3D Robotics

3689600537?profile=originalI just got a Quanum Nova, which is a fantastic APM-powered copter that in many way outperforms the DJI Phantom for less than $300.  Although it's capable of full autonomy, just like any other ArduCopter, the one thing it's missing for easy field mission planning and DroidPlanner compatibility is telemetry. 

In this great tutorial, Jean-Louis Naudin shows how to add that:

Here an explanation for connecting the real time telemetry to the CX-20 or to the Quanum Nova

The telemetry port is located on the I/O board of the APM (the second board at the bottom and pluged to the main CPU board) where all the I/O plug are connected. The telemetry port is fully compatible with all the telemetry transmitter (3DR and all the compatible boards) and also with the Bluetooth boards commonly used with the APM boards.

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Below the pinout which shows the telemetry port I/O (back to the I/O board).

Note from the comments: depending on which radio you're using, you may have to reverse the TX and RX lines. Dmitry in the comments reports: "You must connect RX from the radio to TX on the APM! And vice versa for Radio TX. So I've changed green and yellow wires and it works!"

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sold 4 cables on the telemetry ports alt textthen protect the connections with hot glue alt text

Check the functioning alt text

The 4 pins telemetry plug is installed on the back of the fuselage alt text

Check the connection (at 57600 baud) with the mission planner or the Droid Planner 2 alt textalt text

Then, you may enjoy to use the telemetry... alt text

NEXT CHAPTER: Full autonomous mission with the Cheerson CX 20


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  • Here's some info on adding voltage sensing to this rig!

    Voltage divider

  • Sorry, but I don't fully understand how to deal with the files. Do I have to build the FW-file? I downloaded and tried to load it through Custom Firmware, but there is no HEX-file to be found. I don't have any compiler nor knowledge on how to compile these files. Is there a way to get the single FW-file?

  • Developer

    Here the CX-20 factory param file:


    Vertical Take Off and Landing drone experimental research and development area - jlnaudin/x-VTOLdrone
  • Developer

    @PF: you will find the AC 3.1.2 firmware source in my GitHub at:



    Vertical Take Off and Landing drone experimental research and development area - jlnaudin/x-VTOLdrone
  • By the way. My planner only shows AC3.1.1 under "Pick Previous Firmwares". Current is AC3.1.5.  Where do I find the AC 3.1.2?

  • I will revert back to 3.1.2 just to check. Your video looks great. I got same results with my original setup. Still, I hoped the Nova could follow the path of evolution of the great AC-firmwares. It flies great with AC3.1.5 but telemetry will not work.



  • Developer

    @PF: I suggest you strongly to reload the original AC 3.1.2 firmware which gives excellent result with the mini-APM installed on the Cx-20 (Nova).

    Look at my onboard video with a GoPro 3 and see by yourself the result...

    Do not change a winning team...


  • My hope was that I could keep updating the Nova as AC versions develop. All my Arducopter platforms use the 3.1.5 and I am waiting for AC3.2. I guess I could reload the original firmware if it is available ( I found FW for the CX-20).

    But this means that the Quanum Nova is not only APM-based? 

  • Developer

    Hello PF,

    The CX-20 (Nova) fly perfectly with the 3.1.2 Arducopter firmware... So why upgrading or changing something here ?


    All details are posted HERE

    Best Regards,


    Vertical Take Off and Landing drone experimental research and development area - jlnaudin/x-VTOLdrone
  • Hello,

    I lost my telemetry after upgrading to AC3.1.5, The telemetry link worked perfectly using the original Nova FW. Did I erase some Nova specific FW when upgrading? Also, I lost the ability to calibrate the compass using the transmitter (Mode 1: Right stick down to right corner when powering up the Nova). 

    Any one with similar experience?

    Best regards,


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