As I was setting up my reliable old APM 1 to get it installed in the Sky Eye, I must have shorted one of the PWM inputs. As a result, it no longer receives Radio Control inputs. Fortunately, the rest of the board works so I can still use it for testing.
As a result, I started looking for alternatives. 3DR has recently released their Pixhawk board. While it looks really interesting (I absolutely love how the code is documented and how it runs on a UNIX platform), I can’t really find any documented, successful use of it on planes. Their site claims it works fine but I cant find anyone else who has tried it. That makes me nervous. It doesn’t help that 3DR basically has a “no returns” policy. Oh well.
So, while I would have loved to have gone Pixhawk, I think I am going to stick with classic APM for now. I went ahead and ordered an APM 2.6 board with one of the new external GPS+Compasses to go along with it. Honestly, a pretty sweet deal at ~$260.
The one positive thing about this development is that I can use my old APM as a permanent development/test unit for my interfacing software. This means when I receive my 2.6 board, I can put it permanently in the plane, as opposed to constantly installing/removing it.