LitterBug's dRonin / iNav / Aura5 / ArduPilot / *Flight FC enabled Wingy Thingys

CarolineTyler

Legendary member
Updating INAV Firmware on Strix Nano Goblin #1 from 3.0.2 to 4.0.0. It has a BrainFPV Radix LI Wing FC in it, and the firmware is custom compiled by BrainFPV to support the proprietary bitmapped OSD. They Tend to be a few ".x.x" revisions behind INAV released, and this is considered "beta" firmware. This is fine for me, I've been beta testing firmware and products for most of my life. I have an open github case with them on an OSD menu issue where the menus do not adapt for NTSC having fewer vertical lines of text than PAL. Makes it difficult to adjust some BrainFPV OSD features that can most easily be set via the OSD menu, but end up being off the bottom of the screen when using NTSC. (my default video protocol). I have since figured out the CLI parameters to adjust those features, but hey, Maybe I am missing something else that I can't see down there.

I've also picked up 2S and 3S 18650 packs that should be good to 25A. When I rebuilt this bird after the nose got knocked off, I pumped up the ESC, from the stock OG 12A to a 20A ESC. Still has the OG Cobra Motors 1407 3500kv. The newer NGs have an EMAX 1606 4000kv motor. (which I have in NG#2) With the prop I'm running (APC 2x4.1x4.1), My current "stock" packs sag when pulling more than 10A, (their rating). I can get 12A out of them with serious sag, but with battery telemetry, my OSD, and Radio are constantly B!+@#!ng when I punch out, go vertical, and/or do high speed passes. Curious to see how many amps this setup can actually pull, and how much more performance I can expect without the sag and ability to run higher amps. Higher volts and amps = more watts = more powah! Sure, the mah rating is lower with higher amp ratings, but I can still throw the other packs in for endurance flying where I'm not going > 75% throttle. Flying LOS I tend to push it harder than FPV too. Planning on doing some comparison videos between the two sets of packs, max speed, max amps, and difference in how I fly FPV vs LOS. There are some maneuvers I can do LOS that are difficult FPV. It would be nice to have an option in the FPV OSD that not only shows when the plane is level, but when it is vertical. There is nothing like that now, but I'm planning on opening an INAV github issue for that. :-D

Hoping for some clean air soon so I can get an AutoTune in. Hope to compare Specs and tunes with @CarolineTyler who has been flying a newer Nano Goblin. Think she may be running INAV too.

Currently have an FT Aura 5 in NG #2, but am planning to swap that for something small that runs ArduPilot with OSD and GPS. Currently running an AIO camera/VTX and want OSD. Want to do a comparison video of autolaunch INAV vs FT Aura and eventually add ArduPilot.

Cheers!
LitterBug
Yes, INAV 4.1 in all my flight controller equipped planes :)
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
Nice specs but a bit heavier that I was expecting. I have not stepped up to digital FPV yet. Waiting on the Runcam stuff to mature a bit. Wonder if the DJI gear is the majority of weight difference?? All of my Li-Ion packs are roughly 50gm per cell, regardless of mah or Amp rating.

NG #2 with a 200mw dipole AIO camera and 2S pack is 239gm. Not sure if I can keep it <250g if I switch FCs and add GPS. Especially if I swap out the AIO for better FPV gear. Might be plausible if I modify the AIO to have video in/out to the FC. FPV gear adds weight quick when going further out from the field. Want to keep one < 250 capable.
 

CarolineTyler

Legendary member
Nice specs but a bit heavier that I was expecting. I have not stepped up to digital FPV yet. Waiting on the Runcam stuff to mature a bit. Wonder if the DJI gear is the majority of weight difference?? All of my Li-Ion packs are roughly 50gm per cell, regardless of mah or Amp rating.

