Sam Kelly's Posts (7)

New 3D Robotics product: u-blox LEA-6H GPS

3689466555?profile=originalHi everyone! I'm very happy to announce our new u-blox based GPS board. The development teams and 3D Robotics have been working on this GPS unit for some time, and we have seen very good results on ArduPlane, ArduCopter and ArduRover. The Sparkfun AVC and the Quadcopter Rodeo were excellent opportunities to observe this GPS in action, and it helped Team Overhead win first place at AVC.

The device is pretty straight-forward. It has active circuitry for the ceramic patch antenna, rechargeable backup battery for warm starts, and I2C EEPROM for configuration storage. The units will ship pre-configured for ArduPilot Mega use, and the configuration file is available in the repository if needed.

Features and Specifications:

  • ublox LEA-6H module
  • 5Hz max. update rate, configured for 4Hz for APM
  • 25 x 25 x 4 mm ceramic patch antenna
  • LNA and SAW filter
  • rechargeable 3V lithium backup battery
  • low noise 3.3V regulator
  • I2C EEPROM for configuration storage
  • power and fix indicator LEDs
  • ArduPilot Mega compatible 6-pin JST connector
  • exposed RX, TX, 5V and GND pads
  • 38 x 38 x 8.5 mm total size
  • 16.8 g weight

It's on sale now, price is $75.99 USD. It starts shipping on Monday, July 9th.

Design files and links to the board's main component data sheets can be found in the product listing.

We look forward to hearing your feedback!

Read more…

New product! The 3DR Radio Telemetry System

3689451766?profile=original

Hi everyone, I'm very happy to announce something that 3D Robotics has been working on since late last year in cooperation with a few very talented developers. Today we are announcing the 3DR Radio telemetry system, an open-source alternative to XBee telemetry set-ups, with superior performance, great range and a much lower price (half the price of the equivalent Xbee kit).

This is a 2-way, half-duplex wireless communication system with a standard TTL UART interface, based on HopeRF's HM-TRP data link modules, and custom firmware that improves upon the module's original features and performance.

The SiK firmware includes a bootloader that permits radio firmware updates over the serial interface, and radio firmware with configurable parameters. Updates and configuration are fully supported in the APM Mission Planner (press control-A to bring up the window below), and also possible through AT commands.

Screenshot-3DRradio.png

From the wiki:

  • light weight (under 4 grams without antenna)
  • available in 900MHz or 433MHz variants
  • receiver sensitivity to -121 dBm
  • transmit power up to 20dBm (100mW)
  • transparent serial link
  • air data rates up to 250kbps
  • MAVLink protocol framing and status reporting
  • frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS)
  • adaptive time division multiplexing (TDM)
  • support for LBT and AFA
  • configurable duty cycle
  • builtin error correcting code (can correct up to 25% data bit errors)
  • demonstrated range of several kilometres with a small omni antenna
  • can be used with a bi-directional amplifier for even more range
  • open source firmware
  • AT commands for radio configuration
  • RT commands for remote radio configuration
  • adaptive flow control when used with APM
  • based on HM-TRP radio modules, with Si1000 8051 micro-controller and Si4432 radio module
Support for different countries and regions is documented in the wiki:
3689451871?profile=original
Of course, the list will keep growing, and you can help by providing links on the forums to relevant information on the applicable regulations. This is a DIY radio device, so please check your local rules carefully!

Each kit consists of an 'air' and 'ground' variant, with an FTDI-style 6-pin header and USB type-A connector, respectively. Also included are two RP-SMA antennas, APM telemetry cable, and a USB type-A extension cable for placement flexibility.

Kit price is $74.99:

Individual radios are $35.99 (USB) and $31.99 (pins):

Kits and radios are available for purchase today, and they will start shipping next week.


Coming soon: a 3DR Radio XBee footprint adapter for both frequencies, compatible with our USB XBee adapter and Sparkfun's XBee Explorer boards.


We will also be releasing a version of the radios on both frequencies with an Xbee-compatible footprint, so you already have Xbee adapters, you can use them. 


We hope you enjoy using these radios as much as we have during development, the simpler hardware and configuration tools compared to XBee provide a much smoother experience. We look forward to hearing your comments!

Huge thanks to the developers who made this happen: Team leaders Andrew Tridgell and Mike Smith along with Michael Oborne, Seppo Saario, Marco Robustini and others. 

Read more…

Remzibi OSD now in stock at the DIY Drones store

3689438511?profile=original

Hi everybody! I'm very happy to announce that the Remzibi OSD DIY Drones variant is now in stock in the DIY Drones store!

Our version is fully compatible with the original design and will work with Happy Killmore's config tool.

Our price is $89.99, this includes a custom FTDI programming cable and a set of pin headers.

Links and full feature list are available on the product page.

We hope you enjoy this one, and as always, feedback is welcome!

Read more…

Coming soon: MinimOSD!

3689432293?profile=original

Hi guys! I'm giving you a preview of an upcoming product from the DIY Drones store, the MinimOSD, a minimal Arduino-based on-screen display board. It's tailored for use with ArduPilot Mega and the MAVlink protocol, and designed to be as compact as possible.

It's main components are an ATmega328P 8 bit microcontroller with an Arduino bootloader, and a MAX7456 monochrome on-screen display. Programming is done through an FTDI-compatible 6-pin header.

It features two independent power and ground sections to isolate the OSD's analog stage: a +5V section for the ATmega and the OSD's digital stage, powered through the FTDI cable or other +5V source; and a regulated +5V section for the OSD's analog stage, powered through the video in/out header and capable of handling up to +12V input. Solder jumpers are available to combine the two power and ground sections if desired.

