Sadly we have no documentation and, as far as I know, nobody except Tridge has used it. Still given Tridge's track record on building great software I suspect it works well and if it doesn't, I'm sure we can fix it. So to not let this piece of code go to waste, I'd like some help from people who are interested to give it a try and help me figure out how it works.
Here's the little that I know:
So if you want to give it a try please do and stick any findings, questions or issues below. Alternatively Issues can go into the issues list.
I'll start sticking things into the wiki as they become clear.
IMO, unless you are mapping very large "lawnmower" runs, close in, you are better off with a BiQuad antenna. Almost the same gain as a small Yagi but the beam width is broader.
Further, the costs of larger servos and P&T assemblies with bearings is fairly steep. Then add the field set up time and calibration.
Not trying to rain on anyone's parade, just passing on a bit of been there done that, knowledge.
Btw, the airborne GPS is used in conjunction with MAVLink messages embedded in the telemetry to provide the GPS location of the plane. The tracker takes that data and points the antenna accordingly to the correct azimuth and elevation.
Do you have any links to those types of antennas? As a minimum I'd like to add that info to the wiki's telemetry section here.
We are lot of people who want an easy-to-use antenna tracker.
I don't understand why this stuff did not exist in 3DR shop because of frequency/power we are allowed to use in many countries.
I've got an Ardustation Mega (2560) with LCD and it's works...certainly not perfect...but it's 'works'.
(with Ctrl+F Mavlink feed from mission planner, even with X-plane for testing/debugging Or 3DR telemetry OR openLRS with Serial-passthrought (flipflap version) )
I've seen this stuff 'Mavlink Auto Antenna Tracker' from CUAV but it's seems not to be real...
Video presentation : http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/YFwc1FnSj1U/?resourceId=0_06_02_99
This stuff seems to have compass.
If only we could find a working MAAT like this, finally, many Arduplane/copter/rover users will be happy....
I will be happy to test Antenna Tracker 1.01 (via MP) but I've no MPU/Baro/compass on my Ardustaton Mega...
Perhaps when I'll bought Pixwhawk, my APM will become Antenna Tracker ?
Although I was referring to a video down link and using a BiQuad, the same would apply for a Telemetry down link.
There are three links, two for a ready made BiQuad and one for building your own (DIY)
Hope this helps,
Looks like someone hacked a MyFlyDream antenna tracker to use MAVLink messaging. Eventually, this slip ring type trackers get dirty and have electrical open circuits here and there. But it is a nice effort for a mere $300. Does it include everything, including P&T?
Yes, you need a compass on the tracker to tell it which way is North during initial set up. There may be auto calibrating ones now. They will still need a compass to orient North and you will need to be somewhat level to have correct elevation. Slip rings are very handy for providing >360 degree rotation. If you've ever tried a tracker without them, you know exactly what I mean. :-)
Actually, in my home made tracker I fitted a a tilt compensated compass. I can just drop the unit down anywhere :-)
Built and programmed in about a week. Its a bit rough but it works. Got bored one weekend and decided to see if I could get one to work. Haven't really used it, just a wee exercise to keep the old grey matter churning.
Good job here!
Very cool. Almost makes me want to build one...:-)
Thanks for that, I'll add it to the wiki. Coincidentally I have exactly the same antenna as the top one you've linked to although I haven't tried it yet. It's true that it's got something like a 52 degree beam meaning you don't have to be too accurate to get good distance.
I use a GPS but it shouldn't be completely necessary. It's not documented on the wiki yet but there are some parameter that allow you to manually sets the location of the tracker. I can't remember the names of the parameters immediately but hopefully you can find them in the full parameters list. Anyway, just set those to the tracker's location and it should work.