Ground Control?

Hey guys, im really new to this. Ive started an other thread that got 20 views but 0 reply… maybe im asking wrong ^^ what exact software is used to control this Autopilot from the Ground station laptop? or am I thinking to far? ive been searching this page for some substantial information for a while now and found nothing.

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:


I I understand well, you are asking which Ground Station software to use with NAvio systems, right ? If yes, you can use QGroundStation, Mission Planner, APM Planner 2.0 or even MavProxy. They all use the MavLink protocol to discuss with the Autopilot.
I recommend to go to web page for each products and select the one you prefer or is better fitting with your needs.

Yes and one more thing to add when selecting a Ground Control Station is that you’re probably better off with one of the “APM” variants over the 3DRobotics’s QGroundStation.

Support for Linux boards (i.e. Navio+ and another) is work in progress (but working) as you may have heard in the YouTube video from Randy Mackay shared here recently:

Because of the MAVLink “standard” all the ground control stations and devices should work together with any MAVLink software like a GCS. However it appears there are differences in newer settings and/or their behaviour, depending on which variant (original 3DR or APM spin-off). So for non-3DR devices or with APM compatible firmware (i.e. Navio), you’re best using one of the APM orientated solutions to ensure full GCS capabilities. Even then the developer of the GCS may lag behind the APM firmware, so some of the newest features may not be available for a while no matter which software you choose.

It’s even more confusing with the mobile software, because it’s not clear which variant the mobile developer was targeting when they wrote their software. What you can expect is core GPS location, tracking and telemetry communication with any software. But problems may occur when you try to select specific modes directly with the GCS (in my experience). At least you should always be able to use your transmitter to change flight modes for example, then use the GCS as a display/tracking tool.

This table sheds more light on the subject:

So the main differences on the APM side are for the mobile devices, but for the PC we only have two choices: “Mission Planner” or “APM Planner 2”. First of all I just wanted the latest and greatest, so looking at when they were last updated and some random comments scattered around the documentation it appears that APM Planner 2 should be a cross-platform replacement for Mission Planner. From what I gather of the history, MP was written first for Windows PCs as a Microsoft .NET solution. The other obvious clue was lack of updates, over a year, but that recently changed throwing the whole choice into confusion again.

What you will find comparing them is that Mission Planner is just nicer in some parts, that some features are just better there, e.g. joystick support. I’m still confused which one to choose and would like the guy who wrote Mission Planner to make a statement if he commits to future updates. This is the main reason I would suggest sticking with APM Planner 2, an open source solution is indeed the only sure way forwards. If you subscribe to updates of that you’ll see it’s buzzing with activity from dozens of developers and testers.

Thank you very much for the comprehensive reply. Since we ultimately want to fly with the paparazzi uav software but we’re not getting the autopilot to fly, we’ve decided to go with APM based autopilot for now. We looked at the pixhawk and the hobby king clone mainly because the navio board is out of stock currently. I will surely keep my eyes open, maybe they are back in before I order my stuff. But thanks again, helped me alot!