Tracking antenna


Hi guys!
In the last few months I have been working to develop an advanced tracking antenna for my new CGS. Unfortunately I haven't got no more time to finish this project, so I decided to release it Free to the community....

Basic Mechanics feature:
•    24dBi High gain dish antenna
•    9° Horizontal –vertical  beam
•    360° Endless pan - 180° Tilt
•    0,006° Pan Resolution ( microstep mode)
•    0,05° Tilt Resolution (microstep mode)
•    High torque speed stepper motors
•    Precise bearings ad belts, for smoother operation.
•    2D construction (no need of 3 axis cnc)
•    Cheap alloy-pvc-fiberglass
•    Car roof mounting
•    7kg weight

Basic electronics feature:
•    Integrated processor for standalone operation
•    Single usb connection

•    Integrated Serial usb converter for datalink
•    Dual precise stepper drivers, low noise
•    AHRS for stabilize the antenna
•    10Hz GPS
•    Electronic tilt compensated Compass
•    Internal lipo battery

The Electronics is almost done, just need to be checked again ( is the first PCB I develop).
In attachment a ZIP with all the files inside.

Unfortunately as you see on this post, my written English is very bad! I will try to give an help (as best I can) to answer to all the questions.

Regards,trackin antenna.rar

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  • Do you have any .dxf files

  • @george, yeah, I have a number of industrial machines here that use slip rings and, I'd recommend not using slip rings.  Maybe if they were gold plated instead of bare copper it would work better.  But they are always causing problems for me and I'm not even attempting high speed digital communications.

    Or, just use a wire down the center of the shaft, allow it to twist and... just don't fly too many circles around the ground station.

  • Great initiative! Thanks very much!

  • LOL, antenna alchemy is exactly right! If you've seen IBcrazy's work over on the fpv forum of rcgroups you start to assume anything is possible regarding antennas.

  • @George

    900mHz and 5.8gHz have very different propagation pattern, one being quite 'omni' (900) and the other being "line of sight" (5.8). For this reason, this wide band antenna you would wish is hardly conceivable.

    We suggested to couple an omni with a diversity switch, but this omni would be tuned to 5.8, and not 900. Experimentally, you could try your omni (for 5.8) antenna with your 900 RX, and appreciate the gain, comparing to "no antenna" and "900 antenna". Should the gain be (surprinsingly) good enough to consider it, you could split the omni signal, and having one way through a 900 mHz RF filter to which you connect your 900 RX.

    Am pessimistic, but antenna alchemy! ...

  • @Coptaire

    I second your suggestion of using an omni directional antenna combined with a diversity receiver. Beam width is horrible at close range.

    Also, most people here will want an antenna for their telemetry and video so maybe a couple patch antennas would be more ideal. Any antenna geniuses know if it's possible to pickup 900mhz and 5.8 with a single dish?

  • I don't have any bluetooth modules but I've got plenty of xbees. Is it possible to have the radio modems setup with different network ID's and simply have the telemetry data come through the RX pin and straight to the TX pin of another radio modem and finally to the modem on your laptop? The reverse would be done ofcoarse for outgoing telemetry.

    Also, has anyone used a complete ardupilot mega for antenna tracking? I've got an extra one here and I'd love to take advantage of the GPS and magnetometer so I don't have to calibrate. If someone understands the coding we'd have a mobile tracking antenna :)

    Hmmm....Bet that pan tilt mechanism could be printed off on a 3d printer.

  • "24dBi High gain dish antenna" for which frequency range?

    For a ground station, often an omnidirectional is combined with a directional, switched by diversity, so on top of a moving vehicle, the same combination of directivity would seem a good option.

    Even with such an antenna, you can loose track of your target, liken hidden by a building, and an omni antenna could save your data link.

  • I've got a tracking antenna I've been working on continuous spin on as well. My tracking antenna has a 5.8g patch for video and a 900Mhz patch for telemetry. I'm not too concerned having video travel through the slip rings, but not a chance for the telemetry data. To work around this I'm contemplating sending everything through a second video transmitter and radio modem, creating a completely wireless solution without any cables to get tangled.  Any thoughts?

  • Moderator

    The dish is the primary element that needs to be sourced as it determines the width of the gimbal arms and entire apparatus. Wouldn't a 9db patch antenna be of use? Despite any issues with interference.

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