Hi Guys,

Could you give me some impressions about the GCS you use? If you can answer these questions for me, it will be very helpful:

- What is your drones’ usage?

- Which GCS do you use and why?

- What are the main features you use?

- What are the best and the worst experience using the Ground Control you had?

Thank you

What is your drones’ usage?

Which GCS do you use and why?

What are the main features you use?

What are the best and the worst experience using the Ground Control you had?

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What is your drones’ usage?

I use the for work for multiple applications but the GCS use is either using the Survey tool for mapping or planning a specific route.

Which GCS do you use and why?

Mission planner, it offers the most features of any of the GCS's and is fairly simple to operate. 

What are the main features you use?

The flight data page for monitoring the flights and controlling the aircraft, the Flight plan page to plane the missions and the Survey grid tool for mapping missions, and the Advanced Parameter tab to setup and tune aircraft as we build them.

What are the best and the worst experience using the Ground Control you had?

Overall mission planner works quite well once you get used to it. It does seem to be centered around multirotros as many of the presets are for Multirotors. It would be nice if the program recognized the type of vehicle it is using and used presets for that type of vehicle. Some examples of this are the default speed for a mission using the Survey grid is 5 m/s which is much to slow for any fixed wing mission. Also, the survey grid V2 is clearly designed for multirotors and not planes, however, I believe the majority of real UAV work for any large application are Fixed wing.

Also, adjusting a survey grid after it's been made is not possible which is very annoying and trying to put in waypoints between other waypoints or near other way points is very frustrating as it seems the map does not click very well or accidently clicks a different waypoint instead of adding a new waypoint.

The worst experience is one version of mission planner was not very stable and I was getting constant crashes of the program which would then loose link and make the plane RTL.

Yes, both mag and accel calibration are now supported in the mobile apps. 

- What is your drones’ usage?

Mostly hobby use.

- Which GCS do you use and why?

I have two types of ground stations.

The 1st one is the Mission Planner and then 2nd one is an Tracker Antenna.

- What are the main features you use?

The Mission Planner, I use it mostly for configuration and mission planning purposes.

The Tracker Antenna, I use it mostly for FPV.

- What are the best and the worst experience using the Ground Control you had?

Mission Planner best experience: 

Can't think of any, but I am sure, I had a few.

Mission Planner worst experience:

I had times when, I was in the middle of doing some important configuring and it crashed on me. Other times, it would simply stop responding and close on me.

Tracker Antenna best experience: 

The best experience for me, was to see it actually working.

Tracker Antenna worst experience:

Spending countless hours troubleshooting the cause, of why it wouldn't track the airplane.

Thanks Jeff! Could you tell more about your Drone Data Management System?

I just picked up one those Aluminum cases from Harbor Frieght, Picked up a surface one and made a mount for it (they can be for $200)  I also have an lcd panel I score of a laptop I was going to use with a pi.....but now I am thing of just picking up a 10"motorola Xoom with Verizon LTE Capability ($80 to $130 on ebay) and mounting that, and then setting up some kind of control board for a tracking antenna with directional AND Wide Range antenna on a diversity contoller from range video.

Then buy a second box for the Antenna and the tripod it sits on for easy setup.

Surface 1 Pro? or Surface 1 RT?  If RT, is there a windows GCS app?  I use a 2 Pro, only asking to see if I had missed some app that was available.

 Stay the hell away from the RT....It's a stripped down piece of junk. But if you get a Surface (1 or 2 are basically the same) on ebay for $180 to $300..And thats with a core I5 CPU and an SSD drive. Beats most laptops. Anyways it has good battery life and usb ports for your telemetry connection.

An you can run mission planner, apm planner and a couple others on it. Plus you can fully tweak your Drone in the field. Just get matte screen glover so it doesnt glare and you can see it and your good. Not to mention you can plug a capture card in (usb) and see the video through the MP!

We should have made it clear in the initial post that we were inquiring about  GCS Software, not hardware.  I would appreciate your help to not hijack this post and to stay on the topic of which GCS software you use and please answer the questions that Beatriz has asked.


AKA Surface Pro

Drone: Fixed wing mapping/surveying

GCS: Mission Planner. Why? lack of other options?
Features: Setup, planning and flight monitoring, post-flight review.

Flight planning interface is not very intuitive, but works ok once you get used to it.
Worst is the log-analyzer, "hidden tools" (Ctrl F).
Set-up can be complicated, but it's more an indication of the complexity of the flight controller (Pixhawk) than the software.

my drones are land, heli, multi rotor and fixed wing, just for experimentation so far.

i use the gcs mission planner because its the only one i have found so far.

i use it for configuration mainly and i am trying to get fully autonomous take off and landing (without success.)

very good for configuration, i like the moving map and log files.

i dont know how to put auto land into the flight list, PLEASE can we get someone to put 3d moving map behind the hud PLEASE.

What is your drones’ usage?

Mostly Hobby, but built powerful enough for "payloads", currently looking into Pi/SDR project.

Which GCS do you use and why?

Mission Planner, more features available, already had Windows tablet to use with it.

What are the main features you use?

Config/tuning, datalogs, flight data screen. Eventually the flight planning.

What are the best and the worst experience using the Ground Control you had?

Best: $8 video adapter put FPV into the HUD of flight data screen.

Worst: None yet, but it does load/refresh a little slow on the tablet, runs ok.

I've tried a few others, and for any benefit they may have, they also have their drawbacks. At least MP is keeping up with Ardupilot changes.

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