Pololu Robotics & Electronics
Menu
My account Comments or questions? About Pololu Contact Ordering information Distributors

Pololu Forum

Controlling RC Receiver/Servos with On Board PC

I am part of the newly developed AV Team at the University of Alabama. We have a senior design project to make our plane fly autonomusly through GPS waypoint locations. My task is to find a way for the onboard computer to control all of the servos. One solution I am looking at utilizes the Mini Maestro 12-channel USB servo Controller, but I am not sure what else I will need along with this. Any help would be greatly appretiated!

Thanks,
Tyler

P.S. I also have to be able to disable the controll so I can manually take off and land.

Hello.

Something like our RC servo mux would be good for the second part of your problem, but unfortunately, that part is out of stock right now and I don’t know how soon we’ll have more.

You might also look into other autonomous aircraft projects for the controllers they use. For instance, you might look into the ArduPilot, which I think might have a built-in mux, too.

Your “I am not sure what else I will need along with this” question is a bit too open-ended. Do you have questions about power? Sensors?

- Jan

The RC servo mux is exactly what I am looking for! Any chance there will be any in stock soon?

Also, I read somewhere that there was a need for a Xbee Explorer USB module and a couple Xbee Pro 60mW with Wire Antennas. I am unfamiliar with these items and what it exactly is that they do. Any help with this?

Thanks so much for you very quick and extremly helpfull reply.

Thanks,
Tyler

I’m happy you appreciate the help, but you are continuing to ask questions in a really bad way or are really unresourceful. Did you try looking it up at all? What don’t you get about it?

- Jan

Maybe we can just take care of the one question for now. I don’t want to get anyone irritated with my questioning, and actually, from what I have been reading up on the mentioned items I don’t think I really need them since we already have an on-board telemetry system. The main question I need answered is when might you be expecting the Pololu RC Servo Multiplexer 4 Channel (assembled) to be in stock again? and if it will be a while, are any other similar items that would solve our switching issue?

Thanks,
Tyler

We don’t have an expected availability, so it could be a while. I don’t know of any equivalent item, though it seems like it should exist. You could probably make one using our RC switch (you’d just have to connect an external mux, such as a 74xx157-type part) or the ArduPilot-type products.

- Jan

Another issue we have deals with powering all of components of our plane. We would like to eliminate as many sepperate power supplies as possible, but we are pretty sure we will need more than one. Is there a product that takes in a single power input that can then output different power supplies to different components? Like a power distribution board?

Thanks,
Tyler

There are some power distribution boards out there, but if you’re just distributing the same voltage, you can just splice together whatever wires you need. If you need several voltages, you need some kind of regulators or power converters, and it’s unlikely you’ll find some board that has just the right combination of those for your application.

- Jan

Thanks!

I have another issue that we could use some help with. We are using a Dx7 TX and RX to fly the plane under manual control. We will be doing test flights to record data needed for system identification. We have the capabilities to record all our GPS position, altitude, Euler Rates, and so on, but we do no know how to record the TX and RX data. We would like to know things like stick position, current output to servos, voltage output to servos, and so on, all throughout the duration of the test flight. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how we might accomplish this?

Thanks,
Tyler

I’m not sure what kind of recording you’re talking about, but there’s lots of info out there about the RC interface. I have been writing about the interface on my blog lately, too. If you want to record the commands to the servos, you’ll need to measure the command pulses. I don’t know of a stock product that does that.

- Jan