Most integrated Arduplane FC solution - RC Groups
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Apr 25, 2018, 08:34 AM
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Mini-HowTo

Most integrated Arduplane FC solution


Mini How to: Arduplane running on an Omnibus F4 Pro V3 controller

I have flown may different airplane autopilot systems: RangeVideo, Cyclops Storm, Eagletree Vector, Multiwii, iNav, and Arduplane. Arduplane has been one of my favorites due to its numerous flight modes, excellent support of many kinds of autonomous waypoint, smooth control, ability to cross track correct, etc. But there has never been a really compact all-in-one board solution for small planes. The closest has been the miniPix4, but it still requires an external power module and OSD.

Meanwhile, iNAV has been making great strides and can use the Omnibus type FC originally targeted for quads, but fully integrating OSD and current sense/power module into a small ~32x32 board. But as far as iNav has come, it still doesn't have CRUISE Mode, or different waypoint types, or the ability to show wind speed/direction, or has a calculated airspeed display without an airspeed sensor, like Arduplane does....yet.

But, recently, a prolific coder, Night-Ghost, has created a really nice, new compact HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) for Ardupilot that allows the accommodation of the new F4 based boards. And there is a port available for Arduplane 3.9 that will run on the Omnibus F4 Pro V3 boards, giving an FC/OSD/PM single integrated solution!

This is an attempt to help anyone wanting to try this.

CAVEAT: this is still in the “pre-release/experimental” type phase...ie only a limited number of testers have been flying it, so there may be undiscovered issues...but that is true to some extent with any software.

Below, I will try to give a step by step guide to getting this up and running...there is an implicit assumption that the reader is familiar with Arduplane or is willing to learn about that portion on his own...this is purely a hardware oriented how to.

Materials:
Omnibus F4 Pro V3 (be aware, that some F4 boards call themselves “pro” but do not have the current sense...get the current sense one! )
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/F4-O...311.0.0.3y7XCM
http://www.readytoflyquads.com/flip-...omnibus-v2-pro
A Ublox M8N style gps...no compass is required (planes dont need one)...my favorite it shown here: https://www.banggood.com/7M8M-Ublox-...r_warehouse=CN

Connections:
-An Sbus,PPM, or DSM RX can be used (and is auto detected) and the PPM jumper on the board should be used. (if you are using a V2 board, see post #71 below for modification)
-GPS is attached to UART6
-Telem is available at UART 1
-If you want to power the servos from the ESC BEC via the boards center rail for the servo outputs, then you should remove the diode as per here: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...C_5V-Isolation .
Unlike iNav, you can use every PWM output for anything you like using the SERVO_FUNCTION param for each PWM output. So getting a normal 3 servo plane setup is very clean and attached directly to the first four pin headers (one being motor)....and flaperon/vtail setups using 4-5 servos are easy also.

Setup Steps:
1. Load firmware. You will need to download DFU-UTIL for your computer: https://sourceforge.net/projects/dfu...-0.8-binaries/ . And you will need to be able to boot the FC into DFU mode for loading. Check Cleanflight/Betaflight/iNav for instructions if you dont know how to do this or the driver fixes that are sometimes required. The firmware to use is “f4light_AirbotV2_bl.bin”. The version I have tested is attached below.
While development is continuing by NG, versions other than what is attached below are untested by me and/or have know issues. This version works..I suggest you use it.
2. Follow the instructions in the wiki to flash the firmware below : https://github.com/night-ghost/ardup...Flash-firmware.
3. At this point you should be able to connect to Mission planner and the GPS should get a 3Dfix.
4. Program the OSD. You will need to download the MinimOSD- Extra config program (OSD_config.exe) from this zip : https://github.com/night-ghost/minim...osd_latest.zip. And use it to create a file named “eeprom.osd” with the desired configuration. You dont need to do anything with the firmware...its already integrated in the Arduplane code above. Take this file and a font file from the data folder, renamed to : “font.mcm” and place both files on an SD card and load into the FC. Reboot, remove the card...the font.mcm file should be gone if it was successfully loaded. Now the OSD is programmed...to change something on it, layout, alarm value, etc. you change the eeprom.osd file and re-insert, reboot, and remove again. (I will explain why you don't want to use the SD card in flight, later).
The ones I use are attached below (for a 3S battery, three screens via ch5 and PAL camera).
5. At this point, you can use Mission Planner to set up the plane and params as desired. Calibrate the ACCs and RC, set flight modes, set servo functions, etc. To setup the current and voltage monitoring you need to change BAT_MONITOR=4 first, then reboot to allow you to set the values below manually. You do NOT want to ever go to the Power module setup tab in MP, it will mess up the values below, that you had manually set:
BAT_VOLT_PIN 8
BAT_CURR_PIN 7
BAT_VOLT_MULT 11.0 (may need tweaking...my bd is 10.7)
BAT_AMP_PERVOLT 38.0 (may need tweaking..my bd is 25 and offset is 0.05v)
(note if you use a V2 board, you will need to do a modification to overcome and issue with using VBAT for the video which causes bad current readings....see https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...&postcount=640)
Use of the SD card:
I do not recommend using an SD card in flight for logging. While a few have had test flights with no issues, I have had the firmware hang on a log write failure resulting in controls being frozen and a crash. I have had lockups with 5 different SD cards on the bench...sometimes it takes minutes, other times hours. Why tempt fate?

So set LOG_BACKEND_TYPE=0, and LOG_BITMASK=0.
Also the ARMING_CHECK should be set to 510 to prevent the lack of logging from preventing arming. This checks BARO, RC, FS, GPS, INS(Accs,gryos,ahrs), Bd voltage, and Battery(if setup for checking),but not logging.

