FYI, it is very easy to display convenient live MAVLink data on your (9X/9XR/etc) radio screen using OpenTx and OpenLRSng. You can also simultaneously pass the data to Mission Planner running on your PC via a USB FTDI cable (3v3).
I use a 9XR radio running OpenTX compiled with EXT=MAVLINK (or installed automatically using the Companion9X app by ticking MAVLINK extension), and the latest version of OpenLRSng (Gitsly branch). I use a cheap OrangeRX Tx module ($29) in the 9XR, and OrangeRx Rx module ($19) in the plane. This gives me 433MHz RC control over the plane, as well as a MAVLink-compatible serial link (57600 baud, 19200 datarate). No need for extra XBee/3DR/RFD radios.
With this cost-saving combination, I get MAVLink data displayed on my 9XR screen (mode, nav, link, batt, GPS, etc), and by plugging a FTDI cable between my Tx module and laptop, Mission Planner also gets live flight data - normal display of flight data, maps, etc.
The upside is low cost and only the 433MHz RF channel used (no extra modem transmitting other frequencies), which also gives power consumption, weight reduction, and possible range benefits (less RF near antennas as opposed to using a separate telemetry radio).
I just thought it was a setup worth mentioning for new and budget conscious DIY-ers, or those wanting a second, less hard-core setup, such as on a slope soarer.
The original setup discussions (parts out of date now) and procedure summary is here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1913501
Devices are here:
- OrangeRX LRS UHF Tx module 100mW (~$15): http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...095&aff=913237
- OrangeRX LRS UHF Tx module 1W (~$30): http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=43852&aff=913237
- OrangeRX LRS UHF Rx (~$15): http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...096&aff=913237
- Turnigy 9XR radio (~$50): http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...544&aff=913237
NOTE: for 9X/9XR you will need to make a few small mods to the module connector pins on the 9XR/Tx to enable bi-directional serial I/O.
Special thanks to Kha (OpenLRSng), Martin (Gitsly/OpenLRSng) and Rienk (OpenTX/MAVLink) to get this operational.
Rienk's dev thread: http://diydrones.com/forum/topics/mavlink-ardupilot-opentx-extension
Companion9X for radio firmware: http://www.open-tx.org/downloads.html
Martin's Gitsly/OpenLRSng firmware for Rx/Tx modules: https://github.com/gitsly/openLRSng