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Porcupine RC GroundStation

PorcupineRC Ground Station System is a highly integrated radio and FPV system for RC hobbies and commercial applications. It provides a reliable bi-directional wireless data link and a stable FPV video link with very short latency, and with a high gain patch antenna controlled by automatic antenna tracker AAT, you can fly your aircraft far away to do their missions out of sight, the Android system shows you the direction to fly back home, and record all telemetry data for you to review your flight in Google Earth. On the aircraft, just plug in a camera and a GPS module to the RX to complete this light weight, low power consumption, simplest ever long range system. 

Highlights:
  • Automatic Antenna Tracking AAT
  • GoHome direction indicator
  • GPS module and Camera ports on RX Transceiver
  • Short Latency: FPV Video Latenccy: 30ms; Control Data Latency: 20ms
  • 3km / 1.86miles long range at lower power consumption.
  • 16 Channels Mixing with Custom Equations.
  • Review flight path and telemetry data with Google Earth in 3D.
  • Photo and Video Capture
  • Dual 2.4GHz DFSST bi-directional data transmission and 5.8GHz FPV video transmission
  • 14dBi Patch Antenna, Dual Band
  • Full Telemetry data (e.g GPS data, battery level, signal quality)
  • 12 types on-screen buttons / switches( e.g 5 ways switches, analog slide bar)
  • Single Li-ion 26650 Battery
  • Signal Quality / Battery Level Alarm 
  • On Screen Mini-Map
  • Gyro Control 
  • S.Bus, PPM, PWM output.
  • Works with Android system 4.3 and up with USB OTG



Watch video of this flight: 
When flying an Aircraft out of sight, you can still fly with confident and fly it back manually! The "GoHome Arrow" shows you the direction to fly back home, the "Mini Map" and "Bearing" indicator tells you where you are and where you are heading to.  "Distance from Home", "Altitude", and "Speed" help you make sure you are flying not too high, not too far and not too fast. And you may set warning alarm for the "Data Link Quality", "Video RSSI" and "Battery Level" so that you know when you have to fly back and keep away from any interference. Latency of both FPV and Data response is designed to be very short, that means you can response to obstacles in real time and truly control the aircraft manually!!! (you can still add flight controller)

On the aircraft, Camera, and GPS modules are plugged to the RX transceiver which has integrated a 5.8GHz VTX (video transmission module), Two 2.4GHz Data link modules, two 5dB Mini patch antennas, all in one piece. RX draws power directly from the aircraft battery independently(it also detect battery level at the same time) and it will not deliver power to the servos so it will not be affected by the power system failure of the aircraft. 
S.Bus, PPM, PWM output are available, all 16 channels.
Everything is plug and play, you don't need to do any settings on RX side.

Video Link Channel is controlled by the + / - buttons, the Ground Station will transmit the channel data to the RX  which will change channels accordingly, you don't need to do anything on the RX side. The FPV video can be redirected to FPV goggles via a separated 5.8GHz channel for immersive experience, the redirect channel can be changed by pressing the VTX button plus the + / - buttons. The VTX button is also the key to many hidden functions. 

The AAT is attached to the Ground Station with two quick release hand-tighten bolts, and is electrically connected the Ground Station with PAN Servo and TILT Servo cables, the Ground Station supplies power to the AAT without the need of extra battery. The AAT works with two basic data:1) GPS location of the aircraft, 2) Orientation of your Android device. No matter how you hold the Ground Station and which direction you are facing, the AAT points to the aircraft even when you keep moving. 
Three simple steps to setup the AAT:
  1. Plug-in the GPS module the RX.
  2. Calibrate the Android compass.
  3. Set Home in Setting->Home Setting page.
When you are not flying FPV, you may turn off the FPV related electronics with the "FPV ON / OFF" SW to extend battery life.

Every 16 Channels output can be customized by mathematical equations, the results of each channel is bounded to -1 to +1 which will then be mapped to 1000-2000us( can be expanded to 700-2300us with End-Point settings). For standard applications like Delta-Wing, wings with Flaps, V-tail, Air brake, equations will be preset automatically when selecting the aircraft type in "Model" page. The mixing equations are composed of the sticks inputs, on-screen buttons, hardware switches, gyro sensors (X,Y, Z values of the android device), and the CH1-CH6 from another Ground Station through co-pilot cable. There are unlimited possibilities on how you are using it. 
Application examples:
  • Co-pilot applications like pilot-cameraman, trainer-student system. 
  • Gyro controlled applications like real flight emulator( control the aircraft with gyro )
  • Real time control of remote equipment (e.g agricultural equipment and landscape scanning devices)
The above example of CH4 equation is an application of trainer-student system, when on-screen button Trainer if off(=0), then CH4=YAW, when Trainer=1, then CH4=EX4, that means the CH4 is controlled by another Ground Station when Trainer switch is on. Similarly, CH5 is controlled by device's gyro when Gyro button is ON, otherwise it is controlled by ROLL stick. For standard application, you don't need to deal with equation mixing since they are auto preset when you select the model.

