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Tank Battery Telemetry via Crossfire!

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Tank Battery Telemetry via Crossfire!

Old 03-25-2023, 01:30 AM
  #1  
Durahl
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Lightbulb Tank Battery Telemetry via Crossfire!

Greetings!

So, I used to use FrSky Receivers for my Tanks which ( with Certain Receiver Models ) allowed the use of their FLVSS LiPo Battery Sensor being attached to them to get Battery Telemetry on your Radio.
At some point though I started migrating over to TeamBlackSheep Crossfire Receivers entirely as I needed a smaller 8CH PWM Receiver for all the Tech I had added to my Tamiya #56020 Leopard 2A7 than what FrSky had to offer at the time.

This unfortunately caused the loss of Battery Telemetry unless I'd have installed a TBS Core which wasn't going to happen due to the aforementioned space constraints.

Enter the reasonably small Matek System Boards that come in various incarnations like CRSF to SBUS ( handy for 3rd Party Controllers ) and CRSF to PWM ( handy for Tamiya Controllers ) Modules again allowing for Battery Telemetry to be read and sent back to the Radio.
So far, I've only tested it with the SBUS Module on a Beier SFR-1-D, but it is working as expected - Minus a minor Voltage Offset I had to set in the Telemetry Readout for it to match what I measured via a Voltmeter.

Just a hint though... The Boards that come with Pin Headers ( none for the SBUS version ) only supply them in a Straight config - So no space saving 90° bent ones ( at least not for the majority of the Pins ).
Old 03-25-2023, 11:36 PM
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Rad_Schuhart
 
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Great to see somebody else using telemetry.

I am using a module soldered and produced by Rad Industries (hey, that is me! Mama, I am on the internet!) but using other´s guy which is much clever than me, code.

What does it do? I can see in my radio screen:

-How much battery is left.
-How fast is the battery running out.
-What is the temperature inside of the model.
-Second sensor for checking the temperature in the motor or in any other specific part, like the smoke generator, or if a boat, the water.
-Which are the GPS coordinates of the model.
-A compass to see where is it currently heading. (N,S,W,E and the grades.)
-How fast is it running, flying or sailing, in kilometers, miles and knots.
-If it flyes, how high is it flying, and how fast is it climbing.

Overkill for our tanks, maybe. But the hell of a fun. I created the module for doing long range FPV sailing with a scratchbuild boat, in a big lake here.



Last edited by Rad_Schuhart; 03-25-2023 at 11:45 PM.
Old 03-27-2023, 01:42 AM
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Shagnifico
 
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https://www.rc-factory.eu/rc/prislus...apeti-fs-cvt01

I use these on my Flysky receivers. They make battery voltage sensor, a temp sensor, altitude and two types of rpm sensors optical or magnetic.

Old 03-27-2023, 03:52 AM
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Even after all these years I still haven't taken the time to figure out how everything works and how to install it, but my FlySky i10 came with several different Telemetry sensors, including motor rpm, motor temperature, and most importantly to me, battery voltage. One of these days I'll try to hook up at least the battery voltage, but it never was a real big deal to me. With an 8,000 Mah 6s lipo I get plenty of run time, and I have yet to run the tank long enough to make the low voltage alarm go off. But, I can see where these would be some very useful features for a battle tank. Out there on the field in the heat of battle it would probably be very handy to know how much power you have left.
Old 03-27-2023, 04:28 AM
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Tanque
 
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I've had various FrSky sensors for quite a few years that I've been wanting to use. First in my gas powered tanks now in my larger electrics
but I've not gotten around to it yet. Good to see more tank people are doing it. I adore the idea of real time telemetry; about as much fun as one can
have with their clothes on...!

My problem is I always seem to get involved in long winded machining or fabrication projects and can't seem to come up for air to do other cool stuff.
And I'm slower than molasses (to use my dear late mum's expression) at making 'stuff'....

Jerry
Old 03-27-2023, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Tanque

My problem is I always seem to get involved in long winded machining or fabrication projects and can't seem to come up for air to do other cool stuff.

