RADIO MODEM TELEMETRY

ALL FLIGHT CONTROLLERS Telemetry Setup:   The Dragon Link V3 Advanced system will provide full long range telemetry, moving map, and flight panel information without the need for separate radio modems.

 

RADIO MODEM OPTION will give full down-link and up-link telemetry for All flight controllers.  The Dragon Link will work like any stand alone Radio Modem, but at much greater range and distance, all while maintaining full long range RC control.   Using the Radio Modem option of the Dragon link system will NOT reduce Radio Control range, performance, or affect it in any way.  Even if your radio modem range is shorter due to using the Micro Receiver or Nano Receiver, or if you loose Radio Modem signal, the RC control will just always be there at full 50 Kilometer Range.

 

IMPORTANT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FULL RADIO MODEM TELEMTRY

To compensate for the very high bandwidth that the Full Radio Modem feature uses, we strongly recommend that you use the Dragon Link LARGE 1000 mW RECEIVER.   The Large 1000 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 50 Kilometers ), telemetry range does NOT affect RC range.

The Dragon Link Radio Modem will work with ANY flight controller or device that you would normally use with a stand alone Radio Modem.

Here are the latest, best instructions for Radio Modem setup using our latest firmware release.

How to make full Mavlink telemetry from Pixhawk work on DLA


This is an updated version of my instructions for use with 25December2018 or later Dragonlink firmware.

You should have solid, fast long-range Mavlink telemetry with these settings.
Parameter sync, full telemetry, ability to make configuration changes and upload/download flight-plans all work great.

If you have a newer receiver with a 6-pin UEXP connector and a Pixhawk, you may enable flow control. A few settings are different below for that. If you use flow control, the performance will be even better.

Setting up the hardware:
If using flow control, connect a straight-through (pin1 to pin1, pin2 to pin2 etc) cable between UEXP3 on the receiver and one of the Telem ports on the Pixhawk.
Otherwise, connect TX and RX from one of the Pixhawk's telem ports to two pins on the Dragonlink receiver configured for Serial In and Serial Out. (TX->Serial In, Serial Out->RX)

In the examples belows, I'm configuring for Telem2 on the Pixhawk. If you use a different port, change the corresponding Pixhawk parameter values.

On the Dragonlink Receiver GUI
Reset to factory settings, configure PPM/S.Bus for 12 channels (as needed). Configure the PWM/PPM/SBUS/RSSI outputs as desired.
Save Settings.

Under Radio Modem:
Select 57600 baud if using flow control, 38400 baud if not.
If you plan to use "Taranis Telemetry" mode on the transmitter, enable "Mavlink Decoding". Otherwise you can leave it disabled.
Click "Set Baud", then "Save Settings".

Under Receiver Outputs:
If using flow control, configure the UEXP3 pins as: Serial In, Serial Out, CTS, RTS
Otherwise, configure the pin you connected to the TX wire from the Pixhawk as "Serial In" and configure the pin you connected to the RX wire from the Pixhawk as "Serial Out"
"Save Settings" on the RX GUI.
I normally disconnect the receiver at this point, then re-connect it and double-check that I properly saved all of my changes.

On the Dragonlink Transmitter GUI
Reset to factory defaults. Choose a new transmit ID and set that. Configure the input for S.Bus/PPM as needed. Configure power and alarms as desired.
Save Settings.

Under RF settings: 
Select 9X mode.

Under External Connections:
Set Baudrate to 57600
If you're using UEXP (Expansion Connector) for your radio modem connection, select "Radio Modem" there.
If you're using Bluetooth for your radio modem connection, select "Radio Modem" there.
If you want mavlink decoding to "Taranis Telemetry" and have the proper wire connected to the UEXP port, select "Enable Mavlink Decoding" and "Taranis Telemetry" on the expansion connector.
If you're not using bluetooth, you can set it to "Dragonlink Mavlink" mode.

Save settings, then disconnect and re-connect to verify you saved everything.

Re-bind your Dragonlink receiver to the new TX settings.
Make sure to set your fail-safe after loading factory defaults.

