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  1. #1
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    Wireless controller???

    Hi,

    I'm planning to build a quadcopter for a class project, and I came across this site and decided to use the Arduino Mega 2560 as my microcontroller, however I need to fly it manually using a handheld controller (read: no computer). Which components should I use to build my controller and how can I interface it with my copter? I searched the forum a bit but came up empty so that's why I'm asking.

    Thanks in advance,
    Tino

  2. #2
    Flight Cadet SaltyGator's Avatar
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    Do you mean you need to fly it with a rc-type radio instead of a computer? or You have to manually control the motors without any interaction from a computer? The AeroQuad is flown with a standard R/C transmitter and receiver... but there is a microcontroller (computer) onboard which deciphers your intentions and issues controls to the motors. When you ask which parts you need to build the controller, are you talking about what your holding in your hand, or what's onboard the aircraft?
    Diatone Reptile 500 Frame, 2216-810kv motors, MMR 20amp ESCs w/ BlHeli, AQ32v2, w/ TauLabs, GPS and OSD on FPV
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    Yeah, I'm talking about what I'd be holding in my hand. It can't be a Windows/Mac/Linux computer, it has to be an embedded solution. So for example, it'll have x/y/z buttons or joysticks for left/right, forward/back and up/down. That's what I'm looking for, I know the copter itself has a computer (the microcontroller) onboard.

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    You need something like one of these:

    http://www.spektrumrc.com/DSM/Products/airRadios.aspx

    Along with the transmitter you will need a receiver that attaches to the Arduino. Some transmitters come with a receiver, some don't. I'm using the DX5e (5 channel), but I think the FAQ recommends at least 6 channels as a safeguard against future upgrades to the flight control software.

    If you are wanting to build your own, you can use any wireless tech and just adapt the flight control software to that. The arduino community really likes the Xbee gear, so I would recommend you look into that. The Xbee modules (like this:http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8665) can act like a serial connection between two devices.

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    Do you want to fly in real time or do you want to send commands to the copter and the copter will then execute those commands. For instance, your hand held microcontroller will upload to the copter commands like "fly to 20 feet and then hover", or "go to GPS position x,y,z and hover for 30 seconds and then land"?

  6. #6
    Senior Pilot jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinito16 View Post
    So for example, it'll have x/y/z buttons or joysticks for left/right, forward/back and up/down.
    That sounds like a RC transmitter that most people use... something like the Spektrum DX7 as recommended in the parts list.

  7. #7
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    Indeed, something like the DX7 is what I'm looking for, I just wasn't sure it could be used. BTW I want to be able to do real time flying (stabilized by the software of course) and perhaps also waypoint flying i.e. sending commands which will then be executed.

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    you can fly it yourself and do anything you want with it. I dont think the aeroquad has waypoint flying yet. prob by end of year i hope
    d-_-b

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinito16 View Post
    Indeed, something like the DX7 is what I'm looking for, I just wasn't sure it could be used. BTW I want to be able to do real time flying (stabilized by the software of course) and perhaps also waypoint flying i.e. sending commands which will then be executed.
    its always great to have more people involved in these projects. .. The one thing I would suggest is that you read everything you can find on the subject ..Aero quad is evloved from the world of Remote Control aircraft. Its not a "robot" While it may someday become one. It is not there yet.

    I am curious as to why you thought a computer was used to control the quad ??

  10. #10
    Moderator AeroQuad Technologist Honk's Avatar
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    I'd actually say it is a robot. I'm thinking of my quad as a mobile weather station with 4 spinning garden shears on it.

    However, the convention is to use this machine with a standardized RC transmitter and receiver for regular hobby aircraft.
    Smart people don't need a signature.
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