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Advice for using/hacking ST16 for Fathom ROV

Okay on the Mac, I have everything working now except video on QGC 4.1.1. This is connected to it via the network cable, but with the Fathom PDB NOT plugged in. Okay that's odd... I plug the PDB in and reboot and now no conflicts. Whatever, maybe I revisit that later. Wait, and now conflicts again. WTH?

On the PC (Toughbook) I can't get any of the versions I have tried to connect through the network (tether) cable. I suspect that could be a firewall issue but I did allow QGC. The Mac asks me each time if I want to allow incoming network connections.

This is such a pain. Starting to loose motivation for the project. I really want to get SOMETHING connected and showing video.

QGC does exist for android platforms, but I don't have a solid link established to tackle the next issue, the wireless topside AP.
Alright, I ordered a Chasing Dory ROV to get something in the water for now. It uses an IOS or Android app based control platform. Not giving up on this, but I have vacation coming up next week and plans for some underwater adventures.

Let's get back to utilizing the ST16 though. I got QGroundControl installed on it and working. By working, I mean I can open the program and it doesn't crash, LOL! I did not manage to get it connected to anything yet.

But, it isn't seeing any of the ST16 controls or buttons. Although I’m not sure how it would on Android without an app...???

In my abuse/exploration of it last night I saw something interesting on one reboot. It popped up with a dongle/usb device and asked me what app I wanted that to open with. The two app choices were QGroundControl and the Yuneec system app. Of course I told it always QGC. And that didn’t seem to make any difference.

I can set it up to not power on with the Yuneec flight app up. But it randomly doesn’t persist. I can also set it so that touching the home button doesn’t open the Yuneec flight app, but once rebooted, that immediately doesn’t persist. For the original intent, the ST16 is VERY WELL setup. For my purpose, it is going to need some SERIOUS hacking.

The Chasing Dory app requires android 5.0 or newer it seems. I got it sideloaded, but not working. I didn’t find an older compatible version. But the Dory came out in 2019, so I probably won’t.

Again, QGC DOES work though. Not sure how well yet, or how to get the controls working. So the next step there is going to be opening it up finally and taking a good look inside at the hardware. I suspect it will become a shell for a Raspberry Pi case mod. Everything else is going to require a lot on the coding and software side of things. Out of my skill set to do. But even an intense hardware hack like this, pretty easy for me.

For now I am going to just hold out some hope that you guys know an easy software hack for Android to see the sticks and buttons...

Turning QGC into the the primary app, and possibly stripping the Yuneec one down to port controls into QGC might be doable by someone, just not me lol!!! Still no point to try until we know QGC will run solidly on the 4.4.4 Android
I side loaded a small app to read GPS data on the ST16 and it installed and would run, but did not interface with the GPS unit.

Another person used adb via USB connection from the PC and used: ‘adb install xxxxxxx.apk’ at the adb command line to install the same program and it was reportedly working. This may take the same type of thing to get the low level stuff working with QGC. The sticks may then interface and work with QGC. It is worth trying
That actually sounds like something I could figure out how to do! I will give that a shot.

I am at the point that it is time to open up the ST16 and explore. Need to see if I can get any idea of the layout and internal connections.

I finally have a clue where to investigate the lack of video issue... The Fathom uses the Pi board connected camera. The ArduSub uses a USB connected camera. They are both h.264 cameras with UDP protocols. So in theory, either camera type should work. I think I just have a routing issue.

In the random workshop junk piles, I have some network security cameras. They happen to have an unpopulated USB pad. I may try out soldering a cable to one of those. I didn't find any information on them yet, but soldering a cable to them and trying one out would take less time than writing this did LOL!

Waiting for the Chasing Dory ROV and an Ipega controller to arrive sometime today. I have managed to get the Chasing software and gamepad interface installed on both my iPads and the Onn tablet. Looking forward to opening that ROV up and exploring inside it too!

Well I have workbenches to go clean up before the goodies arrive!
My video issue is an "I have no clue what I am doing" networking issue. Apparently nothing is automatically setup, and I have to create the initial routing configuration on the Raspberry Pi AKA the Companion Computer. Then I need to get the right settings into the QGroundControl software, and probably also into the laptop network configuration.

