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ArduPilot 3.6 ChibiOS how to configure battery monitor for HolyBro Pixhwak 4 (fmu v5)

arducopter
pixhawk

(Gal Nitzan) #1

Hi,

Truly new to this,
I am trying to enable battery monitoring on my HolyBro Pixhawk 4, however no success.

I have set BATT_MONITOR to 4 but I do not know what values I need to set for BATT_VOLT_PIN and BATT_CURR_PIN.

Any help appeiciated.
Gal.


(rmackay9) #2

Gal,

Welcome. For Pixhawk4 it should work if the same pin values are selected as for a Pixhawk. I think a reboot will be required after changing these values.

BATT_VOLT_PIN = 2
BATT_CURR_PIN = 3

The values should have defaulted to the correct values actually… in any case, hopefully this helps.


(Gal Nitzan) #3

@rmackay9 thank you. I shall try and see what happens.
Best,
Gal


(Brad Wilkinson) #4

Hello @rmackay9, in the docs I received with my Pixhawk 4 and the PM07 power board, it says that the Power 1 and Power 2 ports (bricks?) have something different than what you mention here. What it indicates is this:
Pin, Signal, Volt
1(red), VCC, +5V
2(blk), VCC, +5V
3(blk), CURRENT, +3.3V
4(blk), VOLTAGE, +3.3V
5(blk), GND, GND
6(blk), GND, GND

Also, it says:

“The CURRENT signal should carry an analog voltage from 0-3.3V for 0-120A as default. The VOLTAGE signal should carry an analog voltage from 0-3.3V for 0-60A as default.”

So I have sett BATT_CURR_PIN = 3, and BATT_VOLT_PIN = 4.

I still don’t understand what they mean by the voltage part where it says 0-3.3V represents 0-60A ?? Why are they using amps here, is it just a typo? Do they really mean 0-60V? Even if this is giving the measured current across a voltage divider, how do I know what that current represents in voltage? What does the voltage divider network look like? So far I have yet to figure this out. I am using a voltage multiplier of 20560, because using the 60A(V?):3.3V ratio of 18.1818, I get 0.015V as the resulting battery voltage. So I started by multiplying it by 1000, and then adjusted the value to get the voltage I measure with a voltmeter.

But now, it seems to monitor the voltage for about two minutes or so, then it stops and stays at a fixed value. I really don’t understand these sorts of glitches. I never know if it’s me, my computer, the FC, the Mission Planner software, the firmware (3.6.0-rc6 in my current installation), or what.

Any how, is there some schematic somewhere of the Pixhawk 4 that would show how this battery monitoring stuff is actually implemented? If there is a voltage divider, and I have the values, then I can understand what I should expect to get at the pins - but in this black box, I have no idea.

Thanks,
Brad


(Gal Nitzan) #5

@brad.wilkinson

I use Pixhawk 4, not sure about the pins you have mentioned, however here are the ones I use:

HTH,
Gal.


(Brad Wilkinson) #6

Thanks Gal, I was using that before, but the voltage reading never changed - until my battery went dead.

I think that Pin 2 is as I stated above, the VCC +5V regulated input voltage powering the Pixhawk, not the actual battery input voltage which is on Pin 3. If this is different somewhere in the HAL or other programming, so that “Pin 2” is just a name and not an actual pin number on the power input socket, then I think it needs to be documented to reflect what it really is.


(Gal Nitzan) #7

I think you are right that it is just a name since for px4 the value is 100


(Gal Nitzan) #8

hi @brad.wilkinson ,

if you have any insights on this issue, it would be great if you can share your findings. It seems like there is not much info on Pixhawk 4 as of yet (almost none) and I do have an issue with correct voltage reporting - meaning it is not correct with the aforementioned settings.

Thanks,
Gal


(Brad Wilkinson) #9

@gnitzan, It does appear that people use the term “pinout” in general without much explanation as to whether they mean “connector pin” assignments, pin counts on the physical board connections, or if they mean processor pin assignments. It appears that most of the typical meaning people use is referring to the board connector pin, or soldering hole, etc. But this is definitely different from board to board, and confusingly for a newbie like me, the latest Pixhawk 4 doesn’t seem to match the earlier Pixhawks or the PX4 in any of this.

It appears to me that the processor pin assignments (pinouts), which are then wired, maybe with some electronics in between, from the processor to the connector pins or sockets or solder points are described in the FMUvX specifications. And this is what I was looking for all along - something to describe which processor pin went to which connector or board pin, so that I could understand what does what. Other than the standard FMUv5 assignments that I link below, this is still not really available specifically for the Pixhawk 4 - at least not as far as I have been able to discover.

Here’s what I have found so far (sorry this is long, it’s a research post :wink:):

From the ArduPilot Copter Docs page for the Pixhawk 1, I found that the power connector pin assignments for that one are the same as the Pixhawk 4, like I listed above, where current sensing is on pin 3 and voltage sensing is on pin 4 of that connector socket.
http://ardupilot.org/copter/docs/common-pixhawk-overview.html#common-pixhawk-overview
But further down, also on this page is this:

Pixhawk analog input pins
This section lists the analog pins available on the Pixhawk. These are virtual pins, defined in the firmware.

Virtual Pin 2 and Power connector Pin 4: power management connector voltage pin, accepts up to 3.3V, usually attached to 3DR power brick with 10.1:1 scaling

Virtual Pin 3 and Power connector Pin 3: power management connector current pin, accepts up to 3.3V, usually attached to 3DR power brick with 17:1 scaling

So, the assignment @rmackay9 mentions in his first response to you that the voltage pin is “2” and the current pin is “3” on the Pixhawk matches this explanation. Then, the settings should work if that matches what has been wired internally in the new Pixhawk4. But other than just trusting this info, I have no way to verify it. I found (see explanation below) that the original STM32F4 series PX4FMU/PX4IO boards had voltage and current sensing on processor Port A Pins 2 & 3, so that seems to be where it comes from, even though the actual physical pins are not called that…:confused:, but not as much as before.

