Sneak peek at mavboard progress


I've been working on a custom circuit board I am calling the "mavboard" which will be a board that will distribute telemetry connections to various other devices, and allow you to select which port gets the telemetry Rx pin, since only one thing can talk *TO* the APM telemetry port. All other mav ports can sniff the APM Tx pin.

As you can see in the images below, I went a step further and embedded an ATMega directly into the board as well. My vision for this board is not just a "Mavlink Hub" but also a protocol translator for a couple of popular RC Rx devices that offer telemetry options such as FrSky and OpenLRS. What I have working so far is the FrSky conversion originally based from JDrone's jD_IOBoard_FrSkyMAVLink project with refactoring and bug fixes from Vito Ammirata. We have been discussing and making progress over in This Thread and his updated code has been put into GitHub.

When done, all the board design files and schematic will be available for download. The initial prototype is using a number of through-hole components which I would like to switch out to SMD so the board can be smaller (shooting for size of MinimOSD), but I am still exploring options for how to get a small number of SMD boards stuffed without having to hand solder all the components. If interested, I may offer some up for sale so I can get a batch of them made.



E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • Developer

    Jeti +1

  • Developer

    Very nice. I'm looking for something like this to connect to Jeti telemetry.

  • I could not find any non-marketing material on this new FrSky telemetry protocol. Except that it should be fully customizable, high bandwidth and low latency. We probably have to wait for the release for more substantial info. FrSKy is usually very good in providing specs.

    As older receivers go. Apparently they will try to release firmware updates for some of the current models.

  • Yes, this is a very interesting idea.
  • I haven't dug either, but that seems like an obvious choice given the richness of the data feed. Looking at the commercial market, it looks like most ATs have their proprietary way of getting the tracking data - often from the audio channel of a vTx.

    It looks like some work has been done to use old ArduPilots (non-mega) as trackers, but the landscape seems ripe for a dedicated groundstation device that is mavlink aware and can do antenna tracking and much more. Some things that come to mind are alarms and telemetry recording.

  • Mike, are you thinking that the antenna tracker could be using the MAVlink signal as its tracking signal? I haven't dug into antenna tracking yet so I'm not too familiar with what signals are used.

  • Support for Graupner HoTT would be nice. There are already some projects, so implementation shouldn't be too hard:

  • Tilman - Sounds interesting. Sounds like a new Rx though? My whole fleet already has FrSky Rx's, so that would be a costly upgrade :)

    Dimitri - I am interested in ground station antenna tracking too. The audio encoding sounded complicated. So far what I have been thinking is to split out the Rx line from the RC transmitter module serial port on the ground and pipe that into the antenna tracker after some sort of conversion. I have not done much research yet, but are there any standards emerging around the data feed input into antenna trackers? IE, it would be great if an antenna trackers started to accepted a mavlink feed. If so, there could be a mavboard device on the ground that took the serial stream and encoded it into a mavlink feed.

    Dany - Sure thing!

  • Distributor

    Cool! was looking into something like that for a while now... let me know when you have them for sale, I will distribute them for Canada! :) 

  • I didn't mean voice support, sorry wasn't clear enough. What I meant was using mavboard to convert mavlink to audio signal and sent via the (mostly unused) audio channel on our FPV transmitters. It probably means using a second mavboard or arduino board with special firmware on the ground side, and I understand it can only be one-way but it would be very handy for antenna tracking or long missions etc.

    I remember it was discussed in the minimosd-extra thread but apparently there isn't enough cpu cycles or something...

This reply was deleted.