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Old Mar 10, 2012, 10:40 PM
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Hey guys, I have experience with mikrokopter, quadrino, KK boards and ET (as well as some "others" in my work environment). I am considering going with a Mega2 for my next build. I have downloaded the mission planner to get a feel for it but have a couple questions.

I understand that this needs a different code than the ardupilot so will the mission planner be compatible as it is or will I need to upload the code separatly as opposed to doing it via the mission planner software? Or is it just the initial foirmware that is different?

I am planning on putting this into an X8 wing (it can do elevons correct?) and want to have retracts as well as fully autonomus takoff and landings. This is possible correct?

I want to make sure I understand the control aspect. You use a link for telemetry like XBee from the PC to the AP but you also use your normal RC radio (TSLRS in my case) for manual control correct? So what is the joystick option in the mission planner used for? Is it for something like a asissted manual mode when in range of the XBee for example? What is the viability of having the joystick control go to the TSLRS via a PPM output from the mission planner to the TSLRS? (I have a Hi Res PCTx to get the ppm out of the PC if the mission planner can connect to it). I guess as long as you have good XBee link it would be best to use the joystick mode with that and keep the TSLRS as a solid backup/failover. I have never hit the limit on my 900mhz Xbee setup on my mikrokopter but haven't done long range. What is a realistic los distance on a 900mhz Xbee Pro?

Also, what is the most compatible osd that will allow for an antenna tracker? I have and like the ET OSD on my other plane but don't want to duplicate a lot of sensors etc. Or does the mission planner have the option to output a signal for a tracker?

Finally, what are the recommended sensors for this? I understand it has GPS and a Mag built im not sure about a baro. Is it included? What is a compatible pitot speed sensor? What about an ultrasonic sensor for landing and takeoff use?

Thanks.
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Old Mar 11, 2012, 03:33 AM
AMA 937634
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I can't answer many of your questions but yes, it can do elevons.

I'm trying to figure out the OSD portion as well. I have an Eagle Tree setup as well and I don't want to duplicate a lot of sensors so I've been looking at their minimOSD but it's been out of stock for quite a while. JDrones is just coming to market with their version of OSD that uses the same board and from what I can tell the big plus for using the JDrones version is the ability to use different supplied power voltages and it's about $10 cheaper. http://store.jdrones.com/category_s/44.htm

The Mission Planner software appears to offer the ability of auto take-off and land but I haven't tried it yet.

What are you going to install it into?

No baro built in as far as I've seen.

The list of available sensors supplied by DIYDrones can be found here:
https://store.diydrones.com/category_s/12.htm

I'm a complete newbie at this so take everything I've stated with a grain of salt. I've played around with Mission Planner but I haven't put it into action in my plane yet. I'm just going through the configuration stages right now.

-Mike
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Old Mar 11, 2012, 04:18 AM
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Thanks for the info. That helped. I am planning on putting it in a X8 wing.
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Old Mar 11, 2012, 11:52 AM
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United States, CA, Santa Clara
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techspy View Post
Hey guys, I have experience with mikrokopter, quadrino, KK boards and ET (as well as some "others" in my work environment). I am considering going with a Mega2 for my next build. I have downloaded the mission planner to get a feel for it but have a couple questions.

I understand that this needs a different code than the ardupilot so will the mission planner be compatible as it is or will I need to upload the code separatly as opposed to doing it via the mission planner software? Or is it just the initial foirmware that is different?

I am planning on putting this into an X8 wing (it can do elevons correct?) and want to have retracts as well as fully autonomus takoff and landings. This is possible correct?

I want to make sure I understand the control aspect. You use a link for telemetry like XBee from the PC to the AP but you also use your normal RC radio (TSLRS in my case) for manual control correct? So what is the joystick option in the mission planner used for? Is it for something like a asissted manual mode when in range of the XBee for example? What is the viability of having the joystick control go to the TSLRS via a PPM output from the mission planner to the TSLRS? (I have a Hi Res PCTx to get the ppm out of the PC if the mission planner can connect to it). I guess as long as you have good XBee link it would be best to use the joystick mode with that and keep the TSLRS as a solid backup/failover. I have never hit the limit on my 900mhz Xbee setup on my mikrokopter but haven't done long range. What is a realistic los distance on a 900mhz Xbee Pro?

Also, what is the most compatible osd that will allow for an antenna tracker? I have and like the ET OSD on my other plane but don't want to duplicate a lot of sensors etc. Or does the mission planner have the option to output a signal for a tracker?

Finally, what are the recommended sensors for this? I understand it has GPS and a Mag built im not sure about a baro. Is it included? What is a compatible pitot speed sensor? What about an ultrasonic sensor for landing and takeoff use?

