IO on the ELEV-8 Flight Controller

If you can blink an LED, you can rule the world! Or at least illuminate it slightly :) This tutorial will help you add code to the Parallax ELEV-8 Flight Controller that will allow it to interact with other devices or electronics.  This tutorial contains intermediate and advanced elements that will help you use any unused pins on your Parallax Flight Controller as general-purpose input/output pins.  Once you understand how to control an LED or read the state of an input pin, you can extend that knowledge to applications such as triggering a camera shutter or data logger.  Although this tutorial will use specific hardware, many of the concepts can be used with a wide range of hardware.

Hacking Cautions

It is possible to complete this tutorial by simply using what comes with the ELEV-8 v3 kit and making changes to the code.  The code you add to the firmware to learn how to toggle inputs and outputs is only meant to be used temporarily.  If you choose to add additional electronics or hardware more permanently to your ELEV-8 v3 and/or make changes to the firmware, you will need to take special care that:

  • The pins "toggled" by edits to the firmware are not used for any other purpose.
  • Any added hardware is firmly and safely fastened to the ELEV-8 v3's chassis
  • If hardware is added, special care is taken not to exceed the battery or Flight Controller's current and voltage capabilities.
  • You thoroughly safety test your ELEV-8 v3 before fully flying it after it has been modified.