CUAV Pixhawk V6X Manual
Table of Contents
Pixhawk V6X® is the latest update to the successful family of Pixhawk® flight controllers designed and made in collaboration with CUAV® and the PX4 team.
Pixhawk® V6X brings you the ultimate in performance, stability and reliability in all aspects.
- Arm® Cortex®-M7 processor (STM32H753) with Floating Point Unit (FPU), 480MHz high-speed operations and 2MB flash. Developers can be more productive and efficient, allowing for more complex algorithms and models.
- High-performance on-board, low-noise IMU and automotive-grade magnetic compass based on FMUv6X open standard. It aims to achieve better stability and anti-interference ability.
- Triple redundant IMU & double redundant barometer on separate buses. When the PX4 Autopilot detects a sensor failure, the system seamlessly switches to another to maintain flight control reliability.
- An independent LDO powers every sensor set with independent power control. A vibration isolation System to filter out high-frequency vibration and reduce noise to ensure accurate readings, allowing vehicles to reach better overall flight performances.
- External sensor bus (SPI5) has two chip select lines and data-ready signals for additional sensors and payload with SPI-interface.
- Integrated Microchip Ethernet PHY for high-speed communication over Ethernet with onboard devices such as mission computers.
- Newly designed vibration isolation system to filter out high frequency vibration and reduce noise to ensure accurate readings.
- IMUs are temperature-controlled by onboard heating resistors, allowing optimum working temperature of IMUs
- Modular flight controller: separated IMU, FMU, and Base system connected by a 100-pin & a 50-pin Pixhawk® Autopilot Bus connector.
The Pixhawk V6X is ideal for corporate research labs, academic research and commercial applications.
Processors & Sensors
- FMU Processor: STM32H753
- 32 Bit Arm® Cortex®-M7, 480MHz, 2MB flash memory, 1MB RAM
- IO Processor: STM32F103
- 32 Bit Arm® Cortex®-M3, 72MHz, 20KB SRAM
- On-board sensors
- Accel/Gyro: BMI088
- Accel/Gyro: ICM-42688-P
- Accel/Gyro: ICM-20649
- Mag: RM3100
- Barometer: 2x ICP-20100
- Voltage Ratings:
- Max input voltage: 5.7V
- USB Power Input: 4.75~5.25V
- Servo Rail Input: 0~9.9V
- Current Ratings:
- Telem1 and GPS2 combined output current limiter: 1.5A
- All other port combined output current limiter: 1.5A
- 16- PWM servo outputs
- 1 Dedicated R/C input for Spektrum / DSM and S.Bus with analog / PWM RSSI input
- 3 TELEM Ports（with full flow control）
- 1 UART4(Seial and I2C)
- 2 GPS ports
- 1 full GPS plus Safety Switch Port(GPS1)
- 1 basic GPS port(with I2C,GPS2)
- 2 USB Ports
- 1 TYPE-C
- JST GH1.25
- 1 Ethernet port
- Transformerless Applications
- 1 SPI bus
- 2 chip select lines
- 2 data-ready lines
- 1 SPI SYNC line
- 1 SPI reset line
- 2 CAN Buses for CAN peripheral
- CAN Bus has individual silent controls or ESC RX-MUX control
- 4 power input ports
- 2 Dronecan/UAVCAN power inputs
- 2 SMBUS/I2C power inputs
- 1 AD & IO port
- 2 additional analog input(3.3 and 6.6v）
- 1 PWM/Capture input
- 2 Dedicated debug
- FMU debug
- IO debug
- Flight Controller Module: 99g
- Core module: 43g
- Baseboard: 56g
- Operating & storage temperature: -20 ~ 85°c
- Flight controller
- Core module
- SERIAL0 -> USB
- SERIAL1 -> UART7 (Telem1) RTS/CTS pins
- SERIAL2 -> UART5 (Telem2) RTS/CTS pins
- SERIAL3 -> USART1 (GPS1)
- SERIAL4 -> UART8 (GPS2)
- SERIAL5 -> USART2 (Telem3) RTS/CTS pins
- SERIAL6 -> UART4 (User)
- SERIAL7 -> USART3 (Debug)
- SERIAL8 -> USB Virtual(MAVLink, can be used for SLCAN with protocol change)
The PPM pin, which by default is mapped to a timer input, can be used for all ArduPilot supported receiver protocols, except CRSF/ELRS and SRXL2 which require a true UART connection. However, FPort, when connected in this manner, will only provide RC without telemetry.
To allow CRSF and embedded telemetry available in Fport, CRSF, and SRXL2 receivers, a full UART, such as SERIAL6 (UART4) would need to be used for receiver connections. Below are setups using Serial6.
- SERIAL6_PROTOCOL should be set to “23”.
- FPort would require SERIAL6_OPTIONS be set to “15”.
- CRSF/ELRS would require SERIAL6_OPTIONS be set to “0”.
