Well first of all I'll start with the reason I chose to build this ground station instead of using a laptop

So after many times of carrying the laptop around assembling and disassembling parts and cables xbees usb cables and such I figured my laptop days as ground station will be numbered

Because of this I decided that I needed a ground station that would save me the need to deal with the assembling and disassembling in the field and will be more durable then my laptop

First I had to plan my shopping and inventory list

I had an old laptop with a broken screen that did not survive its frequent trips around and my poor handling skills And an older laptop screen that i planned on using with the other laptop mother board in order to do it I had to buy a lcd adapter that will let me use the vga port on the motherboard with the lvds laptop screen

That's about what I had to start with

The second thing was to look for a case that will be large enough to contain the mother board the screen another small screen that will fit in the remaining space and some lcd meters for giving a better look mostly and some 3 position switches

After many searches I found an old stock of Pelican at an affordable price and size that is suitable for my budget and needs i measured the space that left after installing the main screen and figure out that a 5 inch screen will just fit

then i needed to think of a way to install everything in a way that would give me easy access to the parts just for any case

after trying multiple materials Plexiglas plywood and others which are not very easy to work with without machinery which i didnt have access to i found just what i needed a pvc foam it is not the perfect material consider his toughness which is lacking but it is very easy to work with and so i chose it and start to cut holes and install the switches and lcds

for the finishing touch of the station i used a vinyl sticker in a 3d carbon woven pattern which gave the panel a nicer look

some technical details:

for powering the station i chose to use a sla battery instead of lipo for some reasons

first it is easier to deal with in terms of charging it and is much safer then lipo

second it is cheaper and heavier so I can save money and use it for balancing the case

i also wanted to be able to hook the station to ac power when its available

so i searched for some ac/dc converter that will meet my power demends and it turned out that i missed it in my calculation by a bit but for the moment it is working and i see no reason to change it but when it brake i'll certenly buy a bigger one capable of outputing more current

I then wanted to charge the battery while using the ac/dc convertor and giving the station more reliability i found a charger which is also a ups that is just what i wished for

also used step up regulator from 12v to 19v for powering the motherboard

and a step down regulator from 12v to 5v for powering the usb hub

both regulators are adjustable with lcd meters for convenience reasons and capable of outputting more current than consumed

 

 

bom for the station is:

laptop mother board and screen - free

pelican 1520 - ebay

LCD Controller Board DIY Kit - for connecting lvds screen to the motherboard - ebay

VGA 2AV driver board 5inch HSD050IDW1 800×480 screen - ebay

12v to 19v step up convertor with lcd for powering the motherboard - ebay

temperature meter with two sensors (inside and out of the case) - ebay

power meter with 2X lcd voltmeter and amp meter - ebay

12v to 5v step down convertor with lcd for powering usb hub - ebay

picoUPS-120 12v dc micro ups system - ebay

4X 3 position 6 pins switches - bought at a local electricity store - ebay

4X Delta Fan for Compaq 12vdc .15A 40mm EFB0412HHA - ebay

3d carbon woven pvc vinyl sticker - deal extreme

ac/dc convertor 100-240v input 12v output 3.2A or higher :) - ebay

pvc foam sheet - ebay

access point modem asus wl-330ge - ebay

usb hub 7-ports - ebay *

thermal skin for wires - ebay

 

I didn't really traced every buy that I made for the station but roughly everything sums for less then 400$ in total

 

- ebay is not the cheapest by any mean

 

* if you want to build your own usb hub you can do it using fe1.1s chip or similar very easily

**and so on with the other regulators it is just to my believe cheaper and faster to order it assembled :)

 

features of the station:

up to 2.5 hours of use on a single 12v 7Ah sla battery

secondary screen switchable between av and vga (via pc hdmi port and vga converter)

wireless connection to antenna tracker (xbee repeater, Bluetooth, 5.8Ghz)

access point modem - for multiple connection to the station (andropilot for ex)

can be easily modified and upgraded

sorry for my poor writing and description capabilities/skills

 

the uav station is not complete yet still need to do some more things so I will update the post as It go

Views: 15967

Tags: build, control, diy, gcs, ground, ground-control-station, station, uav-station

Comment by Александр on February 7, 2013 at 12:30pm

Total cost?

Comment by elad orbach on February 7, 2013 at 3:00pm

post edited

but guessing that les then 400$

Comment by wbal57 on February 7, 2013 at 3:01pm

Good work! very clean looking ground station. 

Comment by Matt Williamson on February 7, 2013 at 3:04pm

Looks great!

Comment by elad orbach on February 7, 2013 at 3:06pm

wbal57 thank you

very easy to build and not very expensive

Comment by Muhammad Al-Rawi on February 7, 2013 at 3:07pm

That is a work of art. 

Comment by elad orbach on February 7, 2013 at 3:11pm

@Matt Williamson 

thank you

@Muhammad Al-Rawi

thank you i'm planning to redesign and finish the bottom part hopefully at this weekend or the one after

Comment by Chivar Maximillan Pilones on February 7, 2013 at 6:37pm

looks great :) im eyeing this setup... me too is tired lugging around all stuffs 


Distributor
Comment by Dany Thivierge on February 7, 2013 at 8:03pm

wow that gives me good example to follow, I just finished to buy my main parts and starting to do one of my own soon... this is very clean!  Good job. 


Developer
Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on February 7, 2013 at 8:39pm

That's interesting...  I've got this little netbook that runs Mission Planner that I'm not using anymore....  Hmmm....

I'm already building my own system, also in a Pelican case.  But at this point it's only intended to be a Tx, Ardustation, and an FPV monitor.

The idea of hacking up the netbook is interesting, but the problem is I'd have no space left to put the IO device.  (ie: keyboard and mouse).  The main areas are already occupied.

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