Pre Build Help - Navio Beginner

Hey guys, I’m Marcello and am now a beginner with Navio, Quadcopters, and the RC Hobby field in general. Now don’t mistake this, by this I mean in experience, as I’ve studied several forums about almost anything you can think of for hundreds of hours. I additionally have several hours of experience and a passion in other electronics but I am always looking to learn new things, and there are still many subjects I am unfamiliar as about. I am looking into making a very interesting project and perhaps in being one of those “benchmark” sort of build with all the information I gathered and would like to implement. I will keep the plans for now a secret :slight_smile: and most will only be implemented a little at a time as time allows over the coming months. However, I have started this forum to gain some greater knowledge over the Navio system and its possibilities/capabilities, so let some of my questions begin! If you have any information and especially experience I would love to have your opinion, help, and experience, thanks in advanced!!

  1. Any ideas/experience with using Arduino for sensing, such as sonars and IR for collision avoidance?

  2. Can you extract the Navio’s data in real time (sensors, status, etc.) for use in Question 3

  3. Ideas on how to package sensor data (both from Navio and Arduino assuringly, from question 1) For transfer over a wifi/bluetooth network in real time. As I want to collect this data and either send real time packets onto an online interface or to interface onto some other sort of window to display live info.

  4. I am looking to perhaps make a custom GPS antenna, so I can package it lighter, and get a better properties for cheap. Any ideas?

  5. I have an iPhone, and have recently been looking at DroneKit, I see they are releasing an app possibly soon. I know this is not the right place to ask this but since this is essentially my log, and i mise well put it out there, any ideas on how to translate the python code on the RPi (quadcopter) to an iPhone (for receiving RT sensor data, sending commands/controls)

  6. Does anyone know if you can do a follow me system using bluetooth/wifi between the Pi and Bluetooth tag even. By bluetooth tag I mean such as an with arduino (no GPS) that can create a follow me only using the Bluetooth signal. As this would be really easy to waterproof and be great for sports.

  7. Can I power the board through a ubec, while using the power monitor? Anyone know of a possible way to monitor the pins of a JST-XH Balance adapter, through RPi or Arduino possibly?

I will keep you guys up to date with any questions I have, I greatly appreciate your support and hopefully my future project will be an inspiration and a great collection of ideas. Thanks for the support guys!!

P.S. Follow the topic and support if your interested!

Hi Marcello,

  1. Using ADC channels is the easiest way to connect RSSI or sonars. Navio2 had 2 free channels in ADC port and 2 channels are used for battery and voltage monitoring in the Power port but they can be used for other purposes as well.

  2. AFAIR there’s no support for temperature sensors in the APM, but if you just want to log the data I’d suggest to look at the USB ones and run the logging separately.

  3. If you want the antenna to be lighter you can use the one without a case, to improve performance without a cost add a bigger ground plane underneath it (e.g. aluminum plate 100x100).

  4. iPhone can be easily connected over WiFi. Also, there is iDroneLink which can be used with telemetry radio.

  5. APM data can be extracted from the MAVLink datastream using a software like MAVProxy.

  6. Navio can be powered by 5V BEC over the servo-rail. Power monitor tracks current and voltage from all cells in summary. As an alternative power monitor you can use AttoPilot.

Thanks, that definitely helps to solve some general questions, give some ideas, and better direct others. I will update some questions.

A quick question does the power monitor require a to be connected between the battery and power distribution board, or can it be its own entity. If it has to be in-between what kind of power loss does it have, since I believe it is technically a BEC? Also the Navio 2 and therefor the RPi can be powered up to 6.6v now correct? That would also mean less current would be drawn?

Power module has to be connected between the battery and all other electronics.
It has a BEC built-in, but it is used only to power the Navio, not ESCs\Motors, they get the power directly from battery. Current is measured using a shunt.
Navio2 and RPi should be powered by a source with 4.8-5.3V voltage range, not 6.6V.
ADC ports on Navio2 have input range of 0-6.6V.