Component list for APM controlled quad (no rc)

I’m looking into building a quad using a raspberry pi+navio+. However I don’t want to use a r/c, just APM or my app. What would you recommend besides the regular components : e.g., frame, motors, battery, ESC ?

Except for regular parts I would suggest getting antenna and power module (available in our shop). It would be also handy to equip your Raspberry with Wi-Fi dongle.

A few of questions:

  • looking at the power module, the output connects directly to the Navio+ only ?
  • are the ESC signal pins connected to the Navio, or Pi?
  • any recommended Wifi modules, based upon your experiences ?

-The power module connects directly to Navio+. Navio+ will backpower RPi.
-ESCs are connected to Navio
-We mostly use EDUP (RTL8188 chip) and any RTL8188 or RTL8192 based dongle will work. But range will depend on type of the dongle and antenna.

I’ve ordered my Navio+ and while looking at the Quad on main page Navio+ page, I thought “I would like to make one like that” :smile:Any chance I can get the parts list for that one ?


The frame is indeed very nice.

On that copter we used:
FPV250 frame
4 x Emax 12A ESCs (ours have some bugs in the FW, so better get different ones for 12A)
4 x ZMR 1804 motors
inf x 5x3 props
1300mAh 2S Li-Po
Navio+ (RPi A+)
Power module

Now everything is hard mounted, but I have developed a custom laser cut mounting plate for Navio+. Will pick it up from the laser tomorrow and if everything fits post the design files here.

Thanks @ivereninov

one question: Replacing the RpiA+ with a Rpi B+ or Rpi2B (when the image is ready) shouldn’t affect the overall performance, right ?

@ruigermano With Rpi2B you will significantly improve performance.

@igor.vereninov Cool :smile: Then now it’s just waiting the Navio+ and hobbyking parts to arrive.
Is Navio+ already shipping again ?

Very soon, we will try to ship all backorders until Monday. I did a couple flights today in the exact configuration posted here but with RPi2 :slight_smile:

@ruigermano Got the laser cut parts, but something got terribly wrong with scaling here :joy: :joy:

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:smile: @ivereninov that’s indeed hilarious.

I’d be very interested in those files I just picked up that frame myself

This is pretty hilarious… hahaha

I Have yet to figure out how to calibrate my ESC without the RC. Let me know if you have any luck.

After some more experience I’ve learnt the best way to calibrate the ESC is to NOT calibrate it! Use a firmware tool which is easy to use (e.g. BLHeli Suite or RapidFlash) and set the minimum and maximum within the range of your transmitter, which you will see on the RC calibration screen. For example for Taranis X9D we always have 982-2006 as the range with 1496~1500 at the centre.

You should add some PWM buffer at the top and bottom to make sure you can stop the motors and get full power or tilt without having to push hard. I prefer to keep the range 1000-2000 with 1500 as centre which is the default in many other flight controllers. The Taranis fits in there nicely. If you don’t have a Taranis and the PWM range is really skewed around different endpoints then you should set that into your ESC accordingly. I could adjust this a bit lower to be mathematically correct but there is a deadzone in the middle anyway and I like round numbers :nerd:

Once I had a situation where a APM was incorrectly calibrating some ESCs with different values or jumping into calibration mode when it wasn’t desired (on an old Pixhawk and old firmware, not on a Navio). Even when programmed directly they spun-up and stopped correctly, i.e. to the same PWM values. So I think only the old or bigger ESCs really have noticeable variations? On my 250 models I never had any discrepancies, so for me ESC calibration is not only un-necessary but worse, it introduces variance in the configuration and hides settings you should have under control (because you don’t normally bother to connect the ESCs again after calibration to see what the results were). For that reason I also disable the RC calibration feature to prevent unwanted changes/misconfiguration.

At the same time I’d recommend re-flashing SimonK to BLHeli if it is supported on your ESC. Besides a clear popularity swing away from SimonK (the opposite was true last year) the BLHeli firmware can read back the settings and manage them much better than the blind SimonK flash method (or did I miss some option to read the settings back in SimonK/RapidFlash?).

If you have a big multirotor then maybe somebody else has advice and calibration is still necessary.

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