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Old Feb 07, 2013, 12:32 PM
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Lazer-Radio/Lazer-Receiver...a new DIY Radio/Receiver Project

Last year I designed a new foamy airplane I call the Lazer Rail. And since I like to fool around with microcontrollers, I decided to design a DIY Radio and Receiver to go along with it. This new radio will be built from scratch and housed in a top half of a project box.

Here is a short Mission Statement:
The purpose of this project is to design a new ground radio/air receiver system that communicates seamlessly in both directions. It's called the Lazer-Radio/Receiver. The system will be fully autopilot and telemetry capable. Any advancements in today's RF and MCU chips will be fully implemented. Backward compatibility with today's legacy equipment or software is not a requirement. In fact, any legacy methods or designs that are slow, inflexible, or tend to inhibit progress towards achieving the full autopilot and telemetry goals, will be dropped.

The design is all very preliminary and I'm progressing very slowly. I've got about a 5 page doc, detailing of the above mission statement, but I hate to bore you with that right off the bat.

So I'll attach a JPG export of the radio layout I created in Open Office Draw, as well as some pictures of the loose components laid out in their approximate positions on the prototype board.

If there is any interest, then I can go into greater detail.
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Old Feb 07, 2013, 01:20 PM
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Old Feb 09, 2013, 12:27 AM
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Check this link I did use the Nordic Nrf204l01 to make a RC radio.
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Old Feb 09, 2013, 01:25 AM
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very good

you can share more much ?
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Old Feb 09, 2013, 09:43 AM
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Ah...I see I have some comments and questions....

WOW Tito...
I just did a cursory view of your thread...
I see I'm going to have to put on a pot of coffee and sit down and do an exhaustive reading of it.

My RF board will be mounted at the top of the radio's main board. In the pictures there are three RF Boards to choose from. The two outside ones use the same Nordic Chip that you used in your project. The only difference is the antenna is imbedded in the board itself. They are just different layouts of same schematic design(I think). Both boards are available on Ebay for about $2.00 apiece.

The RF board in the middle is a Hope 433MHz RF Module with Silicon Labs Chip.

The idea is to be able to run the radio with any one of the 3 boards. I have a header for each RF Board. Other boards could be adapted too.

I'm still waiting on some parts. Also I have to plan my wiring in a little greater detail as much of the wires have been left off the Layout Diagram.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fantasy1988 View Post
very good

you can share more much ?
It's hard to know where to start as far as an information dump. Feel free to fire away with specific questions. I'd recommend anyone intrested in doing this kind of thing read through Tito's thread for info on how he designed things. As I progress on this project I hope to make this thread as comprehensive as his.
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Old Feb 09, 2013, 01:57 PM
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Interesting project!
Looks like you're using some sort of Arduino for the main processor?
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Old Feb 09, 2013, 04:53 PM
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Check this application note with the Silabs Si4022, Si4322, Si1000 RF microcontroller.

Application Note R/C_Group_Tx_Rx_900MHz

before the last page I do have a video using silicon labs Si1000 development kit

For the Nordic chip I had included the source files for the TX and RX in the zip file named TX_RX_Files.zip if not there let me know to post them.
Best Regards Tito
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Old Feb 09, 2013, 07:57 PM
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Hey Tito,

I read through the threads of your two Transmitter/Receiver projects.

Project #1 - Application Note R/C_Group_Tx_Rx_0001
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=876767
Project # 2 - Application Note R/C_Group_Tx_Rx_900MHz_ now the "Necklace" Protocol
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1052295

Lot's of good work in both!!!
Yes I have your tx and rx code downloaded.

The thing that jumps out at me is how far things have advanced since the 2009-2010 timeframe when you did those projects. The prices of development boards have fallen dramatically. You can find just about anything on EBay. Also, the software tools have advanced remarkably, like the Arduino Development Environment. And even better than Arduino is the Atmel Studio 6 Development System. That's the software I use...and it's ABSOLUTELY FREE.

In addition, programming the Teensy 2.0++ board can't be any easier. Connect it up to a USB cable, code and compile your program under Studio 6, then flash the program (.HEX File) over the USB cable using a Simple Free Loader Program that you can download from the Teensy Website.

Other than the proper USB cable with a miniature B-connector, there's no need to buy any extras. There are no little accessory ISP devices needed or obsure device drivers to install. The Teensy 2.0++ Development Board uses the Generic USB HID Drivers that are part of the OS install package in all versions of Windows. It's proven technology that couldn't be easier to use .

Another difference in my project is that I'm not going to try and retain any backward compatibility with existing hardware. There are no "protocols" to reverse engineer...there is no PPM. In both the ground radio and air receiver there will be a main Atmel 8-bit AVR MCU chip which talks directly to a RF Transceiver Chip over a 4-Wire SPI bus operating at 4Mbps.

