying to undo one of the button head cap screws so he had no option! :D
    Andy.
     
  14. Dylan Glockler

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    23
    That's correct Andy, I was attempting to remove a factory tightened screw when my inner Arnold sent pieces of 1.5mm driver flying across the room.
     
  15. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,347
    Likes Received:
    1,159
    Sound like your inner Arnie leaked out into the real world. Did you let anyone at FF know -- other than by posting? I certainly had a couple of the screws that felt like they were so tight that the driver was twisting....

    Andy.
     
  16. Dylan Glockler

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    23
    I sent an informational note to the support email address. Next time I'll try some rocking/nudging technique to break the tension.

     
  17. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,347
    Likes Received:
    1,159
    Or shout an Arnie line: "Do it! Do it now!"
    That should break the tension.... :rolleyes:

    Andy.
     
  18. Adam Orens

    Adam Orens Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2015
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    3

    All I have to do is look up :rolleyes: and see the divots in the ceiling to remember the horror as I scattered cover. o_O
     
  19. Adam Orens

    Adam Orens Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2015
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    3

    :) May I suggest Loctite blue? It puts enough tension on the screw that you don't have to tighten or fear losing the screws. Acts more like a nylon nut.

    Other option is to use anti-seizing compound. Whenever you use steel screws with aluminum...... Dissimilar metal issues happen:confused:
     
  20. matt ragan

    matt ragan New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    I ran into the same issue. at least graupner gives you SSI but it would be nice to have the option of having it closer to the back
     

Share This Page