Using APM Planner / Pixhawk / FS-R8B / Rover

Using APM Planner / Pixhawk / FS-R8B / Rover

This one took quite a long time for me to figure out.

I'd suggest that you have a look at Pixhawk guide, and see if it works out with you.

Make sure after you are done making all the connections that you run APM Planner (see Installation on Ubuntu) and do the configuration as stated in the user guide.

If you were stuck as I were, here are a few tips:

Issue #1: FS-R8B PPM Encoder

If you tried to run APM Planner and noticed that in the RC calibration section there is no signal, it probably means that your RC is not connected. Make sure your transmitter is set to PPM encoding modulation, and if still it did not work, you probably need a PPM encoder. The PPM encoder inputs would be all of the channels of the receiver, and the output will be the RC channel of the Pixhawk.

Issue #2: Flight modes

If you are running the Ubuntu version, APM Planner does not show the current flight mode. Switch to Windows or run it in a VM.
My FS-TH9X transmitter does not have a flight mode switch, so instead, I can use the Gear switch. To setup that:

  1. Go to Menu.
  2. Go to Function Settings.
  3. Go to AUX-CH to edit the auxiliary channels.
  4. It would list CH5 to CH9. For your purpose, on Windows APM Planner, go to Flight Mode page and see which one has the green box. Note the PWM. Go to RC calibration page, and note which channel has the PWM noted before.
  5. Now change the channel with that PWM to Gear.

If you switch the Gear now on Flight mode page, you would see that it switches from the lowest PWM to the highest. Set the lowest PWM box to Auto. Now you have got two modes, auto and manual using your Gear Switch.

Issue #3: Calibration failed.

Do not take the calibration for granted. The calibration must be done well. For the compass calibration part, you must hold the compass in all three axis and rotate it around each one of them 360 degrees.

Issue #4: All done, throttle is above 0% but it is not moving.

Too bad they didn't say that in the user guide. After you are all done with the calibration, the mission plan, and running it. You must hold the SAFETY switch for 2 seconds until the light becomes constant red. Now the motors can be supplied with energy. Make sure you flick your Gear switch up, down, and up again to get into manual mode.

More: pixhawk, apm planner, fs-r8b, rover, fs-th9x