APM 2.8 landing gear retraction

I can't imagine this is the first time this is come up but I promise I have done my due diligence and searched high and low for an answer.

I wrote too much below so I'll rephrase my long post :

"How does one control retractable landing gear with an APM2 through Mission planner?"

My set up so far:

I replaced the APM 2.5 I inherited for a 2.8 (for various reasons including wiring and cracked cases.).. I have set everything up and I appear to be all connected as it was before. It's running version 3.2.1

I am using Ardupilot

What I am trying to do:

Add retractable landing gear to the hex (tarot 680). Nothing clever at this point. Up and down would be great.

I missed the point that the 3.3 release that has this included would not run on an APM2 so I have been looking for a way to control the servos with a manual switch on the remote. 

Damned if I can work it out. 

What I tried:

I am trying to use channel 8 on the TX and this is connect to the gear switch on 9XR TX.

I thought there was a way to pass the pwm out to the RCn out ports but I am failing. 

Do I need to go Pixhawk and 3.3 to make this work. I have re-deployed the landing gear I had onto a Flame wheel (I managed to get servo gimbals working on it so I though it would be just as easy :)). SO I can't fly at the moment unless I make the landing gear fixed down (I need to attach a servi0 drive to move it). 

My first post so as along as I get as much help as abuse I can handle it.


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  • Thanks for the inputs. I decided to solve the problem another way on this build and punt on the landing gear and move my gimbal forwards. I will mod the bottom rails to get it further forward and the battery further back. I do not plan a 360 gimbal and I am not interested in video so this is not a big deal.

    On my next build I may try again but start with a Pixhawk.

    The fun continues.

  • You still can control your retractable landing gear on your 3.2.1 FW of APM.

    It only use PWM signal from your receiver (if you use PWM mode). But if you use PPM mode receiver, you need to configure analog output (A10-A12) throught Mission Planner as gimbal to extract PWM signal for your retractable.

    This is what I did for my friend build. Modded his quad toys Q333 with APM 2.6 (FW 3.2.1) with iA10B PPM mode receiver.


  • Yeah, what Craig said.  BUT, if you  really want automated AND manual control, get a Pixhawk.  You can use the radio to manually retract and deploy the gear and you can use LAND to deploy the gear automatically.  This works especially well when the aircraft goes into fail safe and executes an RTL.

  • rebind your RX so that it does S.Bus and PWM and then you can just assign a switch to channel 9 on your TX and then connect the signal from your gear directly to your RX's 1st PWM pin and a ground, Do NOT power them off the RX or APM make sure THAT is coming off your distribution board via an ubec or some other means to supply the current you need.

  • Developer

    Hi there.  Most support for ardupilot is being done over in the support forums I think although no guarantees of a response. http://discuss.ardupilot.org/

    I think the easiest path to happiness probably involves getting a more powerful flight controller like the Pixhawk.

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