SMALL - Telemetry SMALL - Radio
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Old Mar 27, 2013, 05:49 PM
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Product progress...

Just an update for everyone on the progress of the upcoming products.

I finished the new Nano coding. The new Nano uses a different CPU. I wanted to change the LED to blue, but besides not having that included in our FCC sample, it turns out that a blue LED will not work properly. Blue and white LEDs typically require 3.0v or more to drive them. Since the new Nano works down to 1.8v (yes, really) it meant that the Nano was operating when the LED was apparently off. So, I have kept the original red LED. I have purchased a batch of parts from Microchip and they are in route to the PCB assembler. I expect these to be available in May. There will be several new features besides working at 1.8v, like double the code space making it possible to add some limited telemetry to these units.

The RFU and 10 channel expanders are in production. I was hoping to have these before Toledo, but that is not going to happen. I expect them here sometime towards the end of April. I am considering offering several versions of the 10 channel expander. The boards have two power wire holes (for 12awg wires) in the board. If I make a version with a origami type case (like the sailplane and original 6 channel receiver) then you won't be able to access these without ripping the case off. So, there should be several options - case w/no wires, no case w/wires, or no case and no wires. Any thoughts?

I need to make real product names for these devices. So, please post your thoughts on this. I have to get the labels submitted for production (they take 2 weeks) ASAP, so I have to get those finished with a real product name!

The RFU or Nano to 10 channel expander requires a female to female cable (like a servo extension, but with female connectors on both ends). I have *some* here, but not nearly enough for all of the boards that are coming. I have 6", 12", 24", and 36" lengths currently. Any idea on what the average person is going to want?

I have been working with the OpenAero2 source code author "HappySunday". I helped with suggestions and guidance on the servo output code - it's just like mine now - outputting all of the channels at the same time. The next version of the firmware will support my "Xtreme" mode, which is output by the RFU and new Nano firmware. So, you will be able to plug in a Nano or a RFU into this board and talk to it directly. This eliminates the ~14ms delay that is caused by a PPM stream.

For those of you have not seen the OpenAero2 project, click the link below. This project takes the HobbyKing KK2 board, normally a multi-rotor 'copter flight stabilization system, and converts it for use with aircraft to give you flight stabilization, auto leveling, and more!

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1708175


The hand held telemetry display/black box is done. I am getting some sample plastic made for test fitting.

I have tinkered with the transmitter coding, but I have been so busy with the production of the new products I have not had much opportunity. I should now be able to focus quite a bit of time on the transmitter.
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Old Mar 27, 2013, 07:46 PM
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Here is a picture of the 10 channel expander pre-production model. Production models are blue.
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Old Mar 27, 2013, 08:29 PM
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Jim,

I like it. From the "Channel Expander" thread I understand that the RF unit can either be a new Nano, or a special-purpose RF unit based on the Nano board. Together, the RF unit and the 10-channel expander join to be a 10ch receiver. Did I get that right?

How do you power the RF unit and the expander separately? I remember reading about and can see the soldering pads in the picture above, but cannot imagine how to power the RF unit - maybe extra pins on the RF unit?

Please advise. Thanks,

Paul
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Old Mar 27, 2013, 09:10 PM
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I would keep it simple with the naming - Xpander and Nano-XP w/ Telemetry for extra power. I'm not sure what an RFU is so I can't come up with anything for that.
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Old Mar 27, 2013, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by FlyingW View Post
Jim,

I like it. From the "Channel Expander" thread I understand that the RF unit can either be a new Nano, or a special-purpose RF unit based on the Nano board. Together, the RF unit and the 10-channel expander join to be a 10ch receiver. Did I get that right?

How do you power the RF unit and the expander separately? I remember reading about and can see the soldering pads in the picture above, but cannot imagine how to power the RF unit - maybe extra pins on the RF unit?