NG #2 with a 200mw dipole AIO camera and 2S pack is 239gm. Not sure if I can keep it <250g if I switch FCs and add GPS. Especially if I swap out the AIO for better FPV gear. Might be plausible if I modify the AIO to have video in/out to the FC. FPV gear adds weight quick when going further out from the field. Want to keep one < 250 capable.
The 3S pack is 149gm all in. I did have to add 10gm to the front to balance ( hate having to add dead weight). The Menace RC antenna is a bit heavy and yes, the DJI video does add quite a bit as I didn't want to strip it down to bare boards. The motor and ESC is heavier than stock as I was just using spare bits and bobs.
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
The 3S pack is 149gm all in. I did have to add 10gm to the front to balance ( hate having to add dead weight). The Menace RC antenna is a bit heavy and yes, the DJI video does add quite a bit as I didn't want to strip it down to bare boards. The motor and ESC is heavier than stock as I was just using spare bits and bobs.
argh.... on having to add weight!

My Strix 18650 packs are rated at 10A max draw and 2700mah capacity. I have flown conservatively over 45 minutes with plenty of reserve left in the packs. They start sagging when pulling > 10A and max out around 12A

The NEW BuddyRC packs are rated at 25A max draw and 2500mah capacity. Will do some bench testing this week before getting out to the field.

What 18650 cells did you build your packs from, and what advertised max A load are they rated for? Have you done any load and capacity tests on them?
 

CarolineTyler

Legendary member
I'm using these cells...
Molicel M35A 18650 Battery
18650/3500mAh/10A

Going for endurance rather than maximum amp draw, so have tailored the plane not to go above 12A max, typical cruise 2.2-2.6A

Not done any capacity tests yet but the short (<20 mins) flights I have had on them seem to meet the specs.
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
Looking at lightweight Ardupilot FC options to replace the FT Aura light in my <250gm Nano Goblin. Also an F4 option for a race wing that is currently F3 based. Might as well test OLED compatibility as well. Have a few ssd1315 boards that seem to work fine.
IMG_20220411_202932749.jpg
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
Got out to the field to fly for the first time this year in super calm conditions. Did all LOS. Flew half a pack on the stratosurfer. Compared my old RMRC LiIon packs to my new BuddyRC packs on my Nano Goblins. Saw a HUGE performance boost on my 2S nano goblin which really surprised me. I have an FT Aura in that one with no telemetry so had no real way to detect sag. My 3S Nano Goblin has INAV and full telemetry and the new high current pack did not sag at all fixing my low voltage alerts which I had already set very low trying to get B#-$in Betty from screaming non stop. She didn't speak once the whole flight. Did not notice much of an audible difference in motor speed, but since I was not flying FPV, I had no visual speed telemetry. Should have looked at the screen on my radio since it has full lua telemetry. I have a switch set to read the amps audibly, and it went up from 12amps to 13.8, with no voltage sag. All around good night for first flights of the year and got some good testing in too.

Cheers!
LB
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
Been a slow year for flying this year only getting out maybe 4 or 5 times. One time out I managed to have an "unplanned landing" when launching my Strix Stratosurfer. Long story short, I got a new KIT and am transferring all the 'lectronix over. Figured I might as well update the Ardupilot firmware from 4.0.5 to 4.3.1, which of course means problems challenges. Fortunately I backed up ALL settings first before the upgrade so it would be easy to get back should something go wrong. There have been a large number of changes to ardupilot between those releases so it was not upgrade and forget. Ended up resetting all parameters to defaults and copying back all my required settings. (RX/telemetry config, Bluetooth config, servo channel config, OSD settings, auxiliary output settings, disabling un-needed features preventing arming, roll/pitch/yaw rates, etc....) Have the majority of it transferred and the only error preventing arming is my GPS doesn't lock very well in the basement. So guess it's time to plop all the smarts into the plane and check all servo/ESC settings out. (endpoints, centers, etc). Must recheck all control surfaces since A) I am using all new and different servos, B) need to trim out the pushrods.
IMG_20221115_200306_01.jpg

