Arduino Due add on to 9X

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Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by MikeB » Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:44 pm

I've started this thread to keep you all posted with the development of using an Arduino Due as an add on to a 9X to provide significantly improved performance.

Currently I can now build a program for the DUE without using the Arduino IDE, and then flash it. This program starts a timer, flashes a LED at 1 second intervals and also sends a byte of data over a serial interface. I also have a 9X, with a '2561 processor in it, that is running code that receives this byte of data and displays it on the LCD.

So basically I have everything in place to proceed with this development and will post progress reports as I go.

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by MikeB » Tue Nov 04, 2014 5:30 pm

Progressed a bit today. I have the serial running at 200000 baud, and I'm sending the whole display data from the DUE to the '2561 and that is putting it on the display. The '2561 is also sending back the current switch, trim and button positions. I even have the results being displayed on the LCD, so, press a button on the 9X, the '2561 sends the button information, the DUE receives this, updates its local display buffer, then sends this back to the '2561 that then puts it on the LCD.

Mike.

Edit: '2561 also sending sticks, pots and battery, DUE receiving and displaying them as well.
Edit2: DUE now includes the multi-tasking OS.
Edit3: The DUE can now read the EEPROM from the '2561. In due course I intend to add a real EEPROM to the DUE, but this gets us started without needing extra hardware yet.
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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by MikeB » Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:02 pm

Multi-tasking OS running, including the debug task that is using the serial port through the 16U2 as its I/O.
I've also started building a sort of 'shield' using stripboard to hold the extra circuitry needed.
I will design a real PCB for the shield eventually.

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by ShowMaster » Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:09 am

I'm following your progress Mike.
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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by jhsa » Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:56 am

Mike, shouldn't the sticks and pots be handled by the arduino? Wouldn't it give better resolution?

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by MikeB » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:51 am

I'm trying to keep it relatively simple to add to the 9X. Since all the sticks/pots/switches/buttons/trims already connect to the M64, it is easiest to let the M64 handle them. Also, the sticks and pots are powered from +5V, while the DUE runs from 3.3V, so the sticks/pots would also need to have the power changed, otherwise the DUE would be destroyed.

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by jhsa » Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:03 am

Yes, of course the analog inputs would work at 3.3v but with better resolution?
Not using it would be like having a race car but limiting it's engine to 2000 RPM :)

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by KAL » Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:15 am

With regard to the 9X's hardware (gimbals) what's the benefit of a better digital resolution?
I think the more important thing is latency (faster processing of mixers etc) which may provide us the DUE.
Or storing models on the SD-card of the megasound board ...

(btw: the picture that comes up in my mind is rather a race car with wooden wheels
eisenbereift2.jpg
eisenbereift2.jpg (11.5 KiB) Viewed 5509 times
and therefore reduced revs :mrgreen: :lol: :mrgreen: ) 9x please excuse me for that joke

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by jhsa » Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:51 am

Ha ha.. good one.. you got me laughing now :D

There are better gimbals for the 9x. Taranis gimbals for example..
Talking about latency, if the gimbals are connected to the m64/128 and the mixes are handled by the arduino, doesn't that mean increased latency anyway? The only reason I don't ask about forgetting the atmega completely is the LCD. If the DUE could handle that eaaily we could just forget about the other board. The buttons are not a problem because we could just cut the bit of board where they are and still screw it with 4 screws. Or design a completely new board to handle the buttons and other connections. Maybe also the eeprom and audio on it.. And why not a RTC as well? Oh. And some analog and digital pins expanders as well :)
Hmmm, yeah, we could still use the case, backboard, LCD and switches from the original radio :) ;)

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by KAL » Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:53 am

In terms of latency I don't think that transmitting a few bytes to the DUE makes a big deal.

Wasn't the original idea to extend the existing hardware by a "simple" add-on and not to
build another "groovin' skyboard" 8-) .
.
.
.
But hey, it's Mike who determines the heading ...
So let's hear his opinion before we drift into outer space ... ;)

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by MikeB » Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:46 pm

There are some people who are quite happy to do lots of mods and wiring, but there are many more who want something much easier. Clearly the Smartieparts board and TelemetrEZ have sold well for these others. My feeling is the latter approach will be more useful.
If possible, I'm looking at the TelemetrEZ idea, where the 12 way connector goes to the DUE shield, and another cable goes on from there to the 9X main board. This should enable the shield to have a "soft power switch" on it, and also allows the DUE to drive the PPM/PXX output.

The shield is likely to have:
EEPROM
Soft power switch
RTC xtal and battery
RS232 serial buffer/SPort I/F
SD card I/F
Audio amp/volume control

That's the general idea at present, and I want to get more working before I commit to anything definite. As a thought, if space allows, maybe the shield could have an extra connector to allow the sticks to be routed to the DUE, but there may still be the 5V/3.3V problem of the analog voltages to be considered.

While I'm happy to design all this, I don't wish to get into making production shields.

Regarding the RTC, in theory, the processor on the DUE could do this, but it seems the 32kHz crystal is not fitted, and the battery backup connection has been wired directly to the 3.3V supply, instead of having it's own connection. I've concluded, to avoid needing any mods to be done to the DUE, that this is not useable.

