I am successfully using a 4G LTE network connection to send bidirectional telemetry AND HD (1280X1024 / 25fps) Video from my drones.  The video is perfect, the telemetry is perfect - regardless of range (assumes 4G is available).  I use my cell phone as a hotspot and connect using MISSION PLANNER on my laptop. The video is "snow free" and is viewed  on CHROME or FireFox browsers. 

The cost of all the equipment is under $100, but I do have to pay for a data plan ($15-$50/month) - and a small monthly amount for server time. The server setup is special to allow for the 4G<->4G connection.  The telemetry data is encrypted, the video data is not (at this time, anyway).  The system camera is non-standard but tiny.I can control the drone with a joystick connected through Mission Planner.  The latency is 0.8 seconds - max. The total weight of the system is 100 grams.  No equipment other than a computer running Mission Planner is needed on the "ground side" (except for a cell phone or other hot-spot).

I was thinking that others could use my setup as well. In that case I would have to set up multiple accounts on the server and manage them.  Before I take this any further -

Would anyone else be interested in the setup I have?

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Sure, fully understood your concern. Earlier I thought it was a public server run by Amazon.

As for Logitech game controller, I'll check it out in Mission Planner.

Thanks.


Charles Linquist said:



Charles Linquist said:

No, you can't connect to the server I use.  Not only do I pay for it, but you would have to know the protocols, the ports and a lot of other things to use it. The last thing I need is someone screwing up MY setup.

The Logitech game controller model is described in the Mission Planner documentation.

Richard Huang said:

Hi Charles, can I get an account for the server? Mind telling me the model-name of Logitech game controller? I'll try to buy one by local store.  Cheers.

Richard

Hi Charles, thanks for sharing the wonderful info.

Before Xmas, I bought the most updated RFD900 (rfd900x to be exact) just to test the amazing claim (RC PPM Passthrough with telemetry at the same time) made by RFDesign  in Australia (http://store.rfdesign.com.au/rfd-900x-modem/). I haven't had time ever since to set it up and make a real test on it. Maybe you can use RFD900X to realize your wish of utilizing Futaba transmitter instead of Logitech game controller.

Cheers

Richard


Charles Linquist said:

I could give you a diagram, but it is really easy.

APM or PixHawk connects (via its telemetry port)  to a little (1" X 1") board which acts as a level shifter / failover / data selector.  That board connects to 6 GPIO and power pins on a Raspberry pi, and 4 pins of a RFD 900 radio (also works with 3DR radio).

The Raspberry pi has a ribbon cable (CSI2 interface) which connects to a camera (Raspberry pi 8MP camera).  A 4G "dongle" connects to the Raspberry pi's USB port.

The Raspberry pi is programmed (over WiFi) to connect to a special server - for example:  ec2-server1.drone.com. This needs to be done one time only.

On the ground, a laptop is connected to the internet.  This can be done either by plugging in another 4G dongle into one  its USB ports, or by using a "HotSpot".  I use my cell phone as a hotspot. No software is needed in the laptop except Mission Planner and a web browser.

You power the drone and wait about 90 seconds for the Raspbery pi to boot and the 4G connection is made, which is shown by a blue blinking LED on the 4G dongle. Using Mission Planner, you connect using EITHER a RFD900 radio over a COM port,  OR  by via tcp (4G). The tcp server will be the same as above (ec2-server1.drone.com). Choose whichever connection method you wish and press CONNECT.  Voila!  You will be connected.  Mission Planner remembers the url and port number of the tcp connection, so that information needs to be entered only once.

If you want to see video, you use either the laptop that is running Mission Planner or use two laptops.  The video works with Chrome or FireFox browsers only.  In the search bar, type in  ec2-server1.drone.com:XXXX (where 'XXXX' is a port number).  You will then be watching video.  Note that you cannot show the video in Mission Planner's inlay. The video must be shown in a web browser. A  LogiTech game controller can be connected to the USB port of the machine running Mission Planner, and you can control your drone by that method (setup described in the Mission Planner docs).  I don't like the little Logitech game controller as much as I like my Futaba radio, but it is usable.  I'm thinking of modifying a REAL controller (like the Futaba) so it will connect to my laptop using USB.  

At any rate, the video must come over 4G, but the telemetry can be done either with the RFD 900 or 4G.  I use 4G exclusively unless I'm somewhere where there is no 4G coverage.  If the 4G signal goes away while I'm in flight, I can take over with the RFD900, assuming I'm within radio range. 

Latency is about 0.8 seconds, both with the telemetry and video.

Can we do all this same way with Edison onboard Pixhawk 2?

I don't see why not.  Any processor that is capable of producing h.264 video of a decent resolution,  has a RS-232 port (TTL level), and a good USB port will work. And you need Linux plus some software.

Emin Bu said:

Can we do all this same way with Edison onboard Pixhawk 2?

Hi

This is a great way to do telemetry and video. I made similar solution 4 years ago. 

Take a look at www.uavmatrix.com for my system.

I hadn't seen your method.  I guess the 'net is too big sometimes. 

I'm using WebRTC instead of GSTREAMER, and I'm also using the Raspberry to handle the telemetry directly without any other hardware. For 4G connectivity, I use a standard (either Novatel or Pantech) dongle to handle the 4G. I can buy those  for $10-$15 on eBay.  I'm currently using Verizon as a provider due to their extensive coverage area, but I may try moving over to another provider that has a cheaper data plan (like SPRINT).

If I have time, I'll try your method and see if it has any advantages/disadvantages over what I'm using. 



Tommy Larsen said:

Hi

This is a great way to do telemetry and video. I made similar solution 4 years ago. 

Take a look at www.uavmatrix.com for my system.

Ok :)

I will take a look at the WebRTC.

Here is my very first version :)

http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/skywalker-x8-video-and-telemetr...

Charles,

Do you have more detail on this

 little (1" X 1") board which acts as a level shifter / failover / data selector.  That board connects to 6 GPIO and power pins on a Raspberry pi, and 4 pins of a RFD 900 radio (also works with 3DR radio)

Better yet, can I get one from you? The failover of telemetry from 4G to RF radio is something I am needing.

I am using Sprint since the Static IP addresses are $3/mo

Dear friends, can any one please proper details on 4g telemetry so I can use . . . Plz guide.
Dear friends, can any one please send me proper details on 4g telemetry so I can use . . . Plz guide

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