"Further Research" section:
Stuff is fairly well available for the new PixhackV5 using the latest FMUv5 - but obviously the physical wiring on these is going to be different from the Pixhawk4. A couple of things I found for these are here:
1 - on the PX4 Pixhawk4 user page, at the very bottom, is a link to the FMUv5 STM32 processor “pinouts”:
https://docs.px4.io/en/flight_controller/pixhawk4.html
2 - And on the CUAV PixhackV5 github repository is their version of this same spreadsheet, which shows some of their changes for the Pixhack:
https://github.com/cuav/hardware/blob/master/V5_Autopilot/FMUv5_stm32_pinout.xlsx

In these, I have finally found some information indicating that the Pixhawk4 and PixhackV5, using the FMUv5 style firmware, would use processor port PA, pin 0 (ADC1_IN0) for BAT1_V (voltage sensing input), and pin 1 (ADC1_IN1) for BAT1_I (current sensing input). Pins 2 & 3 here are for Battery 2. However, where these pins are routed inside the Pixhawk4 is anyone’s guess. I am guessing that they go to the power block 1 connector pins 3 & 4 as I mentioned in my first post above, and are matching the Pixhawk1 wiring plan. And I am assuming that the PM-07 power board that comes with the Pixhawk 4 does the wiring and electronics for the voltage divider and for current sensing - but I haven’t found the hard details on any of that yet, still a little :confused:

Another thing I found is that for FMUv2, for the “original” Pixhawk (1, dog-bone shape), there is a schematic available on github:

This one lists the pinouts on sheet 1, “FMU SOC Ports” as U101PortA_L, pins PA2 for voltage sensing and PA3 for current sensing, and it appears that these are also processor pins 25 & 26. On sheet 11, “Power Source Selector” it has a schematic that shows the wiring from the J601 power connector to the voltage and current sensing inputs, which confirms the “virtual” (processor) pins 2 & 3 to “physical” pins 3 & 4 linkage. So, again, to match what @rmackay9 says above, these processor “PortA” pins 2 & 3 are the ones that are monitored by the STM32F4 FMU for battery voltage and current, at least in the Pixhawk1. Now, I have to assume here that by him saying that “For Pixhawk4 it should work”, he somehow knows that the new Pixhawk4 board has the same processor port assignments as the original Pixhawk. And that would make sense to an extent, as you wouldn’t want have to re-write the code for every new board. But it doesn’t make sense to me when I see that FMUv5 says it’s PortA, Pins 0 and 1 instead of 2 and 3 (which are for Battery 2)…so now a little more :confused:

For the “original” PX4-FMU/PX4-IO board combo, which used FMUv1, the archived ArduPilot overview page has details too:
http://ardupilot.org/copter/docs/common-px4fmu-overview.html#common-px4fmu-overview
On this page it lists pin 5 of the 15-pin Multi Port row as the “Battery Monitor” pin, and also mentions that the PX4-IO board uses pin 100 for battery voltage sensing, and pin 101 for current sensing, and points to these pins on the pictures of the board. It goes on to describe pin 100 as a “virtual” pin, implying that it’s not a physical pin that you can connect to - but in the picture it points to the pin on the battery connector as pin 100. So that appears to be where the reference to pin 100 came from, even though at the processor, it was still pin 2 and pin 3…Still pretty much :confused:

Maybe we will eventually get a schematic of the Pixhawk4 from Holybro with this info detailed, so that we can know for sure. Meanwhile, I am going to keep testing my setup to figure it out as I go (first try will be by using “virtual” pins 0 and 1 !!)… :slightly_smiling_face:


(Gal Nitzan) #10

Wow Brad thank you so much for sharing all your insights on this issue!

Amazing work.

Gal.


(Gal Nitzan) #11

hi @rmackay9 I was wandering if you have a clue, I have an issue with voltage reading (didn’t have it on PX4 FW), however my battery reading when I fly is high. I calibrated just before the flight and MP showed correct value.
I followed the Youtube tutorial on bat calibration (without the current part - set it to 18 manually AMP_PER_VOLT)
high_volts


(Brad Wilkinson) #12

@gnitzan, Hello Gal, that’s a great telemetry screen - how do you do that? Is that something you can get somewhere or did you do that yourself?

I have figured out a couple of thing since before - the Pixhawk4 does use “virtual” pins 0 and 1 for battery sensing, like I suspected above. Pins 2 & 3 are for battery 2. These pins are actually not “virtual” programming pins, they are the processor port PA ADC input pins, but they are wired out to the power connector pins 3 & 4 like the older schematics show. So now my settings are:
BATT_VOLT_PIN = 0
BATT_CURR_PIN = 1
BATT_VOLT_MULT = 18.182 (That’s 60V/3.3V scaling, per PM07 board instructions)
BATT_AMP_PERVLT = 36.364 (That’s 120A/3.3V scaling, per PM07)

This seems to be working just fine, so far. Hope this fixes your problem.

Brad


(Gal Nitzan) #13

@brad.wilkinson Hi Brad, it seems like you nailed it !!! I just used your params and except changing the voltage devider to match my measured voltage, spot on. Well done and thank you so much for doing all the hard work :wink:.

As for the Taranis’s Telemetry its actually a script combined with a telemetry cable for smart-port $10 it is called FlightDeck $24.99 from Craft and Theory site. I followed their PDF instructions, all works OOB and its great and it makes minmOSD obsolete in a way - less many cables :slight_smile: .

Thanks a lot,
Gal.