Community Forum

New to navio+ and novice

(Sriharsha Keshav) #7

thank you for valuable suggestion code chief. The catch is we were instructed to not concentrate much on the hardware spec. since we are doing project on the software part we had an idea getting a built drone and customizing it but no one has an answer to it.

(Tony Wall) #8

Ah I understand… Well there are lots of other software projects possible with APM, very interesting too.

They are mostly achieved with MAVLink protocol programming, like automatic mission planning reacting to either external messages or onboard data (like sensor input or MAVLink telemetry), e.g. fly somewhere, measure something or receive a message, then adjust the mission accordingly.

Some random ideas:

  • Patrol drone. Takes off every # minutes and takes pictures or video around a building/property.
  • Virtual panorama. Like the patrol drone except stitches images together to make something like a 360 timelapse video.
  • Variations on existing mapping solutions. Perhaps install one of the new Kodak 360 cameras and/or the cheaper Flir heat camera and stitch all the data together. Like they were doing recently in Egypt to map the pyramids.
  • Monitoring busy highways to measure congestion statistics (but then you need a lot of failover in the drone, e.g. Y6 or X8 motor configuration and maybe a second GPS).
  • Adding RTK accuracy with Reach (they have educational discounts) and doing highly-accurate variants of existing mapping projects, think of some scenarios where that is important to demonstrate it.
  • Multiple onboard computers (recently discussed after the announcement of the PiZero as the reduced size makes this much more feasible).

All of those things have potential commercial use for agriculture, architecture and government applications. So should be good for grading :wink: Search the forum here and DIY Drones for a wide range of ideas being discussed.

(Sriharsha Keshav) #9

Oh atlast someone here in this forum understood my problem thank you codechief once again.You mentioned patrol drone that is the exact thing we are about to implement.But with a smal change it should travel to specific location capture pictures there come back go intial location upload pictures to google cloud and it can be accessed frm the IOT. This is the abstract about our project.so now tell me is it good to go with customizing a ready made drone or doing it from the scratch

(Tony Wall) #10

As software is the focus best copy somebody else’s selection of frame, power pack (= PDB, ESCs and motors, propellers size/tilt), telemetry/radio and configuration settings. As you need to take a picture of a specific location/angle gimbal will be necessary. Maybe something like this:


Discussed in this post:

Or a similar combination, with alternative frames like these:

  1. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__25557__AQ_600_Carbon_Fiber_Quadcopter_Frame_550mm.html

  2. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__65839__Quanum_XJ470_CF_Folding_Sports_Quadcopter_Frame_w_Forward_Facing_Gimbal_Mount.html

  3. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__69286__Quanum_Spider_700_Professional_Multi_Rotor_Frame.html

Number 3 looks the most professional but as the price is a lot higher I would go for #1 which looks almost identical. If you browse around HK and other RC shops you’ll probably find the same bits. Look in the “projects” section of the forum for more information about Navio specific builds.

(Sriharsha Keshav) #11

Shopping list:
Q450 Quadcopter Frame 450mm209 $12.55
Q Brain 4 x 20A ESC210 $29.92
Multistar 2212 combo, set of 2197 2 x $23.99
ZIPPY Flightmax 3000mAh 3S1P 20C129 2 x $14.65
Navio+96 $168
Power module117 $24
Raspberry Pi 2 $35
GNSS antenna96 $12
Zip ties57 $2.33
Battery strap64 $2.11
GPS Antenna pole86 $4.96
Male to male servo leads92 $1.80
Gyro mounting pad124 $2.39
Wi-Fi Dongle $5

Wont these above components list do the math codechief…these were the components posted by igor in forum topic:450mm quad build…sorry for that as far as now i have the navio+ and its related package and pi2 model b. Now shall i buys these above listed components does my project work with these??