- SRXL2 would require SERIAL6_OPTIONS be set to “4” and connects only the TX pin.
Any UART can be used for RC system connections in ArduPilot also, and is compatible with all protocols except PPM. See Radio Control Systems for details.
The Pixhawkv6X supports up to 16 PWM outputs. All 16 outputs support all normal PWM output formats. All FMU outputs, except 7 and 8, also support DShot.
The 8 FMU PWM outputs are in 4 groups:
- Outputs 1, 2, 3 and 4 in group1
- Outputs 5 and 6 in group2
- Outputs 7 and 8 in group3
FMU outputs within the same group need to use the same output rate and protocol. If any output in a group uses DShot then all channels in that group need to use DShot.
The autopilot defaults are setup for CAN Power Module use (normally supplied with autopilot):
However, the board also has 2 dedicated power monitor ports with a 6 pin connectors. These are intended for use with the I2C power monitors, if desired.
Note:do not try to use the Mission Planner SETUP->Optional Hardware->Battery Monitor tab to setup the I2C power monitors for the Pixhawk6X. The parameters needed for their operation are already setup by default:
The Pixhawkv6X has a built-in compass. Due to potential interference, the autopilot is usually used with an external I2C compass as part of a GPS/Compass combination.
The 8 FMU outputs can be used as GPIOs (relays, buttons, RPM etc). To use them you need to set the output’s
SERVOx_FUNCTION to -1. See GPIOs page for more information.
The numbering of the GPIOs for PIN variables in ArduPilot is:
- PWM1 50
- PWM2 51
- PWM3 52
- PWM4 53
- PWM5 54
- PWM6 55
- PWM7 56
- PWM8 57
- FMU_CAP1 58
- NFC_GPIO 59
The Pixhawkv6X has 2 analog inputs, one 6V tolerant and one 3.3V tolerant
- ADC Pin12 -> ADC 6.6V Sense
- ADC Pin13 -> ADC 3.3V Sense
- Analog 3.3V RSSI input pin = 103
Unless noted otherwise all connectors are JST GH
The board comes pre-installed with an ArduPilot compatible bootloader, allowing the loading of xxxxxx.apj firmware files with any ArduPilot compatible ground station.
Firmware for these boards can be found here in sub-folders labeled “Pixhawk6X”.
Building ArduPilot Firmware
./waf configure --board Pixhawk6x ./waf copter --upload
Serial Port Mapping
Pixhawk V6X can be triple-redundant on the power supply if three power sources are supplied. The three power rails are: POWERC1/POWER1, POWERC2/POWER2 and USB.
- POWER C1 and POWER C2 are DroneCAN/UAVCAN battery interfaces (recommended)；POWER1 and POWER2 are SMbus/I2C battery interfaces (backup).
- POWER C1 and POWER1 use the same power switch, POWER C2 and POWER2 use the same power switch.
Normal Operation Maximum Ratings
Under these conditions all power sources will be used in this order to power the system:
- POWER C1, POWER C2, POWER1 and POWER2 inputs (4.75V to 5.7V)
- USB input (4.75V to 5.25V)
Absolute Maximum Ratings
Under these conditions the system will not draw any power (will not be operational), but will remain intact.
- POWER1 and POWER2 inputs (operational range 4.7V to 5.7V, 0V to 10V undamaged)
- USB input (operational range 4.7V to 5.7V, 0V to 6V undamaged)
- Servo input:
VDD_SERVOpin of FMU PWM OUT and I/O PWM OUT (0V to 42V undamaged)
Digital DroneCAN/UAVCAN battery monitoring is enabled by default (see Quickstart > Power).
Note:Analog battery monitoring via an ADC is not supported on this particular board, but may be supported in variations of this flight controller with a different baseboard.
Most users will not need to build this firmware! It is pre-built and automatically installed by QGroundControl when appropriate hardware is connected.
To build PX4 for this target:
|2 (blk)||Console TX (OUT)||+3.3V|
|3 (blk)||Console RX (IN)||+3.3V|
|7 (blk)||NFC GPIO||+3.3V|
For information about wiring and using this port see:
Supported Platforms / Airframes
Any multicopter / airplane / rover or boat that can be controlled with normal RC servos or Futaba S-Bus servos. The complete set of supported configurations can be seen in the Airframes Reference.
