3D Robotics

ArduPilot now available to buy!

Great news! ArduPilot is now available to buy at Sparkfun. The price is $24.95 (or buy 100 at $19.96 each ;-)). Note: there is a limited number available now, but Sparkfun can make more pretty quickly so get your order in now and they'll be filled from backorder in the order they were received.

[Update on availability from Sparkfun: ~15 coming out of production today/morrow. 63 more PCBs ready. Waiting on xtals (probably about a week).]

You'll also need an EM406 GPS module, and for all but the most stable planes, an FMA Co-Pilot, so unless you already have those items, the total cost of the autopilot will be around $155.

Huge thanks to Nathan Siedle at Sparkfun for helping us get through the production snafus and otherwise taking this project under his wing. Now let's win his autonomous vehicle competition with an ArduPilot-guided plane!

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  • Does bridging the solder jumper send power through the regulator rather than directly in? I was looking at using a 6v cluster of 4 AA batteries, and if I'm not mistaken, the new batch of boards should be able to step that down to an acceptable power level, correct? If I do make that solder jumper, will the board still be able to receive power from an ESC if I go that route in the future? Sorry for the amateur questions!
  • 3D Robotics
    The new version of the board doesn't have a power select jumper. It defaults to RC power, but if you bridge the solder jumper you can use a stand-alone battery (the board has its own power supply).

    Yes, it can work with both a double throw or triple throw switch.
  • Will the MUX work with a double throw switch instead of a triple as mentioned in the code ? (AKA Spektrum DX6.i gear switch)
  • What happened to the jumper power select pins? It's absent on my Ardupilot board (second Sparkfun real ease). Keep up the good work folks.
  • 3D Robotics
    Well, first load the ArduPilot code with Arduino. Plug in the Rx, power it on with an ESC and check that the CTRL channel toggles the MUX LED on and off. Also when your GPS gets a lock (red LED on the module blinks) the white LED should go on on the board.

    Basically, just follow the instructions on the ArduPilot home page!
  • Corey, no. Sorry. Don't know how to test it yet. So I'll ask everybody, what do I do to test this board without the whole plane and everything? (I have soldering skills, I have the autopilot board and the GPS module with small ribbon cable. What do I need to do for a first test?

  • mine has the same material on it, right in the same spot. did you have a chance to test yours?
  • Tim at Sparkfun.Com was very helpful, and they had a nice little laugh at the possibility of Hummus or other lunch materials. Even though they use a modified dishwasher-like method of cleaning the boards (no joke), the possibility of flux paste was the best answer we could guess at. I volunteered to clean it with a toothpick and a kleenex. Sparkfun was perfectly willing to exchange it right away but I thought I should try the old "toothpick and a magnifier" route first. Here's a during, and after shot.
    (Now I just need to hook it up and test it.)


    I am impressed with the quick, polite, and SMART customer service given to me by the TechSupport department at Sparkfun.Com
    [Sparkfun if you're reading this you may quote me as you please.]
  • Take screwdriver and scratch it off ;) It doesn't look like soldering pewter.
  • My board came in from Sparkfun. There is an unknown contaminant drip mark on the corner of a chip, across the green PCB coating, over the white silkscreen ink, and across a soldered leg on another chip. Sent this picture to TechSupport@Sparkfun.Com and am waiting to find out if I should just clean it off because maybe it was lunch... or if it's serious enough to return the board.

    Because it (the drip) is on top of everthing, it is likely not from the board manufacturing process in China where the PCBs are etched, but it may be from the "couple of guys with soldering irons" working at Sparkfun.
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