Hi, I just recently got in an APM2.4.1. I am able to connect perfectly by the usb cable and that works fine. I'm trying to get xbee communication working and I'm running into issues there. In doing testing I've noticed something odd as well: When I power the board by USB the ABC lights, the power light and the light on the GPS shield all come online, blink as one would expect. However when powered by the battery only the power light will come on. Is this normal?
I've also noticed that of the 4 pins that hold the GPS shield to the main board (the ones in the corners) Only 2 of the 4 pins are soldered. Is this normal? Are these pins just to anchor the shield, or are they a part of a circuit?
As for the xbee's I have been able to get the two xbees (I have both a 900MHz and 2.4GHz set) communicating between each other (two hyperterminal windows on two different computers and able to send messages between the two via the xbees. I have also used my arduino mega to do a Serial to Serial3 loop and can have the arduino talk to the xbee and send characters to the other xbee.
I have tried using 9600, 38400, 57600 and 115200 baud rates, none of these settings make a difference in connecting. I have tried wiring into the UART0 pins on the side... no luck... tried the automux jumper for UART2, no luck.... and have tried setting the telemetry baud rate in the parameters for all previously mentioned bauds... still... no luck.
Is there something I'm over looking? Is there some way to test to see if it's an issue with the APM?
Thanks in advance for any help you can offer =]
Only 2 pins soldered is Normal - as suggested they are nothing more than an anchor/support.
DId you upload the Firmware using the HIL or standard selection from the Firmware screen (i.e. clicked on the aeroplane or arducopter image, or the section below next to the joystick that says plane/quad/heli
Are you trying to Power via USB and power at the same time? If so you won't get comms from the xbee, the USB and xbee share the same UART and due to the nature of USB it means the USB hogs the TX line.
General practice is:
1. Plug in USB
2. Upload firmware
3. Confirm firmware is ok using terminal window in MP
4. Disconnect USB & power to APM
5. Plug in xbee (Make sure xbee is in master mode by the way (the one you have on the vehicle should be the non SMA unit that has a little switch for Master/Slave) - best port to use is the Telem port which is next to the Outputs
6. Power on APM using a BEC providing a nice stable 5v (don't have any Servoos in to start with just to make sure it is not a lack of power to the unit.)
At this stage you should start to see the blinking, etc.
Power is a green LED that should stay solid.
Red and Blue near outputs should blink rapidly on start up then orange will blink faintly with the Blue intermittently blinking too, you should see this corresponding with blinking of the xbee lights - this indicates there is two way communication between the APM and the xbee (not nescesarily between APM and ground-station at this point.
When in MP or even Arduino if programming from there, are you able to go into terminal mode and see the output - it should give you a setup screen pretty much straight away.
The default setup in the APM files is 57600 for telemetry/mavlink - so have MP set to 57600
I should also mention that when trying to do the connection via xbee, the PC side xbee does not have it's TX/RX lights do not flicker at all, and sometimes the RSSI light on the plane side will light up for about a second, however the connection always times out saying "no heartbeat packets recieved"
Thanks for the reply.
Firmware was uploaded using the standard selection. I've tried powering using 5V off the bec, however when I do that ONLY the green power light goes on solid and the blue light on the GPS starts and stays solid. When powered by BEC the A,B and C status lights do not flicker what so ever. (The AB&C lights only light when powered via USB)
I've followed your steps for connection but it still will not connect. I should mention though neither of my Xbees have a master/slave switch (that I can see) is there a way to set this in XCTU?
Any Chance of laying it all out on a bench, with all connections AS IS (i.e. this to that and so on.) and taking a few photos then uploading them?
You can't use Xbee or other wireless telemetry while the USB is plugged in (they share the same port). Please see the manual.
Also just something to note, I tried running the tests in CLI mode (via usb connection) and the other tests work properly, however the relay test (which the manual says should cause a faint clicking every 5 seconds produces no sound that I can hear.... what exactly is the relay test and is the lack of a click an indication of a larger hardware problem.
Also I tried setting up the master and slave settings (coordinator and end unit bit) but that still makes no difference when trying to connect when the ardupilot is BEC powered
I can see where you have connected via side UART port - but as I mentioned my best result was the 0/2 telem port near output pins.
By chance were you testing them with the scope when USB was still plugged in? When USB is plugged in it has the effect of shutting down the Telem port altogether...
I can see power light on APM with BEC plugged in and no USB, but with no lights on the board apart from GPS light - I'm thinking it might be a faulty board.
Do the blue/red/orange light up when transferring data and in CLI mode when plugged into USB?
Org - also just checking did you upload the firmware using Mission Planner or Arduino - if using Arduino you need to uncomment the line saying that the APM is APM1.
By that I mean that in APM_Config.h file there is the following lines:
// # define CONFIG_APM_HARDWARE APM_HARDWARE_APM2
// # define APM2_BETA_HARDWARE
Get rid of the // in front of the first line - otherwise Arduino uploads the code as though it is APM1 rather than APM2
The firmware updates and settings changes have been done through the mission planner.
Hey, just got it to connect and work fine, It was just the settings on the coordinator/end unit for the xbees. Thanks so much for your help Leigh. Very much appreciated. =]
Terrific - glad we could help - enjoy.