AQ6 connection problems

Radio, Telemetry, FTDI/USB, ESCs, Motors, etc.

AQ6 connection problems

Postby Trnquill » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:49 am

I'm building an AQ hex and the build is now in a stage of actually fitting in the electronics. There are three problems:

1) Xbee communication to qGroundControl fails after few minutes ("not connected" warning) and AQ reboot is required to bring it back to life.
2) Even if I see the artificial horizon move, gauges are alive and map updates to my current position, I cannot read nor update any AQ parameters via qGroundControl. It just says AQ not connected even though the Pilot and Mission tabs show action.
3) I cannot connect to AQ at all via FTDI-USB adapter (from Viacopter, https://viacopter.eu/multirotor-shop/sh ... pter-store). When adding a link in QGC I get "Link serial port \\.\COM3 is connected." in Communication Console but that's all. AQ board is powered by 4S battery and all the leds show normal activity (it even gets a solid blue light for GPS fix indoors, nice!).

I have flashed the AQ board (rev 2) with latest firmware (aqv6.8.r248.b1429-rev1) and done static calibration. Flashing required me to use "plan B" route of not powering up the AQ board until just before clicking OK in the warning dialog during flashing.

I hooked up XBee Pro S1 for telemetry and jDrones IO board for LED control. The XBee is connected to AQ via FTDI (GND, 5V, RX, TX) and a 5V->3.3V converter board from Sparkfun. IO board is connected to the same FTDI port but only hooking up pins GND, 5V and TX (to IO board RX, obviously).

Any help? I'm kinda lost because I have found no documentation expalining what to do in such problematic events. I know my FTDI-USB adapter works because I used it to upload new firmware again to AQ just minutes ago. It also works for configuring jDrones IO board etc.
Trnquill
 
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Re: AQ6 connection problems

Postby Trnquill » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:17 am

Ok, for the bullet number 2, got the configuration stuff working with XBee once! I changed in the connection settings dialog to accept communication from all MAVlink protocol versions and suddenly the onboard parameter list updated! I changed radio mode to Futaba S.Bus, clicked Save Settings to AQ and chose non-voltatile memory. After a reboot I'm back at same situation as before: I can not get any onboard parameters from AQ board. All there is is "Requested param list.. waiting". And the horizon moves, map gets updated etc... What the duck?
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Re: AQ6 connection problems

Postby Trnquill » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:36 am

Update to point 3. The "fix" that helped once for problem number 2 had no effect on FTDI-USB adapter connectivity. I can still get no connection between my PC (Win 7, qGroundControl 1.3 RC1) and the AQ board. Nothing. "COM 3 connected" says the log but that is all.

After connecting and disconnecting both AQ board power and FTDI-USB adapter from USB several times Windows suddenly showed the "installing new device driver software" balloon, which was odd since the FTDI-USB adapter had allready been installed and working. After few seconds my computre crashed to blue screen and rebooted.
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Re: AQ6 connection problems

Postby Trnquill » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:36 am

Hey, some progress to problem #3! Apparently (or naturally some of you will say) the Viacopter FTDI-USB adapter has two different positions for the cable. I had it at bottom pin row labeled "Multiwii". This works fine for updating firmware bot not for anything else as I found out. After moving the cable to top pin row labeled "Autoquad" I succesfully managed to get connectivity with my PC. All the parameters update from and to AQ just fine, HUD is functional etc. Sweet!

Unfortunately FTDI-USB adapter is no good when heading outside for some tuning flights. I really need XBee connectivity for live update of PID values etc. Up until this moment I have managed to get the AQ parameter via XBee telemetry to qGroundControl once and even then writing the values back failed (I noticed now that I have cable connectivity that the radio type was still Spektrum, not S-BUS as I set it earlier).

Any idea why my XBee link succesfully updates the HUD & map & controller status but getting configuration parameters fails?
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Re: AQ6 connection problems

Postby Trnquill » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:16 pm

Some more testing with XBee telemetry. I got the param list to update almost fully by clickin and reclicking the "Refresh" button on onboard parameters tab until things started to update. But only once... :( And it didn't even receive all the parameters, just most of them. Now I have "TIMEOUT! MISSING: 0 read, 0 write." at bottom of onboard parameters tab.
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Re: AQ6 connection problems

Postby Trnquill » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:44 am

Reading the APM tutorials I came across few instructions where it was stated that some XBee settings/firmware will make things work for telemetry, but in the PID configurations screen connection will fail. That's exactly what I'm experiencing!

Any tips on how to setup the XBee's? The boards are XBee 2.4GHz Pro S1's from Sparkfun with 10EC firmware, identical PAN ID and baud rate set to 115200. But I guess there's something wrong?
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Re: AQ6 connection problems

Postby JussiH » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:59 am

Do you have hardware flow disabled in the connections window?
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Re: AQ6 connection problems

Postby Trnquill » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:29 am

JussiH wrote:Do you have hardware flow disabled in the connections window?

Yes and no, meaning I have tried both. If the "Flow control" tick box is what you mean?
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Re: AQ6 connection problems

Postby JussiH » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:34 am

Yes, thats what I meant.

When you set up the Xbees, did u verify that data can go in both directions. It sounds a bit like you only have data going in 1 direction.

I assume you set serial high to destination high and vice versa in the Xbee setup?
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Re: AQ6 connection problems

Postby Trnquill » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:59 am

How can I verify that data flow is bi-directional? I got the param refresh working once, but not second time during the same session while back.

I didn't have the addresses setup as you said. In most tutorials all that gets set is PAN ID and baud rate. I set the destination addresses (both high and low) correspondingly but it didn't make a difference.

Currently things are looking better, though! I can refresh the parameters list every now and then, maybe every fourth click of "Refresh" button or so. Sending the parameters back works ~50% of time. Settings I have in XBees are the ones mentioned in this thread plus setting the ground station XBee as coordinator:
-Identical PAN ID
-Destination high and low addresses correspond the other XBee high and low serials
-Coordinator is enabled on qGroundControl machine side XBee
-Baud rate is 115200 on both XBees
-Flow control is enabled in qGroundControl link dialog
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