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Aug 29, 2020, 08:06 PM
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SorePaws's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflap
Thanks, and your project looks interesting too, I'd suggest to make a dedicated thread for it.
Thanks but I want a quiet life I don't have the motivation to put in all the polish that is needed as well as all the support required. Look at the huge effort you have put in to the fantastic ULRS website and the years you have put in to help people. Your project inspired me to learn a bit more and I am very grateful for that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflap
I wasn't aware of that module, it looks very good with 1W and 1Mbps.
The module is excellent for the money, it's really close to 1W @ 5V. I have accidentally left them running overnight a few times and they are solid. When it comes to 1Mbps, I have tested that to a range of 2KM, not long range but great for regular models and fantastic for testing.

I also highly recommend the ESP32, the price to performance is amazing, the modules I use are just $1.85, dual core with 520KB of ram, 4MB of flash and run up to 240 MHz. The RF4463F30 module is around $9 add passives and boards from JLCPCB and the complete RX or TX is less than $15. You can easily make a RX/TX set for under $30 that does amazing long range or shorter range at a higher bandwidth than anything else out there.

There are loads of cheap and simple I2C displays that the ESP32 can drive that would fit on the back of a module case, like the crossfire TX has. Combine that with both Wifi and Bluetooth functionality of the ESP-32, easy to do a wireless Mavlink relay or have inbuilt web sever to setup the modules. The ESP32 has some nice modules with external flash also if you needed more space for the web gui, you can even do OTA firmware updates.

The other thing I had on my todo list and never got around to was using the SDCard interface of the ESP32 to log all Mavlink data and radio performance data, plus looking in to using Crossfire rather than PPM.
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Sep 01, 2020, 12:56 PM
Registered User

bjam03


FlipFlap wrote: My main concern with latency is that in the recent versions of arduplane the mavlink packets are sent in a non-uniform way.
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _


FlipFlap, frustrating that they are changing the way telemetry packets are sent in newer versions of ardupilot.

Fortunately the project I am working on focuses on the last versions of ardupilot which runs on the APM 2.6 , not
flying with the latest state of the art firmware.

The project is to build a ground station cockpit and drones based on the arduino platform, with goal of learning and sharing
coding, electronics, avionics, etc. I am giving credit to creators of Open Source projects I use so would like to mention you as
creator of ULRS Minis. If OK message me with the name I should use.

I think soon I will begin work on a IMU board about the size of my ULRS mini (30.5mm mounting holes) which will have MAVLink
capability so I can mount on any fixed wing and downlink attitude and location telemetry for real time(almost) display in my cockpit.
Initially it would have no auto pilot capabilities but I would like to add RTH capability.
My blog for this project just went up and I am still fine tuning it, located at www.fpvcockpit.com.
Sep 03, 2020, 03:21 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Very interesting and complete project, in that you create the hardware, ground control station and flight controller.

I've made a fork of Ardupilot for APM that provide 16 PWM/servo output channels in case you're interested in APM development.

Regarding the cockpit, I started an analog cockpit, maybe it can give some ideas : https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...-panel-for-FPV and you probably also know the virtual cockpit here : https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...ockpit-for-FPV
Sep 18, 2020, 12:44 PM
Registered User
appsmyth's Avatar
Hello to everyone,
Iím flying inav quite some time now but Iím missing long range telemetry. I thought I must give a try to ULRS.
Iíve installed ULRS CC v2.36 to win10 but when executed itís not finish starting (see the running doughnut photo 1). Then Iíve tried win7 with success (photo 2). Further more, Iíve noticed that there are more control tabs in win10 than in win7.
Since I havenít got my modules yet Iíve uploaded ULRS firmware to an arduino pro mini module successfully. Correct me if Iím wrong but I suspect same firmware is used and Tx or Rx mode is selected through parameters tab.
Iím planning to use HK OrangeRX module, a detailed usbasp bootloader or bootloader+firmware flashing procedure will be appreciated.
Finally let me pay my gratitude to everyone involved and especially to flipflap for his great contribution to our hobby.
Sep 19, 2020, 02:02 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Hi, welcome to ULRS !

What you see on the left screen is an incompatibility with some bluetooth modules : you can get rid of this issue by deactivating bluetooth. The additional tabs are only used for diagnostics and will disappear too.

