Get 4G Telemetry and Video

Setup Raspberry Pi for 4G telemetry and video now

Setup Raspberry Pi for 4G telemetry and video

All you need to have 4G telemetry and video is a Raspberry Pi and a LTE modem.

Download Raspberry Pi OS for 4G telemetry and video

Flash your Raspberry Pi as you normally would. We recommend using the Lite image as you probably won’t need full fledged desktop on your little flying beast.
For a detailed guide go to https://www.raspberrypi.com/software/

Remember to enable SSH after the installation. Just create a new empty file called ssh.txt on the “boot” partition of the flashed SD card.

SSH to your Raspberry Pi and execute the installation command:

curl -s https://drone-mate.com/install | sudo /bin/bash

After the installation is complete, you can access DroneMate from your browser.

Just type your Raspberry Pi IP address as URL.

 

Wiring diagram:

 

Setup Flight Controller

Your Raspberry Pi needs to be physically connected to your flight controller and configured properly in order to capture the telemetry and send it to your devices.

Configuring the Flight Controller

Connect to your Flight Controller to your computer and open its configuration software (Mission Planner for Ardupilot or iNav Configurator for iNav installations).

Make sure the telemetry port of your choice is enabled, Mavlink 2 is selected as its protocol and set the baud rate to our recommended setting of 115200 (if not supported, pick the highest supported number). Save the baudrate setting in a file, because you will need it later.

Physical wiring

You can connect Raspberry Pi to your flight controller using the GPIO pins or with an USB cable.

GPIO wiring:

The exact wiring depends on the flight controller board you are using and the autopilot software. As a rule of thumb you need to do 2 things.

  1. Connect the 5V and GND pins of your Raspberry Pi to a 5V BEC (2Amps recommended) or to your Flight Controller board if it offers power pins with enough current. Please refer to your flight controller documentation for this or contact us for assistance.
  2. Connect the TX pin of your Raspberry to the telemetry RX pin on your flight controller and the RX pin of your Raspberry to the telemetry TX pin on your flight controller. Please refer to your flight controller documentation for this or contact us for assistance.

For this example we are showing wiring a Raspberry Pi to Matek F765-Wing board. F765 in particular has very powerful servo rail capable of 8A continuous draw which is more than enough for a Raspberry Pi. Please not the following diagram is suitable for an iNav installation. The Pin mappings would be different if ArduPilot is installed. Refer to your board manufacturer for the exact pins needed or contact us for assistance.

Once the wiring is complete, power on the system and make sure both the Raspberry and the Flight Controller are correctly powered on.

Configuring DroneMate

For the next step we will go to DroneMate portal.

  1. Open a browser and go to your Raspberry Pi IP address
  2. Go to the Flight Controller section.
  3. Set the connection method (USB/ GPIO)
  4. Select Mavlink 2 as protocol version
  5. Select the baudrate you have configured previously
  6. Do not change the dive field unless you know what you are doing. The default setting will be fine for you.
  7. Click save, if everything is working correctly you should see the flight controller is connected:
  8. If you see the green Connected status then DroneMate is correctly receiving telemetry and is ready to send it to your devices.

Connect to VPN

VPN is your secure private network that allows you to connect to your drone while connected to 4G network.

We recommend that you use ZeroTier VPN because they offer free service for non-commercial usecases.

  1. Go to ZeroTier website here .
  2. Setup your free account.
  3. Once you have logged in create a network:
  4. Once the network is created, click on it to access its settings.
  5. Set the network to public (this will allow you to connect new devices, once you are done with the whole setup you can move it back to private):
  6. Copy your Network ID as seen on the top of the Network page.
  7. Go to DroneMate (you can access it by opening a web browser and going to your Raspberry Pi IP address).
  8. Go to the VPN settings, select ZeroTier, paste the network ID and click save:
  9. Take note of the IP address field. This is the IP address assigned for your Raspberry Pi within the VPN network. From now on you should open the DroneMate portal by using this IP, especially if you are connected to a 4G network.
  10. Great job! Your Raspberry Pi is not connected to your own VPN network and is waiting for your other devices (PC, laptop, phone or tablet). 
  11. Install ZeroTier app on each device you want to receive telemetry and/or video from your drone. Once installed, connect them to the same Network ID as your Raspberry Pi (You can always go to the VPN section in DroneMate to lookup your network ID).
  12. Once devices are connected you will see them in your network page in ZeroTier website. Take note of their IP addresses. You will need them later when you setup your ground station relay in DroneMate. Pro tip: assign names to the IP addresses to keep track which is which:
img_benefit.jpg
LETS GET IT DONE

Let's break it down a bit

curl -s https://drone-mate.com/install | sudo /bin/bash

Really – just paste this command in the terminal of your Raspberry Pi.

To get 4G telemetry and video you need an LTE modem. For now we support HiLink modems. They do not require additional software and configuration. As long as your SIM card doesnt have a PIN, Raspberry will be connected to the internet as soon as you plug the modem.

Recommended:

  • Huawei E3372-310 – EU version
  • Huawei  E3372-510 – US version
  • ZTE MF833V

Go to the VPN section in DroneMate and input your ZeroTier network ID. For a free ZeroTier VPN account click here.

Install ZeroTier application on your Ground Station device (there are apps for Windows/Mac/Android/iOS).

Go to the Ground Station section in DroneMate. Add the Ground Stations you are going to use along with their VPN IP address.

We recommend:

For now we only support Raspberry Pi camera.

Go to the Camera section in Drone Mate and add your camera preferences.

Be mindful of your bandwidth. For most applications 10Mbit bitrate will do the job.

Remember – if its good enough for Netflix – its good enough for FPV.

Still have some questions?

Have a question? Or maybe you want to share your build?

Join us in Discord. We are here as community – learning and growing together.

Regardless if you fly drones professionally or for fun.

en_USEnglish