We STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you use the " MAVLINK DECODING OPTION " for pixhawk telemetry. The Mavlink Decoding option eliminates all connection break reloads and delays, and will increase your telemetry range by approximately FOUR TIMES. This is a HUGE increase in performance and usability. The downside is that you will only have downlink telemetry, up link and uploading way-points to mission planner will not work.
FULL RF MODEM OPTION will give full donwlink and uplink telemetry for Pixhawk, but this comes at a very high price. Mavlink is very inefficient, and uses a huge amount of bandwidth constantly transferring useless parameters, this results in a MUCH SHORTER telemetry range. Mavlink also wants to reload 10,000 parameters every time a signal is interrupted, so there is a needless long delays every time telemetry is interrupted. The good news is that telemetry range does NOT affect RC range, so you will still have full, 60 Kilometer RC range no matter which telemetry option you use. The Pixhawk RF modem option has full capability and works perfectly, so if you need all the Pixhawk Functions, this is the option you will need to use.
IMPORTANT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FULL PIXHAWK TELEMTRY
To compensate for the very high bandwidth that full Mavlink uses, we strongly recommend that you use the Dragon Link LARGE 1500 mW RECEIVER. The Large 1500 mW telemetry Receiver will give you much further telemetry range ( approximately 400 % telemetry range increase ) than the standard 25 mW Micro Receiver will provide. ( NOTE RC range on both receivers is approximately 60 Kilometers ), telemetry range does NOT affect RC range.
We also recommend the PIXRACER as the best Pixhawk device to use. The PIXRACER is a full featured PixHawk device that is small enough to fit in any plane or copter, has better sensors, better connectors, and better general build quality than some of the other full sized Pixhawk devices that are being sold.
Here are the pinouts for the PixRacer GPS port.
PIXRACER COMPLETED CONNECTIONS
Connect the cable you made to the Dragon Link UEXP port, and to the TELEM 2 port on the Pixracer as shown in the picture to the left.
Connect a GPS to the Pixracer as shown in the picture to the left. You can use any GPS that is compatible with Pixhawk. The GPS shown is the high accuracy M8N GPS from our web store and gives amazing accuracy and very fast real time updates.
PIXRACER TO DRAGON LINK RECEIVER CONNECTIONS
Connect the RC cable supplied with the Pixracer to the RC IN port of the Pixracer. Connect the BLACK, RED, and WHITE terminals to the Dragon Link Receiver servo pins. Make sure you connect these to the PPM output channel of the Dragon Link receiver. See example in the picture to the left.
BLACK = Servo Rail GROUND
RED = + 5 Volt servo Rail
WHITE = PPM output pin on Receiver
SET UP YOUR DRAGON LINK RECEIVER:
You need to start from FACTORY DEFAULT settings on your receiver. If you have changed things, we recommend that you go to the GUI and choose RESET HARDWARE TO FACTORY SETTINGS, and then click the SAVE SETTINGS bar at the bottom. This will allow you to start from zero and change only the settings needed for Pixhawk Telemetry.
Connect your receiver via the micro USB port to the Dragon Link GUI configuration utility. Go to the RECEIVER OUTPUTS tab on the left, and set the UEXP port as follows:
UEXP CON PIN 3 = SERIAL IN
UEXP CON PIN 4 = SERIAL OUT
Click the blue SAVE SETTINGS bar at the bottom of the screen.
CONFIGURING THE DRAGON LINK TRANSMITTER:
You need to start from FACTORY DEFAULT settings on your transmitter. If you have changed things, we recommend that you go to the GUI and choose RESET HARDWARE TO FACTORY SETTINGS, and then click the SAVE SETTINGS bar at the bottom. This will allow you to start from zero and change only the settings needed for Pixhawk Telemetry.
Connect the Dragon Link Transmitter to the GUI configuration utility. Click on the " RF " tab on the left, and you will see the screen to your left. Change the following settings:
Bidir Bandwidth = High
RF Preference = Fastest Update-Rate
Click the SAVE SETTINGS bar at the bottom of the screen
Download and install MISSION PLANNER software to your Windows computer. You can download it at http://ardupilot.org/planner/
Even if you are going to use a tablet or phone to track your plane, you will still need to update and configure your Pixracer using Mission Planner.
1. Start Mission Planner, then connect your Pixracer to your computer with a micro USB cable.
2. Update the firmware on your Pixracer.
* Make sure you disconnect and restart Pixracer after firmware update.
3 Choose the CONNECT at the top right of Mission Planner.
3. RESET TO DEFAULT the configuration on your Pixracer.
MISSION PLANNER SETTINGS
Using the FULL PARAMETER LIST at the left, change the settings on your Pixracer as follows. All Parameters are listed in alphabetical order, so finding each one in this huge list is not hard.
VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure you click the SAVE PARAMS box to the upper right. If you do not SAVE PARAMS, your changes will not be saved and will not work.
At this point, rebind, repower everything, and the system should work if you connect to Mission planner via Bluetooth, Serial Data, or USB mode.
TELEMETRY VIA TOWER ON ANDROID TABLET OR PHONE
1. Install TOWER software on your android device by downloading it from Google Play.
2. Pair your Dragon Link Transmitter Bluetooth to your android device.
3. Open the TOWER app.
4. Choose connect via Bluetooth, and choose the DRAGONLINK Bluetooth device in the tower connection menu.
5. You should now see the telemetry and moving map on Tower.