RaspberryPylot made it!
With perfect weather and a great ground-team supplying me with food, the RaspberryPylot successfully completed its maiden-flight today. A laptop with gamepad, a wifi-connection using two simple USB dongles, an I2C servo controller and a Raspberry Pi and it’s ready to go:
Control via the gamepad was very comfortable and easy. Two analogue sticks for elevator, rudder, and ailerons. Two buttons to increase and decrease throttle and another two buttons to control the ailerons as flaps (flaperons). We didn’t test the master/slave mode today, but one can attach two gamepads and use one master button to switch between both with independent control profiles for each mode. In principle one could pass over the control of only one single axis at a time.
Many thanks to the CRRCSim team for creating such a fun way of training pre-flight.
RaspberryPylot: putting it all together and everything seems to be working.
[flv width=”600″ height=”370″]http://tim.jagenberg.info/files/2012/09/PTIM3123.mp4[/flv]
The EasyStar II airframe is ready for the first flight. As I’m still implementing the MAVLink protocol for the RaspberryPi remote control (RaspberryPylot), the first flight will be a traditional RC flight. I hope my (very) old mc-17 is still up for this!
I’m working on using the Raspberry Pi as a remote control replacement. The “chain of command” goes as follows:
USB-Gamepad > Laptop >TP-WN722NC
TP-WN722NC > Raspberry Pi > I2C > PCA9685 > Servos & Motor Controller
So far so good, everything seems to be working with acceptable low latency. I’ll just need to code some security measures, if the signal is lost (motor off and servos positioned for a slight turn).
As the last weeks were rather busy and I was stuck with a bad cough, I’m still not completely finished with the Easy Star II. As the Raspberry Pi won’t fit completely into the fuselage, I’ll have to adapt the canopy for it:
I made some of the code used available on github.
As my Adafruit “16-Channel 12-bit PWM/Servo Driver – I2C interface” arrived today, I got me a Breadboard and all necessary utensils (including a little I2C temperature sensor for first tries) from the local electronics store. I haven’t been playing with hardware in a looong time, so I’m really looking forward to this.
After soldering a I2C connector for the Raspberry GPIO port it was a quick breeze to set everything up and use i2cget to find out that it is 23degC in my livingroom 🙂
After ordering quite a while ago, my Raspberry Pi arrived last week:
The Raspberry Pi is tiny but complete ARM architecture based single-board computer with the power comparable to a two-year-old smart-phone. Insert an SD card as a hard-drive and you’re ready to go!
There are two things I have in mind with this little fella: An XBMC based media centre or a Raspberry Pi controlled model car. The former I already tested using Linux based distributions like OpenELEC or RaspBMC, the latter will require an additional board, interfacing the Raspberry Pi with PWM based model servos via I2C. Luckily Adafruit is supplying exactly that: “16-Channel 12-bit PWM/Servo Driver – I2C interface”
Let’s see where things go with the RPi-Rover 🙂