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by jhsa » Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:43 pm

MikeB wrote: If possible, I'm looking at the TelemetrEZ idea, where the 12 way connector goes to the DUE shield, and another cable goes on from there to the 9X main board. This should enable the shield to have a "soft power switch" on it, and also allows the DUE to drive the PPM/PXX output.
Good idea ;)
The shield is likely to have:
EEPROM
Soft power switch
RTC xtal and battery
RS232 serial buffer/SPort I/F
SD card I/F
Audio amp/volume control
Would any extra IO or analog line be soldered directly to the DUE?
As a thought, if space allows, maybe the shield could have an extra connector to allow the sticks to be routed to the DUE, but there may still be the 5V/3.3V problem of the analog voltages to be considered.
I don't understand what the problem is. The connectors that go to the sticks's pots also take the supply for them right? Couldn't the 3.3V be supplied by the DUE? Aren't the 5K pots good for 3.3V? I think that is not a problem, right? we would just have to disconnect the connector from the 9x mainboard and connect it to the shield. I don't remember if there are only the pots on the connectors or something else as well.. would have to check that..

While I'm happy to design all this, I don't wish to get into making production shields.
Don't worry, someone will :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Regarding the RTC, in theory, the processor on the DUE could do this, but it seems the 32kHz crystal is not fitted, and the battery backup connection has been wired directly to the 3.3V supply, instead of having it's own connection. I've concluded, to avoid needing any mods to be done to the DUE, that this is not useable.
So, that means an external RTC,. correct?

Thanks..

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by MikeB » Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:53 pm

The connectors that carry the sticks also have 4 trim switches on them. I'm not certain what happens to them all.
So there are 2 9-way connectors. Physically, I don't think we have space to fit them, but I'll have a look at some point.

I just looked at the possibility of putting a battery on the 3.3V supply for the RTC, but there is a LED on there so the current drain would be several mA rather than just a few uA. We have an external RTC on the 9XR-PRO, so my plan is to use the same type so the code is much the same.

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by jhsa » Sun Nov 09, 2014 4:45 pm

Maybe you could port the trims as well to the DUE shield.. that would solve the problem with the grounds on the 9x board. You would also gain a serial port on the atmega (i2c??) that could become handy in the future?
The other pins from the old trims could be used as extra IO pins and are available on the 9x board connectors, so, really easy to get to..

Could the shield have the same size as the mainboard and screw in the same holes with a little separator? there would be plenty of space there. the question is if it would fit plus the DUE itself..

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by MikeB » Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:23 am

At present, I really do want to avoid "feature creep" and concentrate on getting the basics working.

To that end, I think I have learnt how to use the different DMA needed to drive the SPI interface to the EEPROM. It looks like I can read and write a 4mb (512K byte) external EEPROM that I have wired on the my stripboard 'shield'.
Next, I think I'll try to add a "soft power switch".

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by MikeB » Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:26 pm

As I proceed with this, I'm finding some rather unfortunate design choices that have been made on the Arduino Due. I'm just looking at the SD card interface. The 'proper' high speed interface, as we use on the SKY and 'PRO boards, has one of its data lines hard wired to a LED and not connected to any available connector.
I'm already using the 'proper' SPI interface for the EEPROM. I could use one of the USARTS, in SPI mode, for the SD card, but this means giving up a USART. Code to drive SPI for the SD card is used on the Taranis so that isn't too much of a problem.
I also found that at least one of the USARTS doesn't have its clock and RTS signals connected to anything, so that can't be used for SPI!
Since the UART is hardwired to the 16U2 programming processor, in a way that stops it being used for anything else, that UART isn't avaliable for anything other than debugging!
I could try to use the 'proper' SPI for both the SD card and the EEPROM, but the software then has to handle the multiple usage.
I should get something sorted, but I'm having to make some decisions caused by the DUE's design.

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by ShowMaster » Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:18 pm

Any chance Brent's Skyboard for the 9x can be mass produced by others?

HK went in another direction with the pro. Still a sky board but dedicated to the 9xr case design. At $25 or less, the drop in Skyboard would be a nice option. You and Brent worked very hard on the Skyboard, unfortunately it was too costly to survive as soon as Frsky announced the Taranis. It's still a great design. Maybe Lemon or Corona would be interested in a new product?

Of course course your current project will be in demand when perfected. We DIYers will certainly try it out.
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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by MikeB » Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:07 pm

I haven't had any time to progress this much. I'm also not sure how easy it is going to be to use. For our purposes, the DUE is almost just a processor with its pins brought out to headers. We really need quite a bit more circuitry added to it.

So I'm now wondering if instead of a shield to add all the extras needed, we just have a board with the extras AND a processor. Then I thought, perhaps this board could replace the back board in the 9X. It might be a bit awkward as the back board includes the jack socket mounted at rightangles on a small daughter PCB, but this could be quite a neat solution to upgrading the 9X.

