Antenna Tracking in HappyKillmore's GCS

FPV antenna tracking is now working in HappyKillmore's GCS v1.1.32 and newer.
Are you looking for something to do with your original ArduPilot now that you've got the new ArduPilot Mega? Why not put it to good use! Diego Colonnello and I have come up with an antenna tracker for my GCS. It uses the original ArduPilot, a couple servos and a FTDI cable. Building the actual mechanism to move your patch antenna is up to you...but the code is in there to make it work. You can also use your ArduStation! Simply select the ArduStation output type and the data will flow out in the right format regardless of GPS or Auto-pilot brand.

Here's a Wiki page trying to explain how it works:

To download the ArduTracker 1.0 source and 1.1.32 of my GCS:

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  • I'm just not sure what you're missing here. Let's try a different approach. You tell me what you do have, not what you don't....


    If you don't want to be bothered with clicking your location on the map, you can use a second GPS on the ground to input your GCS location. Your GCS doesn't have to move. But there's little point in a constant stream of GPS data for something that's stationary....but yes, it will work.

  • Not really looking for a moving gcs. More looking for a tracking antenna with out useing ardu station or ardu tracker. Is this possible?
  • So the issue is a moving GCS location? I've got a solution for that too:



    You can either click the map to set your home location or you can use a GPS connected to another serial port on the laptop.

  • I want to take the Ardrino board out of the loop on the Ground side and emulate the functions in a pc format, So i would just have the have a ardupilot in the plane.

    So i guess if you have a stationary GCS location programed for the calculations then it should work. Has anyone done this.

  • Is it possible that you want to move from yout home point, or in any case keep moving while flying? If this is not your goal the only thing you will need connected to your pc, is any kind of board supported by the gcs to manage the servos on the antenna tracker. For example, i wrote the code used to drive the servos with any arduino board available, even with old ardupilots (legacy).
  • Let me clarify, 

    I currently have an Ardupilot in my plane with an xBee Pro 2.4. I have a PC on the ground getting location of the plane in the GCS software via xBee Pro 2.4.

    I would like to connect a GPS dongle and a Pololu serial servo driver to my PC. The GPS will tell the software the ground location of GCS or Antenna. I will use the GPS location of my Ardupilot in my plane and the GPS location on the PC and calculate the Elevation and Azimuth to point the antenna and then send pulse signals to the servos of the pan and tilt antenna to point at the referenced location of the plane.

    Does this explain what I am looking for better. I hate trying to type out what can so easily be explained in person. 

    Thanks again for you time and effort.

  • So just a GPS unit on the ground connected to the laptop and no need for the X-Bee's or GPS/autopilot on the plane?

  • ok I understand now. Just one last question. 

    Why can't we create a plug in or make it part of the gcs software to perform the same functions as the ardupilot legacy/ardustation? This way all we need to do is install a usb GPS dongle in to the pc for the GCS location and let the pc make the calculations and then send the signals to the servos using a pololu servo driver?

    I wouldn't think that it would be extremely difficult, but like i stated in the previous quote "i am ingrate to programing." Working with open source UAS product is all new to me. I am use to plug it all in off the shelf and it works. I am really enjoying this new realm of this hobby.

    Thanks for all the time and information you are providing me.

  • You don't need an autopilot on the ground. You need a GPS unit with or without an autopilot on the plane with an X-Bee. You need an X-Bee and a laptop on the ground plus a Pololu / Melih / AurdoStation / ArduPilot Legacy with the pan & tilt antenna rig hooked up to it.

  • Ok now I am lost too... I still don't get why I would need an autopilot on the ground to track the plane in the air.
    I thought that if you had a gps on the laptop with the gcs software and the aircraft gps data sent back via xbee then all we would need is software in the laptop to tell the pan and tilt to move the antenna. I'm I understanding this incorrectly?

    Thanks for your help by the way. I am ignorate to programing but I have 10 yrs in UAV operation in the field.
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