(Sriharsha Keshav) #12

450mm quad build component list copied from this post. And really we guys are getting worried until we are getting the quad above the ground. This project is getting 200 score points for our final semester its important to us. I would be so grateful that if you guys help me at each point of the process. I have the navio+ and pi2 model B and that’s it and what’s next is the question?

(Tony Wall) #13

No problem I almost posted a link to that for you too. The build from Igor is effectively an Emlid reference model so you have the best support from him/Emlid with exactly the same setup/settings.

The only thing missing is a camera. But fear not because those 450 frames are really popular and there are many options. You could even get away without a gimbal as in autonomous/missiom mode APM can also point the drone in a direction.

Depends on your budget. Cheapest is to strap a mobius or runcam2 undermeath with a slight tilt down (wedge or 3d print mount). More professional is a proper gimbal and gopro. or mid-range which should be possible at uni (with 3d printers available) to just get an open source gimbal controller and motors then pick one of many gimbal designs on Thingiverse.com and print it.

For gimbals refer back to others on the forum with more experience in that area. I know the core stuff but have been mostly building racing quads and programming sensors/hardware so far.

It’s safe to get the Igor build flying, then play around with mission planning and stick a mobius on as phase 1. At which point you can already start programming.

Then deal with the gimbal as a background task as time/funds permit. Maybe you’re happy with the fixed action cam results and it would be useful to keep later as a potential copter view/live feed.

If you end-up with both cameras in phase 2 then the patrol drone has two points of view, direction of travel from fixed action cam and then a “target” from the gimbal cam. That’s super cool as there is GPS math possible which allows you to calculate the position of the target based on your known drone position and the vector of the gimbal. All further steps in a very interesting project. But step 1 is easy, Igor’s build will fly!

(Tony Wall) #14

Correction your camera must be connected to the Pi either directly (PiCam) or USB. Even when you have an action cam some of them support webcam mode, e.g. Mobius. If you’re a pure software guy and don’t like soldering get the PiCam. Logitech USB cams seem popular but you may need to hack a power cable onto the Pi motherboard from an additional 5v BEC.

Whatever you choose must be supported (have device drivers) directly in the current Emlid Realtime Linux OS build. A little PiCam on top is a safe first choice.

(Sriharsha Keshav) #15

thanks once again CodeChief, I have made my choice to go with Igor’s build quad and those components. Since our expenditure is already now 11k INR(indian currency) for the Navio+. We were thinking to cut down the cost for the quad, and as you said I prefer to go with fixed cam, afterwards if time permits I would head for gimbal. I will buy those components (Igor quad build) and will have a quick briefing about this with my teammates. Once i’m done with that I will come back with any Queries if I have. And another kind request please update your solutions for our problems ASAP because it shouldn’t make us waiting or atleast refer any Indian who has done this with Navio+ so it would speed up our project. Thank you!!! Sorry if i’m querying you constantly that had made you puzzled “why this guy is so much confused?”:sweat_smile:

(Sriharsha Keshav) #16

jeez!! i don’t get this frame Q450 Quadcopter Frame 450mm209 on hobby king any substitute frame for this? less than 450mm. hobby king not shipping lipos they have problem any alternated solutions?

(Tony Wall) #17

This looks cool and appears to be in stock… http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/_66628__Q450_Ghost_Edition_LED_Night_Quad_Copter_Frame_KIT.html

(Sriharsha Keshav) #18

okay im done with choosing the parts list for the quadcopter.
Here are those below please tell your suggestions and tell me if I have missed any of the parts.

250mm frame:




Motors and ESC combo pack:




please tell if I have missed any thing and input your suggestions.Thank You!!

(Sriharsha Keshav) #19

And which charger should I use for Lipos. If still more we are doing an App to control the quad. Do we still need RC controller. If so suggest good and cheap price RC controller.

(Tony Wall) #20

Careful you have mixed-up specifications of the frame and power pack (battery C rating, ESCs, motors and propellers).

