For the past few months, I have been working on a Crash Test Hobby Grim Reaper XL with RTFHawk (Pixhawk) flight controller and FRSky Taranis transmitter. My goal is to use it for medium range FPV and aerial mapping. I’ve finally gotten everything programmed and working and along the way I’ve learned a lot. To share my newly acquired knowledge, I’ve written several articles which are posted here on Flite Test.
- Variable Rates and Expos – A How To article demonstrating how to assign and program S1 and S2 to control your rates and expos.
- Advanced Programmable Pixhawk Flight Modes – A How To article demonstrating a more intuitive way to use two 3 position switches to control 6 flight modes giving priority to RTL and Loiter.
- Lethargic FBW-A & Autotune – RESOLVED – An article which chronicles the process and solution to resolve inadequate roll and pitch authority in APM Plane automatic flight modes like FBW and Autotune.
Now that I am almost done, I want to share my entire Taranis .EEPE file with transmitter settings needed to get an APM Pixhawk communicating properly with a deltawing aircraft. I am also including the .PARAM file with the settings I use in Mission Planner running APM Plane 3.2.0. While it should be safe to use my entire Taranis .EEPE file on your radio, I do not recommend copying my entire Mission Planner .PARAM file to your Pixhawk. Use it as a reference when programming your Pixhawk.
Things You Will Need to Do
- Copy the Reaper XL model from my .EEPE into a model on yours.
- Put the .WAV files in your Taranis sounds/en folder.
- I am using the X8R receiver. If you are using another, you will need to make adjustments.
- You will need to bind your receiver.
- Print the .PARAM file for reference.
- Deltawing Mixing – Complete deltawing mixing using APM’s older style elevon mixing. I chose this method because it gives more control and depends less on the Pixhawk.
- Ultimate Throttle Safe – Arming the throttle is a two step process. First, the throttle must be full down, then remove the SA switch from the up position. When SA↑, the APM will receive no throttle input and the propeller will not be able to spin up unexpectedly, flight modes are disabled, and Safe will appear on the Taranis LCD.
- Flight Modes– Six flight modes with priority given to RTL with the down position of SC. Priority is also given to Loiter mode with the down position of SD, so long as SC is also not down. Two manual flight modes are selected with SC in the up position and two automatic flight modes with SC in the middle position. No flight mode can be selected if the throttle is in Safe mode. Flight mode will also be displayed on the Taranis LCD screen. Flight Modes are controlled with global variable #1.
- Variable Rates and Expos – Expos and rates are assigned to S1 and S2 and can be set from 20% to 50% and 60% to 100% respectively. Rates and expos are announced when changed. Expos are controlled with Global Variable 3. Rates are a multiplex mix of S2 which are disabled in automatic flight modes.
- Automatic Flight Mode Sense – When an automatic flight mode is selected full rates will be sent to the Pixhawk regardless the position of the S2 dial. FBW and Autotune will not work properly unless the Pixhawk receives full roll and pitch inputs. Automatic Flight Modes are controlled with Global Variable 2.
- Full Voice Announcements – Every switch and dial change is announced over the Taranis speaker.
- Flight Modes on LCD – Flight modes are displayed on the Taranis LCD screen.
- Background Music– SB controls background music. SB- play’s AWOLNATION’S Sail. SB↓ plays Slaughter’s Fly to the Angels. SB↑ is silent.
- Inverted Mode – Switch SF puts the aircraft in inverted flight mode.
- GEO Fence – Switch SG turns the GEO Fence on and off. It is off by default with SG↑.
- Flight Mode Reset – Switch SH resets the flight mode to recover after a failsafe has been triggered.
I do not consider myself an expert. I’ve taken things I’ve learned from the net and from people on the Taranis Help Forum on RCGroups and with a lot of trial and error found something that works. If you have any suggestions, please post them below. My goal is to make this as easy and efficient as it can be.
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