Two Ground Stations can be inter connected through Co-Pilot ports, the CH1-Ch6 outputs will then be the EX1-EX6 of your Co-Pilot's Ground Station and vice versa.

In Setting->Model page, you can select your aircraft model and the mixing equations will automatically appear in the Advanced Mixing page. There are wide range of aircraft model you can select from, the front part and tail part of the aircraft are to be selected separately, you can configure the flap if your aircraft comes with flaps. If your aircraft doesn't come with flaps, you can still configure Flaperon for slowing down(it works only if left and right aileron are controlled by separate servos), and even configure Butterfly/Air-brake which slow down your aircraft while controlling the tail control surfaces.
You can save your model with any name you wanted, number of model memory is unlimited. 
You may also send us your model settings to let us add your model to the app, so your customers will see your brand and models in the Model page. 

There are 8 spaces on the main screen you can add custom buttons and switches, each button is renamable and the mixing equations determine the button functions. 12 different types of switches are available, e.g, Analog Slide Bar, Push-On, Push-On-Push-Off, 2-6 ways Up Down switches, 2-5 ways Buttons. Each switch delivers a value between -1 to +1 to the Advanced Mixing, When "Logic" box is checked, 0 to +1 will be delivered instead.

You can examine the mixing results in the Output page.

In Setting->Flight Logging page, you can record the flight data for each flight, the app will record all telemetry data every second, including battery level, signal quality, flying speed, altitude, distance from Home, etc. you can review the flight in GOOGLE EARTH in 3D view, you can also share your flight path with others in google earth KML file or EXCEL file format.

Like any other traditional RC Radios, the sticks sensitivities can be adjusted with DualRate(D/R) and Exponential(EXP) settings, D/R controls the maximum range and EXP controls the linearity. When Dual/Triple Rate box is checked, 3 different sets of D/R and EXP setting can be used for different scenarios, a 3 way switch( hardware or on-screen switch) will be assigned for switching between D/R, EXP settings. When "Apply to EX1-EX4" box is checked, the same D/R, EXP setting will also be applied to the EX1-EX4 that are the CH1-CH4 of your Co-Pilot's Ground Station.

Each channel can be reversed, sub-trimmed, and the End-Point can be changed. 


Fail Safe (F/S) button sets the CH1-16 values of the RX ouputs when no signals received from the Ground Station. There are two sets of  F/S, one is permanent(by pressing the F/S for longer than 20s), one is temporary (by pressing the F/S for longer than 5-8s, reset when each power on), you can set temporary F/S with the aircraft in the air. If temporary F/S is set, it will ignore the permanent F/S data. Permanent F/S must be set with the aircraft on the ground.


A high gain Patch Antenna is one of the key parts of this long range system. In short, using a 14dBi antenna is equivalent to amplify the power 25 times without actually amplifying the power. In addition to the 5dBi mini patch antennas on the RX, the turn around antenna gain is 19dBi, which has not included the theoretical 3dBi gain of dual antenna system (compared to single antenna system). With this antenna combinations, the RF power emitted from both the ground station and RX are extremely low (100mW for 2.4GHz data link, 200mW for 5.8GHz video link)
However, the higher the gain the patch antenna is, the narrower the beam width(narrower angle), that means you have to point the antenna to the aircraft for long range flights, Automatic Antenna Tracker AAT do this job perfectly. 

To tell the Android where is your Home is, there are two methods: "Set via aircraft" and "Keep Tracking My Location". 
To "Set via aircraft", power on the RX with GPS plugged for long enough to get accurate GPS location and altitude data, with the aircraft placing nearby you, press "Set via aircraft" button. 
"Keep Tracking My Location" is used if you need to keep moving while flying the aircraft, like you are on the yacht or in a car, this method keep tracking your location with the GPS of your Android system.
It is important to calibrate the Android's compass so it knows the direction and orientation of the Ground Station. you can turn your body, and even tilt the ground station to the side when flying and the AAT to compensate your body movement immediately. 
On the fly, the accuracy of the AAT can still be adjust with your aircraft in the air, you can adjust your Home's altitude and adjust X direction offset of the AAT.

Main "Setting" page

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