Loading Firmware onto Pixhawk/APM2.x/PX4

These instructions will show you how to download the latest firmware onto the Pixhawk, APM 2.x or PX4 controller.

Connect controller to computer

Once you’ve installed the Mission Planner onto your computer, connect the autopilot board to your computer using the micro USB cable as shown below. Use a direct USB port on your computer (not a USB hub).


Pixhawk USB Connection


APM USB Connection


PX4 USB Connection

Windows should automatically detect and install the correct driver software.

Connect to Mission Planner

Open the Mission Planner and select the COM port drop-down on the upper-right corner of the screen (near the Connect button). Select AUTO or the specific port for your board (PX4 FMU or Arduino Mega 2560). Set the Baud rate to 115200 as shown. Don’t hit Connect just yet.

../_images/Pixhawk_ConnectWithMP.png ../_images/connect-to-com-port.png

Install firmware

On the Mission Planner’s Initial Setup | Install Firmware screen select the appropriate icon that matches your frame (i.e. Quad, Hexa). Answer Yes when it asks you “Are you sure?”.


Mission Planner: Install FirmwareScreen

After the Mission Planner detects which board you are using (i.e. Pixhawk) it will ask you to unplug the board, plug it back in and then press OK within a few seconds (during this brief period the bootloader accepts requests to upload new firmware).


Mission Planner: Install FirmwarePrompt

If all goes well you will see some status appear on the bottom right including the words, “erase...”, “program...”, “verify..” and “Upload Done”. The firmware has been succesfully uploaded to the board.


You can test the firmware is basically working by switching to the Mission Planner Flight Data screen and pressing the Connect button. The HUD should update as you tilt the board.

Connect Mission Planner to AutoPilot has more information on connecting to Mission Planner.