HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
Reply
Thread Tools
Old Sep 02, 2009, 10:16 PM
Registered User
CATPart's Avatar
Joined Mar 2008
493 Posts
Discussion
CATPart's Tracking Antenna

I have a thread for this in the FPV forum, but I wanted to show you guys too :] This is my tracking antenna I have been building. Will have a 2.4ghz and a 900 mhz patch for video and telemetry. Those are just cardboard squares for now. Runs from custom software on my laptop that parses GGA strings. I could mod it to parse any telemetry data of course.

CATPart's Tracking Antenna for UAV and FPV (0 min 43 sec)
CATPart is offline Find More Posts by CATPart
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Sep 02, 2009, 10:36 PM
Registered User
Moore, Oklahoma
Joined Oct 2004
4,322 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by CATPart
I have a thread for this in the FPV forum, but I wanted to show you guys too :] This is my tracking antenna I have been building. Will have a 2.4ghz and a 900 mhz patch for video and telemetry. Those are just cardboard squares for now. Runs from custom software on my laptop that parses GGA strings. I could mod it to parse any telemetry data of course.

http://vimeo.com/6369680

Did you mention over there you were going to be using Atto with this?

Nice work! Looking forward to the results.

Chris
airmcn_3 is offline Find More Posts by airmcn_3
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 02, 2009, 10:56 PM
Registered User
CATPart's Avatar
Joined Mar 2008
493 Posts
Hi Chris,
Thanks man. No I do not have atto, I can't spend the money right now. I was just trying to justify why somebody might want 2 different frequencies tracked at the same time. Atto was just an example of something that could usea a dedicated link. I will be using xtend modems with only a gps hooked up. I'm still working on that system, with a little help from workshop (jeff).
David
CATPart is offline Find More Posts by CATPart
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 02, 2009, 11:19 PM
Registered User
Moore, Oklahoma
Joined Oct 2004
4,322 Posts
David,

Got ya! Most do not know because we just finished testing on the prototype but AttoPilot LLC has a tracking antenna for the autopilots as well. And as you described we also have two different frequencies and just happen to be the same as yours.

We have designed for wind loading and max reception. (Or Close to)

This will be an item available through the online store as soon as we finish up the new website.

I really like the looks of yours. Kind reminds me of something from Star Wars!!!

Keep the pics and results coming!

Chris

BTW: This is not a PLUG, I really like your tracker! Nice and compact. Looks like it can keep the sand and junk out of the gears on windy days.

What are you using for your pan servo?
airmcn_3 is offline Find More Posts by airmcn_3
Last edited by airmcn_3; Sep 03, 2009 at 12:16 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 03, 2009, 12:04 AM
Chris Anderson
San Francisco/Bay Area
Joined Mar 2007
939 Posts
Nice! Our ground station (ArduStation) can drive a tracking antenna, too. Are you going to release this as a product? We'd love to make our code compatible with it and carry it in the DIY Drones store.
zlite is offline Find More Posts by zlite
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 03, 2009, 08:35 AM
Registered User
CATPart's Avatar
Joined Mar 2008
493 Posts
zlite, This antenna base station design is pretty heavy duty, I designed it to swing bigger antennas than shown (what you see there is 3 feet wide). It easilly breaks down into pieces for transport or storage. It looks like your ground station controller can control 2 servos so that is all you need to make my antenna work since it runs on PWM, so we are already compatible! Send me a PM and we can talk. I have not tested in the field yet, just from simulated data so far, and it works great from that. If anybody wants to give me a few pointers on quickly setting up xtend modems I would be appreciative :]
CATPart is offline Find More Posts by CATPart
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 03, 2009, 11:14 AM
Registered User
Moore, Oklahoma
Joined Oct 2004
4,322 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by CATPart
If anybody wants to give me a few pointers on quickly setting up xtend modems I would be appreciative :]

What you having issues with? I can try and help.
airmcn_3 is offline Find More Posts by airmcn_3
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 03, 2009, 11:28 AM
Registered User
Joined Jan 2009
376 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by zlite
Nice! Our ground station (ArduStation) can drive a tracking antenna, too. Are you going to release this as a product? We'd love to make our code compatible with it and carry it in the DIY Drones store.

