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Ground Control Station Hardware

Hello, I am looking for recommendations for ground control station hardware for Arduplane. Ideally what I am looking for is a laptop or similar running Mission Planner, with secondary FPV camera video feed in MP. I see some solutions using UVC video via a 5.8 GHz USB receiver, and other solutions using raspberry pi for wifi video transfer. Which method is preferred and what does your hardware setup look like? The setup I have planned now is mRobotics SiK radio and ROTGO1 Pro FPV receiver connected to laptop via OTG USB hub. RC controller for manual launch and recovery. I have to maintain VLOS for missions, so I am not sure if something like an antenna tracker is necessary. Am I missing anything? Are there better ways to do this? Should I have just bought a SkyDroid? Anyway, greatly appreciate the help.

I have a laptop with internet connection with mp, and video feed straight into mp hud via gstreamer. I have a spektrum tx and a ppm usb cable to use my transmitter via 2.4g direct for take off and land.
no tacking antenna, no 5.8g, no uhf.

Airborne i have a 3g/4g usb modem. And a spektrum satellite rx plugged into pix for takeoff and land los.

Once up in the air i fly using transmitter through trainer port to usb via mavlink, and video downlink on LTE using minla hdw.

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That’s very interesting. I’ve read a little about Gstreamer solutions. Can you tell me what you are using for an air 3g/4g usb modem? Thanks for your reply!

Yes, i’s just a E3372h, it does have ports for two external whip antenna which i bought a pair of whip antenna from china ebay, (i had ideas of putting them at different orientations etc) and they actually reduced the signal strength, (probably just made to look like the real thing and aren’t even an actual antenna, so i took them off.
The LTE signal is actually far better at height than it is on the ground (I know this because i fly full size aircraft too and i have full phone service in the air where there is none on the ground in many places.
The real drawback to this solution is latency, any terrestrial direct link will be much faster than the LTE solution, but i’m happy to take slow connection and infinite range over instant link and limited range (tracking antennas, interference from a big vtx right near my radio receiver onboard etc). the flying i want to do is not fpv racing and proximity flying. I want to fly RC models in a more realistic manner where they fly distance in straight lines like real aircraft, so the latency won’t be a problem.

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Really?! That’s fascinating. So you have no dongle, receiver etc. on the ground side besides the laptop? And you just connect to the modem in the aircraft? Is the aircraft modem connected to an on-board computer like a raspberry pi? Is there any possibility of encryption for this setup? Finally, do you have some pointers on good threads/sites to learn more? Thanks!

Yes the usb modem is plugged via usb otg cable straight into rpi zero, camera is into camera port on rpi, and tx rx and power pins connect to telemetry port of pix.
The laptop is just connected to my phone wifi hotspot for internet at the field. But from home i could use household internet (adsl, nbn etc)
Its very simple, gennady put some videos on youtube a few years ago. I believe 5g will make the latency much less and that will be the end of all the normal terrestrial solutions. Why have a tripod with a patch antenna and all the rest of the nonsense when telcos have spent millions on a cell network with towers all over the hilltops?
Just use the existing infrastructure.

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This sounds like a nice setup, I’ll have to look more into it. How does this work in areas with no cell service? Is it necessary to connect to a wifi hotspot from your phone? Some of our flight areas are in locations without any service, so I wonder if we’d be able to use this system. Anyway, thank you very much for the information.

Still curious to hear about other ground control station hardware setups if others are willing to share.

no cell service onboard the aircraft means gcs failsafe RTL, but cell service is much stronger as you go up a thousand feet or two, (even a few hundred feet helps)
There is no need to wifi hotspot your phone, you just need some form of internet for your ground station, when in the field a phone is easy, if you are at home and flying on your big screen in your lounge room then use your household internet.

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