Basic pan & tilt platform

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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GPS antenna fix

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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NTX2 TX blip

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!


All fixed.

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.

Arduino at the ready

I will be using a Arduino the base building block of project HABAT.

The fact that is is mall, inexpensive and easy to work with are the main reasons that I chose the Arduino. There is also a large community of users who I hope to be able to turn to when I need help!

This Arduino will form the base of the tracking transmitter that I will be building to test HABAT.

Breaking it down

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?
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