I’m a Precision Agriculture company owner that builds UAV’s for scouting crops. I have built many quads and I’ve been watching out for something new and exciting to revolutionize the UAV experience. I have used primarily 2 companies for flight controllers in the past which have been NAZA and APM. My most recent builds have included Pixhawk and I fell upon Navio 2 last night while skimming the net for the next next big thing. I have all the resources to build my aircraft I’m now just looking for a new “control”. I love the idea of controlling it via 4g, that alone would eliminate so many components I already carry aboard my craft like the vid tx, telemetry module, vid rx and some ground station hardware. So, if any of you brilliant minds wouldn’t mind steering me in the right direction I would owe you big time! So, to clarify the subject line: I need a purchase list to accomplish my goals to fly fpv via my laptop over 4g/ wifi… I believe I’ve read that I need the Navio 2 however, it doesn’t come with Pi so I need to purchase that and now that the R pi 3 is supported I might as well stay ahead of the curve and get that. I know I need a certain webcam so, what are your suggestions? I need a 4g dongle and what are your suggestions? Also, any other parts for fpv and control you can think of feel free to chime in and let me know, I really like to be the guy that places his order all at once and gets it right the first time so precision artists or anyone with OCD let me know what to get! My budget really isn’t an issue but, being on time with orders and customer service is a huge deal so please point them out too. Thank you so much for your time, you guys/ gals rock and do beautiful work!
… my thoughts exactly lol
So you need something to haul around a camera? The raspberry pi has a camera module that’s pretty lightweight, shoots at 5 megapixels and about a 2500x1500 pixel resolution (I’m not looking up the actual statistic, too lazy, sorry). I guess the real question is how big/good of a camera you need to haul around
The big challenge is going to be sending PWM signals over the 4G connection, something I’m working on currently. You’ll want to use a 4G modem and an external antenna. All 4G dongles will do you about the same, but if you get one that’s got an external antenna you’ll get better gain. I’ll message you when I get my PWM emulation code functioning well enough, shouldn’t be longer than about a month.
The camera is easy to stream to your base station, just look up GStreamer. I’m personally thinking about ignoring commercial FPV for a while and just using GStreamer for a homemade FPV solution.
Funny you post this, I’m looking to do the same thing, but in Africa (imbased in the UK, but African so have links there and can get land for cheap)
What about using GPS and setting where to fly? 4G is an awesome idea, but with that comes the software to control it, if it’s not there or doesn’t support what you want you pretty much have to write it yourself.
Saying that though, I’ve seen someone here on the forum control it using a game controller. I’m definitely considering that instead of a £200 transmitter
But please keep us updated on how you go, very interested in this
David, since I’ve been using pixhawk setting up mission planner on a pc or tower on the phone or tablet is pretty much straight forward. You’ll need a GPS receiver ublox 8 is good plus a telemetry module kit they come in 900mhz or 433mhz and that will enable GPS flight via ground stations over radio signal. As for the game controller I have a joystick and controller made by Logitech and once you hook them up via usb you can set it up through Mission planner as to what buttons control what functions. Very simple!
I’m trying to steer away from the modules and connect to mission planner via 4g and a receiver for my pc. Possibly using the hotspot on my phone unless a company makes a module that can be hooked up directly to pc. that will receive 4g, that will put me in a position to fly it anywhere on a customers farm without having to move positions to keep brown outs from happening I’m so tired of lugging all the equipment around to keep my image and synced to my copters. I like to think one day I can fly several thousand acres across thickets and not worry about loosing connections.
Verizon is the best in this area for reception so I’ll probably contact them for data and go that direction unless there’s another company that has a sim that will bounce off any cellular tower then that would be hands down the best.
Funny you say that you’re from Africa because my partner is from South Africa and is helping with this build.
Funk, currently I run small Sony fpv cams 600-700tvl through 1.2-5.8ghz so that camera by PI will probably be fine, I need something compatible with the PI just for orientation essentially. So, clarity is not a big goal since I’ll be carrying a stand alone recording camera or multi spectral camera.
I was mainly interested in how to stream it back to the PC, and what components are needed and how to set it up with pi and my PC. I will more than likely look to see what Verizon has to offer for my 4g needs.
However, since I have a Best Buy nearby I might try getting a camera from them as in webcams and will need to see what’s compatible with the USB port on the pi.
Thanks for responding I thought this was a ghost town!
Definitely go with the pi camera, it’s great and it’s cheap. I just hooked mine up yesterday and I’m loving it. I plan to either use mission planner over the 4G connection to control my flight or write custom code and either make the vehicle autonomous or emulate RC signals over the 4G connection using an Xbox controller and some more custom client/server code. Maybe both! Who knows? I guess it depends on how much time I have on my hands.
thanks for the detailed reply, im just diving into this now and its so fascinating, and with navio the fact that you can run literally any application on the pi is just mind blowing to me.
i look forward to seeing more of your build in the future though
All I need now is instructions on how to stream live. I’ve tried motion and mjpg streamer and can’t seem to get it rolling… any information you have funk would be appreciated man.