I have a question about the ability to use APM Planner coupled with ArduStation for antenna tracking. Actually i want to try the new 3DR radios instead of XBEEs.
I tried different settings in "Antenna Tracker" options section in the APM Planner but nothing happens when i connect to ArduStation.
My ardustation has "Ardustation2_APM_ACM_2.0.13" firmware onboard.
APM Planner version 1.1.75 mav 0.9.
3rd time lucky - I keep clicking ont he image above and loose what I'm writing...!
Burt- could you please elaborate a little, are you saying that you are basically connecting your Ardustation FTDI port directly to the USB-XBEE plugged into your PC which means you are effectively hijacking the RX feed coming in from the Xbee and feeding it directly into the Ardustation FTDI port as though the Xbee was still plugged directly into the Ardustation itself...?
I see this as being exactly like the images Alex has above - which is good as I think then we're all on the same page...wherein pin 2 (on right of Arudstation turned upside down...is the RX port (D0) - which has a pcb track which goes to Pin4 of the FTDI port.
Presumably the purpose you have this setup is the same as what a lot of people are after, which is utilising a Single xbee connecting at GCS side and using the ardustation for nothing other than Antenna tracking - i.e. no need to send MAV commands using TX (which by all accounts won't work too well.)
HOLY CR@P IN A HANDBAG BATMAN - It works....
I just couldn't wait to get home to my soldering iron, grabbed a couple of breadboard jumper leads, plugged in my Xbee to the laptop with MP, plugged the ends of the jumpers into pin2 and 10 on the xbee socket on the ardustation. touched them briefly to pin 2 and 10 on the xbee USB.
Data on the ARDUSTATION.
Well from your last post, it looks like you tried it and works for you too.
I added a picture, on the xbee the blue wire is RX on the Xbee. the blue white is ground.
I used a servo cable, so black is ground, red in not connected, yellow is rx from xbee.
You can see where I connected, this way I could disconnect it easy for debugging.
Good job Burt.
I've gone a bit more permanent as this xbee will be permantently boxed up with the AS - easy to get out of course...but because the way I've put it together you can still use the FTDI port on the Ardustation for programming and debug. the only pre-requisite is to have the Xbee powered down (i.e. not plugged in with it's own USB cable.) - see linked videos.
Wonder if we might be related? You seem to think like I do.
The idea of clean OSD with the MiniOSD sounds good, I might give it a try.
The last link I already have in place, is a patch ant in the 900 mhz range.
I found that as stock the xbee range is just over a mile. I added a patch and in the MP have gone out to two miles and still have a 99 %. Now I know that it uses dropped packets for that number, but without the patch I was at less then 10% at 6000 feet.
Perhaps - although we've been doing a lot of Geneology research for the family, on that side of the family I think we're back at Buckinghamshire England around the 1500's - other sites we're back pre AD so far...!
Anyway - I just did the minimOSD testing, and found it is very good (although keeping in mind the test is from about a foot away where 900mhz link is bordering on 110% connection...haha.
But still if you're seeing such good percentages I don't think it will be a bother. I remember talking to a Girlfriend I had in the States 16 years ago and using Analog Cell's we had delays - but that was Routing more than anything else...Now we can talk on Mobiles and get almost instant reception even through buildings where towers are many miles away - that has to say something for the use of 900Mhz, and that is full voice (albeit compressed.) - when you look at MAV data it is only 1.5kbps steady stream according to Mission Planner debugs.)
These two FaceTube links are the standard setup
i.e. minimOSD onboard uav with output to TX (although I just had it plugged straight in to my LCD Setup...I was starting to run out of room and Lipos without having to plug an RX and TX in as well!)
And this one:
is replicating how it would be if the minim was plugged into the Ardustation...you might even notice a slight glow on the minim MAV LED when I didn't have the Ardustation power plugged in, it would seem that even though the only power source was the USB plugged into the USB/XBee that the 3.3v logic voltage is being sent through that RX(D0) - not enough to power up the minim though.
Eventually what I will do in my SuperMegaGCSbox is a couple of Logic Level Booster isolation circuits for Power that way I can power Xbee, minim, Ardustation, Servos, Video RX, all from the one input.
I haven't looked at the 900mhz patches yet, but my 5.8Ghz grid is super...My sister was in the country and had broadband access which was being delivered from around 30-40kms away. When she moved house to somewhere that had ADSL she said "Take it...the ISP was supposed to come get it 2 years ago...Oh well..." - so it is a 28dbi 2.4-5.8 grid in perfect condition ready for me to now purchase some 15kg servos!!!haha
Do you think it would be possible to build an antenna tracker with an arduino board using standard motors and rotary encoders. That way, the motors could be geared appropriately and that would mean not having to buy expensive hi-torque servos.
Like to hear your thoughts on that.
WHy didnt you simply use the FDTI connector ?
Leo - I have several Arduino boards here including some handy shields, my initial plan is going to be to grab the PWM output coming from the ardustation since it is doing fine with all the calculations and the mavlink code and everythign else in there is a little beyond me at the moment (give me a month or so...)
But essentially what I will do is take the PWM output as PWM input into an ArduMega with some stepper/relay outputs, which can also feed inputs back from the tracking gimble itself, such as Level, Magnetomoter, degrees of gimble axis, adding a 3rd axis too (so we have Pitch, yaw, roll on the antenna itself...this will be handy for instance if this becomes a roof mount antenna and adjusting the Legs on a tripod is not practical at least you can mechanically/electronically alter the Roll/level.)
Also allowing a tracking gimble overright - or multiple outputs - such as for tracking with a Camera too (no more need to have more than 1 person in attendance when filming a spectactular immelman fail!
Lots and lots of little things floating around in my head with Ardu-<insert genus here> - Arduino, Ardustation, Ardupilot, How-Ardu-Doing-today...? haha