Converting a Navio2 drone build to Pixhawk


#1

I’ve noticed that the Drone Dojo is offering kits using the Pixhawk rather than the Navio 2. I’ve had some issues with my Navio 2 build and am wondering if anyone has replaced their Navio 2 with a Pixhawk. I followed the Drone building course pretty closely regarding part selection and it was a successful build. I’m wondering what parts I would need to replace other than the Navio 2? Has the Drone building course been updated for the Pixhawk approach? I wonder if I would I need to purchase a current version of the course to do a successful conversion?


#2

Hi there @djrounds

Totally feel you on the Navio2 issues.

I actually converted on of my Navio2 drones to a Pixhawk drone. Not much needs to be changed out really.

You’ll need a new GPS because on the Navio2, the GPS chip is on the board and you are just plugging in the antennae.

You’ll also need a way to mount the Pixhawk+Raspberry Pi. You could get creative, but I actually like using the Vibration Damping plates provided by Navio2. You’ll need 8 vibration dampers. Then you mount the RPI on the vibration damping plates and mount the Pixhawk on top of the Raspberry Pi. You’ll need a platform on top of the Raspberry Pi to mount the Pixhawk. Those 3D files should be available in the Precision Landing and Drone Delivery course. You could also choose to just mount the Pixhawk to the top of the frame and mount the Raspberry Pi somewhere else on the drone, perhaps the middle? It’s really an art :joy:

The drone building course you are in has been updated to walk through the setup procedure with the Pixhawk+Raspberry Pi, so you should be good to go with that!


#3

Thanks caleberg, that’s really helpful and about what I figured. I really like your courses and can’t wait to get into the Precision Landing course with an updated drone. The Navio2 Vibration Damplng plate looks like the best I’ve seen but can’t find a source. I don’t have a 3D printer.


#4

Glad you are enjoying them @djrounds! If you want to shoot me your physical address in an email, I have a few spare mounts laying around I could send to you.


#5

Done. Through the Drone Dojo contact page. Thanks


#6

I have a pixhawk drone and was considering building a navio based one just to see the differences. Based on this thread I think I will just stick with the pixhawk.


#7

Did I send my physical address to the correct email address? I have most of my Pixhawk parts. I’m still interested in the Damping plate if that’s still possible. Thanks again.


#8

I sent them on May 3rd, but USPS is really struggling with that less than 1 lb package. Looks like the package arrived in Chicago yesterday from Oklahoma.


#9

It arrived safe and sound yesterday. I want to thank you again for doing this. Way beyond kind. I wish you’d at least let me reimburse you for the postage. Let me know how please.
Thanks again,
Dave


#10

Thanks to caleberg’s generosity i now have all the parts I need to convert my Navio2 drone to a Pixhawk drone. While reviewing the steps in the excellent drone build videos I realized that on the drone that I was having problems with had all 4 UBEC lines connected to the ECS’s. I wonder if I was premature in blaming the Navio2 for my low altitude crash? What happened was I was tethered and had just lifted off to about 4 feet when 2 props stopped. Naturally this was bad and the drone flipped and quickly crashed. Later everything seemed to still work so I was unable to explain what caused this to happen. Knowing that the Pi and Navio2 hat are not real time I assumed a resource contention issue. But maybe the ECS failed due to this wiring? The ECS was an obvious suspect but 2 at the same time seemed to rule simultaneous failures out. Any thought on this?


#11

Glad to hear it, @djrounds! It’s seriously no problem :slight_smile:

While it isn’t ideal to have all 4 UBECs plugged into the FC at the same time, I think it would be highly unlikely for this to be responsible for the crash you described. I have flown a few quads with all UBECs plugged in without issue (before I knew this wasn’t ideal). On the other hand, I’ve had tons of mysterious crashes and un-predictable behavior with my Navio2 builds (including an extremely high failure rate of properly arming and spinning all 4 rotors), so I’d be way leaning towards your prognosis being correct in blaming the Navio2