Hey guys! First off I want to say thank you for giving me any help that you can. I am brand new to this UAV hobbyist stuff. Although I've been interested in it for a long time I only just got started because I won a contest held by 3DRobotics where they gave me their DIY Quad Kit and a DX7s transmitter.

So now to the problem.

I have successfully built the copter (including the mechanical structure and the electronics) and now I am trying to get it to fly.

I am using a Mac so I downloaded the APM Planner and I plugged in my PX4 into my computer. I successfully installed the firmware into my PX4, I calibrated the compass, and I calibrated the GPS.

I then take my DX7s and the AR8000 that came with it. I charge the battery in my DX7s, and now I'm stuck. I took the AR8000 and I successfully bound the transmitter and the receiver. I am powering the receiver through a cable plugged into the RC port on my PX4. So I only have one cable coming off of the AR8000 and its plugged into the RC port on the PX4. 

I go to calibrate the radio on the APM Planner and I don't get any readings what so ever. It only shows black boxes and then when I click "End Calibration" this comes up:

Channel Min Center Max


1 0 0 1500

2 0 0 1500

3 0 0 1500

4 0 0 1500

5 0 0 1500

6 0 0 1500

7 0 0 1500

8 0 0 1500

I can't get anything to work at all. Am I missing something that is keeping me from receiving radio control? 

Any help what so ever would be really appreciated.

Thank you so much!


Attached are pictures of what I'm working with.

photo 1.JPG

photo 2.JPG

photo 3.JPG

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  • Hi Shane,

    I have no experience with Spektrum gear but I suspect that your receiver does not output PPM as expected by the Pixhawk. You may require one of these:


    Also see here:




    ...and then I find this that confirms your problem:


    • James,

      Thank you so much for this informative response! I am going to try to hook up the AR8000 directly to the PX4 through the SPKT/DSM port on the PX4. Unfortunately, I do not have the proper 3 conductor cable used for connecting the two. Would you happen to know where I can buy one?

      If that doesn't work then I will use the PPM encoder method.

      Thank you for your help!


      • Admin


        The three conductor port on the AR8000 is a receive only port designed to receive PPM input from the Spektrum Remote Receiver.

        You can only attach a Spektrum Remote Receiver to the Pixhawk SPKT/DSM port.

        If you want to use the AR8000 receiver then you will need the PPM encoder to convert the AR8000 parallel channel output to the PPM input required by the Pixhawk.

        I do not recommend trying to use the Remote Receiver and the AR8000 receiver/PPM encoder combination at the same time with the Pixhawk.


        TCIII ArduRover2 Developer

        • Hi Thomas ,

          Have a question , i recall you explaining that is possible to use the orange receiver with the pixhawk , connected to to the rx port, and even when for some reason the channels get scrambled, it should be possible to correct it using channel mapping.

          I tried that and mapping ain't work,

          Do you have idea if anybody was able to make it work?


        • @Thomas

          Can I directly bypass the AR8000 with the Spektrum Satellite Receiver? Instead of connecting the AR8000 to the PX4 can I just use the Satellite Receiver to the PX4?

          Thank you!


          • As far as I'm aware, the satellite is just an extension of the aerial on the ar8000 so you would need to use the ppm encoder.

            • Developer

              @MarkM: The manuals for Spektrum equipment can be found on the web. The satellite is a receiver in itself, not just an antenna

              The satellite receivers used by Spektrum are a complete radio system (ie. receiver) but they have only one input for the RC signals. The Spektrum 'data port'. You can plug that input into a Pixhawk or PX4.

              You need to plug the Spektrum satellite into the main receiver (i.e. AR8000) and bind it to your radio first. Then you can unplug the satellite receiver and plug it into your PX4/PH.

              Just to reiterate:

              1. Plug Spektrum Satellite into AR8000

              2. Bind AR8000 and Satellite with your receiver

              3. Unplug the Satellite from the AR800 and plug into your PX4/PH

              [Note: coming soon is a feature to skip plugging the satellite into a AR800, i.e. the PX4/PH will do the binding]

              For reference see http://copter.ardupilot.com/wiki/table-of-contents/ and http://copter.ardupilot.com/wiki/pixhawk-and-px4-compatible-rc-tran...

              • Hi Bill,

                having done that, is it possible to use the extra AR8000 for other purposes ? Is it still bound to the RC (even though the satellite is no longer attached) ? Or do I need to rebind it without the saltellite (since it's already used on the Pixhawk) ?

      • You are welcome! I believe that the SPKT/DSM port on the Pixhawk is for plugging in a satellite receiver only. I do not think you can connect the AR8000 to this port. Once again I would just like to state that I do not use Spektrum gear so please check my advice... If you do have a satellite receiver then suitable cables should be readily available from most hobby stores.


        spektrum satellite cable - Google Search
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