You can’t take the specifications for a 250 quadcopter and put them on a 450 frame, it might fly but it will likely be under-powered and inefficient.

Why don’t you just order the original shopping list and just get the Ghost Edition 450 frame instead of the one which was not in stock?

I strongly recommend you FIRST reserve a few hours and watch some of the Flite Test beginner videos (actually it’s quite entertaining the way they present it). Then you understand what all this means and can avoid disaster:


Batteries and ESCs:

Radio Control:

How to fly:

Also you could go to their web shop and look at the “power packs” they sell, because they show in their shop which models are compatible with which “power packs” then you have a guide for which combination of battery (C rating and capacity) ESC and motors will be correct. Or just take the original shopping list from Igor :wink:

By the way 250s are too small for projects where you might want to upgrade to a Gimbal later.

(Sriharsha Keshav) #21

Oh ya now i get the math code chief. I better opt for IGor’s specs. I have these doubts after watching video
1.for each motor there is an esc.then in navio+ power module there is single port for esc. How do i split that.
2. In IGor’s specs he doesn’t have RC specs. I DIDN’T GET THAT IS IT OK WITHOUT RC??

(Sriharsha Keshav) #25

Oh dear!! all IGOR’S component specs are out of stock.Any replacement for these.


(Tony Wall) #26

The tip with HK is to go to the frame product page then click through the accessory tabs at the bottom. When clicking the “Motor” tab you will see this one in stock (get 4):


Also another ESC option:


Then these could either be mounted on the arms or directly soldered to the PDB if space permits (some kind of stand-off may be necessary to separate the hot ESCs from the rest of the equipment and ensure airflow). It would be neater to use a Quattro ESC but they are only in stock at the HK European warehouse at the moment:


Connecting ESCs is not a problem, Navio has 13 outputs for anything from an ESC, servo to some other kind of servo compatible device (e.g. some gimbals, switches, cargo doors, landing gear). The power for the ESC is just tapped directly from the battery, but to be cleaner (and safer) than a bunch of DIY split/soldered wires often a PDB of some kind is used. You have two solutions here, 1st the frame has an integrated PDB so it not only provides one battery input and multiple outputs near each arm, but also removes a lot of wiring (as it’s going along the PCB integrated into the plates of the central area of the frame). 2nd if you get the “quattro” ESC you have another PCB which has integrated multiple components, so you don’t really need to the PCB in the frame much (except to tidy-up the wiring a bit).

If you get separate ESCs, the normal layout is to strap them to the arms so they get the most airflow. I’d mount the ESCs in the centre (also if not quattro) for space saving and also to bring the weight of the quadcopter towards the centre. Because with the LED “ghost” frame it will look a lot nicer with clear arms (no electronics on them except the motors).

I haven’t used quattro ESCs myself yet but my biggest concern is cooling. Actually I prefer “low hung” configurations, so would stick a quattro ESC on top perhaps next to the battery (so good 50/50 vertical weight distribution) and all the electronics underneath with vibration isolation. But that’s a much more complex build so just stick everything inside as best you can, closest to the solder points (where it was designed to be) on the frame’s PDB and make sure there is no clutter/wires in the way of cool airflow.

Finally, chargers/batteries/props… Lots of lots! You will break props so get a 4 pack times about 10 or something. Because relative to the costs of shipping they can be very cheap (e.g. GemFans). Don’t get expensive props for your first quadcopter and perhaps consider a second frame for spare parts, it WILL crash!!! Batteries… more the better so also then one of HK’s quattro chargers makes sense:


And additional balance boards so you can properly charge all 4 batteries:

3 of these (1 is included with the charger):


The charger takes 12-15v supply but needs to provide more amps than your average laptop battery supply. So you will need a proper DC power supply. Best buy that locally (e.g. in Europe the Graupner 12-15v 30A is cheap on Amazon). I suppose you could hack an old computer power supply if you have one knocking around and wanted to reduce costs.