This isn't a Silicon Labs Si1000 MCU/RF combo solution. In my mind the Si1000 adds an unnecessary level of complexity. If I use an Si1000, I have not only an Atmel MCU Chip to program, but I also have an 8051 MCU. I'd rather deal directly with a single MCU communicating with a single RF Chip at a speedy 4Mbps. I'm primarily shooting for a Hope 433Mh RF Module that is based upon the Silicon Labs Si4432 Chip. The Nordic Chips will be my Plan B alternative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jakestew View Post
Interesting project!
Looks like you're using some sort of Arduino for the main processor?
Hi Jake,
Yes the board (Teensy 2.0++) is similar to the official Arduino boards. You can certainly use the Arduino tools to program it. This particular board has an Atmel AT90USB1286 processor. Just think AtMega1280 processor and take away one pair of UART TX RX pins, plus a few more pins, and use them instead to give the chip native USB HID Device capability. That in essence is what the AT90USB1286 is.
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Old Feb 09, 2013, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
This isn't a Silicon Labs Si1000 MCU/RF combo solution. In my mind the Si1000 adds a level of complexity. If I use an Si1000, I have not only an Atmel MCU Chip to program, but I also have an 8051 MCU. I'd rather deal directly with a single MCU communicating with a single RF Chip at a speedy 4Mbps. I'm primarily shooting for a Hope 433Mh RF Module that is based upon the Silicon Labs Si4432 Chip. The Nordic Chips will be my Plan B alternative.
You can download the Silabs development software and use free 8051 software to program the device, most of the examples from Silabs are for the 8051. some examples are very complicated however no impossible to translate to the AVR software. the only problem I see with two different chip(mcu &rf ic) is that u code can be decoded very easy if not an open sources project. Also the Si4432 will be obsolete soon, the new Si4464 provides better bandwidth up to 1MHz. Good Luck with u project have fuuuuuun.
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Old Feb 09, 2013, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tune by tito View Post
The only problem I see with two different chip(mcu &rf ic) is that u code can be decoded very easy if not an open sources project. Also the Si4432 will be obsolete soon, the new Si4464 provides better bandwidth up to 1MHz. Good Luck with u project have fuuuuuun.
I really don't care if my code can be decoded easily, as I plan to open source it anyway. The more understandable it is, the better. There is no protocol to decode. I will fully document the record layouts that will be streamed over the SPI bus and through the air in each direction. So no, you don't have to sit and snoop the SPI bus, or snoop a PPM TX data stream of bits and try to "reverse engineer" anything. All the inner workings, from algorithms, to record layouts, and source code...etc. will be released to the general public.

Now, I may not go to the trouble of putting it up on the Google Code Repository. Instead, I'll probably package all the source and documentation in a zip file attached to a post in this thread.

Yes the Si4432 is now obsolete and superseded by the Si4464. In fact when you pull up the old documentation it states that this old part is not recommend for new designs...and points you to the new part number.

The older Si4432 is capable of SPI communication at a clock rate of 10 MHz. The max SPI bus rate of the AT90USB1286 is only 4 MHz., so this old chip is more than fast enough.

Now, the data transmission rate through the air is a completely different story. The old chip can transmit at 256kbps, the new chip at 1Mbps. However, a faster air data rate reduces the effective range. Since I was planning on an air data rate of only 64kbps, either chip should work.

When the Hope Modules start using the newer chip, then I will use the newer chip.
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Old Feb 09, 2013, 10:35 PM
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For those who wish more detail, here's a 3-page Word Document giving an overview of the project.
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Old Feb 09, 2013, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJKIRK View Post
This isn't a Silicon Labs Si1000 MCU/RF combo solution. In my mind the Si1000 adds an unnecessary level of complexity. If I use an Si1000, I have not only an Atmel MCU Chip to program, but I also have an 8051 MCU. I'd rather deal directly with a single MCU communicating with a single RF Chip at a speedy 4Mbps.
Atmel has better tools and is more popular for sure. I want to keep things cheap, small, and light in my project ideas though. Going with the Si1000 is more compact.

Not much point to use it though unless you can eliminate the other processor. OTOH, you might want to have another processor to handle the RF link if you want to do fancy things with it, or some sort of encryption.

If you want to do anything with drones or even fpv, it would probably be a good idea to add AES-128 to it. Any time you start playing with longer ranges your chance of getting hijacked goes up.
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Old Feb 09, 2013, 10:44 PM
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RJKIRK

I want show video test circuit work
you can ?
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Old Feb 09, 2013, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fantasy1988 View Post
RJKIRK

I want show video test circuit work
you can ?
If you want me to create a video of the working radio...I'm not nearly there yet...lol. I'm still waiting on some parts. And I have not yet soldered a single wire.

I'm taking my time. I'd rather get this layout sorted out right the first time rather than have a bunch of restarts. Since this is all point to point wires, I want to keep the clutter to a minimum.

But as things progress I can certainly post more pictures if they will add to the conversation. And when I think it's time for a video, I'll make one.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 12:42 AM
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Ok, I wait
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