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Feb 24, 2015, 04:17 PM
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Pixhawk or Eagle Tree Vector


Working on a new Y6 frame and am undecided between the Pixhawk FC or the Eagle Tree Vector. Anybody have any feedback?
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Feb 24, 2015, 09:23 PM
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Av8Chuck's Avatar
I have been flying the SuperX on Quads, Y6 and Hex's, it is a very stable and solid controller but nowhere near the functionality of the Pixhawk. I recently switched my smallest quad to Pixhawk and so far I'm really impressed.

I have not used the Vector but the Pixhawk is a very nice controller with a ton of functionality. I've only been flying in different flight modes and have not tried any of the autonomous waypoint navigation.

Once concern I have is that the quad is the only 4S, all others are 6S and it doesn't appear that the Pixhawk has a 6S power module. I know people are using Pixhawk's with 6S but I'm not sure how they're doing it.

I know this doesn't address the comparison you were looking for, but although the Pixhawk is more complicated to setup you get beyond the setup issues pretty quickly and then it becomes all about functionality and stability and the Pixhawk (and variants - APM etc) is a very capable controller.
Feb 24, 2015, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Av8Chuck
I have been flying the SuperX on Quads, Y6 and Hex's, it is a very stable and solid controller but nowhere near the functionality of the Pixhawk. I recently switched my smallest quad to Pixhawk and so far I'm really impressed.

I have not used the Vector but the Pixhawk is a very nice controller with a ton of functionality. I've only been flying in different flight modes and have not tried any of the autonomous waypoint navigation.

Once concern I have is that the quad is the only 4S, all others are 6S and it doesn't appear that the Pixhawk has a 6S power module. I know people are using Pixhawk's with 6S but I'm not sure how they're doing it.

I know this doesn't address the comparison you were looking for, but although the Pixhawk is more complicated to setup you get beyond the setup issues pretty quickly and then it becomes all about functionality and stability and the Pixhawk (and variants - APM etc) is a very capable controller.
Thanks for the feedback. Was it difficult to setup the Pixhawk?
Feb 25, 2015, 02:10 AM
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Av8Chuck's Avatar
That's all relative.

Its certainly more complicated by the fact that there are so many options, just figuring out how to setup six different flight modes on two switches on my Futaba Tx took a bit of time. However, although its more complicated its also very well thought out and explained on their Wiki.

The SuperX is one of the easiest controllers to setup but I found it was also one of the most frustrating, not because of the variables but because the documentation was confusing and there is so much omitted that I wasn't sure if I was setting it up correctly. Once I'd set the SuperX up a couple of times, sure then it was obvious how easy it is to setup...

If you need the kind of functionality that the Pixhawk provides and you've setup other controllers, even if it was a NAZA, any additional time and thought it takes to setup will be worth it.

Probably the best way that I can say it is that the Pixhawk's functionality is all that its advertised to be. That's not to sat that the Vector isn't, just depends on what your trying to do.
Feb 25, 2015, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Av8Chuck
That's all relative.

Its certainly more complicated by the fact that there are so many options, just figuring out how to setup six different flight modes on two switches on my Futaba Tx took a bit of time. However, although its more complicated its also very well thought out and explained on their Wiki.

The SuperX is one of the easiest controllers to setup but I found it was also one of the most frustrating, not because of the variables but because the documentation was confusing and there is so much omitted that I wasn't sure if I was setting it up correctly. Once I'd set the SuperX up a couple of times, sure then it was obvious how easy it is to setup...

If you need the kind of functionality that the Pixhawk provides and you've setup other controllers, even if it was a NAZA, any additional time and thought it takes to setup will be worth it.

Probably the best way that I can say it is that the Pixhawk's functionality is all that its advertised to be. That's not to sat that the Vector isn't, just depends on what your trying to do.
So based on what you know now about the SuperX and the Pixhawk if you had to choose again which one would you go with?
Feb 25, 2015, 04:02 PM
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Av8Chuck's Avatar
I'd go with the Pixhawk.

The SuperX is an honest controller but it lacks functionality compared to Pixhawk or even DJI. I don't trust any DJI controller so they are a none starter for me but I don't think XAircraft, the developers of the SuperX are continuing development.

Two or three years ago when the focus of developers was on primary flight control then the SuperX was a winner but now that commercial usage of drones in the U.S is fast approaching then the focus needs to shift from primary flight control to application and deployment of the drone. What kind of tools can be added to the controller to lighten the load of the pilot, improve safety, make it easier to input a mission for safe, efficient deployment and retrieval.

If the SuperX could do all that the Pixhawk could do I'd buy a hundred of them. If I even thought they were working towards that kind of functionality I might even hold off making the switch to another controller but I don't believe they will.

