Wednesday, October 1, 2014

DroidPlanner (GCS) on Android tablet

I lucked out and just managed to get IceCreamSandwich 4.x installed on my old (circa 2012 with GingerBread 2.x) Chinese Android 7" tablet (iView 760TPC). It is dual-core with 512mb RAM, and supports USB Host Mode (for 3G cell dongles, etc.). The tablet came with a little OTG USB adapter cable that allows you to plug in normal-sized USB flash drives (while I don't use it much, it goes work). The tablet's native USB port is Mini (not Micro) so I can't use the OTG cable supplied with HK 3DR v2 Telemetry radios. Therefore, for now, I will use the iView OTG cable, and the normal USB cable that I use with the radio on the laptop.

At first, DroidPlanner didn't seem to work (radio lights weren't flashing quite right, and DroidPlanner would not Connect). I checked the page at DroidPlanner GitHub, and it mentioned trying the USB Host Check app. Sure enough, the checks all failed (which I thought was strange ... since old OTG USB Adapter was already working for Flash drives). I went ahead and clicked the "Fix It" button and rebooted. I still had the 915mhz radio connected. After it booted up, it detected the radio and ICS asked me if I wanted to use it with DroidPlanner. This was a sure sign that things were looking better. Sure enough, after starting DroidPlanner, it connected with no problems. HUD is working nicely.

I was then getting a "Unfortunately, TTS has stopped" (crashed) on every startup. I clicked OK, and the app worked fine. The error went away completely after the Google Play Store offered a "TTS Update" and I let it install. Now, TTS (Speech Prompts) work fine in DroidPlanner.

I used this mount from HobbyKing. I also upgraded to this 5inch USB Mini-Micro male OTG cable for a much cleaner look.

Edit: In March 2015, I upgraded to a better Android tablet.


USB-OTG cables are asymmetrical (only properly communicate when connected in proper direction). It has more to do with internal wiring than connectors that might be soldered on each end. USB-OTG port should at least work with USB flash drives or "wired" computer direct-connected storage (as a starting point).

DroidPlanner (even DP v1) requires ICS v4.x or higher on Android device. Test with DP v1 first (it has smaller memory and lower resource footprint). If that works, you can uninstall it and try a higher version. DP v2 and v3 might crash or malfunction if your device is not up-to running them. DP v3 (Tower) might require a dual-core or better and 1gb ram (depending on what background apps you are running).

With the Nova's main LiPo battery connected, get Nova working with 915mhz v2 radios in MissionPlanner for Windows first. This checks telemetry radios (important step) and Nova. Always properly Disconnect MP with button (before disconnecting physical cable). Leave radio on Nova, but move laptop's radio to Android device, now using USB-OTG cable.

To verify the your Android device even has a functioning USB port, I like to first test it with a flash-memory device.

You can really only have one version (either v1, 2, or 3) installed at a time (to avoid conflicts). Be sure radio-dongle and/or USB-OTG cable is disconnected at first. Install Droid Planner and reboot device. After full boot, connect radio (it should be detected). Select radio as Default device for DP. Start DP and try to connect.

If radio is not detected, run USB Host Check App from TaurusLabs. If device abilities fail, click Fix button and run Check again. After Connect, move quad and see if Hud responds (this will check basic communications). Forum member Jester1964 reports that they had to enable "USB Debugging" in Developer options before it would work for them.

1 comment:

The stupid spammers have now forced me to approve each Comment before it appears (but I am usually pretty quick about it).