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Companion Computer

Trying to use ArduSub to control a student built ROV. We’re very new at this and are having some difficulty making things work. I know this question may seem silly, but is a companion computer (raspberry pi) required? We’re using the Fathom S tether boards with the topside board connected to the laptop via USB.

Hi Brent, in this case, you do not need a companion computer!

The role of the companion computer, or Fathom S is to

  1. transmit video from a camera to the surface
  2. transmit information between the pilot and the rov control system

The Fathom S accomplishes both of these, but in a different way than the companion computer:

Video camera support autopilot / control system link Topside outputs
Fathom S SD, analog serial TTL UART 1 SD analog video out + 1 serial (TTL OR USB)
Companion Computer HD, digital serial TTL UART 1 ethernet network

Excellent. That was my thought. Guess we’ll have to do a little more trouble shooting in that case.

What is the trouble?

No Vehicle Connection. We did get it to connect once, but that was it! We’ve tried everything we could think of. We can connect to the Pixhawk via a direct USB connection, but no connection through the Fathom S USB port.

We’re having issues getting the vehicle to connect to QGroundControl. We’re using the Fathom S tether boards with a Pixhawk on the ROV side and a Windows 10 laptop topside connected to the Fathom S via USB. We have power to everything and we’re getting video via the RCA on the topside board. QGroundControl will connect directly to Pixhawk through USB, but refuses to connect via the USB connection on the Fathom S board topside.

We’ve tried all the troubleshooting in the ArduSub documentation to no avail. Does anyone have any suggestions?? Help!!

Hi @davisnfld, how is it going now? Where is the fathom s connected on the pixhawk? You need to configure the serial ports for telemetry output.