Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Heavy Duty Tracker ( part 1 )


 Hello folks.

After the 5.8ghz little antenna tracker, It's time to build a bigger one for those heavy 1.2 antennas.

Goals:
- powerfull servos for handling some weight properly
- 360° pan with wires coming on the pan axis directly
- the tracker should fit in my fpv backpack with the rest of the groundstation
- modular backpack : can be used with or without antenna tracker depending of flight plans & mobility.
- still using my Ghettostation code.
- migrate from Arduino Nano to Teensy++2


Previous Ghettostation was using Atmega328P, and was almost full.
I've added some new cool features in Ghettostation code, but more flash & ram is needed.
So I've started to port the code on Teensy++2 ( 4x more ram/flash/eeprom compared to 328P ) .
This will be developped in a separated article.

Hardware:
- Plywood 0.5cm 
- Teensy++2
- Bluetooth Dongle
- 900 3DR telemetry module
- 5V 5A bec
- L/C filter
- Big pan& tilt servos from Servocity. Booth use reduction, pan servo allows the wire to pass trough the central axis.

Build:



 Box is made of 0.5cm plywood I've cut with a Dremmel. 5mn epoxy was used to glue the different parts.
12V from lipo is filtered with an L/C filter to avoid servo noise coming to the video RX power. Big servo are known for generating some craps in the power lineand that's not good for the video feed.
A 5amp 5V bec will power servos / micro-controller / Bluetooth & RF modules.
Pan servo will fit inside the box.

Used some good quality gold cinch connector for video/audio, and added the 3 needed buttons ( will replace them later, they sucks ).

Now with better buttons :)

Here is what it will look once closed. You can see the wires going trought the pan axis, this will prevent wire twists with 360° rotation.

 Covered the plywood with some fake leet carbon vinyl.

Reinforced the box with aluminum  half square tube. The box is now rock solid.

Made an easy access to electronic inside, using magnets to keep it closed.

Here is what it will looks on the tripod, seems we're not ghetto anymore.

Needs to integrate the tilt axis, doing proper connections and debug the mess.
To be continued in another article.