RC over MAVLink
Follow the instructions for general RC setup first.
MAVLink defines certain message types one of which is "RC_CHANNELS_OVERRIDE" message. These messages are used to command the Flight Controller (FC) to ignore all inputs from the regular RC-Receiver (SBUS, SUMD, CPPM, etc.) and instead override the RC channels with the information that is sent as a payload with the MAVLink RC_CHANNELS_OVERRIDEmessages. Thus this feature can be used to override the RC Transmitter and control the vehicle from a Ground Control Station but it can also be used as the sole way to fly the vehicle. There is no need to have a standard RC receiver connected to the FC.
MAVLink v1 supports 8 channels maximum. The new MAVLink v2 standard supports 8 axis channels and 16 button (on/off) channels.
  1. 1.
    Duplicate the currently used Model in your transmitter (if you use one, skip if using a joystick) and assign a new name (e.g.: "MyQuad" -> "MyQuad Open.HD")
  2. 2.
    Switch to the new Model "MyQuad Open.HD"
  3. 3.
    Enter the "MODEL SETUP" Screen and turn Internal RF Mode=OFF and External RF Mode=OFF.
    This deactivates the internal and external RF module to not cause any HF-interference. For an external module it is good practice to even remove it physically from the radio. (Some HF-modules do not respect the "OFF"-Setting and will transmit HF anyway)
  4. 4.
    Edit the openhd-settings-1.txt in the boot partition of the SD card (both Air unit and Ground unit) and set:
    TELEMETRY_TRANSMISSION=wbc
    TELEMETRY_UPLINK=mavlink
    RC=mavlink
  5. 5.
    Unplug your regular RC-Receiver from your Flight Controller, also remove power to the receiver to prevent interference
  6. 6.
    Make sure the Air unit is properly connected to the Flight Controller (See General and Wiring -> Flight Controller)
  7. 7.
    Connect to your Flight Controller via Mission Planner (USB) and open the Full-Parameter-Tree. Configure the parameters as described in the section below.
  8. 8.
    Save the parameters and power off your Flight Controller (also cut USB connection to PC as it powers your FC as well)
  9. 9.
    Now power everything up again: Flight Controller + Air unit and your Ground unit
  10. 10.
    Once up and running connect your joystick or transmitter via USB to the Ground unit
  11. 11.
    Connect your Flight Controller via USB to PC and connect via Mission Planner
  12. 12.
    Go the the RC Calibration dialog and happily see the RC Channels moving :-)
  13. 13.
    Perform the RC Calibration
  14. 14.
    Check Failsafe Settings
  15. 15.
    Arm Arducopter/plane/rover - remove any Props first!! - and throttle up. This is essential since FailSafe won't kick-in when not in flight
  16. 16.
    Test the following scenarios and make sure FailSafe kicks in:
    1. 1.
      Unplug USB Joystick -> FailSafe should kick in
    2. 2.
      Re-plug the USB Joystick -> FailSafe can be disabled by the Joystick after several seconds
    3. 3.
      Turn off Ground unit -> FailSafe should kick in