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2015/11/14 Brotronics Broversity RX, the Missing Manual
π 2015-11-14 00:00 in Rc
The Brotronics Broversity RX is an LRS receiver designed to work with a backup 1S lipo which gets recharged from the main power source and can used to power the emergency beacon and a backup twitter to help you find a crashed model in tall weeds :)

If you are interested in that, I also wrote a page on the smaller Brotronics PowerTowerRX without diversity

It's a great LRS module. On top of having the diversity receiver:

  • It's a good module with good reception (not like the crap from Orange)
  • Support for 11 ports (7 PWM, RSSI/LBEEP, Buzzer, RX, TX/Sbus/SUMD/Spektrum)
  • RX/TX are conveniently wired on 3 adjacent pins (but you have to use the TX pin for SUMD, and GND/5V from the header next to it)
  • SBUS actually works as the module includes a hardware UART inverter, making SBUS possible. Just use the 3 pins and configure port 11 as SBUS.
  • However, as a downside the module, or configurator for the module, does not allow setting any port as ANALOG. As a result, you cannot pass 2 analog voltages back to an Frsky receiver via the telemetry link.
  • Sadly, the author seems to provide absolutely 0 support for his module, and the documentation was minimalistic to say the best. Yet, it's a great little board, but sadly it comes with virtually no instructions, and the author hasn't replied to any of my Emails. I did figure out how to use it in the end, but it took longer than it should have, so I'm going to do the documenting work here:

    you can see both dipole antennas at a 90 degree angle
    you can see both dipole antennas at a 90 degree angle

    the buzzer tells me if TX signal is lost, and acts as a lost model finder
    the buzzer tells me if TX signal is lost, and acts as a lost model finder

    What's not clear from the instructions is that the labelled RSSI pins will not work at all as shippped. I had to cut open the very nice plastic wrap, and hidden under the instructions sheet, in the upper right, you have to bridge 2 pads with solder. I did not get analog RSSI to work, but digital RSSI (i.e. what you'd get from an Frsky receiver, and it requires a capacitor and resistor to get a proper analog signal out of it), worked.

    Too bad I had to cut all of this open to get working RSSI :(
    Too bad I had to cut all of this open to get working RSSI :(

    This is the single instructions sheet that comes with the device. It has most of what you need, but the pinout is not super clear (I thought the top pins were opposite from what they were after seeing the picture below. Have a look at the video for a better overview of how this all works.

    All in all, it's a really nice board, but the limited instructions, and lack of an accessible jumper to get RSSI, is a pity. As to why RSSI isn't even soldered to work at all when you receive the board, I have no idea.
    Wiring is not super obvious, and neither is how everything works, so this little video should be worth a thousand words:

    If you are using Ardupilot on Pixhawk, some relevant notes:

  • PPM support on Ardupilot only works with 12 channels as of AP 3.4 (you can map channels 13-16 to actual pins on the module)
  • SUMD can be connected to a pixhawk via the spektrum satellite port as long as you route power to a 5V line and not the 3.3V on the satellite port. This supports passing 16 channels to pixhawk.
  • SBUS, compared to other modules like hawkeye, just works, plug it in and you're in business
  • However, both SUMD and SBUS will prevent you from using the TX pin to send serial telemetry back, so you have to chose serial telemetry, or 16 channels passed to pixhawk
  • If you pick SBUS, note that scaling and endpoints are different, so you'll get slighly different values read with SBUS compared to PPM or SUMD.
  • Here's the RX configuration screen:

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