Jerry
I can definitely relate, Jerry. My problem is that I get too many projects going at the same time and don't seem to get anything done on any of them. That's why right now I'm trying to focus completely on the SAS jeep, and once that's done I'll move on to something else. If I can get in the habit of doing it that way I think I'll be a lot more productive.
Old 03-27-2023, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Rad_Schuhart
Spoiler
 

Great to see somebody else using telemetry.

I am using a module soldered and produced by Rad Industries (hey, that is me! Mama, I am on the internet!) but using other´s guy which is much clever than me, code.

What does it do? I can see in my radio screen:

-How much battery is left.
-How fast is the battery running out.
-What is the temperature inside of the model.
-Second sensor for checking the temperature in the motor or in any other specific part, like the smoke generator, or if a boat, the water.
-Which are the GPS coordinates of the model.
-A compass to see where is it currently heading. (N,S,W,E and the grades.)
-How fast is it running, flying or sailing, in kilometers, miles and knots.
-If it flyes, how high is it flying, and how fast is it climbing.

Overkill for our tanks, maybe. But the hell of a fun. I created the module for doing long range FPV sailing with a scratchbuild boat, in a big lake here.


Holy cow that’s awesome. Have you thought about controlling via 4g ?
Old 03-27-2023, 09:23 AM
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Rad_Schuhart
 
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Originally Posted by Shagnifico
Holy cow that’s awesome. Have you thought about controlling via 4g ?
Hi,
I did not consider it because I think the less accesories, the better. As it is made now, it sends all that data from the module to your radio, via the radio receiver, so no extra accesories, boards or screens are needed. Even when I love complex toys, I think this benefits from simplicity.

I must say I like it a lot. I have been checking all the sensors and it is very accurate. As an example The GPS-Glonass gives you the exact location, checked it real time on internet. And even I could see the altitude sensor changing after every 2 steps in a ladder, go and figure!

The reason of making this module was for installing only one all-in-one sensor in the toy. And the main toy that will use it is a balsa boat that I am building. After such a lot of effort and work in the boat, I wan't to be able to see if the things are going wrong before it is too late. Water here is very cold, which makes the recovery of the boat impossible... and that counting that does not go to Davy Jones locker.

But even when the main idea is that boat, I have been using the multi sensor in some tanks for the fun of it too.
Old 03-27-2023, 01:09 PM
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Durahl
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Nice to see such a lively Conversation about the need for Battery Telemetry =)

Thought I'd give some additional feedback after installing another Matek System Module - Now into a Tamiya #56016 M26 Pershing.

Already installed in the Tank was a TBS Crossfire 6CH PWM Nano RX ( required for Tamiya Models due to it having at least 4 PWM Outputs ) to which I then simply attached a CRSF to SBUS Module via 4 short Wires ( 5V, GND, Tx, Rx ) to keep it as small as possible. An issue I found doing it like that was the loss of the first two PWM Channels to the Crossfire Rx/Tx Channels as otherwise the Module wouldn't operate - Luckily the PWM Nano Rx has 6 Outputs so shifting them down by two from CH1-4 to CH3-6 Solved that issue.

Essentially:
Crossfire Rx
Crossfire Tx
CH1
CH2
CH3
CH4
.
.
.


If the Controller is capable of running off SBUS then you simply buy the even smaller TBS Crossfire Nano RX, get a 1x4 PIN Header and solder the Matek System Module directly to it as the Pinouts are in the same order and ( I'm fairly certain but untested ) of the same size and spacing. The resulting Sandwich will have the footprint of the Nano RX ( 11x18mm ) and will be like 5-6mm thick - You can hardly get any smaller than that.

If you have a Model like the Tamiya #56018 King Tiger which by default has no Lights and you've used the 5th and 6th Channel of the PWN Nano Rx for controlling these then you're kinda stuck between a Rock, a hard Place, and a Diamond of either not having Battery Telemetry, being unable to control such additions or having to buy the Matek System CRSF to PWM 6 Module instead of the CRSF to SBUS one ( as the smallest solution to getting Battery Telemetry ).

All that is then left to do is soldering the V+ and GND lines on the back of the Module to some Leads going to the Battery Cables and you're done Hardware wise.

In EdgeTX ( or OpenTX ) it is then just a matter of searching for new Sensors for RxBt to appear ( among others ), adding the Sensor to Widget and maybe a conditional Alert =)

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