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Thread: Skylark Trace OSD - Nightrams comprehensive page

  1. #1
    Hive Mind Nightram's Avatar
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    Post Skylark Trace OSD - Nightrams comprehensive page

    The big brother to Skylarks Tiny OSD III is the Trace OSD. It is pretty much the all in one solution for OSD. You want OSD, GPS, current sensing, 5v/12v camera power, 5v/12v tx power and connection to a Automatic Antenna tracker? Its all here!

    Skylarks Trace OSD provides advanced OSD functions in a compact and modular package. The OSD can be displayed one of two ways, Comprehensive or compact. Essentially the HUD functions are the same as the Tiny OSD, it is the hardware that is different.



    Product link:
    XT60 connectors - http://www.skylarkfpv.com/en/product.php?id=26

    Nightram Trace OSD manual:
    [Download]

    Firmware Update v2.9 December 13
    [Download Here]
    New features:
    1. Fix the summary bug for multicopter, it the current greater than 3A, the summary will not display now.
    2. Fix the timer bug for multicopter

    Features include:

    • 3s-6s compatible
    • 10Hz super sense GPS, with backup battery ,3D Fix led indicator.
    • PAL/NTSC compatible
    • 80A current sensor.
    • RSSI Auto detect, either in analog or digital (PWM/PPM)
    • Return to home arrow so you never get lost!
    • Barometer for accurate height measurement,
    • Filtered switching type power regulator for both camera and transmitter, individual voltage selection,
    • Compatible with Automatic Antenna Trackers such as the Skylark AAT.

    The Heads Up Display of a fighter pilot
    Skylarks HUD is nicknamed the F-16 HUD. You might be able to see why!


    *** Note ***
    When the weather is better I will take a half decent pic showing the two OSD modes with firmware v2.9


    So why is this such a great OSD?
    This is the bee knees of OSD. Dont get me wrong, I love the Tiny OSD however this one is a all in one solution. The fact that it can regulate power as well as provide it to the cam and transmitter independently makes it stand out.

    • Provide 5v or 12v to Camera,
    • Provide 5v or 12v to transmitter,
    • Distance from home,
    • Direction to home,
    • Height,
    • GPS co-ordinates (for recovery worst case scenario),
    • Powered by receiver,
    • RSSI (Receiver Signal Strength Indicator, aka control strength),
    • Voltage, and
    • Miliampere hours used (use as a indication only, Nightram tip post 2).

    In the Skylark store it costs a mere $128 USD. Just $20 more for the ability to provide regulated power.

    Pro/Con/Improvements
    In the interest of fair review and information here are the pros and cons in my opinion.

    Pros:

    • Affordable, cost is just $128 USD from skylark,
    • Great OSD Layout with lots of information,
    • Option for compact OSD view, and
    • With other skylark gear it is just plug and play, you could even make it removable to swap between craft.


    Cons:

    • All items are shrink wrapped which cheapens the look.
    • Items are shrink wrapped with no "flat" surface, this makes adhesive tape hard to apply to a flat surface,
    • Long interconnecting cables with molex connectors. They are too long for me! I need to double them over 3 times and shrink wrap them to fit them on my craft,
    • current sensor is on the main OSD board, you are unable to remove it.

    Improvements I would like to see:

    • Options for shorter cables when buying, I already know where i want to fit them. In some cases it is not half a meter away!
    • OSD options to hide or move readouts individually.
    • Plastic hard case for OSD and GPS would be nice.
    • Have a removable current sensor similar to the Tiny OSD. For my multirotors it is not as feasible to have the thick current wires running back and forth
    • Support to be able to step all the way down to 2S, i want to use it on a flying wing where I dont need 12v cam.
    Last edited by Nightram; 11th July 2014 at 10:20 PM. Reason: Manual update

  2. #2
    Hive Mind Nightram's Avatar
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    Skylark Trace OSD - Nightrams comprehensive page

    Frequently asked questions:

    The USB connector is not recognized in Windows 8 or 8.1, how can I get it to work?
    You will need to use a older version of the driver. The current version does not work, however if you use a Prolific USB to Serial driver dater 9/24/2008 version 3.3.2.102 it will work with administrator rights. You can look for it yourself independently, or get it from my drive below.
    Prolific driver 3.3.2.102


    When I calibrate I am not getting any readings, whats going on?
    Sometimes the simplest answer is the thing we need. The GPS and current sensor plugs look the same, ensure you have the USB connected to the GPS port and the current sensor to the current sensor port.


