So I 've had my PXFmini for ~2 weeks and I'm ready to return it sadly. Feel free to skip my initial background and gripe to go directly to the config Problem.
I'm not new to quads and I've been building custom ones for many years, most recently with the openPilot Revo and Sparky ~35$ flight controllers.. One died and I saw a post about the PXFmini being a cheap flight controller using the PiZero since I already had the FPV 250 quad and a PiZero laying around. After reading the copious amounts of docs on Erle and Arducopter I thought I had enough to build my own and bit the bullet on cost, cables and EU shipping.
I'm also not new to ROS and teach some robotics at our makerspace. I figured why not just get this thing flying with a basic configuration and my RC then I could maybe upgrade it with ROS, my LeapMotion and combine indoor navigation with SLAM to have fun. I failed at the basic config.
I even had one of my weekly Project Nights(PN) with 3 experienced custom quad copter guys. We have 7 drones to us. Well 5hrs in, 3 computers and none of us figured out anything past what I brought to the table. We banged our heads, searched forums. To the problem now.
I can't for the life of me connect with APM using UDP and do the initial RC config, firmware updates and basic initializations on my PXFmini. So after figuring out the wifi hotspot settings on my PXFmini, what edimax usb wifi card to use, and that the Ip address was actually 10.0.0.1 I had no ability to connect the APM 2 to my device and I think QGCS has a bug now. All three of the Project Night (PN) folks there installed APM2 and qGroundControlSoftware and none of us could connect the software to do the initial configs and setup .
Here are the netstat ports when logged into the Pxfmini PiZero: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8r9ebey29gd2q0g/Screenshot%202016-07-17%2019.46.42.png?dl=0
In any case, using the APM software downloaded from arducopter and linked to from numerous posts in forums and off of erle there is nothing I can do to actually connect the software to the FC and run the initial setup. My OS is El Capitan, but on PN we used ubuntu and windows and another raspberry pi raspbian. Anyway we tried adding a UDP link and i've tried adding a UDP_client also for the 10.0.0.1 IP with the 6000 port. I "think" this port is correct because I was able to connect using QGCS before this weird ip/button loop (see below) and I could move the flight controller and see the numbers change (yaw etc.. ). Anyway we tried all the netstat UDP ports, rebooted the piZero, tried a different edimax card, different PCs and QGCS among other softwares. All I want to do is go through the custom initial setup, setup the remote and I guess do all the calibrations x,y,z.
While there is tons of erle documentation and info on the arducopter site, the sections about connecting to the wifi, the IP address, logging into the device, setting up APM with UDP ip and port, troubleshooting, and uploading the firmware. The blog post just basically says magic happens.
We CAN (revise could) connect with Qgroundcontrol software using these settings: https://www.dropbox.com/s/rkm7mfyzhm1iuqj/Screenshot%202016-07-17%2019.28.24.png?dl=0
Sadly, I just tried again and I get the same infinity disconnect but can't disconnect loop. Now when opening qGCS you see my custom udp button and the default udp one: https://www.dropbox.com/s/meaoazkrkbqm4j5/Screenshot%202016-07-17%2019.30.45.png?dl=0 . Default is auto-connected for some reason even though it isn't actually connected. Clicking disconnect so I can use my custom connection just adds another udp default button: https://www.dropbox.com/s/f6roi7ugczcbm4o/Screenshot%202016-07-17%2019.30.12.png?dl=0 and reconnects. There is no way to disconnect. Anyway, to get rid of all those extra default udp buttons we quit and re-open qGCS again. I was able to use the custom qGCS button for the first 2 days I think prior to an auto update but couldn't configure or do an initial setup.
To the 3 of us seasoned Makers, drone fliers and custom builders working on three different computers all trying to get a basic UDP connection established with the PXFmini so that we could upload the firmware, setup the RC and even get the motors turning. I've spent 20+ hrs on this not including the PN happy hour hacking event when we all ganged up on it and left frustrated.
I'm hoping that the community and Erle can provide me with some concrete debug help and maybe a phone/skype debug help. If not then I'd like to return this product and buy two op Revos for the same cost :(.