Cheers!
LitterBug
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
Code:
~/Downloads/arduplane/stm32flash$ ./stm32flash /dev/ttyUSB0 -w ../F405Wing-4-0-6BetaArduplane_with_bl.hex -v
stm32flash 0.5

http://stm32flash.sourceforge.net/

Using Parser : Intel HEX
Interface serial_posix: 57600 8E1
Version      : 0x31
Option 1     : 0x00
Option 2     : 0x00
Device ID    : 0x0413 (STM32F40xxx/41xxx)
- RAM        : 128KiB  (12288b reserved by bootloader)
- Flash      : 1024KiB (size first sector: 1x16384)
- Option RAM : 16b
- System RAM : 30KiB
Write to memory
Erasing memory
Wrote and verified address 0x080fde1c (100.00%) Done.
Code:
./stm32flash /dev/ttyUSB0 -w ../F405Wing4-3-1arduplane_with_bl.hex -v
stm32flash 0.5

http://stm32flash.sourceforge.net/

Using Parser : Intel HEX
Interface serial_posix: 57600 8E1
Version      : 0x31
Option 1     : 0x00
Option 2     : 0x00
Device ID    : 0x0413 (STM32F40xxx/41xxx)
- RAM        : 128KiB  (12288b reserved by bootloader)
- Flash      : 1024KiB (size first sector: 1x16384)
- Option RAM : 16b
- System RAM : 30KiB
Write to memory
Erasing memory
Wrote and verified address 0x080ffa58 (100.00%) Done.

Nice! Not only do I post up for others to use, but it helped me remember how I updated the firmware on my FC that was missing the USB in the past. Wanted to get to 4.3.1 and was drawing a blank. Referred back to this thread to find the answer!

Cheers!
LitterBug
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
STM32CubeProgrammer is handy tool which allowed me to un-brick two ancient F3 FCs that used a serial passthrough rather than DFU mode for programming. Cuz yeah, the new config tools seemed to have forgotten how to talk to the super old boards lately. I Also forgot that the BOOT pin must remain connected on those boards till the programming is done, but at any rate, I figured that out and wo more old bricked boards revived and up to the last version of BetaFlight (4.0.6) that can be flashed and run on F3 flight controllers. (SPRacing F3 and RMRC Seriously Dodo) This may allow me to reclaim some SPR F3 Evo FCs from quads that don't need a compass, and also gives me two more boards that can be used for OctoCopters. :)

Basically the graphical equivalent to the STM32FLASH tool I used in the previous post.

Cheers!
LitterBug
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LitterBug

Troll Spammer
Arghhhh... Wish that the firmware peeps would list in the documentation what the last version was supported for a processor type rather than just saying they are depricated. Same thing with features. When the Configurator pretends that the feature works, but then you can't actually use it, Maybe the configurator should be smart enough to NOT show it as an option....

Here's the quick and dirty as it stands today of last firmware version supporting the STM32F3xx processor.

Betaflight 4.0.6 was the last release supporting the F3
Cleanflight 2.5.0 was the last release supporting the F3
INAV 2.6.1 was the last release supporting the F3

I may add a few more firmwares in there as time goes on and I find them.
Cheers!
LitterBug
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
Plan to hit the field tomorrow..... May be able to get a maiden or two done for some of these projects:
Strix Stratosurfer #2. Ardupilot
Strix Alatus. FT Aura 5 lite
SonicModel CF Race Wing. INAV

Cheers!
LitterBug

Also plan to maiden a new Caddx Walnut to enter the age of stabilized flight video.
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
Arghhhhh.... Forgot to start DVR, or it decided not to record.

Successful maiden of Stratosurfer 2. Have a laundry list of minor tweaks to make it better:

RSSI= 0 on OSD-. Need to set RSSI_TYPE=3

Perpetual GPS alerts - will swap GPS for better one. Newer Ardupilot firmware is more picky about 10hz updates

OSD screen selection switch reversed...

Add autolaunch flight mode

Add autotune flight mode


Alatus was not in my radio.... D'OH!

CG was way off to try the SonicModel CF Wing. Must add nose weight

LB
 
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LitterBug

Troll Spammer
Had to replace the SE+SF switch board on my RadioMaster. Busted the long SF switch off that I use as an aux throttle killer in addition to disarming. So my wings with no arming switch can chop the throttle and not risk munching fingers in the prop. Only flew my Surfer 1500 LOS this past week.

