New to Pixhawk and APM in General... Could Use a Push Start

Got my Pixhawk about a week ago. I’m new to APM but I’m experienced with DJI A2 and HoverFly Pro.

I’m taking lots of lumps trying to get this thing going. For example:

  1. I followed the Pixhawk quick start guide, which uses the Mission Planner software. It didn’t have a way to bind my Spectrum satellites to the transmitter. I bound them using a standard Spectrum receiver, but Mission Planner still didn’t recognize them.

  2. So I tried QGroundControl and it let me bind them, but I had to tell it I was using 3-7 channels instead of the fact that I’m using a DX9. But then I had issues with QGroundControl finishing the setup.

Long story short, is there a series of links I could go to for a definitive guide to setting-up the Pixhawk? Is APM Planner the best choice? Or is it Mission Planner? What about QGroundControl? I don’t care which one I use, but I would like a proven setup method.

Also, can APM correctly calibrate and arm Castle Link Creations ESCs? They require a low throttle input upon startup and I don’t know if the APM is sending them right sequence.

Thank you in advance – I’m really trying to make the leap into the open source community.

Hi bcdebusk,

Spektrum satellite receiver on Pixhawk only supports up to DX8, please see this post:

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=5828&start=10#p9963

An option could be to use a PPM encoder and use only 8 channels while you wait for the DX9 support.

Thank you – I’m doing my dead-level best to get the hang of this platform!

Before reading your post, I managed to bind a DX9 to a 9-channel receiver then connected the sattalite to the Pixhawk. It didn’t read at first, but then if I used QGroundControl and bound it as a DX7, it worked.

I’m still plodding through things. I just realized that I had errantly used the 5-pin cable in my GPS slot instead of the 6-pin cable.

So will APM2 or Mission Planner (latest releases) both work equally well on a Pixhawk? Can I continue with my DX9 rigged-up as 7 channels?

Welcome and thank you for the feedback.

I bound them using a standard Spectrum receiver, but Mission Planner still didn’t recognize them.

The problem is the DX9 output is not yet supported and binding is a function in the PX4 code and qgroundcontrol that is not currently implemented in the APM code.

So will APM2 or Mission Planner (latest releases) both work equally well on a Pixhawk?

Yes. There are some features in Mission Planner that are not implemented in AP2 but AP2 will run on a Mac

[quote=“bcdebusk”]

Also, can APM correctly calibrate and arm Castle Link Creations ESCs? They require a low throttle input upon startup and I don’t know if the APM is sending them right sequence.[/quote]

Those are what I use. Took me a few tries to calibrate but zero issues since.

[quote=“govsux”][quote=“bcdebusk”]

Also, can APM correctly calibrate and arm Castle Link Creations ESCs? They require a low throttle input upon startup and I don’t know if the APM is sending them right sequence.[/quote]

Those are what I use. Took me a few tries to calibrate but zero issues since.[/quote]

No issues here either now.

For castle creations escs in fixed endpoint mode:

  1. take one out of the box

  2. connect it directly to your throttle

  3. pull throttle all the way low

  4. if it arms, you’re done

  5. if it doesn’t, keep adjusting your lower endpoint down on the transmitter (107% worked for me on my spectrum dx9).

  6. eventually you’ll get the tune. That setting will work for all of your escs.

  7. connect the receiver to your APM inputs and the all the escs to your APM motor outputs.

  8. do a radio calibration

You’re done.