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Posted by jabram | Sep 06, 2014 @ 11:44 PM | 4,457 Views
FrSky X8R not safe to use with any FC that relies on GPS SOLVED see here


Care and Feeding of Pixhawk/Fixhawk Part 2

Fixhawk is available at RCtimer http://rctimer.com/product-1166.html

and UAVobjects http://www.uavobjects.com/product/rc...roller-v2-4-3/



Fixhawk Discussion thread here

Part 1 of this Mini-HowTo is here http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2234877



Installing RCtimer FIXHAWK, AV Dome on the F1000

Scroll down to see install on RCT800

RCTimer AVDome Protection AntiVibration Dome
http://rctimer.com/product-971.html


The AV Dome supplied capacitor and buzzer are not used during a Fixhawk install.

F1000 REV Carbon Fiber Octocopter Frame w/ Retractible Landing gear
http://rctimer.com/product-860.html

...Continue Reading
Posted by jabram | Aug 28, 2014 @ 09:42 AM | 5,918 Views
FrSky X8R not safe to use with any FC that relies on GPS SOLVED see here

Fixhawk is available at RCtimer http://rctimer.com/product-1166.html

and UAVobjects http://www.uavobjects.com/product/rc...roller-v2-4-3/



Pixhawk/Fixhawk Discussion thread here

It is important to handle the Fixhawk plugs and sockets correctly.

Do it the wrong way and it MAY seem as if you need something like this lever just to disconnect a cable and you risk permanent damage to your Fixhawk



Using the wrong technique to unplug a cable is almost guaranteed to damage your Fixhawk, like this broken solder joint at one end of the Buzzer socket, or worse the socket completely ripped off.

...Continue Reading
Posted by jabram | Feb 11, 2014 @ 06:59 PM | 19,264 Views
Like many others I normally run ArducCopter on APM 2.5.x, recently an attractive 32 bit option became available when Stefan Cenkow, posted about his work porting the VRBrain ArduPilot32 on to the OpenPilot Revo platform.

ArduPilot32 on OpenPilot Revo

Open Pilot forum - ArduPilot32 code to Revolution board Note: do not take notice of the early posts in the forum, a lot of things not working initially are now fully functional.

I liked what I saw and I ordered my Revo from the OpenPilot Store in Australia who shipped my Revo very quickly.



Short test flight Loiter video, Take off in "Stabilize" Mode, then switched to "Loiter" Mode for the duration of the flight including landing when I switched back to stabilize Mode and Disarm..

REVO ArduPilot32 Loiter test HAL Hex (2 min 42 sec)

I tried to follow the Open Pilot step by step guide here and found it very frustrating to say the least, I gave up after a few hours of frustration, at every turn all I got was some sort of error !

A few days later I tried again and discovered that my difficulties are because I am not used to OpenPilot software and how it does things, others may also be confused by the BootLoader and the fact that sometimes you run software that will upgrade firmware YET you must first disconnect the board, not exactly logical as you figure if you are going to upgrade firmware you must connect the board, sure you connect it AFTER you run the program and when IT tells you to connect.
...Continue Reading
Posted by jabram | Dec 11, 2013 @ 12:41 AM | 244,152 Views
RCTIMER ArduFlyer - APM 2.5 2.6 2.7 Discussion has moved

to Here http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2021896
Posted by jabram | Sep 29, 2013 @ 06:40 AM | 33,220 Views
RC Timer AV Dome and CN06 Plus GPS+External Magnetometer+ Status LEDs




The Rctimer AVDome together with Rctimer CN06 Plus
were specifically designed to work together to provide in one easy to install package;
  • Anti Vibration GPS External Magnetometer FC Protection system resulting in
    Incredibly low Acc/Gyro vibration, see above APM Acc X,Y,Z 2.5 log graph
    Excellent GPS performance, see GPS performance logs further down in this post
  • I impact protection for Flight Controller, Receiver, GPS, External Magnetometer/Compass
  • High performance ublox 6 GPS
  • Position the GPS antenna high and clear of all surrounding objects for optimum GPS reception
  • Maintain accurate Acc/Gyro and External Compass/Magnetometer alignment
  • Increase Magnetometer vertical separation from Lipo to ESC wiring to decrease Compass magnetic interference
  • Barometer protection from prop draught and pressure bubble during forward flight
  • Extend USB cable for convenient LOG download and set-up calibrations without any dismantling.
  • Loud ARM Buzzer
  • High quality Brown-out DC supply filter capacitor
  • GPS and ARM LEDs on top of CN06 Plus visible through the clear dome


RC Timer AV Dome together with , CN06 Plus is available now from;

RC Timer http://www.rctimer.com/product_1017.html
UAVOBJECTS in USA http://www.uavobjects.com/product/rc...with-cno6plus/

...Continue Reading
Posted by jabram | May 26, 2013 @ 07:42 PM | 40,898 Views
Part 1 of this blog is here

FrSky X8R not safe to use with any FC that relies on GPS SOLVED see here


There is a lot of information in this lengthy blog, please read it all, possibly read it more than once, do not start to apply any of the information before you fully understand it all and it actually makes sense to you, if there is anything you are not sure about, ask first, it can save a lot of time, expense and frustration.

