Announcing MAVBoard Indiegogo Campaign


I have finally got the MAVBoard to a state where I am ready to take pre orders via Indiegogo! After several revisions of the boards, I am quite happy with them and would like to take pre orders so I can get a large batch of them made.

Here is the description of the MAVBoard from the campaign:

The MAVBoard is a way to share a single MAVLink telemetry connection (the telemetry port on a 3D Robotics APM 2.X, for example) among multiple devices, such as OSDs, telemetry radios, telemetry converters or other add-on boards. Until now, the solution is to create a custom soldered cable harnesses which are difficult to make and not as flexible, since only one device can be connected to the "Tx" pin of the MAVLink connection.


I ended up splitting the design into two models: MAVBoard Lite and MAVBoard Pro. The Lite board has no AVR chip, and is simply a bus for MAVLink connections, with a jumper to select the Tx device. The Pro board contains the AVR to do telemetry conversion, as well as has several digital and analog pins (including the ones for I2C) available at the edge of the board. The board is all SMD-component based now, and the size has shrunk quite a bit from the first prototype I announced last year.

I am hoping to get at least 100 in the pre-order, but I plan to make more than that. If you sell drone/multi-rotor parts online and would be interested in stocking the MAVboards, let me know.

So, with that, please checkout the campaign and support it if this project would be useful to you!

All feedback is welcome!

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  • Ah yes... interesting idea. It does assume you have a 3dr-type telemetry link though. I personally run some of my copters with no 3dr telemetry since I get pretty much everything I need from the FrSky telemetry link, which is already there anyway if you have an FrSky Rx that has telemetry support. This way I can optimize that single RF frequency link, as opposed to now having to worry about two different frequencies (one for RC and one for pure telemetry).

    But yeah, for those who have that telemetry link, I don't see why you couldn't simply put your ground-side radio into the MAVBoard and it should just work!

  • No No, I was more thinking one could feed the telemetry from the apm into the telemetry radio link (3dr, xbee) on the aircraft, and at the ground end, feed the output of the serial stream from the telemetry raido (3dr, xbee) into this bord, deviding the input for mission planner, telemetry converter and or OSD.

  • Unfortunately you can't feed the raw mavlink stream directly into the RC Rx, as it would either be too much data for the link (assuming it supports a transparent serial bridge, like OpenLRSng), or the Rx wouldn't understand the protocol, because it expects its own proprietary protocol (such as FrSky hub and S.Port protocols). So you need something like this board onboard the vehicle doing the translation from mavlink to the custom protocol, or at the very least slowing it down so it can be reliably transmitted over the air.

  • Is there anything wrong with using this sort of hardware on the ground side of the link(s)? Just thinking it would save some airframe complexity and weight! 

  • Backed!

  • Great project and a wonderful addition to expanding the usefulness of the APM.


  • Backed!

  • Do you think about the integration of Graupner HoTT telemetry? It´s very popular in europe. An APM integration can be found there: but unfortunately there is no support for the new pixhawk hardware. 

  • What about sending mavlink data over the audio channel of a video tx ? Maybe its just me but the less tx on your copter the better because of EMI etc.

  • Thanks all! I will see about getting a video up in the next day or so!

    healthyfatbot, yes I am planning on fulfilling these even if the campaign isn't 100% funded, but might make a smaller batch and not have as many to provide to other online stores.

    nz, I personally don't know of any MAVLink to spektrum telemetry conversion code, but if the spec is out there, it shouldnt be hard to make work. I made sure to keep the i2c pins of the AVR available assuming stuff like this would come up. The spektrum protocol looks to be i2c based. I no longer fly spektrum, but maybe someone who does will come along and contribute some code!

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