3689417928?profile=originalI've modified Phillip Anthony Smith's Mavlink Ardustation to support an inexpensive tilt/pan antenna platform. RAM is very tight in the software so this is not a laptop/ground station replacement and the original software was oriented towards APM. However, I've been flying many flights with Arducopter 2.0.x and this antenna and have gotten pretty good video performance with much less multipath interference. I still use a second Xbee on a notebook with the Mission Planner and that seems to work pretty well with the Ardustation. This link gives some more details, a demo video of the software with some explanation of the added screens, and the software itself for others to play with. The software is a little rough since it was developed quickly before the 4th of July weekend, but it is fun to watch the antenna follow the quad and I wanted to give a little back to the Arducopter community.

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  • 2.0.20 released.  Forum announcement here:


  • Hi

    I appreciate your help and I think that I am not the only one.

    I would send you a beer on your paypal account.

    (my GS is working fine now but I think that could go better)

    If you will post the update I will test it also and give a report.

  • Update on 2.0.20,  I'm flight testing some changes today and found an issue that I'm fixing. I've added switches for servo reversing I'm also going to add an option to use HUD altitude for antenna pointing vs GPS. My GPS altitude has been really bad, and I'm experimenting with using the APM baro altitude solution. I have a doc partially done also. Hopefully I can get a bunch of this done today.

  • I just got the new feature working yesterday.  It needs some explanation and I just posted a video showing its basic operation.  After I posted it I noticed a display bug and I need to fix that before releasing, but I should be able to do that today or tomorrow depending on how long a meeting is that I have tonight.


  • Hi Heino!

    Any news on the antenna test?

  • Steve,

    I made some progress yesterday on the new antenna test screen and I've decided to add a feature to allow adjusting the servo endpoints without recompiling.  This will take a few more days, but I should have a release by the weekend.


  • It could be made to work with the Ardustation - there could be several approaches including removing the servospeed library to free all the interrupts up.  It also could be possible that your application could tolerate the data transfer overhead on I2C without causing the issue. The key is to set it up and try it to see what the effect is on the current code. From my experience working on I2C projects, you'll need at a minimum a logic analyzer and a scope (if you don't already have one) to work the inevitable timing issues and software issues that pop up. It also helps with figuring out loop performance.

    I am going to release a new version with cleaned up antenna test, but I don't want to hack my current Ardustation to support I2C. I use my current Ardustation every time I fly my quad and I don't have redundant hardware to hack to support other's configurations. Also, debugging someone else's changes through forum posts isn't practical either.

    Unfortunately, I have a fixed hobby budget (very much driven by my wife :)) and it has been blown for the next couple of months through hardware I've already bought for my quad so I'm not able to play with another Ardustation or Ardustation Mega for a while. It looks to me like the ASM is a much more palatable programming platform with the beefier processor, I/O, etc and I think the Ardustation is really showing its 4 year age or so. I know that the current Ardustation software could work on the ASM with some significant changes (such as programming against the new LCD) and I'm considering it, but it won't be in the next month or two at the earliest. Doing I2C makes a lot more sense and debugging would be much easier with the extra serial ports so that seems to be the platform of choice going forward. My day job really isn't as fun as this stuff is, but my hobby budget depends on it so I'm sort of stuck :).

  • Heino
    Sad to hear such news. I just started to work on
    continuous pan. wanted to get feedback from gray code
    circle attached to stator. This would be converted in
    picaxe, transformed to absolute angle and forwarded
    to ardustation via I2C. After reading about this would
    be problem.
    Perhaps the only way is to modify Ardustation mega but there
    is no support - I can't find source files to modify
    the software to support continuous pan with feedback from
  • Hi

    Now I understand the limits of this board. For now it works ok and I don't have a viable alternative (jDrones ArduStation Mega v1.5 laks the manual, support and implementation along the mission planner). I will wait till someone makes a GUI for a faster setup.(I hope that this project will revive like minimosd revived)

    Thank you for your time and support.

    Best regards



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