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Old Aug 29, 2012, 08:02 AM
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Australia, QLD, Brisbane
Joined Nov 2011
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Hi Oso M,

Yes, the solid green light means the radios are connected to each other.

Flashing red indicates data traffic. It is normal for the LED on the receiving end to be quite a bit dimmer than the transmitting end.

Next week there are a few new products coming into the store - RF extension cables to make airframe installs easier

Seppo

ps- Just noticed you're also building an X8! - I am in the early stages of building mine.
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Old Sep 01, 2012, 08:56 AM
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Australia, QLD, Brisbane
Joined Nov 2011
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We have just finished some testing of RFD900 radio links in the "Kingaroy triangle" - for the 2012 UAV outback challenge. We had one radio on a mast at the airport, with standard 3dBi dipole antennas and the other at 7km away, at waypoint SA5, also with a dipole. We were able to maintain link to ground level with around 10dB link margin on the ground, and ~20-25dB average link margin in the air. Both radios were set to +27dBm TX power, 64k air data rate and 3dBi dipoles for a +30dBm EIRP...
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Old Sep 01, 2012, 09:47 AM
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Does GSM phone transmission interfere with this units since its also running on 900MHz? Does it output any harmonics frequency or other interference in the 2.4GHz band?
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Old Sep 02, 2012, 11:56 AM
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United States, VA, Falls Church
Joined Jan 2012
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Sometimes, one step forward, two steps backward. I believe my issue is now with APM2... But posting here to check if someone has experienced.

The other day I was passing telemetry from APM2 via UART 0/2 through the RFD900s back to my computer.

I set it aside to work on the radio/receiver for manual control of the airplane.

Now I'm trying to connect APM to the RFDs and back to my computer and am getting no where. I have a solid green link light on both RFDs. But I am not getting any link activity (red LED) on the remote RFD and I'm unable to connect my laptop (mission planner) to the APM..

I made new cables (4) to connect the APM to the RFD, I've check each conductor they all conduct fine.

Do I need to jump some pins on the APM, could I have undone a jumper somewhere.

I can load the radio settings on both the local and remote RFD900 via Mission Planner
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Old Sep 03, 2012, 11:35 AM
Keep calm and carry on.
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United States, VA, Falls Church
Joined Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso M View Post
Sometimes, one step forward, two steps backward. I believe my issue is now with APM2... But posting here to check if someone has experienced.

The other day I was passing telemetry from APM2 via UART 0/2 through the RFD900s back to my computer.

I set it aside to work on the radio/receiver for manual control of the airplane.

Now I'm trying to connect APM to the RFDs and back to my computer and am getting no where. I have a solid green link light on both RFDs. But I am not getting any link activity (red LED) on the remote RFD and I'm unable to connect my laptop (mission planner) to the APM..

I made new cables (4) to connect the APM to the RFD, I've check each conductor they all conduct fine.

Do I need to jump some pins on the APM, could I have undone a jumper somewhere.

I can load the radio settings on both the local and remote RFD900 via Mission Planner
Ping... I'm still dead in the water here. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Sep 04, 2012, 11:56 AM
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CN I Dawg's Avatar
United States, CA, Los Angeles
Joined Nov 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso M View Post
Ping... I'm still dead in the water here. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
Please detail your config. You must be on battery for data stream. No connection between USB and APM. If you have green, the radios are working and it is most likely your set up. Both radios must be identical config too.
Hope that helps.
Steven
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Old Sep 04, 2012, 12:11 PM
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Hi Oso,
The only thing I can think is that the cable between the APM2 may be dodgy, or the telemetry config of the APM has changed? - If you have solid green, the radio link is connected. It maybe worth swapping radios from the USB side / APM side, just to make sure serial ports are working on both radios. I guess you have already tried to revert to a default config on the APM side already?
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Old Sep 04, 2012, 01:45 PM
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Oso M's Avatar
United States, VA, Falls Church
Joined Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seppos View Post
Hi Oso,
The only thing I can think is that the cable between the APM2 may be dodgy, or the telemetry config of the APM has changed? - If you have solid green, the radio link is connected. It maybe worth swapping radios from the USB side / APM side, just to make sure serial ports are working on both radios. I guess you have already tried to revert to a default config on the APM side already?
The cable is good, I've tested and retested. And used alternates.