Please advise. Thanks,

Paul

why would you want to power it separately?... the servo expander has a regulator in there for the RF unit if memory serves, and if you can't power the servos, there's not much point in powering the RF unit. like the nano, with any voltage at all the receiver will stay working far below the floor of where the servos stop.
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Old Mar 27, 2013, 10:46 PM
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for naming, because the topology is different to what most people are used to, keeping it simple will probably help adoption. "radio frequency unit" (spell out the acronym for the label printing), "radio unit", "signal unit"... etc. and the servo output being "servo output", "servo logic unit" or "servo processing unit" if you want to make it sound a little fancier but still easy to grok. "expander" doesn't quite get across the "it's not expanding anything as you need a least one of these".


Quote:
The RFU or Nano to 10 channel expander requires a female to female cable (like a servo extension, but with female connectors on both ends). I have *some* here, but not nearly enough for all of the boards that are coming. I have 6", 12", 24", and 36" lengths currently. Any idea on what the average person is going to want?
I think supplying the 6" would be enough. if they don't get the idea, then there's just 6" of extra wire around... but if they need longer, they could actually use the 6" female-female to plug into a regular extension to get a custom length without crimping. anyone who genuinely gets the idea will probably need a custom wire for every model.
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Old Mar 28, 2013, 12:24 AM
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The RFU and expander both operate between 1.8v and 16v. They both have regulators built in. They can be powered separately, but the input power to the expander is passed directly to the RFU (along with ground and the serial line) through the 3 pin connectors on each unit, which where the female to female connector/cable attaches.

The RFU is a remotely located RF transceiver. The expander is a servo control unit. The connection between them is the data link.
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Old Mar 28, 2013, 04:00 AM
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And if using other brands of Rx, isolating power is just a matter of removing +V wire from the connection and power the Rx on any of it's other outputs.
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Old Mar 28, 2013, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDrew View Post
The RFU and expander both operate between 1.8v and 16.8v. They both have regulators built in. They can be powered separately, but the input power to the expander is passed directly to the RFU (along with ground and the serial line) through the 3 pin connectors on each unit, which where the female to female connector/cable attaches.

The RFU is a remotely located RF transceiver. The expander is a servo control unit. The connection between them is the data link.
Forgive my ignorance, but what is the purpose of the RFU?
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Old Mar 28, 2013, 08:52 AM
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So what are the chances of getting a couple mounting holes like that in the new Nanos so we can mount 'em with a couple nylon screws and standoffs?


Pete
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Old Mar 28, 2013, 08:59 AM
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Forgive my ignorance, but what is the purpose of the RFU?
The expander board has no RF section so it's pretty much useless without an RFU. Think of the expander board as a remote servo output board for a receiver (RFU) and it should come into focus for you.

Pete
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Old Mar 28, 2013, 09:13 AM
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I count 11 outputs, 1 for Telem/Batt?? If you don't use the 12awg holes then something like a 2s A123 pack plugged into one of the outputs will power the system? I can't see any regulator onboard so batt voltage goes to servos and rfu? And I see a switch and led, so some programmability? Will current Nanos work?

Looks good


12awg, I use that for 50-60A, that's a lot for servo power.
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Old Mar 28, 2013, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by PGR View Post
The expander board has no RF section so it's pretty much useless without an RFU. Think of the expander board as a remote servo output board for a receiver (RFU) and it should come into focus for you.

Pete
So does the RFU link up with the main receiver like a nano or do they work independently and you do the binding on the transmitter?
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Old Mar 28, 2013, 11:16 AM
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Think of the RFU as a receiver (it is a receiver) without the servo section. The RFU sends the servo signals to the expander board. The receiver has only three pins, Signal, positive power, negative power and ground for the signal to the expander. The receiver gets its power from the expander board. The receiver (RFU) like all 2.4g receivers must be bound to your transmitter. The expander does not.
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Old Mar 28, 2013, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Grich View Post
Think of the RFU as a receiver (it is a receiver) without the servo section. The RFU sends the servo signals to the expander board. The receiver has only three pins, Signal, positive power, negative power and ground for the signal to the expander. The receiver gets its power from the expander board. The receiver (RFU) like all 2.4g receivers must be bound to your transmitter. The expander does not.
Makes sense now. Jim should make some sort of diagram to show how all his products are connected for newbies like me.
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