Quad Upgrade

When I built the quad I went with a simple controller with the intention of upgrading at some point once I had more idea “what I was doing 🙂 Of course, such an open ended target was a total cop out and after some discussions with a friend and having a little more time on my hands than I had, I recently decided the time was right to start looking at an upgrade. This is what I had (a Hobbyking KK2.0 now replaced by the newer KK2.1.5).

KK 2.0 Board

Following the discussions and looking at a few options, I decided to stick with my open source leanings and move to the Paparazzi UAV Project. Looking at the autopilot boards (and following advice) I went with the KroozSD. Ordering it was easy enough and it arrived nicely packaged in a reasonable time. The fact it shares the same physical form factor as the old board helps greatly, making it almost a drop in replacement. Of course, nothing is ever that simple and so I’m currently getting the connections sorted out 🙂

Installing the Paparazzi software was easy enough and once installed it all ran without issue. The only thing that wasn’t clear, though it may just have been my poor attention span missing it, before you can run a simulation you need to use the “Build” option to create the files you will use for the simulation. Failing to do so will produce lots of windows but also a few warnings. This isn’t the most helpful as initially it appears everything is working! However, building is quick.

One aspect of the change that was new to me was the introduction of live telemetry. This is done using XBee modules and setting them up was my first task. I took a while deciding which modules to buy as there is a bewildering selection, but eventually went with 2 of these. I also bought 2 USB adapters, so once configured using the X-CTU software it was nice to see them communicating. Installing the “remote” module onto the board and applying power produced telemetry 🙂

KroozSD TopBottom side with ZBee module attached.

Connectors

In case it helps anyone else, the connectors on the board are Molex PicoBlade with the exception of the 3 pin SWD connector in the centre of the board which is JST.
I had to guess which way round the XBee module attached, though the pictures on the webpage about the board helped!

As I discover more information I’ll pass it along, but thus far I have to congratulate Sergey on producing a great board and being very easy to deal with.