Cool Ground station build out of a light fixture!!

by galaxy engineer | February 2, 2014 | (13 Ratings) Posted in Projects

I just dropped by to show off my new Ground Station that has been re-purposed from the electrical isle at the thrift store........I have been working on it all day and have yet to maiden it but bench test went as I would expect.

I give you the ''Track light'' Ground Station
TaDaaaaaa!!!!! HEE HEE!!

Article/pictures by Brett Hays





I found two of these track light ''cans'' at the Thrift store and I wasn't sure but I thought they may be close to the same diameter as the base of my Circular Wireless 2.4 gig helical VRX antenna. I bought them both for $3.50 each (reg $5.00 but they were having a sale....lol.....lucky me)  

It turns out that they are in fact the EXACT diameter as the base of the antenna........like it was made for it.  The perfect container for the perfect antenna.......an unlikely match made in FPV Heaven!




LED's on the outside will make any airplane fly much better and faster when using this Ground Station plus they look cool.......lol....just kidding 

Actually, I put the LED strips on each side so I can see if it is turned on or not.  I don't know how many times I forget to turn off my Ground Station between flying sessions!......Not anymore!!  I had these LED's laying around from my Cockpit Ground Station build so I decided to put them to good use on this Ground Station. Now I should be able to see that I left it on from a mile away.....or two!





The business end with the world famous Circular Wireless Helical Antenna. I have been using these works of art since the start of my FPV adventures and I can not say enough good things about them. Juan at Circular Wireless is top notch in customer service. It was like this light can was made to mount the antenna to......a perfect fit.  The one photo also shows the tripod shoe attached to the bottom of the can and the LED's off.   With the LED's off it's kinda like seeing your girlfriend without makeup for the first time......LOL!



This is the ''other'' business end below.......I'll explain the ''dash pannel from top to bottom left to right.

1. On/off toggle switch
2. Four A/V RCA outputs. My video splitter took a crap on me so only one audio and one video is hooked up right now. There is room to put a video splitter inside when I get a new one.........sigh!
3. Battery/cell monitor
4. Right bellow the battery monitor is the channel select dip switches on the Lawmate VRX. 
5. The silver bar is a drawer pull. 
6. Below the bar is the battery charge plug and balance lead for charging and/or power out to goggles, monitor or whatever needs 12 volts. 



Aaaaaaaand this is what the drawer pull is for........There is also a drawer pull mounted on the top as well for carrying the Ground Station around..........or throwing it if it fails.....lol



So the whole insides come out as one unit. All that has to be unplugged is the antenna cable from the RX and the cool ass LED's......lol. 



On top of the shelf is the VRX and space for the video splitter or possibly a DVR.  The servo plug on the right of the picture is the LED power tapped off of the RX power from the switch.  When the Ground Station power switch is on, the LED's are on.   



On the bottom......the 4500mah 3s battery. This battery was another perfect fit......I mean EXACT fit.  I was using a 5000 mah battery but it was to long for this application but the 4500 juuuuuust fit.  I dont think I could have planed it and had it come out better.  The way it is set up the Ground Station does not have to be taken apart to charge.  That can all be done from the controll pannel.

 



So thats my refurbished track light ''can'' Ground Station.  I built it to use with my CGS as seen below in the related articles section, but it can be used stand alone as well with a pair of goggles! 


Let me know what you think!

COMMENTS

galaxy engineer on February 2, 2014
Thanks!! Glad you enjoyed it!
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apache64 on February 2, 2014
Brilliant idea, and being in a metal container will shield it from any other RF noise, i must try something similar with my 5.8Ghz.. good work :-)
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Widkin on February 2, 2014
This looks very nice. Good job!
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PaladinDG on February 2, 2014
Very nice, people will be asking where you bought it... the LEDs are a nice touch.... I LIKE IT!
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FASTCRASHER on February 3, 2014
nice job!
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galaxy engineer on February 3, 2014
Thanks guys!
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Zatoichi on February 3, 2014
Bravo hermano! I like it! THe LED's are a good tip. You can just leave the mounting bracket on the next one and mount it to your MGS!=D
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galaxy engineer on February 3, 2014
LOL.......I actually considered using the original light mount but it wasn't as sturdy as I would like it to be. There is no way to tighten the joints and the weight of the GS is to heavy and it droops...........You get what I mean........lol
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Capt Buscemi on February 3, 2014
Outstanding. Very neat and professional. Also really good physical protection of all your stuff, as well as RF protection. I'll definitely get working on a 5.8G version.
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galaxy engineer on February 3, 2014
Thanks! Glad you like it!
Please keep us posted on your 5.8 rig build. I would love to see what you come up with and any improvements. I have since the pictures added a second antenna outlet on the top for an SPW antenna for short range flying around. I do have to open it up to swap the antenna leads but thats no big deal.
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spencer on February 19, 2014
This thing is slick. Thinking I may have to do this in the near future.
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galaxy engineer on February 19, 2014
Its super easy to build.......the hardest part is finding a suitable light fixture.....lol
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