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Traxxas Spartan Speed boat with LibrePilot
« on: November 12, 2018, 10:49:37 am »
Hello all!

This project was to add FPV capabilities to a fantastically engineered speed boat, enhance the range of operation, get a RTB function for failsafe and open for waypoint autonomous stuff. It worked out fine I think.

Boat/Motor/ESC: Traxxas, Spartan Race Boat
Battery: 2 x 5500 mAh LiPo 3S, mounted in series (6s).
Top speed: 44+ knots, 80+ km/h, 50+ mph

FC HW: OpenPilot Revolution Nano https://librepilot.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/LPDOC/pages/26968079/OpenPilot+Revolution+Nano
FC SW: LibrePilot next 16.09 (r735)
Radio receiver module: OpenPilot OPLink Mini 433Mhz, replacing Traxxas stock 4.2Ghz receiver)
Antenna: End fed, dipole 1/2 wave length
GPS: DJI NAZA-M LIGHT (likely a clone)

. First need to replace the Traxxas proprietary battery connectors into standard XT60 (see picture)
. FC and OPLM is installed in a water resistant plastic box in the roof of the boat cover.
. GPS/MAG unit is mounted above deck far aft away from ESC and power cables
. FPV cam with 5.8GHz vtx mounted on top of the boat cover (removable)
. LED (WS2811) installed on top of the cover showing system health/warnings

Note: both FC + OPLM unit can be fitted in the waterproof case where the Traxxas radio was located.
I just wanted easier access to them and don’t intend to race or run at top speed but rather do FPV and Waypoints things.

Here is a waypoint run.

The modification/installation of LibrePilot was really easy.
Just to follow the Vehicle Setup Wizard for Boat.

When choosing boat vehicle, after saving and rebooting it will show car, but the settings are saved okay for the boat.

Just found two tunings needed:

1. the default values of the PID settings for YAW is too high and this boat will start oscillate driving over say 70% throttle.
I use stabilization AxisLock for YAW.
Defaults should be reduce by 30%. And the TPS should be activate.
Please have a look and use these settings:

2.  the default values in the GroundPathFollower, Velocity limits are too low to provide enough speed for the rudder to work in RTB mode. Use these instead.

Attached is the UAV file (3.0).
« Last Edit: November 23, 2018, 08:18:29 am by karla »