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2015/12/13 Eagle Tree Vector vs Pixhawk/Ardupilot
π 2015-12-13 00:00 in Rc
This was written in december 2015 with the latest firmware available at the time.

I worked with a Vectone on an hexacopter, and honestly I was very not impressed with it.

On one side, it looks polished, it's nice to have the OSD built in the flight controller.
There is a nice professional manual (vs ardupilot where the docs are ok, but just not as polished).
However, as far as doing its main job of being a flight controller for the hexacopter, it sucked.

Once, only once did I get to run the level function and did it fly the copter level.
All other times, I had to put various amounts of trim (sometimes so much trim that it would not arm without all that rim), and once you give it all that trim, if you do a 360 rotation, it tends to wobble or tumble depending on how much trim you have.

I can't say how many times Eric and I levelled it (and it was really level), but either way an imperfect level is not an excuse. The copter can see in flight that it's pitched and moving in one direction without corresponding RC input, and cancel that out. It sure does not.

It randomly (50% of the time) failed to work in altitude hold mode. Loiter (GPS hold) never worked despite GPS signal. Compass had been configured (and that was a pain), and during the flights, the OSD said it has to be configured again (and this was the latest firmware)

In the meantime: Arducopter has autotune. I can't say how awesome autotune is to auto-set pids for a given airframe.
Vector does not.

Arducopter has EKF to double calculate everything using all available sensors.
Vector does not, and sucks as an hexacopter flight controller in my experience (and Eric had the same problems as I did, even after fully reconfiguring the flight controller).

Arducopter/pixhawk uses 2 compasses (one in the FC, one external).
Vector does not.

Pixhawk supports 14 inputs and outputs.
Vector supports 6 channels (so you need to have other channels available as PWM on your receiver, which may not be possible if you want 14 or 16 total).

Vector cannot be configured via computer while in flight, or while armed and requires wireless video for remote configuration (not great if you don't have an FPV screen).
Ardupilot uses a wireless radio/serial connection and can be fully configured/monitored while armed or in flight.

While I liked the polish and wiring of the vector, the fact that it is clearly inferior as a flight controller for hexacopters at least, makes it a poor choice in my opinion.

Too bad. I kind of wanted to like it, especially because its OSD is far superior from minimOSD on ardupilot.


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