Working on new decks

We have had a lot of deck ideas for the Crazyflie 2.0 but not much time to finish anything, now we finally took the time to order batch PCBs at seeeds so we though we could show a bit what we are working on. Our idea is to order during the summer while some of us are in vacation so that we have all the hardware available when everyone comes back.

One deck that we are working on for a long time is the GPS deck:

ublox GPS deck

We had a prototype last summer but we never managed to get it to work properly: the antenna of the module we used relied too much on the ground plane and was disturbed by the proximity of the Crazyflie. Now we are using a more traditional chip-antenna which, we think, might work better in our design. We also added a u.fl connector to add an external patch-antenna in case the chip antenna is not good enough.

Lately we posted about connecting Crazyflie to a bigger quad frame to use it as a flight controller. We made an adapter deck for this purpose:

Big quad addapter deck


The deck can be on top or bottom of the Crazyflie and has output for 4 motor controller, a SPPM input for RC receiver, monitoring input for battery current and voltage, I2C connector and finally a GPS connector. We tried as much as possible to use standard pinout for the connector. Finally this board has holes spaced at 30.5mm, which is common for attaching controller boards.

Some time ago we have seen an interesting kickstarter that implemented local positioning, the pozyx project. While looking at it we found that the transceiver they are using is available, it is the DWM1000. We are really interested about this technology so we made a deck out of it:

dwm1000 deck


The DWM1000 tranceiver allows for time-of-flight measurement which would allow to make a local positioning system. This is something we have been looking at for a long time. Of all the prototype board this is the one that might take the most time to develop though, as the software work will be extensive.

Another board we wanted to do for a while is an Intel Edison adapter deck:



One thing that delayed us to make this board is the use-case: the main use-case we see for Edison is to connect a camera but the Edisson does not have the MIPI interface required to connect a small and lightweight camera. On this deck we wired the USB port both to a uUSB connector and to breakout pins giving options on how to connect a USB camera.

Finally for the end we keep the simplest but very useful for development FTDI cable adapter deck:



On the middle of this deck can be connected a standard 3V3 FTDI cable, and jumper allows to connect the RX and TX pins to UARTs on the deck port. It can be used both to debug the Crazyflie 2.0 firmwares and to debug other decks (for example to talk to the GPS deck).

We will keep you updated when we have received and gotten to work the boards (some will be much quicker that other as you can imagine).

3 comments on “Working on new decks

  • I saw the SPPM input for RC receiver in the big quad board. Does it means that the code for the PPM is already done? or it’s still in to-be-done task. I’m just looking for a way to connect my mini PPM rx module to the crazyflie 2.0 to make crazyflie 2.0 a standalone drone.

    • The SPPM input is on the way but not ready yet. Should be ready in a week or two if everything goes smoothly.

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