PixRacer as Antenna Tracker

Is anyone aware if I can use a PixRacer for an Antenna Tracker? I see two potential issues. One is the v4 processor and also the apparent lack of servo outputs. Am I wrong? Please say yes! Thanks.

As far as I know you only need 2 servo ouputs for antenn tracker, Pitch and yaw , and I think PixRacer has more servo outputs than that on 0.1 pitch headers.
The processor is the same one as PixHawk I think or nearly so.
I cant be 100% sure but I see no reason that it wont work

Well, the Pixracer took the Antenna Tracker firmware last w/o error. Hopefully I’ll have time to test it in the next few days. Thanks.

I am also thinking about the same setup and have seen that you have already gone down that road.
Are you happy with it and does it work well - or are there any caveats?

It’s still on my list of things to do. I think it’s a good cold weather project. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I too am attempting to implement a PixRacer for AT 1.0.

My first attempt at simply uploading the firmware to the unit failed, as the USB connection to the mission planner computer went dead (no mavlink packets receivable).
I recompiled the AntennaTracker firmware for px4-v4 (the design for the PixRacer), and was then able to successfully upload firmware and communicate with the tracker.

Where I am now:

  • Mission Planner (MP 1.3.51) connected to Antenna Tracker (PixRacer, AT 1.0) via USB, tracker connected to vehicle (PixRacer, Plane 3.8.3) via telemetry radio pair.
  • Successful forwarding of vehicle telemetry through the antenna tracker.
  • Simultaneous location display of tracker and vehicle on MP display.
  • Antenna Tracker is limp - no response from servos regardless of mode.
  • Mission Planner shows tracker is disarmed: when attempting to arm via MP, the MAV rejects command. When manually armed via the hardware switch on tracker, it arms, but immediately goes into safe mode (MP shows (SAFE)). In addition, I get periodic messages from MP that “Failed to update home location (2)”.

I’m having a hard time debugging the behavior, as I cannot seem to convince the tracker to arm and move the servos, even in a scan motion. Servos also do not respond to tuning commands.

A little more development.

Identical behavior exhibited by the Pixhawk 2.1 (The Cube) when loaded with px4-v3 firmware compiled from GitHub repository.

When loaded with the code directly from Mission Planner (not compiled from GitHub source), the Pixhawk 2.1 moves in a scanning motion, but seems to have difficulties regarding compass orientation. Perhaps something to do with the three internal magnetometers of the 2.1, opposed to the single compass internal to the original Pixhawk or APM? In general the PH 2.1 demonstrates erratic behavior, often pointing straight up and rapidly oscillating in the pitch axis . . .

Post this to the Pixhawk 2.1 Facebook group. @proficnc may be able to lend some insight.

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