The pan and tilt platform will hold the high gain yagi used for receiving the HAB signal.
I’ve just got a small, simple platform for now to test with and will upgrade it once everything is working well. It’s driven with 2 hobby servos direct from the Arduino. One minor drawback is that a standard hobby servo only has a round 90 degrees of movement. That is fine for the tilt control but no good for the pan control so I will have to try and source a servo capable of 360 degree rotation that provides position feedback or maybe build a 4:1 drive system for a standard servo.
Continue reading “Basic pan & tilt platform”
I was given a broken active GPS antenna by a pilot friend. It’s made by Gilsson who are known for their great GPS antennas so I thought I would have a go at getting it working.
On first inspection, it seems that someone has removed the original thin coax and replaced it with some thicker coax. There has been a hole drilled in the bottom of the case and the new coax has been inserted through.
Continue reading “GPS antenna fix”
Just a quick post about the Sparkfun ProtoShield v2 board that I have to help make building HABAT easier.
The board comes in kit form and needs a small amount of soldering to get it ready for use. It’s an easy job with 3 small resisters, 2 small capacitors, 2 LED’s, 2 switches and 4 Arduino header pins.
Here is the completed board:
Continue reading “Sparkfun ProtoShield”
Since the test payload is now finished, I have started on the actual HABAT unit.
Here are some parts I have to get me going…
Continue reading “Parts for HABAT”
The HABAT test payload is complete.
I now have a working unit that simulates a HAB tracker so I can start work on building the actual antenna tracker.
Here is an audio clip of the payload in action..
Continue reading “HABAT test payload”
I finally managed to get the NTX2 and GPS working together thanks in no small part to NigeyS and fsphil from UKHAS.
One small problem still is that the RTTY signal from the NTX2 has a small “blip” in it that destroys the string. This must be an issue with my code somewhere as I can run some demo strings through the NTX2 using some simple code with no problems.
See the blip? Not sure what is causing it but I guess I better find out!
The blip was due to a drop in voltage. The GPS was drawing more current than the power source could supply. Plugging in a 1A 12V PSU fixed the issue.
I have started on the tracking transmitter that I will use to send dummy date to the HABAT via dl-fldigi. I have ordered a few GPS boards to use in the project and since I already have a Radiometrix NTX2, I have started work on the transmitter.
Continue reading “Basic tracking transmitter”
So lets get project HABAT off to a start.
Like any good project, I need to break this one down into bite sized chunks. Here is what I have come up with:
Aim: To create a automated platform capable of receiving the balloons GPS coordinates, performing the necessary calculations to determine the balloons position relative to itself and then actuating a pan and tilt platform to aim a high gain yagi antenna at the balloon.
Sounds simple huh?
Continue reading “Breaking it down”
High altitude ballooning is an interesting hobby where you can launch a balloon into near space (100,000 feet) with a payload attached. The payload could consist of an RF tracking device so that you can follow the balloon, a digital camera to take images or an array of sensors like temperature, pressure and radiation.
Continue reading “High altitude balloon antenna tracker”