Tom Gibson
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Tom Gibson's Discussions

Differencial thrust with twin motors

Started this discussion. Last reply by Tom Gibson Sep 14, 2012. 1 Reply

Has anyone done a mod for using twin motors for thrust?  The application I would like to implement is on a boat with twin screws but I am not sure where to start.  I think it shouldn't be too…Continue

APM2 GPS non-functional

Started this discussion. Last reply by Tom Gibson Sep 15, 2012. 14 Replies

Hello, I have been reading over several of the problems people have experienced with the MediaTek MT3329 (?) GPS that ships with APM2.  I have not been able to get any signal out of the unit. I have…Continue

 

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Latest Activity

Tom Gibson commented on Thomas J Coyle III's group ArduRover User Group
"I second the motion by Doug Chevrier on the dual throttle feature for boats. I would love to incorporate it myself but am not familiar enough with the code. Either the elevator or rudder channel could be used for this I think.  Glad to see this…"
Dec 22, 2012
Tom Gibson left a comment for Doug Chevrier
"Doug,  I can only tell you what I have gathered.  I think you will find what you need here.  I have the same thoughts on the second motor.  I have looked over the code myself and had a programmer friend look at it but we…"
Oct 9, 2012
Doug Chevrier left a comment for Tom Gibson
"Tom-- Last Friday I connected my APM 2.5 to my laptop and oggled the flashing lights!  The APM came to life.  Using Mission Planner, I looked thru a list of parameters & commands.  Mission Planner now has an ArduRover…"
Oct 9, 2012
Tom Gibson left a comment for Doug Chevrier
"Doug,   Yes, if you only need two modes you could probably use your B switch fine, as long as it goes to ch8 input.   You're also right about APM passing through in Manual mode.  In Manual, you could use whatever channel for any…"
Oct 3, 2012
Doug Chevrier left a comment for Tom Gibson
"Chris Anderson left a comment that the manuals are linked in the Product Listing.  What I've seen there isn't quite enough.  What are the Eagle Files?  I downloaded them (2) but don't have an app to open them."
Oct 3, 2012
Doug Chevrier left a comment for Tom Gibson
"Tom-- I'm learning a lot about my system setup and about the APM2.5!  The receiver (Futaba FP-R138DP PCM1024) uses only 3 channels, 2 thru 4.  As I mentioned, #5 is connected to the B switch.  #2 is the Elevator & 3 is…"
Oct 3, 2012
Tom Gibson left a comment for Doug Chevrier
"Doug, I can relate to your frustration - it takes a while to learn how to navigate the site with so much information. I think the best place for APM2.5 info is in the ArduPlane Manual, Setup, APM2.x.  Keep in mind that ArduRover was begun as a…"
Oct 2, 2012

3D Robotics
Chris Anderson left a comment for Tom Gibson
"Doug, all the APM manuals are linked in the product listing."
Oct 2, 2012
Doug Chevrier left a comment for Tom Gibson
"Tom--   I received my APM2.5 with LEAS-6 today.  Problem:  No manual, user or otherwise, and I can't find it on 3DR.  I've seen references to it, and really need something in-depth so I know where to go, what…"
Oct 2, 2012
Tom Gibson commented on Thomas J Coyle III's group ArduRover User Group
"@TCIII, I use the same TxRx for my boat. It works great and I presume it would be just as good for a land based rover. More intuitive than stick, IMO.  Regards, TG"
Oct 2, 2012
Tom Gibson commented on Thomas J Coyle III's group ArduRover User Group
"@TCIII - Haven't tried Ublox on APM2.5, but it works great on 2.0!  Much better than MediaTek.  TG"
Oct 1, 2012
Tom Gibson left a comment for Doug Chevrier
"Doug-- The Z-Boat and Q-Boat are very similar from what I have gathered - size, control, mission, etc.  I currently have APM2.0 with the U-blox GPS.  Don't even bother with MediaTek!  Haven't gotten an accuracy measurement…"
Sep 20, 2012
Doug Chevrier left a comment for Tom Gibson
"Tom-- I Googled Z-Boat and the pics look like a full sized boat!  My Q-Boat is maybe 6 ft. long and carries no passengers.  Right now it maneuvers via Radio Control.  I think I've decided on the ArduRover APM 2.5, but I'm a…"
Sep 20, 2012
Tom Gibson replied to Tom Gibson's discussion APM2 GPS non-functional
"This thread is getting a bit stale but thought I'd add one more comment for future searchers.  I ended up getting a U-blox GPS in place of the MediaTek I was originally using and it seems to have solved all my problems.  Even gets a…"
Sep 15, 2012
Tom Gibson replied to Tom Gibson's discussion Differencial thrust with twin motors
"The motors are counter-rotating, otherwise I could just drive them off the same channel."
Sep 14, 2012
Tom Gibson posted a discussion

Differencial thrust with twin motors

Has anyone done a mod for using twin motors for thrust?  The application I would like to implement is on a boat with twin screws but I am not sure where to start.  I think it shouldn't be too difficult to modify code to drive the motors in unison when in auto mode.  I would like to maintain differential thrust capability in manual mode but it is not necessary in auto.  Perhaps someone has done this for a twin prop airplane?  It would be helpful to know where to look in the code to make a change…See More
Sep 5, 2012

