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OrangeRX openlrs assistance needed

#1
I have been trying and trying to succeed with the openlrs for months now, and have random on and off successes and failures. I have bought 2 modules and 2 receivers, and at the moment I cannot get any combo to work, and I have run out of ideas or resources to move on. I get about as much range as a module with no antenna would get, although i have never operated without an antenna, used 5v to program, or done anything to disrupt the system's performance. This is a peculiar thing to ask I guess, but I will send both sets of orangerx openlrs tx and rx to anyone who thinks they can diagnose/fix them (preferably in the united states). (with a reward of course). Sorry if this is an unacceptable post, but I have run out of options.
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#2
I thought those modules/receivers were plug and play? Can you give us a rundown of what you have done so far? Procedure-wise I mean, as in what methods have you been using to try to get them to work...
 
#3
From the HobbyKing web page:

*Note: The setup and use of Open LRS requires computer programming skills and basic Arduino experience. This is not a "plug and play" system. See the attached document under the "Files" tab for resources on programming info, firmware downloads and more.

*Note: Open LRS uses 3.3v FTDI support, DO NOT use a 5V serial / AVRISP adapter or damage will occur.
Have you tried asking on the OpenLRS forums?

I am an electronics hobbyist, and have been considering using these in my scratch-built TX, so I would be willing to take a look at them for you.
 
#4
History of my usage:
1. Bought openlrs tx module and reciever. Flashed both using the openlrsng configurator. Worked fine for 10 or so flights.
2. Randomly both stopped communicating, I tried rebinding, reflashing, but nothing worked.
3. Bought a new set (tx module and reciever). Flashed both. Worked fine for 1 flight.
4. Crashed mid flight from what seemed to be at the time interference. After that I could only get 100 ft or so of range.
5. Tried reflashing, rebinding, new antenna (dragonlink half wave dipole), but nothing worked.
6. Tried flying in multiple different locations, tried different antennas, and tried all the different combinations between my 2 txs and 2 rxs. Still had minimal range with all.
7. Tried reflashing with updated firmware in configurator. I would get the red warning led when I put the module into my transmitter after flashing openlrsng, however the stock firmware still works, with still 100 ft of range.
8. Have mental breakdown from my misfortunes and frustration.

I've tried asking, but my situation is so unheard of that nobody can pinpoint what is wrong.
 
#5
Is there any chance the units were ever powered up without the antenna connected? Is there a chance the antenna got disconnected during a crash?

Has anyone else with the Orange units reported similar problems?
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#6
History of my usage:
7. Tried reflashing with updated firmware in configurator. I would get the red warning led when I put the module into my transmitter after flashing openlrsng, however the stock firmware still works, with still 100 ft of range.
I just got a set for Christmas and so far have only got as far as flashing them with openLRSng and binding them...so I'm still a few steps behind....but..

I'm not quite following on #7 here. How are you reverting to the stock firmware? It sounds like you're able to get them to work (with very limited range) with stock firmware but not with openLRSng?

Have you tried using one as a spectrum analyzer to see what kind of signal you're getting from the others?

Are you running with telemetry on or off?
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#7
From the HobbyKing web page:
*Note: The setup and use of Open LRS requires computer programming skills and basic Arduino experience. This is not a "plug and play" system. See the attached document under the "Files" tab for resources on programming info, firmware downloads and more.

*Note: Open LRS uses 3.3v FTDI support, DO NOT use a 5V serial / AVRISP adapter or damage will occur.
I wonder what I was thinking about?!? I guess I thought the stock firmware they came with was enough to get you started...
If I had to guess, What Rockets has said about the antenna has merit as you can easily fry a transmitter by not having the antenna connected during transmission. Might be a good idea to send them in his direction.
 
#8
I never operated without an antenna, nor did one ever get disconnected in a crash. Regardless, the problem began before the 1st time I crashed. I'm sure. @jhitesma In the configurator you can flash with openlrsng or the stock firmware. After flashing openlrsng I get the warning LED, so I can't operate. After flashing with the stock it works but with limited range, telemetry off.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#9
I wonder what I was thinking about?!? I guess I thought the stock firmware they came with was enough to get you started...
I'm not sure what they come flashed with from HK...but I couldn't even get mine to bind following any set of instructions/videos I found. The files tab on HK doesn't even have any actual instructions just pointers to the openLRS code. I'm assuming it's an older version of the original "vanilla" openLRS code they come with but they're sure not plug and play!
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#10
I never operated without an antenna, nor did one ever get disconnected in a crash. Regardless, the problem began before the 1st time I crashed. I'm sure. @jhitesma In the configurator you can flash with openlrsng or the stock firmware. After flashing openlrsng I get the warning LED, so I can't operate. After flashing with the stock it works but with limited range, telemetry off.
Hmmm, I must be missing something as I don't see that option anywhere:
conf.jpg

For me it seemed like the "Flash Firmware" button flashes the latest stable version of ng, and the "Load Custom Firmware" button lets you load your own pre-compiled hex file for flashing. But I don't see anything for loading the stock - unless you have .hex of the original and are using the "Load Custom Firmware" option to load it.

