Troubleshoothing INAV: magnetometer/compass is not working

Your magnetometer/compass is not working with INAV? Is the sensor red in Configurator? You are not the only one… Not only most popular compass HMC5883l is discontinued and what you get are Chinese clones, chip labeled 5883 might not be HMC5883l but something completely different. And I2C bus is very very picky and likes to give up on you….

This is how you might fix your problems: add pullup resistors for I2C SCL and SDA lines and/or lower i2c_speed

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qUark Vision F4: flight controllers designed for INAV

Things are changing in INAV world. Different manufacturers start to realize that world does not end on racing miniquads and people might be interested in other types of flight controllers. Flight controllers that were not designed with racing in mind. And today I can finally show you prototype of such flight controller: qUark F4 Vision

qUark F4 Vision Flight Controller for INAV

qUark F4 Vision Flight Controller for INAV

What is so special about qUark F4 Vision. To be honest, not that much. Setup looks pretty standard:

  • STM32F4 CPU
  • MPU6000 IMU (gyroscope and accelerometer)
  • built-in OSD
  • built-in barometer
  • 8 PWM outputs
  • S.Bus inverter
  • Buzzer port
  • pins for WS2812b RGB LEDs

qUark F4 Vision Flight Controller for INAV

Until now, nothing fancy, right? Good stuff begins when we take a look at details:

  • PMW outputs power rail is separated from the onboard 5V line. That means you can use high voltage servos, as well as do not worry about frying onboard 5V voltage regulator
  • There is no onboard 5V voltage stabilizer. 5V has to provided from external source of your choice
  • It is not 36x36mm with 30.5mm hole spacing. It's still 30.5mm hole spacing, but one side is longer to fit all PWM outputs
  • Bottom side of PCB is flat. There are no electronic components over there. And that means FC can be attached with double-sided adhesive tape. Great for foamies
  • There are 3 fully operational UARTs (1,2 with S.Bus inverter and 4), separate I2C port (not shared with any UART like on all Revo derivatives) and possibility to use Software Serial
  • Special work in progress UIB port that is specific to INAV. It does not do much now, but it might change in the future
  • dedicated pads for HC-SR04/US-100 sonar rangefinder (I have not seen that for a while)

Something different, right? I'm putting mine on my experimental flying wing where it will feel like at home.

qUark F4 Vision Flight Controller for INAV

Like I wrote at the beginning, this is a prototype. It can not be bought yet. But if you are interested, you might email Malcolm at [email protected]

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Troubleshooting INAV: why INAV is not arming

Few weeks ago I've decided to shoot more tutorial videos about INAV and this is the first effect of that decission: INAV Troubleshooting: why INAV is not arming

Previous episodes:

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How to connect APM Airspeed Sensor (Pitot Tube) to INAV

Recently released INAV 1.7.2 introduced new hardware support: analog airspeed sensors. I’ve written new but it is new only to INAV. Analog airpseed sensors aka APM Pitot Tubes aka Ardupilot Airspeed Meter and one the market for years. And they are cheap. By cheap, I mean below $30. And until recently they were usable only in APM world.

Pitot Tube for INAV (more…)

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VL53L0X Lidar is… disappointing

I just finished first test flights with laser rangefinder VL53L0X and well, I'm disappointed. Before I will show any data, let's review test conditions:

  • VL53L0X configured for Long range mode: 2m
  • 8PM, obscured sky, no direct sunlight
  • Over concrete

And it looks like this:

vl53l0x altitude graph

vl53l0x altitude graph

Solid readout ended at more less 80cm. Above that, valid readout appeared only from time to time. So I have to assume, that everything above 1m is absolutely not reliable and useful range is max. 75cm. Probably much less over different surfaces.

And that means it will have rather limited usefulness. Landing detection probably. Or low altitude flights with terrain following. I tried that too and it worked as long as quadcopter was not higher as 20 or 30cm above ground.

Oh well… I had high hopes for VL53L0X. Next attempts will be with hybrid approach: US-100 sonar and Sharp optical (IR) GP2Y0A710K0F (up to 5 meters) data fusion.

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Bye bye Naze, we will not miss you that much

I have a news for all INAV pilots using Naze32, Flip32 and other boards compatible with NAZE target. You might call it a bad news, but reality is that it is not that bad and was long anticipated. It is official: INAV 1.7.2 was the last INAV release with NAZE target. That means the following: INAV 1.8 will not be available for Naze32, Flip32 and other boards compatible with that target.

You might was "why?". Quite simple: not enought flash memory, no way for new features to fit in. There was even not enought flash memory for bugfixes. And to be honest, I do not remember last time when NAZE users really got a new feature. Almost all new things were disabled for them. For more than a year, compiling NAZE target after adding something new was quite a challenge.

Does that mean that you can not use Nazes any more? Absolutely not. They are good boards and INAV 1.7.2 works on them just fine. You only will not be able to upgrade to INAV 1.8. And trust me, it is really worth it to invest in something better like F3 board. They are not that expensive after all…

By the way, CC3D is the next thing to be removed. Not yet, it still fits flash. Barely, but fits…

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