Request for Detailed Explanation of a Proper Setup/Tuning

Discussion in 'ALTA' started by Bo Kostelac, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. Bo Kostelac

    Bo Kostelac New Member

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    EDIT: I probably should have titled this as a "Request for a detailed explanation of a proper setup/tuning"

    I have been going over all of the manuals and Forums for the Movi M15 and the Alta and while there is an abundance of information I was unable to find a detailed answer to how to properly balance, tune, the correct modes for using the Alta with the Movi. If anyone could provide a link with a fully cohesive explanation I would very much appreciate it. If such a link does not exist, can someone please take this opportunity to provide a useful resource for the rest of us? =)

    Things to take into consideration:
    -Separate explanation for single operator and dual operator procedures.
    -how to balance the Movi with the landing gear on.
    -how to tune the Movi for flight. If you need to connect the Movi to the Alta and then suspend it in the air, which part of the Alta do you use to suspend it in the air with so as not to interrupt the tuning procedure.
    -For single operator when powering up the Movi, what mode should it be in? If it's in Handheld mode the Alta just spins around in circles. What mode should it be in prior to takeoff and what mode should it be in while its in the air?
    -How does this differ for dual operator mode when using the Movi controller or other controller?
    -What are the most important parameters to look at for tuning if you are getting vibrations, oscillations, etc.

    If there are any other questions that I may have forgotten to include please take the liberty to include those as well. Thank you! =)
     
  2. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Bo Kostelac likes this.
  3. Bo Kostelac

    Bo Kostelac New Member

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    To answer my own question for anyone viewing this for further information. Before reading this, open the Alta manual located here in case you need to refer to it for more detailed information http://freeflysystems.com/software-manuals

    1)Attach landing gear to your Movi and insert the camera onto the Movi. Make sure the batteries are in the Movi prior to balancing.
    2)Balance the tilt, roll, and vertical tilt just like you always do.
    3)Attach the handles to the Movi and rotate the handle bars 180 degrees (upside down) so that the landing gear is not catching on the handle bars. Perform your pan balance.
    4) Place the batteries on the Alta. You do not need to power up the ALTA. Make sure you have the correct isolation cartridges for the weight of the payload you are carrying.
    5) Suspend the Alta in the air by the booms (arms) and not by the handle bar. The handle bar is part of the same system as the isolation cartridges and Movi (if you do this your tuning will be incorrect). The easiest way to do this if you don't already have a system in place is to use 3 chairs and rest the booms on the chairs. Make sure its secure.
    6)Attach the Movi to the Alta and make sure its secure.
    7)Turn on the Movi and run your usual tuning procedures via the app. Place the Movi into airborne mode via the general section of the app. Turn off the Movi and place it on the ground with the Alta attached. Assuming you have already mapped your RC, you are now ready to fly.
    8)Turn on your Alta and Movi Controllers (assuming dual operator). Make sure the switch on the Movi controller is in the second position which locks the pan axis so that the Alta doesn't start spinning in circles. There are three modes, bottom=kill (cuts all function to the movi), middle=park (locks the pan motor), and top=dual operator (allows you to control the pan, tilt, etc via the movi controller. FYI, the movi is likely to vibrate quite a bit while its on the ground prior to launch. This occurs because the Movi was tuned for when its flying the the sky, not sitting on the ground with the landing gear. The vibration is normal and won't/shouldn't be there once the Alta is in the air. After the drone is up in the air, you can switch the Movi to dual operator mode. Before landing, switch it back the middle position (park).
    9)If you are trying to operate the ALTA as a single operator, you can program your RC remote to control pan, tilt, and modes to your existing controller. To do this you will need two receivers on the ALTA and you will be giving up diversity (which means your RC won't use the better signal, the second receiver will give you more channels to program the additional controls you want).
    10) To launch the drone your Alta controller has to be in manual, the Alta has to be armed, and the home position with has to be in the middle (Return Home off) If you haven't read the manual regarding this, do so now because it's very important. In fact read the entire manual over a few times from beginning to end. Take note when switching between modes (Manual, height, position) when switching from manual to any other mode the drone is likely to take off or descend very quickly so consider yourself warned.

    Please let me know if I missed anything. If you have any questions regarding programming the Futaba 14sg, assigning Alta channels, etc. Let me know.

    Programming the Futaba 14sg: If you have one receiver then you can program channels 1-8. If you have two receivers than you can program channels 1-8 as well and the Alta chooses which receiver is providing a stronger signal (this is great because depending on the Alta's orientation in the air, one of the receivers will have a much weaker signal since it is being blocked by the structure of the ALTA) *OR* you can program more channels. This works great if you want to also be able to control the Movi at the same time with the Futaba 14sg.

    Disconnect the configuration jumper (page 37 of the manual). Refer to page 40 so you know what the different positions mean of each switch/lever on your controller do. At this time also connect the battery to your ATLA, launch the ALTA app, and go to configurations, then radio. Here it tells you what each channel currently does, it can be changed if you want. Also, power up Futaba controller, push the "LNK" button twice. This will open up the "Linkage Menu" scroll down to "FUNCTION" and push the "RTN" button. Now you are in the "FUNCTION" menu where you can change which channel is assigned to which switch/lever on your Futaba 14sg.

