Setting up the Graupner Radios to record flight Logs

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by Gary Haynes, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    MX-20 Flight Timer and Logging – Gary Haynes – Ver 1 Feb. 2, 2013

    The Graupner series of flight transmitters have the ability to log flight data to a removable micro SD card. This ability does not work unless you have setup the Flight Timer function since the trigger to start a flight log is the Flight Timer.

    I am going to explain how both timers can be used, one the Stop Watch counting down from a set time with alarms and the Flight Timer which counts up.

    Important Note: You must have one timer that is setup as a Flight Timer in order to trigger the logging function on the Graupner.

    Here are the steps to setup the Flight Timers.

    Step 1
    There are actually two timers. From the MX-20 photo below you can see them in the upper right side of the data window. There is a Stop Watch timer in the top and a Flight timer in the bottom. The starting of both of these can be controlled by the position of the Throttle stick.

    IMG_0832.JPG

    The Stop timer will run when the throttle is above a set value. Mine is set for -83%. As long as the throttle is above that level that Stop timer will run. If it is pulled back to zero then it stops. It can keep time counting up or be a countdown timer. Typically it is in a countdown mode and will give audible/voice warning messages as it approaches the time running out.

    For the Flight Timer, once it starts it continues to run until it is either manually reset or the transmitter is powered off.

    Step 2
    To setup the timers go to the menu and scroll down to Timers (general).

    IMG_0835.JPG

    Step 3
    You will see this screen. Scroll to the “Top:” line and click on the left field. There are 4 choices (Stop, Flight Timer, Time Frame, Motor) selected with the left-right arrows on the ring control. Select Stop for Stopwatch.

    IMG_0838.JPG

    Step 4
    Now use the Right arrow and enter the amount of countdown time. Enter minutes first and then any seconds using the Set button and up/down arrows. In this example the Top timer will start at 8 mins and countdown. Once it hits Zero time it will continue but count upwards.

    IMG_0841.JPG

    Click on the right arrow and you will go to the next screen.

    Step 5
    Set the warning signal time. The first entry (30s) tells the count down timer when to begin giving warning messages and count down beep tones. Enter what you would like for a warning time.

    IMG_0844.JPG

    Step 6
    Lastly we need to tell the MX-20 how to start the timers. Click SET on the cell and then move the Throttle from zero so some higher point. Press SET again and you will see another screen. Click on C1 with the SET button.

    IMG_0850.JPG

    IMG_0853.JPG

    Step 7
    Finally we will adjust the timer start point.

    From the main menu scroll up to the Control Switch item and press the SET button.
    Right arrow to the % column for C1 and press the SET button. Move the Throttle up slightly from the Zero position and click the SET button. I target about -85%. If you find that your first attempt is higher or lower than that value simply reposition the throttle and press SET again.

    IMG_0856.JPG

    IMG_0859.JPG

    Step 8
    Do the same Throttle assignment for the Flight timer.

    Step 9
    The last step is to set the date and time in the Info Display menu. While you will get log files without setting the date/time they are much easier to find if they are time stamped.

    You are done. Let’s check to see if it works.

    Exit the menus. If the timers are not displayed with your countdown number on the top and 0:00 on the bottom then we can reset them. With the Throttle at Zero, press the ESC key to stop the Flight Timer and then on the right hand ring press the up and down arrows at the same time to reset the both of the timers.

    Then advance the throttle and as it passes your start setting point both counters will start. If you throttle back to Zero the countdown timer will stop while the flight timer will continue.


    Logs will be created on the Graupner SD card when the Flight Timer starts and there is data being received from the GR16/GR24.

    Now with the micro SD card in the Graupner card slot a new file folder will be created containing the logs for each flight. You can review them with the Graupner Studio or SD Log Converter software. Since this logs the MK output of GPS coordinates it can be a good safety feature in case of a lost copter. Full instructions can be reviewed in the Graupner manuals. For the MX-20 this starts on page 138.

    Additional Information:
    You can use only one timer, the Flight Timer and assign a time to it. When you do this it will act as the Flight Timer, triggering the log creation, and as a Countdown Timer which can have voice triggers the same as the Stop timer in the example above.

    But since you will always have the Top and Center timers displayed on the screen I’ve found it easier to set it up the way I have described.

    If you do a battery change, actually physically removing the battery rather than charging it in the transmitter, it is a good idea to check the date and time. There is a battery that is supposed to keep the time clock going but I have found occasionally that the clock has reset. Makes it much harder to find the correct log file if you need it.
     
