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Nov 19 2010

XBee Pro 900 & Brushless Controller 2.0 Incompatible?

XBee, why you no connect!This week I attempted to determine the reason behind the XBee connectivity problems. With Chris’ help we tested a few things we believed that could be the cause of the problem. First we tested if the field laptop was the issue behind the connectivity problems. Using another laptop we spaced the Hexakopter and the laptop about 70m apart and sent waypoints as well as running a motor test. We were surprised when the field laptop preformed at par with the other laptop and neither lost signal through the test. After ruling out the laptop, we decided to change the XBee’s and found that the Xbee’s performed consistently regardless of which pair was used. With both tests showing complete functionality between the XBee’s we decided to fly the Hexakopter outside.

During the first test flight we had no issues with the XBee’s losing signal with the laptop. However, after the flight was completed we started getting connection issues with the XBee’s. In a last ditch effort to find the issue we tried using another Hexakopter that ran on the Brushless Controller 1.0. After running both Hexakopters for about 5 minutes, we started noticing that the Hexakopter with the BL 2.0 was getting connection errors while the other Hexakopter (runnig on BL 1.0) had no connection issues. We also tested both Hexakopters on different laptops and XBee pairs and obtain similar results.

We concluded that the new brushless controller was the main cause behind the XBee’s failure to connect after a flight.

 

Edit: Today I found out that the Hexakopter using the BL 1.0 had similar connection issues outside – totally making our previous work null and void.