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Old 01-11-2017, 05:30 AM   #1
TimBaconHeli
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Default Pixhawk 2

Hello,
So im trying to figure out which APS i would like to use for a new aerial photography build and was wondering if the Pixhawk 2 was acceptable to use for a traditional helicopter? Ive spent a few hours researching the system and honestly am coming up short? I have found tons of data in regards to Pixhawk 1, but the newer model is posing a problem....
I know ive seen some people on here that have used the original Pixhawk and if anyone has any direct experience with the newer release i would certainly appreciate your input. Im a sucker for open source hardware and software, i like the model and have used many open source programs and peices of hardware over the years... Gimp, Open office, Linux yada yada yada and now i have the Horus so i love that i can continue using open source in my hobby. I like that i feel as though i can have some direct input with developers if problems arise.
Thanks in advance,
Tim
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:46 PM   #2
R_Lefebvre
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Hi Tim,

What are you planning on putting it on?

I have extensive experience with the system, actually I wrote most of the helicopter code. I'm mostly still flying Pixhawk1 but that is because PH2 isn't widely available yet. I have 1, but haven't mounted it yet. The first batch sold out very quickly. Second batch is due any week now.

The Pixhawk2 has internal vibration isolation for the IMU, which will really make it easier for people to use. The need for external isolation for the Pixhawk1 was the number one reason why people struggled to use it, particularly helicopter users.

I have some concern that the isolation in the PH2 might not be tuned to operate well at the frequency generated by a helicopter. But, I did a test last week, and so far the data is looking pretty good. However I should mention that I tested it on my Procyon drone helicopter, which is very smooth.

So, need more investigation here, but so far things are looking good.
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:39 PM   #3
TimBaconHeli
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Rob,
First thank you for the reply and included information. Im looking to put it on a trex 800 conversion camera platform ive been working on for the past year. I was using an ar7210bx with their auto level software installed as an aid to redice pilot load while im capturing aerial video up until now, just went with Horus and am looking to up my game per se with the flight controller, also i enjoy the technical side of that so the thought of installing something like the Pixhawk intrigues me.
Im very interested in autonomous flight as well and like the fact that i can use it on multiple platforns.
Tim
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Old 01-12-2017, 08:03 PM   #4
ic-racer
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Quote:
Pixhawk 2 is a small cube, with a 38.5mm square footprint.

All connection to the cube is via a DF17 connector coming out the bottom of the cube.

This modularity allows for multiple form factors to suit multiple platforms.

For the stand alone market, it will be coming out in two form factors to start with, a "Full" configuration, and a "mini" configuration. The full will have connectors for everything, the kitchen sink.... While the mini is restricted to the bare essentials.

For RTF's or kit aircraft, I am working on a series of plug and fly systems, that allow you to remove most of your wiring from your aircraft, and take advantage of the easy to use modular structure.

The cube also has a massive quality advantage. Given that every single pin is available on the DF17 connection on the base, it allows complete factory full motion testing and calibration of each cube.

Pixhawk 2 is continuing to grow. When we release the Pixhawk 2 stand alone, it will be using the latest sensors available on the market, in a form factor that allows the ultimate in flexibility.

Please note. Pixhawk 2 Stand alone is NOT a 3DR product. It is a community driven product, designed by the community for the community.

A key requirement for my partner companies who will be making this will be active support of the community.

Looking forward to announcing more info soon!

Philip Rowse
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Huh??

Pardon the very stupid question, but what does Pixhawk do? I downloaded the PDF pixhawk-manual-rev7.pdf and still don't know what it does. Does it fly the helicopter? How? Where do you plug the cyclic servos and rudder servo? How to connect to ESC?
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Old 01-12-2017, 08:40 PM   #5
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As i understand it, pixhawk is a flight controller that includes many different flight modes? Stabilized, autopilot, way point, gps etc. It sounds like Rob whom awnsered my initial post is definalty the person to ask. I will say im wondering avout many questions you just asked as well .
Tim
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Old 01-13-2017, 05:15 AM   #6
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So correct me if I'm wrong, but arducopter is the "firmware" for the flight controller, and the pixhawk 2 is the hardware base? That being said, does the firmware work out of the box with the new generation of Pixhawk? And i, through reading, noticed that pixhawk supports FrSky telemetry. Does the new Pixhawk 2 support the newer smart port telemetry present on the x series radios? I saw a snippet about pixhawk 1 not supporting smart port?

Tim
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Old 01-14-2017, 08:55 PM   #7
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The Pixhawk2, is sort of like going to a real computer store, and buying a motherboard and CPU. What you do with it after that is up to you. You could run Windows, or a flavor of Linux.

In the case of the autopilot, you can run Ardupilot, or a few other softwares (that are generally not very good). With Ardupilot you have builds for every type of vehicle, from submarine to satellite.

And just like the PC market, there are other hardware that you could buy and run Ardupilot on. Pixhawk2, Pixhawk 1, PixRacer, PixHack, Dropix, etc. etc.

And again, just like the PC market, then you can start adding peripherals. Telemetry radios, with several different types. Different GPS units. Different mags. Optical Flow. Lidar, etc. etc. It just goes on an on.

It's an open platform, and you can basically do whatever you want. However, for some people, they get overwhelmed with choice and complexity. They'd rather just have a system served to them with all of the choice removed. Like Apple. DJI serves this role, and the comparison is pretty valid. They used to make Heli stuff, but not really anymore.

So, what can Ardupilot on Pixhawk DO? This:



It's also really great for scale helicopters, to give you complete radio failsafe and making piloting easier. It's also capable of sport flight, would be great for a heli trainer, etc.
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Old 01-14-2017, 09:03 PM   #8
ic-racer
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I used to program computers, I like and fly RC helis, and love robot automation, and would be a potential customer. The website does not explain it very well. Is it because it's function could easily be duplicated with some easy to construct Arduino components?
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Old 01-14-2017, 10:45 PM   #9
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No, we went WAY beyond Arduino years ago.

I can't really speak to the website, I don't have any involvement in that. I guess they assume that, if you found their website, you already know what you're doing.

Go to www.Ardupilot.org. There's an extensive wiki. But understand, it's a deep rabbit hole. This is the most complicated and extensive autopilot system in the world, save for multi-million dollar military stuff. So, there's a lot to it and it can be overwhelming.
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Old 01-14-2017, 11:09 PM   #10
TimBaconHeli
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Well... Glad to hear its a deep rabbit hole. Just pre-ordered a Pixhawk 2, gps etc. Excited to dig into a new project, only this time one that will keep me busy for awhile.
Are there any other items i would need for setting up a pixhawk 2 based automated system on an large helicopter? Obviously i know the skys the limit from what ive read, but sensor wise and basic flight comytol/automation, is the pixhawk unit, gps and radio gear all that is needed?
Im assumimg a dedicated laptop for mission planner would be a good idea as well?
Thanks,
Tim
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