ArduPilotMega + Spektrum satellite Rx -- NOW AVAILABLE

Hi 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: 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!

Views: 16907

Comment by druckgott on March 18, 2012 at 1:11am

Reupload the file to the arduino satelit file and also the arducopter software.

Comment by stubugs on March 24, 2012 at 1:40pm

thanks guys all sorted

faulty board


Comment by stubugs on March 24, 2012 at 4:43pm
hi sent it back to supplier they tried my blue boaed with another
red one and everthing worked so swapped out new red board

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on March 30, 2012 at 9:01am

Kevin, thanks for that catch. If you can correct that image with the two #3s and upload it here, I'll update the wiki with it.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on March 30, 2012 at 12:23pm

Kevin: Excellent; updated!

You get a Wiki Ninja badge for that. Many thanks!

Comment by John Fressinet on April 9, 2012 at 6:41am

There are probably answers to questions below since DIY Store sales Spectrum Transmitter but I can't find them.

Could I get some help.

-Is it a procedure to connect and bind a Spectrum satellite on the APM2 ?

-Do we need to load software(s) for PPM encoding and binding satellite on APM2 ?

-Is the adapter needed with APM2 ?

Any help will be greatly appreciated

Comment by Vernon Barry on May 2, 2012 at 7:31pm

The adapter doesn't work with APM2.0 because the PPM encoder and the entire setup changed. They are completely incompatible at this time.

Comment by Simon Howroyd on May 23, 2012 at 2:21pm

Is this likely to work on APM2?

Comment by Sebastian Gralla on April 21, 2013 at 8:13am

still no update on this? i have one of these adaptors, will it work with APM2.5?

I assume if it would they would still be available...


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