    What you need to know: Notice beside each switch/lever on the Futaba 14sg there are numbers/letters. For example the top right switch says SD. Certain levers are not labelled, for example up/down on the right joystick is J1, left/right on the right joystick is J2, up/down on the left joystick is J3, left/right on the left joystick is J4, the top right of the controller on the back is RS, and the top left of the controller on the back is LS. You will see why this is important momentarily.

    So let's recap, you have the ALTA app open which shows you which channels control each function, you have the Function menu open on the Futaba 14sg which shows you what switch/lever is assigned to each channel, and you have page 40 of the Alta manual open which shows you what each position of the swtich/lever means. For example, in the Alta app "Mode" has the number 5 associated with it. This means that channel 5 controls "Mode" (Manual, Position, Height). Scroll down to number 5 in the FUNCTION menu of the Futaba 14sg and see which switch/lever is assigned to it (as indicated by the CTRL column). Say for example, SA is currently associated with channel 5. This means the switch SA controls channel 5 which is associated with MODE as stated in the ALTA app. To test this for yourself, move the SA switch on your Futaba 14sg and you will see the effect in your Alta App. You will notice the light grey line go from the bottom, to the middle, to the top as you move the switch. What each position means is explained on page 40 of the Alta manual. For example, the bottom of the Mode switch (SA in our example) means Manual. If you want to invert this function, tap the channel in the Alta app and push toggle (this will switch the top and bottom functionality of the switch). Now that you know that each function on the Alta App is associated with a channel, and you know that each channel is listed in the FUNCTION section of the Futuba 14sg menu with the associated lever/switch listed right beside it, now you can change the sticks so that different switches/levers control different channels. For example, we know channel 5 is Mode, and we know the swtich SA controls channel 5 (mode) if I want the switch SB to control channel 5 instead, all you need to do is place the cursor over SA, push RTN, a list will show up showing every switch/lever on the Futaba 14sg, scroll over to your preferred switch/lever, push RTN and voila! That new switch/lever now controls channel 5 which controls mode. Test the switch to make sure it controls everything properly as stated on page 40 of the ALTA manual. You can test all of the switches/levers and see what they control by seeing what changes in the Alta app.

    Hope this helps anyone in need of detailed information! Let me know if you have any questions or corrections that you want to make to the above.
     
  4. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Futaba should pay you for the above, Bo. :)

    Andy.
     
  5. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Spot on Bo. And take BOTH manuals with you to the launch field. The Setup manual shows all the switchology/stickology which will help during the learning curve.
     
  6. Bo Kostelac

    Bo Kostelac New Member

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    Thanks guys, it's been a hell of a learning curve coming from a DJI Phantom 2. Definitely worth it, and at least I'm a lot more educated regarding the systems/operations of the uav now. Hopefully what I wrote above helps pilots who are new to more complex systems.
     
  7. Rolf Ableiter

    Rolf Ableiter Active Member

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    so here is the question to your answer and i hope there will be an answer from the freefly guys :)

    what ist the correct isolation cartridge for what weight? (in kg or lbs)

    i really miss this in the manual.

    what cartridges for what weight?
     
    Dylan Glockler likes this.
  8. Dylan Glockler

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    Good question Rolf. I've been seeing some vibration which I'm trying to eliminate. Most recently was flying the a7s and m5 with teal cartridges. Adding the Amimon Connex and swapping to the a7s ii today.

    Thanks for posting this Bo. Seeing that FreeFly sells the MOVI and the ALTA and probably 99% of ALTA owners are using both, I'm surprised they haven't published this all in one place.
     
  9. Rolf Ableiter

    Rolf Ableiter Active Member

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    do you have slow or fast vibrations? the cartidges are for fast vibrations coming from the Motors.
    they won't help with slower vibrations (oscillation). If you have slower shakes you have to eliminate them with your ALTA or MoVI settings.

    i think a M5 with A7 and connex should work with teal cartridges (or even red).
    For me the best help was to reduce the vertical stiffness (from default 12 to 5!) and the vertical hold strength. After that i was able to use the teal cartridges with my M10 an GH4. Still i have minor shakes left wich should go away with more weight...
     
  10. Dylan Glockler

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    Mine seem to occur as pretty intense, small (fast) vibrations not consistently, so I'm thinking it's the MOVI shuttering in response to ALTAs flight. I'm going from scratch through all settings again - have the ALTA suspended now, tuning the MOVI on-board.

    Since the last flight I have updated firmware so it won't be a clean analysis. I did notice that all the tuning values were nowhere near those recommended in the appendix - I hadn't changed any (manual suggested that we shouldn't need to) so maybe they updated the recommended settings in the manual. The firmware clearly didn't set them to match the manual.
     
  11. Rolf Ableiter

    Rolf Ableiter Active Member

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    did you look at the revision C? they changed the default settings with every update.

    try to reduce vertical stiffness. the default values are far to high for light payloads. try also to increase the hold strength of the MoVI.
     
  12. Dylan Glockler

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    Yes, right I did see that in the notes - slipped my mind.. haven't flown yet since firmware update. Just going through all the settings and configuration now. Probably won't get it up in the air again until tomorrow. This Washington weather is a real pain. I'll try those setting adjustments - thanks Rolf.
     

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