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FPV with OSD for Fixed Wing

#1
Hey all,

I wish I had people local to ask but as of yet have not run into anybody that is really doing any of this, so I hope the community will have an expert or two to make sure I am going in the right direction.

I am wanting to Fly FPV with an OSD, and be able to auto level, or possible auto pilot or RTH abilities. I don't want to do this all at once, but I want to know if the setup I have shopped for will be able to do this and if I have the right pieces and that they will work together.

I want to go one step at a time, but probably start off with the FPV, OSD. I'll worry about the other stuff once I have a much firmer grip on things such as RTH, Autolevel later. I have fairly limited flight time, but have had good success with the Old Fogey thanks to great suggestions on the board, and think my FPV platform I 'should' move to is the FT Explorer. I still need something fairly easy to fly, but large enough to support all the added gear. The gear package I think I should get is:

RunCam Split 2 FPV Camera FOV 130.
  • The reason I want to use this is that I can get the FPV experience and a 1080P record experience all at once
  • Do it so I don't need to add weight for a second camera, or put my go pro at risk of fatal damage...
  • Is this a good idea or option?
AKK FX2 5.8Ghz 40CH FPV Transmitter 25mW/200mW/500mW/800mW VTX with MMCX Support OSD Configuring via Betaflight Flight Control Board
  • The reason I have chosen this is I like the multiple transmitter power choices and it supports OSD
QWinOut Super Mini Size NZ GPS for CC3D Revolution NAZE32 Mini NAZE32 Flight Controller RC 250 Quadcopter
  • For eventual upgrade to GPS and RTH this is what I think I need
Readytosky Naze32 Rev6 Full Version Flight Controller Board CleanFlight Firmware with Barometer Compass for QAV250 210 Quadcopter
  • This is the flight controller I think I want
  • I don't know if I should use Betaflight or Cleanflight. Can I flash this board with Betaflight if I don't want to use Cleanflight
  • Will my other boards etc work in both Beta and Cleanflight modes
I am currently using some EACHINE EV800 FPV goggles. I did a FPV flight or two on my Old Fogey, but I want to create a better and more stable flight bed.

Am I on the right Track, am I in the correct Forum Group... Will this give me a good configurable setup in the end for a fixed wing aircraft? Any help or feedback much appreciated.

-NV
 
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LitterBug

Troll Spammer
#3
I picked up an OmnibusF4 with OSD, current monitoring, and a barometer to do this as a standalone FPV/OSD. Would not be hard to add pinheaders to the board and throw iNav on it to do all the other autonomous features. Have plans to go further into wings with flight controllers this year, but will mostly be running dRonin firmware on a Seppuku or DTFc flight controller for that.

Cheers!
LitterBug
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#4
Yeah, all the recommendations from everyone here are sound. I would add, if your getting a full flight controller, I would question your reason for getting a VTX that has a OSD built in. Those are generally for those who do not have a full FC with integrated OSD or a FC that feeds telemetry to a separate OSD overlay. So, you're either paying for something extra that you'll have to disable or worse yet, if you can't disable the builtin OSD, you'll have to manage the display configuration of two OSD's so they don't overlap each other. For GPS flight modes, you definitely should be looking at iNav or other GPS oriented flight software (like APM/Pixhawk, but that's a completely different hardware base).
 
#5
I would add, if your getting a full flight controller, I would question your reason for getting a VTX that has a OSD built in. Those are generally for those who do not have a full FC with integrated OSD or a FC that feeds telemetry to a separate OSD overlay..
Ok so some Flight Controllers have the OSD built in... ya, If I don't need to connect up an external device, I am all good not to purchase it or even use it.

Issue I am running into is that there is so much data on the net, I am trying to search stuff in the last year to see where we are currently in this area of the hobby, but so much is old information, so I am trying to piece it together in my mind and make sense what I need to get.

I have started to watch what electricsean suggested "Painless360" video's and am watching his series: (1/8) Introduction to iNav, which I hope is the right one... but itself is now over a year old...

Any suggested setups for what I am wanting to accomplish Makattack?

Thank you Sean and Mak,

-NV
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#6
I can only describe my foray into GPS navigated flight. When I started looking into this in ~2015 timeframe, I found a situation similar to what you found. A ton of options and a ton of complexity. As a software engineer, by trade, one of the core principles that I follow to do my job is to break down a complex problem into smaller parts so it would be manageable. That's basically what I did. I picked the least inexpensive (at the time) flight controller that was available, and simply got it working with a platform (a flying wing). While I configured it with the GPS antenna, I left it disabled. I didn't even enable/configure any of the GPS flight modes. I tested it out extensively on the bench and once I was sure it worked properly in acro/manual and stabilized modes, I had my maiden in manual mode. The FC I used was APM with arduplane software. This system has an in-air autotune mode, so that was the first "flight mode" I enabled. It's basically a stabilized flight mode that increasing increases the PID gains to suit the airframe. Once I had it all tuned and sorted out for manual and stabilized flight mode, all the while recording the GPS track both with the onboard memory (blackbox like functionality) and on a mobile ground station (a tablet or phone that received the telemetry) and was comfortable all was working ok, I started adding more complex flight modes.

Before doing that, I checked all the logs to make sure I wasn't seeing spurious compass, barometer, GPS, accelerometer values and even compared RC input with attitude changes to make sure everything looked right.

When it looked good, I added a GPS RTH flight mode to my setup, and tested by going high, triggering it, and watching it closely, ready to switch to manual if it did anything odd.

