Developer

Welcome to the 3DR Radio forum!

Hi Everyone,

I thought it might be useful to give a bit of background on what this forum is for.

3DRobotics have just released a set of telemetry radios based on the Si1000 chipset. The ArduPilot developers (particularly Mike Smith and myself) have been working hard on the firmware for these radios for months now, trying to make them ideal for APM telemetry.

These radios are unusual as they are open source and extremely configurable. That means that there is a lot of scope for diydrones members to get involved in tuning of the radios, and in adding new functionality. That is what this forum is for.

The Si1000 chipset has a huge number of configuration registers. We've spent quite a lot of time selecting the best register values for use with APM, but there is still a lot of scope for more experimentation. For example, I'm planning to do a test flight soon to see if enabling manchester encoding gives better or worse range at various data rates.

Similarly, there is a lot of scope for adding firmware features to make these radios link really well with antenna trackers and other radio add ons. We've already got them talking to APM in a much more advanced way than an Xbee can, but there is a lot of scope for taking it even further.

The basic theme is that these are DIY radios. We've put together functionality to make them work really well already, but the real potential is from the community getting involved to make them even better.

So get involved, and let's bring to telemetry radios the same sort of community development that has made ArduPilot so much fun to be involved with!

Cheers, Tridge

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Replies

  • I love this firmware, I successfully used with an amplifier to replace EzUHF for long range piloting + telemetry !

    Pascal

  • I want to compile the  firmware of this module.

    I used http://www.silabs.com/support/pages/software-downloads.aspx Silabs compiler.

    But nothing straight forward. ... is there a guidance for compiling this firmware.

    Best Regards,

    M. Hefny

  • Hi, I am going to replace the standard 2dbi 433mhz 3DR antenna coz the signal is limited about 100m. What is the best replacement for the air and ground antenna so the data it can reach up to 3km?

  • I just got my new 915 MHz installed and it works great with the default settings. I do have a couple of questions:

     

    1. If I get another airborne unit do I have to set an ID code to match it to my ground unit like on the xBee?
    2. First observation is that the data flow is a little slower than my xBee. Is that just my imagination? What are the data rates of the two telemetry systems?

    .

  • Outstanding job on the Radios. I received mine today and connection and setup took less than 15 minutes including soldering on the header. I did use some MUCH smaller (1/2 diameter of what was sent) clear heat-shrink that fit better. I doubt that the shrink included with my kit would have shrunk enough for a secure fit. I look forward to "playing" with the telemetry kit on my quad in the coming weeks.

  • I noticed an earlier post about using gold plated right angled headers on the 915MHz air module.  I received two Telemetry kits from the DIYDrones stores and both had the following cheaper tin plated headers, so now I have to find an alternative supplier before I can use my radios.  This was a surprise since the store shows nice gold plated headers but they shipped me something entirely different which is annoying. I am not sure why you would go to all the trouble of having gold plated pad on the telemetry module and then provide a lower grade tin metal header instead of matching gold plate?

    3692416812?profile=original

    The above is what I received.  The following is a photo from the store of the 6 pin right angled header.

    3692416723?profile=original

    There is another issue at the moment with the SMD style 3DR telemetry modules I received, (not the original DIL purple board) and I am not sure if anyone else has noticed this.  Both my air and ground modules have a few areas where some attention is needed to fix up incomplete soldering.  On the ground modules there was no solder on one pin from the USB port and I remember reading someone else had the whole connector fold up while trying to plug in the usb into the computer.  What is a larger concern is the soldering of the HM-TRP radio modules.  Although the soldering is reverse flow through the board connector holes, several areas on my air modules looked to have little or no solder.  Consequently I have reworked the soldering so there is a little more material for the HM-TRP radio modules.  The picture below is my reworked air module.

    I notice a few people report intermittent module link up so perhaps have a closer look at the soldering of the HM-TRP radio modules?

    3692416746?profile=original

    You can see the solder filets I have added to the edge of the HM-TRP radio module.  I have also touched up the soldering in different places on the ground module e.g USB connector as I am using the 915Mhz version.

    Its a pity there is no way to order the DIL version of the air module.  These are discontinued as the shop is setup to make the SMD version which speeds up the process. the purple boards look to be a better build quality.

    Finally can someone confirm if a special TTL 3.3v to 5V cable is needed to connect the air module to the APM1 board.  I see there is a need to buy a separate 3.3V FTDI cable to program the air module which is not available from the diydones store.  They do not list this as an accessory under the telemetry section either, so it means the kits I have are unusable as like some the ground and air modules are being shipped out with different versions of firmware.  So I assume that since a 3.3V TTl is needed to program the air module the stated 5V connection to the APM 1 may be wrong as well as the doco which states the device is connected to TX RX 5+V and ground?

  • 3692404645?profile=originalI've connected a set of the radios to an APM1 and my computer, but when I do the ctrl-a, I get the info from the two radios but I also get a series of out of bounds errors that post to the screen.

     

    I've tried to update the software on the radios but that fails.

     

    Any suggestions?

     

  • I got around to setting mine up today (900mhz pair on a APM1) Soldered on some gold plated right angle headers because i had them instead. The wife's hair dryer doesn't seem to be good enough to the the heat shrink but it got there. plugged it in changed the channels down to 20 (I assume that's all I have to do to make it semi-legal in Australia ??)  and it works!!  little quad icon in the mission planer with the gps and everything.

    about firmware updates i assume i need to have the both on the same version ? and to update the air module I need a FTDI cable 3.3v or 5v ? (dyidrones store don't sell theirs separate) either http://littlebirdelectronics.com/products/ftdi-cable-5v-vcc33v-io or http://littlebirdelectronics.com/products/ftdi-cable-5v

  • Got my 433mhz radios today 4/23/12. Looks good.

    Hooked USB cable to laptop and with a terminal program talked to radio at 57kb fine.

    Did an ATI5 and data returned as expected.

    Hooked other radio to APM2 with supplied cable.

    Both radios the green lights went solid meaning they are locked to each other.

    I did an RTI5 and the APM2 radio responded as expected.

    Did ATI7 and RTI7 and got expected data.

    Great so far !!!!

    Now at this point I expect the radios to send mavlink data from APM2 to the laptop.....NO GO ....

    I even tried the mission planner. Did a control a and got both radios settings. Great !!

    The problem seems to be the APM2 is not talking to the radio. Cable miswired ??? I don't think so. TX > RX and RX > TX

    The APM2 telemetry data rate is set to 57kb. Verified by USB cable on APM2 to get setup data.

    Sh....T. I think I know why the radio is not sending data. THE USB CABLE on the APM2 is still connected !

    I will unplug and try again........

    Earl

  • I'm glad you've gotten a radio together and in production!  When I came up with the idea and posted it last September there didn't seem to be a whole lot of discussion.  Looks like you guys did a good job on the software.

    I'd have done the hardware a bit different, instead of just making carrier boards for HopeRF modules, but it's still a great leap forward from crappy xbees.

This reply was deleted.

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