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Spektrum Satellite

 

The Spektrum satellite connects via a serial cable to the CopterControl board.

 

How to connect a Spektrum satellite without soldering, with an adapter.

A Spektrum satellite should be powered from 3.3V according to the used RF chip specification. The Spektrum adapter provides regulated 3.3V from unregulated (up to 15V) ESC/BEC power supplied via Servo headers to the CopterControl board. Remember that USB does not provide power to the FlexiPort or MainPort; you'll need to feed CopterControl from one of the outgoing Servo channels.

The adapter allows you to directly connect your satellite receiver to the board, is solderless, and at the same time having the voltage of the CopterControl board regulated from 5V to 3.3V . All channels from the satellite are available (for instance, with the DM9 Spektrum RF module all 9 channels are accessible).

 

Utilizing the FlexiPort or MainPort (firmware after August 2011) the satellite can be connected to CopterControl.

Older firmware versions

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In order to use the Spektrum satellite on older firmware versions of CopterControl, one had to choose the dsm2sat firmware. In the newer firmware versions this is no longer necessary. The receiver type can be selected directly from the GCS through the configuration input.

How to connect a Spektrum Receiver (soldering method)

To connect a Spektrum satellite receiver (original part SPM9545 or OrangeRX clones) and get the 3.3V it needs from OpenPilot, follow this layout.

 FlexiPortSpektrum
GND1 - Black2 - Black
PWR((star) Note1)1 - Orange
TX3 - Blue-
RX4 - Orange3 - Grey

(star) Note1: The orange wire from Spektrum should be soldered to the lower pad of the ASL (closest to the edge of PCB), see picture below.

  

All wires go into the shrink tube, only the Black and Orange FlexiPort wires are connected to something, the rest are just there for protection, the other (soldered) orange wire goes to Spektrum RX.

Important:  You should secure the soldered wire, melting-glue (hot-glue) is used in this picture.

 

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Please note that this method will void the warranty of your board. Using a dedicated adapter is an approved solution.

 

How to connect a Spektrum Receiver (alternative solution)

Alternative Satellite connection

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Some OpenPilot users and developers connect Spektrum satellites (original part SPM9545 or Orange clones) directly to the board and power it from a 5V power source (up to 5.8V according to some reports). While it is possible, and we don't know any cases of satellite damage, the OpenPilot project could not recommend this since it exceeds the RF chip specifications and can result in reduced satellite lifetime and/or in-flight failure.

If you still want to try this on your own risk then connect it as follows:

 FlexiPortSpektrum
GND1-Black2-Black
VDD2-Red1-Orange
TX3-Blue-
RX4-Orange3-Grey

You should end up with something like the picture below (click to enlarge). Just move shrink-tube over the solder points and shrink it.

  

Connecting and Binding

  • You can follow the steps below to bind your satellite receiver and transmitter while the satellite is connected to the CopterControl board.
  • Alternatively, you can also bind your satellite and transmitter while the satellite is plugged into a conventional receiver or another flybarless controller, using the bind procedure described by the devices' manufacturers. After you bind the transmitter and receiver, you can plug the satellite into your CopterControl board and it will work, but you will still need to enter the correct settings listed in the table below.

  • (info) Note:  You must bind your satellite receiver by connecting it to the FlexiPort, but once it is bound you can move it to the Main Port.

 

TransmitterTransmitter settingsSatellite ReceiverPart number

CopterControl

FlexiPort setting

CopterControl

DSMxBind

value

ResultComments
DX8Frame rate DSMxSpektrum DSMX DSMX (11-bit)98 channels 
DX8Frame rate DSMxOrangeRX DSMX (11-bit)58 channels 
DX7 OrangeRX DSM257 channels 
DX6i OrangeRX DSMX (10-bit)56 channels 
DX6i JR Remote Satellite Receiver DSM2JRPRR121DSM256 channelsThe JR DSM2 is fully compatible with the Spektrum DSM2, so the settings should be identical.
DX6i Spektrum AR6210 receiver DSMX (11-bit)96 channels 
Dx7s

Frame rate

DSMx/ 11ms

Spektrum DSMx DSMX(11-bit)9

7

Channels

 
        

Working satellite settings  If you find a new combination, please add it to the table.


To set up the CopterControl board with your satellite:

  1. Connect your satellite receiver to the CopterControl board FlexiPort. (info) Note: Binding only works with the satellite connected to the FlexiPort.
  2. Connect a USB cable to the CopterControl board that has no other power connected.
  3. In the GCS (Ground Control Station) Configuration window, on the HW Settings page, set both Receiver type and MainPort to Disabled (assuming that nothing is connected to either).
  4. Set FlexiPort to a setting from the table above (for example DSM2).
  5. Leave Telemetry speed and GCS speed at their default settings (57600).
  6. Click Save.
  7. Disconnect the USB cable and wait 30 seconds for a complete hardware reset.
  8. Reconnect the USB cable.
  9. In the UAVObject Browser (on the right side of the GCS Configuration window), go to Settings >> HWSettings >> DSMxBind.

  10. Set DSMxBind to the DSMxBind value from the same row as the FlexiPort setting you chose in step 3 (for example, 5).
  11. Click Save at the top of the UAV Object Browser.
  12. Disconnect the USB cable.

 

To bind the satellite and the transmitter:

  1. With the USB cable disconnected, apply power to the CopterControl board. The LED on the satellite flashes rapidly, indicating that it is in bind mode.
  2. Power on your transmitter in its bind mode. (See the transmitter manual for the details of how to activate binding.)
  3. When binding is complete, the satellite LED blinks slowly, then lights continuously.
  4. Connect the USB cable.
  5. In the UAV Object Browser, set DSMxBind to 0. (This turns off binding mode.)
  6. Click Save at the top of the UAV Object Browser.
  7. Disconnect the USB cable and the power to the CopterControl board.
  8. Turn off the transmitter.
  9. Reconnect power to the CopterControl board.
  10. Turn on the transmitter. The satellite LED turns on continuously.
  11. Connect the USB cable.
  12. In the Input window, click the large Start Configuration Wizard button to continue setup.

Here is a video by BrokenRotor that demonstrates how to set up a satellite receiver with the CopterControl:

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Availability

The Spektrum adapters are available through the main OpenPilot store.

Sambas, an active OpenPilot developer is offering the adapter boards for Europe. Link to forum post.

A forum member also made some adapters for those who don't want to solder, and prefer connectors : Link to post