A discussion page to allow me to add my experiences using a Raspberry Pi 2/3/Zero V1.2/1.3 as a companion computer for Ardupilot/APM/Pixhawk flight boards. I will update my experiences as I learn, feel free to comment and offer tips, it's all free here.

I'm building a github for my experiments: https://github.com/benb0jangles/Companion-Pi

Drone Unit: Raspberry Pi Zero V1.3 + Pi Camera Module
img file: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1cVb3uX0f0dQTZzSmVISFdYd3M

Ground Unit: Raspberry Pi 2

img file: <to be added>

Goggles Unit: Raspberry Pi Zero V1.3

img file: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1cVb3uX0f0dakFpaTAyVF9HV2s

Ardupilot Technical Questions:

Also, if you have any technical code/hardware questions which you feel may take ongoing contributions and help over an extended timeframe, feel free to ask over on Ardupilot.org technical discussion page herehttp://discuss.ardupilot.org/t/companion-pi-2-3-zero/9460

I will update as I get by, please contribute by offering your 'plug & play' wifi adapters using Raspbian Jessie. Also, if you happen to pick up this project, and are working faster than me, then please send us your own .img file experiments. Thanks.

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errrr, no.

instead of using Wifi with Hotspots he only uses the Wifi Chips to send out the Stream without all the 802.11 framing, re-negotitation, etc...

it's NOT just using gstreamer....

Also, he already did quite some testing of wifi dongles :-)

nstead of using Wifi with Hotspots he only uses the Wifi Chips to send out the Stream without all the 802.11 framing, re-negotitation, etc..

So UDP streaming using gstreamer.

it's NOT just using gstreamer....

Just...So, you are using gstreamer.

This project will send data + video, yours is only sending video correct? I like what you have done with your research on testing wifi dongles, maybe you would like to help with this open-source project?

If you have experience with lots of dongles and can say whether they are plug & play that would help lots of people.

Also, if you are using error-corrected UDP (UDT) then why not help out with showing the world this connection protocol instead of creating your product?

I like what you did, many people have done great things with UDP streaming who I am grateful to for sharing guides, educating, learning. But without the 'stop what you are doing' statements, or 'ours is better' talk, without providing learning for others you seem like a barrier.

Either you didn't look at wifibroadcast or you didn't understand it.  It's worth looking at.

I like it, and I do look at it; my point is, it does not broadcast telemetry data which is what this project is aiming to create, I hope their project promotes this too while encouraging others to learn, it's his defensive stance which worries me, as it does in anything.

It doesn't use udp or gstreamer, it bypasses most of the network stack and injects packets at the wifi level so it doesn't suffer from dropped wifi connections.  It has it's own problems of course, but it's a very, very clever take on digital fpv.  It looks like you're just using standard wifi + gstreamer, and then patrick duffy's work/builtin GCS functionality to render the telemetry data at the client end.  This has it's own advantages over wifibroadcast but also major (fatal) flaws inherent with standard associated wifi.  Have you actually tried flying this yet?

Wifibroadcast also has provision to send telemetry data but does it in a different way:

https://befinitiv.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/telemetry-osd-for-wifibr...

https://github.com/SamuelBrucksch/wifibroadcast_osd

Interesting approach you're taking on rcgroups.

There is no magic bullet, nothing opensource works brilliantly well, yet.  The new connex offering will be very interesting to see but I assume it's closed source.

thanks Fnoop, I do like the befinitiv project and I think it is the best current solution for HD digital video right now too. For me this project is for my own personal learning and knowledge, which I wish to document and share. I hope to eventually have a low-cost system plan available for everyone to receive HD video and telemetry data (a ghetto lightbridge), the lightbridge system s something that interests me, and from what I have learned is that it has dual wifi signals on the drone, but three wifi + 1 usb/uart on the ground - the 3rd wifi repeats video to the tablet, and usb/uart sends data to the tablet. Obviously, tablets only have 1 wifi so it utilizes usb as second for data/telemetry.

It seems this (ghetto lightbridge) setup can be achieved for around £60-70/$100 which is a great project to build.

Thanks for messaging 

it is indeed a great project to build!

Have a look at the diversity in wifibroadcast:

https://befinitiv.wordpress.com/2015/05/24/diversity-for-wifibroadc...

it's pretty cool, as you can plug two wifi cards into your receiving station and they themselves can have mimo dual antennas.

The key is in a good hardware setup.  The sweet spot seems to be powerful transmitter and sensitive receiver (seems obvious, right :).  The alfa cards work great as tx as they have injectable chipsets and have a great big amplifier  so they are very powerful, but they're really bad as rx as they seem to have very poor receiver sensitivity.  There are fortunately multiple cheaper smaller cards that have much better rx sensitivity.  Then antennae, so you can use for example circular polarity mushroom antennae or dish antennae.  I actually use the ImmersionRC 5.8ghz mushroom and dish antennae meant for analogue fpv with 5.8ghz wifi adapters, works brilliantly - and you can use this with standard wifi/gstreamer methods as well.  The dish antenna gives you amazing range but of course you have to point it in the right direction to work.  I found the circular mushrooms still give excellent range, certainly well past the point of legal flying in US/UK.

Good Luck :)

the adapters I am using for testing and setup are 5x cheap ralink RT5370 usb dongles with screw antennas:
here link

they work with raspbian jessie out of the box. $2 each approx

I use these:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/300Mbps-high-performance-antennas-technolo...
They work out of the box too (most wifi adapters do these days). I like the small size of yours and external antenna.

Thought I would post a pic of my companion PI Quad with a high-power WiFi adapter on this thread:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1126548

This setup, with a tracker can stream full HD over many miles of range.   I don't use wifi broadcast, but ordinary UDP, for both video and telemetery.  

http://www.wirelessdv.com/widv-one-professional-kit-58-ghz-c2x18310715 and in this link they say it works with pixhawk - http://wiki.wirelessdv.com/index.php/File:WiDV_diagram.png. There is rcgroups thread http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2245437, don't now way those are not more popular haven't tried it. It's interesting if the csi bridge will work with sony cameras and if its posible to control exposure values with usb, but that's another thing. 

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