Antenna Tracking using Mission Planner and Maestro


I wanted to dabble into setting up an antenna tracker. Got myself the ServoCity Tube servos, for Pan and Tilt. Assembled it all with a Polulu Maestro and got the interface working. Followed the article here :

Few things I couldnt figure out and would be glad if someone can point me in the correct direction: 

-- Any way I can set a minimum radiius for the Antenna Tracking to start working ? Dont want the tracker to go round and round when I am flying close by or doing passes around me.

-- For the Tilt servo, I have a 180 degree servo travel. The article above says that the neutral should be set facing 45degrees .. In that case though I cannot utilize the full 180 degree travel . Can only get 90 at the most. So my question here is, can the tilt center be set to 0 degrees ie facing straight up and 90 tilt on either side ? 

I think thats most of it for now . Would appreciate some help.

Thanks ! 

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  • How difficult is it to set up the maestro MP tracker using the Dragon Link V3 to transmit telemetry? I'm comparing all the options for antenna tracking and I'm open to input from everyone. Thanks. Oh I'm using this for fixed wing with APM.
  • Is there anything I need to do to get the tilt working, like setting a home altitude or something?  I can control the tilt servo with the pololu controller program and with Mission Planner, but when I fly the pan servo works find but the tilt servo moves to -45 degrees and stays there.

  • Developer

    the next mp version will have beta support for a 180, 180 servo setup.

    I actualy think this is less effecient however, as you have 2 crossover point, instead of just 1 with a 360 pan servo.

    ie if you fly around yourself, the tracker needs to do a full 180 degree pan, for 2 points of the circle.

    whereas a 360 degrees needs to do a single 360 pan at only 1 point.

    • Can you buy these parts (the pololu maestro etc and not servos) anywhere in australia to complete yourself ?

      • I just bought from the pololu website.

        W/ credit card, shipped via Fedex got here real fast (I'm in Chile). Bought 4 of them to make it worth the shipping. They should have cheaper shipping rates, if you don't need express.

        • What advantages has this setup got over an ardustation ? They seem to achieve the same goal, antenna tracking based on determining the direction of the flier, but the ardustation seems a little more compact.

          • I prefer using Maestro and Mission planner as I have a dedicated ground station for my realtime HD video feed..  Saved me from having to deal with the ardustation, costs, and setup..  Seems to be a little on the glitchy side regardless of setup.  I get accurate tracking about 40% of the time..  Still getting the feel for setup, so i'm sure this will improve over time.

            • Did you say HD or is that 640x400 SD ?

              • HD - 720p - full stream with about 150-200ms of lag which is good enough for me! the device in the center is the wireless transmitter and controller for my Sony HD goggles. Picture is simply breathtaking; my fat shark dom’s and the standard HD signal don’t hold a candle to the video quality I get with my HD setup.. 

                Here’s a screen capture from my last field test; capture is only running at 15fps and 90% quality, but you’ll get the picture…  My last test I had full HD feed out to about 450 meters before I had a radio failsafe that sent the quad home…



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