Now, where can I find some more time? :P

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by jhsa » Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:47 pm

Who's going to produce such a board?
I can see one problem.. the amount of wires between the 2 halves? or does the 9x main board handles all the sticks, pots, etc, and the other, audio, telemetry, etc? That would be a waste as the new processor would give better resolution to the sticks, correct?
If someone could design and produce a case cheap, we could design our own open source radio.. That would be a killer.. It would still be powered by frsky, or orange, or whatever we would like to use..
We could maybe use an LCD that is easy to find, and connect.. maybe serial? I2C (does this exist)? Of course building the board, specially soldering the processor in place wouldn't be easy.
Imagine a radio completely designed with ideas from the users of the forum.. Of course, people don't like all the same, but we could find a way.. It's proved that is possible to configure in software what kind of hardware one wants to use.. we are now replacing 2 position switches with 3 and sometimes 6 position switches.. With a better processor ( and in this case we could go for one of the fast ones) we could also have more analog inputs, sliders, pots, whatever. We could use the Taranis gimbals, pots, sliders, switches, etc. We could even try to find a case that is already available (with JR type module bay), and find the right LCD for it. If you're going to design a board with a processor in it, why not going for the full thing? The work would be the same, right? and fun?
Or am I dreaming here?? ;) :)

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by MikeB » Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:00 pm

Let's keep this simple. The idea is a straightforward upgrade for the 9X, rather on the lines of the TelemetrEZ board from SmartieParts.
I have already proven the concept of using the sticks/switches/LCD of the existing main board over the serial, the resolution is more than adequate.
If anything comes of this, it is intended to try to keep the cost down, after all, you can buy either the 9XR-PRO or the Taranis for not so much!

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by jhsa » Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:22 pm

Mike you are absolutely right, I was just dreaming loud, but I do like the idea of building OUR OWN radio :D

I know the cost would be probably higher than buying a 9XR-Pro or a Taranis and this wouldn't be a project for everyone, unless someone produced the boards.. Heck we could even find a better graphic LCD that fitted the 9x, and just build another mainboard for it.. Maybe Brent want to jump in..We could have something we could call our own, apart from all the chinese parts of course :mrgreen:
Ok, maybe an idea for the future , who knows.. we could build a super radio with everybody's feedback here ;) :) It would be a fun project. ;)

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by bob195558 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:58 am

Maybe a new SmartieParts board that combines the Programmer Board, TelemetrEZ board
and a sound voice board all together.
With cost of all three boards added together, maybe Steve could consider looking into it ?

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by willhac » Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:40 am

Building your own radio system is possible but it's a lot of time and investment ; for example the site of someone well known here who has built his own radios for more than 50 years ! Everything is DIY from programming to the radio case.
http://home.nordnet.fr/fthobois/Le%20STF05-13.htm

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by jhsa » Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:48 pm

Nice project, that's the spirit of DIY. That's what I'm talking about ;) Or is this DIY feeling lost? :o
Well, I guess it is easier to buy something ready. Not many people have fun building stuff anymore..
The only big problem I can see would be find a case, and an LCD that fit in it. The electronics could be build around it. :)

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by SkyNorth » Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:44 pm

This style of cabinet has some possibilities...
http://www.okwenclosures.com/en/Plastic ... 764e20b40e

-Brent

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by Kilrah » Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:14 pm

Saw that today, pretty strange:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost ... count=4845

I'd rather want the opposite rounding myself, wonder what kind of wrists he has :?

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by jhsa » Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:28 pm

SkyNorth wrote:This style of cabinet has some possibilities...
http://www.okwenclosures.com/en/Plastic ... 764e20b40e

-Brent
That looks very good. Probably the module would have to be internal?

@Kilrah, I think that guy is doing a great job.. I like the screen at the top of the radio..

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by SkyNorth » Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:02 pm

The small case looks like it could work.
http://www.okwenclosures.com/en/Carryte ... 163e72470b

The 3D PDF file , allows you to look inside and turn on and off surfaces ..
http://www.okwenclosures.com/en/edrawings/00013063.PDF

The Antenna could go in the handle - using a internal module.

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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by jhsa » Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:48 pm

yes I think it could work.. I couldn't see the inside on the PDF but 80mm would allow 2 boards, front and back?.

Big question is, availability and price? I guess they won't sell only one?? And if so, it won't be cheap?? ;)
Another thing I find weird is why a 5 cell AA battery compartment and not 6 cells? :o That would give a more standard voltage range based on the new(er) lithium technology..
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Re: Arduino Due add on to 9X

Post by SkyNorth » Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:28 pm

right click the mouse on the surface that turns RED , and you can HIDE it.
Do this on the back and you can see inside.

They are about $55USD
Some times they will send a free sample ....

The best way to do this would be to make a PCB that fits the front panel . all the switches , Sticks / display would mount to it, eliminating the need for
wire harnesses.
The big question is How many people want to build their own Radio? ..you are looking at about $200 - 300 to do things properly....
It would be the Heathkit of RC Radios...

The 5 cells could be 2200mha NIMH AA cells (1.2V x 5) = 6V , I think this is what they were thinking of...


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