DIY flight recorder for less than $50

Router, repeater (extender), GPS unit, antenna, tablet, FPV goggle, HD battery, charger, carrying case... etc.
pawelsky
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Re: DIY flight recorder for less than $50

Postby pawelsky » 05 Aug 2013, 20:05

pawelsky wrote:Test flights tomorrow, stay tuned :)


OK, test results seem positive. Here you can find instructions how to build it
http://www.ardrone-flyers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6747

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Re: DIY flight recorder for less than $50

Postby pawelsky » 12 Aug 2013, 18:17

Just a small warning. GlobalSat seems to produce 2 versions of the BU-353-S4 module. One as mentioned at the beginning of this thread (EB-5631 based) and one which is based on different GPS module (EM/R-506).

Luckily Maximimue was kind enough to send me pictures of the EM/R-506 GPS module (thanks a lot for that!) and I was able to create a connection diagram for this module as well. It will require more soldering (removing the metal shields and antenna) but is doable.

Picture below shows the module as you receive it with metal shields and antenna (at the top), and the same module with shields and antenna removed (at the bottom). With red I've marked areas where you need access to, so you probably won't have to remove all the shields.
gps_disassembly.jpg


First remove the small shield from the bottom of the GPS, to get access to the point where antenna is connected (marked with red circle). Then unsolder and remove the antenna (be careful to not break it as it may be glued to the shields). After that you need to remove the bigger shield that was covered by antenna to get access to the area marked with red rectangle.

Now you can solder the wires that will connect to the USB to UART adapter as on the diagram below (click to enlarge).
em506_diagram.jpg


After checking all the connections put the shields and antenna back in reverse order and you should be ready to go.
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Last edited by pawelsky on 10 Sep 2013, 20:20, edited 3 times in total.

Chapulino
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Re: DIY flight recorder for less than $50

Postby Chapulino » 12 Aug 2013, 21:44

Pawlesky.

I have my new diy flight recorder. Thanks.

Is posible to use in conjuntion with the fantástic Mirumod

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Re: DIY flight recorder for less than $50

Postby pawelsky » 12 Aug 2013, 21:49

Chapulino wrote:I have my new diy flight recorder. Thanks.

Is posible to use in conjuntion with the fantástic Mirumod


You can use it with MiruMod, but you won't be able to initiate the RTH nor waypoint navigation (yet). You will however get the additional stability that the flight recorder is claimed to give.

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Re: DIY flight recorder for less than $50

Postby dante1 » 16 Aug 2013, 22:25

Just tried this flight recorder but when I changed the configuration, it told me that the flash failed and now I get an exclamation mark in the device manager. SiRFDemo doesn't see the GPS module anymore. :(
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Re: DIY flight recorder for less than $50

Postby pawelsky » 16 Aug 2013, 23:18

dante1 wrote:Just tried this flight recorder but when I changed the configuration, it told me that the flash failed and now I get an exclamation mark in the device manager. SiRFDemo doesn't see the GPS module anymore. :(


That is expected. Connect it to Drone.

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Re: DIY flight recorder for less than $50

Postby dante1 » 17 Aug 2013, 02:20

pawelsky wrote:
dante1 wrote:Just tried this flight recorder but when I changed the configuration, it told me that the flash failed and now I get an exclamation mark in the device manager. SiRFDemo doesn't see the GPS module anymore. :(


That is expected. Connect it to Drone.


I will try when i get home.
EDIT: In freeflight the GPS hardware is greyed out.
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Re: DIY flight recorder for less than $50

Postby pawelsky » 17 Aug 2013, 08:25

dante1 wrote:
pawelsky wrote:
dante1 wrote:Just tried this flight recorder but when I changed the configuration, it told me that the flash failed and now I get an exclamation mark in the device manager. SiRFDemo doesn't see the GPS module anymore. :(


That is expected. Connect it to Drone.


I will try when i get home.
EDIT: In freeflight the GPS hardware is greyed out.


Install Parrot's drivers, or force SiLabs driver on it in Windows and see if it works in SirfDemo.

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Re: DIY flight recorder for less than $50

Postby dante1 » 17 Aug 2013, 14:51

pawelsky wrote:
dante1 wrote:
pawelsky wrote:
dante1 wrote:Just tried this flight recorder but when I changed the configuration, it told me that the flash failed and now I get an exclamation mark in the device manager. SiRFDemo doesn't see the GPS module anymore. :(


That is expected. Connect it to Drone.


I will try when i get home.
EDIT: In freeflight the GPS hardware is greyed out.


Install Parrot's drivers, or force SiLabs driver on it in Windows and see if it works in SirfDemo.

Yes, I managed to see it in SiRFDemo but not in the FreeFlight Status windows.
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DroneFreakFPV
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Re: DIY flight recorder for less than $50

Postby DroneFreakFPV » 17 Aug 2013, 19:34

If its seen in sirfdemo shouldn't free flight see it also?

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Re: DIY flight recorder for less than $50

Postby pawelsky » 17 Aug 2013, 19:40

DroneFreakFPV wrote:If its seen in sirfdemo shouldn't free flight see it also?


Not if it is misconfigured.

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Re: DIY flight recorder for less than $50

Postby pawelsky » 17 Aug 2013, 19:42

dante1 wrote:Yes, I managed to see it in SiRFDemo but not in the FreeFlight Status windows.


Which firmware do you use? If 2.4.7 go back to 2.4.1 and try again.

Did you mess with GPS's config? You need to keep the default NMEA 4800 config.

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Re: DIY flight recorder for less than $50

Postby dante1 » 18 Aug 2013, 00:09

pawelsky wrote:
dante1 wrote:Yes, I managed to see it in SiRFDemo but not in the FreeFlight Status windows.


Which firmware do you use? If 2.4.7 go back to 2.4.1 and try again.

Did you mess with GPS's config? You need to keep the default NMEA 4800 config.


Where can I find the older firmwares?
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Re: DIY flight recorder for less than $50

Postby dante1 » 19 Aug 2013, 01:23

So I checked the software on the drone and it is at 2.4.1
I don't know how it can be misconfigured because SiRFDemo will not display any messages if the module is set other than 4800.
Don't know what could have gone wrong.

EDIT: Got it working :)
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Jackson3006
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Re: DIY flight recorder for less than $50

Postby Jackson3006 » 10 Sep 2013, 02:38

Hi pawelsky,

first thank you for this nice idea! I just ordered the GPS-Modul...

Can you tell me why the internal Prolific PL2303 is a bad choice?

Regards,
Jackson


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