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Antenna Tracker

What is an Antenna Tracker (AT) and What Do I Need?

An AT is a system that tracks where in the sky or where on the ground your plane/copter/vehicle is. There are multiple methods for an AT to do this with.

One is to use RADAR to find your plane (or copter or whatever) and feed the altitude/angles to the AT, this is way expensive and beyond the DIY needs.

Another way is to have your plane emit a signal (or two) and a receiver on your AT electronically compares what it receives and uses that information to point the antenna(s) with. This works as one emitted signal is slightly weaker than the other.

Yet another viable solution is to buy an off the shelf system within your DIY budget but if you use such systems then it is usually not compatible with other "bells and whistles" you might want to put on your own AT. It might also be beyond your ability to repair or understand any errors that might be occurring.

The way the APM Mission Planner does it (that is one of the Ground Control Station software packages DIYdrones.com hosts, among others) is far more simple and yet very much as effective as the other mentioned methods.

Since your Global Positioning System (GPS) on the APM2 board is already tracking where your plane is, it simply takes this data and shoves it to your AT and voila! instant tracking as good as your GPS can track it! This build uses the APM Mission Planner (MP) in conjunction with the APM2 but this will also work with the original APM. Please understand, it does not matter which APM (1 or 2) you use as the AT draws all data from the MP, the MP in turn pulls its data from your aircraft via the telemetry link which you MUST have in order for this to work.

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