A lot more APM 2.5 information can be found on Page 1 at APM 2.5, ArduCopter, RC Timer ArduFlyer, Tutorials & Discussion, updated regulalrly

NOTE: for some reason Mission Planner was completely changed around June - July 2013 for no apparent good reson other than to to add further CONFUSION, some of the screen captures in this blog will show the earlier Mission Planner, you may have to GUESS how to get to the same functions in the New Mission Planner until I spend a LOT of time updating all the screen shots.

- Check ArduCopter Firmware version and if necessary Update the Firmware -

If you are not familiar with how to run and Connect Mission Planner, refer to Part 1 which covers that topic, Part 1 is here http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1897295

Make sure you have Internet access

Connect the USB cable from your PC to the ArduFlyer 2.5 board

These steps are set out in the correct logical sequence, do not perform them in a different sequence, do not skip steps unless directed.

Run Mission Planner, if you see a pop-up...Continue Reading
Posted by jabram | May 23, 2013 @ 11:57 AM | 17,351 Views
Work in progress, photos only for now, more soon

A lot more APM 2.5 information can be found on Page 1 at APM 2.5, ArduCopter, RC Timer ArduFlyer, Tutorials & Discussion, updated regulalrly






...Continue Reading
Posted by jabram | May 23, 2013 @ 04:44 AM | 52,967 Views
FrSky X8R not safe to use with any FC that relies on GPS SOLVED see here


There is a lot of information in this lengthy blog, please read it all, possibly read it more than once, do not start to apply any of the information before you fully understand it all and it actually makes sense to you, if there is anything you are not sure about, ask first, it can save a lot of time, expense and frustration.

A lot more APM 2.5 information can be found on Page 1 at APM 2.5, ArduCopter, RC Timer ArduFlyer, Tutorials & Discussion, updated regulalrly

NOTE: for some reason Mission Planner was completely changed around June - July 2013 for no apparent good reson other than to to add further CONFUSION, some of the screen captures in this blog will show the earlier Mission Planner, you may have to GUESS how to get to the same functions in the New Mission Planner until I spend a LOT of time updating all the screen shots

I just received a couple of spare Rctimer ArduFlyer 2.5 boards, so I thought I would share some photos together with a description of what you receive and how to assemble it and make it work in a series of blogs, this is Part One WORK IN PROGRESS .

Rctimer ArduFlyer 2.5


Contents, ArduFlyer 2.5 board, 2 cables, one for GPS, the other for Rctimer 3DRadio, a packet of headers and jumpers



- Treat the ArduFlyer board gently, the MPU-6000 Accelerometer/Gyro is fragile -

Do not misunderstand what the above means, it does not mean that Rctimer ArduFlyer 2.5 is somehow...Continue Reading
Posted by jabram | May 19, 2013 @ 01:17 AM | 22,641 Views
There is a lot of information in this lengthy blog, please read it all, possibly read it more than once, do not start to apply any of the information before you fully understand it all and it actually makes sense to you, if there is anything you are not sure about, ask first, it can save a lot of time, expense and frustration.

A lot more APM 2.5 information can be found on Page 1 at APM 2.5, ArduCopter, RC Timer ArduFlyer, Tutorials & Discussion, updated regulalrly


When you purchase Rctimer ArdUFlyer 2.5 + CN-06 V2 + 3Dradio

In the packet containing the CN-06 V2 GPS and also in the packet containing the Air Module 3DRadio you receive a SPARE cable with a 4 pin female header.

In the packet containing the ArduFlyer 2.5 you receive 2 cables to connect ArduFlyer 2.5 to GPS and 3DRadio.



You have 2 spare cables that on one end can connect to either the GPS or Air Module 3Dradio as fortunately they use the same connector and the same connections.

FTDI cable is used to modify settings for both the GPS and the Air Module 3DRadio

FTDI cable has a 6 pin female header.

By obtaining some extra long pin strip male headers and some 6 pin female shells, using one of the SPARE 4 pin cables you can make up a handy cable that can be used to connect either the GPS or Air Module 3DRadio to the FTDI cable

Extra-long break-away 0.1" 16-pin strip male header (5 pieces)
https://www.adafruit.com/products/400

To obtain plenty of 6 pin headers and shells if you dismantle them,...Continue Reading
Posted by jabram | May 18, 2013 @ 11:43 PM | 20,771 Views
There is a lot of information in this lengthy blog, please read it all, possibly read it more than once, do not start to apply any of the information before you fully understand it all and it actually makes sense to you, if there is anything you are not sure about, ask first, it can save a lot of time, expense and frustration.

