Introducing OpenGSU : Cross-Platform Ground Station


I'm following this community regularly and I must say that I'm very impressed
by all the job done and the good spirit. Congrats to Chris and all the team players!

Some months ago, I started to build a ground station and I realised that
an affordable full-featured ground station with video + data link, antenna tracker,
a good visual way to get some status, in a small shape was not available.

Almost all the features needed their own independant device that need casing, wiring, source
of power, all kind of adaptation, settings to make stuff talking together, dealing with differents
suppliers to finally getting a big heavy mess of wires, connectors, pcbs and boxes.

Then I finally decided to design my own all-in-one integrated solution. So what seemed a simple
step in turning my heli into an UAV turned to a complete project : OpenGSU.


OpenGSU stands for open source ground station unit and the project aims to simplify ground
station building and to provide a rich set of features with the flexibility of open source software.

Today, the opportunity to share my work is sounding great to me, and this is probably due to the
influence of Diydrones sharing spirit.

Here the OpenGSU features list, some are already well running and some are in progress:

- 5.8Ghz Video receiver with two buffered A/V outputs
    - one outputted through an 4-poles jack connector for an LCD, googles or video recorder...
    - one internally connected to an USB video capture allowing the PC getting the video
- Xbee footprint compatible transeiver with independant LDO
- Standalone GCS on color touchscreen feeded by MAVLINK frames
- Standalone SDCard datalogger with real-timestamp (RTC is integrated)
- Standalone Joystick controller allowing control through a regular usb joystick  
- Standalone configurable buzzer-alarm (low battery, signal lost, maximum altitude exceeded ... )
- Standalone Sensorless Antenna tracker based on the data downlink
- 32-bit dev-board allowing execution of custom code
- PC connexion using an unique USB wire allowing (HUB is integrated) :
    - Video link (USB video capture device),
    - Data link (Virtual Com port),
    - Log access (Mass storage device)
    - MCU Firmware update (USB HID bootloader)
    - Compatibility with the well-known GCS : Mission planner and QgroundControl
- Possibility to power from USB only but with some components automatically inhibited.
- 5amp DC/DC with 6-32V voltage input to handle big tracker servos
- Aluminium compact casing or "OEM" version for pelican case machined panel integration

3689502535?profile=original                        Open GSU back panel


                       Open GSU PCB bottom view


                        Open GSU PCB Top view

I'm working currently on a website and it will be online soon.

More details will follow in my next posts.

Meanwhile, Feel free to show your interest.


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  • Any news on this very cool project ??

  • Speechless... Eager to see some videos of it in action!

  • Hey Guys, thanks for showing your interest,

    I was extremely busy these days because I'm moving to a new flat.

    Final prototype has been built and fully tested exept the joystick usb control so I consider that HW is mature,
    SW has maked big progress but there is still a bit to do.

    Wiki is already online -> and obviously all your comments are welcome.
    I'm working on a website -> but it's still offline.

    First batch has not be launched yet.

    Voila, I will try to keep you more often posted,


  • Yes, what's up?
  • Any update on this?  Getting to be late April...

  • Yes, that's the one. And yes, I have been 5 miles and others much further. The secret is custom tuned Tx and Rx antenna that will set you back almost as much as the VTx and VRx. markus123456 on RCGroups builds and tunes antennas. He tweaks them to optimize all parameters. I have a pair and they work great. There are others as well. Again, the point is, on 5.8GHz, it's the antennas.

  • @ Steven G

    If you are talking about this kit ->, there is nothing to do as I'm using a compatible one. The Tx of this kit is compatible with the built-in OpenGSU video receiver. Did you try it at 5 miles ?

  • Regarding Coyle III Tx comment, I suggest you use the "odd" frequencies that Foxtech gear uses. For $100, you can get a complete Video TxRx, 400mw, that will go over 5 miles with the right, tuned antennas.

  • Hi

    I really like your case and I was wondering how you made that aluminium case. I'm in the need for something similar to build in my receiver & voltage display with some outputs and connectors.

    Would it be possible to get the case only with out any connectors. Just the case without any holes?

    Many thanks


  • Great stuff. How do I give you money? :))

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