Servers by jDrones

Autopilot hardware advice

(Duncan Groenewald) #1

Hi, I am just about to attempt my first autopilot build and am a bit confused about the best autopilot hardware choice. Is there a reasonably summary of what the currently available/supported hardware options are.

As I understand it there Pixhawk and APM are or were the two main open hardware platforms but it seems the APM 2.8 board is no longer supported.

Is this correct and would the Pixhawk be the best option to use or is it still feasible to use an APM2.8 board - as these still appear to be available to purchase.

Thanks

(Dave) #2

APM hasn’t been supported for some years now. No reason to choose that. There are several versions of “Pixhawk” and variants plus several F4 and F7 boards. The best option depends on your use case and budget.

http://ardupilot.org/copter/docs/common-autopilots.html

(Duncan Groenewald) #3

Thanks, - I should have qualified my initial question - I am interested in using it for a fixed wing aircraft. I assume the F7 boards are quadcopter only - can’t see any servo channel outputs.

(Dave) #4

The F7 boards are fine with Arduplane. i have an F7 Kakute in one. Assign them to what you want. That said the F405-Wing is very popular with plane.

(Duncan Groenewald) #5

Ok, things starting to make sense - I was mistaken thinking the F7 drives the quadcopter motors directly but these are also servo outputs.

What about the FrSky RXSR-FC OMNIBUS F4 V6 FPV ? Will it still be possible to use this with Arduplane or is it likely to have some customisation that might prevent that ?

Otherwise I am leaning toward the Omnibus F4 - which is probably a cheaper option and seems fine for fixed wing use. I am guessing I would want throttle, flaperons, elevator, rudder and ability to change camera orientation (up/down to start with).

Will have a look at the F405-Wing.

(Duncan Groenewald) #6

Ok, looks like F405-Wing might be a better place to start…

(Dave) #7

If the FC isn’t listed here it’s not currently supported. The F405-Wing has 9 outputs…

(Duncan Groenewald) #8

Thanks. So I am thinking the Matek F405-Wing and the Matek M8Q-5883 GPS/Compass for around AU$100.

Any suggestions on an inexpensive but reasonable camera/tx/rx to go with this ? Ideally something that one can change the view angle up/down.

Would the above combination with ArduPlane and use of an iPad/iPhone allow for flight control and FPV or is a dedicated FPV rx/screen recommended ? If iPad/iPhone can be used presumably one needs a dedicated telemetry tx/rx that can handle video and sending control instructions from the iPad app ?

I assume a Spectrum DX6 Tx/Rx would work for manual control.

Thanks again for your assistance - no doubt will help me avoid some mistakes when ordering equipment.

(mike kelly) #10

Duncan, FPV is not as simple a choice. You have analog video through an analog video transmitter and more recently digital video options. Most of the later are proprietary systems that can be expensive. IT will require doing some research and deciding what you need and how much you are willing to spend or DIY. Having a moveable camera will be a separate DIY effort. All possible but not necessarily of the shelf.

Don’t assume you can use a iphone either. By far the most common control is with a normal rc transmitter. After that you get into less supported efforts. There are a couple of control apps that run on tablets, Tower and Solex. Tower is open source and gets worked on intermittently and it runs on Android I am not sure about IOS. Solex is not open source but the author is responsive and keeps it up to date.