It's good to see that you uploaded to Arduino, it's using the same bootloader so everything seems fine.

And you're right the same firmware is used for the TX and the RX.

When I started ULRS, I wanted to make it as simple as possible for the users. At the time, for example in openlrsng you had a different firmware for the TX, for the RX, you had to select exactly which module type was connected, and you had still a different version for the configuration tool. If you were using this version of the firmware you had to check which version of the configuration tool was compatible with it. In addition it was possible to stay on any old firmware version.

To make something simpler in ULRS, I made a single firmware for RX and TX, and the users can only install the latest version. Then the version of the configurator (ULRS Control Center) is always the same as the version of the firmware, they are attached to each other (ULRS CC contains in itself the firmware to upload).
The next improvement was to make the firmware able to detect automatically on which hardware it was running, and if it was a TX or RX. Then you had the maximum simplicity : just run ULRS CC, it will upload the firmware, the firmware will determine on which module it runs and that's it.

Unfortunately, three events happened that forced to add a few parameters :
1) one of the most used ULRS Mini modules, the spongeboard had a hardware mistake so that the PPM output was on a
different pin than on the reference schematic. But it was impossible to detect this automatically, so I had to add a parameter to say if it's a sponge board or not.

2)Then the detection of RX vs TX was done on the presence of a PPM signal coming from the transmitter. But some transmitters don't start sending the PPM signal immediately, but only after a long time (like 15 seconds) so it was unpractical to wait that time until deciding if the module had to behave as a TX or RX. In addition several users wanted to be able to use ULRS without any PPM signal (data only). So there's a second parameter to choose if it has to run as RX or TX.

3) A third event was that the Wolfbox modules had to be programmed at 115200 bauds rather than 57600. So this implies also to confirm if you're flashing a Wolfbox or another board.

So these 3 points are independent from my will, else I would have sticked to the maximum simplicity approach.

I'm however very happy with the overall simplicity of the system, you see it would have been easy to let the user decide on many parameters, RF speed, serial speed, bandwidth, power, telemetry or not etc. But after a long optimization process I think ULRS provides a very good compromize between simplicity, long range, RC speed and telemetry speed.

And most importantly it's completely reliable, no bugs, no complaints. And this is the first quality you're looking for in any LRS system, install and forget.
Sep 19, 2020, 02:18 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Also notice that ULRS is long range 1W 16 RC channels + full telemetry since 2013. It seems obvious today but at the time it was common to have a RC only 500 mW LRS system in parallel to a 3DR telemetry only, on a different frequency.

From the beginning I was convinced that telemetry and mavlink would become one of the most wanted features, so ULRS was oriented on telemetry since day one.

And the price is important too : most users do prefer to install a $100 radio system in a $400 plane rather than a $400 radio in a $100 plane. Mmm - Good one liner
Sep 19, 2020, 04:30 AM
Registered User
Thread OP

Worlds smallest 1W radio ?


You remember maybe that several years ago, after ULRS introduced a 1W RC + telemetry system, Dragon Link tried to follow by introducing a 1W transmitter, and a telemetry receiver.

In the beginning it was only 25 mW telemetry, and later on they made a large telemetry receiver that was also 1W.

More recently they introduced a smaller telemetry receiver that's 1W.

It's not cheap at $148, but they claim it's the "worlds smallest 1000 mW radio modem receiver" (post).

I was impressed by that claim, but after verification it seems that their micro receiver is still much larger and heavier than the OrangeRX 1W receiver that comes with the Bluetooth bundle, even if we leave the case. (It seems also larger than the ULRS Mini bee board.)

Just to clarify this point I made a size and weight comparison that you can find in attachment.
Last edited by flipflap; Sep 19, 2020 at 04:37 AM.
Sep 19, 2020, 10:42 AM
Registered User
appsmyth's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflap
Hi, welcome to ULRS !

What you see on the left screen is an incompatibility with some bluetooth modules : you can get rid of this issue by deactivating bluetooth. The additional tabs are only used for diagnostics and will disappear too.

It's good to see that you uploaded to Arduino, it's using the same bootloader so everything seems fine.

And you're right the same firmware is used for the TX and the RX.

