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Antenna Tracker Configuration

Building & loading the firmware

cd ardupilot/AntennaTracker/
make px4-clean
make px4-cleandep
make px4-v2 -j 4
make px4-v2-upload -j 4

First make builds the dependencies. Second make with -upload will upload the firmware to Pixhawk.


  • XBee or other telemetry modules on both tracker and vehicle PX4s.
  • If using XBee, TELEM_DELAY should be set on the vehicle (there's no parameter for this on the tracker firmware).
  • If using XBee, BRD_SER1_RTSCTS or BRD_SER2_RTSCTS should be set to 0.
  • Use different SYSID_THISMAV for vehicle and tracker.
  • Use same baudrate for all links (specify 57 for XBee bi-directional serial communication).
  • USB or Bluetooth to the ground PX4 running AntennaTracker.
  • If using APM2.5, don't use Telem1 port as it's shared with USB.

Connections can either be: GCS <--> Tracker <--> Vehicle (Tracker acts as MAVLink proxy) OR Tracker <--> GCS <--> Vehicle (GCS acts as MAVLink proxy)


  • Set orientation using GCS or set AHRS_ORIENTATION param directly.
  • Perform Compass Calibration.
  • Perform Accel. Calibration.
  • Perform RC Calibration if planning on using MANUAL mode.
  • Set RC1_MAX, RC1_MIN, RC2_REV, RC1_TRIM, RC2_MAX, RC2_MIN, RC2_REV, RC2_TRIM properly.
  • Use Mission Planner's servo test function using SERVO_TEST mode and advanced param pane to test.


  • Set BRD_SAFETYENABLE to off if you don't want to use the safety switch (make sure to do servo test and servos are working correctly before enabling this).
  • Set SR1_* parameters on vehicle to a value between 2 to 5 in order to force vehicle to send params without first being asked by GCS using heartbeat detection. Use the default values for tracker firmware.


  • If not using GPS, use START_LATITUDE and START_LONGITUDE to set the tracker position.
  • You can also use MAVProxy to set antenna location by pointing & clicking.

APM Planner

  • Make sure vehicle Pixhawk is not connected to the APM Planner neither directly nor via the AntennaTracker MAVLink proxy.
  • Go to APM Planner 2.0 Config from Config/Tuning pane and select "Advanced" tab.
  • Set Attitude Telemetry Rate to 0Hz so that the Primary Flight Display will not show the attitude of the antenna tracker.
  • Setting SR0_EXTRA1 from the full parameter list won't work.

Mission Planner

  • CTRL-X to switch between vehicle and tracker.
  • CTRL-F to bring up mavlink dialog and setup proxy for relaying mavlink messages.