I do think something has changed on the APM side, I'm confident the RFD900s are solid.

I do not not how to change the APM telemetry configs... But I believe there is something along that line that is different. Where should I start?
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Old Sep 04, 2012, 07:59 PM
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Joined Jan 2012
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So after hours of head banging and harassing the forum, I got it working. It turns out that the diagram here: http://code.google.com/p/ardupilot-m...ki/RFD900Radio is backwards for me.

I connected the UART 0/2 RX from APM to pin 9 and the TX to pin 7. It connected immediately.

I don't know if I have a freaky board or what... But if anybody else can confirm the actual pin out, the wiki should be updated.
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 10:36 AM
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Australia, QLD, Brisbane
Joined Nov 2011
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Hi OsoM,
Great that you worked it out ! - It is the forever re-occuring serial TX/RX switch
The pinout on the RFD900 connector is correct - the "SiRX" - refers to Silabs CPU RX Pin - which means it needs to be driven by a TX from something else. I need to update the install guides to make the setup clearer.
Let us know how they go in your plane!
Seppo
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 07:46 PM
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Yes... I finally got to that, it did not even occur to me...
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Old Sep 07, 2012, 11:51 AM
A man with too many toys
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Why?

What kind of range are you guys needing? I fly the standard 3DR radio and never get below 90% signal strength. Is it just a bling thing (my TM transmitter has more power than yours) or what?


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Old Sep 08, 2012, 07:09 AM
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United States, VA, Falls Church
Joined Jan 2012
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Of the stock antennas that are provided; what is the optimal usage? Should the small fixed go on the ground side, while the longer omnis go on the air side? Vice versa? Or one of each on each radio?
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Old Sep 09, 2012, 10:56 AM
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Joined Nov 2011
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What kind of range is needed ? -- good question! - these radios can be used for numerous applications, one of which being UAV telemetry

In our case, we're using them for the "uav outback challenge" - to give a reliable data link for our teams entry to the competition. One other team that I know of are also using RFD900's for telemetry data link in the comp. Having as much link budget as possible, within regulatory limits, is a good thing for this application.

Some industrial telemetry applications also need as much range as possible as well.

Some applications that don't need more than a few km range are served well with XBees and 3DR radios.

Antenna configs:
I generally run 2 dipoles on the ground station, one vertical, one horizontal.
Airside, I prefer 2 monopoles located on different parts of the airframe with a groundplane to allow the monopoles to work correctly. There are coaxial RF extension cables available in the store to make airframe installations easier
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Old Sep 09, 2012, 12:11 PM
Keep calm and carry on.
Oso M's Avatar
United States, VA, Falls Church
Joined Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seppos View Post
What kind of range is needed ? -- good question! - these radios can be used for numerous applications, one of which being UAV telemetry

In our case, we're using them for the "uav outback challenge" - to give a reliable data link for our teams entry to the competition. One other team that I know of are also using RFD900's for telemetry data link in the comp. Having as much link budget as possible, within regulatory limits, is a good thing for this application.

Some industrial telemetry applications also need as much range as possible as well.

Some applications that don't need more than a few km range are served well with XBees and 3DR radios.

Antenna configs:
I generally run 2 dipoles on the ground station, one vertical, one horizontal.
Airside, I prefer 2 monopoles located on different parts of the airframe with a groundplane to allow the monopoles to work correctly. There are coaxial RF extension cables available in the store to make airframe installations easier
This is for UAV telemetry as well. I'd like as much range as possible of course. I'm going to work with the antennas provided with the RFD bundle, to start out and move up from there,
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