Newbie: Nova Aperture setup problems

I am a complete newbie to this forum and to ArduPilot.

I have installed the software V 1.3.50 (Windows) as per download instructions. The Hexacopter was a gift from my wife for an anniversary.

I connect a USB cable to my PC and plug the micro plug into the port at the back (the bottom of the battery bay) and hear the “music” and then watch the light, until I get the three green flashing LEDs.

The port defaults to AUTO and the baud rate to 115200.

I select “Install Firmware” and the software springs to life then gives me a choice of craft to which I select the APM.Copter V 3.5.3.Hexa and confirm my choice.

I am then asked to unplug the board, press OK then plug back in and further informed that Mission Planner will look for 30 seconds to find the board. This I do. The copter sings once more, LEDs flash then adopt green flashing and a dialog tells me that it, “Can’t detect your Board version. Please check your cabling.” A further dialog informs me of an “Error uploading firmware.”

Being unable to proceed further by this route I have attempted the Wizard route choosing each of the offered COM4, COM5 and COM7 options but always receiving the same outcome.

It appears that my Nova Aperture seems incompatible with this software.

I have attempted this with various good quality USB cables, all directly connected to powered USB ports on my notebook.

Sorry to have been a little windy but I wanted to ensure that my post was precise.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Can you try again, but connect the main battery before connecting USB?
Also, can you see/access the autopilot directly. Would help if we could identify it.

Thank you for your response.

I have proceeded as you suggested but, other than the beeps emanating from the copter when powered up and the “running lights” under the end of each arm, the result is identical.

The copter specification on the Hobby King site states as follows:

• Large 800mm wheelbase
• Pixhawk compatible Flight Controller
• ArduPilot flight code

The innards of the copter are well shielded so I am unable to discern any further details without dismantling it.

Unless a member of the forum can shed more light on the matter I will write to Hobby King support to see if they can provide details but a steer or the precise detail required would help me to elicit the correct information.

Thank you and kind regards.

It’s hard not knowing the specific flight controller, but contacting HobbyKing will be worthwhile. If you could link that conversation back here, even better, so we all learn if the same issue occurs again.
If you could try using APMPlanner2
it will give another data point.

Hobby King has referred me to the manufacturer and I’ve asked them to steer me in the right direction. In the meantime I will follow up your helpful link above and report back in due course.

Hobby King referred me to “Quanam RC” by my own investigation took me to www.idea-fly,com where I found the Storm 800. Sadly, Google Translate hasn’t really taken me forward much from there but that looks to me to be the Hobby King Aperture Hexacopter.

One step at a time.

Found it!

Is there sufficient detail on the following web page?

Not much of use there unfortunately. What country are you in? HobbyKing should be providing better support.

I would take James advice and disassemble the shell so you can gain direct access to the Flight Controller. Disconnect the USB extension lead and connect a USB cable direct to the FC.

I have installed APM Planner V 2.0.24 and followed the initial setup procedure and this appears to have completed successfully.

I’m assuming that APM Planner 2 replaces Mission Planner, which I installed earlier. Would it be correct to uninstall Mission Planner?

Are you able to point me to a basic guide which will enable me to plot and then execute a flight plan? I have a large area of open ground which is a designated model aircraft flying area close to home so even a simple circuit at a predefined altitude would be great. BTW, the failsafe for the copter is return to home and the GPS and compass are, apparently, factory calibrated.

I’m guessing (or hoping) that APM Planner 2 will enable me to upload to the board on the copter. I’m guessing that it will do that via USB. Will I need my laptop on site in order to do this or will the flight board store the data even when the battery is disconnected?

Probably damned-fool newbie questions

They’re interchangeable in many ways, but missionplanner is generally recommended as it has more features. APMPlanner is cross platform (Mac and Linux as well as Windows). As they are very different underneath (despite similar appearance), sometimes one will work when the other doesn’t. Keep both would be my suggestion.



oh - for auto missions look here:
And yes, if you don’t have telemetry radios, you can upload via USB before flight, and the waypoints are saved.

Thank you for your help in getting started.

At this stage I plan to prepare a simple mission using APM Planner and take this up to my flying ground.

When the mission is uploaded to the flight does the copter automatically execute the mission once powered up and armed and, once complete, permit flying in manual mode? More dumb questions - sorry.

I will leave any dismantling of the copter until I’m sure it functions properly. When (if) it does I can then ascertain the details of the flight controller and then seek to ascertain why it apparently doesn’t speak to Mission Planner.

Again, thanks for your valuable help.

I am in London but the Hobby King support reply came from the USA.

I am reluctant to dismantle the copter, as this may void my warranty. I can confirm that I have now posted a detailed set of questions on the Hobby King website under the Nova Aperture product. I can also confirm that the copter is, when required, connected directly to my laptop PC using a high quality (Samsung) USB cable into a powered port. One issue with APM Planner V2 is that, whilst it loads Google Maps and Google Terrain (which look identical) it won’t load Google Satellite view. I have no such issue with ArduPilot - I just cannot “pair” my copter to that software. Looking forward to a plug’n’play world :frowning:

What does APM Planner report as the firmware installed on the FC (Flight data screen, messages tab)? What Com port does it show connected to? This can also be seen in Windows Device Manager. APM Planner and Mission Planner are essentially interchangeable in regards to communication with the FC so it’s odd that APM Planner works and MP doesn’t. After determining the Com port try MP again manually setting it and the baud rate to 115200 and try again.

With regards to disassembly of the shell this should be considered routine maintenance IMO. Many craft like these from HobbyKing come with the tools to do so.I can say from experience that it’s common for cables and connectors to come lose during shipment or the odd cold solder joint found. I have even seen components coming lose and rattling around in the shell.

Please read through this:
Before first flight. Will save a lot of heartache!

APM Planner connects to COM7. I’ll check Windows Device Manager. Baud rate is 115200.

After removing all the arms there are around 36 star bolts and twenty or so hex bolts to release the top from the bottom.

I’ve trawled Google Images for flight controllers and haven’t found one which matches what little I can see of the installed controller.

I have pressed Hobby King via their website community forum (so it’s published on the product page) to obtain precise details.

I’ve also written to ideaflyuav,com who appear to be the manufacturer to see if they can assist.

I have spun up the rotors on the back garden, which effectively swept the patio clean :slight_smile: and everything seems to function well and without vibration.

Until I can resolve the AutoPilot issues (i.e. the two entities speaking to each other) then I will take it to the flying field and test out position hold, altitude hold and return to home but in a very restricted range. If everything works properly then I may do a dismantle with my own tools - none were supplied by HK :frowning:

What version of firmware is running?

To be honest, I don’t know!

I have received a response from Ideafly which is endeavouring to assist, as I believe them to be the manufacturer.

I have sent them the link to the item on Hobby King which matches one of the items on their website precisely (visually, at least) and told them that I cannot get the copter to communicate with ArduPilot Mission Planner. Ideafly has suggested that it will have a look and hopes to be able to send me a firmware update. I’ve thanked them and await developments.

All they need to do is to install the software and connect the device and any issues will become apparent and they are well placed to address the so let’s watch this space. I will keep you informed, as matters progress.