So I have two setup types to choose from. I need the idiot proof/simpler choice... I can setup the ROV as the UDP server, or the Topside Computer as the UDP server. I think I want the first choice, but I am not sure. Networking isn't my thing. It took me reading through this page about 6 times to realize there were choices.

My goal is to have this be as seamless as possible for future connections... And what would be easier to connect an Android to, like this ST16 platform?
You can use a android app called octopus to map out your joysticks and controls on your android.watch this video and it will tell you how to do it.I have a dory and would like to find a way to use a wifi controller to control it without using the android tablet with a blue tooth game pad controller.https://youtu.be/simJm4CCGKw
Biggs,i see you are over on the west coast of florida.I am 10 miles north of orlando.This site should help you with your fathom,its the project updates for the fathom.it starts at the end of the project and goes to the beginning when they got all the kickstarter money.
Interested in the progress on this project, I have a fathom drone that isn't seaworthy due to the plastic cracking, so I am in the process of building a new enclosure for it. The ST16 is such a great platform it would be good to use it as a base for the rov. I also have a chasing gladius advanced rov that was purchased broken and I have hacked the wifi out of it and use a raspberry pi running android to control it with a direct network link. Chasing use the powerline adapter method for their tether.
First off, hello everyone! I found this forum looking for information on the ST16. I found 2 or 3 threads, all with disclaimer this was a bad idea. So let me post my own disclaimer!


I needed an android platform with joysticks and buttons for a Fathom One Drone ROV. This is controlled via a dedicated android app. Honestly, because of the antique Android version on these controllers, I am not sure that will even work. If not, the backup plan is to hybridize the submarine and install an OpenROV control system inside of it. This only requires a web browser to connect to the ROV's onboard computer. Eventually, this is the direction I plan on going anyways since I already have the OpenROV controller system.

For what I need to use this for, I will most likely be rooting the tablet and eliminating the Yuneec software. Maybe. I do not want it booting up immediately to the Yuneec interface. I suspect if I eliminate the Yuneec software fully, I won't be able to interface with the RF modules (in the controller) and use this as an RC transmitter. I would like to utilize it for future ground based RC ROV's, if I can keep it functional.

There are some threads on updating this, and one goes into some details on changing the startup app launched. I might be able to utilize this info to change it to the Fathom app. I am comfortable side loading apps and plan on that approach first anyways before tying to break/root it installing the PlayStore. It is still a controller, I don't need Facebook, or email or anything like that on it, LOL! Although uploading video clips directly might be worth a small consideration.

My controller is a week or so out, and I have some questions!

1) What Android version are these even? 4.1, 4.4? Looking again, I found a reference it apprers to be 4.4.4. This would be good news and rooting it might even be worthwhile. Obviously I can verify this one it is in my hands and powered up.

2) Architecture, is this a full on RC transmitter with just telemetry and video ported separately into the Android tablet portion? Or, does the Android tablet see the sticks and hardware inputs also?

3) Can I change the primary boot app with the android system left as is, or is updating/hacking required? I know work arounds here if this isn't built in, but they require rooting or possibly burning some processor overhead.

4) Do these have bluetooth? GPS (in tablet/controller)?

5) The lower set of joystick/pads, are these actually seen by the tablet? I saw some references that they don't seem to be used by the Yuneec software, still hoping the tablet sees them...

I am asking some odd questions I am sure, but obviously my application isn't normal either. I have spent more than a few hours hunting info down on Google. But I might not be asking Google all the right questions either. And a lot of what I am digging for wouldn't matter in a Yuneec application anyways.

ANY interesting information you guys think might help please too my way!

I am really hoping to make this tablet/controller work for this! It has the ideal amount of controls and inputs (especially if they all are usable). The screen is about perfect. The layout is detailed, but compact and small enough. I can utilize it either in a ground station package with a larger monitor via HDMI out, or standalone. Battery power is substantial, and also EASILY expanded if needed.
I'd like to use this for my autel Evo2 but I need android 6 wondering if this could work?

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