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Overall outline of this guide:

1.      Hardware configuration overview.

2.      Outline of required components and where to buy them.


Brief overview of the Paparazzi hardware layout

Follow the arrows on the diagram below to see how data is flowed through the Paparazzi system. It is good to get a general feel for how you will be connecting the components before you begin buying them This diagram is not all encompassing and it should be noted here that you are still able to directly control the servos from the RC receiver via the Paparazzi flight mode selection control this will be explained in greater detail in later posts.



What you will need & where to buy:

Below is a list of all the components you will need to get your Paparazzi system up and running. It is important that you understand what each component you are buying does in order to make correct purchasing decisions for your specific project.

Electronic Components

Obtain a bundle package from one of the suppliers on the “Get hardware” page on the wiki: I have selected the TWOG (Tiny With Out GPS) configuration as it allows for a more flexible layout of components within the plane. Each of the bundles should contain the following items and be at the plug and play level of configuration at the time you purchase them. Note if you wish to source/build & program your own components please consult the Paparazzi wiki for further information as it is beyond the scope of these user guides.

·        TWOG or Tiny Paparazzi board – this is where the processing for the Paparazzi autopilot takes place.

·        UBlox GPS – This is a GPS signal receiver with cable to connect directly to the Paparazzi board. Note you will only need to purchase this if you get the TWOG.

·        IR sensors (horizontal and vertical) – these are the temperature sensors that Paparazzi uses to maintain stable flight.

·        Xbee radio modems (pair) – Paparazzi uses Xbee modems to communicate between the plane and the ground station.

·        FTDI board and cable – This is a communication interface between the Paparazzi ground station and the Paparazzi TWOG or Tiny when there are no radio modems installed.

·        Encoder - This converts any RC receivers signals into the format required by Paparazzi without having to modify your RC receiver. This is usually sold by the same people you can buy the Paparazzi bundles through

Note: if you purchase a bundle pack from a supplier make sure that it contains all the parts listed above as you may need to source components from elsewhere if the supplier is out of stock.

Connectors and wiring

·        Molex Picoblade connectors - these connectors are used on the Paparazzi board and are very good but can be hard to come by. I have found that Farnell components in Australia have them as well as pre crimped wires You will need the following quantities of connectors however I generally prefer the “grab a hand full” approach as they are relatively inexpensive and extremely useful for Paparazzi projects.

o   At least 7 x 3pin female connectors for the servos and the IR Vertical sensor

o   4 pin female connector for the IR Horizontal sensor

Note: check to make sure your IR sensors are not coming with connectors already installed.

·        RC servo connector kits, get lots of these as they are cheap and always useful.

·        Power connector, this is to power the Paparazzi board I am using a two pin Molex connector that is rated for ~15Amps which is overkill but it’s always best to be on the safe side when it comes to connectors. A good place to look for suitable connectors is in the micro RC section of your hobby shop.

·        Lots of misc wiring, it’s always good to have a plan of exactly how you are going to lay out the wiring in your project, so make sure you understand how the information is flowing around your Paparazzi system and try to keep it as neat as possible as this will assist greatly when debugging.

Tagged in: TWOG , TINY , servo , RC , Paparazzi , Molex , howto , hardware , guide , flow , Farnell , data