AQ6 Wireless Telemetry
Telemetry – Xbee – Bluetooth – 3DR and others
AutoQuad has an excellent desktop and android based groundstation. On the same connector that can be used to attach the FTDI, an Xbee (or any other serial telemetry device) can be attached.
In this example the Xbee Pro S2(B) is used. On the internet a vast number of Xbee configuration tutorials can be found and are not explained in this wiki.
The standard telemetry baudrate is set on 115200bps 8N1, so please configure the Xbee (pro) to use this baudrate.
If you have a Graupner HoTT transmitter, telemetry is also provided directly to the transmitter using an alternative Firmware.
More Info on Radios supporting Telemetry
This figure displays the basic AIR connections.
Please note that a Xbee is powered by 3.3V and the AutoQuad flight controller will output 5V.
To overcome this you can purchase or make a breakout board which convert the 5V to 3.3V.
To use the 5V output of the AutoQuad flight controller a jumper for J3 should be placed on the connector as displayed in the following figure.
The complete picture
On the ground side another Xbee is used to receive the telemetry signal.
If you only want to use a desktop, the Xbee can be connected with a FTDI/USB Serial device to the desktop but a more elegant solution is to connect the Xbee to a cheap Bluetooth device and thus create a bridge.
The desktop device or android device can now connect to the bluetooth device, create a virtual com port and now use long distance telemetry.
Note: This config example uses a Xbee pro S2B 2.4Ghz for 3.2Km and a class 2 bluetooth adapter. It will consume around 150mAh and can be powered by a 2S lipo or 2S Life battery. Total DIY costs: $30 per Xbee, $3 per breakout board and $9 for the bluetooth adapter.
Bluetooth connections for short range telemetry
Such a cheap class 2 Bluetooth adapter can also be used as a short range telemetry solution up to 50m range. You only need to connect the appropriate pins of the FTDI/USB/telemetry port. GND, VCC, Tx<->Rx, Rx<->Tx. J3 needs to be jumpered to output the necessary 5V to the module. On the computer side you should use a class 1 BT dongle to achieve the highest range (theoretically 100m)
Midrange Bluetooth solutions
We´ve tested several Bluetooth boosters (class 1 dongles) like the Sena Parani UD100 or the LM-technologies LM540 for ranges up to 1000m (with 9bd patch antenna). With standard stub antennas, ranges of 200-300m are possible, with a 5dB antenna the range increases up to 500-600m.
A short video showing the XBee/bluetooth/Android telemetry system in action:
3DR Radio 433/900Mhz Module for Telemetry
We’re currently testing this long range system on the AutoQuad with good results. It can either be plugged into your PC/Laptop/Netbook and used with the AQGCS or combined with an Android device via bluetooth. Can be purchased for ~35$ here
Discussion about it in our Forum.