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        Yippee! Open Source Antenna Tracker, here!

#1 jalves May 12, 2012 03:14 PM

Open Source Antenna Tracker, here!
 
Hello To all,

Since I have learned so much from the community (RC, UAV and others) I thought that this was the time to give something back.

I proudly announce a Do It Yourself ANTENNA TRACKER, With full PAN and TILT.

This software is open source, it has portions of code written by Jordi Muñoz (and the Ardupilot team), by Melih Karakelle, by Dennis Frie and of course, by me...

In regard to the hardware it needs two arduino boards (arduino pro or other), a Winch servo (capable of full 360degrees for PAN),a regular servo for TILT and some bits to adapt voltage levels between our Video Tx audio line and the arduinos (check the project home page) and, of course, the Pan&Tilt Rig.

The Antenna Tracker (AT) just needs to receive GPS sentences (GPGGA and GPRMC) at 38400bps(this can be easily changed in the software) through a Y in the gps cable that goes to your osd and then it uses the Audio link of our video systems to transmit the telemetry down to the ground.

It is still a Beta version (v01a), it works well in the bench (with 100% transmit when wired, a corrupted packet now and then when a RF link is used) but it still needs some tweaks (improving the modem section and add some error detection/correction to increase the telemetry "fidelity").

I will test it in the field tomorrow (today failed to do it, the Arduino pro board intended to install in the model plane DOA :( , no problem the Duemilanove is already installed in the model... ), then I will know for sure how it behaves (and its limitations...).

Still, You are all invited to test it and to help develop it.

We can build a Ground station around it and add voltage, rssi, gps info, gps tracking, GEarth, etc. Imagination is the limit (am I being optimist??)

Bear in mind that this is still a work in progress, which means test it well in the ground and in the bench before put it in a model.

Well, here it is, enjoy:

http://code.google.com/p/opendiyantracker/


Video of OpenDiyAT working

SERVOS I am using for this project:
One winch servo for PAN and a regular Futaba or equivalent 60g for TILT.

Grzechu's audio inverter schematics for cheap chinese video Tx/Rx : here!

#2 paintz2007 May 12, 2012 03:20 PM

Yay! I have a remzibi which is atmega based and a arduino pro mini, can the remzibi take care of the plane side, since as I take it already talks in the gps language listed?

#3 msev May 12, 2012 03:31 PM

Great job!

So do you think this code can run on the arduino running Dennis Frie osd? Or does it require a seperate arduino?
The baud rate of the antenna tracker is different than the one that D.F. osd is using right, so can they share the same gps module?

What kind of video transmitter are you using? I would like to use it with the 5.8ghz 200mW transmitter which I have at home.

Which op-amp do you use on the receiver side, and what is the purpose of the op-amp?

Please make a video of it in action when you do the flight test.

I would really like the Google Earth connection :D..That would be major coolness!

#4 chaosdestro0 May 12, 2012 03:54 PM

This is fantastic :).
As someone who prefers to DIY, I have to do this :D.
I really appreciate your work, this means that full antenna tracking is going to be available on the cheap.
It's going to be a long summer, can't wait to have a nice helical.

#5 jalves May 12, 2012 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by paintz2007 (Post 21594481)
Yay! I have a remzibi which is atmega based and a arduino pro mini, can the remzibi take care of the plane side, since as I take it already talks in the gps language listed?

Remzibi osd is closed software, you can use HKM software to configure it, but that's it.

But I think you could use the GPS (Ycable ) to feed the arduino and the osd, try it.

#6 jalves May 12, 2012 04:05 PM

@msev

I use in the bench AirWave modules 2.4GHz (AW633/Aw635 and AW633/AW634).
Dennis didn't like the Lawmate units. Try your 5,8GHz to see if it works.

Next step is the integration with the diy_osd, we have to wait and see what gives (if one atmel has power to do it all...)

The opamp used was a LM358 , the schematics is in project page, see the wiki.

#7 chaosdestro0 May 12, 2012 04:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jalves (Post 21594777)
@msev

I use in the bench AirWave modules 2.4GHz (AW633/Aw635 and AW633/AW634).
Dennis didn't like the Lawmate units. Try your 5,8GHz to see if it works.

Next step is the integration with the diy_osd, we have to wait and see what gives (if one atmel has power to do it all...)

The opamp used was a LM358 , the schematics is in project page, see the wiki.

Well I think it would be easier just taking out the OSD on the plane and then putting it at the ground station then just sending the data from the antenna tracker by serial to the OSD. I had a look at the code you have, you probably wouldn't even need to modify the RX code as I can see it already sends it out.
But it depends, it could be easily done right now though some might want current sensing and voltage.

#8 rimshotcopter May 12, 2012 04:35 PM

Brilliant!

#9 rimshotcopter May 12, 2012 04:59 PM

In theory, SoftSerial could be used to not tie up the USB serial port. This is really looking great!

#10 jalves May 12, 2012 06:34 PM

2 Attachment(s)
The Ground station, ready to be tested.

A nest of wires :o

#11 PMB-NZ May 12, 2012 07:08 PM

I'm using the HK 5.8G 200mW video TX-RX with the DIY-OSD. The audio should be OK for data with reasonable antennas. I'm just using the microphone audio that's built into the transmitter. Two receivers (skey-planar and 11dBi patch) feed a diversity controller. A couple of things I've noted:

On one of my receivers/leads the audio is mono on both channels but the other receiver/lead has audio out only on one channel. Easy solution is to leave them paired and mark the good connector. It hasn't bothered me so I haven't investigated

The audio seems to goe bad long before the video. The audio often makes louder interference noises with little or no effect on the picture. As the loud scratchy noises become more frequent it's a good time to turn around and fly back.

With cloverleaf and skew-planar antennas it works well out to 700+ meters then the picture and audio start to slowly degrade with snow and hiss.

FPV from in the car (8 min 16 sec)


Paul

#12 Dimitris76 May 12, 2012 08:58 PM

It's good to have innovation and many options to choose from but Dakar with it's matching Lynx tracker has been around for some time now, the airborne board is smaller/lighter, needs much cheaper hardware (10x cheaper than the arduino boards) and doesn't occupy your audio channel either...

Dimitrios

#13 renatoa May 13, 2012 12:41 AM

You stolen my post ^^^ :)

#14 PMB-NZ May 13, 2012 01:47 AM

Thanks for the Dakar reference. I Googled and it's one I looked at a while back. No good for me as the main site is not in English, it looks like the setup program is for Windows (I only run Linux) and it's not open source so I cannot modify or support it.

I do like that it's PIC based. I built a small smd OSD circuit board about 6 months ago with a LM1881 and a faster PIC18F to experiment with code. I haven't done much with it yet as I've been using a Flytron OSD and a DIY-OSD on a Flytron board.

I could use the board I designed as a decoder If I put data in the video from the DIY-OSD. If I do get it working, I'm happy to open source it.

Paul

#15 jalves May 13, 2012 02:03 AM

Well, data over the video hide lines is in my schedule also, maybe we can join forces?

Dimitris and Renatoa,

I use Dakar/Lynx since almost day one, It is a Marvelous project made by Crsitóbal Fernandez, well BEFORE any other project!

Yesterday I had to remove the Lynx from the Antenna rig in order to install the arduino.

If I tell you that I learn a LOT with this project, do you believe it?

And I want to continue to learn with it.


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