Profile Information

About Me:
Father of 3 (mostly) grown kids. Former full-time aircraft mechanic - A&P, IA. Now working in optical and mechanical engineering and systems integration.
Please tell us a bit about your UAV interest
I've always been intrigued by RC vehicles and more recently UAVs. I have recently been discovering the whole maker movement and DIYDrones in particular through a colleague which has sparked my interest further.
Hometown:
San Diego, CA

Comment Wall (8 comments)

At 4:41pm on August 21, 2012, Andrew law said…

Hi Tom,

thank you for your quick response. what i am trying to do is to implement an external GPS onto APM2 via the I2C port that locates closet to the on-board GPS. the reason for this is because the ext. GPS i have only takes 3.3V or else it fries. And the existing ext. GPS port that is closer to the SD card exerting 5V to the port.

due to the lack of EM406 connector i am not able to use the port directly which force me to the idea of using the group of 4 pin holes that is right next to/behind it. I use the multimeter to check the voltage at the holes behind these ports and found them to have the same voltage as their respected VIN.i powered it up and it seems to work except i dont know where to obtain the data.  on the DIY site with the manual, i am able to disconnect the on-board GPS but i failed to tell APM2 that the new GPS is at the I2C port not the GPS port. do you know what i can do?  is there any different between using TX/RX and SCL SDA to transfer GPS data?

At 7:33am on August 22, 2012, Tom Gibson said…

I'm afraid that's way beyond me, my friend. I do well to have things work when they're plugged in to their standard ports! I have the external GPS that came with APM1 and it works well as long as I have clean power to the board. Maybe someone else will pick up on this thread and offer some help. Sorry!

At 7:11am on September 20, 2012, Doug Chevrier said…

Tom--

I Googled Z-Boat and the pics look like a full sized boat!  My Q-Boat is maybe 6 ft. long and carries no passengers.  Right now it maneuvers via Radio Control.  I think I've decided on the ArduRover APM 2.5, but I'm a bit concerned about the Ublox LEA-6 GPS.  If I read the specs right, its accuracy is +/- 2.5 meters.  That's quite an area.  Anyway, next step is to order the hardware and get started. 

At 2:27pm on October 2, 2012, Doug Chevrier said…

Tom--

 

I received my APM2.5 with LEAS-6 today.  Problem:  No manual, user or otherwise, and I can't find it on 3DR.  I've seen references to it, and really need something in-depth so I know where to go, what to do to get this boat running.  My major burning question is, what kind of signal does the RC/Autopilot input require?  My only spare FUTABA channel is from the "B" switch, which changes the 70Hz pulses from 1ms to 2ms width.  Does the APM2.5 recognize that, or is a solid level required?  Lotsa questions here!!

At 2:38pm on October 2, 2012,
3D Robotics
Chris Anderson
said…

Doug, all the APM manuals are linked in the product listing.

At 10:22am on October 3, 2012, Doug Chevrier said…

Tom--

I'm learning a lot about my system setup and about the APM2.5!  The receiver (Futaba FP-R138DP PCM1024) uses only 3 channels, 2 thru 4.  As I mentioned, #5 is connected to the B switch.  #2 is the Elevator & 3 is the Throttle.  These are connected to a ROBOTEQ AX1500 Dual Channel Digital Motor Controller.  #4 runs directly to the Rudder.  This may help you with your twin screws.  Apparently, the AX1500 is programmed so the right screw is controlled by the Elevator (the right joystick), and the left screw is controlled by the throttle (left joystick).  I tried to communicate with it via RS232 Com1, but there were comm errors.  I'll try again.  I don't think I'll need the 3-position switch (G), since I need only 2 modes.

 

I'm assuming that in RC mode, the APM2.5 passes signals straight thru to the outputs, but in Autopilot mode, the outputs are controlled by the waypoint programming.  I'm gonna need to buy some servo extension cables for connecting receiver outputs to the APM2.5.  Also, since the receiver & ROBOTEQ are in a box inside the boat, I'll need an extension for the GPS unit since it has to see the sky from the deck of the boat.

At 10:38am on October 3, 2012, Doug Chevrier said…

Chris Anderson left a comment that the manuals are linked in the Product Listing.  What I've seen there isn't quite enough.  What are the Eagle Files?  I downloaded them (2) but don't have an app to open them.

At 7:11am on October 9, 2012, Doug Chevrier said…

Tom--

Last Friday I connected my APM 2.5 to my laptop and oggled the flashing lights!  The APM came to life.  Using Mission Planner, I looked thru a list of parameters & commands.  Mission Planner now has an ArduRover configuration, with some new commands.  Now I need to reprogram one channel to operate the Right Throttle, which comes from the RX channel 2 (normally Elevator).  Intuitively, any APM channel can be reprogrammed to do that by copying the code from APM channel 2.  APM 3 is the Elevator chanel, but I don't think that must be used; there are optional channels that might be easier to program.  But what is used to change programming in the APM channels, Arduino, Flip, what?  And where can I find the individual channel coding (I assume it's in C or C++)?  One final question:  What is Git???  Thanks for your help.  I feel a bit lost and need a clear roadmap.

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