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Old Apr 15, 2012, 06:53 PM
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United Kingdom, England, Hackney
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ardupilot mega 2 / 3dr telemetry / ezuhf question

i'm setting up my first fpv / uav system piece by piece

i'm ready to fly basic camera / goggles fpv set up now and planning my expansions.

i'm planning on putting minim osd, ardupilot mega 2 autopilot and 3dr telemetry in

i wonder where this leaves me with control range? I'm currently running a spektrum dx6i setup which i expect to outgrow with this system

should i be getting a 2nd hand futaba tx and ezuhf?

is there a way i can control the plane via the telemetry link when i put it in, meaning this is not necessary?

is there a different way to increase control range i should be planning?

sorry if these questions seem silly - I'm trying to find my way through this stuff and plan my path so it all works together in the end, and there seems to be a LOT to learn!
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Old Apr 15, 2012, 07:07 PM
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United States, FL, Panama City Beach
Joined Oct 2001
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Originally Posted by stallion explosi View Post
i'm setting up my first fpv / uav system piece by piece

i'm ready to fly basic camera / goggles fpv set up now and planning my expansions.

i'm planning on putting minim osd, ardupilot mega 2 autopilot and 3dr telemetry in

i wonder where this leaves me with control range? I'm currently running a spektrum dx6i setup which i expect to outgrow with this system

should i be getting a 2nd hand futaba tx and ezuhf?

is there a way i can control the plane via the telemetry link when i put it in, meaning this is not necessary?

is there a different way to increase control range i should be planning?

sorry if these questions seem silly - I'm trying to find my way through this stuff and plan my path so it all works together in the end, and there seems to be a LOT to learn!
Yes you can control the plane with your 3DR modem if you have the ArduPilot setup correctly and have a PC/laptop/notebook with a joystick or even a game controller. I use an earlier version of the ArduPilotMega and use the modem link as a fall back in case my UHF system fails.

For your own peace of mind I would use a traditional RC system for primary control and the modems as back-up. The APM is point and click and has a number of settings for control including RTH and is even capable of take-off, mission flight and landing without human intervention once dialed in.

I use a UHF system for primary control and the older xbee pro 900's for a modem link. The 3DR modems are set at 50Mw., (even less if they are destined for the UK) out of the box so you will not get nearly the range of a UHF system. There is a utility in the APM Planner v 1.1X and later for configuring the 3DR modems and you can crank them up to 100Mw. but I would do it with great care and in gradual steps as you will be stressing the modem radios at that point.

Also you will wind up with a problem of frequency bands. The UK does not allow 900MHz. if I am not mistaken and the 433MHz. versions will be right in the same band as a UHF system.

Best of luck!

Rob
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Last edited by camship; Apr 15, 2012 at 07:18 PM.
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Old Apr 16, 2012, 06:55 AM
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United Kingdom, England, Hackney
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thanks rob this is brilliant info

you can flash ezuhf to uk legal 459mhz but it also restricts power output to 100mw I believe but that is still good for 4-5 miles. does that sound right?

i found a thread on here showing a dx6i working with ezuhf so maybe i don't need to get an old futaba tx after all
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Old Apr 16, 2012, 08:10 AM
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United States, FL, Panama City Beach
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Originally Posted by stallion explosi View Post
thanks rob this is brilliant info

you can flash ezuhf to uk legal 459mhz but it also restricts power output to 100mw I believe but that is still good for 4-5 miles. does that sound right?

i found a thread on here showing a dx6i working with ezuhf so maybe i don't need to get an old futaba tx after all
4-5 miles sounds about right for 100Mw. at that frequency. The Modems are the snag. Is 900MHz. UK legal? If so grab the 3DR 900MHz. versions. If not you may have a dilemma since the other 3DR modems are 433-434MHz.

On the TX issue. You will be able to get the Dx6 to work with the EZUHF but you will find very quickly 6 channels just is not enough. The FlySky/Eurgle/Turnigy T9x with the smartieparts board and running ER9x firmware is the way to go if you want plenty of channels and maximum flexibility for a smaller investment than a "Brand name" TX.

FWIW I am unsure of the Hobbyking Turnigy T9X. I bought one and they apparently did some "in-house" changes to it that looked as if it had been done by a dyspeptic gorilla. There were broken screw bosses and bits of parts rattling around inside. Half of the internal connectors were only part-way plugged in. Even after I cleaned it up the LCD failed within 30 minutes. I use the Eurgle version. A few dollars more and worlds better than the other example. It also still retains the original 35/72MHz. antenna and with a Flytron adapter board will happily run Futaba modules all day long.

Best of luck to you!

Rob
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Last edited by camship; Apr 16, 2012 at 08:23 AM.
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Old Apr 16, 2012, 10:49 AM
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thanks! very kind!

900mhz is not legal over here i'm afraid so that's out A bit of looking around reveals that there's a hold on 433mhz 3dr shipping at the no as they're having problems with range, probably caused by noise from the USB port. Ouch.

I wonder if there is a gap in my plan taking shape here.
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Old Apr 16, 2012, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by stallion explosi View Post
thanks! very kind!

900mhz is not legal over here i'm afraid so that's out A bit of looking around reveals that there's a hold on 433mhz 3dr shipping at the no as they're having problems with range, probably caused by noise from the USB port. Ouch.

I wonder if there is a gap in my plan taking shape here.
Well an alternative would be to use VHF (35MHz. for you guys?) for RC and the xbee pro at 433MHz. The lower frequency modules (VHF) can be quite robust and some of the older Futaba modules kick out almost 1 watt at 12 volts. Good for 4-5 miles. I use the 3D Labs xbee pro adapter on my Ardu and a Sparkfun Xbee Explorer USB on the ground. @100Mw they are good for a few miles too. They are a bit more costly but a proven work horse in this application.

This is where a Flysky/Eurgle T9x with the Smartieparts board and ER9x firmware really shines. With the addition of the Flytron JR module adapter ($9US) is a big bonus. I can use any JR or Futaba RF module in VHF, 2.4GHz. modules from the current crop and have a plug and fly solution for my RMILEC UHF module.

Hope your system comes together without any pitfalls.

Rob

NOTE: The Hobbyking T9x does not have the VHF antenna and is not useable with the VHF modules.
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Old Apr 16, 2012, 01:28 PM
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You should look at OpenLRS UHF system. It has the capability for a transparent serial link along with the RC channels. It can be made to work with APM.

This way, you could just reflash it to the UK freqs and wouldn't need a separate telemetry frequency/modem setup.
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Old Apr 16, 2012, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by arashi View Post
You should look at OpenLRS UHF system. It has the capability for a transparent serial link along with the RC channels. It can be made to work with APM.

This way, you could just reflash it to the UK freqs and wouldn't need a separate telemetry frequency/modem setup.
Wow, that is interesting. Is this a half duplex bi directional link? The APM needs at 57.6K link to not drop too many packets and loose the MAVlink.

Just looked it up. Which edition are you referencing because the v2 would sort of be a duplication of systems?

Rob
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