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Old Nov 06, 2010, 08:12 AM
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Brunswick, OH
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HappyKillmore's Ground Control Station

I've started development of a ground control station that is primarily geared towards ArduPilot and ArduPilot Mega, but it speaks ArduIMU binary, NMEA, uBlox and Sirf as well (although roll and pitch are not available from the GPS protocols). Right now, I'm still finishing up on the Google Earth implementation as it does not read the waypoints sent by AP on startup (very soon). It's also going to handle 2-way communication with AP Mega shortly. The live video feed is working (EasyCAP with Remzibi OSD connected for testing in screenshot below) but like everything else, is still under construction. It will save and playback your raw data stream.

My plans are to make this project translatable so I'll be asking for some help from the international community in the near future.

This is a Windows only project (it will never run on your mac or linux box natively) and is not open source. But it is freeware (or will be when I post a downloadable version shortly). You may recognize some of the elements used in my program as some items have been scavenged from the internet. I'll give full credit in the About page to everyone who was nice enough to share their source!!! What I'm attempting to do is create an easy to use very functional GCS that any Windows user can get up and running in minutes.

System requirements:
.NET 2.0 framework (pre-installed on Vista and Windows 7):
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/e...displaylang=en

DirectX End-User Runtimes: - Important! Fixes DirectX errors!
http://code.google.com/p/happykillmo...t.exe&can=2&q=

Google Earth and plugin:
http://www.google.com/earth/download/ge/
http://www.google.com/earth/explore/...ts/plugin.html

GCS Program:
http://code.google.com/p/happykillmo...downloads/list



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Old Nov 06, 2010, 10:26 AM
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Hi ! i have some question :

the Ground Control Station received the data with the Xbee link to the com port ?
the video is streaming via a pc capture card ?
an Internet data is use to display the google map ?

thank.

Benjamin.
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Old Nov 06, 2010, 01:36 PM
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Benjamin, yes, the Telemetry data would arrive via X-Bee (or via modem on the audio or video channel), the video would be from your VTx or diversity system (if you're doing FPV too) and your Google Maps would have to be via internet, but Google Earth has a caching routine so you wouldn't need a live internet connetion. You would have to connect at home and run my GCS then you could take it to the field and fly without an internet connection.
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Old Nov 07, 2010, 10:40 AM
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Solihull, England
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Don't know if the pic you posted of the GCS is the final version but I would suggest that the data in the lower central area includes bearing the craft relative to the home location. Can we select true airspeed (if we have a sensor) or GPS speed? How will you get the video feed in and what will the latency be like?

Keep up the good work - you have made a major contribution to both the Remzibi OSD and the Ardupilot, thanks.

Peter
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Old Nov 07, 2010, 12:04 PM
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Thanks Peter. There's nothing final about anything I've posted so far. I figure I'm about 25% done with the entire project. I'm trying to stay focused on easy of use and visual "wow" factor. There are so many other GCS projects out there that are extremely technical and cross-platform.... that's not what I'm trying to do here. I want something that allows the very technical user to do what they want while allowing the newbie or non-technical UAV pilot (perhaps a contradiction in terms) to make everything work with the least amount of heartburn.

The video feed would come in via an EasyCAP or something similar and that would be connected to a VTx or diversity system. I think the latency shouldn't be an issue... I would hope you could fly from it... but I haven't done any serious testing.

I'd like to make the AP data stream configurable.... or have some sort of "standard" for all of the possible inputs on the GCS. If you look at the second photo you'll notice two arrows on the top left instrument (now shown as "speed" instead of "air speed"). The green is the ground speed (from GPS) and the blue is air speed (from sensor). They are two different variables in the AP data stream. Green is grass/ground and blue is sky.
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Old Nov 07, 2010, 12:35 PM
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This is going to be impressive if you can pull it off. As you say there are many GCS's but most are locked to a given data stream. I was not aware of the EasyCap and for the price it is worth a try.

Good luck - I will be watching with interest.

Peter
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyKillmore View Post
Thanks Peter. There's nothing final about anything I've posted so far. I figure I'm about 25% done with the entire project. I'm trying to stay focused on easy of use and visual "wow" factor. There are so many other GCS projects out there that are extremely technical and cross-platform.... that's not what I'm trying to do here. I want something that allows the very technical user to do what they want while allowing the newbie or non-technical UAV pilot (perhaps a contradiction in terms) to make everything work with the least amount of heartburn.....
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Old Nov 07, 2010, 01:35 PM
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My the datastream part is already working. I'm already parsing all those protocols... Keep an eye out... I'll need people to test it shortly!
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Old Nov 08, 2010, 06:28 AM
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Great stuff, many thanks. Will look out for the down load links Thanks for all the hard work.
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 10:45 PM
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I'm calling it an "Alpha" release:

You'll need .NET 2.0, DirectX and Google Earth
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/e...displaylang=en
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/e...displaylang=en
http://www.google.com/earth/download/ge

GCS Program:
http://www.happykillmore.com/Software/HK_GCS/GCS.Zip

Current version is 1.0.0.4.
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Old Nov 11, 2010, 02:39 AM
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EDIT: i'm purging this stupid comment. it was tactless and in poor taste. if you really want to read it, i'm sure its still quoted somewhere.
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Old Nov 11, 2010, 06:33 AM
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Mostly because this is my second .NET program ever...but thank so much for your very helpful criticism..
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Old Nov 11, 2010, 07:24 AM
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Hi Entens
did you ask Happy, if he allows you to re-compile his SW before you did that ?
And then starting your own project based on his SW ? Did you ask him ?
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Old Nov 11, 2010, 08:40 AM
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Hi Entens
did you ask Happy, if he allows you to re-compile his SW before you did that ?
And then starting your own project based on his SW ? Did you ask him ?
I'm not using Happy's source at all I only looked at it because I was interested in his implementation of the serial communications. I'm actually refactoring a dashboard I made for FlightGear whilst debugging a custom UAV autopilot.

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Old Nov 11, 2010, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Entens View Post
I'm not using Happy's source at all I only looked at it because I was interested in his implementation of the serial communications. I'm actually refactoring a dashboard I made for FlightGear whilst debugging a custom UAV autopilot.


So does that give me the right to Reflect your code and pick holes at it and tell how crap i think it is? Just wondering
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Old Nov 11, 2010, 10:30 AM
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He taught me a valuable lesson. I guess it's better to learn these things on a freeware project where you plan on releasing the source-code in the future than on a commercial project. Most of the time I have little tact when it comes to giving people critcism so I can't really fault him there (pot calling the kettle black).... I don't mind him using the instrument since they weren't mine to begin with (C# by Guillaume CHOUTEAU - Google AirSpeedIndicatorInstrumentControl.cs)... but the parsing routines were all mine.
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