Thursday, April 20, 2017

A little more detail to install Pixhawk 2.1 Green Cube in Solo

I did this on a Mac but all the steps can be done on a windows or linux machine.
You will just need s small screwdriver set and the application Filezilla client.  This is an FTP program to take care of the file transfers to the Solo instead of using SSH or SCP.

Dissemble Solo and Install Green Cube

To dissemble the Solo, i used this video:

I only completely removed the motor pod nearest the battery connector.  The rest i left alone.  On the mother board side, i removed the motor pod's ESC connector for the 2 back motors.  The motor pod opposite the battery connector, i left completely alone.

I then tilted the motherboard enough that i could remove the Pixhawk 2 cube.  I swapped the original Pixhawk 2 with the Green cube.

I then reinstalled all the components.  I also installed the rubber pads.  I put 2 in the back corners between the power wires.  And 2 more just passed the middle on the sides under the frame a half way. Sorry, forgot a picture, but Facebook showed this in a video.

I also installed my mRo GPS module.  Use the video above to help.

Now to transfer the files. The instructions state to transfer the python files first.  I also suggest this to ensure WIFI works on power up.

Turn on the Solo
Turn on the Solo Remote.
Both of these need to be turned on to start the WIFI network.  Then connect to the wifi network of the Solo.  On you computer, look for a WIFI network with "Solo" in it.  Connect to this WIFI network.  The password for the WIFI network is by default "Sololink".

Install and start Filezilla.  
Add a new connection (Top left icon).  
Set the host to: . (This was found at:
Set Protocol: SFTP
Set User: root
Set Pw: TjSDBkAu
Press Connect

Load Python Files

You will now see the files of the Solo on the right and the files of your computer on the left in FileZilla.  Go to the zip file downloaded for the Solo firmware on the left.  On the right move to the /usr/bin folder.  You will do this but clicking on the ".." folder twice to bring you to the top level.  Then double click on the "usr" folder and then the "bin" folder.  On the left side move to where the unzip files are located and double click on the 4 python files to transfer then over.  When prompted tell Filezilla to overwrite the files. 

Now turn off just the Solo.

Load Firmware File

Turn the Solo back on.

Connect the WIFI network again.

Reconnect in Filezilla.

Now go back two folders to the top level again using the ".." folder.  Now go to the "\firmware" folder.  Double click on the .px4 file "Arducopter Solo Beta.px4"

Turn off the Solo.

Load Parameter File

Turn on Solo again.  When you turn it on and its done initializing, it will complain about the compass calibration.  First load the parameter file before doing the calibration.
I have not done this step yet, but next, go into Mission Planner and pass the parameter file to the Solo.  Mission Planner does not work for a Mac, so i have to see how to do it in APM Planner.

Connect to the Solo WIFI connection.

Start Mission Planner and in the top right corner select UDP and click Connect.  It will then ask for a UDP Port.  Give the port 14550.  It will then connect to the Solo and get the current parameters.

This video should help with connecting Solo to Mission Planner through WIFI.

Click on the Config/Tuning button in the menu bar.
Click on the Load File Button the top right.

Select the Param file from the zip file downloaded with the firmware.
Then click on Write Param button to write the new parameters to the Solo.
I got an error about a Geofence parameter, but everything seemed to work when i clicked ok.

The parameters are now written to the Solo and you are ready for calibration.

Calibration Time

Turn on the Solo again.  When you power up, the Solo remote will complain about doing a compass calibration.  Go into the Solo app and go into settings and do a compass and level calibration.  

After calibrating the Solo, you must turn off power and turn it on again for the calibration to take effect.

I noticed in Mission Planner after all this, i get an warning about "Bad Logging".  Not sure what this message means, but everything else seems to work.


  1. Hi! I am interested in upgrading my Solo with a Green Cube as well. From which vendor did you purchase your Green Cube?

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