I may well be missing something though, I've only been messing with this setup for less than two days and haven't even gotten to configuring it yet because my "FTDI" cable is such a hack I have to hold it together with one hand so trying to do that to the TX and get the RX powered up and work the configurator...not going to happen. But I just dug up the bits I need to put some proper connectors on my "FTDI" (mine is actually a Prolific CP2101 from an old cell phone data cable I had laying around) so hopefully in the next hour or so I'll be able to play with the configurator easier.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#12
I believe that actually loads the current version of openLRSng based on the version numbers and what's in the git repo.

If that's what you're doing to load the "stock" firmware what are you doing to try and load ng? Are you compiling it with arduino to get a .hex file and then using the "Load Custom Firmware" option to load it? I haven't seen .hex file of ng distributed - it seems they just want people to use the configurator.

I think what's happening is when you're loading "stock" you're actually loading "ng". But I'm not sure what you're doing to try and load ng so I'm not quite sure yet.

(Doesn't look like I'm going to get to fixing my adapter tonight....cooking dinner, fixing my plotter and finishing a programming job for work - though at least it seems the plotter is fully fixed now!)
 
#13
with the stock firmware (fresh out of package) my motor would go full power if my tx was off (super annoying and dangerous) and with the ng it wouldn't. When I upload the OrangeRX openlrs UHF tx from the configurator that same thing happens. But as I said, the openlrsng doesn't work anymore when I upload it now for some reason.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#16
You mean the first option in the TX Module list?
"4 - OpenLRSngTX by Kha"

That's not the right option for the Orange module, that's the firmware for Kha's new improved 1W TX module: https://github.com/openLRSng/openLRSngTX

So you're actually loading firmware for a different module when you do that. It shouldn't hurt anything but since some things on the board are slightly different it won't work right either. So that's why you're not having any luck with that option.

For the OrangeRX TX module you want "2 - Hobbyking OrangeRx UHF TX" which you seem to be referring to as the stock firmware - but it's actually the latest version 3.4.0 of ng compiled for the OrangeRX module.

It's a little confusing and took me a few minutes to get my head around it. The confusion is because there are so many different hardware configurations openLRSng can work on - but the configurator is only setup to install the latest firmware by default - the pulldown just determines which style of hardware it's being built for.

To install the "stock" firmware you'd have to first figure out what the stock firmware from HK is and I have no clue nor any idea how to tell what it was. Honestly anything but ng is pretty much dead at this point from what I can tell so there's really no point in that.

I think you're closer than you realize. What you've been calling "stock" is actually the latest version of ng - and it sounds like with that you're actually getting things to work ... just with almost no range.

Can you hook your TX and RX up and take screen shots of the settings screens for them? Or save the settings to a file and attach them so I can take a look at your config.

What antennas are you using? Just the stock? They're really lousy antennas and while I haven't range checked them or flown further than 20 feet from myself with mine so far I plan on replacing them before trying to fly with it for real. It could be you have a bad antenna. Since you have 2 sets have you tried swapping them around? You may want to try some better antennas. Even a simple "sander style" (see here: http://www.fpvmanuals.com/2011/03/23/make-your-own-lrs-rx-antennas-sander-style-and-turn-style/) 1/4 wave would work better than the stock antennas. I've got some connectors on order so I can build some better antennas soon.

I'm guessing you're still using the stock antennas and that's what's causing your problems. They're better than nothing...but just barely!
 
#19
Doesn't hurt to ask? What's your questions?
Hi,

Just to be sure here's a photo of the modules I'm talking about.

I want to use one of them for TX and a second for RX, to send data short distances.

I've looked at the earlier messages, and it is confusing.

I've tried V2.0 3.0 3.2 and 3.6.4. I think I've tried all of the TX and RX combinations, but as we know, one mistake and it doesn't work. I have watched about 3 videos on how to do this.

Is it possible to have a simple version of the firmware, with no bells and whistles, just for data?

If I just work with TX at the moment, till it looks like it's trying to BIND, can you walk me through the steps please.

Cheers, Camerart
 

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jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#20
Well, going to a simpler firmware is possible...but is in some ways a bit more complex as you won't be able to use the nice GUI tool to do it. So it's not really something I'd recommend doing unless you're fairly experienced.

So it sounds like you're able to flash the firmware successfully at this point? And you're using a 3.3v FTDI cable to do so (if you've been using a 5v cable you probably fried your RF unit on the board which could explain not being able to bind.)

You have to hook both the TX and then the RX up with the cable to flash them - but once you've flashed them the RX is setup over RF with only the TX physically connected to the computer. In your case you'd have to flash the version designed for using a RX as a TX for your "tx" module.

As for binding I found it a little confusing but by default the RX goes into bind without a bind plug or anything so it's not that difficult...just the instructions on binding are a bit confusing due to the extra stuff openLRS can support. But it's mostly like any other setup where you hold down the bind button while turning on your TX then when it beeps you let go - then power up the RX which will go into bind mode and they should link as long as they're both running the same version of the firmware.