If you are a beginner to the world of radio control you need to get used to sending data from your computer to an electronic controller.
In fact if your not accustomed to firmware updates this is an area you need to understand and also realize this is a regular function in todays modern computer controlled environment. Almost every electronic device has a program and many can be customized or need to be updated from the manufacture to remove issues or add features.
One of the greatest way to get some experience is messing with an Arduino board or raspberry pie.
The reason this is important is you have to learn or understand how to connect your pc or mac to a device and upload the code to the device so it will perform the required function. I say Arduino because the RepRap 3d printer revolution is built on this control board.
There have been many advances in the past year and the standard uno board is getting some stiff competition, the purpose of this information here is just to help you realize there is a system of procedures that have to be followed in order to get a electronic control board functioning and doing it safely.
Every electronic component you purchase for drone operations will require firmware updates when you start using them and periodically during it’s service life.
The Drone build will require regular adjustments to the control operating system and there are different flavors too depending on your intent and mission.
This is important because every computer is different and require different setups to communicate. Older computers can be ok if you know your system but generally require alot of adjustments. Newer computers and newer laptops are better but alot of problems are introduced because windows is such a crappy os and getting a system configured can be an issue or maybe not able to work at all. It’s about software and hardware interaction, current and newer computers have better chipsets and are more reliable. Using a Mac is a definate upgrand from any windows system but I hat microsoft so that;s just an opinion. Linux is an option of course is probably the best if you work in that enviroment.
If you get lucky and plug in yout usb cable ant connect to the proper com port and are able to communicate with your hardware that’s great, but, that’s not gonna happen.
With the drone enviroment the upload is rather easy once you get a connection. The program acts as the interface for the decisions that need to be made.
Most small computer boards use a program like arduino IDE or there are a few others but they will drive you nuts . Visual studio being one. Just another concept and process that takes weeks to understand and get working
Back to the drone world, your control computer, the gps, the esc, these components all have micro usb ports that allow transmission of code updates to them.
Best Advice: Setup a couple different computers to communicate with your components
Understanding the program specs and the coding is an intense proposition and takes some real time invested to learn but fortunately the developers for the small drone environment all got together and created a standard and development communities.
PX4 and Ardupilot both solid firmwares with a-lot of customizations. All workable as long as your computer has the right drivers installed, has the right com port and right transfer speed.