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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Good to see another giving this a shot; I just picked up one of the Servo City bottom mount pans set up for 360 degrees of travel, and one of the tube assemblies for the tilt. Initially had tilt setup for 90 degrees of rotation, but haven’t gotten my head wrapped around the recommended 45 degree neutral set point. Pan seems to work almost perfect, but tilt is extremely sketchy.. When I move my home position around on mission planner screen (ground testing only) it doesn’t seem to adjust tilt correctly. If I set my home position at a point 300-400' above the quad's altitude it seems to tilt the opposite direction, or just act erratically; tried reversing tilt servo in MP but no change.... Need to get this figured out..  Also running the Maestro by Pololu.

I too plan to run the 180 degree tilt, so would love to know if I can set neutral as vertical position and get 90 degrees each direction. This would make the most sense for my setup if possible.  Did you by chance get this figured out?


I plan to do a complete “how to” post when I get a little free time; seems to be a slight lack of information re the antenna tracking feature, might help someone just getting going with all this (I too reviewed the current wiki on this).


I am also trying to get it to work. Tilt seems to work fine but pan doesnt move much and seems like it needs an amplification factor.

Any ideas?

I've had luck getting both axis to work with a ServoCity SPT-200.  I had issues initially with it tracking until i realized that it was the home position that was affecting the tracker performance.  Since the home position is updated every time the vehicle is armed, the tracker thinks it's in the wrong position (I usually take off 20-30 ft in front of my GCS w/tracker).  Is there any way to add a position offset to the home location for the tracker?

in flight planner screen, right click the map, and set the tracker home location.

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.

That works, but has to be done every time after arming.  Is there a way to either add an offset, or not have the home position update every time the vehicle is armed?

I'll check mine tonight, but I dont think my tracker home location changes every time I disarm, only my quad's home location..

Hi Michael, I did set the tracker home position and my Iris was close to that home location. I had a 3D fix and since I was close to the tracker home and moving about, the antenna should have moved quite dramatically but it only panned slightly.

Do I have to have my quad connected before I can see any activity on the Pololu Maestro?

I followed the instructions listed in the the web page. Everything works fine with the Maestro control program, all configuration saved... (Power off and power back on, and I have the values that I pre-configured)

But I plug into Mission Planner, (without my quad connected) and no joy. It comes to initial settings, but doesn't move from there. If I adjust offset for instance. I set home position manually.

What am I missing?

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.

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