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Project #009 - DakarOSD/Lynx RC Plane OSD

DISCLAIMER: This design is experimental, so if you decide to build one yourself then you are on your own, I can't be held responsible for any problems/issues/damage/injury that may occur if you decide to follow this build and make one yourself.


Originally designed by Cristóbal Fernández, DakarOSD/Lynx is an OSD (On Screen Display) & Auto-Tracking antenna system for RC planes & helecopters. The hardware design is open-source with the schematic diagrams & pcb layout files being released whilst the software is released by Cristóbal by way of hex files.
See Page 7 of this article for download links to the various hex files.

The original threads (Spanish) for review are here:-
- DakarOSD.
- Lynx.
- LCD for Lynx.

CollageHaving tried a few commercially available OSD modules in my own RC planes what attracted me towards Cristóbal's system is the Auto-Tracking capability. The idea is that instead of an omni-directional antenna picking up the transmitted video signal from the Tx on the plane, there is actually a directional antenna at the base station which picks up the GPS co'ordinates of the plane and orientates the antenna via pan/tilt servo's to continually point towards the plane. This has the effect of increasing range and quality of signal.
So, it's a two pcb system: DakarOSD pcb is installed in the plane, whilst Lynx pcb is the basestation on the ground. What you also get is the capability to connect the Lynx pcb to a local laptop running Google Earth of which your plane can be seen real-time flying over the local area.

With my testing done using Cristóbal's original pcb designs I set about re-creating my own pcb's using Eagle, the first to date being the DakarOSD. I wanted to add in additional functionality & capability whilst also arranging the pcb layout in such a way it would help reduce the myriad of wiring that unfortunately besets us RC plane enthusiasts.

Disclaimer: The design & files contained herewith are supplied with no guarantee as to functionality, safety or completeness. Please do not look to me for any kind of recompense if your attempt does not work/catches fire etc. You are on your own.

In brief, the plane's video camera is connected to the DakarOSD board as is the GPS unit. The software on this PCB incorporates the GPS co'ordinates into the video signal (hidden) along with various data such as battery voltage/current etc. This data is transmitted to the basestation on the ground where the hidden data is decoded by the Lynx board and is used to drive the servo's for the antenna tracker.
The Lynx board is optional, if you are really only interested in the OSD side of things, i.e. no antenna tracker, then it will work find on it's own.