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Typhoon H / ST-16 controller : Can it be re-purposed?

Discussion in 'Typhoon H Discussion' started by cnc74, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. cnc74

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    Hello all,

    I am interested in knowing if I can do any of the following:
    1. Bind to other receivers?
    2. Purchase a Yuneec receiver, bind it to the ST-16, and use it with a third party flight controller (like a Pixhawk)?
    3. Anything else beyond its original intended purposes (flight and buddy mode)?

    Thanks in advance for your replies!
     
  2. Steve Carr

    Steve Carr Moderator
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    I have never heard of it being done successfully. The communication is proprietary.
     
  3. cnc74

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    I figured that was the likely case buy am holding out hope their is or will be a Yuneec receiver that would allow for the ST-16 to work with other FC's such as the Pixhawk (which is my primary goal).
     
  4. ThunderChicken

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    The receiver has to be YUNEEC to work with the ST-16. There are algorithms that are shared between receiver and transmitter that are used when difficulty in communications get noisy they switch to the same frequency at the same time. If you know how to work electronics you could possibly accomplish the task.
     
  5. PatR

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    There's really not much point in trying the employ the ST-16 with other systems that can't also transmit video direct to the ST-16 screen. There are a lot better transmitter selections available if you're going to be using a separate video system.
     
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  6. ThunderChicken

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    That's true. But a bird in the hand....
    I quiet frequently will take circuits and modify them for a different use. I'm a (HAM) Amateur Radio Operator and that is part of the hobby.
     
  7. PatR

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    You have knowledge and skills most do not;)
     
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  8. ThunderChicken

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    But what better way to learn? Although I would not advocate taking a working bird apart just to experiment with the major components. But if have one that is totaled and can't fly any more I would say go for it..
     
  9. dylanfm

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    I've been wondering the same thing. I ordered a Yuneec RX to try to find out. From the blurry pictures i saw it looks like the receiver has 3 wires coming out of which could mean SBUS (if we are really lucky).

    One thing that gives me a little hope is that the Blade Chroma can be purchased with either a receiver that works with the ST10 or one that binds with a spektrum radio. I also found some videos that made it look like you could swap between the 2 types of receivers in the Chroma without any other changes (firmware, settings, etc). Lastly I have read that the Q500 binds with the ST10 or the ST16.

    So with all of that said, I think it is POSSIBLE, that at least some Yuneec RXs output some sort of 'normal' serial output. I guess I will find out if the Tyhpoon H receiver does..

    So far as what the uses are for binding a non Yuneec multirotor to the ST16 are I don't know yet, just want to know if it is possible.

    EDIT:
    So I dug around a little bit more. Looking at the internal pictures document of the FCC application for the ST16 it looks like it uses Zigbee modules for the RC control. It mentions Zigbee a couple of times in the application and shows a picture of a module with a CC2530 chip that seems to correspond to a Zigbee module. The picture shows 4 wires going into the module which I'm guessing are +,-,TX,RX.

    I found a different blurry picture of a Chroma RX and it looked like it probably has 4 wires which would make since if it is a zigbee at that end also.

    So the down side of that is that it probably means the receiver probably puts out serial commands that are unique to Yuneec. But the up side is that it seems likely that the receiver is by directional and sends the telemetry back to the ST16. Which means if we can figure out the command format it uses then a custom drone could send telemetry back and have it displayed on the ST16. Also It looks like zigbee modules like this can be found for fairly cheap.

    The internal pictures document for the ST16 shows the label on the Zigbee module is SR24 which seems to also be the same module that is in the Wizard wand and the Tyhpoon's Receiver.
     
    #9 dylanfm, Oct 11, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  10. dylanfm

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    I received my spare Yuneec typhoon H receiver and this is what I have figured out about it so far.

