1st message and 1st mistake : I was posting in Chris Anderson's blog !! Repaired by this new discussion ...>>

Hello everybody.
First, felicitations for a such interesting forum, and happy new year 2010 !

I am a futur new 9DOF-razor user, from France.

I will be a brand new IMU user, but already familiar with airborne electronic equipments (my job !) and with flying hobbies (20 years of practice -and crash !!!- in gliders, F5B, engined & electric helicopters, ...)

I 've just bought my 9DOF-Razor board and waiting for it (*) , with its FTDI basic breakout 3.3V interface, and a Locosys LS20031 GPS.

My preliminary goal is to learn its sensors way of work, and pratice step by step their associated algorithms.
In a second time, may be an "home made" quadrocopter, with flight plan GPS assisted, RTH, ....

But I already have few short questions :

1. I have equipped my PC with AVR studio :
==> is it compatible with the FTDI interface for code download ?

2. I have started to compile the code provided in SparkFun 9DOF-board page. Few libs are missing
(types.h , defs.h , i2c.h , ...)
==> are they standard or attached to another compilation tool (arduino, Win AVR, ...)

Thanks a lot for your help, and best regards,

(*) I have just received the boards !!!
So my gift for the New Year : a picture of my equipment... (scale is cm, and 1 euro coin)

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Bonsoir Gilles,

To program this board, you will need Arduino IDE:
You do not need AVR to program this board unless you want to modify the bootloader, I am not sure this will work with FTDI. Maybe send a quick email to sparkfun to find out.
The processor is Atmega328, same as ArduPilot so you can select Arduino Duemilanove w/ATmega328 in IDE and you should be able to see or edit the code.
Welcome to DIYDrones and good luck!
Gilles, maybe you can use this to use AVR on the spare 6 pins on the board:
Check with Sparkfun to be sure.
Hello Olivier, and thank you for this rapid answer.

OK, I have understood for the tool.

I have installed Arduino software, and I have now to understand the way to compile a standard C file.

I have tried to open 9DOF-v11.c (provided by Sparkfun with the board) : impossible to open under Arduino.
So I have directly renamed it 9DOF-v11.pde.

Arduino has opened it but many mistakes during compiling (unknown source Java errors) ... I will have to play a little bit with Arduino environment to understand my pb ...

I will come back as soon as I manage to compile !

Best regards,
Hello Everybody !

Well , good news. I have managed to :

- connect the LS20031 GPS to my PC with the FTDI Basic Breakout - 3.3V circuit and dialog with VisualGPS software : Results are extra, accurate and fast (5 Hz !!!)

- connect the Razor 9dof IMU to my PC with the FTDI Basic Breakout - 3.3V circuit and compile in Arduino environment.
I don't like too much this environment and I would prefer build and download with AVR Studio pack, but I have to separate the problems ... later !

- and I have tested all the sensors : I have modified Sparkfun software (Win AVR) to be compatible with Arduino compiler. Success, it has worked !!!!
Then I was able to analyse in real time gyro/accelero/magnetometers data with Serial port analyzor sofware (RealTerminal).

Next task will be :

- to analyse accurately these data, and decide to delete or not HighPass filters on gyro analog outputs...

- to connect GPS to IMU (while having simultaneously PC connected to IMU ? TBD...)

- try to connect additional sensors to define the best hardware environment prior to build a complete IMU software :
. Barometric altimeter,
. Ultrasonic radio-altimeter,
. SD Card port...

Best regards,

You have done really good job. I am very new to this tracking stuff, but familiar with sensors and MCU's. I am interested in only in 9DOF-razor and plotting the data (from COM port) with MATLAB or using in Visual studio ,to implement different algorithms for my application. Could you please list out all the steps . If possible,please release an document with all the steps.
I appreciate your time.
Gilles, if you want a platform for flying a Quad with your IMU, please please consider joining the OpenPilot project at www.openpilot.org and we also have development forums at forums.openpilot.org

We already have hardware and software made and working for SDCard, Barometric altimeter sensor etc.

We are making our own AHRS which is not yet finished but testing with the Razor should be possible.

Just a thought to save you designing your own board etc.

Most of my time lately has been spent writing wiki articles to help new developers but a few others are involved as well and development continues very very quickly.

I have attached the Win AVR Sparkfun software I have brutally moved to Arduino's environment.
I have not built any libraries yet, just translated in Arduino to test the sensors.

You just need a serial port terminal (RealTerm for instance) able to set the port at :
- 38400 bd,
- Format : ANSI.

First seconds, the software activates sensors to warm them, and measure their bias.
Line number ~90, you can reset or not the offsets to record or cancel real sensors bias.

I have joined an example of capture, drawn with excel.

And I have also joined the list of simple orders to be sent to LS20031 GPS prior to test it with the PC (not yet with Razor board)

My next tasks will be :

- visualise on PC my data with interactive graphics environment (Labview I presume, I am not able to build easily a graphic software with VB or Visual studio !!!) and "play" with the sensors,

- choose (and act !) if I delete or not the highpass filters at the gyro outputs on the RAZOR board,

- talk to GPS through the Razor board,

- additional sensor to test (ultrasonic Tx/rx for automatic landing, pressure sensor ans SD Card)

- code & test std algorithms (DCM, KF, ...)

... tasks for few weeks !!!

Thank you David for the link.
But for the moment, I don't plan to realize the quad : just learning sensors' behaviour.

I have understood that the Razor 9DOF is just to play with sensor.
When I do the step of really applicative board, I will need more powerful CPU (ARM7 for instance) with a maximum of routed IO (especially the PWM outputs for ESC, and serial/I2C/SPI ports).
And your link will be very useful !!!

Best regards,
Hello everybody !
Here are short news...

I have managed to build Labview software for real time sensor monitoring : 2 screenshots attached to this message.

I have finally deleted the HP filter components (little bit difficult with such little components ...).

So now, I will have to think about additional sensors ...

Have a good week end,

PS : I have also attached a 3rd screenshot of GPS tracking (but inside my house , so medium accuracy).
Hi Gillesw,

That's nice job. I don't have LabView software to analyze and write graphical programming. If you don't mind, Could you upload the software.

I am following your approach in my project.It would be very helpful.
I appreciate your time here.
Hello Harinath, and thank you for you comment.

I am sorry but I can't upload Labview software : it is a numbered software and it is not legal in France to upload it.

But 3 legal ways to get one :

- if you are student, National Instrument sells at very low price dedicated releases,

- if you work in a firm, maybe they can buy one, it can be useful for your job,

- or, always in your firm, you can may be get old releases not used anymore.

And, if you are not especially attached to Labview environment, you can also get alternative software, for few tens of $.

But you can also find free solutions, as free C++ compiler environment, with WINDOWS graphic libraries.
It will be a little bit more complicated, but result will be almost as efficient as Labview SW.

Good luck to find your best environment,

PS : of course, if you get Labview, I can upload my developement (called "VI"), or provide you specific answers about how I have procedeed (RS232 parameters &format, GPS parametrisation, ...)
What microcontroller is expected to be used with this because the software serial ports for the Arduino(at least for the 328) only allow baud of 9600bps in stead of 38400bps? What do i use if i wanted to integrate this into an Arduino based autopilot is going with Arduino a bad idea? all suggestions welcome!
Arduino (328) does not allow only 9600bps. We use 56Kbps in ArduPilot, which is based on the 328 Arduino.

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