Spec lists are the best, so here's one!

  • ATmega328P with Arduino bootloader
  • MAX7456 monochrome on-screen display
  • FTDI cable compatible pinout
  • Standard 6-pin ISP header
  • Two independent power sections with an LED indicator on each
  • Solder jumpers for combining the power sections
  • +5V 500mA regulator for up to +12V supply input
  • Solder jumper for PAL video option
  • Exposed test points for HSYNC and LOS
  • Dimensions: 0.7"W x 1.7"L (2.4" w/ pins as shown) x 0.3"H

The production version won't be green, and we're not too fond of blue anymore, so expect something different on future products ;)

(And yes, I know I missed a decoupling cap on the board in the photo. Sorry Chris!)

Expected release date is within 2-3 weeks, price is TBD. Watch this space! UPDATE: Price will be $89.99 USD.

Read more…

Minimalist ArduCopter 3DR build

Hi guys, I just wanted to share some photos of my minimalist ArduCopter 3DR. The APM is using Jason Short's power hack, a Spektrum adapter, and a DSM2 remote Rx. the OilPan is standard except for the compass, which is one of the first ten or so HMC5883L prototype boards from a while ago. The rest of the frame is mostly stock (arms, ESCs, motors), but the stack-up is a little shorter than usual, and the legs are the never-sold easy-break kind. Flying this one outside the 3DR shop has been a blast!

3689426335?profile=original3689426286?profile=original3689426301?profile=originalHappy hacking :)

Read more…

3689420756?profile=originalHi guys. Here's a little experiment we did yesterday using Doug Weibel's spektrum-to-PPM substitute firmware for the APM's ATmega328P, an upcoming (now available here!) Spektrum Adapter accessory board, and an ArduCopter. Sorry about the lack of video, but I can assure you our resident quad pilot Jeff Taylor flew this here at the shop with good results (considering none of this is fully baked)!

 

The Spektrum Adapter accessory powers the Spektrum module with an on-board 3.3V regulator, takes care of level translation on the single serial line, and has an input pin to enable/disable the regulator (this is used for putting the satellite in bind mode). The four pins are GND, 5V, data, and regulator enable.

 

I wrote a (very) crude sketch to put the satellite in different bind modes, you can grab it here: https://gist.github.com/ef01907a5c90dd66f987. I've tested it with DSM2, DSMX, and Orange Rx satellites. I've found that "DSM2 1024/22ms" mode is the one that works with Doug's firmware. The sketch is meant to be used on any Arduino Mega style board, it uses Tx1 to enable the regulator and consequently the satellite at the right moment to then receive the bind mode pulses sent out through Rx1. Once the sat is in bind mode, Rx1 is configured as an input again to receive the serial data after binding.


The ATmega328P needs to be re-programmed with Doug's firmware. You can either Arduino-ify the chip with the right bootloader and load the sketch through an FTDI cable connected to IN1 and IN2, or take the easy way and verify the sketch, grab the .hex file, and load it with an AVR ISP programmer.

 

Once the sat is bound, I soldered the adapter board on to an APM as seen in the photo, directly on the three IN1 pins. IN1 is the 328's Rx and is the only pin needed to receive the satellite's channel data. The small blue wire in the photo is connecting the 5V and reg enable pins to keep the regulator on at all times. The 328's Tx line could also be set high at all times to do the same thing, maybe the binding modes can be integrated into the 328 firmware as well?

 

After this, all should be the same as when using the full Rx module with servo extension cables. We found no problems with this setup during the Mission Planner configuration steps.

 

The Spektrum Adapter boards are now in stock in the store! Feedback for future revisions is welcome, and happy hacking!

Read more…

3689398972?profile=originalHi guys, just letting you know that the ArduPilot Mega v1.4 with the ATmega2560 will be available at the DIY Drones store starting Friday, April 8. Here's the product page: http://store.diydrones.com/product_p/br-ardupilot-01.htm

 

Here's what will be changing in the store/products:

- ArduPilot Mega 2560 supersedes ArduPilot Mega 1280.

- The only difference between the two boards is that the new board uses the Atmega2560 microprocessor, while the old one uses the Atmega1280. The 2560 has twice as much flash memory (256K, vs 128K, hence their names). That extra memory is not currently used by any DIY Drones software, but is available for possible future code and expansion.

- The main reason for the change to the Atmega2560 is to sync up with the Arduino roadmap, which transitioned from the Arduino Mega (1280) top the Arduino Mega2560 earlier this year. This will not only ensure that our boards are compatible with the latest Arduino code, but also ensure that we will be able to source components reliably in the future.

- The 1280 version will still be available from us for a while. SparkFun will also continue selling the 1280 version.

- The "Full ArduPilot Mega kit" will now only be available with the ArduPilot Mega 2560.

 

The 2560 board will be required for APM 2.0 (not true, I should have triple checked this first), so the release of this board was timed to coincide with the new APM code getting close to Release Candidate status. Keep in mind that the 1280 version is still required for the ArduCopter and ArduPirates code!

 

Compatibility table:

 

Hardware:

--All DIY Drones hardware (shields, sensors, etc) work indentically with both boards

 

Software:

--APM 2.0 code and beyond: Supports both APM2560 and APM1280 boards

--ArduCopter 2.0 (aka ArduCopterMega, ACM) and beyond: Supports both APM2560 and APM1280 boards

--Future DIY Drones code (ArduRover, boats, etc): Supports both APM2560 and APM1280 boards

--APM 1.02: Requires APM1280

--ArduCopter RC2: Requires APM1280

--ArduPirates 1.6: Requires APM1280


Read more…