Once I had all that working, I started adding other sensors. I added a wind speed sensor, then went through the above steps again to check and make sure everything flew well.

Finally, I added a OSD. This was a separate, external OSD which is how APM/Pixhawk works (using a minimOSD) but that was actually a bit like going back to the beginning. It involved a whole new process of installing hardware, software, configuring, and tuning (the display). This was now close to a full year by the time I got into the OSD stuff.

So, I'm not suggesting it will be as involved for you, especially now with all the integrated hardware AND software that makes things easier to setup. That said, I recommend breaking the steps down into basic components and even with integrated hardware/software, isolate functionality and make sure things work well before progressing to the next, more complicated level.

Here's a rough timeline of how it went for me:
Mar 2014 - LOS Versa wing with no FC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-TzqsSLewE
May 2014 - FPV Versa wing with no FC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m1YERPxs4U&t=155s
(in the comments, I mention an incident with loss of signal was really what made me want to look into the autopilots)
Sep 2014 - APM equipped Versa wing (still LOS): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mqPJKS2YWs&t=12s
Dec 2014 - Added OSD (and clearly not configured correctly based on battery warning): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m1YERPxs4U&t=155s
May 2015 - Everything's working as desired at this point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4Jc8bJ2rmQ&t=20s

It was basically a full year to go from a new airframe to an autonomous airframe with OSD.
 
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#7
Here's a rough timeline of how it went for me:
Mar 2014 - LOS Versa wing with no FC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-TzqsSLewE
May 2014 - FPV Versa wing with no FC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m1YERPxs4U&t=155s
(in the comments, I mention an incident with loss of signal was really what made me want to look into the autopilots)
Sep 2014 - APM equipped Versa wing (still LOS): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mqPJKS2YWs&t=12s
Dec 2014 - Added OSD (and clearly not configured correctly based on battery warning): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m1YERPxs4U&t=155s
May 2015 - Everything's working as desired at this point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4Jc8bJ2rmQ&t=20s
Thank you for sharing your video's! Wow in the May 2014, when you hit the RTH, it decided it should dive and try to turn around that way. I guess I never thought about how that would be handled.. Are you able to instruct it how RTH will handle.. if its just a simple flat turn until the heading and bearing are correct... or is it up to the system logic to decide to try to crash it through the center of the earth :)

Ahh it was a brown out that triggered your RTH.... that was cool.. except the bad transmitter ;)
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#8
right. That May 2014 video was a compilation of all my trials towards more FPV proficiency. No flight controller yet. Most fixed wing flight controllers allow you to program or command the action on return to home. Most will orbit in a circle at a set altitude. Some more advanced ones can auto-land, even fixed wing. My autonomous tests were mostly boring rectangle or rth orbit actions. I did one risky mission to circle a pond with a waypoint mission that took me out of FPV range, but it was scary enough for me even though I still had rc and telemetry links.
 
#9
Is this a better Flight Controller Option... I had no idea there were so many options....

Matek-f405-ctr flight-controller/

ElectriSean, since you mentioned iNav, I have looked at it, and it seems it may lend itself better to what I want as my endstate for the software...

Anybody have any experience with the Matek-f405-ctr... and is there a better forum thread to post these questions in, or do I have the right one?
 
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makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#10
It looks like it's supported, if you use the absolute latest, release candidate of iNav (1.8):

https://github.com/iNavFlight/inav/releases/tag/1.8-RC1

But, since it's a brand new supported board in an early release version of iNav, your ability to find people with experience using that combo here might be very limited.

The iNav website does link to their main forum discussion, which is hosted on rcgroups, so I think you'll definitely have a better chance there getting feedback: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?2495732-Cleanflight-iNav-(navigation-rewrite)-project

A quick search found this post which I would probably heed: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=38778485&postcount=16975

Wait for new Matek F7 board, should be supported soon. F4 is dead end with all mess with missing inverters.
So maybe look for a F7 board instead?
 
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#11
It looks like it's supported, if you use the absolute latest, release candidate of iNav (1.8):

https://github.com/iNavFlight/inav/releases/tag/1.8-RC1

But, since it's a brand new supported board in an early release version of iNav, your ability to find people with experience using that combo here might be very limited.

So maybe look for a F7 board instead?
I did look for the I7 boards, there are just a few, and was worried about jumping onto it, if its bleeding edge, especially since this is my very first jump into this and kind of originally why I was looking NAZ because it seems to be pretty stable....

The previous version of this board was not great because of the twitchyness of the onboard gyro/stabilizer? but this one appears to have solved that... .I will look at your links to the other boards, thanks again.

Brad.
 

ElectriSean

Eternal Student
Mentor
#12
Don't bother with the Naze, even though it is still supported, some features had to be dropped to get it to run at all. The Omnibus F3 I linked is plenty powerful enough, especially for a fixed wing, and has been supported by iNav forever. There is also the Omnibus F4 that Litterbug mentioned, even more processing power but only one inverted UART (which only matters if you're using FrSky radio gear). Even an F4 is gross overkill, F7's are pretty much pointless right now.
 

Steve Fox

Active member
#14
i have 3 planes with apm flight controllers running on ardupilot.
robust flght controllers, you can get a pixhawk flight controller if you want to go even better and ardupilot is a fully featured, mature, tried and tested platform

everybody is like, dont get this, you want this.....

my advice is to download the groundstation software that each flight controller uses and see which platform your most comfortable with.

then base the compatible hardware you choose for that software platform on the specs you need and can afford.
 
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