OpenLRSng: Brotronics Broversity RX, the Missing Manual

If you're doing long range, and you're using ardupilot, you probably are using or want to be using the open source OpenLRSng.

The most interesting OpenLRSng receiver I found was the "Brotronics Broversity RX", but its documentation was minimal, so I wrote some and made a demo video:

http://marc.merlins.org/perso/rc/post_2015-11-14_Brotronics-Brovers...

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Comment by Marc Dornan on November 28, 2015 at 8:20pm

Marc. If you have not done so, you should also check out http://www.itluxembourg.lu/site/ultimate-lrs-the-next-release/

There is a busy RCGroups thread on it as well. (Since you are flying fixed with Ardupilot though I would point you to this). 

Comment by Marc MERLIN on November 28, 2015 at 9:05pm

Hi Marc, So I don't run windows, is that just some new windows frontend? If so, not going to help me :)

If it's also new firmware for the actual receiver/sender, I couldn't find what's new in it.

Comment by Ben on November 29, 2015 at 2:33am

Hi Marc,

First of all it should be noted that openlrsng is no longer really maintained, the last update was in May, and I wouldn't recommend to go with a system that's no longer effectively supported.

Then the main advantages of Ultimate LRS ( www.itluxembourg.lu/site ) are :

1. It's a full 1W bidirectionnal system, which was tested up to 40 km. It's not just one user who took it to long range, you can find a lot of videos here : http://www.itluxembourg.lu/site/ultimate-lrs-user-provided-content/

http://www.itluxembourg.lu/site/ultimate-lrs-40-km-setup/

2. There's an active and friendly community around it, building new hardwares, 3D printed cases, antennas and sharing information with each other. Check out the rcgroups here :

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2037442&page=205

3. There's a real website and complete documentation about it, with clear connection diagrams, spectrum analyzer tests, proposed mods and so on : http://www.itluxembourg.lu/site/

4. It was designed from the beginning for perfect telemetry, while providing at the same time 16 RC channels, on the same link. You can for example see it's extreme speed (more than 60 mavlink packets per second without packet loss) in these videos :

https://vimeo.com/137746307

https://vimeo.com/133086385

5. It's built around OrangeRX modules, which gives a complete 1W bidirectionnal system for around $50...

6. It has a complete GUI with ability to show quality, noise, RSSI, SNR etc in real time for each hopping channel. Of course it offers also spectrum analyzer and such features. 

7. Many innovative features are under active development, don't see it just as a simple LRS, it will soon provide a complete 3D OSD and Virtual Cockpit as shown here. This will be available also for Linux, iOS and Android platforms.

https://vimeo.com/23092643

Comment by Marc Dornan on November 29, 2015 at 7:51am
Marc -- it may be a Windows only installer or driver. Need to check that. I just use an old windows laptop. Mac person myself.

Basically, as Ben (the creator) said you get long range telemetry and rc all in one.
Comment by Marc MERLIN on November 29, 2015 at 9:23am

Hi Ben, I very much appreciate the details. I didn't know there was a community building a new firmware for openlrs modules (from Marc's answer, it looked like it was only a new windows only configurator for the same firmware).

Having mavlink data supported by default without having to run the gitsly branch of openlrsng, is great news and does peak my interest :)

I'm really not a fan of the Orange modules though. It's cheap chinese stuff with manufacturing faults and just not designed as well as he hawkeye modules, or interesting modules like the broversity one I just blogged about. Because I live in an area that's not RF quiet at all, just getting 5km reception with a 1W transmitter (hawkeye) is already not super easy.

Also the amount of modifications and soldering you need to do on the Orange modules vs the hawkeye/broversity ones that are designed right to start with, isn't really inspiring :)

The firmware features and community do sound quite interesting though. Does it, or will it support my higher quality modules (hawkeye and broversity), or is it for Orange modules only?

Thanks, Marc

Comment by Marc MERLIN on November 29, 2015 at 9:34am

Also, it's cool that UltimateLRS can do APM telemetry faster than APM radios (or just do it at all), but my APM radio continues to send telemetry without problems at 5km on 100mW when openLRSng is barely able to reach my plane on 1W.

So the APM radios are designed for connection quality and range over low power, which is why they are also slower.

I'm actually kind of happy that I only need to send data back with 100mW instead of 1W to avoid having even more RF being generated on my plane (in addition to the 2W VTX in the tail), and confusing even more electronics :)

Still, I am interested in looking at UltimateLRS if it will work with my existing modules.

Comment by Artem on November 29, 2015 at 10:45am

Marc, try loading gitsly branch of openlrsng works really well with mavli k and you do not eed any special config tools, gitsly has his own chrom based config on his github. Its a shame that ultimate lrs doesn't support quality hardware. Beware of using cheap Hobby King crap orange hardware.... 

Comment by Artem on November 29, 2015 at 10:50am

Also, marco, openlrsng supports rssi injection on any channel and I believe Ardu Plane supports injected RSSI in 3.4 version, so you really didn't need to cut the heatshrink open. Btw, analog RSSI works on mine, just have to solder the jumper. 

Comment by Marc MERLIN on November 29, 2015 at 12:13pm

Thanks Artem. Yeah, I agree that it's a shame that people are spending so much time hacking Orange modules when for a few tens of dollars more, they could get quality hardware, and support people doing openlrsng work instead of a bad chinese clone.

Glad to know analog RSSI worked for you on your module, maybe I didn't solder mine right when I tried and you're correct about RSSI injection, but I wanted to use the actual RSSI pins without burning a PWM port just to get RSSI out of it (as well as having an easy to read analog RSSI value that works with everything, not just APM 3.4)

Comment by Marc Dornan on November 29, 2015 at 12:42pm

Orange RX are indeed fairly dodgy. You would never buy one and trust that it was ok. But the known issues are actually easy enough to correct and thereafter they seem to work very well. It is not for those that do not want to solder a bit. I believe Benoit is planning support for better hardware, which will likely be necessary before many people will take the jump. There is cheap and there is cheap though. HK just closed out the 1W Futuba 433Mhz for $3 and many people using ULRS snatched as many as 10 of them at a go. 

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