Jiyi UAV P2 Flight Controller

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Introduction

The Jiyi UAV’s P2 Flight Controller (FC) was recently announced and we were selected to receive a production unit. Here’s the run down.

The Jiyi’s P2 is some who has investigated, a simplified PixHawk 4 version 1.

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Size Compare

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Features
Documentation
The Computer stuffs
– Quick Guide
– Detailed Instructions
The Build
The Flight
Advanced Features
Our Thoughts

Documentation

18 Dec 2014 – Documentation only in Mandarin. This is awkward, for non Chinese, this will be a bad thing. The manual is not available in English but we’ll try to put in as much translation as possible to get it flying. You just need to have experience with the DJI Naza. It’s as easy.

25 Dec 2014 – Instruction videos.

6 May 2015 – Documentation is available in English and V1.05 of software is available.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSnVZsJbxfo

The Computer Stuffs

(Broken) Software Installation

As of writing, below is the downloads available.

– Manual is in Chinese.
– Firmware download is kinda useless for now. It’s already loaded in the P2 when received
– P2 Tuning Software 1.0 This is what you need
– P2 Tuning Software 1.03 This is the same software but in Chinese
– P2 Driver You’ll need this too.

Do the computer stuffs first before installing the P2 onto your craft as the calibration will require you to do the accelerometer calibration that requires you to place the FC on it’s side, with top up, with rear up etc. With the ESC cables and LED/ GPS cables connected, it will be hard. (yes, we found out the hard way).

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It can be quite a hassle in getting the P2 Flight Controller to be recognized by the computer. It defaults to STMxxx by default on a Windows 7 machine. So here’s the Quick Guide first then the detailed instruction install with pictures.

Quick Guide

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– Install the P2 Driver
– Install P2 Tuning Software 1.0
– Go to Hardare and Devices > Ports > STMxx device
– Right click and select reinstall drivers, select Advanced, Select I have Disk

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– Choose Jiyi Robotics on left then P2 Flight Controller on right
– Start up P2 Tuning Software 1.0

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– Click Connect and follow the calibration video below.

Detailed Installation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADmwcEvrlWI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKswR03Wzxw

Below from here.

1. Connect the p2 to usb
2. Install PX4 Driver or here.
3. Your p2 will detected as STMxxx on device manager -> Ports (COM & LPT)
4. Then update STMxxx driver manually :

– right click and choose update driver software
-> browse my computer for driver software
-> let me pick from a list ….
-> Have disk …
-> Browse into C:\Program Files (x86)\JIYI P2 Assistant\drivers

5. Your P2 will detected as Jiyi P2 Flight Controller

6. Software

This is we guess an improvement of the software already. As of writing, May 2015, it is version 1.05.

It could not be obvious at least to us but remember:

Always click Read then make your choices. Save when done.

Frame selected Quad.

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Radio Setup

p2-1

Our Turnigy 9XR

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7. Compass calibration

This is one of the most frustrating thing. We’ve seen people unable to even get into this mode to calibrate the compass.

1. On Transmitter
2. Turn On Quad
3. Switch to Return to Home (AIL 2 position switch top right on our Turnigy 9XR)
4. Left stick to bottom left, right stick to top left
– RED LED light up stable.

When we were working on our HKPilot micro APM we saw this video that made life a little easier.

Remember, if you do not calibrate (with any errors like you see below), you will never ever get to arm the P2.

errorrrr

Then you do the dance.

top clockwise x 2
upside down clockwise x 2
front pointing up ccw x 2
left side up ccw x 2
back pointing up ccw x 2
right side up ccw x 2
hole it level and wait for red led

We did not have to go through the whole sequence. While going Back Pointing up CCW x 2, the LED started blinking. Heck, we tried arming. And it armed.

armmmmm

Others

No news on OSD for now. Maybe it’s a added hardware later. When? we’ll not know.

Our Thoughts

Most China based websites trying to make flying/ RC stuffs do not have a nice website to gather information from. It can also be frustrating for English speaking visitors trying to make sense of the website, more information and even the documentation but not for Jiyi!

The website is beautifully presented with easy to use navigation. That being said, Manual only comes in Chinese (as of 6 May 2015 when we updated this article, the manual now comes in English here) as of writing and it’s seriously bad when they have to get rcgroups member to do translation and they asked openly, the pay? A p2 fc… It worries us on English support in future. If you run into trouble and you speak only English. You may need to be really lucky as they may not have in house English speaking staff or poor command of English. The market for English speaking hobbyists is big enough to employ one soon we hope?

Software – This is a pain. Driver installation has already put off some and some gave up. We did too during the first setup having not touched anything APM before. The Internet helps but it can be frustrating for first time users.

Calibration is dumb. Too many turning around till we want to puke but that’s with all APM based calibration. Even the official APM software links to a 2013 Youtube video that’s so badly made, it doesn’t help.

There’s room for improvements especially streamlining the software part. Things should be “live”. You have to click a tab then click Read, to show the settings. If not it will just stay there and nothing seems to be happening making you wonder if you’re not connected to the P2.

End

There’s much potential on the P2 and we hope till the software is improved with clear instructions on 1. Driver installation, 2. Calibration, 3. Setup of a quad, that no other hardware be release so work can concentrate for the software side of it.

We suspect other Flight Controllers are successful as they have figured out a simple way to let users who has flown a Ready to Fly and embarking on their first DIY, to get a P2 with GPS and built something from sractch, set it up and fly it happily.

Links:

http://www.jiyiuav.com/
https://pixhawk.org
http://www.dji.com
Discussion thread @ RCGroups

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