Triggering an On/Off Switch to turn on/off external led strips using a Pixhawk and a Spektrum DX7s

Hi,

I have an X8 from 3DR Robotics and I'd like to add some led strips that can be turned on and off through my Spektrum DX7s. I bought an on/off switch and I connected it to an Aux port on my Pixhawk (Aux out 5 or 6). But I don't know how to "conncect" that Aux port to one of the switches on my RC.

Can you please help me ?

Thanks a lot.

Views: 5492

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I don't really understand what you are asking. What do you mean you attached an on/off switch to your AUX port? What switch did you buy? Do you mean a relay?

Are you wanting to flip a switch on your Spektrum and have the aux port power on or power off your LEDs? I know LEDs don't draw very much current but it might be more than the AUX port will like to output.

I bought a turnigy relay (or a switch, I really don't know the difference). I attached a picture hoping it might help. It is connected to a Lipo battery and then to the led strip. And I attached a 3-wire cable to my Pixhawk Aux6 port (see the other picture, although the cable is not attached in it).

I can't figure out how to "connect an available switch on my RC (rudder or aileron for instance) to that Aux6 port.

Or how to connect everything in case I'm even wrong about Aux6.

Thanks for all your help

Attachments:

Why do you need to go through the PIXHAWK at all? Just attach that three wire cable to the RC receiver on your X8.

But I don't even know where it is. I looked at my rig and the only thing pluggabale that I see is the Pixhawk. Here is a picture. Can you help me find it ?

Attachments:

It is hard to tell from the picture. But you did setup the multi rotor yourself? Or did it come with the DX7 already configured with it?

Anyways, when you are holding your Spektrum flight stick, the commands you put into that by moving the flight sticks, don't go directly to the PIXHAWK. Instead, they first go to a RC receiver that is paired with your radio. 

This it what it looks like on one of my quads. 

This is a picture showing it connected to the flight controller (which for you craft is the PIXHAWK).

This RC receiver has to be connected to your PIXHAWK. You should be able to find it by tracing the wires.

If you look at this picture, it shows where on your PIXHAWK the receiver is connected.

Now, I'm not exactly sure what kind of receiver that Spektrum radio uses.

From googling it think it should look something like this. Based on that picture I definitely see one side of that receiver.

From now on I'm in uncharted territory. I'm not sure how PPM receivers work (which is the type of signal that PIXHAWK needs). Most people when converting a PWM receiver to PPM use an encoder cable like this. If that is the case. You should be able to unplug one of the channels you don't use to fly or change flight modes, to control your LEDs. Basically you will unplug, channel 7 for example from the PPM encoder, and replace that with your LED relay plug. 

I'm not 100% sure this will work as like I said I'm not sure how those PPM signals work. But that is what I would try next. And that is how you would do it if it was a PWM receiver and not a PPM reciever.

So find the receiver first. From the looks of it, it could possibly be buried in the center of your X8. Take a picture of your receiver and how it is connected to the PIXHAWK if you need more help. If it isn't connected by one of those encoders or if it doesn't look like the picture I supplied then I'm not really sure what to do and I'll have to do some more research before I can help you.

I got what you're saying and I'm feeling we're getting there. But it's not so simple.

I have the Spektrum AR8000 8-Channel DSMX Receiver (http://www.spektrumrc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=SPMAR8000). But I only used the remote receiver (the smallest of the two) that's directly connected to the Pixhawk. I'm left with the main receiver. I'm thinking I could very well use the main receiver (not in use as of now) and connect my on/off swith/relay directly to it (I found the rudder and aileron). But I don't know how to power it (do I even need to ?). I included a picture of the one I have and a more precise picture of the small remote receiver that's directly attached to the Pixhawk. Since I never used the main receiver, I don't know if it's bound to my receiver. If I do bind my RC to this main receiver, do I lose my bound to the Pixhawk ?

And thanks again for all your help. I really appreciate it.

Attachments:

I didn't realize that it is a one or another type of thing. I have never used that type of receiver before and from the pictures it looked like they were connected.

PWM recievers (the one you are calling the main receiver) are generally powered by the flight controller. If it all came in one kit I can almost guarantee that it is bound to your transmitter.

I'm not sure if you can transmit to both receivers at the same time. I don't see any reason why you couldn't but thats information you will have to find in the manual that came with your transmitter. However if you do put both on your X8 and there is no connection between them you will have to find a way to power the PWM receiver since your PPM one is already being powered by the PIXHAWK.

Is this the relay you bought? That relay switch is meant to be attached directly to a PWM receiver. However  I'm wondering if the relay will power a PWM receiver.

Give it a try because honestly thats as good as a solution as you are going to get. Plug the relay into a battery and the wires in one of the AUX ports of the receiver. Does it have any lights to tell that its getting power? If so attach the other end of your relay to your LEDs and see if you can control them with the respective AUX switch on your transmitter.

If that doesn't work the solution could get a bit messy and might not be worth it. Because you don't want to be piling on tons of stuff onto your multi rotor just for a few lights.

Yes, this is the relay I bought. I tried what you said but it didn't work. Apparently the relay cannot power the receiver on its own. No idea whether a light is supposed to come up or not. Can't see any. I'm pretty sure we're getting very close, but we're not there yet. And I have no information at all that came in the package. And what I've found on the internet is not helping.

If you find anything, let me know.

At this point you have to ask yourself how bad you want those lights.

If you still want them then you are going to have to use the PWM receiver as your main receiver. To get the PWM receiver to work with Pixhawk you are going to have to buy the 3DR encoder cable that I linked earlier and set that all up.

Or you can wait and pray that the dev team eventually gets around to creating a fix for Pixhawk that will allow it to control LED lights. You can help this by voting for the issue on the APM: Copter issues list here

Or you can try and code it yourself and contribute to the APM: Copter community.

Or you can hard wire the correct resistance to a circuit that has your battery on it so the current won't overload your LEDs, and just manually plug in or unplug the LED lights every time you fly. It won't be automatic but it will be simple. 

I got my AR8000 receiver powered. It wasn't very complicated one I knew what to do. And it seems it's already bound to my Spektrum DX7s like you suggested since as soon as I turn my RC on, I see y led lit up on the AR8000. Then I connected my relay to the rudder on the AR8000 but it doesn't work. I don't know why. Here's what I did (in the picture). Can you see something I did wrong ?

Attachments:
Hello,
same problem here.
I installed some led stripes on my copter and installed a turnigy remote controlled on/off switch too.

The on/off switch who is installed, is connected to the AUX1 through my pixhawk.
But i'm missing the option in missionplanner to control the switch over the AUX1, to get work the on/off switch.

How could i get this working?

Hi Dominik,

How did you connect it to the AUX1 on the Pixhawk ? I don't know where to find it. And I'm interested in AUX2 if you could help me out. Do you have pictures of your system ?

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2020   Created by Chris Anderson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service