Hackhawk II: An Arduino-compatible brushless flight controller

What could be more fun than hacking an RTF quadcopter to fly with your own custom firmware? How about hacking with your own DIY Arduino-compatible 32-bit flight controller?  This tutorial shows how I did it. Advantages of using this controller include:

  1. Access to the huge selection of Arduino-compatible add-on sensors (distance, optical flow, ...)
  2. Use of the high-accuarcy SENtral Sensor Fusion IMU, freeing up computation cycles for other tasks.
  3. 3.3V signal levels, for adapter-free interfacing with Raspberry Pi and other single-board computers.

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3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on January 6, 2019 at 3:32pm

Good tip on the IMU. I've been using both the Sparkfun 9250 and the Adafruit BN0-055. Will be interesting to compare

Comment by Simon D. Levy on January 7, 2019 at 3:34pm

The USFS IMU is about the same price as the Adafruit BN0-055, but the USFS fits right on a Teensy (or similar board like the Butterfly dev board) and comes with a barometer too ;^)

Comment by Simon D. Levy on January 9, 2019 at 3:09pm

I've added mounts for an OpenMV camera and a BlueSMiRF unit (for telemetry and eventually mobile-app control). Looking forward to getting my pre-ordered OpenMV H7!

Comment by Simon D. Levy on January 9, 2019 at 3:11pm

A match made in machine-vision heaven ;^D

Comment by Daniel on January 10, 2019 at 12:04am
It looks like you could almost adapt a small servo tilt on the cam.
Comment by Thomas Butler on January 19, 2019 at 8:38pm

The MPU9250 is obsolete as is the integral AK8963 mag; has been for quite some time!.

You might want to take a look at Pesky's latest here. They acknowledge the limitations of the proprietary Swiss EL7180 CPU (10mhz CPU) (in addition to limitations of the firmware used), and they have migrated/evolved to using a Maxim MAX32660 (ARM M4F CPU core) in their latest sensor fusion module...

Sometimes a little bit of investigating can save a lot of headache! It is always good practice in electronics development to investigate End-Of-Life (EOL) on any and all components in a project...

Happy flying!

Comment by Simon D. Levy on January 20, 2019 at 1:19am

Excellent points, Thomas!  I am indeed aware of the obsolescence of the MPU9250/AK8963 through my conversations with Kris, but I was unaware of his new motion coprocessor (he's so productive that I find it difficult to keep up!)  For the first issue (avoiding MPU9250/AK8963), you may know that Pesky offers an EM7180 unit using STM sensors; my cross-platform EM7180 library also works  with that unit.  For the second issue (avoiding EM7180), I will certainly keep an eye on the project, and will likely offer a similarly easy-to use cross-platform library for it when it becomes available.


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