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mikep

R/C Ground Station Project

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I put on an early version of the R/C Ground Station at http://www.rconline.ca/products/mi-soft/rcgs/rcgs.zip

You will need the Java Runtime environment to use it. I'm developing it with version 1.5.0 Beta 1 of the JRE but anything above 1.4.1 should work.

If you need the JRE (if you run applets on your machine there's a good chance you already have it. Take a look in C:\Program Files\Java) you can get it at: http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.5.0/download.jsp

Once you have that you simply need to unzip rcgs.zip and double click on rcgs.jar.

Or if for whatever reason .jar files anre not associated with java you can use the command line "java -jar rcgs.jar"

I'm looking for some feedback before I go to far. Like are the instruments an ok size. etc.

Also what kind of instruments would you like. The one's I will add are tachometer, voltage, temperature etc.

Also is it worth making the instruments themselves or should I simply go all blue/black screen and do a HUD style system.

I will probably add tabs on top to toggle through different views. Such as a GPS/MAP view. Insrumnet view etc.

Let me know what you are looking for!

For now since we haven't decided on a packet format, you simply enter the altitude in the text small text box and hit enter. It simulates it getting a reading from the plane.

Also I have a question about the variometer. I scaled it between 20 feet/min and -20 feet per min. I copied it from an instrument on MS Flight Sim but this seems like a very small scale. I have the feeling it will always be maxed out. What do you think? It's hard to tell when you are not in the air!

Cheers,

Mike

Edited by mikep

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20 feet/min and -20 feet per min

Per min?? :blink: Per second I hope..

With an aerobatic plane and a TL100 I measured peaks at -13 / +13m/s..

That's about -40 / +40 ft/s...

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OK I think I will change it then. But should I change the scale, or to feet per sec. Are people used to reading a Variometer at feet per second?

I'll do some flights later on the sim with different planes to see wthat they are doing.

Also someone just told me the ground station does not run wuth JRE 1.4.2 for him.

So it looks like you need 1.5.0. to run it.

-------------

A couple of hours later....

So I went on MS Flight Sim and noticed I was missing the x100 on the instrument.

So I guess I need to fix that! I though 20 feet a minute didn't sound like very much.

Now diving down at 2000 ft a minute seems much scarier!

Edited by mikep

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I put a poll up on Yahoo for the interface. I would love to get everyones opinion about it (Should I start with a Classic, Modern or HUD display).

You can get to it at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rcpilot/surv...veys?id=1270046

Also I'm slowly getting the Source Forge project on it's way.

I have someone working on the ground station io stuff and also have had a few volunteers for creating a web site.

The project can be found at:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/rcpilot/

There's not much there yet, but some source code in the CVS.

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Hi Mikep

I had a look at the link rconline.ca and saw that there was a autopilot project there based on the PIC16F87X. I am tempted to try this project but I wonder if you have any experience with it? How many servos can be hooked up to it?

Flutter

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Hi Flutter.

Yes I do have experience with it.

I created it. ;-)

It only controls one servo. The best idea is to hook it up to your rudder on a trainer. Then let a PA-2 or FMA-Copilot handle the rest.

There is a much bigger project behind it that is just starting to come together.

I've started recruiting some people (only 4 of us so far) on SourceForge and shortly we will have a web site describing the project.

It's called the R/C Pilot.

Take a look in the next couple of weeks at:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/rcpilot/

Mike

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I was missing the x100 on the instrument.

Seems better to me like this ;)

Are people used to reading a Variometer at feet per second?

Well, that's what the TL100 displays..

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I vote for HUD - so that it can be overlayed on pilot's view and actually used for flying. Ascent/descent rate range is +/- 100 ft/second.

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Here a description of the Ground Station.

Let me know what you think. If anything should be added, changed etc.

I now have 2 other developpers that will start work on it, so things should move along quickly.

The R/C Ground Station (RCGS) reads telemetry units from the remote vehicle.

Using the AGWPE sound card packet driver ( http://www.raag.org/sv2agw/ ) the packets of telemetry data are decoded and passed on to the ground station software via TCP.

The ground stations software has 4 views.

Classical Instrumentation (Similar to a Cessna 172)

HUD Instrumentation

Map (an overhead map with the position of the plane indicated on it)

Tracking (a graphic representation on how far and what direction the plane is from you)

RCGS can be toggled into "Full Screen" mode to maximize the viewing area when flying using VR Glasses. A foot switch that plugs into your USB port allows you to cycle through each view without having to take your hands of the controls of your vehicle.

A video image from the remote vehicle may be overlaid on to RCGS using a standards video capture card.

I will also update the pre-versions once in a while on the site in case anyone wants to track the progress and give feedback.

Edited by mikep

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Hi mikep

I will build your autopilot in the near future, but I am considering buying the PCB. Do you ship to Sweden?

Flutter

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Hi Flutter...

I ship anywhere and everywhere. The cost of shipping is calculated as actual cost from Canada Post servers.

Regards,

Mike

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****** LOOKING FOR A BIT OF INPUT ********

Hello,

Work on the goundstation continues.

I would say we are about 50% done to having a release available.

There are now 3 of us working on it, so it should go relatively fast.

I've starting working on the HUD and would like some feedback regarding the size of it. Especially from those with VRGlasses.

If you could simply display it in the glasses and tell me what you think about size I would very much appreciate it.

You can download the development version of it from http://rcpilot.sourceforge.net/

Scroll down to Downloads and the file you need is rcgs.zip.

After unzipping you simply need to click on rcgs.jar

(Do not run the testserver for now).

You also need the Java 1.5.0 JRE. If you do not already have it, it is available at:

http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.5.0/download.jsp

This ground station will be able to be used in any environment with any telemtery modules you might have. Either wihout any modifications using the data specs as described on the site, or by creating your own data parser. All the code is public and available to anyone. It would be great to encourage anyone building telemtry modules to conform to a open standard of telemetry data as described at http://rcpilot.sourceforge.net/docs/AX25DataDef.html

The first transport driver we are supporting is AGWPE. Shortly after we will add serial communication.

Regards,

Mike

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Great job Mike! I'll try to the test asap.

BTW, thanks for all the 9k6 modem links.

Val.

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My pleasure for the links.

You know, I'm starting to think seriously about the maxstream data modems. At 100$ a piece that's not bad... 9600 or 19200 baud. I don't like the idea of another antenna or another tx and rx, but it would be the start of 2 way communication.

Also it means adding serial support to the ground station right away.

We need to order 10 of these to get that price.

Take a look at: http://www.maxstream.net/web-special.php

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Interesting! I would gladly apply, but unfortunately I can't use the 900MHz band here..

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Thanks!

It's coming along quite well. I decided that I will add support for NMEA.

This should make it more accessible to more people.

Basically you could simply attach a GPS to a packet modem on your plane and you will start receiving data on the ground.

The refresh rate won't be great, but it will allow for a simple setup to get started.

Cheers,

Mike

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G.R.,

Maxstream has regular specials on their products so you should be able to get them at a discount in the future if you miss it this time.

Cheers,

Jim

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