When I started ULRS, I wanted to make it as simple as possible for the users. At the time, for example in openlrsng you had a different firmware for the TX, for the RX, you had to select exactly which module type was connected, and you had still a different version for the configuration tool. If you were using this version of the firmware you had to check which version of the configuration tool was compatible with it. In addition it was possible to stay on any old firmware version.

To make something simpler in ULRS, I made a single firmware for RX and TX, and the users can only install the latest version. Then the version of the configurator (ULRS Control Center) is always the same as the version of the firmware, they are attached to each other (ULRS CC contains in itself the firmware to upload).
The next improvement was to make the firmware able to detect automatically on which hardware it was running, and if it was a TX or RX. Then you had the maximum simplicity : just run ULRS CC, it will upload the firmware, the firmware will determine on which module it runs and that's it.

Unfortunately, three events happened that forced to add a few parameters :
1) one of the most used ULRS Mini modules, the spongeboard had a hardware mistake so that the PPM output was on a
different pin than on the reference schematic. But it was impossible to detect this automatically, so I had to add a parameter to say if it's a sponge board or not.

2)Then the detection of RX vs TX was done on the presence of a PPM signal coming from the transmitter. But some transmitters don't start sending the PPM signal immediately, but only after a long time (like 15 seconds) so it was unpractical to wait that time until deciding if the module had to behave as a TX or RX. In addition several users wanted to be able to use ULRS without any PPM signal (data only). So there's a second parameter to choose if it has to run as RX or TX.

3) A third event was that the Wolfbox modules had to be programmed at 115200 bauds rather than 57600. So this implies also to confirm if you're flashing a Wolfbox or another board.

So these 3 points are independent from my will, else I would have sticked to the maximum simplicity approach.

I'm however very happy with the overall simplicity of the system, you see it would have been easy to let the user decide on many parameters, RF speed, serial speed, bandwidth, power, telemetry or not etc. But after a long optimization process I think ULRS provides a very good compromize between simplicity, long range, RC speed and telemetry speed.

And most importantly it's completely reliable, no bugs, no complaints. And this is the first quality you're looking for in any LRS system, install and forget.
Thank you for welcoming me to ULRS!

Simplicity of expression, depth of thought.

Indeed, win10 problem solved by deactivating bluetooth. This might be a nuisance if a wireless connection needed between Tx and a computer running w10. But letís not be greedy.

Let me ask again, if available, a detailed usbasp procedure concerning HK Orange RX ( bootloader or bootloader+firmware upload).

I understand reading in the site / thread that ULRS Telemetry is a passthrough serial data protocol. If this is true, then it might be possible to use it as a wireless UART connection between an FC (system irrelevant) and a computer or smartphone.

I canít wait to have the modules in hand. October is good period for LR fpv flying over here and an excellent opportunity to experience ULRS capabilities.
Sep 19, 2020, 11:22 AM
Registered User
appsmyth's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflap
You remember maybe that several years ago, after ULRS introduced a 1W RC + telemetry system, Dragon Link tried to follow by introducing a 1W transmitter, and a telemetry receiver.

In the beginning it was only 25 mW telemetry, and later on they made a large telemetry receiver that was also 1W.

More recently they introduced a smaller telemetry receiver that's 1W.

It's not cheap at $148, but they claim it's the "worlds smallest 1000 mW radio modem receiver" (post).

I was impressed by that claim, but after verification it seems that their micro receiver is still much larger and heavier than the OrangeRX 1W receiver that comes with the Bluetooth bundle, even if we leave the case. (It seems also larger than the ULRS Mini bee board.)

Just to clarify this point I made a size and weight comparison that you can find in attachment.
In my application weight and size DOES matter a lot. My 900mm span little fellow in the picture below weighs 423 gr (batteries excluding). Weight cost for rc RX and antenna is 5 gr.

Up today her tested capabilities are 68km range and 25km distance.

As power required (thus LR capability) is essentially related to weight, Iím sensitive enough to weight costs.

Not to mention itís unspeakable to load her with 148$ Rx equipment (Rx cost today is about 30$).
Sep 19, 2020, 11:23 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
OrangeRX comes up with a compatible bootloader flashed, so you don't need USBASP at all.

