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Pypilot for dummies
I have been working on a Pypilot for Dummies document. It's work in progress and not ratified by anyone yet, so there is a risk I might miseducate you on some points. My intention is to share it somewhere here if that appears to be appropriate, and this thread is the first test. Rather than answering some questions and people needing to search this forum to get answers to the same questions, it seems handy to bundle them all in this somewhat popularized, low-entry format. I'm taking liberty to simplify some matters in the beginning of the text, because all exceptions to a simplified narrative would make the text too hard to digest at first reading.

What I was planning to do, and haven't done yet, is extend this text with a step-by-step approach to getting acquainted with pypilot. This would start with an openplotter with no imu, i would show what the error messages would be like, then I'd add the IMU, play with it, then add an arduino with no motor controller, show what you would see and why, etc. At some point there would also be some reference sections describing all screen's widgets, gains, etc.  

So herewith attached the version 0.1. I'm pretty much open to additional questions in this thread, and will answer the questions inside next versions of the document. Eventually, this could be a wiki page or something.
(2021-03-07, 08:15 PM)ironman Wrote: I have been working on a Pypilot for Dummies document.

I think it’s my lucky day. I’ve been browsing the web for information and I was hoping to find a document like this in the Wiki. I’m happy to be a Dummy to review what you produce.

I’m also following an Arduino based control project called OnStep. The structure of the supporting material could be worth a look. It uses a site called
This is great, but keep in mind pypilot and openplotter are both moving targets.

I want to point out that it is so far not proven that openplotter has worse autopilot performance than tinypilot. In theory the critical processes are scheduled realtime so the other programs shouldn't get in the way, but this is not really verified or proven one way or the other yet.

Also... GPS mode tracks only when receiving from a plotter. Otherwise it holds a true-north bearing. I called it gps mode because it requires a gps to work anyway...
Thanks, honoured by your feedback. I'll process it in the next version.


Great work. For us old farts who are out of touch with programming, try to make it as much "plug and play" as you can.
This dummy likes to be taken by the hand and led though the steps of installation.
Ok then, here's the next version v0.2. New stuff is from page 9 onwards. I'm planning to convert to some online github wiki soon. Enjoy!
(2021-03-11, 12:55 AM)ironman Wrote: Ok then, here's the next version v0.2. New stuff is from page 9 onwards. I'm planning to convert to some online github wiki soon. Enjoy!

Thanks @Ironman, slowly, slowly, we begin to understand many things.

Thanks again and good wind, always! Smile Smile Smile
Wow, thanks so much for this! 
I've got zero programming experience, and although I am quite tech savvy for an old fart putting the pieces together has been quite a challenge. It's been like putting a 2000 piece puzzle together in your head without knowing what its a picture of.? You've filled in some critical gaps for me at the perfect time!
Now, if I could on only figure out why I can't get the Pypilot Opencpn plugin to display my Pypilot data I'd be moving on the the Arduino portion of the project. Smile
All right, I put the workbook online: so from now on, any updates will be continuous. Enjoy.

@Goshawk without any more details of your situation, my wild guess would be you need to update your pypilot to the latest version which is described in Step 7, bullet 9.
I read through a large part of your documentation on Github tonight. Very useful. Fills an important gap, so keep up the good work, please!

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