Hey so I hope I'm posting this in the right place. I was just given an arducopter and I really don't know much about it. I have the APM2.5. Is there anything on that chip already that is some sort of wireless communication system or do I need an Xbee? If I need an Xbee, then will just one do because the other side of connection would be to my computer? Lastly, if I want to get a video camera with a live feed, is there a port for that on the APM2.5 or do I need a separate wireless communication device for that? Thanks in advance.
There is nothing on board for wireless data or video. You will need either an XBee, or better still, the 3DR radios that are sold via the store on this site for telemetry information (wireless data connection to Mission Planner). For either Xbee or 3DR radios, there are two boards, a USB one that connects to your computer and an airborne one that connects to the APM.
For video, you need another separate transmitter. Make sure it is not on the same frequence as the XBee or 3DR. Anything other than 900MHz or 433MHz is usually ok. The only connection between APM and video is the optional MinimOSD board (you buy this separately) to overlay APM data on the video feed. APM can also control servos for camera pan and tilt if you wish.
I use an immersion 5.8GHz Video Transmitter and base station. Video transmitters are made by several people. Have a look at any of the various FPV suppliers around. I have had good experiences with ready made RC (http://www.readymaderc.com/store/).
Video transmission is a whole other world to learn about and separate from the APM - there are myriad antenna types (go clover leaf)/trackers/video goggles etc that you can play with.
Learn much from you!
I am new to Xbee with apm2.5, could you provide some program tips on two way communication between apm and Xctu terminal. Thanks a lot!
The XCTU tool is useful for setting up XBee as per these instructions: http://code.google.com/p/ardupilot-mega/wiki/APM2Wireless
You can use xctu terminal to test two XBee devices, but I'm not sure how to set it up with APM and the Xctu terminal.
Have you been able to get the XBee connection working with APM and the mission planner?
Thanks a lot for your answers!
wa~~~~~Thanks for your tips! I need to hurry up now!