Hi guys! I'm giving you a preview of an upcoming product from the DIY Drones store, the MinimOSD, a minimal Arduino-based on-screen display board. It's tailored for use with ArduPilot Mega and the MAVlink protocol, and designed to be as compact as possible.

It's main components are an ATmega328P 8 bit microcontroller with an Arduino bootloader, and a MAX7456 monochrome on-screen display. Programming is done through an FTDI-compatible 6-pin header.

It features two independent power and ground sections to isolate the OSD's analog stage: a +5V section for the ATmega and the OSD's digital stage, powered through the FTDI cable or other +5V source; and a regulated +5V section for the OSD's analog stage, powered through the video in/out header and capable of handling up to +12V input. Solder jumpers are available to combine the two power and ground sections if desired.

Spec lists are the best, so here's one!

  • ATmega328P with Arduino bootloader
  • MAX7456 monochrome on-screen display
  • FTDI cable compatible pinout
  • Standard 6-pin ISP header
  • Two independent power sections with an LED indicator on each
  • Solder jumpers for combining the power sections
  • +5V 500mA regulator for up to +12V supply input
  • Solder jumper for PAL video option
  • Exposed test points for HSYNC and LOS
  • Dimensions: 0.7"W x 1.7"L (2.4" w/ pins as shown) x 0.3"H

The production version won't be green, and we're not too fond of blue anymore, so expect something different on future products ;)

(And yes, I know I missed a decoupling cap on the board in the photo. Sorry Chris!)

Expected release date is within 2-3 weeks, price is TBD. Watch this space! UPDATE: Price will be $89.99 USD.

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3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on November 10, 2011 at 6:16pm

Sam knows I'm a zealot where it comes to decoupling capaciters ;-) Here's why.

Comment by Bart on November 10, 2011 at 7:40pm

Looking forward to the release!

Any chance for a preview of the display?

Is the 5V regulator a switching or linear regulator (i.e., would it get hot when powered with 12v)?

Comment by Sam Kelly on November 10, 2011 at 9:10pm
@ Bart, I can answer one of those questions. I used a linear regulator to keep the BOM as small as possible, so it will get pretty warm with a 12V supply. A switching regulator would have probably required more PCB space due to the larger amount of external resistors, caps, inductors and diodes they use, as well as the specific layout recommendations that accompany them. You'll see what I mean when you see the upcoming Remzibi OSD revision!
Comment by Dano on November 10, 2011 at 9:27pm

Decoupling capacitors?.... Yes! Always! 


Comment by Ben Levitt on November 11, 2011 at 12:34am

This sounds great.  Any idea how the control interface is going to work?  Will a master microcontroller command it via a serial link?  (Or SPI?)  And how low-level is the control of the OSD content?  I'm interested in adding support for this OSD board to MatrixPilot on the UDB.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on November 11, 2011 at 12:39am

Ben: You just connect it to the same serial telemetry port as the Xbee and it listens to the MAVLink stream. The onboard microprocessor parses the MAVLink and sends the relevant bits to the video overlay.

Comment by UnmannedTechShop.co.uk on November 11, 2011 at 1:12am

Looks great!  Looking forward to the release

Comment by Ben Levitt on November 11, 2011 at 1:18am

Thanks Chris.  Sounds like we added MavLink support just in time!  :)

Comment by Marc Puig on November 11, 2011 at 1:38am

Have you written the firmware? I suppose it will be opensource... I actually use a similar osd (arduino pro mini + sparkfun breakout board for MAX7456) with a modified C-OSD firmware using a custom protocol, but I was thinking to implement the MAVlink protocol.

Comment by Russkel on November 11, 2011 at 3:36am
Very cool. Lets talk dollars and cents?


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