    During calibration I am getting error 1pCurCal, what does it mean?
    There are a couple of answers of what it could be.

    • Ensure the scale is set appropriately as per Nightrams manual,
    • Ensure you have all cables connected correctly, and
    • Reset the OSD via the reset button and removing power.

    If the fault still exists attempt to re-flash firmware. After all of these options have been exhausted I am afraid it is out of my knowledge and you will need to contact Skylark on sales@skylarkfpv.com.


    You mentioned in "Post #1" not trust the mah, and to only use it as a indication. Why?
    You may or not be aware LiPos have certain limitations. With age LiPos will gradually be less effective at holding voltage. This is simply due to the chemical reactions within the cell. After a time a battery may not hold a voltage level as it once did. In the world of multirotors, motors are rated on kv per volt. So voltage is what gives you your lift. A LiPo should theoretically never be used beyond 80% of its capacity, sure you may be able to do this however it will be detrimental. So a 1000mah battery is theoretically good for 800mah really. Use the mah as a guide, however when you see that voltage drop to below what you need. Well you should of already landed, or its gonna land for you!


    I am not getting a accurate enough cal, is there a better way?
    If you put the props on in reverse (so they blow up not down) during calibration you will have a greater variance in amp and voltage loading. As the craft is pushing down, you do not require to secure it. This requires props so be careful.


    If you have any questions relating to the Trace OSD please post them here and I will do my best to help you!
    Last edited by Nightram; 1st July 2014 at 11:05 AM.

  3. #3
    Navigator rickcavanaugh's Avatar
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    Many of us have had issues getting the RSSI to work with EZuhf receivers. Some claim their works perfect. Mine is one that does not work. Sometimes it calibrates and usually it does not calibrate correctly. My RSSI jumps from 100% to 0% in flight while only 200-300 meters alway. The signal is there, as the plane keeps flying.....so the numbers are meaningless.

    This is an issue that needs to be looked into and corrected. It makes a great OSD not very good. I think it is a firmware issue.

  4. #4
    Hive Mind Nightram's Avatar
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    My only suggestions for ezuhf are:
    - ensure ezuhf is putting out 8 channels via ppm
    - put rssi onto pwm if possible
    - read rssi from any pwm channel while using ppm for actual control

    I do not know how many channels the osd can read unfortunately. I would suspect if it had limits it would be 8.

    On my skylark osd I am using #5pwm positive, #5pwm earth and singular rssi pin. I needed to split the servo cable.

  5. #5
    Navigator rickcavanaugh's Avatar
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    That is the way I have mine set up. Does not work and there are others having the same issue.
    Channel 7 is link
    channel 8 is RSSI
    I have tried both neither works.

    I have the trace set to digital and %. Will not calibrate 90% of the time. One time it did and then it did not test out and work.
    Servo wire going from trace to ezuhf wired per Skylarks instruction. I even tried a second cable to verify the cable was not bad.

  6. #6
    I am having the exact same problems. Has anyone figured it out yet?

  7. #7
    Hive Mind Nightram's Avatar
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    I am sorry, might have to talk to skylark. I don't own ezuhf yet.

  8. #8
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    I "misplaced" my Trace IV GPS module (took it off to paint plane, and put it somewhere safe... too safe.)

    Anyway, I have a couple of other GPS assemblies in the box, and hope to use one until the original shows up. It's been 3 weeks missing now. The most likely looking one carries a NEO-6M-0-001 module. It has the correct connector, and has the I2C interface as I believe the Trace does.

    Anybody know if this will work as is, reflashed, or not at all?

    If Nitram, Skylark, or anyone else knows, please let me know. I hate to fork out $48 plus shipping only too have mine show back up as soon as I place the order.

    I believe these are both I2C serial, 5v units(regulated to 3.3 on the board), but speed, communication protocol (beyond I2C) are not in the Skylark or Nitram info. This unit is from my Arduflyer Mission planner set-up. It's an RC-timer CN-06 board. The antenna has a Cirocomm logo across the top and "0091" in the lower right.

    Thanks guys, I miss my GPS. Scott
    Last edited by Scott594; 18th July 2014 at 09:56 PM. Reason: Added RCtimer pn

  9. #9
    Hive Mind Nightram's Avatar
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    Not compatible, I believe the Skylark use NMEA protocol.

  10. #10
    WB2UQJ
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    Thanks Nitram, it was worth asking. Guess it's time to start searching organizers, toolboxes, etc.

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