Using a Remzibi OSD with Arducopter 2.0.x Beta (and now Arducopter 2.7.3/2.8) and Mavlink 0.9/1.0

Update 10/22/2012 - For those few who may be interested, I'm now using this software on my personal quad with ACM 2.7.3 and 2.8. This software now compiles with Arduino 1.0.1 and works with Mavlink 1.0 or 0.9. The wiring and hardware requirements has not changed. You can download the software from my personal website at this link.

Original Post:

Since I purchased my Arducopter last November, I've wanted to use my NTSC video camera, Remzibi OSD, and 1.280 Ghz video transmitter with my quad and experimented with different ways to do it. It was easier with Arucopter NG RC2 since Mavlink was not in use and I could generate my own serial stream to the OSD. With the release of Arducopter 2.0.x and Mavlink it was a little harder.  I really wanted to have Mavlink up and running to my Ardustation tilt/pan antenna and notebook while using the on board OSD. 


My solution was to add an Arduino Pro mini to my quad configuration and modify some Mavlink Ardustation software from phillip.anthony.smith to create the serial stream that the Remzibi OSD likes. The details of this mod and link to the my Mavlink to Remzi converter software is available here:

Mavlink to Remzibi Converter

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Comment by Neil Baker on July 29, 2011 at 9:23am

Thanks for this great post!  Funny I just installed and wired my Remzibi about an hour ago.  Im going to take it back out and re-wire it up.  I happen to have an extra Pro Mini here that was waiting for just an application like this too.  Do you mind posting a bigger wiring picture so the text can be read?

Comment by Heino R. Pull on July 29, 2011 at 9:40am
No problem, here is a link to a pdf that you can zoom into to see the details.
Comment by Neil Baker on July 30, 2011 at 4:23am

Heino, whats the difference in the two sketches remzibi and osdmavlink?  Not that great with C.  I just skimmed through them and they look the same but Im assuming the remzibi file is the correct one for the pro mini?  Also I just noticed your call on the OSD picture.  73's W4HFV

Comment by Heino R. Pull on July 30, 2011 at 8:09am
Neil 73's

Both files are needed. The osdmavlink is the main file. The way to set it up for Arduino 22 is to copy the folder osdmavlink to your sketches folder. You'll also need the library from the main arducopter software which has the mavlink libraries in it. You can then select the osdmavlink sketch and compile it. Let me know if you haven't compiled through Arduino and I can give you more detailed instructions.
Comment by Neil Baker on July 30, 2011 at 8:29am

I have no idea why I just asked you that.  Its been a while since Ive compiled something in Arduino.  Guess im a little rusty.  Got it loaded.  Thanks for the help.

Comment by Heino R. Pull on July 30, 2011 at 8:46am

Glad you have it working.  Also, the osdmavlink software depends on something to start the Mavlink messages flowing. Since I have the transmit serial connected to the Remzibi, it can't send the message to the APM to start Mavlink up.  I normally always run with a ground station of some sort and it takes care of the issue.  Let me know if you don't run with a ground station of some sort and I can look at ways of triggering Mavlink.  

Comment by Neil Baker on July 30, 2011 at 10:02am

I forgot about that.  The ground station has to start mavlink.  I run a ground station sometimes but not always.  If you run across an easy method of trigering it let me know but its no big deal.  I need to start using a ground station all the time anyways. 

Comment by Hai Tran on August 2, 2011 at 7:00am

@Heino, do you think you OSD link be used to supply Eagletree OSD with data?  I have both Remzibi and Eagletree OSD.  I found out that Eagletree GPS also sends NMEA messages, however its at 38,400baud.  Apparently there's also a module that allows Eagletree to display artificial horizon information, which is available in the MAVLINK data.

Comment by Heino R. Pull on August 2, 2011 at 7:30am
In theory it should be able to - it's a matter of how tolerant the module is of validity checks and such. The Remzibi software doesn't care if there are checksums or not in the NMEA message for instance. Remzibi also designed the parser to simply count commas and ignore not present fields without crashing. My software doesn't generate checksums so that might be an issue. I haven't used to Eagletree OSD or looked at it closely enough to say for sure.
Comment by Heino R. Pull on August 2, 2011 at 9:51am
One other thing - since the Arduino Pro is using the transmit and receive to talk to 2 different devices, both devices have to be at the same baud rate. So If the Eagletree can't be changed from 38400, Mavlink's output to the Xbee would have to be 38400 or you would need an Arudino with 2 serial ports like the 1280 to translate baud rates.


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