Setup without RC

I just bought a pixhawk and some propellers that I wanted to mount in a kayak to make an autonomous boat.
I installed the firmware and did the basic calibrations of compass and accelerometer, connected the motors and ESCs to the ports and configured them in “skid” mode.
I do not have an RC and I have no intention in getting one. I am happy with my xbox controller and my 3DR radio modules. However I cannot manage to control, not even start the propellers, after arming the vehicle.

I tried to follow the documentation and I did all the steps I could find. Of course I did not do the radio calibration because I do not want to use one. It is in mandatory hardware however. Could the problem be because of that?

I could not do the ESCs calibration neither because I got an error when clicking on it: “Set param error. Please ensure your version is AC3.3+.”

The motors test page in mission planner is disabled for some reason.

Can anybody provide any help?
Thank you for your time,

This is interesting. What is “squid mode”? I would think that there are RC in parameters that need to be set regardless of how you control the boat. Randy will have an answer to this I would think. I would think if radio calibration is mandatory it may be necessary . I use a joystick with Mission Planner frequently. You may find the 3DR Radio Modules do not give you the range you want. You may want to post your parameters. Did you calibrate your xbox controller?

There’s some information here about using Joystick’s with mission planner. I suspect something similar can be done with QGC and maybe other GCSs.

Maybe “squid” is actually skid-steering?

Rover doesn’t support esc calibration. I wonder why that page was even visible (assuming you’re using the MP). The Rover-3.4.2 firmware has been loaded to the board? The Rover firmware is separate from the Copter firmware. They share a lot of code but they are distinct firmwares.

Thank you to both of you for the responses.

First of all “squid” was actually skid. I just learned the word the other day and it got messed up somehow in my head. Sorry about that misspelling.

I did follow the guide @rmackay9. I actually reinstalled windows os just to get the full and better version of mission planner, since apm planner had less functionalities and using mission planner in linux with mono does not work that well.

I did set the joystick and I can actually arm/disarm the vehicle (however I had to set ARMING_CHECKS to 0 or 4). When I am in the RC calibration tab, if I move the joysticks the green bars move accordingly. Mission planner seems to recognize the joystick.

SYSID_MYGCS is set to 255 as told in the guide, to let Mission planner take control of the vehicle.

I connected my ESC and tested them with an arduino board just to make sure they worked properly.

I just uploaded ardurover and this is the message I get from Mission planner on the messages tab:

PX4v2 00280036 35375110 35353230
PX4: b535f974 NuttX: 1472b16c
ArduRover V3.4.2 (318a941d)

Here is the full parameters list.

Any other ideas? :slight_smile:


If the green bars move in the RC calibration screen then it should work.

Maybe the vehicle is in Hold mode? Perhaps try it in Manual or Acro.

If that doesn’t work then it would be good to try the motor test feature to see if the motors move.

… if there’s a dataflash log then that may also help…

The vehicle is in manual mode. I also just tried acro and there is no improvement.
The motors test page is disabled… I cannot click on anything.

How can I create a dataflash log? When I tried to export one there weren’t any. I will take a look here.

Thanks again for your help!

I did a simple conection to the vehicle, armed, moved the joystick, disarmed and disconnected the vehicle. This are the resultant log files.

If the motor test feature is disabled it’s probably because the mission planner needs to be updated (i.e. an old version is on the PC). Maybe try going to MP’s Help screen and push the “Check for Updates” button.

The logs linked above are “tlogs” (aka telemetry logs) but really it’s the dataflash logs that have detailed information. Info on downloading dataflash logs is here on the wiki.

Hello @rmackay9!

I finally made the system work. I think the solution was to set:
BRD_SAFETYENABLE = 0 to disable the switch
and all the RCX_MIN and RCX_MAX to 1101 and 1899 respectively.

PS: I have the last version of mission planner, “no updates available” message (1.3.58), but the motors test page is still disabled.

Thanks any way for the help!

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Great. I’m using the latest beta mission planner and it appears. I don’t know why it wouldn’t appear for you but it would be a mission planner issue so perhaps raise an issue in the MP issues list.

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