Linking "Base AutoCaster" to "Mission Planner" via COM Port

"Base AutoCaster" is a receiver mode available in RTKITE and SMARTK products.

This mode will operate as Base, sending the differential corrections (RTCMv3 advised) to a Server (the "AutoCaster server"). Thus, the Base is connected to Internet using their internal modem (SIM card required)

The clients (one o several Rovers) can connect to this Server for get the differential corrections from the Base, and get RTK accuracy.

"Mission Planner" (MP) can inject to the AutoPilot the differential corrections taken from some sources (COM port, NTRIP, ...). We have tried to connect MP directly to "AutoCaster server", but MP seems to not understand AutoCaster packets that transport differential corrections. So, as workaround, we have passed the data through COM-pair ports.

For that, we have used two tools

1) COM0COM. This tool will create 2 virtual COM port bridged (as a null modem). In this demo, these ports are COM10 and COM12. All the bytes sent to COM10 can be read at COM12 (and viceversa)

2) AutoCasterUDP2COM. This tool will connect to the "AutoCaster" server as client Rover and will write the received packets to the COM selected (COM10 in this demo)

Finally, MP is able to read corrections from COM12 at 115200 and inject to the AutoPilot.

For this application can be used also with PPKOORD activated for RTK, being the Rover.

As final notes...

1) This application can be useful when Base (SMARTK or RTKITE) are not in the same place of MP. In case contrary, use "Base Serial" mode, so the MP will read directly the USB COM port. And avoid all the overhead with Internet and SIM Card.

2) Also have sense for have own Base installed in Well Known-Point, meanwhile only the Rover is desplaced to the field.

3) A variation of this method can be to build new tool for replace the "Base AutoCaster" as "Base Serial". So, it will be necessary other PC in the Base point, that read COM port and send to "AutoCaster Server". This will remove the SIM Card in the Base.

Video of demo


Link to tool

COM0COM, available at Sourceforge