It all depends on what your hoping to accomplish with a multirotor but its certainly difficult for me to recommend the SuperX over any variant of Pixhawk.
Feb 25, 2015, 07:37 PM
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Thanks Chuck. I plan on going with the Pixhawk as soon as I can sell my Little Spyder. Scott




Quote:
Originally Posted by Av8Chuck
I'd go with the Pixhawk.

The SuperX is an honest controller but it lacks functionality compared to Pixhawk or even DJI. I don't trust any DJI controller so they are a none starter for me but I don't think XAircraft, the developers of the SuperX are continuing development.

Two or three years ago when the focus of developers was on primary flight control then the SuperX was a winner but now that commercial usage of drones in the U.S is fast approaching then the focus needs to shift from primary flight control to application and deployment of the drone. What kind of tools can be added to the controller to lighten the load of the pilot, improve safety, make it easier to input a mission for safe, efficient deployment and retrieval.

If the SuperX could do all that the Pixhawk could do I'd buy a hundred of them. If I even thought they were working towards that kind of functionality I might even hold off making the switch to another controller but I don't believe they will.

It all depends on what your hoping to accomplish with a multirotor but its certainly difficult for me to recommend the SuperX over any variant of Pixhawk.
Feb 27, 2015, 08:54 PM
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I have pixhawks, an APM, and Vectors and none are perfect, so, it depends on which annoyance is worse for you. Let me start with my frustrations and then I'll go to the benefits of each.

Frustrations:

Vector
- I have yet to get a multi-rotor to fly smoothly and behave predictably. I haven't spent an exhaustive amount of time with them, so I'm willing to take the partial blame here. But, when a Naza setup takes 20 minutes, flies smoothly, and behaves like it should (except the occasional fly away which I have experienced), it's hard to want to spend time tuning PIDs on an advanced controller like the Vector.

Pixhawk/APM
- My main beef with these is the RTL is so hard to set up. I have a Futaba and Taranis, and setting the throttle correctly for RTL has always been a problem for me.
- Pixhawk is open source and has a steep learning curve like anything open source. If you are an expert, it's the best ever. If not, frustration city until you are.
- No dedicated OSD. Most use the Minimosd which is also hard to configure (especially for a Mac user like me)

Pros/Benefits

Vector
- On-screen menu for setup is great. Allows easy config changes on the fly/at the field
- Relatively easy to setup, especially with SBus or PPM.
- OSD is the best on the market IMO. Color and highly configurable
- Works on multi-rotor or fixed wing
- Has great flight features (3D, 2D, manual, basic stabilization)

Pixhawk

- The most/best flight modes on the market, and gets more/better with each software release
- Open source = constant community development and support (Open source is both the best and worst feature of the Pixhawk)

If I were trying to choose between the two today, I'd probably go with Vector, simply because it is easier to configure and maintain, and I think I could get the stability issues figured out if I spent the time. The OSD on it is so superior to the minimosd, and for me, that's half of the decision.

However, if you are someone who is willing to put in the time with Wikis, watch expert videos and spend hours configuring and fine tuning, and you want the most flexible controller, the Pixhawk is your choice.
Mar 05, 2015, 02:30 AM
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foobly's Avatar
Good question! I have a box now full of flight controllers (have never had any DJI products though) and I was planning to get a Pixhawk but the Vector got in the way, so to speak... I have an APM 2.6 and it flies my 450 sized quad smoother than any FC board I've used. Loiter also works exceptional as does RTH, autoland gets is right about half of the time. I finally got the minimosd to work but one of the main reasons I got this board was for the autonomous flight capability, to fly a programmed mission around the field, but sadly I've never been able to get that to work. I've recently acquired the Vector and am flying it in an FX61 flying wing and I've been nothing short of impressed. When you have soldered as many wiring harnesses for multiwii quads as I have the mostly ready to use cabling of the Vector is a welcome change. As previously mentioned, the OSD is awesome as well. I don't have any experience with the Vector in a quad yet however, that will be later this spring, but I don't think it would take a tenth of the time to get going as I've spent on the APM... (that said, I will still probably get a Pixhawk one day when I get some time, I'm sure I could get it to work... )
Mar 06, 2015, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Av8Chuck
Once concern I have is that the quad is the only 4S, all others are 6S and it doesn't appear that the Pixhawk has a 6S power module. I know people are using Pixhawk's with 6S but I'm not sure how they're doing it.
I fly my Vulcan UAV Y6 on 6s and there are a few option on doing it.

1. Do not use the Pixhawk Power Module. Just use a bec. I use a castle creations one. Straight from my power distribution board to the Pixhawk. Set to 5.3V. The only downside is, you will not be able to see your voltage or amp draw in the Pixhawk's logs or in mission planner. However, if you use Taranis like me, you get it through there.

