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View Poll Results: Are you interested in a DIY sensorstation (and beyound)
No, I dont use telemetry. 4 2.35%
Yes !!! 104 61.18%
Yes, but your (estimated) pricetag of $50 is to much. 17 10.00%
Maybe, I will keep an eye on this thread. 45 26.47%
Voters: 170. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Jul 20, 2011, 01:16 PM
d68
Registered User
Netherlands, NB, Breda
Joined Jun 2011
111 Posts
Discussion
Hitec Aurora 9 DIY kit Telemetry sensorstation

Announcement. I have designed a custom sensor station for the Aurora 9 2.4 GHz system. It replaces Hitec's nitro and blue sensor station completely. My proto is working so great that i will release a (approx $50) DIY kit (all parts + PCB) to build your own sensor station. The software and hardware will be completely open source hoping that this product grows beyond my initial idea.

Prelimary specs:
  • Emulates ALL the messages of the nitro and blue sensor stations in a flexible way. E.g. you can monitor a voltage and display it in the ‘fuel can’ icon on the A9 screen (or both!)
  • Powered by standard ESC/BEC/receiver battery (<5.5V)
  • Based on AVR microcontroller, firmware upgradeable (the programming connector is on board, you build a $2 programmer yourself of buy one from eBay, all the development tools are free)
  • GPS interface to interface a MediaTek 10Hz GPS available at diydrones. These are cheap, fast lock and small enough to build in any plane. On the PCB the GPS receive and transmit signals are accessible to connect another GPS signal. The default firmware decodes the NMEA RMC en GGA messages)
  • 2 analog inputs to monitor voltages, range is selected by a resistor. Lipo battery can be monitored directly.
  • 4 inputs to the microcontroller to interface custom circuitry. E.g. counting pulses for RPM measurements.
  • 1 input for a current sensor. Basicly this is a voltage sensing input that is optimized to interface the easy to use and cheap ACS756 device. Sparkfun also sells high current sensors that are easily interfaced.
  • Board size approx: 2.1’ x 1.5’ (54mm * 31mm)
  • Red status LED. Blinks at powerup and flashes during measurements.
  • 3.3V data interface to the receiver (as in genuine sensorstations)
  • The DIY kit contains all components and a professional manufactured PCB for easy soldering.
  • The DIY kit contains only a few necessary SMD components. All other components are ‘through hole’ so you don’t have to be a geek to build your own.

Planning & status: first batch of PCB is ready in 25 working days (hopefully). Now i'm working on the supporting website with all kinds op 'application ideas'. Initial i will release 50 DIY kits.

As a teaser some pics of my proto, the final board and A9 screens.

Please throw in any suggestion. You can contact me here or @ dkroeske at d68 dot nl

Regards,

Diederich
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Last edited by d68; Jul 20, 2011 at 02:31 PM.
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Old Jul 20, 2011, 02:45 PM
Fast and low...
aa78's Avatar
Joined Apr 2009
837 Posts
Regarding altitude, is there the possibility to use the power-up position's altitude as the zero value and add/subtract the offset from actual GPS value based on that initial value for a relative altitude?

Or does the A9 calculate the altitude from the GPS data itself?

Nice effort, BTW!
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Old Jul 20, 2011, 02:53 PM
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So, this thing DOES NOT require modifying the transmitter, right?

From what country do you ship?
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Old Jul 20, 2011, 02:54 PM
d68
Registered User
Netherlands, NB, Breda
Joined Jun 2011
111 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by aa78 View Post
Regarding altitude, is there the possibility to use the power-up position's altitude as the zero value and add/subtract the offset from actual GPS value based on that initial value for a relative altitude?

Or does the A9 calculate the altitude from the GPS data itself?

Nice effort, BTW!
Its not clear from the menu. You can set altitude to absolute or relative. GPS gives you a calculated altitude according to the 'geodetic model of the earth'. This is absolute i think.
You can display whatever you want except negative numbers. I think the best is to display relative altitudes (related to powerup value) so we now how high our plane is. Btw: GPS is not the best for altitude reading, using a Barometric pressure sensor is more accurate. But hey, easy to interface.
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Old Jul 20, 2011, 03:03 PM
d68
Registered User
Netherlands, NB, Breda
Joined Jun 2011
111 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by angelfood View Post
So, this thing DOES NOT require modifying the transmitter, right?

From what country do you ship?
No, no modification to whatever. This design behaves as the genuine sensor board (as in software and in hardware). You connect this board to the data input of the optima 7/9 receivers, just like Hitec's sensor board. In fact, Optima 6/7 can not see if a genuine board or this board is connected.

