Developer

PixRacer with Ardupilot

This is a discussion to focus the feedback and support of ardupilot on the PixRacer board from AUAV.co.

We believe that all teething problems encountered are now resolved and so we recommend people load Copter-3.3.4 which is available for all multicopters through the Mission Planner's (and other GCS's) Install Firmware screens.  Note that because regular Pixhawks are still on Copter-3.3.3 the install icon may show Copter-3.3.3 but rest assured, Copter-3.3.4 will be installed (you can check the version by looking at the very top of the Mission Planner).

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  • I feel like where in the half baked area.

    APM flight stack works for the most part, at least it flies.  I am also the most familiar with this code.  Things that are not working are:

    1) RGB LED no output.

    2) WiFi port not available (UART0 on PX4 but A-E on APM?)

    3)  Safety switch no input.

    4) Safety switch light stays solid red.

    5) RSSI in port no reading.

    6) All at once ESC calibration causes the flight controller to lock up after arming the motors.

    7) I2C port does not have GND and 5V installed so external devices not usable.

    8) Need values for Battery Monitor and Current.

    I tried using PX4 flight stack and they seems to have everything working.  But this is like learning to fly again.  All different layout and parameters are different as well. Again at least you can fly.

    Some issues I have are no RELAY pins to use.  On APM I set CHOUT5 and 6 as RELAY pins and that worked.

    I have Switch 7 set as LAND but that's not available.  Have to set it to RETURN.  I tried this and the copter started to fly off to somewhere.  I think the HOME location it came up with.  It was not where it took off from.  Since the logging looks so different I have no idea where the flight logs are or even if there are any.  Would be nice to know where it was flying off too.

    Configuration was simple once you understand what it wants you to do.  In some case the screen starts to scroll instead of showing you the picture.  Still having issues with the battery monitor.  Didn't see anywhere on how to set that up.

    At least the steering wheel is on the same side so you can fly it, but there is no Auto Tune and tuning in general looks like trial and error.  The RGB LED works but is of little value since it only flashes blue and goes solid blue when armed.  On APM it turns green when it has a GPS lock so I know my home location is going to be set correctly.

    Well if this was DJI they would have had all these things worked out before the released the product.  But that's not what I purchased.  I purchased open hardware and software and I like being able to use XYZ parts with XYZ software.  That's what separates the avid programmer from the bunch.

    I still don't see where APM has recognized the board.  I believe that the PixRacer is board 11 which is it PX4 version 2 since it can't be Pixhawk version 2 which is already used or is it now 4.  Or maybe we should just label it another clone as it has some of the same pin outs as the original Pixhawk and since 3DR is not backing it wouldn't that make it a clone board?

    Anyway having fun looking this stuff over and if the code wasn't so nested in I might be able to figure why some of these things don't work.  It's not enough to know the language and how it works.

  • Here is a clip of it flying, or trying to.  I can only assume the massive wobble is the ESC calibration.
    Throttle stick seems erratic too.

    • This would seem to be an ESC calibration issue. Your motors should spin when armed and the throttle at its minimum stick position.
      • There is an adjustment on that at least on the APM code. You can have them spin slowly or not at all... at least that's what I remember. 

        • or if it's in throw mode they won't spin by default ... I'm sure it's irrelevant to the issue.... but just saying... 

      • Thanks for the quick response

        Thats what I thought too...I don't see any way I can do the ESC calibration since all at once is not working thru the APM firmware and PixRacer. 

        • What brand ESCs are you using?

        • It is possible to calibrate each ESC using a PWM receiver.
          • It seems to be slow to react too, when im throttle down fast, its still spinning up sometimes

            • Developer

              My guess is you're using "latest"?  So the code was loaded by pressing Ctrl-Q on the MP's firmware install screen?  If that's the case then you're beta testing Copter-3.4 and it's modified motor spool up logic.  That logic is that it has a 0.5 sec spool up (or down) time.  Perhaps we need to allow that time to be higher or lower depending upon the frame (big copters probably want it slow, small copters want it really short).

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