But, if you got an USBASP I recommend that you program the fuses as described here : http://www.itluxembourg.lu/site/hobb...fuse-settings/

I imagine that you've already read some parts of http://www.itluxembourg.lu/site/ultimate-lrs/ but maybe the FAQ can be interesting too : http://www.itluxembourg.lu/site/hobb...z-modules-faq/ especially I recommend to replace the UFL cable because it's the only weak point of the OrangeRX modules. Everything else is excellent and for example the switching regulator can take up to 36V input, accepts reverse voltage, is overcurrent, shortcircuit and temperature protected. In addition it's sealed and doesn't radiate RF.

It's recommended not to use the default antennas which aren't very good, and prefer at least dipole antennas, some ideas here : http://www.itluxembourg.lu/site/yagi-antennas/

Yes it's a transparent serial link, you can even just connect two computers running "putty" and discuss with some friend. This is good, as the protocols always evolve, for example no change was required on ULRS when Mavlink 2 was introduced.
Sep 19, 2020, 11:28 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by appsmyth
In my application weight and size DOES matter a lot. My 900mm span little fellow in the picture below weighs 423 gr (batteries excluding). Weight cost for rc RX and antenna is 5 gr.

Up today her tested capabilities are 68km range and 25km distance.

As power required (thus LR capability) is essentially related to weight, Iím sensitive enough to weight costs.

Not to mention itís unspeakable to load her with 148$ Rx equipment (Rx cost today is about 30$).
68 km that's impressive, and you're at the right place, a DIY ULRS mini module costs something like $17. We did the exact calculation somewhere in the thread.
Sep 19, 2020, 02:45 PM
Registered User
appsmyth's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflap
OrangeRX comes up with a compatible bootloader flashed, so you don't need USBASP at all.

But, if you got an USBASP I recommend that you program the fuses as described here : http://www.itluxembourg.lu/site/hobb...fuse-settings/

I imagine that you've already read some parts of http://www.itluxembourg.lu/site/ultimate-lrs/ but maybe the FAQ can be interesting too : http://www.itluxembourg.lu/site/hobb...z-modules-faq/ especially I recommend to replace the UFL cable because it's the only weak point of the OrangeRX modules. Everything else is excellent and for example the switching regulator can take up to 36V input, accepts reverse voltage, is overcurrent, shortcircuit and temperature protected. In addition it's sealed and doesn't radiate RF.

It's recommended not to use the default antennas which aren't very good, and prefer at least dipole antennas, some ideas here : http://www.itluxembourg.lu/site/yagi-antennas/

Yes it's a transparent serial link, you can even just connect two computers running "putty" and discuss with some friend. This is good, as the protocols always evolve, for example no change was required on ULRS when Mavlink 2 was introduced.
Yes, Iíve studied and learn a lot thanks to ULRS site and this thread.

For confirmation thatís the Orange Rx Iím mentioning (Features:
ē 16Mhz Atmega328 processor with Arduino Pro Mini compatible bootloader.)

https://hobbyking.com/en_us/orangerx...en_us_products

Activation of brown out detector is one of the DOs in my list.

Speaking of antennas Iím fortunate to be able to make and tune my stuff

Plus most of the time Iím flying 433/1.3 remote 2.4/5.8
Sep 19, 2020, 03:43 PM
Registered User
appsmyth's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflap
68 km that's impressive.
Thank you.
Although I must admit thatís average performance in general, itís close to aircraftĎs limit.
Sep 19, 2020, 04:07 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
OK I see you're well equipped. But regarding the specific module you ordered you're right there's no bootloader on it, you'll need USBASP and a special adapter. Maybe it would be good to order a "normal" orangeRX in parallel where you won't have to flash a bootloader, just to get used to it.
Sep 20, 2020, 01:39 AM
Registered User
appsmyth's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflap
OK I see you're well equipped. But regarding the specific module you ordered you're right there's no bootloader on it, you'll need USBASP and a special adapter. Maybe it would be good to order a "normal" orangeRX in parallel where you won't have to flash a bootloader, just to get used to it.
I will give a try with Orange Rx. Anyoneís help will be appreciated.

As plan B I have on the way parts for the Bee board. I will use it as Rx and pair it with Orange TX.
There are 20 PCBs in my order. When received, half of them will be available for free to anyone interested.

Or... Plan C
Swap Orange Rx processor with one from an andino pro module.


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