First Official Pixhawk 2 Unboxing

Adam from Aeroworks Productions unboxes the new Pixhawk 2 flight controller.

• An integrated, single board / box flight controller.
• Sufficient I/O for most applications without expansion.
• Improved ease
• Improved sensor performance.
• Improved microcontroller resources.
• Increased reliability and
reduced integration complexity. • Reduced BoM and manufacturing costs.

Key design points

• All-in-one design with integrated FMU and IO and lots of I/O ports.
• Improved manufacturability, designed for simpler mounting and case design. • Separate power supplies for FMU and IO (see power architecture section).
• On-board battery backup for FMU and IO SRAM / RTC.
• Integration with the standard power brick.

Pixhawk FMU Main Board

• STM32F427; flash 2MiB, RAM 256KiB.
• On
-board 16KiB SPI FRAM
MPU9250 or ICM 20xxx integrated accelerometer / gyro. • MS5611 Baro
• All sensors connected via SPI.
• Micro SD
interfaces via SDIO.

Vibration Damped IMU board

• LSM303D integrated accelerometer / magnetometer. • L3GD20 gyro.
MPU9250 or ICM 20xxx Gyro / Accel
• MS5611 Baro

• All sensors connected via SPI.

I/O ports

• 14 PWM servo outputs (8 from IO, 6 from FMU).
• R/C inputs for CPPM, Spektrum / DSM and S.Bus.
Analogue / PWM RSSI input.
• S.Bus servo output.
• 5 general purpose serial ports, 2 with full flow contr
• Two I2C ports
• One SPI port (un
-buffered, for short cables only not recommended for use). • Two CAN Bus interface.
• 3 Analogue inputs
• High-powered piezo buzzer driver. (On expansion board)
• High-power RGB LED. (I2C driver compatible Connected externally only)
• Safety switch / LED. 

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  • Does the package say where is it made? Australia ? China ?

  • sorry I have to critic for the "damper" thing here:

    I don't know how different this damper from the solo ones... and I worry about the landing hit will cause yet another flip... if a damper designed to tackle some problem and it failed, it beat the purpose totally, and brought me such huge footprint to bear with.

    As an interface you dedicated for continuous development I do suggest you get some damper property documents about it. I would never fly this on my helicopter, due to the non-linear vibration caused by sudden pitch change, with a damper has no idea about it with a former failure history.

  • Developer

    Congratulations to Ardupilot on finally getting this out. I do think though that the OSH label is being used here more as a marketing gimmick than anything else. You aren't seriously committed to OSH  if you only publish your schematics in Altium format.

    Look for example how Arduino does OSH. Design Files available on the documentation page in 3 formats of which of course one is PDF.

  • Developer

    The point of internal dampening is to have the critical sensors isolated in a rigid cage that has a known mass. Knowing the mass is what makes it possible to select optimal dampening for the sensors. Remember your goal is to isolate the sensors from the frame, not the frame from the sensors.

    External dampening is then added on a case by case basis to remove extreme vibrations that the internal dampening may not be able to handle. In many cases using well designed frames and balanced propellers, it will not be needed at all.

  • @ Thomas,

    Virtually all military and previous high end commercial autopilots have included vibration suppression / isolation on the IMU board, generally very similar to the type included in the cube.

    This kind of foam damping has been found to be very effective at eliminating or at least seriously damping the most difficult to deal with high frequency and low amplitude vibrations across a fairly wide spectrum.

    Both isolation and damping are mixed in a fairly wide spectrum vibration reduction solution by this method.

    It is also now in common use in many of the consumer and commercial multicopters.

    As long as it does not seriously extend into low frequency, high amplitude domains, delays intrinsic in the suppression / damping process are not relevant or deleterious to actual flying characteristics.

    Basically, it has a seriously valuable upside and no downside, and the fact that it is further tune-able is just icing on the cake and an improvement over virtually every other flight controller out there.

    Simply, the damping system as included in the Cube is definitely a worthwhile asset and in no way a liability.

    Best Regards,


  • Developer

    Hi Thomas
      Its unfortunate that you feel this way.  But please do some research...

      The new sensors are able to be sampled at 8KHz for the Gyro, and 4KHz for the accelerometer, which combined with the vibration isolation gives a robust solution to many platforms.

      You are of course welcome to participate in our weekly development calls, or to contact us via Github, or gitter, or email, or any of the many methods that this project has had open over the last 3 years while its been very publicly designed.

      As to the so called "fixed resonance..." asking will get you further... the cube is held together with screws, this can be disassembled to add a spacer into the cube to move the resonant frequency away from that of your frame. I have been recommending that people send it on a ride along to first log with high rate logging the characteristics of their frame, then we will have the data to recommend the right solution.

      As far as this being the cube from Solo... please do your research... we designed the PH2 BEFORE Solo was even considered.  the Pixhawk 2 was selected for Solo... 

      So, why modular?  because different air-frames have different requirements.  we have first released the full carrier board, next will be the mini, and you will find Pixhawk 2 showing up in other commercial platforms in the future.

      The form factor of the cube will allow future upgrade ability.  early next year we will release the Cube Pro, with twice the processing power of the current cube, you will simply need to unscrew your current cube, and insert the replacement, for a fraction of the cost.

      regarding the HMC5983, we totally agree.  have you noticed it is end of life? So we have purchased all the units we can find, and have this mag in our external compass, there is no point having such a good mag inside the flight controller where it is subject to system noise.

      on top of the HMC5983, we have a second compass that we will also be fitting, which we hope will fill the gap once supplies of the HMC5983 finally fun out in 2018

      If you have any constructive comments, feel free to contact me... or any of the other members of the Ardupilot design team.  and if this doesn't suite you, MRobotics is still selling the Pixhawk 1, or AUAV are selling the Pixracer, Both very capable boards.

  • Other than leveraging the "cube" from the Sol, how is this two piece design mechanically better than an integral Pixhawk PCB!

    Additionally, might want to do some fact checking on the sensor specs.  The MPU9250 which has the 6500 die inside, is not as good as the ubiquitous MPU6000.  Nor is the AK8963 compass die inside the MPU9250 better than the ubiquitous HMC5983 compass.  The numbers do not lot, nor do they succumb to hyperbolae. 

    Additionally, the unfortunate aspect about the "vibration dampened IMU board" is that it has a fixed resonant frequency. It will only be truly an improvement on a copter with a specific resonant frequency. As a low pass filter, there is no way to tune it. A better solution would allow the IMU to be tuned by adding or removing isolation and/or damping whereby the LPF resonant frequency can be optimized for the copter it is mounted on.  This design will still require an additional low pass filter; i.e., damping and/or isolation.  Net result is that the IMU should have just been hard mounted, and then the whole gizmo tuned (by shifting the resonant frequency of the filter through the addition of damping weight and/or isolation) by the used. Really just basic harmonics theory involved here!

    Nice box though; more waste of environmental resources!

  • @Jb Its plastic but a much more solid feel than the original Pixhawk.
  • Looks really well made from the video.

    Is it plastic or aluminium?

  • looks exciting!

    Heres the product link also... (238USD)

    I wish it was a lil smaller and cheaper though haha.. but hey, this is great

    Pixhawk 2 - Pixhawk2
    Home of the Pixhawk 2
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