I am looking to expand the capabilities of my APM 2.0  I am wondering if anyone would answers to the following questions concerning the APM 2.0

  Can I connect an Arduino Relay Shield to the APM?  If not, would it be possible to connect another Arduino to the APM 2.0?  Via the Atmega 2650 SPI port or the Atmega 32U2 SPI port?  These are serial interfaces but these maybe inactive when a telemetry module (Xbee) is connected to the APM. 

My goal is to be able to control multiple relays via the APM 2.0 telemetry and I am researching a method to do this.  The easiest method to me seems to be to connect the APM to an arduino board with a 6 relay shield.  If you have any tips or suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.  Cheers,

Rick

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I'd use GPIO pins and make relay cables.  By that I mean wire up a little relay at some point in your cable and throw a piece of shrink tube over it.

You'll save some weight by not adding another whole board to the system.

I often dig relays out of junk electronics since they're fairly large and easy to spot, easy to desolder, and fairly expensive to buy new.

Thanks for your help.

Am I correct in assuming the pins A1 - A9 are the GPIO pins in this diagram?

http://code.google.com/p/arducopter/wiki/APM2board.  Cheers,

Rick

Yep.  All the PWM outputs and inputs should also be able to be set for GPIO.

Looks like they already have made mention of adding an external relay.  I'm guessing it will be a relay cable just like I mentioned.

I'm thinking about doing everything over the i2c bus, I can get 4 relays on 1 connection on the bus, and leave the GPIO pins for other stuff.  I am still waiting on my assembled board so I have plenty of time to think this trough.  Cheers,

Rick

What are you planning with the relays?  How much power do they need to handle?

I think I2C may be WAY overkill and a lot of work to implement.  There are lots of spare GPIO pins and they are easy to switch on and off, so I wouldn't try anything too fancy unless you need a LOT of relays.

Rick,

Did you get this working using the GPIO pins or did you go a different direction?  My application (an ACS) would need 6 channels.

Thanks,

Larry D. Grater

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