Developer

figuring out the Antenna Tracker

3691139590?profile=originalNot many people know but we have an piece of open source software for controlling an Antenna Tracker.  It's been built by Tridge (Arduplane lead developer) for use in the outback challenge.

Sadly we have no documentation and, as far as I know, nobody except Tridge has used it.  Still given Tridge's track record on building great software I suspect it works well and if it doesn't, I'm sure we can fix it.  So to not let this piece of code go to waste, I'd like some help from people who are interested to give it a try and help me figure out how it works.

Here's the little that I know:

  • It runs on any of our supported board (APM1, APM2, PX4, Pixhawk, Flymaple and perhaps VRBrain)
  • For APM1/APM2 users building the code is as easy as opening our hacked ArduinoIDE and selecting File > SketchBook > Tools > AntennaTracker and then building in the normal way.  For PX4/Pixhawk, our autobuilder doesn't automatically build a binary but I can provide one if people are interested.
  • It can control a Pan and Tilt gimbal like this or this found on servocity.com.
  • It may or may not require a GPS
  • It must somehow receive vehicle position updates from the ground station which has the telemetry radio that is connected to the vehicle. Maybe through a USB cable.  Tridge probably uses the python ground station, MAVProxy, to passthrough the vehicle position data to the AT but perhaps we can get MichaelO to build out a similar feature in Mission Planner.
  • I imagine this antenna tracker could also be used to keep a camera focused on the vehicle which might be good for easing the burden on creating videos of our vehicles.

So if you want to give it a try please do and stick any findings, questions or issues below. Alternatively Issues can go into the issues list.

I'll start sticking things into the wiki as they become clear.

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Replies

  • Mike Mac: Version 0.8 (and other previous version) work with 360 degree servos on yaw. Stay away from version 1.0. I'll share my parameter file shortly.
  • Ok i found some

    https://www.banggood.com/JX-Servo-PDI-6225MG-300-Degree-PDI-6225MG-...

    3702397605?profile=original

    JX Servo PDI-6225MG-300 Degree PDI-6225MG 25kg Metal Gear Digital Servo For RC Airplane RC Parts fr…
    Online Shopping at Banggood.com!
  • That's the servo that I have been using for the past year and a half with my Servo City gimbal.

    I am thinking of upgrading to a HS-755HB with continuous rotation option on the yaw axis only. That will require that I upgrade to V1.0 firmware as the version I have been running does not have that option.

    Anyone using this combo?

    A parameter file would be appreciated.



    Patrick Duffy said:

    I used this gearbox/servo on my tracker for 360 deg rotation.  Not cheap but works great.

    https://www.servocity.com/bm-785hb-servo-gearbox

  • I used this gearbox/servo on my tracker for 360 deg rotation.  Not cheap but works great.

    https://www.servocity.com/bm-785hb-servo-gearbox

    BM-785HB Servo Gearbox
    <p>The BM-785HB Servo Gearbox utilizes the Hitec HS-785HB sail winch servo (included) to create a high-torque Servo Gearbox. The stock Hitec servo ca…
  • Thanks for that i had one some time back its only plastic gears 
    and they never stop at the same spot
    Sebastian Schürmann said:

    GWS builds a sailwinch servo that does 1T or 360°. GWS S125 1T
  • No you Please Google Continuous rotation servo not after one 
    i need one that goes past 180 not Continuous rotation



    Anthony Verloop said:



    fred flintstone said:

    Hi all anyone got an idea of a servo that goes past 180 Deg   


    Please Google "Continuous rotation servo"


  • fred flintstone said:

    Hi all anyone got an idea of a servo that goes past 180 Deg   


    Please Google "Continuous rotation servo"
  • GWS builds a sailwinch servo that does 1T or 360°. GWS S125 1T
  • Hi all anyone got an idea of a servo that goes past 180 Deg   

  • @Jean-Marie PRIGENT

    For the digital connection, I am using a Raspberry PI on all my UAVs to transmit both HD video and telemetry.  There are a few options for video, but usually I just mount the cheap $25 PI cam on gimbals. 

    It is possible to commercial something like the tracker I build, however, my particular design would require the UAV to have the Raspberry PI and camera. If you want something different, it's no longer 'plug and play'.   Not sure what the market is for trackers, people doing this stuff, even on this website are a minority.  You want to start a go-fund-me and find out?

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