I ship from the Netherlands ( see the gps screen ) I'm not a company, this is hobby only. Price is based on initial batch of low volume (50 pieces)).
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Old Jul 20, 2011, 03:03 PM
Pompano Hill Flyers
Radian's Avatar
Coral Springs FL
Joined May 2002
681 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by d68 View Post
Announcement. I have designed a custom sensor station for the Aurora 9 2.4 GHz system. It replaces Hitec's nitro and blue sensor station completely. My proto is working so great that i will release a (approx $50) DIY kit (all parts + PCB) to build your own sensor station. The software and hardware will be completely open source hoping that this product grows beyond my initial idea.

Prelimary specs:
  • Emulates ALL the messages of the nitro and blue sensor stations in a flexible way. E.g. you can monitor a voltage and display it in the ‘fuel can’ icon on the A9 screen (or both!)
  • Powered by standard ESC/BEC/receiver battery (<5.5V)
  • Based on AVR microcontroller, firmware upgradeable (the programming connector is on board, you build a $2 programmer yourself of buy one from eBay, all the development tools are free)
  • GPS interface to interface a MediaTek 10Hz GPS available at diydrones. These are cheap, fast lock and small enough to build in any plane. On the PCB the GPS receive and transmit signals are accessible to connect another GPS signal. The default firmware decodes the NMEA RMC en GGA messages)
  • 2 analog inputs to monitor voltages, range is selected by a resistor. Lipo battery can be monitored directly.
  • 4 inputs to the microcontroller to interface custom circuitry. E.g. counting pulses for RPM measurements.
  • 1 input for a current sensor. Basicly this is a voltage sensing input that is optimized to interface the easy to use and cheap ACS756 device. Sparkfun also sells high current sensors that are easily interfaced.
  • Board size approx: 2.1’ x 1.5’ (54mm * 31mm)
  • Red status LED. Blinks at powerup and flashes during measurements.
  • 3.3V data interface to the receiver (as in genuine sensorstations)
  • The DIY kit contains all components and a professional manufactured PCB for easy soldering.
  • The DIY kit contains only a few necessary SMD components. All other components are ‘through hole’ so you don’t have to be a geek to build your own.

Planning & status: first batch of PCB is ready in 25 working days (hopefully). Now i'm working on the supporting website with all kinds op 'application ideas'. Initial i will release 50 DIY kits.

As a teaser some pics of my proto, the final board and A9 screens.

Please throw in any suggestion. You can contact me here or @ dkroeske at d68 dot nl

Regards,

Diederich

Suggestion for the Glider flyers...... Or others with thin fuselages

See if the board can be made more narrow. Longer but thinner is better to fit in a Glider or hotliner fuse. At 1.5 wide it is too wide to fit right now.




Radian
www.phflyers.com
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Old Jul 20, 2011, 03:10 PM
Fast and low...
aa78's Avatar
Joined Apr 2009
837 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by d68 View Post
Btw: GPS is not the best for altitude reading, using a Barometric pressure sensor is more accurate. But hey, easy to interface.
I know that barometric altitude is more accurate than the GPS measurements. I have a complete EagleTree Elogger setup which works very well. FWIW, its altitude microsensor can be used in standalone mode and is accessible via an external microcontroller over I2C. For details regarding addresses/registers, there is a thread in the ET forum here or you can get in touch with billpa.

Depending on how the altitude is calculated/displayed on the A9, since you are already using I2C (for the sensor station), you might want to look into modifying the current firmware to allow using the altitude microsensor's altitude data.
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Old Jul 20, 2011, 03:18 PM
d68
Registered User
Netherlands, NB, Breda
Joined Jun 2011
111 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by aa78 View Post
... you might want to look into modifying the current firmware to allow using the altitude microsensor's altitude data.
Software will be open source. Maybe it is a good idea to create a 'firmware pool' to satisfy different setup/needs.

I will publish source code as soon as i verified it on the final PCB.
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Old Jul 20, 2011, 03:21 PM
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USA, TX, Trophy Club
Joined May 2002
14,476 Posts
Cool....
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Old Jul 20, 2011, 03:25 PM
Xtreme Power Systems
Lake Havasu, AZ
Joined Jun 2005
15,775 Posts
NMEA GPS altitude data is absolute above sea level. It's not incredibly accurate though.

