Really basic question here. I'm working on building a radio transmitter from scratch, using Tx firmware from elsewhere. I want to build Ardustation into the unit. I'll be having a ~1/16" aluminum plate waterjet cut to hold the joysticks, and obviously want the Ardustation display included. The buttons that are included on the kit, if appropriate holes were cut in the plate, would they be accessible? Or would they not stand out past the plate? It's sort of hard to tell from the pics. I just want to know if I should plan on simply purchasing panel mount buttons and soldering them appropriately?
I've already bought the Ardustation, and will be ordering an Arduino Mega for the Tx side of things soon. In case anybody is interested, I'll be using this program for the Tx:
I'm planning to wire it up to this Tx module:
And may get the FrSky telemetry going in addition to the Ardustation. We'll see. It would be nice to have telemetry coming in while tweaking PID's. Using two seperate screens. Actually, the whole thing would have 3 screens, one for the Tx portion, one for the FrSky telemetry, and one for the Ardustation.
Will use these sticks:
Have 2-3 knobs and switches for the Aux channels, and most importantly: 6 lighted pushbottons for Channel 5 Mode selection. No more switches or knobs for mode! 6 pushbuttons will be WAY easier to use.
Now I'm just debating if I should go ahead and build it into a Pelican case, my ultimate goal, or just mock it up in a simple aluminum plate box for now.
You don't have to build a new Tx just to get extra custom functions. If you hack into the Tx PPM line and insert an Arduino pro mini you can add extra channels to the basic 4 channels. I just modified my Hitek 6 to inser 3 extra channels for a head tracker based on an IMU3. I can send you the code if you want.
As far as the Ardustation you are better off building your own switch pannel as the kit doesn't have the switches at the same depth as the display. You can also add extra buttons using the anallog lines. Spark fun sells a breakout board with a little x/y thumb wheel. Its just like the one found on a Blackberry. I plan on using it on my next Ardustation project.
I'm not building the Tx for the channels. I already have an 8 channel Tx. My reasons are thus:
-I have learned to prefer "pinch" flying. Thus, I need a transmitter tray. Putting a Tx in a tray is a bit... I dunno, sub-optimal, to put it nicely. I've already dropped my Tx when I bent down and it fell out of the tray. Also, in the tray, my Antenna can only point directly at the model. Really bad for RSSI.
-Having modes on a 2 and 3 way switch combo is dumb. A 6 position knob isn't much better. It's not immediately obvious which mode you're in. I plan to have 6 mode buttons which will drive Ch 5. So if you're in mode 2, button 2 will be lit up. Push button 4, and button 2 LED will go off, 4 will come on, and you're in mode 4. It's WAY easier. Currently I have to look, "ok, that switch is up, that one is in the middle, so I must be in mode..." The knob is a little bit better, but not great. Mode is IMPORTANT, and it has only 6 discrete values.
-My Futaba 9CAP has knobs and buttons and sliders all over the place, but none of them do what I want them to do, nor are they where I want them.
-The Tx is fragile, and has to go in a case for transport anyway. So I'm carrying a case, and a tray. Why not make a case/tray?
-Currently it has one LCD for Tx function built-in. Then I have an FrSky telemetry display strapped onto the now-useless 72MHz antenna, and will add another tumor in the form of Ardustation?
-If I had an FPV display, where do I put it? Bolt it onto the tray too? If eventually I build this into a Pelican, it can go in the lid.
Basically, look at how nice this looks to use:
Or the DX10t, this is what I'm trying to build. But with custom functionality.
I did ask to Jeti to use the unused Trim buttons for multicopter mode selections about 6 months ago.
Unfortunately this has not been done yet in the 2.01 Firmware.
It's a shame because this radio is perfect for pro multicopter use. I hope we'll have this for next firmware, in a new dedicated multicopter mode set.
Hopefully one day we'll have an opensource firmware for such radios, so that we'll be able to add that ourself.
Jeti, please go opensource !
You can get the buttons to stick through, but it takes a little work. Check the postings in this thread.