Set the following parameters on the pixhawk using USB connection
(I'm using Telem2 port, if you used Telem1, change the '1' values instead)

If using flow control
Code:
BRD_SER2_RTSCTS	1
SERIAL2_BAUD	57
Otherwise
Code:
BRD_SER2_RTSCTS	0
SERIAL2_BAUD	38
Both cases
Code:
SERIAL2_PROTOCOL	1
SR2_EXT_STAT	1			
SR2_EXTRA1	5			
SR2_EXTRA2	5			
SR2_EXTRA3	1			
SR2_PARAMS	10			
SR2_POSITION	3			
SR2_RAW_CTRL	1			
SR2_RAW_SENS	1			
SR2_RC_CHAN	1
In Mission Planner:
Under "Config/Tuning"->Planner set the following
Attitude to 5
Position to 3
Mode/Status and Sensor to 1
RC to 1

Once you have everything working, you can probably increase the SR2 and Mission Planner settings if you'd like. Be thoughtful doing that as you will eventually exceed the channel data rates.

Now you can test it out

Power cycle everything. Make sure your PC's bluetooth is paired to your the DL transmitter (you can only do that with the DL receiver powered off).

Launch mission planner.
In the upper-right corner, select the first bluetooth serial port which shows up. Select 57600 baud.
Power on your DLA transmitter.
Power on your plane.
After you see the blue telemetry light show up on the TX, hit "Connect" in mission planner.
It should come right up and work. If it fails right away, select the other bluetooth serial port, power cycle the DL TX and hit connect as soon as you see the blue light.

You now have a full bi-directional Mavlink connection with the range of Dragonlink telemetry!

PIXRACER CONNECTIONS: 

The following connections are specific to the PixRacer.  If you have a full sized PixHawk, see the next section below for connection information.

Splice a Dragon Link UEXP cable to the PixRacer Telemetry cable as shown in the picture to the left.   

 

 

 

PIXRACER TELEMETRY PORT CONNECTIONS

Here are the connections from the Dragon Link UEXP port to the PixRacer TELEM 2 port.

PIXRACER GPS SETUP

 

Splice your GPS to the Pixracer cable.   If you have our high performance GPS, connect the wires as shown in the picture to the left.

 

GPS PIXRACER

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

 

FULL SIZE PIXHAWK CONNECTOIN:

 

Splice a Dragon Link UEXP cable to the telemetry cable supplied with the Pixhawk as shown in the following pictures and connect it to the TELEM2 port.  Use the supplied servo cable to connect the PPM output of the Dragon Link receiver to the RC IN pins of the Pixhawk.

 

 

FULL SIZE PIXHAWK TELEMETRY CONNECTIONS

Connect the Dragon Link Receiver to the Pixhawk Telemetry as shown in the picture to the left.

FULL SIZED PIXHAWK TELEMETRY CABLE

Splice the Dragon Link UEXP cable to the Pixhawk Telemetry cable as shown in the picture to the left.

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.

MORE DRAGON LINK RECEIVER SETTINGS

Click the " Radio Modem " tab of the receiver, and set it up as you see on the left.   Choose the Input / output baud rate at 19,200 from the drop down menu, then click the SET BAUD button.

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

MORE TRANSMITTER SETTINGS

Click on the " External Connections " tab to the left, and you will see this screen.  Make the following changes:

 

Bluetooth =  Radio Modem

Baudrate = 57600

 

Click the " SAVE SETTINGS " bar on the bottom of the screen.  Repower and REBIND system for changes to take effect.

MISSION PLANNER


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.

BRD_SER2_RTSCTS 0
SERIAL2_BAUD 19
SERIAL2_PROTOCOL 1
SR2_EXT_STAT 1
SR2_EXTRA1 5
SR2_EXTRA2 5
SR2_EXTRA3 1
SR2_PARAMS 8
SR2_POSITION 3
SR2_RAW_CTRL 1
SR2_RAW_SENS 1
SR2_RC_CHAN 0

 

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.