    1. The Yuneec ST10, ST16, the Wizard wand, the Typhoon H, Q500, and Blade Chroma all seem to use the same transmitter/receiver module = SR24
    2. The SR24 is a CC2530 based Zigbee module.
    3. The connection to the SR24 is: pin 1- Black wire, GND; Pin 2 - White wire, +3V; Pin 3 - Gray wire, serial data in; Pin 4 - Yellow wire, serial data out.
    4. After attaching it to a typhoon H to bind it, I captured the serial output data using a logic analyzer module
    5. From the logic analyzer data, the serial connection is 115.2Kbps 8N1, LSB first.
    6. The data output is one 46 byte data frame followed by two 27 byte data frames.
    7. Each data frame starts with the same two bytes: 0x55, 0x55
    8. The next two bytes seem to indicate if it is a 46 or 27 byte frame: 46bytes=0x2B,0x03 .... 27bytes=0x18,0x00
    9. Bytes 5,6,7 seem to be a counter of some sort. They always seem to go up from one frame to the next by ~50K but the exact value varies a bit. Maybe clock counts?
    10. The last byte if each frame (byte 46 or 27) always varies and I think it is a checksum
    11. I believe all the channel info is encoded in bytes 9-26 with each channel represented by 12 bits. The channel data that I have figured out is in this order:
    T,A,E,R, Smart/Angle/Home switch, ? , Camera tilt Slider, Pan Knob , ? ,pan mode switch, landing Gear switch, Button 2

    12. Bytes 30-27 of the 46 byte packets is the Latitude of the ST16 transmitter to 7 decimal places.
    13. Byte 34-31 of the 46 byte packets is Longitude of the ST16 transmitter to 7 decimal places
    14. I captured the binding sequence using what I think are the correct settings, but I haven't tested sending that data into the receiver from my serial port to see if it will actually put the RX into bind mode. I could be missing something.
    The binding data looks like this: 0x55,0x55,0x8,0x4,0x0,0x0,0x42,0x49,0x4E,0x44,0xB0 repeated five times.

    All of this plus some sample data I captured is in a thread I started on RCgroups to see if anybody was interested in helping to figurethis out.
    Yuneec Receiver protocol? - RC Groups

    So back to the OP's questions:
    1. Bind to other receivers? Probably not. Like I said it is an Zigbee module and you can purchase those for fairly cheap but I believe they would have to be programmed with the correct configuration to act like a yuneec receiver and I'm not sure how you would get that configuration data.
    2. Purchase a Yuneec receiver, bind it to the ST-16, and use it with a third party flight controller (like a Pixhawk)? Maybe. In order to make it work somebody would have to program this serial protocol into the flight controller software. A lot of this flight controller FWs are open source (cleanflight, Inav, etc) and with the data I supplied above someone who is good at programming could probably do it. Unfortunately that isn't me. It might also be possible to have something like an arduino read the RX serial data, transform it into SBUS, or some other well known serial protocol and then output that to any off the shelf flight controller.
    3. Anything else beyond its original intended purposes (flight and buddy mode)? A possible use would be to take the info I have above and write some code for the arduino to have the ST16 control a ground vehicle of some sort. I think I might be able to do that level of coding so that maybe what I try to do. Having the ST16's Lat/long data being transmitted to the receiver opens up the possibility of having a "rover" follow you around.
     
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  11. PatR

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    Well done!
     
  12. dylanfm

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    On a related note, I purchased a cheap, used GGO1 camera and tried to use it with the ST16. You can bind it to the ST16 but it wants you to select the type of camera and the CGO1 isn't one of the cameras listed. The manual for the CGO1 says that it is compatible with the ST24 and ST15 ground stations. I found some posts online about the ST10 being compatible with the CG01 in some firmwares.
     
  13. ThunderChicken

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    Dylanfm well done. Your techno speak is almost over my head. It has been a long time since I heard some body who knows what they are talking about. You are an engineer or a very long time technician.
     
  14. dylanfm

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    Yes, I have been a technician for the last 20 years and also a life long tinkerer.
     
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  15. Gunit

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    Any more info on this.
     
  16. dylanfm

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    No, not much anyway. I haven't been messing with it.

    I did realize that rest of the channel order is listed in the manifest file of an exported model. I also verified that I could put a spare receiver into binding mode by hooking it up to a serial port and sending it the binding data that I previously captured. Lastly I found that even though you can bind a CGO1 camera to the ST16, it isn't one of ~4 cameras that you can select from configuration menu so it gives an error about invalid camera detected.
     
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