I've got a few spare 5V 328 Arduino Nano's floating about and a couple of LCD panels. I was wondering how hard it would be to take my XBee radio, hook it up to it and decode the Mavlink 1.0 binary protocol? Is there a library I can add to the Arduino IDE 1.0.1 that I can make calls to to extract the info I need? Can the ArduStation 2.0.15 code be used on a Nano/ProMini or is it designed for the Mega chip only? To start with I need to set up an antenna tracker and eventually put a voice playback shield on it to tell me the mode I am changing to and any warnings like "Your battery is about to die" or "You are about to slam into the ground". Could the xbee connect to the Rx/Tx and the LCD connect to two of the digital pins?
Better still, is there a website which deals with building your own Ardustation?
Trying to move away from taking a laptop with me when I want to go for a fly.
Just found a nice I2C LCD panel from SpikenzieLabs - SpikenzieLabs LCD Interface with Display - Assembled
That would solve my limited serial interface issue with the 328 chip
The 328 on the Nano is fine - but you'll be missing the following: Xbee needs 3.2 volt logic and power - so you'll have to be careful with the 5V Nano to level shift the outputs to 3.2 volts and you'll need a 3.2 volt regulator to power the Xbee. You will need some sort of button array like the Ardustation to use the software directly - otherwise there is no way to use the user interface. The LCD interface assumes a parallel interface and I believe the Ardustation routes 7 pins to the LCD plus contrast +5 and gnd. The Ardustation software won't work with a serial LCD interface directly. If you choose to use the serial LCD, you'll need 2 serial interfaces and there is only 1 available. You might use software serial but that software would have to be added. I just noticed that you found an I2c LCD - that would then need to be added to the Ardustation software also.
The Mavlink processing is in the library folder and is automatically pulled in by 2.0.15.
There is no web site with detail about building your own "Ardustation" but there is the schematic diagram on the DIYDRONES web site that you can examine. I'm sure there are other web sites for building ground stations and antenna trackers though - although I don't know of any off hand.
I do have a switch-able Nano which I can put into 3.3V mode as well. Not too worried about modifying the code to work with a different LCD and the buttons can be mapped to the Logitec joystick buttons (see my blog on the PC joystick to Rc Tx conversion). I might even go a different direction with this and just use the xBee to transmit the control movements via the Mavilink protocol. Ultimately I could end up with a laptop and RC Tx free ground station with joystick movement control, antenna tracking and LCD Mavlink feedback/settings.