Hi guys, previously I posted a description about my Ground station.

Since than, I spent many hours on testing and flying with it!

Regarding my experiences, I came up with a 2.0 design, which could be really a multifunctional, easy-to-use device for many multirotor/UAV pilots.


First of all, the basic connection diagram can be found at the beginning of this blog entry.My vision is to use a 10” Android tablet, and have a special bay for it. Also, the three RF modules (RC module, Video receiver and telemetry) should have been detachable modules, to let user replace them with another ones. And also let the road open for later development on them.

Here are the short descriptions for the detachable module parts:

1) RC range

I think the radio part has to be as simple as it can, to avoid any malfunctions in basic RC handling. My idea is to design a simple core (ie. in Arduino) which runs the program that handles the sticks, trim buttons and switches/pots, generates PPM for RF module, but has not any screen or input keys. All the programming part could be done by the Android tablet connected via FTDI, with a special app – or the ground station app. Maybe some of the open-source Transmitter develpoments could be used as basic….? Since it would be modular, many kind of RF modules (433 LRS, 2.4 GHz FHSS, etc...) could be used later.

 2) Video range

I see some interesting test videos about UVC video interfaces, which have native driver support in android 4.3+! FEBON makes great UVC products, so maybe these could be used, and latency could be reduced for FPV specific purposes, if FEBON looks enough fantasy and/or market in FPV. My vision is that Droidplanner app should handle live video feed, for example use it as a background in a graphical HUD-like view (so OSD would be not neccessary anymore). Since it would be modular, both HDMI or RCA video receivers could be built in to different modules, let user upgrade the video quality later (I hope HDMI video systems will be cheaper soon), or have multiple video modules for different setups and replace them on field.

 3) telemetry range

Both 3DR or higher range telemetry modules could be used, in changeable modules.

I think the adoreable work of Arthur and the developer team of Droidplanner could be use as a basic for this device. Some new functions should be developed (ie. background from video feed, setup interface for RC core, and many minor updates).


If anybody interests in this project and would like to invest in or has some ideas, just contact me via nhadrian@gmail.com. But I’d be the happiest if 3DR and/or the Droidplanner team would be interested in, since their work would the basic for many parts (ie. Droidplanner itself…)


I’m good in 3D designing but not qualified enough for PCB design/programming. So what I can offer is to make 3D design and perhaps moulds for later injection moulding, or give support in them. Also I have contacts for 3D printing and milling for plate productions. I would not get any single coin for my work, just enough parts to build one GS for myself...


Some more thoughts…

I think the construction type I used in GS1.0 works great and could be used (composite plates and plastic sidewalls and spacers). Also the Li-ion battery I used works great, 6600 mA looks enough for contionous usage. But I think there must have the opportunity to connect external 12V source during operation and perhaps have a small charger circuit that charges the internal Li-ion battery if external source has enough amperage.

Regarding tablet, we should find the best tablet for this purpose, which has good-positioned USB socket, the factory firmware can handle all functions that we need, has enough screen brightness/quality for outdoor operation and not the most expensive on the market…

Also some tests should be made if Droidplanner can handle two FTDIs and one UVC interface connected to an USB hub at a time.

About modules, I think some fast-release design should have been made, with quite universal connectors at the end, so any kind of devices could be inserted into the module housing. Antennas and/or external antenna connectors (ie. for tracking antenna systems) have to be on the modules end.


Best regards


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  • They did it… http://yuneec.com/pressroom/Yuneec_flying_platforms_brochure_screen...

    Anyway, what USB capture device has tle least latency for Windows? What experiences do you have?

  • @ Adrian  I have the 1st gen Nexus 7 with the latest OTA update and rooted with Clockwork Mod. I never actually tried the Febon, I was testing with a cheap UVC webcam instead. I could see the video source when the cam was attached but I couldnt actually play any video. After that I installed a kernel that was made to work with EasyCap dongles and that didnt work at all and its been collecting dust since...

  • Dear Bill. I don't want to use multiple monitors once I can solve all things on one.

    EOSBandi, nice catch! Do you have any experience on them? Or perhaps have some around for testing? 

    Today I tried the mission planner with my old video capture usb stick on my notebook. Works quite well, but is slow and laggy, although I have 64bit netbook...

    What kind of experiences do you have with USB sticks? What type has the least lag with an RCA input? Does anybody have suggestion on some?

    Best regards


  • I have another suggestion. Use one of the many dedicated fpv monitors and a dedicated SD DVR. Tmart sells them. Run it along side mission planner/tablet. Check foxtech and tmart.
  • No need for a 900$ Surface, get a Dell Venue 8 Pro  for 250usd... it also has full windows (not RT) and plenty of processing power....

  • Dear John, what Android version did you use on your Nexus 7 and what type of FEBON grabber?

    The description on FEBON's page says that regular Android 4.3 has the UVC drivers included, the only need is that tablet must be rooted. So probably not any Kernel modifications should be made regarding UVC, probably only for root.

  • Regarding Bill's comment, I would like to integrate all neccessary thing into one single housing just like I did in GS1.0. Using a laptop, a transmitter, a video receiver, etc. together is not a deal for me. 

    So it would be quite far from a single laptop…maybe a single laptop with built-in sticks, switches, telemetry module, RC RF module, video receiwer and a big battery...

  • Hi, many thanks on comments!

    Regarding surface pro 2, it sounds great to have Windows functionality and would need less programming since Missionplanner has the functionality right now and RC controller could be programmed by a single PC app.

    The only problem is the ~900USD price which, I think is more than that an usual user can afford.

    I was thinking on using Android/Win miniPC like now I do in GS1.0 but it is hard to find such a good quality capacitive LCD screen what a regular Android Tablet has. Just for example, the screen of my Sony Xperia Z (HD resolution) has much more brightness and is far more visible in sunshine like my built in LCD screen, which is - as the manual said - designed for outdoor usage. Also a built-in support for mobile networks is a must I think, and only a few MiniPC has this feature. 

    The other goal of the detachable Tablet is that User would be able to use it's tablet for personal purposes too, so probably the price would be not so "shocking"...

  • Using a surface pro 2 would make integration easier since it runs windows 8.  You would have increased functionality of mission planner and different video capture devices.  You may be asking to much from an Android powered device. The surface pro 2 has an I5 processor which is more up to the task.

  • Adrian, looks like a fun project. I added a link to your blog post on this page and this page of related links. Maybe there are some additional ideas to be found among those posts. Also, nice diagram. Perhaps this reference wiki will be useful to you some day.

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