Using a different radio than 3dr radio with apm 2.6/pixhawk

Hi All,

I am trying to build an autonomous quadcopter but want to use a different radio(probably software defined radio) for communication purposes which comes with GPS and usb port. What are the things that I should keep in mind as far as the compatibility is concerned before buying this radio?


What do you mean by software defined radio?

The APM / Pixhawk interface for telemetry is FTDI, so you will need an FTDI / USB converter cable.

On the pixhawk and APM, the GPS and telementry are on separate media. The GPS is serial and the telemetry is FTDI, both on different physical ports.

As far as just the telemetry, and looking at the telemetry interface on Mission Planner as an example:


The 3DR radio has an on board driver that receives configuration information from the GCS, to synch the TX/RX… perhaps you can hard code the configuration, and adjust Mission Planner to the hard coded configuration that your radio has, but the values in the graphic should all be considered.

Lastly, APM Pixhawk use MAVLink. Perhaps that part is transparent, as far as the radio is concerned… that is, it receives a serial stream and modulates it directly onto the radio.

If you are buying a radio for telemetry, I imagine it’s a transmitter receiver pair probably obvious…

I have seen even 3DR clones that don’t work, so it could be an “interesting” project, if not challenging.

It is an SDR with built-in transceiver with smb rf input, rf output and gps output. It also has CPU and FPGA for some signal processing and comes with microUSB interface.

Is it possible to carry out autonomous flights without the use of mission planner ?



Once the mission is loaded into the Pixhawk (with the use of mission planner or other ground control station software) you can activate the auto flight mode with your RC to perform the mission without assistance of a computer. … nd-events/

Let me post some more information on what we are trying to accomplish. We are trying to develop an airborne network test bed using quadcopters equipped with APM 2.6 autopilot and software-defined radios(SDR)-Matchstiqs by Epiq Solutions).

We need this network to support dynamic in-flight mission planning which requires the APM to send information to the SDR and vice versa. Is it possible for APM to send and receive information over its USB port while flying? Can this be used dynamically to update the waypoints?

If it does not work for APM 2.6, will it work for Pixhawk ?

PS: There will be no ground station involved.


Have you had any luck with connecting the Matchstiq to the APM 2.6?