A lot more APM 2.5 information can be found on Page 1 at APM 2.5, ArduCopter, RC Timer ArduFlyer, Tutorials & Discussion, updated regulalrly


Rctimer 3Dradio has higher level of local noise when connected directly into a USB port. Different USB Ports on the same laptop or PC result in very different levels of local noise. Using a USB extension cable makes a lot of difference reducing local noise levels.

I investigated going a bit further to reduce local noise, I discovered that the USB shell is not connected to GND it appears to be soldered to a GND plane on the rear of the board however closer inspection reveals the solder pads for the USB shell are in fact isolated from the GND plane.

I scraped the green silk screen near one of the USB shell pins and soldered it to the GND plane that improved the local noise figure.

I also noticed that if I bring my hand near the board while it is operating can vary the local noise significantly.

I carefully peeled off the Rctimer logo from the back of the board, it is in fact a thin single sided PCB whose sole purpose it to hide the 3DR labelling accidentally left in place when someone forgot to edit the...Continue Reading
Posted by jabram | May 02, 2013 @ 02:35 AM | 19,934 Views
There is a lot of information in this lengthy blog, please read it all, possibly read it more than once, do not start to apply any of the information before you fully understand it all and it actually makes sense to you, if there is anything you are not sure about, ask first, it can save a lot of time, expense and frustration.

A lot more APM 2.5 information can be found on Page 1 at APM 2.5, ArduCopter, RC Timer ArduFlyer, Tutorials & Discussion, updated regulalrly


Although there are instructions in the ardupilot wiki on how to use Arduino to program APM 2.5/ArduFlyer 2.5 using the MODIFIED Ardupilot Arduino, there are some areas that can be confusing even for those familiar with Arduino programming

Instructions for modified ardupilot Arduino use
http://code.google.com/p/arducopter/wiki/Code

download Modified ardupilot Arduino
http://code.google.com/p/ardupilot-m...s.zip&can=2&q=

Follow those instructions and install the modified Arduino.

In Windows, Arduino install will create an Arduino folder at C:\Documents\My Documents\Arduino

download ZIP file ardupilot -- by following this link https://github.com/diydrones/ardupilot
on that page on the right you will see "Download ZIP" right click on "Download ZIPp" and "save As" you will then have ardupilot-master.zip , it is a LARGE file

open the folder you saved it to Right clip and unzip or extract all folders/files

Open ardupilot-master folder, in that folder again open...Continue Reading
Posted by jabram | Apr 07, 2013 @ 11:25 AM | 28,983 Views
There is a lot of information in this lengthy blog, please read it all, possibly read it more than once, do not start to apply any of the information before you fully understand it all and it actually makes sense to you, if there is anything you are not sure about, ask first, it can save a lot of time, expense and frustration.

A lot more APM 2.5 information can be found on Page 1 at APM 2.5, ArduCopter, RC Timer ArduFlyer, Tutorials & Discussion, updated regulalrly


Never power up any 3Dradio module with no antenna connected, the 3DRadio will be damaged if it is powered up when there is no Antenna connected

Disconnect the USB cable from your PC or Laptop to ArduFlyer 2.5 when using 3DRadio, a USB connection to a PC or Laptop turns of the ArduFlyer 2.5 Telemetry port therefore a 3Dradio connected to the ArduFlyer 2.5 Telemetry port cannot work
If you overlook this important point you will experience extreme frustration and waste a lot of time.


Always power up the Ground module first, wait for the Green LED to start blinking. check that Mission Planner is disconnected then power up the Air Module, check that the Green LED is lit solid on both Modules

3DRadio connection baud rate is 57600





I covered both my Air and Ground modules in clear heatshrink to prevent the release of Magic Smoke while bench testing.

...Continue Reading
Posted by jabram | Apr 04, 2013 @ 08:09 AM | 42,079 Views
This is long and complicated, read the entire post BEFORE you apply any of the information, there are lots of traps and many things that do not make sense at first. If there is anything you are not sure about, ask first, it can save a lot of time, expense and frustration.

