Newbie needing advice - Navio2 on RPI3 with dual Static IP Verizon Jetpacks

Hopefully this topic is in the right section as I have questions relating to both hardware and software. I have been reading over the Navio2 with APM autopilot docs and trying to go through the forums to try and digest the basics. Hopefully I am not getting way over my head. I have no programming experience and limited experience with Linux.

I purchased a RPI3 with the intentions of connecting it to a pixhawk using information from UAVmatrix. While studying this I came across a build using the Navio, and so I decided to give this a try. I ordered the Navio2 along with all the gps, power module and wire pack.

My intentions are to install this in a quad at first for ease of testing and ultimately moving or duplicating it into a plane. I am mostly looking for airplane use but the quad will let me test things easily in my front yard. I am looking for video and telemetry streaming over 4g to Mission Planner and possibly game pad control as well.

This is the hardware I have

Spektrum DX9 and various receivers with satellite.
A HK predator 650 currently flying on a 3DR Pixhawk
Raspberry Pi 3 with 32gb SD card
Logitech C920 and RPI Camera Module V2 - 8 Megapixel (Not sure which to use)
Navio2 with GPS Antenna, Power Module, and Wire Pack (On order, shipped yesterday)
2 Verizon Jetpacks both with Static IP addresses
Windows 10 Laptop

I plan to use 1 of the Jetpacks to feed the GCS.
The second jetpack I have taken apart and rigged it to work without the battery (because of weight)

My first initial question is do I need anything else hardware wise? I am having trouble figuring out if the RPI3 will take telemetry from the Navio2 and send it over wifi right out of the box or if I need to externally connect telemetry between the RPI3 and the Navio2. Do I need a device for that? I have telemetry radios from 3DR but I want to do it all over 4G.

Second question is the camera. As you can see from the above list, I have both a Logitech C920 and the RPI V2 Camera. Which would be better/easier to use. I did order copper shielding tape in case I use the RPI V2 camera. I played around with gstreamer and sort of got a stream working with VLC on the laptop. I haven’t done anything with the RPI V2 camera yet.

Since I don’t know much about linux, I did a lot of messing around. I have since deleted the sd card and have flashed the image from this site and have it running on the RPI3. So nothing is setup so I can do whichever is easier/better. Any advise on which to use? Latency vs quality, etc…

So I have questions about the software, but I’ll keep this topic to hardware as is the section.

Any help would be HUGELY appreciated.

Welcome to the world of Linux autopilots :slight_smile:

  1. Ardupilot runs on Raspberry Pi itself, not on Navio (which is basically a sensor board that allows that), so telemetry can be sent over WiFi right out of the box.

  2. RPI Camera is preferred, it is well supported. Shielding is a must, so that copper tape is a good buy.

  3. Regarding the video - gstreamer is a good choice. Latency\quality should depend on your network capabilities, so it’s better to just test it.

Thanks so much for the response.

It’s starting to all make sense. Incredibly, I received the Navio 2 yesterday in the mail. Crazy how fast shipping was with DHL. In no time I was able to get data streaming to mission planner and a video stream as well. Simply amazing! At first glance this looked harder than it actually was. Much easier than trying to do RPI3 to Pixhawk. Now, I can start putting it in something!

I am wondering what most people are doing with the video? I read through several posts about getting the video to stream directly into mission planner. I installed the plugin, but had not been able to make it work. I saw another tutorial on how to get the stream in with VLC but people were saying latency was worse. So as of right now I have a functioning mission planner and a window with gstreamer. I also got the windows HUD software to work no problem, but it seems silly to have two HUD’s. It’s good to have the option when I don’t need mission planner I guess. This might be fun to try with Gear VR as I have a samsung phone!

Just wondering what most of you are doing, or if anyone has figured out why so many are having troubles with the MP plugin.

Thanks again!

So I am happy to report all is going well. I had a hobby king H-frame I bought a few years back but never assembled or used. Hey perfect test bed to do this. Surprisingly everything went very…well…uneventful. Only problem I had was mistakenly setting it to an X frame instead of H, so after take off it spun in circles. Quick change and had a good first flight. I was running tower on my phone with both jet packs working great. I didn’t do much more than fly around at around 8 feet and didn’t go very far. Tested stabilize and loiter mode. Loiter mode it wandered a bit more than I am used to with the 3dr Pixhawk, but hey its a first flight. The video stream seemed to work well although I spent most of the time watching the quad really and not the video. It’s pretty small on the phone anyway and it was really cold out. I’m sure I will get more test flights in this holiday weekend.

I do have a hardware question I am hoping someone can help with. Have been searching but haven’t found much in the way of specifics.

I am using a Spektrum AR7700 receiver. I currently have it connected using the ppm output. This is working fine but is limited to 8 channels. The AR7700 also has a SRXL output which can use many more. Does anyone know how I would connect the SRXL port to the Navio2? Is there a pre-made cable anywhere? If not a schematic showing how to make one and where it would connect?


Congrats on quick results!

Navio2 only supports PPM and SBUS inputs, it does not support SRXL.
As a workaround you can use Spektrum-compatible receiver that is able to output SBUS. Seems like OrangeRx R800X is suitable for that purpose. Pixhawk wiki says that it is able to output 14 channels over SBUS.