SmartLink set includes everything needed to setup wireless communication for video, telemetry and control. Standard set contains:
- Ground module
- Air module
- Pair of antennas for air module
- Pair of antennas for ground module
- Power cable for ground module
- Power cable for air module
- Telemetry cable for the autopilot
Preparing Air module
First of all, attach antennas to the air module:
Then attach power supply cable and autopilot telemetry cable:
- Power supply goes to 5V DC connector
- Autopilot telemetry cable goes to UART connector
Here it is how air module should look like with power and telemetry cables connected:
Connect one or two microHDMI cables to microHDMI port:
Another side goes into HDMI port of the video source (camera):
In this example we demonstrate GoPro Hero 6 video camera with 1080p@60fps video output. SmartLink is capable of capturing the following video source types:
Preparing Ground module
Attach antennas to the ground module:
By default, 8 dBi antennas comes with the set. Depending on your specific applications you might use different antennas designed for 2.4 GHz band.
Connect micro USB cable and power cable to the ground module as shown on the image:
Ground module supports any power supply source with the voltage in range from 10V to 50V. We recommend to use 3S or 4S LiPo battery to power the ground module. Typical current for 3S battery is around 1A at maximum power output.
Air module is 5V tolerant only. Peak current can be up to 3A, therefore, make sure to provide powerful, stable and reliable power supply to air module. We highly recommend to use SmartAP PDB 5V output port to power SmartLink. SmartAP PDB has 5V at 5A max power output which is enough for SmartLink.
Connect two power leads to SmartAP PDB 5V output. SmartAP PDB can be powered from 3S-12S LiPo battery. We power it from laboratory power supply for this demonstration (15V).
SmartLink system is compatible with any autopilot which has TTL UART telemetry port. For instance, it's compatible with:
- SmartAP Autopilot
- Pixhawk series Autopilot
- APM series Autopilot
- other TTL UART telemetry port autopilots
For this demonstration we use SmartAP MAX Autopilot from Sky-Drones:
Connect telemetry cable to Radio port of the autopilot as shown below:
After completing the steps above you will have fully assembled air module:
Before the first power up you have assembled air module and ground module as shown below:
Initial power up
Power up both ground module and air module.
Ground module has status LEDs which allow to identify the current status of the system. Most important are RSSI LEDs:
- Three RSSI LEDs blinking altogether: RF off
- Three RSSI LEDs blinking in turn: Searching for pair
- One, two or three LEDs solid: RSSI status, more solid LEDs equals better signal
Verify SmartLink was discovered
First of all, check if SmartLink ground module has been recognized properly by your computer. You should be able to see it as Ethernet device. For instance, go to command line and type
ifconfig for MacOS / Linux or
ipconfig for Windows:
You should see that one of the network adapters has IP address in the range of 192.168.168.xxx. This means that SmartLink has been successfully discovered by your computer. Alternatively, you can check the configuration with Network Manager and / or assign static IP address:
Another method to check that SmartLink is properly recognized by your computer is to ping it. Open command line and type
If you are able to see the proper response in command line then it means SmartLink is discovered by your computer.
Run Ground Station Software
Once you have everything connected and powered up you may start the ground station software. SmartLink is compatible with various popular ground control stations. In this demonstration we use SmartAP GCS by Sky-Drones. SmartLink is fully supported by SmartAP GCS. Start SmartAP GCS and go to
Settings in left drawer:
Enable the option
Autoconnect to SmartLink, this will create SmartLink connection automatically.
After that, go back to the
World pane and click
Connections button in the top right corner. You will see SmartLink connection added. If it's not added automatically or missing you may add it manually as shown below:
Open connection will be established and you should be able to see telemetry information at this step.
To set up the video click on the
Settings button of the one of the video widgets and select the desired source. For this demonstration we need to select
SmartLink HDMI 1 option:
After 1-2 seconds the video feed will appear and connection status will be set to
You can easily switch between full map and full video by just tapping on the video feed:
Finally, full setup looks as follows: