I have never used ArduPilot before and was interested in dipping my toes in the water but after some research it seems that I definitely need some guidance before I jump in. I was wondering if anyone had any hardware recommendations that strike a good balance between cost and ease of use for what I need to get started. All I really want it to do is be able to fly a waypoint mission since I’ve always wanted to do that. I’ve already accumulated some of the things that I think I might be able to use:
Fixed wing platform
TBS crossfire radio and reciever
Any help on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
well depending on the platform you have chosen there are plenty of choices for a flight controller. What is the platform and if you are looking for good budget FC’s Matek systems has some very affordable reliable FC that are more directed towards plane platforms. What type of GPS have you got? Crossfire is a good start for rc control and there are other interesting things like passthrough telem you can do with crossfire as well as mavlink control!!
I assume you have a fully assembled and flying aircraft. If so now all you need to do is choose a FC. Then install and connect all the peripherals you want. Follow these instructions here Setup for Plane — Plane documentation.
Painless360 on youtube has plenty of good setup videos and how to.
That might work with Ardupilot. But you will need to know what GPS chip and compass it has and have a pinout for it. All it says is “M8”. It’s purpose is to feed GPS/compass data to the Core Pro but you need both of these signals to the Flight Controller.
One needs to be careful with older tutorial videos though - some things might have changed in Ardupilot in the meantime (switch arming RC_OPTION number comes to mind).
Also, when I started with Arduplane relying on his 2018 (I think) building tutorials, I found them definitely helpful (there were hardly any others), but not without glitches. Sometimes he skipped things which was a bit confusing to me as a total beginner.
While development is rapid, a lot of the basic concepts are unchanged. I think you can get a very good idea of autopilot integration from any of those videos so long as you don’t use the older (more than 2 years) ones as specific tutorials while recognizing that anything beyond 6 months old may require a little extra attention beyond simply following the video’s instructions.