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ArduPlane 3.7.1 , graupner GR 16 receiver and sumd protocol

I was flying a small Piper Cub fitted with an APM 2.6 , arduplane and a Graupner radio. To be able to use new software release, I switched to a PixHawk controler.

I decided to connect the Pixhawk and the GR 16 receiver with the DSM interface and the setting SUMDOF08 of the receiver.

But the pixhawk stays in failsafe with these settings. I did some check with a GR12L and it was ok.

After some investigations, I found that on power on, the GR 16 receiver was sending frame with failsafe flag on (=> frame are starting with A8 81 and not A8 01 for a normal frame) up to the connection establishment with the transmitter. After that if the connection is lost, sumd frame are not transmitted.

This is not the case on GR12L : there is not sumd frame transmitted between power on an transmitter connection establishment.

After digging into the code I found that sumd frame with falisafe bit on ( beginning with A8 81) was not recognized as sumd frame (file sumd.c). I think in this case the algorithm concludes that the sumd protocol is not used and lock on another one : this is the reason of my problem.

After modification of sumd.c , sumd.h and controls.c , it is possible to :

  • recognize and decode sumd frame with failsafe bit on
  • set or clear the pixhawk failsafe status with this information.

The issue seems to be solved.

I will try to post detailed modification in a next message.


I have some difficulties to extract with git the modification I have done.
=> I can propose unix diff of modifications.
Is there a probability to have them embedded in the master ?

sumd.h and sumd.c are from the ardupilot/modules/PX4Firmware/src/lib/rc directory
controls.c is from the ardupilot/modules/PX4Firmware/src/modules/px4iofirmware directory

diff original/sumd.h modifie/sumd.h

  • @param failsafe pointer to a boolean where the decoded failsafe flag is written back to
    < uint16_t *channels, uint16_t max_chan_count);

  	 uint16_t *channels, bool *failsafe, uint16_t max_chan_count);

diff original/sumd.c modifie/sumd.c
< int sumd_decode(uint8_t byte, uint8_t *rssi, uint8_t *rx_count, uint16_t *channel_count, uint16_t *channels,

int sumd_decode(uint8_t byte, uint8_t *rssi, uint8_t *rx_count, uint16_t *channel_count, uint16_t *channels, bool *failsafe,
< if (byte == SUMD_ID_SUMD || byte == SUMD_ID_SUMH) {

  if (byte == SUMD_ID_SUMD || byte == SUMD_ID_FAILSAFE || byte == SUMD_ID_SUMH) {


  	/* failsafe flag */
  	*failsafe= ( _rxpacket.status == SUMD_ID_FAILSAFE );

diff original/controls.c modifie/controls.c

bool sumd_failsafe_flag;
< &sumd_channel_count, r_raw_rc_values, PX4IO_RC_INPUT_CHANNELS));

  				    &sumd_channel_count,  r_raw_rc_values, &sumd_failsafe_flag, PX4IO_RC_INPUT_CHANNELS));

< r_raw_rc_flags &= ~(PX4IO_P_RAW_RC_FLAGS_FAILSAFE);

  if (sumd_failsafe_flag) r_raw_rc_flags |= (PX4IO_P_RAW_RC_FLAGS_FAILSAFE); else r_raw_rc_flags &= ~(PX4IO_P_RAW_RC_FLAGS_FAILSAFE);

Hi Sandre Benoit, I have started to imlement a Pixhawk 2.1 on a RC plane and I do also have Graupner RC equipment and a GR-12L receiver.
Do you know if I can “just” use this receiver and connect it with RC IN on the Pixhawk? Or is the Graupner GR-12L signal not usable for a Pixhawk? And if so what do I need to change?
Thank you very much in advance for every response - of course from other users as well!!!

Hello Alexander,

yes it is working with a 12L, tested a few month ago. Use the DSM input, not RCIN.

But if you want to use the MAVlink to HOTT telemetry converter :

the good solution is to use a GR16 (unfortunately more expensive)


To detail, HOTT decoder seems to have been reworked.

It is now working well without Ardupilot corrections.


Hi Benoit, I thank you very much for your responses. Unfortunately, the Pixhawk 2.1 has no DSM socket (in comparison to Pixhawk 4 for example).
I checked that the GR-12L receiver gives a PPM signal on channel 6 but no chance to receive anything during calibration of the radio controls. Can you imagine any solution?
Best regards,

The following page
explains that the DSM input (Spektrum DSM receiver) is present

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