Setup Raspberry PI (+navio) Raspbian and Flight Control Software (Autopilot)

 

Setting up Raspberry Pi is very easy and you can find a lot of guides step by step on the internet. By just to make it easy for you I will add quick guide of Raspberry Pi Raspbian OS installation.

 

Raspbian OS Installation

 

1) First download: Raspbian Operating System ISO file

Raspbian

2) Download & Install: Win32diskimager Tool which Installs ISO on microSD card)

https://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/

3) Upload Raspbian ISO to SD Card using win32diskimager

 

Flight Control Software (Autopilot)

 

There are two main free flight controllers Ardupilot and PX4. I think they both are good. They have very strong community which as I have noticed works all week to make their software as best as possible. Ardupilot is more mature flight controller which I think also supports more platforms rovers and subs. On the other hand PX4 as I have read is more advance in accordance to multicopters plus has more modern architecture which uses 32bit CPU and supports more peripherals. But also Ardupilot has much much better documentation so for users which are not very tech people it will be much easier to do anything related to drones. As it also contains some documentation about drone build.

My plan is to start with PX4 and see how it will work for me. I will keep you blog posted. If not I will test Ardupilot. I will be also working on their code so I could have some other thoughts later which I will post about. So let’s see how we can install both software on raspbian with navio2.

 Ardupilot Flight Control Software Installation

 

Whole installation process you can find on emlid.com docs page at:

https://docs.emlid.com/navio2/Navio-APM/installation-and-running/

 

 PX4 Flight Control Software Installation

 

PX4 support Navio2 board from I think couple months so there is not much guide how to install it best link I have found is the one below.

https://dev.px4.io/hardware-rpi.html

 

Good luck,

Radek

 

 

 

Investigation of adequate drone. #Part 2: Drone parts – my build.

Last week I started “Investigation of adequate drone” series. I will share my whole Do-It-Yourself drone experience. Today we will go through quickly through elements quadcopter drone is build from.

 

Quadcopter

Quadcopter is a great type of drone to start with. Is more agile then hexacopter or octacopter as it’s smaller which makes it more easier to control and safer then it’s other bigger or more complicated brothers with doubled propellers.

It is good to remember that propellers are like little knifes which can hurt, so be careful!

Finally quadcopter I think is the cheapest look-like-popular-drones copter overall starting from frame price to number of propellers.

All my future blog posts will be related to quadcopter drone as that’s the drone I bought.

 

Drone elements

 

Below I would like to list all parts I think are necessary to build a proper drone. Also giving you name of element I have bought as I know now how hard it is to build your own drone. I was strangling, comparing, thinking and planning all week to finally order this what is in below table.

When I was ordering my quadcopter I was really close to skip couple elements like e.g. power distribution board or very useful mounting foam and other little but sometimes critical elements. Unfortunately, other blogs I have read about building a drone doesn’t include such as ‘not importans’ elements. Which I think is wrong as without them assembling the drone still will be possible but much harder to do.

Below is the table from my excel file which contains my drone elements. Actually it contains everything related to my very first drone assembly including threadlocker and heat sink tubes.

Table of my drone elements

Elements type What I bought
Multicopter frame F450 Quadcopter Frame with integrated PDB
ESCs CICADA BLHELI_S ESC (30A) – BB2 UT EDITION
Motors MT 2216 810Kv Muticopter Motor
Propellers 9443 Self-locking Propeller Pack
Propellers 10×45 Propeller Set Carbon Fiber (discount)
6/9+ channel RC transmitter FLYSKY FS-I6 TRANSMITTER WITH FS-IA6 RECEIVER
GPS Mount Foldable GPS Mast Mount
LiPo battery Tattu 1300mAh 14.8V 45C 4S1P Lipo Battery Pack
LiPo battery GENS ACE 3300MAH 11.1V 25C 3S1P LIPO
Charger SKYRC E450 LIPO/LIFE/LIHV BATTERY CHARGER
Wiring Navio Wire pack for Navio2
Flight Controller board Navio2
GPS Antenna GPS/GNSS antenna MCX for Navio
Power Module HIGH VOLTAGE APM POWER MODULE WITH 3A UBEC
Anti-vibration bed VIBRATION DAMPING MOUNTING SET
Propellers guard 5″ PROPELLER GUARD PACK
Cables Male XT60 wire – 10cm
Cables Female XT60 wire – 10cm
T-plug cable MALE DEANS / T-PLUG WIRE – 10CM
Adaptor Male T plug to Female XT60 Adaptor
Legs HIGH LANDING GEAR FOR F450/SK480/F550
SD  16GB microSD

As you can see I didn’t add any gps antenna and microsd card as I had them at home, but you can easily look for them at any shop. Also I haven’t ordered threadlocker blue, battery holder and heat shrink tubes as I bought them in local store.

Some parts could be unavailable in store you will be buying from, then I would recommend to find similar elements but from other manufactures. Trust me it is hard to find a copters related store which will have everything you want. Most of the time it is a hunting for the best equipped store which have as much items you need.

My order

I order everything from Unmannedtech as they had elements all really wanted plus some others in decent price. In my case I was looking for store which will have F450 Quadcopter Frame, not to expensive carbor fiber propellers, navio2 board in good price and decent cheap transmitters. Which I all found there. But as I live in Ireland it was a priority for me to order from one shop from Ireland or UK. If you leave in UK or another in EU where you have more diy shops or you have couple weeks to wait for an order you will be might be able to lower the costs by ordering from couples different stores