Thanks.
The mission planner loads the ardupilot or arducopter code depending on which icon you click during setup... See more here http://code.google.com/p/ardupilot-mega/wiki/APM2Code

Ardupilot supports elevon mixing for flying wings, thats also part of the setup done through the mission planner.

A standard RC control system is required, the telemetry modems (xbee) are optional but it is nice for tuning the autopilot and the moving map etc. When in one of the auto modes (fly by wire, waypoint, RTL) you can use a joystick connected through the ground station (uses mavlink through the xbee, not PPM) but I understand to get good performance you need to use 4 modems to keep latency down. Check out this post talking more about this http://www.diydrones.com/profiles/bl...ource=activity

The mission planner doesn't support the PCTx device. I think for best performance you would want to just use that device with its native software, I can't think of any advantage of it running through mission planner. I assume now you just connect the PCTx to the UHF system you have directly and fly like that? I wouldn't change that setup.

I also am pursuing joystick control but I'm building a joystick transmitter based on arduino instead of using a computer. Check out this thread if your interested http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1231017

diydrones/3drobitics has an OSD called minimosd This is designed to work with APM or any autopilot that speaks mavlink. The big thing here that is different from most FPV OSD's is that there are not direct inputs, if you want RSSI displayed you need to connect that to the ardupilots analog input for rssi. Same goes for current sensor, connects directly to APM then the OSD gets its info through mavlink.

I read on DIYDrones that antenna tracking via the mission planner will happen at some point (will need a usb servo driver). http://diydrones.com/forum/topics/tr...mment%3A793816

Its also possible to use Ardustation if you don't want to use a laptop @ the field. http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/...a-tracking-and

The APM2 has a Baro built in so thats one less thing to buy Compatible airspeed sensors and sonar can be purchased directly from DIYDrones. The ones they sell are directly supported, you just connect them and enable them during setup in the mission planner software.

Sorry for the bad typing, I was in a hurry
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Old Mar 11, 2012, 02:47 PM
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Thanks for all the info. I have a lot to consider now.
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Old Mar 11, 2012, 03:23 PM
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Ok, well, it seems the APM2 does have a barometer on it. I plan on test flying the wing today (Grim Reaper XL from Crash Test Hobby) today so once I get it dialed in without the APM I'll give it a shot with.

-Mike
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Old Mar 17, 2012, 10:42 AM
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Are the key differences between the APM1 and the APM2 just size and weight? I have a APM1 that I haven't soldered together. I have read some reviews where people indicated the APM1 was somewhat difficult to program and fine tune.
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Old Mar 17, 2012, 11:32 AM
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I never owned the APM1 but from what the DIYDrones site states, the APM2 has a faster processor.

-Mike
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Old Mar 17, 2012, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacecase View Post
Are the key differences between the APM1 and the APM2 just size and weight? I have a APM1 that I haven't soldered together. I have read some reviews where people indicated the APM1 was somewhat difficult to program and fine tune.
I have an APM 1.4 which I got right before the APM 2 was announced and I havent had any problems programming and tuning it. I havent used an APM 2.
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 09:35 AM
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Has anyone integrated an OSD with the Purple yet? I have one on order but haven't decided which OSD to go with. One that will be able to use the Megas GPS instead of another separate one would be great.
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 10:17 AM
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I just received the MinimOSD from DIYDrones:

https://store.diydrones.com/Ardupilo...-apmminosd.htm

I've got the EagleTree OSD but, like you, didn't want to duplicate a bunch of equipment on my plane.

I have only soldered on the pin connectors so far and haven't fired it up yet.

-Mike
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 10:40 AM
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Keep us posted on how it works out.
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 02:08 PM
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MinimOSD.
Was easy to set up.. Tiny board, less wires, uses APM GPS and sensor data.
I really like mine.
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 03:10 AM
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Ok, next question would be what antenna tracker is straight forward to setup using the gps data from the mission planner? In all my previous craft an antenna tracker was directly related to the OSD etc. I guess it doesn't matter now as long as you are within XBEE telemetry range. Still, a solution to stream the gps data via one audio channel or the video overscan would be good as well.
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 10:27 AM
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Hey Techspy, the way to do antenna tracking with the ardupilot is via the ardustation

http://store.diydrones.com/ArduStation_p/de-0001-01.htm

http://www.diydrones.com/profiles/bl...for-arducopter

I read on DIYDrones that they will add antenna tracking to the mission planner via a usb servo controller and I think HK's GCS already can do this but that requires a laptop at the field. I only plan to drag mine out while tuning the autopilot after that I will remove the xbee (or apc220 in my case) and just use the OSD as I don't plan on doing antenna tracking.
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