EKF AHRS:
For some reason, these boards and the EKF (Extended Kalman Filters) options of Arduplane do not get along well. Perhaps due to differences in the accelerometer/gyro noise levels. (see next section). So I disable EKF and use the DCM estimator that all Arduplane versions used up to the 2.8 version. It works well, the EKF being really needed for finer attitude/position precision in quads. Set USE_EKF=0.

Arming:
Occasionally, you will get “BAD AHRS” or “GPS and AHRS differ by x ft”, pre-arm failure messages when trying to arm after power up...even after the home point is set and the HDOP is low. I have asked many times in the Arduplane forums for help to resolve this, which may be due to the noisier ACC/Gryo outputs on this board, trying to determine if a filter param can be adjusted. But no one has ever responded. But I have found that if I wait a few minutes until the number of sats is high (>10) assuring the GPS outputs of vertical and horizontal speeds/positions are not varying as much, and then cycle the power quickly, this issue is gone and arming can proceed after reboot. Of course, you could set the arming checks to ignore this, but I do not recommend it.

RSSI:
The board has an RSSI input on pin 47 and it does work (as well as PWM RSSI), but it is not displayed in the OSD due to an unresolved bug in the HAL. It is a known issue, but, apparently, is not currently a priority to resolve, although it is a very noticeable flaw in an otherwise, very workable, Arduplane implementation. Perhaps if enough people try this and comment on the developers thread, it will get a higher priority : https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...lot-Revolution NOW RESOLVED! code below updated.Update: there are problems with navigation with later files...I have reverted to the 4/13 code with non displaying RSSI and rolled back the files in the ZIP below until we can resolve the issues

AIRSPEED:
Without a pitot/airspeed sensor, airspeed is still computed and displayable in Arduplane. You must manually select “0” for the sensor type parameter. MP does not currently show this option. Once set, you can display airspeed (synthetic) in the OSD. Since RSSI is non- displayable at the moment, using an analog airspeed sensor should be possible via pin 47, but I have not attempted that yet.

I have been flying it on a Z-84 for about 15 flights, trying the different Arduplane features and its been working well so far (without SD card logging).....Enjoy!
Last edited by Atx_Heli; Jun 12, 2018 at 02:21 AM.
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Apr 25, 2018, 10:38 AM
Registered User
P.I.Engineer's Avatar
you may want to add this to your guide, how to get dfu-util on your windows machine
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...postcount=2511

then delete this post if you want

thanks for this write up
Apr 25, 2018, 05:24 PM
'FPV'er...not a "LOS'er
Vantasstic's Avatar
This sounds interesting. I just got a Pixhawk Lite FC to (try and) install in a Nano Skyhunter for a quadplane setup. I'm not sure the Omnibus F4 Pro would work with only 6 PWM outputs, but??? I do have the Omnibus FCs in a wing and Nano Talon which could both benefit from the Arduplane firmware.
Apr 25, 2018, 05:46 PM
Registered User
Thanks for pointing here from the Nano Goblin thread and thanks for writing it. I'll chime in after I have digested it.

Dan
Apr 25, 2018, 06:30 PM
fly by night
BCSaltchucker's Avatar
any prospect of a build for the F3 Omnibus non-pro? F3 should be plenty of computing power for this for basic plane setup, I hope . And I am swimming in flip32 F3 Omnibus FCs
Apr 26, 2018, 07:41 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker
any prospect of a build for the F3 Omnibus non-pro? F3 should be plenty of computing power for this for basic plane setup, I hope . And I am swimming in flip32 F3 Omnibus FCs
not enough memory
Apr 26, 2018, 03:43 PM
Registered User
Techdragonz's Avatar
Very interesting! Definitely will check this out...
Apr 26, 2018, 05:13 PM
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P.I.Engineer's Avatar
there's firmware for matek f405-ctr now as well
Apr 26, 2018, 07:34 PM
mdv
mdv
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atx_Heli
...
Materials:
/32826867656.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.3y7XCM[/url]
http://www.readytoflyquads.com/flip-...omnibus-v2-pro
...
Link is from the first post. What type GPS connector does this board have on it? I want to order a GPS from RTFQ as well and I can't find the information. I must be missing it somehow.
Apr 26, 2018, 11:09 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdv
Link is from the first post. What type GPS connector does this board have on it? I want to order a GPS from RTFQ as well and I can't find the information. I must be missing it somehow.
gps is on UART6...its a 6 pin connector....a cable is provided with FC but will have to spliced to whatever GPS and its cable you wind up using...this is usually the case with flight controller boards,except those sold as complete systems or standardized like Pixhawk or APM
Apr 27, 2018, 09:20 AM
Registered User
For anybody wanting the wiring layout for the legendary Ublox NEO-M8N gps module, this is (GPS module) colour to pin for the 1mm jst 6 pin connector on the F4pro board.
Apr 27, 2018, 10:11 AM
mdv
mdv
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atx_Heli
gps is on UART6...its a 6 pin connector....a cable is provided with FC but will have to spliced to whatever GPS and its cable you wind up using...this is usually the case with flight controller boards,except those sold as complete systems or standardized like Pixhawk or APM
Thanks.
Apr 27, 2018, 12:14 PM
Registered User
P.I.Engineer's Avatar
it's a jst-sh connector
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...the-real-story
Apr 27, 2018, 11:22 PM
Registered User
thanks atx_heli for pointing out this thread from z84 thread, i have the same board on my z84 and i gave up on inav after it crashed my new z84 for many times, i'll keep an eye on this thread and i'll start on flashing my board with your "experimental" apm firmware... hope it works well
Apr 28, 2018, 01:45 PM
Registered User
Good job. Does this project support loading the mission? Through usb? Bluetooth?


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