You really need more than a couple of batteries, especially as this is a project. You will be programming it, flying it, adjusting settings then trying again the whole day. The average flight times for quadcopters are 10-20 minutes (less than 10 on 250 racers, 10-20-odd on larger quadcopters with lower KV motors and hence lifting more weight/higher capacity batteries). I would get a least 4 batteries (or 8 for a racer) if you really want to do a “good days work” with it/more than one hour of continuous/hard flying with maneuvers.

On the propellers, get some of these, they will look fantastic on your frame!


Also the 4.5 pitch will give a bit of a power boost (still within the range of the motor). Some 10x4.5 propellers are included with the motor so you can try both. If you’re not happy with flight times you can always order some more of the lower pitch propellers. They are so cheap. As the 10x4.5 combo was recommended for the frame by HK it should be fine and these 9x4.5 are already stepping back a bit towards Igor’s 9x4.3 propellers and these motors are a tiny bit bigger so well capable of swinging the extra 0.2 pitch.

Actually now I’ve helped you spec that up, I feel like I want to build it myself… What a wonderful sight it would be with all those LEDs and glowing props! :sunglasses: :sunny: :eyes:

(Sriharsha Keshav) #27

Oh!!! Thanks a lot!! Last but not the least good RC??cheap one.

(Tony Wall) #28

The cheapest radio is this:


With this receiver:


The next cheapest radio which has the maximum potential is the Turnigy 9XR.


Which doesn’t come with a specific TX module installed so you have to get one:


But professionally something like the FrSky Taranis X9D Plus along with a telemetry capable receiver like the X8R or X4R-SB (must be with “-SB” for digital telemetry).

Combo with receiver:


Separate items with smaller receiver (you don’t need more physical outputs on the receiver because the whole RC control messages are passed through to Navio via SBUS/CPPM anyway = they are redundant so smaller = more flight time/less mess!):



The only issue with Navio/Navio+ the FrSky Taranis is the SBUS output (which is technically better). But if you have a Navio2 it’s no problem as it supports SBUS. So for Navio2 that’s all you need, but for Navio1 (plus and non-plus) you will EITHER need one of these:


Or get the radio without receiver and this receiver instead of the X4RSB:



Cheapest possible - Orange TX and RX < 100 dollars.
Mid-range - Turnigy 9XR >= 100 dollars.
Top-range full potential - Taranis X9D Plus ~ 200 dollars.
FrSky variant for: Navio2 = Get the better receivers with SBUS, e.g. X4RSB.

As you are using a Navio with Wifi dongle, you can always control the copter remotely with a PC joystick via the ground station software and also with bluetooth controllers and some of the mobile phone/tablet ground stations. If you are around campus with good wifi then no worries. If not then maybe you could upgrade the wifi antennas a bit. For long range the usual thing is one of the “3DR radios” (which are too expensive so you actually get an APM compatible clone) but that’s halfway as expensive as upgrading to long range wifi or the same price as some GSM mobile sticks so I’d stick with the more modern (wifi or mobile internet) technologies for a new project.

(Sriharsha Keshav) #29

Okay here is the final list
450mm framehttp://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/_66628__Q450_Ghost_Edition_LED_Night_Quad_Copter_Frame_KIT.html7

Propellers and motors http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__43884__MT2213_935KV_MultiStar_Motor_and_Propeller_Combo_10x4_5_CW_CCW.html

Battery charger

RC transmitter and reciever


As far as lipo battery i thought of buying it from the local store.
Since the cost has reached $221, Im think of cutting down the cost.
Any suggestions regarding RC like can we make it optional. If so the overall cost reduces to $150. Since we are using ground station and wifi dongle is it necessary to buy now?
And still any cheaper lipo charger??
Any suggestions regarding this final components we can’t afford too much on this. Still we need consider the software issues. So humble request any more effective ideas such that i could reduce overall cost below $150.