Funny, I just went through this same process - but backwards, to allow the Hitec sensor station to work with our receivers through an interface. I guess yours would work as well.
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Old Jul 20, 2011, 04:41 PM
It's just a plane.
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USA, SC, Goose Creek
Joined Aug 2010
2,104 Posts
Have you considered a plug and play version? I don't have the skills to assemble something like that. I would want a full up package with GPS, etc.
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Old Jul 20, 2011, 04:54 PM
Burt KF7ULM
United States, AZ, Phoenix
Joined May 2007
93 Posts
I have tested this, use relative, when the alt come from the first gps that is the "0" alt. There is also a reset on the transmitter screen. see my post here
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=418 note if alt is below set alt the transmitter displays 0 no neg numbers.

Burt

Quote:
Originally Posted by d68 View Post
Its not clear from the menu. You can set altitude to absolute or relative. GPS gives you a calculated altitude according to the 'geodetic model of the earth'. This is absolute i think.
You can display whatever you want except negative numbers. I think the best is to display relative altitudes (related to powerup value) so we now how high our plane is. Btw: GPS is not the best for altitude reading, using a Barometric pressure sensor is more accurate. But hey, easy to interface.
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Old Jul 20, 2011, 05:02 PM
Burt KF7ULM
United States, AZ, Phoenix
Joined May 2007
93 Posts
sounds like we have been working on the same thing. I never plan on selling anything, but have a sensor station made on top of a ardunio.

I have 4 analog ports, two for temp, one voltage, one current.

Serial input for NMEA gps, one digital for RPM.

got more then 50 invested right now, but have a reserve waitting for Hitec to release the blue station.

Count me in for at least one kit, depending on shipping cost.

Burt

Quote:
Originally Posted by d68 View Post
Announcement. I have designed a custom sensor station for the Aurora 9 2.4 GHz system. It replaces Hitec's nitro and blue sensor station completely. My proto is working so great that i will release a (approx $50) DIY kit (all parts + PCB) to build your own sensor station. The software and hardware will be completely open source hoping that this product grows beyond my initial idea.

Prelimary specs:
  • Emulates ALL the messages of the nitro and blue sensor stations in a flexible way. E.g. you can monitor a voltage and display it in the ‘fuel can’ icon on the A9 screen (or both!)
  • Powered by standard ESC/BEC/receiver battery (<5.5V)
  • Based on AVR microcontroller, firmware upgradeable (the programming connector is on board, you build a $2 programmer yourself of buy one from eBay, all the development tools are free)
  • GPS interface to interface a MediaTek 10Hz GPS available at diydrones. These are cheap, fast lock and small enough to build in any plane. On the PCB the GPS receive and transmit signals are accessible to connect another GPS signal. The default firmware decodes the NMEA RMC en GGA messages)
  • 2 analog inputs to monitor voltages, range is selected by a resistor. Lipo battery can be monitored directly.
  • 4 inputs to the microcontroller to interface custom circuitry. E.g. counting pulses for RPM measurements.
  • 1 input for a current sensor. Basicly this is a voltage sensing input that is optimized to interface the easy to use and cheap ACS756 device. Sparkfun also sells high current sensors that are easily interfaced.
  • Board size approx: 2.1’ x 1.5’ (54mm * 31mm)
  • Red status LED. Blinks at powerup and flashes during measurements.
  • 3.3V data interface to the receiver (as in genuine sensorstations)
  • The DIY kit contains all components and a professional manufactured PCB for easy soldering.
  • The DIY kit contains only a few necessary SMD components. All other components are ‘through hole’ so you don’t have to be a geek to build your own.

Planning & status: first batch of PCB is ready in 25 working days (hopefully). Now i'm working on the supporting website with all kinds op 'application ideas'. Initial i will release 50 DIY kits.

As a teaser some pics of my proto, the final board and A9 screens.

Please throw in any suggestion. You can contact me here or @ dkroeske at d68 dot nl

Regards,

Diederich
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Old Jul 20, 2011, 05:08 PM
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This thing can't be used by the wrong people, can it?
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Old Jul 20, 2011, 05:11 PM
d68
Registered User
Netherlands, NB, Breda
Joined Jun 2011
111 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZackJones View Post
Have you considered a plug and play version? I don't have the skills to assemble something like that. I would want a full up package with GPS, etc.
Yes, for now, out of the box there is GPS functionality, 1 voltage input (the other on the A9 display monitors the receiver voltage) 1 current input and one temp input. I have to finialize this after testing the final PCB. Currently i'm working on a support site containing all kinds of application idea's.

Btw. if we create a firmware pool, firmware updating is much easier than programming an beeping ESC.
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