A lot more APM 2.5 information can be found on Page 1 at APM 2.5, ArduCopter, RC Timer ArduFlyer, Tutorials & Discussion, updated regularly


First thing is to power MavlinkOSD without releasing any Magic Smoke. Pay attention

The Video chip used on both MavlinkOSD and MinimOSD, the Maxim MAX7456 is only rated at a Maximum VDVDD voltage of 5.25V. Before connecting to APM 2.5/ArduFlyer 2.5, measure the VCC of the APM 2.5/ArduFlyer 2.5 to ensure VCC is not more than 5.25 as a higher voltage will fry the Video chip. Note that a voltage slightly above 5.25 V such as 5.28V is probably OK but certainly NOT a voltage like 5.5V

Instructions for safely measuring APM 2.5/ArduFlyer 2.5 VCC Voltageare here http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=2471

IMHO the reason most people fry their MavlinkOSD before they ever see it doing anything useful is the fact it is supplied with a 4 pin cable

Some bright spark [sarcasm] decided to save a few cents by supplying a 4 pin cable. Using a 4 pin cable is a huge mistake, it will eventually destroy your MavlinkOSD when you forget that the 4 pin cable needs to be connected offset by one pin.

During the process of customizing MavlinkOSD to your liking using the...Continue Reading
Posted by jabram | Mar 07, 2013 @ 06:45 AM | 25,860 Views
There is a lot of information in this lengthy blog, please read it all, possibly read it more than once, do not start to apply any of the information before you fully understand it all and it actually makes sense to you, if there is anything you are not sure about, ask first, it can save a lot of time, expense and frustration.

A lot more APM 2.5 information can be found on Page 1 at APM 2.5, ArduCopter, RC Timer ArduFlyer, Tutorials & Discussion, updated regularly


Obviously you are measuring large currents, you do need thick conductors capable of handling those large currents soldered to the Rctimer Current & Voltage Sensor 90 A [CS] board. We are measuring the current flowing through the thick red lead from the Lipo connector to the Power Distribution..

There is no need to solder the thick black Lipo lead to the CS board - Reason: the CS GND connection is only a GND reference, no large current passes through the CS board to GND therefore the GND lead to the CS board can be an ordinary thin signal wire which is much easier to solder and avoid shorting + and GND from the Lipo

The next choice is up to you, there is no need to use plugs and sockets, there is no good reason why the CS cannot be incorporated permanently into the lead between Lipo connector and Power Distribution. No harm in having connectors, connectors add weigh and make it more difficult to achieve a tidy installation.

In these photos I am using connectors because I was testing the CS, when I...Continue Reading
Posted by jabram | Feb 26, 2013 @ 10:37 PM | 34,809 Views
There is a lot of information in this lengthy blog, please read it all, possibly read it more than once, do not start to apply any of the information before you fully understand it all and it actually makes sense to you, if there is anything you are not sure about, ask first, it can save a lot of time, expense and frustration.

A lot more APM 2.5 information can be found on Page 1 at APM 2.5, ArduCopter, RC Timer ArduFlyer, Tutorials & Discussion, updated regulalrly


You probably just received your new ArduFlyer 2.5 board, you need to treat it with care. It can be damaged by rough handling or dropping onto a hard surface, it is also unforgiving if you connect power incorrectly, check 3 times that all your connections are indeed correct BEFORE connecting that Lipo to your UBEC. You do NOT want to release expensive Magic Smoke on your first use of ArduFlyer 2.5.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Avoid rough handling

ArduFlyer 2.5 has an accelerometer/gyro, all accelerometers can be damaged by rough handling.

Lenovo use accelerometers in their laptops to detect the laptop falling and retract the hard disk heads in the hope of not damaging the delicate heads and platters, their Hardware Maintenance Manual carries this warning when removing the System Board.



Inversense documentation http://www.cdiweb.com/datasheets/inv...-MPU-6000A.pdf on MPU6000 carries this warning



When we have an accelerometer soldered to a...Continue Reading
Posted by jabram | Jan 23, 2013 @ 04:09 AM | 30,046 Views
There is a lot of information in this blog, please read it all, possibly read it more than once, do not start to apply any of the information before you fully understand it all and it actually makes sense to you, if there is anything you are not sure about, ask first, it can save a lot of time, expense and frustration.

A lot more APM 2.5 information can be found on Page 1 at APM 2.5, ArduCopter, RC Timer ArduFlyer, Tutorials & Discussion, updated regularly


A few people expressed an interest in updating the firmware on the ATmega32u2 used in APM 2.5 and ArduFlyer 2.5, the earlier ArduFlyer 2.5 had the bootloader missing leaving you no option but to use a programmer to update the firmware.

Quote:
If you wish to restore the bootloader, you can get the file I created in this post
Restore DFU Bootloader to ArduFlyer 2.5 ATmega32U2
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=2498
then follow the same instructions below to program that into the ATmega32U2, thereafter you can use Atmel Flip to perform firmware upgrades
I know there are many different cheaper ways to program an Atmel microcontroller, I have over the years purchased some "clone" programmers, sooner or later it comes back to bite you when Atmel change something or uses a feature that was until then undocumented and the "clone" cannot work with those newer features..

Best to start out with a genuine Atmel programmer. The cheapest one is only $34, ...Continue Reading