Good morning,

 For a university group project we are building an autonomous drone capable of doing certain tasks. We've decided to use the 3DR Pixhawk 1.0 flight controller but after days of searching we've realized that you can't buy the 3DR Pixhawk 1.0 anymore and when we finally think we've found one it turns out to be a clone haha. So now we're looking at the alternative, the 3DR Pixhawk mini. Is the mini as customizable as the 3DR Pixhawk 1.0? I know it's suppose to be a better flight controller but for its smaller size have they got rid of certain functions and connections?

We plan on wiring in our own camera among other sensors. Are there flight controllers that allow for easier modification than others? Is Pixhawk the right choice for this type of project?

Any help would be appreciated!

Thank you

Curt

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The original Pixhawk has more I/O ports, including extra serial ports, so if you're wiring in other devices that might be the better choice for you. The clones tend to be pretty good, in my experience, but there are no guarantees. 

However, if you're using a camera, I'd strongly suggest you consider the Navio 2 shield on a Raspberry Pi 3. That's what I use for all my projects that require video and it works exactly like the Pixhawk (runs the same code), too,

High quality bare bones Pixhawk1 boards are available from mRobotics

http://store.mrobotics.io/category-s/106.htm

Thank you for the information!

The Navio 2 looks really good. It looks like there is a lot of support out there for it too.

We did happen to come across that bare bones Pixhawk 1 board the other day but we've never heard of it or the company so we weren't sure. We couldn't find any reviews online about it either. Have you had much experience with the bare bones board?

In addition to the Navio2 that Chris is recommending you might want to research the following as well.

The Pixhawk 2 is likely your most solid Pixhawk compatible controller.

It is produced by Philip Rowse at ProfiCNC and is fully supported by the Arducopter and Ardupilot developers.

http://www.proficnc.com/

Also there are the ErleBrain2 and VRBrain, both with excellent support from both their manufacturers and full support from the Ardupilot community.

http://erlerobotics.com/blog/erle-brain-2/

and

https://vrbrain.wordpress.com/

In addition to Ardupilot, the ErleBrain2 also supports ROS.

Best regards,

Gary

I may sell my original 3DR Pixhawk actually unused, if you want. I need to replace it.

Hi Chris, I need to build a new drone and I want to use an onboard camera. Do you still think that the Navio 2 is the best option? 

I also want to use an Nvidia Jetson TX2 as onboard computer. 

I would like to fly indoor though and with multiple drones. 

Thanks for your help. 

Chris Anderson said:

The original Pixhawk has more I/O ports, including extra serial ports, so if you're wiring in other devices that might be the better choice for you. The clones tend to be pretty good, in my experience, but there are no guarantees. 

However, if you're using a camera, I'd strongly suggest you consider the Navio 2 shield on a Raspberry Pi 3. That's what I use for all my projects that require video and it works exactly like the Pixhawk (runs the same code), too,

Hi all,

Getting ready for spring, and Im converting my APM 2.8 to a Pixhawk Mini.  Im a little baffled because I assumed (perhaps without reading any instructions!) that the connectors are different, and hence the GPS and power distributor connecters dont seem to match up.  Am I dreaming or is this the case?  Thanks very much.

Hi Thomas,

Pixhawk mini uses JST-SH type connectors whereas APM 2.8 uses DF-13. So you're not dreaming at all, they are incompatible.

Thomas Finan said:

Hi all,

Getting ready for spring, and Im converting my APM 2.8 to a Pixhawk Mini.  Im a little baffled because I assumed (perhaps without reading any instructions!) that the connectors are different, and hence the GPS and power distributor connecters dont seem to match up.  Am I dreaming or is this the case?  Thanks very much.

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