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Old 03-12-2014, 06:08 PM   #1
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Default Arkbird Tiny Accelerometer+Gyro Autopilot

I will be trying this out on a Tech One yak 55 before deciding on an autopilot for my large Yak 54.

Overall - Fairly light. Not too heavy.
Futaba style connections. - AETR
Not too much fuss setting it in place.

The concept is that a gyro will drift, and an accelerometer is less accurate, but balancing the two of them, lets the plane not just maintain heading or angle but KNOW that the angle is 0 degrees or 45 degrees.

Supports auto-level (Max of 45 degrees in any direction, plus return to level by releasing sticks.) GYRO mode. (Corrects for wind like normal gyro only) and Hover assist. (basically hands off hover.)

The BAD:
Seems bad, but trimming seems to be a bear. The accelerometer will adjust if the plane is not level (or the unit is not level) and you can see what it thinks is level by moving the plane until the ailerons are actually level. This may be by design and actually good. Will know when I fly it.

This is bad for large scale planes, but seems typical of gyros and autopilots. There is only support for one aileron and one elevator. That caps the size or requires something like a PDU (Power Distribution Unit) to handle systems like mine with 1 rudder, 2 elevators, and 2 aileron servos.

The only option that handles all that without some outside help is a Demon Cortex at $350.

We'll see where this gets me.
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