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Old Apr 06, 2011, 12:28 PM
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Joined Mar 2011
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Starting the Ardu Project

I am looking to get setup with the ardu project starting out with as much assembled as possible. I will be using it to teach general uas/avionics concepts. Once I evaluate the project, follow on purchases will be of the individual components with the end user completing full assembly of the project. The only sight I have found that has the majority of the project ready for use is Udrones. Below is what I have found so far, followed by what I still need:

$998.95 ArduCopter Quad-Ready to Fly -w/basic electronics
-$50.00 Ublox GPS upgrade
-$89.00 Telemetry Ready(I would like full 2-way)
$69.95 ArduStation (Pre-Soldered, Tested, NO Xbee
$12.99 Ardupilot Mega Case

1081.89 Total (So Far)


A customer service rep from udrones indicated they had everything except the battery but I was unable to find:

Full 2-way Telemetry Package in place of telemetry ready
Sonar Sensor
Camera w/mount
Video TX
Charger-balancer

Couple of questions:
If Udrones does not offer all of the components is there another place I might be able to find them?
Is the RX/TX radio (7channel) the same as the Xbee?
On digikey website I found KIT STARTER XBEE PRO 900MHZ and the KIT STARTER PROMESH XBEE PRO. I see the difference in quantity of components what would be recommended for use with Ardu project?
Is there any other part besides Xbee required to receive the video from the video TX or is that included with one of the other parts?

Any assistance you can offer would be great! Thanks
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Old Apr 06, 2011, 05:07 PM
Suspended Account
Brunswick, OH
Joined Nov 2005
5,547 Posts
I think you'll find that ordering everything from one place usually means more money...sometimes a LOT more money. Now they are providing a service by building and testing everything for you, so there's a value there.... But I guess the question I'd ask is what are you looking for? If you want lower price, you'd do better to buy a good soldering iron for less than $100 and build your own. If you're looking for something that's plug-n-play, just for your own use, then uDrones is the way to go.

Who are you looking to teach? If it's students, I think you might have more fun building your own....because then you'll know how to fix it when you crash (and you WILL crash).... but that's really up to you. I don't want to discourage you from ordering from uDrones....but if it's for educational purposes, building it is the way to go.

Also, unless there has been a bunch of development on the ArduStation recently, it won't do you any good. It's not 2-way and last I saw it only used the ArduPilot Legacy protocol. APM has moved on to MAVlink which is not compatible with the ArduStation to the best of my knowledge.

http://code.google.com/p/ardu-station/

Also, I'd take a look at Sparkfun.com for your X-Bee's as they sell the boards they connect into as well.
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Last edited by HappyKillmore; Apr 06, 2011 at 05:14 PM.
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Old Apr 06, 2011, 07:55 PM
Chris Anderson
San Francisco/Bay Area
Joined Mar 2007
939 Posts
I'd skip the Ublox upgrade. The MediaTek works fine.

Happy is right: the ArduStation doesn't work with ArduCopter (it's on older product designed for earlier telemetry protocols.

Be careful with Xbee choices. If you don't use the ones we recommend, you may have trouble setting them up.

Xbee is for telemetry, NOT RC!

If you're not familiar with RC at all, you may find flying a quad in manual mode quite difficult. This is not a good first RC project.

Finally, most of the ArduCopter community is over at DIYDriones. If you want help, you'll get a better response over there.
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