3D Robotics

FMA no longer carrying Z sensors

I'm sorry to report that FMA is no longer carrying Z sensors. They ran out of existing stock and because their basic Co-Pilot doesn't require them, they won't be making any more. They will continue to make XY sensors, which the Co-Pilot does use, and those should be back in stock in a few days. We're currently exploring alternative sources for the Z sensors, but in the meantime, I suggest you buy them from Dean Goedde for $40 including cable (scroll to bottom for price list).[Update: Turns out that those may not be totally compatible (they're 3.3v and require special wiring to our 3.3v shield). Stay tuned....we're looking at other options.] [Update 2: Dean writes and says that they are compatible: "My Z head is 100% fine at 5V. The analog output will be 1/2Vdd for a balanced horizon view, and skew away based on tilt. After all, myself, FMA, and Paparazzi are all using the same components and design. The AD8551 OpAmp is being used in all 3 of our Z heads and is fine to at least 5 volts.]
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  • Jordi, do you think if I change these two resistors the Z sensor from Paparazzi could work fine? I mean, have the same gain.
  • For those who are DIY types. There is an old post on RC Groups about FMA clone XY thermopile sensors. Do not know how good/bad it is:

  • Developer
    Only one suggestion. i just discover that you need to have XY and Z with the same gains in order to work correctly. Otherwise the range scaling will be unbalanced... Paparazzi THemopiles will work but the gain is 1100 and the original FMA gains are set to 1960. In other words the paparazzi IR have less resolution, approximately 40% less resolution (because was intended for 3.3v), and yes have the same components but the Opamp uses different resistors (510 ohms instead 1k and 1M ohm instead 820k). But will work if you buy the xy and z modules! But please do not mix FMA with paparazzi.

    In the other hand i just made another IR boards, using the FMA connectors and with the same gains (1960). But i will sell only the board (without the thermophiles), i will provide the sensor separately but you will need to solder them manually (easy).
  • Taking prices into account maybe it will be better to buy XY sensor from FMA and connecto only one cable?
  • 3D Robotics
    Dean says his are compatible, so I've modified the post to recommend those again.
  • Z sensors are also available in my store I(http://chebuzz.com/paparazzi/) to those who do not live in a country where FMA has a patent.
  • Developer
    @David Conger
    Wow, my respects about making all the cables manually (never mind).

    Today suppose to arrive the nice cables for ArduPilot, so only minor soldering is required (easy).
  • Developer

    Yes you can do that... We only need the extreme difference of temperature, to fit the scale.
  • I not sure, just a guess but... if you have two xy sensors could the second one be used as the z sensor (you would obviously only connect the cable that corresponds to the vertical thermopiles not the horizontal. Maybe two z sensors could be "formed" from one xy sensor…
  • Moderator
    Chris - Thanks.
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