basically the APM sends all it's data from sensors to the ground station so you can see what's going on. also experimentally you can control the UAV with the ground station and set mission planner locations.
as for what's best it depends on your country as the 3DR radio isn't certified and if you don't know what your legal limits are and how to set them you may get in trouble with anyone from your civilian regulator to the deference department.
They both will give you the same logging ability. The only exception is that the 3DR radio can log your radio signal strength and radio noise levels. We can't get that information from an Xbee.
Yes it allows bi-directional traffic, so you can send commands. All the radios do that.
Is there a summary of what telemetry is available, or can someone provide a list? How is the data displayed, i.e. what software is needed? Any screen shots available? If I missed any of this in the documentation, I apologize.
Also, if you are using an OSD system, is the radio telemetry system redundant?
It is everything you see in Mission Planner when connected via USB. No difference from the USB connection.
You use Mission Planner or anther GCS to connect. Instead of using say port COM10 which is the USB cable, you use port COM11 which is the xbee or 3dr radio. Then it behaves exactly the same as a very very long USB cable ;-)
Only things you cannot do from Mission Planner (or other GCS) I think are:
- Firmware upload
- CLI menus
Everything else you can do, and it looks identical
Thanks Andreas. I actually did dig a little deeper and realized in was in the Mission Planner. I was focused on just the radio documentation. I came back to delete my questions, but you beat me to the punch!
I was curious, though, if the OSD system makes the 3DR radio redundant. It looks like the Remzibi OSD also sends telemetry.
One minor correction, you can in fact do the CLI menus over a 3DR radio (or XBee) if you have an APM2. The reason for the difference between APM1 and APM2 for CLI is that on the APM2 the same UART is used for both USB and telemetry.
To use the CLI over the radio link on an APM2 you need to connect with a serial program before any MAVLink commands have been sent (ie. straight after reboot), and hit enter 3 times.
oh cool! did not know the CLI was on!
Can someone show me how to wire this to a APM1 board/oilpan? The directions show only the APM2 board. This is possible, isn't it?
yeah follow the xbee instruction you just need to put a 4 header on the telemetry port and plug in.
Done. Works like a dream.