I want to use the ArduPilot board with EM406 GPS and FMA Co-Pilot options. I have downloaded Arduino 0017 and is working on my computer. The codes created by Chris Anderson & Jordi Munoz is a great effort but unfortunately only a person who knows the specific computer language can understand these codes. Is there any User Friendly code where I just replace the waypoints/altitude according to my location and fly the plane? Members are requested to guide.

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You should be fine reading the documentation to modify most of the variables (gains etc.)
Waypoints and such.. I think the config tool would be your best way out.
There is no "User Friendly Code".

However I would agree that Ardu needs a little bit better docu.

This is an open source project and we very much encourage community participation. If there is something you'd like to see improved in the manual, I can give you edit permission so you can make the change yourself. Please just PM me.
Thanks Joseph but which documentation you are referring and where do I get this config tool?

Chris you are right. Probably it will take me a couple of months to understand this coding and then I would probably fly my plane.

What this 'headers' folder is about in the new code? I cannot open the file within that in Arduino. Do I need that folder or file?

I thik I need to exclude the files related to other GPSs that I am not using. Am I wright? Would it not be possible for you to split the 'Sensors' file into two, one for FMA and one for XYZ sensors like what you have done for the GPSs, so that we keep the required one and exclude the other?

I would further suggest to put some more comments/explanations for each command line within the code, so that people like me would better understand the code and would be able to edit it on their own (meanwhile I am trying to study this compter language/coding provided I could spare some time from my job).

To avoid any risk I don't want to be in a rush thats why I am asking these questions.

Many thanks for your guidance.
Hi Anwar,

The documentation is a combination of the Ardupilot manual and the comments in the header and source files for the ardupilot.

The config tool that Joseph is referring to can be found here: http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/configtool-v143. It is a tool that one of the community members has written to make it easier to specify waypoints for the ardupilot.

As far as I know, you need to edit the header file (easystar.h) using a text editor such as Notepad on MS Windows. The header file contains the configuration settings...these settings are all you should need to change.
For example, to specify which GPS you are using, you only need to change one line in the easystar.h file but since you're using the EM406 you don't even need to change that line because in the version 2.3 that is the default setting (it's called SIRF because that's the protocol used by the EM406 gps module).

So you don't need to delete the other gps source files...changing that setting in the easystar.h file will cause the compiler select the proper gps source file

You shouldn't need to change other parts of the code for what you want to do but longer term I'd encourage you to go through the code and get to the point where you understand how it works. If you've done programming in almost any other language you should be able to pick up the C/C++ language used for this project fairly quickly. It will probably be a worthwhile investment of time.

As the Ardupilot main page (http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/ardupilot-main-page) and the manual states, you can use the ardupilot for navigation only and use the FMA co-pilot for stabilization so you could start by just connecting the FMA to your airplane and fly with it to get comfortable with how it works.

Then you should be able to add the Ardupilot (with the "Walkaround mode" selected in the easystar.h file) with the EM406 gps for navigation and continue to use the FMA for stabilization.

(Read the section in the manual entitled: "[optional] Ground Testing with the Fixed Direction Mode", there's a note there about using the ardupilot for navigation only and using the FMA for stabilization.)

In this case, the FMA would not connect to the ardupilot, it would stay connected to the servos as it normally does. I believe the ardupilot would connect between the receiver and the FMA co-pilot.

Thanks David for your detailed reply. I will follow your guidance.

Just downloaded the latest Config Tool but the Google Map does not appear on right side of that?

Yes I can open the 'easystar.h' file which is within the headers folder by using Notepad. But I am still confused that how does a change made to this file can affect the rest of the code because this file is a separate one and nothing to do with the Arduino software. Do we need to change its extension to pde and combine with the other pde files? By the way I will not use Easystar and will go for an ordinary trainer plane.

Yes you are right that in the log run I should get familiar with the C/C++. I am hopeful about that as long ago when the PCs were introduced, I was a programmer using BASIC.

What does it mean by "Walkaround"? Is it only about ground testing? Because Chris Anderson has told me to turn it on for flying with FMA Co-Pilot. Thanks,
you need to have an internet connection for google maps to come up in the config tool. Even when you have an internet connect it takes several seconds or maybe longer for the google maps data to load. Other than that, I don't have much experience with this tool.

Near the top of the primary source file (ArduPilot_Easystar_V23.pde) is a line that says "#include easystar.h " (it actually has less-than and greater-than symbols around the file name but for some reason this forum editor doesn't like those symbols)

This causes the compiler to load that file and use the definitions in it as part of the compile process. As Chris recommends in the Ardupilot, you should read the documentation on the Arduino software development environment so you understand these kinds of things. Starting poing is: http://arduino.cc/en/Guide/HomePage

So, do not rename the easystar.h file. Just make the necessary changes to it and those changes will be reflected in the code when it is compiled.

The Walkaround mode causes the ardupilot to only do navigation (steering toward waypoints) and not stabilization (wing/pitch leveling) so it has two uses, one is ground testing (that's what Walkaround is referring to) and the other is using the ardupilot only for navigation.
Many thanks David. This is great. I have read basic introduction to C++ and found that some of my questions were just stupid.
If "walkaround" means no stabilization then do we need to have those sensors like FMA Co-pilot on board? thanks.
Dear Chir,
I have received the board, EM406 and FTDI cable but still waiting for the FMA sensor.
Just one question here: I have both the knob and a three position toggle switch (in addition to a two position toggle switch) on my Futaba 7CAP 72MHz radio. Which switch should I prefer for the FMA among the knob and three position toggle? These switches can be assigned to any channel on the radio. Thanks.
Anwar, if you get a positive response to your question, please email me with the answer at bahamajim@gmail.com. thanks, jim

Read the manual....seriously.....

sensors are there so that it will fly the airframe, stop and think how many calculations your brain deos for every turn and correction you make to your aircraft when you fly, the tool your brain uses is your eyes as it sensors, Ardu uses thermopiles, the gps guides it, you can use what ever knob or switch that floats your boat, you only need ONE... and it should be assigned to any channel that is NOT being used to fly with 1 through 4....

The 'walkaround' test is there so that YOU know what is going on and can change it if need be....

Again read the manual and all will become clear!!!!!!

Most us are not programmers, me included,but after RTM, we can operate teh software enough to make it all work...READ and inwardly digest....then we can help after you understand what it is that you are trying to achieve with ardupilot.

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