Ardustation Mega with Graphic LCD



I’d like to share my latest hardware ground control station. I call it the ArduStation Mega.

It retains all the features found on the DIYDrones Ardustation, as well as my Ardustation Uno but with some very important upgrades.
Notably the main processor has been upgraded to an ATmega2560 giving 8 times the size of both flash and ram, amongst other things :)

Also there is a graphical LCD that should provide a larger, more user friendly display.

The extra serial ports (4 in total) will enable future expansions as and when required. One is dedicated to the USB for loading software as well as potentially being used to allow a computer to share the installed Xbee.

If you don’t want to use an Xbee, or want to use more than one, that’s fine- three of the serial ports are broken out to the left of the board. These could also be used for adding a GPS unit, or perhaps a bluetooth to pc link for example.

Also broken out is the i2c port, so you can link it up to a magnetometer if need be (could make for simpler antenna tracking alignment)

A micro SD card will allow data logging, parameter saving, mission uploading and hopefully more!

The rotary encoder (like a radio’s jog dial) should help with faster navigation / value editing. The buttons are also on a separate PCB such that they can be mounted flush with the display or separately subject to enclosure constraints. (Also this means I can change the layout of the buttons)

The battery supply and Xbee RSSI are connected to give health information on voltage and telemetry link signal strength. Additional analog pins are also broken out for monitoring external sensors.
The PCB has been sized to match the dimensions of the LCD, giving a neat install that can be attached with screws and spacers. All of the components are mounted on the inside as well, such that the total unit size is minimised.
As with my Uno version, I use a single cell LiPo for the battery source, with an efficient step up regulator for the 5v supply. There’s also inbuilt USB charging.

The antenna tracking will be achieved by the two servo headers on the right hand side of the board. These also have a solder jumper for selecting off-board power in case heavy duty servos are to be used.

Please let me know what you think!

If you want to see more, here's a video of me showing it off:
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  • Thanks

  • Admin


    Try here:Ardustation Mega


    TCIII ArduRover2 Developer

  • great job,

    i searched for schematics in your github page but didn't find it.

    would you like to upload it again

    thank you

  • Hi Patrick, 

    I ve look your correction and what I have with your modification :

    for ex:

    GCS alt is 66m

    uav alt is 84m

    dist is 7m

    Elevation is 46 deg

    Does it seems correct for you ?

    I never had tracker before so it's new for me.

  • @Jani: thanks Jani for feedback about your tracker projet.
  • Developer

    @Jean-Marie, project is still continuing. There is a CPU boards and Driver boards ready that our engineers are working with and hopefully during next month or so we can start to release initial hardware. It's all based on APM architecture 

  • okay, in the NeXT few days i'm about to try a Compass also, i cut the i2c wires to the switch board and solder them  together Again with the Compass wires, lets see what happens

  • I didn't try compass. Actually, if I m not wrong, you can t adjust the bearing with the rotary encoder to adjust 'angle'.

    Jdrones was working on such a project with the ASM (they create) but no news about this since January and especially code.
  • Thats great Jean-Marie, i also have to follow up with that code error, i was looking yesterday, i couldent find a line in tracker.ino that matched patrick's  , but i was also in a hurry, i will also look at it later ,have any of you tried to mount a compass ?,

  • Hi Kim and Patrick,
    I've Made some simulation with X plane and a fake airport near my home.
    Bearing seem to be ok but I not sure for Elevation.
    I m using a ready made rc kit for eagle tree.
    I have compare code from ardustation II from Heino and methods for calculation is quite the same except for course calculation.
    I will concentrate on this problem next days...
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