My DIY Ground (Base) Station project build for the DJI Mavic Pro and Inspire

Quick links which may be of interest:

Otherwise, read on!


I’ve been wanting to build a Ground Station since, well, forever really!

The requirement is for this ground station to work with both the Mavic and the Inspire, with the minimal amount of fuss.

Finally pulled the pin and convinced myself that sacrificing the Titan Atlas amplified antenna was a reasonable commitment and I’ve now got the ball rolling with a few mockups on cardboard.

This is a work in progress so bear with me :+1:t2:

It started life as a regular Peli 1450 hard case:

This case is ideal as the lid is quite deep.

The battery on a CrystalSky protrudes from the rear so it needs more depth than say an iPad or other tablet.

First up, designing the lid.

We want the screen mounted square in the middle.

The crosshatch area will be cut out. This will allow the CS to then sit flush against the lid-backing.

The antennas will be quick-release and will sit on the top of the case lid.

I have something like this in mind.

The crosshatch hole in the lower left is a cable-exit point.

In the lower part of the case then, is where the stripped out Titan will go.

You’ll see a similar hole planned in the top left, to mate up to the hole in the lid, I’ll run all the cables through these in some decent sleeves.

The Titan digital display will go top-centre, charger port towards the right and power switch to the left.

The other half of the case can then be used for storage.

Although thinking about it, depending on the tripod-mount arrangement I end up with, the lower part of the case might need to cover two-thirds, in order to hide the tripod mount below. Leaving 1/3rd for storage or something.

I’ll not be using the Titan power switch in this ground station.

Oh no…

Now, at last, I finally have a valid reason to use one of these :bowing_man:

%24_3

I know, right? :smiley:

Anyway!

Here’s my old faithful Titan Atlas.

And for the curious, here’s what’s inside:

Digital display is mounted on the rear of this PCB:

One of the dual amps:

And a 12v 3000mAh li-ion battery which is good for days of use without needing a recharge.

So that’s the plan!

Thoughts, advise, suggestions, questions, all welcomed :+1:t2:

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Tried to find the name of those tripod mounts but couldn’t. I can sacrifice one like I have on mine if you want. I’ll take a picture tomorrow.

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I can offer absolutely no useful advice so I’ll just say what you’ve done so far looks very cool!

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Yep, looks like a self-destruct switch all right. You anticipating trouble Rich?:rofl:

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It’s in case I see a low flying light aircraft near a reservoir… :boom:

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F@@k it she’s watching bake off.



They are aluminium.

a man after me own heart Rich !.
I am part of the way there, with having all the special cable and connectors for connecting the antenna and amplifiers.
I bought a while back a shit load of the SMA/RPSMA connectors of all sorts of different configurations.
Got the crimping tool, all sorts of shrink sleeve, etc.
Now managed to source the push on type of sma connectors, which are a hellish price !.
Like you, I have all sorts of Pell type cases I could use, in various sizes as I use them to build flight case Computers for DJ’s.
I done a Full mod on my original Phantom 2 Vision Controller and also the Drone Antenna’s.
Keep us informed of progress, most interested !.
Just need the impetus to start the bloody thing !, knowing me I pick a time when I am bored out of me brain, then I won’t be able to put it down till it’s finished.
Having a sound knowledge of connectors and being able to get them right first time after 40 years of connecting just about any cable you can think of, will be a great help !.
Must not forget the “Blue Thunder” machine gun trigger in it somewhere !

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Here’s as good a reason as any:

:+1:t2:

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Well if I can fit the components of a full size PC into one of these, a ground station should be a bit of piss !


all fan cooled, 16 tb of hard drives (4 x 4tb), SSD boot drive.
500,000 songs, videos, karaoke.
The mutts nutts of media centres !!

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One suggestion Rich,
a internal digital temperature indicator

a few links you may find useful:

all sorts of digital volt meters on Ebay also.

Bloody hell Chris,you planning on joining the men in black…:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

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16 posts were merged into an existing topic: Random off-topic stuff

I would def build the guts of one of these into it Rich:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07H4C44VQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

but, mavic pro version !.
Would cut leads off and have connectors into panel mounted output sockets.
It’s all in my mind what I would want.
easily butchered to include the USB Socket as well as all the LEDs.
I’d have a Solar Panel fitted to give a charger output of 12-18 volts

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Would be interesting to see if you could link the Mavic Car Charger to a Solar Panel fitted to the lid, so you have a way of charging on-site.

My experience of these cases is that the lid can be used not just for a display
(ipad or something similar) but around the outside all manner of displays, or switches, sockets could be fitted.
Personally, I would keep the lid for the Antenna array and Amplifiers.
The base part of the case I would put the more heavier items (batteries to power case and batteries for the drone.)

WTF !, I think he intends to fly it home to the Philippine’s !!

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that’s all well and good for FPV Richard, but, we would need a shit load more stuff for a Mavic Ground Station.
Good build all said and done.

Postie brought a few more bits for me today.

A three meter Anker USB-C cable, this will form part of the main harness that runs from the case to the remote controllers. Cheaper brands are available but as this is the one thing keeping me in touch with the CrystalSky, I didn’t want to skimp!

Five meters of 20mm braided sleeve. This stuff expands to about three times it’s size, I love it. I’ll be using this to wrap the three harness cables that will be running from the case to the controllers. It’ll keep it really tidy looking. I’ll also use a bit of this to sleeve the cables that run from the bottom of the case up in to the lid.

The all important aircraft switch :grimacing:

I bought one with a red power LED in the tip too (12v).

What I hadn’t factored though, was the height of this mofo.

30mm from the mounting point to the top. I shall need to factor this in to the height I set the lower case plinth at to make sure the lid still shuts :roll_eyes:

And a bunch of right-angled bracket things :man_shrugging:

I’ll glue these to the inside of the lid, and the inside of the bottom of the case, in order to allow me to screw the final panels in to place.

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I’m planning on using regular hot glue for most of these brackets, should be alright?

I’ve got some Araldite epoxy resin, might be overkill though?

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