Modified Ardupilot GPS settings on the Stratosurfer and did not have to swap out the GPS. Force enabled 10hz reporting (Ardupilot defaulted to 5hz!?.?!). Force enabled GPS+SBAS rather than taking the defaults of the GPS. Force Enabled SBAS since it is viable where I fly.
BAM! No more annoying GPS warnings and beeps and fixed the AHRS warnings. Satellite lock is also way faster now.

Need to put a Caddx Walnut mount on this puppy before hitting the field next week.
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
Did some LOS with Nano Goblin #1 on a clean INAV re-install/upgrade last week. Was flying low with default low rates and am now regluing the nose which was taken out by the battery being ejected when my flying exceeded my memory of old faster rates limiting me from pulling out of that dive in time..... LOL. This was the 2nd major hit for this bird after many many miles and hours of flight. Glue should be set up and will back to the field tomorrow. Will get a fresh autotune, check rates, and go from there. Mostly broke at the factory glue not any of my previous repair work. This is an OG PNP so I have no idea what glue was used. #2 is a kit which I used Foam Tac to build and an Aura 5. Have not crashed it yet.

IMG_20230511_084013604.jpg
 
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LitterBug

Troll Spammer
Absolutely calm tonight which made it possible to get autotunes done on the Stratosurfer (Ardupilot) and Nano Goblin#1 (INAV). Also maidened a Caddx Walnut on the Stratosurfer. Thing flys so smooth, hardly need any stabilization. So used to watching replays from the FPV DVR, It's incredible to watch it in 4K.

Need to look into tuning INAV cruise mode. NG#1 was proposing like mad when trying to use cruise. Don't remember ever having to tune it before.

Stratosurfer OSD RSSI was showing 0 the whole flight. Need to dig in to that. Also did not reverse the OSD screen selection switch sommy layout order is still backwards. Hope to have vid up tomorrow. Laptop is super slow at developing film....

Also had a nice LOS flight on Nano Goblin#2 (aura5)

IMG_20230511_183304_01.jpg


IMG_20230511_201527241_HDR.jpg


Video from Caddx Walnut D16 postprocessed with GyroFlow

Cheers!
LitterBug
 
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LitterBug

Troll Spammer
I have a Bluetooth dongle attached to the Matek F405-Wing running ArduPilot. It came in real handy the other day when maidening my new StratoSurfer. I take my tablet to the field in my backpack to make any flight mode or parameter adjustments to get in the air. I had forgotten to add Autotune flight mode that trip and was able to get it done and made for a complete maiden. I have QGroundControl and Mission planner on the tablet. Use my phone for internet/Wifi HotSpot.
1685368290892.png

Screenshot_20230529-093939.jpg

Screenshot_20230529-094027.jpg

This will also allow me to set up autonomous mission while travelling without having to lug a bigger laptop around.

Cheers!
LitterBug
 
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LitterBug

Troll Spammer
Hit the field with the Stratosurfer last night for more ArduPilot testing and learning. Could not get Mission Planner to connect with my tablet, but QGroundControl worked fine. Changed Loiter mode to "Takeoff" and gave it two tests. First one was a fail, 2nd was a success!
Screenshot_20230529-194411.jpg



"Takeoff" first attempt. Think it failed because the plane was not at an acceptable angle when arming. Motor never started

Takeoff 2nd attempt
Successful LOS launch and a couple touch and go passes. The motor started as soon as I armed. Had my buddy Dave tossing for these tests in case anything went wrong so I could have both hands on the radio. Pretty sure ArduPilot picked the launch direction when I selected Takeoff mode not when I armed. We launched at a telephone pole to the NE and it immediately turned to the east. Not as obvious in the stabilized video as it was in person, but it obviously turns after the throw. Didn't raise the throttle till after moving the sticks to disengage Takeoff. Motor comes to an abrupt stop when I hit the sticks to disengage.


Cheers!
LitterBug
 
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