What you will need:
-ArduStation Kit
-Soldering Iron:


-Flush/diagonal cutters:

-Low Profile Multimeter:

-Disordering Tool:

-This is what you will find inside the ArduStation components antistatic bag (LCD is included of course):

-Lets start soldering the non polarized capacitors (.1uF), when you are done place the xBee headers:

-After you placed the xBee headers, place any xBee module you have available to hold the headers in the right angle, then solder:

-Continue with the Atmega328 socket and the buzzer, watch out with the buzzer polarity!:

-Now place the protection diode (check the white strip) and the power regulator, be careful both have polarity too:

-Lets continue with the potentiometers, one is for the contrast with the number "103" or 10Kohms (UP) and the other with the long pins is for the backlight LED, with the number "502" or 5Kohms (down).

-An extra picture:

-Now solder the first 100uF polarized capacitors, check out the white strip (negative).

-Now solder the second 100uF polarized capacitors, check out the white strip (negative).

-No solder the 16Mhz Resonator (orange/brown one), is not polarized, the reset button and the power jack (easy):

Now we need to solder the LED's, but i have chosen very bright LED's in order to see something under the sun, but they are clear, so no way to see the color and one of the was inverted polarity (the long pin is the negative). A solution for that is using a the multimeter, just choose the continuity option or diode test (both will work):

This trick works great for SMD LED, for normal LED will not be so effective but it will work. Anyway just place the multimeter probes in the LED and see in with side the LED turns on and check the color also the LED side that the multimeter red probe is touching is the positive polarity of the LED. In the back of the board you can check the positive polarity of the LED holes:

-After you solder the LED's in the right way, is time to solder the funniest part, the buttons:

-Turn the board and place the Atmega328 carefully (the little half-circle divot on the chip should be on the side with the little half-circle in the socket; ignore the position of the red dot on the chip, which is not meaningful). The processors comes with bootloader pre-loaded:

-Now just solder the LCD (you can use female headers so you can remove the LCD anytime) and the FTDI port. You are ready to connect it. Note: You can't upload code when the xBee is connected.

-When you are ready, just upload the ArduStaion demo code here. It should work with ArduPilot and show you real time telemetry as indicated:

-By pressing the buttons left and right you can change the screen data.

You can find the latest code here:
The example is commented and you adapt this system to any of your projects!


Views: 4186

Comment by John on July 18, 2009 at 5:29pm
Any chance the board + LCD will go up for sale solo? I have all the parts needed except the boards
Comment by Richard Warrender on August 31, 2009 at 3:35am
Jordi, in your instructions you say that with the LEDs the long pin is negative but this is wrong as I have discovered! The short pin is the negative/cathode of the LED.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on August 31, 2009 at 7:16am

That's actually not what he says above. He says that one of the LEDs he got had polarity reversed and the best way to check both color and polarity is with the multimeter.
Comment by Richard Warrender on August 31, 2009 at 9:57am
Ahh, sorry. That will teach me to skim-read instructions :P
Comment by Richard Warrender on August 31, 2009 at 10:03am
Btw, if you're building your own DC jack. The centre is positive while the outer ring is negative.

Also when programming, I kept the XBee in the socket but removed the DC jack power and inserted the sparkfun FTDI board so that ground lined up with the B2 pin on the station board.
Comment by Nick Sargeant on September 8, 2009 at 6:09am
Are you actively developing this in between all of you other amazing projects?
Do you have an ETA for antenna tracking functionality?
Comment by David Sprague on September 8, 2009 at 7:40am

I'm in the process of collecting parts to make my own ArduPilot/EasyStar UAV.

Does the ArduStation also include the functionality of an XBee Explorer USB module? That is, in addition to displaying the received telemetry on it's LCD screen, can it send the telemetry data on to a PC via the FTDI/USB cable so the it can be logged or diplayed on the PC as well? It sounds like that may not be possible beause the XBee module and the FTDI connector share the same serial port on the processor??



Comment by Sgt Ric on September 8, 2009 at 10:35am
If that is not possible, why not simply use a second R/X?

(I do that with my FPV video link)

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on September 8, 2009 at 10:47am
Yes, I think that can work. The Xbee uses the Rx serial line and you'd be using the Tx to forward the data on to the PC via FTDI. You'd have to put in serial.print lines in the code for the data fields you want to forward.
Comment by David Sprague on September 8, 2009 at 11:39am
I"ll try the idea of using the Tx line and post what I find out.

As for using two XBee's on the ground it looks like that should work as well...just based on a quick read of some of the XBee documentation it appears you can configure them in a way where both ground-based XBee's would listen in to the telemetry tranmissions. That could eventually allow the PC to send waypoint updates to the aircraft as well.




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