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A Very Special thanks to the company RFM (the maker of the amazing DNT900 radio) for their support of my project!!!
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PLEASE RESPOND IF YOU ARE INTERESTED!!! OR HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS!!!
Project DREAMSHIELD - What is it?
Dreamshield is an Arduino Mega shield that will effectively replace or augment your limited hobby remote control system with a long range (DNT900P based) open source alternative. Your Remote will be augmented with a "basestation" board (attached to your arduino mega #1). If you do not have a nice remote, it will allow a PS3 (or other) controller to act as your remote. The receiver module will also be replaced with a similar "remote" board (attached to your arduino mega #2) that will interface up to 16 servo's and ESC's, up to two camera's, GPS, IMU, flight LED's and has an onboard pressure/temperature sensor.
What sort of vehicles can it be used with?
Any! well, within reason of course! There will be an "on-the-fly" programming button that will allow the user to pick a vehicle mode (0-4). This means that you can toss this in your favorite RC car, (set it to mode 1), drive around a bit... then pull it, place it in your quad-rotor (set it to mode 4) and take an adventurous flight around the neighborhood.
Each of these settings will re designate the servo's/esc's, how they act, and what control sticks do what. It will give a little more versatility to the board, and open up the possibilities of what you can mod it to do! Instructions and video demo on page 5 of this forum.
((there will also be modes for X-Y camera and X-Y antenna tracking - neither, either/or, or both))
Now the more nitty-gritty. BOTH the Base and Remote boards have...
- DNT900P long range telemetry radio which offers up to 40km range with proper antenna's - with a data rate of 115200k! If you are interested in slightly less range, you can crank the baud rate up to a fast 500k!
- RGB status LED(s) for feedback
- External interface connector that allows connection to +5v, GND, Serial TX/RX (3.3v), 2 analog inputs, 2 PWM outputs, 4 digital I/O's, and one transistor/PWM driven LED output. This allows other devices (gps, imu, other sensors) to interface to the board
- Power input connection for easy interface to a BEC to power it ((5V INPUT))
- Programming button to select vehicle type, camera/antenna gimbal, and controller type. Programming instructions are on page 5
The BASE has
- USB port on it will allow for a completely new kind of control! a PS3 controller can now be used to control your long range UAV! The PS3 is a fantastic interface because the 10 buttons on it are all pressure sensitive and will read out a value between 0-255. There are three buttons with boolean output, two triggers with pressure sensitivity, and two thumb joysticks! There is also two adjustable output rumble motors (high/low), and 4 LED's that can be used for feedback (ie. signal strength)
With some more programming, it can also be made to recognize your preferred USB enabled RC transmitter/controller.
The REMOTE has
- 16x Servo/esc connections, each at 12-bit (4096 step) resolution.
- video switching, so up to two camera's can be interfaced with this board, and you can remotely switch which camera is being broadcast by your video system!! typically, I for-see a tilt compensated flight camera, and a camera pointed strait down for observation. Then they can be alternated via the SELECT button on the PS3 controllers!
- Pressure/Temperature monitoring on I2C
- (the external connection ports are for you to interface your own IMU and GPS to the board - everyone has their own preference!) the LED connection is a 2222 transistor driven output that should allow for some bright flight LED's (strobes, or flood lights)
There are two boards per kit - a BASE(command) and a REMOTE(uav). The boards are Identical - but are populated differently based on their desired purpose. This is a (poor) picture showing the board and where the connections are located
DIY - two boards, and all the parts to populate them
Prebuilt - Two boards built up, and ready to go!
(arduino boards not included in either kit)
A ROUGH price estimate will be between $100 ~ 315 (DIY - PreBuilt , respectively).
Things are liable to change - v1.0b is not finalized.
CODE will be open source - some of it is adapted from other open source projects, and credit is given in my code.
please let me know who's interested!
((remnants of my proof of concept))
** I do Not expect this shield to work with the Arduino Mega ADK due to interference of extra USB port, and possible programming shenanigans, but i can not confirm or deny this.
For the time being, Arduino Mega 1280 has been tested and 2560 should work.