It's alive, maybe

A project log for Crazyradio for Cheapskates

Turning a wireless mouse USB adapter into a quadcopter transmitter

ajlittajlitt 07/12/2015 at 07:090 Comments

So I was one of the lucky winners of a Crazyflie 2.0 in one of the HaD contests. I cheaped out when ordering and neglected to buy the Crazyradio PA. I assumed it was necessary only for long range flight. You know what they say about assuming.

Since ordering I've been reading Bitcraze's excellent wiki and forum, and it seems like most of the fun to be had involves a PC or RPi and the Crazyradio. I happened to know that the Logitech Unifying Receiver that my spare laptop mouse uses is based on the same chip as the Crazyradio. The Bitcraze wiki explains how the firmware and bootloader on the Crazyradio can be recovered over SPI with a JTAG adapter or Bus Pirate, so I thought it might be worth it to try the procedure on the mouse receiver while I wait for my toy to arrive.

Long story short: After some soldering and screwing around with the programmer, I got this dongle to run the Crazyradio firmware. The Crazyradio DFU programmer works, and the cfclient flight control detects it properly.

Without the Crazyflie I can't tell if it's actually working though, so there's that. I also don't have much hope that the range will be any different than BLE. Both Crazyradio models use high gain external antennas, while this uses a tiny zig zagged dipole PCB trace.