Tag Archives: ftdi

AfroMini 32 connecting with Baseflight

As the developer explained it on his website, this is a micro version of his Naze32 flight controller. I also have the Acro version of the Naze32 and was happy with its size, weight and features, but wanted to give a try of this even smaller board. Ordered one from the developers web shop: abusemark.com and today I received the board. All the important details about the FC are listed on the developers website. Very nice is the integrated BMP180 barometer, as there is no barometer on the Naze32 Acro version.

The board comes without soldered pins and without any pins at all, just the board as seen on the first picture. Size: well it is really small, about half the size of my OpenPilot CC3D.

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Here is a pic with the pins already soldered.

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As you can see the board is so small so there is no MicroUSB for setup and configuration as on the normal Naze32. To connect and configure with PC and the Baseflight software you need a FTDI adapter. I  still don’t have such one, so I took my new Arduino Nano v3 (version with integrated FTDI chip on it) and connected the AfroMini with it. To use only the FTDI chip of the Arduino Nano just place a jumper on the RST and GND pin, so these are connected (alternatively you can hold the reset button until you finish with the setup).

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Then connect the side-pins from the AfroMini to the Arduino Nano in this way: GND – GND, 5v – 5V, TX – TX and RX to RX (yes, not reversed TX-RX! ). That’s it! Now you can install the newest firmware and setup the board just like the normal Naze32 board.

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FrSky CPPM firmware update with Arduino

I have an FrSky D8R-II Plus receiver on my “SG Adventure” quad. I read on the DIY Drones site, that it is possible to update this receiver with the firmware for the FrSky D8R-XP, so I could use with CPPM signal. With CPPM you only use one wire for all the channels and not separate wires for every channel.

You can easily buy this FrSky Update Cable or you can save a bit money and time by updating/flashing the receiver with Arduino, which has an FTDI chip on board. I have an Arduino Uno, but my revision of the board doesn’t have an FTDI chip. So I decided to simply use my actual flight controller – the Multiwii Megapirate AIO board. You can use any Arduino based board with FTDI chip.

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First you need to download the 27ms CPPM firmware from the FrSky website. This firmware is actually for the D8R-XP receiver as mentioned, but it works with the D8R-II Plus too. Please keep in mind, that is officially not supported for the D8R-II Plus and I am not responsible for any damages on your hardware by doing this too. If you agree keep reading 🙂

Download the official FTDI Prog.  – EEPROM Programming Utility and install it on your computer.

There is a jumper on the side of your receiver. Take it out and place the jumper on the signal pins for channel 7 and 8, so these are bridged. This will then take the receiver into update mode.

Then connect the TX, RX and GND pins from your Arduino board to the TX, RX and GND pins on the side of your D8R-II Plus receiver. Important: Do not reverse the TX and RX as usual by Arduino. Connect TX to TX and RX to RX. To power your receiver: you can use a 5V battery or connect it as usual to the flight controller.

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To use the Arduino board for this we only need the FTDI chip, so we will suppress the Atmega chip by a constant press on the reset button. After the reset button is pressed, connect your board to the USB port of your computer. It could possibly install some drivers, so give it some time. Keep pressing the reset button 🙂

Open the FTDI Prog. Scan for FTDI Devices. Then invert the TX and RX as shown on the screenshots below and click on the flash icon. In the new opened window click “Program”. (Tipp: Remember to undone this procedure after flashing your receiver.)

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Keep pressing the reset button 🙂 Now go to the folder, where you downloaded the firmware file from the FrSky website, extract it and start the .exe file.

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Chose the right COM port in the dropdown menu, chose the firmware file from the same folder by clicking on “File”. If everything is fine, you should see the UID number in the bottom of window. If so, just click “Download” to upload the firmware. (For more info about these last steps, there is a pdf-manual in the folder, where the .exe file is. At the end you should have a working CPPM FrSky D8R-II Plus receiver. Now you can release the reset button of your Arduino or Multiwii Megapirate AIO board. I hope I have helped you, save some time and money with this method.

p.s. To use your receiver in CPPM mode after flashing, place the jumper on signal pins CH3 and CH4, so these are bridged. The CPPM signal will be on CH1 pin.

Update 12.08.2014: I updated the same way my new FrSky D4R-II receiver. It is smaller than the D8R-II Plus, weights only 5 gram and with the CPPM 27ms firmware has 8 Channels and the exact same functionality as the D8R-II Plus. Check how my SG Adventure carbon frame look now with the Pixhawk and the D4R-II receiver here.