Tag Archive: High Altitude Balloon Antenna Tracker


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.
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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.
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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:
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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…
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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..
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