CUAV Pixhawk V6X Wiring Quick Start
Wiring Chart Overview
The image below shows how to connect the most important sensors and peripherals (except the motor and servo outputs). We’ll go through each of these in detail in the following sections.
|POWER C1||Connect CAN PMU SE to this interface; this interface is connected to UAVCAN power module|
|POWER C2||Connect CAN PMU SE to this interface; this interface is connected to UAVCAN power module|
|POWER 1||Connect SMbus (I2C) power module|
|POWER 2||Connect SMbus (I2C) power module|
|GPS&SAFETY||Connect Neo series GPS/C-RTK 9PS, including GPS, safety switch, buzzer interface.|
|GPS2||Connect GPS/RTK module|
|UART 4||User customizable|
|TELEM1/TELME2/TELEM3||Connect telemetry or MAVLink devices|
|TF CARD||SD card for log storage (card pre-inserted in factory).|
|M1~M8||IO PWM output (for connecting to ESC and Servo)|
|A1~A8||FMU PWM output. Can be defined as PWM/GPIO; supports dshot; used to connect camera shutter/hot shoe, servo, etc.|
|USB||Connect to a computer for communication between the flight controller and the computer, such as loading firmware.|
|CAN1/CAN2||Connect Dronecan/UAVCAN devices such as NEO3 Pro.|
|DSM/SUB/RSSI||Includes DSM, SBUS, RSSI signal input interface, DSM interface can be connected to DSM satellite receiver, SBUS interface to SBUS remote control receiver, RSSI for signal strength return module|
|PPM||Connecting the PPM RC Receiver|
|ETH||Ethernet interface. Connect Ethernet devices such as task computers|
|AD&IO||There are two analog inputs (ADC3.3/ADC6.6); generally not used|
Note:If the controller cannot be mounted in the recommended/default orientation (e.g. due to space constraints) you will need to configure the autopilot software with the orientation that you actually used: Flight Controller Orientation.
GPS + Compass + Buzzer + Safety Switch + LED
The Pixhawk® V6X can be purchased with a NEO3 GPS (opens new window)(10-pin connector) and should be connected to the GPS1 port. These GNSS modules feature an integrated compass, safety switch, buzzer and LEDs.
If you need to use assisted GPS, connect to the GPS2 port.
The GPS/compass should be mounted on the frame as far away from other electronics as possible, with the direction markings towards the front of the vehicle (separating the compass from other electronics will reduce interference).
Note:Pixhawk V6X® is not compatible with NEO V2 GPS built-in buzzer: you should use NEO3/NEO 3Pro (opens new window)instead. The GPS module’s integrated safety switch is enabled by default (when enabled, PX4 will not let you arm the vehicle). To disable the safety press and hold the safety switch for 1 second. You can press the safety switch again to enable safety and disarm the vehicle (this can be useful if, for whatever reason, you are unable to disarm the vehicle from your remote control or ground station).
A remote control (RC) radio system is required if you want to manually control your vehicle (PX4 does not require a radio system for autonomous flight modes).
You will need to select a compatible transmitter/receiver and then bind them so that they communicate (read the instructions that come with your specific transmitter/receiver).
- Spektrum/DSM receivers connect to the DSM/SBUS input.
- PPM receivers connect to the PPM input port.
Pixhawk V6X® is equipped with a CAN PMU lite module that supports 3~14s lithium battery. Connect the 6pin connector of the module to the flight control Power C1 or Power C2 interface.
Pixhawk V6X power port receives Dronecan digital signal from CAN PMU lite power module for voltage, current and remaining battery data, the VCC line must provide at least 3A continuous current and should default to 5.2V. A lower voltage of 5V is still acceptable but discouraged.
Telemetry (Radio) System
Telemetry radios may be used to communicate and control a vehicle in flight from a ground station (for example, you can direct the UAV to a particular position, or upload a new mission).
The vehicle-based radio should be connected to the TELEM1/TELEM2/TELEM3 port as shown below (if connected to TELEM1, no further configuration is required). The other radio is connected to your ground station computer or mobile device (usually by USB).
SD cards are highly recommended as they are required for recording and analyzing flight details, running tasks and using UAVCAN bus hardware. An SD card is already installed on Pixhawk V6X® when it leaves the factory.
For more information see Basic Concepts > SD Cards (Removable Memory).
Motors/servos are connected to the M1~M8 (MAIN) and A1~A8 (AUX) ports in the order specified for your vehicle in the Airframe Reference.
Note:The MAIN outputs in the PX4 firmware are mapped to the Pixhawk V6X’s M1~M8 ports (from IO), while the AUX outputs are mapped to the A1~A8 ports (from the FMU). For example, MAIN1 maps to M1 pin and AUX1 maps to A1 pin. This reference lists the output port to motor/servo mapping for all supported air and ground frames (if your frame is not listed in the reference then use a “generic” airframe of the correct type).
The mapping is not consistent across frames (e.g. you can’t rely on the throttle being on the same output for all plane frames). Make sure to use the correct mapping for your vehicle.
Servo Power Supply
Pixhawk V6X® does not supply power to the servos. If using a plane or rover, an external BEC (e.g., BEC-equipped ESC or separate 5V BEC or 2S LiPo battery) needs to be connected to any of the power (+) pins in M1~M8/A1~A8 to drive the servos .
Note:The power rail voltage must be appropriate for the servo being used!
The wiring and configuration of optional/less common components is covered within the topics for individual peripherals.
General configuration information is covered in: Autopilot Configuration.
QuadPlane specific configuration is covered here: QuadPlane VTOL Configuration