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Xbee radio control? Answered

I've been thinking about making a FPV RC (first person view) plane and I was wondering about using Xbee and Ardunio. I was thinking have an Arduino on the ground and another one in the plane each one with an Xbee. I want to have joysticks, buttons and switches on the ground to control at least 4 servos, one or two ESC's and possibly other things (like LED's and retractable landing gear) in the plane and also have a camera and some sensors (altitude, battery level, ECT) in the plane sending video and data back to earth where it can be displayed. I am quite new to electronics and I just want to know if what I said is possible, if there is an easier/cheaper way, how one might go about doing it and if that's even how you use an Xbee. Thanks for any help, it will be greatly appreciated 



4 years ago

You cannot control two at once let alone three.
This not a simple case of Roman riding !

A PC needs to direct the flights based on a strategy input to the software
and let the PC speed take care of the ten thousand minutia of adjustments
necessary to keep three planes in stable non-intersecting paths and airborne.

There is a most excellent you tube video of 8 quaqdra or penta copters
performing an aerial ballet under PC control.

there will be only one plane

OK that's reasonable

Good it is doable but not as a plane which will move fast out of Xbee range.
Have you ever flown an RC plane (how many crashes till you became a proficient pilot ?).

Use a Quarda, penta or hexa  copter which can hover and stay in radio contact.

There are copter instructables in this site search for the one you like

No, I've never flown one myself and I would start off with small, non-FPV planes for me to practice on, this is just for when I want more channels and features. Also, some Xbee's say they have 40KM range.

40KM is impressive !
My next concern is if it buffers the data and causes a delay 
that would cause jerky control surface response.

But you will discover that in your non-FPV craft :-)

Have a look at this: https://www.instructables.com/id/iPod-AR-Drone-flying-spy-camera-at-Brookstone-and/

I suggest honestly you have a big learning curve to climb before you ready to attack this project.

This is done and a number of $500 drones exist so it is possible.

Start with building some more normal RC aircraft so you can get a feel for size, power weight and how they fly -

Most drones are either RC controlled in a conventional manner from the ground 9there are laws!) or are autonomous and controlled totally by an on board micro and GPS. There is a video on the site below re using drones in a practical manner.

Look at this site


not only will you find lots of video advice but you will also find FREE plans for a large assembly of relatively cheap aircraft to start with.


Ok thanks. I was planing on making smaller planes beforehand anyway, This was just a thought. do you know of any other wireless modules that can be used with micro-controllers that can be a two way link? I've been watching flitetest videos on youtube and I really want to get into flying planes but RC transmitters and receivers cost a ridiculous amount (in my opinion).

What do you want to send? If control signsls use a standard rc system with or without a booster. If data a good range is hoing to be hsrd there ars comercisl ststem about for a price flite test covef some

This would be sending from the ground: control for a few servos and one or two ESC's and back from the plane: a video signal for the FPV, the data from sensors measuring voltage/current from the battery and altitude and possibly a GPS module.

Ok so I found a normal 9ch transmitter that I like for a price I like so this system will only be used to send information back to the ground. I could use an OSD and send the sensor data back with the video although they do seem expensive. And the GPS would only be needed for a very long flight or for a directional antenna that tracks the plane and points to it at all times. Ignoring the GPS then, all I want is a fairly cheap (But still decent) video transmitter. Could you recommend anything