Ardustation can drive a tracking antenna?! LOL, can't believe I missed that. Link to more info?
tekrunner is offline Find More Posts by tekrunner
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 03, 2009, 11:35 AM
Registered User
CATPart's Avatar
Joined Mar 2008
493 Posts
Thanks airmcn,
I have not even plugged in the modems yet, just reading the manual. Nothing in there (that I can find) really tells me how to use them. Ok, I power on the 2 modems, now what? Do I need to bind them somehow? Are they ready to go out of the box or do I need to hook them up and configure some paramaters? I will admit I have not given the manual a thorough read yet. I have the flying modem hooked up to a carrier board I got from workshop. I have some connectors on order for the other modem.
david
CATPart is offline Find More Posts by CATPart
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 03, 2009, 12:25 PM
Registered User
Moore, Oklahoma
Joined Oct 2004
4,322 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by CATPart
Thanks airmcn,
I have not even plugged in the modems yet, just reading the manual. Nothing in there (that I can find) really tells me how to use them. Ok, I power on the 2 modems, now what? Do I need to bind them somehow? Are they ready to go out of the box or do I need to hook them up and configure some paramaters? I will admit I have not given the manual a thorough read yet. I have the flying modem hooked up to a carrier board I got from workshop. I have some connectors on order for the other modem.
david
Well, yes you need to power them up. They do need to be configured to the correct baud rate. The manual goes through all this and once you’re done you will not have to repeat. I am not sure on the connectors as I get mine from AttoPilot.

Sorry I am not of more help.

Chris
airmcn_3 is offline Find More Posts by airmcn_3
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 03, 2009, 12:43 PM
Chris Anderson
San Francisco/Bay Area
Joined Mar 2007
939 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by tekrunner
Ardustation can drive a tracking antenna?! LOL, can't believe I missed that. Link to more info?
It's got two servo outputs. The info is in the product description. It uses open source code, so you can put in any Az/El logic you want to drive those servos. (It already knows the UAV's GPS location)
zlite is offline Find More Posts by zlite
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 03, 2009, 01:09 PM
Inherent Tinkerer
Wichita, Kansas, USA
Joined Jul 2003
1,431 Posts
Are there instructions on how to setup the servos and calibrate them to track the plane?

Thanks,

Jimmy
jtprouty is offline Find More Posts by jtprouty
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 03, 2009, 02:20 PM
Chris Anderson
San Francisco/Bay Area
Joined Mar 2007
939 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtprouty
Are there instructions on how to setup the servos and calibrate them to track the plane?
No, it's an open platform and software features are added as needed by users. The hardware supports the servos but we haven't added the tracking code to the software ourselves. As an open source hardware project, one of our community members will add that functionality when they want it and share it with the community; we'll add it to the core code base after it's been tested in the field.

So, short answer: the hardware is set up already for this, and you can easily add the functionality to the code yourself
zlite is offline Find More Posts by zlite
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 04, 2009, 02:52 AM
Registered User
Joined Aug 2007
1,512 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by CATPart
Thanks airmcn,
I have not even plugged in the modems yet, just reading the manual. Nothing in there (that I can find) really tells me how to use them. Ok, I power on the 2 modems, now what? Do I need to bind them somehow? Are they ready to go out of the box or do I need to hook them up and configure some paramaters? I will admit I have not given the manual a thorough read yet. I have the flying modem hooked up to a carrier board I got from workshop. I have some connectors on order for the other modem.
david
No binding, they just "see" and recognize each other unless you enable and use an encryption key. Out of the box they will simply see any other default 9XTend within range.

Default out of the box is 8N1 serial at 9600 baud serial rate, 9600 over air rate. Depending on what is speaking the serial stream into the modem, you might need to add a 10k or 20k pullup resistor to the DataIn line.

By the way, if you connect these to a simple duplex serial terminal window on your PC, you can enter AT command mode, change the baud rate, RF power, change over-air to 115,200 baud, and even flash the changed setting to onboard nonvolatile memory. One way to connect these into a USB com port is with an FTDI chip containing product, such as those USB-to-Serial sold by sparkfun or even the Parallax Prop Plug.

Attached is a relevent spec sheet I wrote up as a specific quick start guide for the amazingly simply and small XTend adapter I have. It gets you through the main points of using and setting up the 9XTend.
dmgoedde is offline Find More Posts by dmgoedde
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 04, 2009, 08:03 AM
Registered User
CATPart's Avatar
Joined Mar 2008
493 Posts
Thanks Dean! This is good information. I already bought a usb to serial to get the telemetry into the PC, so I suppose I can configure it with that also. I did a lot of assuming when I bought these things, haha, so hopefully I assumed right. Thank you for the info and the setup sheet.
CATPart is offline Find More Posts by CATPart
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion CATPart's Tracking Antenna CATPart FPV Talk 23 Oct 11, 2009 05:24 PM
Dean's whip antenna - lost instructions Karl B˛ Radios 4 Aug 22, 2008 05:25 PM
Tracking antenna for rc video rcrick Power Systems 1 Sep 28, 2001 09:44 AM
MS 420's tracking poorly. Helibee Electric Heli Talk 6 Jul 04, 2001 12:03 AM