  2. MIke Magee

    MIke Magee Active Member

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    Thanks Gary! I'll read it after the game!
    -m
     
  3. Sam Slape

    Sam Slape Member

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    Thanks Gary. Very helpful, I've just set this up.

    There is a SD card icon on the same screen as the flight timers that "fills up" when there is data being recorded.
     
  4. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Gary:
    I was just upgrading my MX20s and, in the process, enabling the timers.

    Does it strike you as a bit odd that the Stop and Flight timers both start when you increase the throttle (as you describe above), however, when you land and stop the motors, the Flight timer still keeps running?

    I've not had a chance to check, but does that mean the data being written to the microSD card in the MX-20 is still being recorded? If you don't happen to know, no sweat, I'll check it out in the next day or so.

    Thanks
    Andy.
     
  5. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Don't know and the manual is specific on how to stop the flight timer. I think it is a press of the ESC button and there is a key sequence to reset every thing to zero.
     
  6. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    OK. I'll do some tests. It may be that it stops logging with the telemetry stops. I suppose the logic might be that if you're flying a self-launching glider that you might still be flying with the motor stopped. Don't think the Cinestars work that way, do they? ;)

    Andy.
     
  7. Tyler Olson

    Tyler Olson Member

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    Thanks for the post - found it through a google search :)
     
  8. Ros

    Ros New Member

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    Thanks for this :)
     
  9. Ros

    Ros New Member

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    Hello,
    I have got it recording to .bin files and have installed the graupner data explorer.
    How do i open these bin files in this program?

    Cheers,
    Rory
     
  10. Gary McCready

    Gary McCready Active Member

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    BTW: Thanks for that info Gary, I couldn't figure out why my Graupner wasn't saving log files. Not the most intuitive Tx or manual.
     
  11. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Gary, this worked beautifully. Thank you!

    However, what I can see is a little alarming. I was out at about 450 meters from my ground station, and didn't get any warnings from the Graupner or the MK telemetry, and yet, it appears my receiver strength was perilously low. Or at least that's what I'm seeing in this chart. The duration of this log covers several minutes where the copter was sitting on the ground, or flying around within 50-100 meters of my location, but the serious dip was at the farthest point of my flight. See the video for a sped up (8x normal speed) of the relevant portion of my flight. Of note: i didn't get any warnings, and my Iftron TX/RX rig was rock solid throughout the whole flight. Interesting...

    DataExplorer-snap001.jpg
     
  12. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Steve can you post the log file?
     
  13. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Here you go. Curious what y'all find in there. Oh, if you come across my car keys, let me know.
    The GPX file corresponds (I think) to the portion of the flight where the signal strength dropped perilously low.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Steve, the RX dropped to about 50% when you were out at around 300m. at 384.19 in the Graupner log signal was 40% and distance was 401m (37'45.4357 -122'44.4780). I see some strengths down as low as 20% but the distances were all around 300m.

    I would attribute it to distance and altitude. Not sure how you have your receiver mounted, photo would be good.

    But while it was low at times it never went into FailSafe/Loss of signal as it always had a signal. And there were no packet losses.

    I see car keys at about the 9 second mark on the video but at 8X speed. Do you drive a Mercedes?

    Sad part is that the Graupner individual channels all seem to record at different speeds. Playback is synchronized but its hard to go from one tab to another to find the same data point. Graupner file says the furthest you were out was 402m.
     
  15. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Thank you for looking at these, Gary. That's super helpful.
    Truth be told, I have my receiver somewhat haphazardly mounted on the Cinestar, so I should do the rabbit ears thing and get it better isolated. I was flying in an area that should have little or no interference, but the antennae are definitely not optimally placed. I should re-mount the GR24 somewhere better and keep its little ears from flopping around.
     
  16. Ryan McCrae

    Ryan McCrae Member

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    Do these logs record anything other than signal strength? I think im going to have to give this a go and see what the best way to mount my gr32 is.
     
  17. David M Colpitts

    David M Colpitts New Member

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    Don't worry too much about the "Signal Strength" numbers that are dropping low. This figure is how well the Tx is hearing the telemetry signal. The "Signal Quality" is how well the Rx is hearing control signal from the Tx, it never goes below 90% and your lost packets were only 192 which is just fine for a 12 minute flight. For a split second packet loss spiked at 16%, which is nothing if it only lasts a split second.
     
  18. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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