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ESC initialization and PiCam

(Kevin Warner) #1

I’m helping a student with an ROV setup. Our plan is to use ArduSub with Raspberry Pi and Pixhawk.

We put together the electronics and have communication with Qgroundcontrol.

The setup is 4 thrusters in side-by-side configuration.

I’ve installed the stable Simplerov firmware. Have communication working both via USB and through RPi.

When we plug in the ESC/Motors, they beep repeatedly. There have been a few times when channels 1 and 2 initialize, but act incorrectly and go to a high speed when disarmed.

I’ve worked with quads and a variety of flight controllers, usually the ESC just initializes at startup. Is there a different process for this firmware?

I’ve read a bunch on the PiCam. I’m able to see video on the pi, but the stream isn’t picked up by QGC.

Any help is appreciated.

(TCIII) #2

I would suggest disconnecting the ESCs from the Pixhawk and use the MavLink Inspector in the Gadgets Tab of QGC (double click the Vehicle 1 when the MavLink Inspector Window opens) to view the Pixhawk servo output channels when the ROV is armed and disarmed.
When the ROV is disarmed and in the Manual Mode ( normal startup mode) all the servo output channels that control the thrusters should be a 1500us. In the Manual Mode when the ROV is armed, the servo output channels should still be around 1500us until you move the joysticks on the gamepad. If the outputs are randomly going to some value other than 1500us without joystick input, then you might not be in the Manual Mode or you might have some other problem.
I am assuming that you have calibrated your gamepad and that you are communicating with the Pixhawk from the RPi over its USB connection?

(Jacob) #3

Are you using BlueESCs purchased from BlueRobotics? These ESCs have a special forward/reverse firmware that you won’t find on ESCs purchased elsewhere. You can flash and ESC with this firmware, though. The BlueESC (and ArduSub) expects neutral to be 1500 us, and the ESC won’t arm until it receives a stable 1500 us pulse.


(Kevin Warner) #4

That helps explain the behavior. I found the blue esc branch. I see if I have compatible ESCs.

(Kevin Warner) #5

If I want to flash an ESC wit the BlueESC firmware, is there a preferred make/model. The store is out and we’ve got a deadline.

Will TGY firmware with reversing and 1100/1500/1900 work? Or is the I2C necessary?


(Jacob) #6

I2C is not neccessary. The BlueESC firmware can be flashed to Afro 30A ESCs. The Basic ESCs come pre-flashed with the forward/reverse firmware. The forward/reverse firmware can be found here.


(Rusty) #7

@KBill - If you haven’t bought different ESCs yet, our store is back in stock.