A discussion page to allow me to add my experiences using a Raspberry Pi 2/3/Zero V1.2/1.3 as a companion computer for Ardupilot/APM/Pixhawk flight boards. I will update my experiences as I learn, feel free to comment and offer tips, it's all free here.

I'm building a github for my experiments: https://github.com/benb0jangles/Companion-Pi

Drone Unit: Raspberry Pi Zero V1.3 + Pi Camera Module
img file: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1cVb3uX0f0dQTZzSmVISFdYd3M

Ground Unit: Raspberry Pi 2

img file: <to be added>

Goggles Unit: Raspberry Pi Zero V1.3

img file: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1cVb3uX0f0dakFpaTAyVF9HV2s

Ardupilot Technical Questions:

Also, if you have any technical code/hardware questions which you feel may take ongoing contributions and help over an extended timeframe, feel free to ask over on Ardupilot.org technical discussion page herehttp://discuss.ardupilot.org/t/companion-pi-2-3-zero/9460

I will update as I get by, please contribute by offering your 'plug & play' wifi adapters using Raspbian Jessie. Also, if you happen to pick up this project, and are working faster than me, then please send us your own .img file experiments. Thanks.

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Replies to This Discussion


It is quite light (about 10 grams), that sheet comes from an old HP DAT Drive, you can find these on any device that emits EMI (Microwave, LCD, TFT...) or sensible to EMI (like tape drives used to be).

Thanks Patrick that's very useful.

Using copper tape over the PI camera cable also works. 


Hello Patrick,

Did you had a chance to try the new Pi Camera V2 , according to jeanleflambeur, it is less noisy ?

Nice topic guys, you go deep into details now.

What kind of range are we talking about ? I mean with descent Wifi components.


I suggest that you visit Patrick Duffy blogs, he is the long range WIFI  expert here :-)

I have the PI Camera V2 mounted on a quad I recently built and have had no issues with noise and the GPS.  I have not had to do any extra shielding, even with an extended cable. I have noticed that some 3rd-party cameras the noise level varies considerably, and with certain boards it needs the copper tape, but others it's works fine without it.  The original PI camera seems to be the worst. 

Pascal, you may have a look at Patrick Duffy "expensive" or befinitiv "cheap" systems

@Pascal,  to get 'long range' you really need a high-gain antenna and a tracker.  What kind of range are you looking to get?  

Lol Paul,

My project sholud be considered mid-priced then,  I am using dongles to transmit standard WIFI, but I have to admit that Ubiquity gears are quite efficient WIFI bridges.

I might try WifiBroadcast on of these days...do you have experienced with this ? I cannot find very much experimentation (like Patrick's well explained and detailed blogs) with this ''special'' wireless stack. The only thread I see is from befinitv, is there anything else ?

@Patrick : I am thinking of it for a plane config. 5 km would be be very good. I think I saw one of your video with 4 miles.

But for quadcopter, 1 km would be fine.

I am based in Africa and most of the time really not bothered by others wifi noise.

@ Patrick P.   befinitiv stuff looks quite impressive, but he uses 2.4 frequency, and I do not feel comfortable to use same frequency as Tx, notwithstanding that people mention of using same frequency and apparently do not have interference problems, but your mileage may vary... for example I cannot see any gps degradation with my unshielded v1 pi camera


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