2. Use a power module like this one. Up tp 7s and 90A.

3. Make your own using an AttoPilot sensor.

G
Mar 06, 2015, 01:03 AM
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Back to the original question:

I would not get a SuperX. I had one and it flew like crap. I am not saying it is a bad Flight Controller. All I am saying is, that It simply did not like my setup. Others have great success with their setup. It did not like my setup. So, it all depends on what size frame, with what size props you are going to use. I would also not get a SuperX, because I do not like how the company does business. I am picky that way. Last but not least. If you get a SuperX, you "have" to deal with one of the most arrogant, simply minded, morons on the planet...

That said, I have a Pixhawk and I never looked back.

After I decided to go with another FC, I got a Fixhawk, which is a "clone" of the Pixhawk. I slapped that into the same Multicopter that would not fly good at all [with the SuperX] and it flew great with the Fixhawk. However, I did not like the "tone" in the Fixhawk thread, so I sold that and got the real deal... a Pixhawk.

Now, what you need to realize is, that the Pixhawk comes with great customer support and the thread are nice too. You can decide if you want to ask someone in the PH thread, or if you like to make a phone call. I called them a million times and they are as helpful as they were on day one!

Another thing that is very important to understand, is that the Pixhawk kinda works like your bank account. Just because you have all the money in the world, does not mean you have to carry it around with you, right?! It is not going to bother you when you go for a run, right. It is not going to be in the way when you are going to watch a movie, right. But when you need it, its there.

Same with the PH. It comes with a ton of features, but you do not need to worry about them. You can use them if you need them, but you do not need to worry about them in the beginning!

Having said that, the Pixhawk is not complicated at all to setup. Zero! Don't let people tell you other wise! I am going to setup another one this weekend and I can make a little video for you, so you can see that there is nothing to it, but to do it!

Seriously, I was in the same boat as you. Not sure what Flight COntroller to get. One reason not to get the PH was that I was being told that there is a steep learning curve. So I got the SuperX. Once I sold the SuperX and got the PH, I was amazed at how simple it is to setup!

You get the PH. You connect it to a PC. Once your PC recognizes the PH, start Mission Planner. Mission Planner is the software you use to setup your Pixhawk. Go to "INITIAL SETUP" and click "Install Firmware". Follow on-screen instructions. Once you did that, you can start setting up you Hawk!

As you can see on the attached picture, there are a not that many tabs that you need to go through before you can go fly.

FRAME TYPE: Just pick your frame

Compass: This is where you calibrate your compass. Just pick Pixhawk and live calibration. Done.

Accel Calibration: This is where you calibrate your Accelerometers. Follow on-screen instructions. Done.

Radio Calibration: Like the word says, this is where you calibrate your Radio. Really simple. Once again, just follow on-screen instructions.

Flight modes: You need to setup your radio first, in order to get the most out of this e.g. I have a total of 7 modes. If you do not need that many and are happy with 3 to begin with, you don't really need to setup your radio. Just use a 3-position switch. What radio do you have?!

FailSafe: Here you set up you FailSafe. Not complicated at all. I can talk you through it really fast.

Like I said, I can make a little video of how I do this and you will see that there is nothing magic or complicated about it. Besides, their Wiki is really really good. There are also tons of videos out there and they will tell you how to do everything!!! One of my favorite ones is from a guy called "painless360" on YouTube. Look at one of his videos and see for yourself!!!

Thanks,

G

p.s. here is the first video from a series of eight. He drags it on a bit too much, but you will get the point. PM me if you like me to make a video for you on how I do it...

p.p.s. I forgot to attach the picture, ha ha. I will do that tomorrow.
Last edited by neavissa; Mar 06, 2015 at 01:29 AM.
Mar 17, 2015, 12:50 AM
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... that's why I normally never write long posts... no one cares, ha ha.
Mar 19, 2015, 11:49 AM
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Corie's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by neavissa
... that's why I normally never write long posts... no one cares, ha ha.
Oh i'm sure your post will be appreciated lol. I admit I scrolled down to find the TLDR / conclusion 1 liner. I love APM/Pixhawk but until they develop a proper OSD, I use the vector for now.
Sep 11, 2015, 03:48 PM
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parajared's Avatar
They have a direct plug in OSD for APM called the micro OSD. I fiddled around with my micro OSD for about an hour and gave up. It's really easy wiring with just a video in, video out, and a button in mission planner that says enable OSD but I just get a black screen instead of a video feed.

My APM (which is the Hkpilot flavor) has an issue with losing altitude when RTL is first engaged. I kick RTL on, if the plane is facing home no problem if it is facing anything more than about 90 degrees from home or in the case where it has to do a 180 it loses a good 40 feet during the turn around. I have three different platforms with micro Hkpilot now (Mini-talon, Tek Sumo, and Skyfun) and they all suffer from the same problem

Oddly enough if I engage "loiter mode" (fly in circles) the plane does not lose any altitude. If the plane returns home and flies circles above home it does not lose altitude.

Whenever Hobbyking has a sale they often discount the hkpilot and you can get a GPS and a controller board for about $50. Vector + GPS retails for about $240.


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