Discussion forum for UAVDevBoard, Sparkfun's 3-axis IMU-based autopilot board

This is the place to discuss the new open source IMU-based autopilot board by Bill Premerlani.

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Power the UDB from it's own battery or power source while programming. That is best method.

Pickit 2 can power it, but it is not good for UDB2 / 3 because of regulator design, not designed for back flow of electricity on UDB. I did it for many years, but in retrospect should not have.


Pickit 3 requires board to be powered separately.

Thanks again, Pete. I'm using PicKit2, but I'll take the safer route, as you suggested.



All of my hardware has now arrived: UDBv3, EM-406A, OpenLog, and PicKit2. I installed MPLAB and the C compiler with no problems. I doubt I'll get to the actual hardware setup this week, because I still have a lot of reading of user guides to do. However, I don't recall seeing anything yet that states whether all components should be attached before initializing UDB, or if the process should be done by initializing UDB first, then add one component at a time. Any recommendations?


Dear William Premerlani,

Could LPR430L and LPY330ALH gyros and MAA7361 accelero be used in Gentlenav ( UAVDEVboard) ?

Thanks in advance with best regards

Nick Arsow

@Tony, I think it's best to download MatrixPilot3.1 and in there you will find a directory called "RollPitchYaw".

I would test the UDB using that software. It will demonstrate whether the fundamental accelerometers and gyros are working correctly. You only need to attach three servos to channel outputs 1, 2,3 (and you need attach nothing to the inputs). And of course a power source (I use 5V). Check out the options.h in RollPitchYaw to see what the settings are. They probably are correct with their default settings.


Then start the board up with the RollPitchYaw firmware loaded. When you tilt the board in roll, pitch and yaw,  each respective servo should move by proportionally to sine(roll),sine(pitch), sine(yaw). That is a good way to test the main board initially. Have a read of main.c in the RollPitchYaw directory. It is lovely and short, and will give you a beter idea of what is going on.


If that passes, then add on the GPS unit.

The green LED will flash if the board is in communication with the GPS. (i.e. receiving data from the GPS).


If that passes, then I would move onto configuring and loading up tje MatrixPilot3.1 firmware proper. (In the MatrixPilot directory).



This video on my own development setup two years ago is getting a little dated. But it may be of help for you.


Best wishes, Pete


Thanks for the info, Pete. I downloaded MatrixPilot3.1 a couple of days ago, but I'm still reading through all of the documentation and planning my operation. The software is not difficult to understand, but there is a lot to consider, if that makes sense. I also watched your video. I don't use a separate Rx pack; I assume it is safe to power UDB through the ESC's throttle plug? 



@Tony, I think that using the power from the  ESC introduces some risk. The servos can drop the power on the main power rail amazingly. The UDB3 dspic30F4011 is amazingly resillient to power drops. It will actuall keep running right down until 1.8V although this will effect the some of the A to D conversion from the accelerometers and gyros. My own view is that it's best to use a separate switching power supply ( I use one from dimension engineering), and a 2.4Ghz transmitter that is immune from most interferrence.

But this question is best asked on the uavdevboard discussion list. I expect there are many people that just use the ESC's power output. I started out that way and changed. But then I have 6 servos in my plane. (2 additional camera servos, one of which is a sail winch servo). Best wishes, Pete

Thanks Pete.



Pete, I followed the steps you recommended. Everything seems to be in operational order. My first time through was a little confusing, but I just followed the programming guide and the notes I took. No error messages during the build. Now I need to install it in a plane and start ground tests. Thanks for all the advice.



Good to Know. Thanks.

I would be intereste to know what make/model tof plane and radio.

Best wishes, Pete

I will be putting it in an Easystar that I often use for AP. The radio is a Spectrum 2.4GHz.



I ended up installing UDB in my fairly new Multiplex Mentor. I flew the plane with UDB in stabilized mode for the first time this afternoon. I couldn't be more pleased with how the flight went. The Mentor is already a good plane, and with UDB it is rock solid. Very stable. Good product, guys.



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