Pixhawk and an ArduRover... lots of bugs?

I've just assembled my rover with the Pixhawk kit which included the GPS and PPM encoder. The GPS is mounted 5+ inches above the top of the rover. Inside the rover is a Dimension Engineering 60 amp motor controller and 2 17AH batteries.

After runnng the Mission Planner Wizard, I am unable to manually steer the rover and the altitude displayed on the HUD is a negative value (-1000 ft.). I'am at ~1000 ft.The GPS test indicates correct readings.

Also from the Flight Data Status box, both channels 3 & 4 input are registering from my Spektrum RC and channel 3 output is also registering... but no channel 4 output... i.e. I can go forward and backwards but no steering.

If I run the Wizard as an Arduplane, the altitude, throttle & steering work fine.  

So I gather the Rover software is buggy.

Am I alone here. 

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  • Admin


    I have both APM2.5/2.6 and Pixhawk rovers programmed and working very well so it is possible to get your Pixhawk up and running.

    I have never used the MP Wizard so I do not know how to advise you in relation to setting up your rover using the Wizard.

    I assume that you have loaded ArduRover2 v2.45 using the MP?

    I am using a Spektrum Remote Receiver (serial) and a DX7 transmitter with my Pixhawk.

    In the MP Full Parameter List I have set up the following RCMAP

    RCMAP_PITCH  channel 3 (not used)

    RCMAP_ROLL  channel 1 (aileron) steering

    RCMAP_ THRO  channel 2 (elevator) throttle

    RCMAP_YAW  channel 4 (not used)

    RCMAP channels  1 and 2 are used for steering (aileron joystick) and throttle (elevator joystick) respectively. Your steering servo will be hooked to the Pixhawk servo output channel 1 and the throttle to channel 2.

    You will also need to set up the CH7_OPTION and the MODE_CH. I used channel 5 (gear switch) for the CH7_OPTION and channel 6 (flaps) for the MODE_CH.

    Your Flight Modes should be from top to bottom: Auto, Auto, Learning, Learning, Manual, Manual.

    The above should help you get going with your PPM encoder and parallel output Spektrum receiver. Your transmitter must support at least 6 channels. I would suggest using a Spektrum Remote Receiver if you are using a Spektrum receiver that uses a remote receiver.


    TCIII ArduRover2 Developer

    • Thanks for your reply.

      I am confused as to why I need 7 channels when 2 are not used. Right now I'm using a 4 channel receiver cuz my 5 channel receiver died. I'm using a DX5E. A new 6 channel receiver will arrive in a few days. 

      So needless to say since I'm a real beginner at this, its going to take me a while to research your methodology. 

    • Admin


      You need the following minimum transmitter/receiver channels:

      One channel for steering (aileron joystick channel)

      One channel for throttle (elevator joystick channel)

      One channel for waypoint recording (usually gear switch channel)

      One channel for mode selection (usually the flap switch (must be three position) channel)

      Your DX5e only has one spare aux channel (5) and none of the unused channels are re-assignable (programmable).

      Even a DX6i does not have a sufficient combination of switches to meet your requirements.

      Therefore you need a programmable 6 - 7 channel transmitter and at least a 6 channel receiver to meet your requirements.

      The Spektrum DX7s has all of the switches necessary to provide the waypoint learning (channel 5) and mode selection functions (channel 6).

      You can also buy a Fly Sky TH-9X modified with Open 9x to meet your channel/switch functionality, but I think trying to program the Fly Sky transmitter is too complex for you at the moment unless you have an R/C friend who can help you out.

      Have you read through the APM:Rover Wiki: Rover Setup , especially these instructions concerning using an R/C transmitter and receiver with the Pixhawk: R/C 


      TCIII ArduRover2 Developer

    • Progress!!!   Following your discussion on remapping, I got the rover to drive and steer! Not real sure exactly why it did it, but I'll figure it out eventually. 

      As for the waypoints and modes, All I need is auto/manual, which (plz correct me if I'm wrong) I believe I can use the DX5E channel 5 switch... that is of course once I replace my AR400 with an AR610. I won't really need to learn waypoints remotely. I plan on using real switches on the rover to set waypoints. 

      And yes I have been looking over the docs. Its definitely overwhelming. I confess I'm somewhat disappointed with the mission planner not having context sensitive help/tutorials. And I have yet to find any tutorials on YouTube for setting up Pixhawk/Rover.

      BTW the 3DRobotics people are looking into the altitude problem I mentioned earlier. I know altitude is not an issue with a rover, but its nice to know I'm not submerged. ;-)

      Many Thanks


    • Admin


      Nothing like the sweet smell of success:-) Nice work!

      Yes, if you only want Manual/Auto then you only need a two-way switch. However, you need to make sure that you always start with it in Manual, because the minute that you arm the Pixhawk it will start on a mission if the switch is in Auto assuming your ESC is on.


      TCIII ArduRover2 Developer

    • Many thanks for your help. I got my AR610, mapped the channel 5 and trainer switches successfully...flipped it into auto and my rover wants to go go go ... unfortunately (or actually FINALLY) its raining here in the S.F. bay area so I have to wait.

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