Hi,I am working in this project, it is a bidireccional RC transmitter.Sometimes, i think than conventional transmitters start to have no sense for uav projectsThis is a proyect with a small board with ARM7 (NXP LPC2xxx) and a Xbee PRO with 60 mW (similar performance than standard transmitter) and a Bluetooth module to connect with a PDA.This board have 9 analog inputs for joysticks, and other controls, battery voltage..., it try to be a whole solution with charger connector for charge transmitter battery and PDA battery...We are working in a graph tool in order to show flight instruments in PDA.jlcortex

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  • I'm liking your idea. This could be used for a variety of crafts, from a fixed wing to a rotary wing UAV; or even a wheeled vehicle.
    I wrote this in another thread Here: http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/hexarotor-folding-multirotor?id...
    I wish guys like you (guys with the technical know how) could work together, design and build a modular UAV. Have the MCU/DSP and all the sensors on the main board. Have the motor controllers separate from the main board so anyone can use different size motors (scalability). One can build a 10inch wide quad or tri- rotor or a 3 or 4 foot wide version.
    Another option is a board with everything except the MCU/DSP/CPU board. This should include the sensors, servo controllers, FPGA et.c that can be controlled over USB by a gumstix module or some other powerful module (or even a pico ITX motherboard). Coupled with a controller like your idea. Anyone can make anything out of it. I'm sure the software developers out here can cook up something modular to handle all the stuff.

    What d''you guys think?
  • @John Stanton
    >2.4GHz RF side I have the Texas Instruments chips and software
    >less expensive alternative to the Zigbee networking method
    I've met one guy using TI chips for home automation networking, but his application was low range and low bit rate, he said they were the most affordable solution he could find in volume though. Which TI 2.4 chips are you using and what sort of range + data rate are you able to achieve?

    >i have search but i can not find information about your project
    We are entering a contest in April and will open up more of the project after this time. There is no established website at the moment. If you'd like to collaborate on the BLMC, send me a PM - we have the schematic done, but since we are poor hobbyists, do not have a PCB software license that will allow us to route a 4 layer board.

    >my modules are Xbee PRO (series 2) i think i have to update to ZB version to get maximum rate
    I would stick with the 900 MHz pro module, since it seems to have the best throughput and range. I summarized some information on the Parallax forums if you're interested:
    If you have the ZigBee modules I think they are too much trouble for a UAV. Oliver has these and had better luck with the 2.5 firmware than the ZB updated firmware, but you would have to ask him the details.
  • Jose, this might interest you if you want to embed a PDA in the transmitter. I think your idea is very good.
    Have a look:
  • Jose: I read the post xbee-transfer-rate. I understand you get higher transfer rates with the series 2. I will continue trying to improve may rates with the 868. Thanks for your feedback and good luck with your project.
  • Hi Reto,

    has you read this post: http://diydrones.com/forum/topics/xbee-pro-transfer-rate
    9600 will be a maximum of only 1000 bytes/sec, Are you using 868Mhz, this module have very low rate transfer due european regulations.

    i am not tested my modules speed, my modules are Xbee PRO (series 2) i think i have to update to ZB version to get maximum rate. i have to try it! Maximum theorical seems to be 80kbps (about 9kb) but i think it is not possible more than 5 kb.
  • @Jose: Very nice project you have. I just wondered how did you configure your Xbees to send 5000 Kb/sec. On another post (link here), we are stuck getting only about 100 bytes / sec at 9600 bauds. When we try to send more, the Xbee Tx breaks transmission due to duty Cycle limitation (10%). It would be nice if you could share your X-CTU settings with us (you may follow the link). Thanks much.
  • Hi Ian,

    i have search but i can not find information about your project, your project seems exactly like mine, please i would like to now more!

    Hi Max,

    i am thinking about using windows based PDA because we have nice software in .NET and it is very easy to convert to windows mobile

    with xbee you can send about 5 Kb/sec. it is very low for video (it could be possible to send a preview in 80 x 60 pixels but very bad!), for this aplication the best option could be WIFI

    i am thinking about showing: battery voltage, AHRS, altitude, speed.... and send flight plans...

  • This looks nice! I have thought about starting on a similar project but using an iPhone instead. One of the most attractive pros I find in a system like this is the possibility to do all mixing in a uC in the plane and also to easily transfer sensor readings from the plane (batter capacity would be a killer!). I was thinking on making the casing in a nice shape in carbon/glass fiber with a mould if the project gets serious.

    I agree with M1D4P5 about the importance of quality sticks for precision control. It may be okay with Playstation-like sticks for a UAV type aircraft, but for a stability augmented or all-manual plane it would mean a lot with proper sticks.

    It would certainly be possible to send some compressed jpegs per second from the plane via the transmitter (I call the one you steer with that even if it's a receiver in this case) to the iPhone/PDA. That along with some sensor readings from an IMU + GPS + baro would give some cool and slimmed video piloting and maybe even mission control right in the transmitter! I would love that!

    If you are interested we could maybe make a joint project with a bit bigger scope. For example we could create a common protocol for the BT to support all kinds of phones/mobile devices that choose to implement it on the other side. But maybe this is outside your interest.. :)

    Best Regards,
  • I also have been looking at a downlink. I have resurrected an old 27MHz RC unit as a development platform because it has the "sticks" (although not very good ones).

    I am at the stage of defining a comms protocol, and believe that I should use something universal. Any ideas? For the 2.4GHz RF side I have the Texas Instruments chips and software. It looks like a simpler and less expensive alternative to the Zigbee networking method. It also helps that they hand out the development kit if you attend one of their seminars.
  • Hi Jose and all
    Your project is nice. I am working on a very similar project with http://diydrones.com/profile/ViperUAVTricopter
    ViperUAVTricopter is the main force behind the project though
    we have six rotors too, and our own remote design, but use OLED's instead of PDA, and Propeller mcu's instead of ARM's
    wasn't sure what you use for BLMC, you probably already know you need high Hz updates and PPM/PWM is limited to 150Hz, we are extending the mikrokopter I2C BLMC design - we'd like one pcb instead of six mk boards
    we are still in the build/design stages of this project though - it seems your project is closed source (?) - when we are far enough along, we plan to release all our files

    I'm not an R/C enthusiast, so I don't know what costitutes a 'good set of sticks'...bits of position encoding?
    but you can find surplus vex transmitters on ebay for <$30 and take the sticks out - this is what I am doing, the springs are easy to remove if you want to limit to one axis of motion too
    Servo Magazine (2007) and this link have good information on working with the sticks: http://www.kronosrobotics.com/Projects/remote.shtml
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