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Well, it turns out that the python version of transformBroadcaster has a bug in that it doesn't read the tf_prefix parameter. I've filed a ticket to have this fixed here: https://code.ros.org/trac/ros-pkg/ticket/4943.

In the meantime, you have a couple of options:

1) Write the search param logic yourself for the transformBroadcaster, submit a patch to the above ticket, get mad props from the ROS community for fixing a bug :)

2) Have a parameter on your node that allows you to change the frame name before you pass it to the transformBroadcaster.

3) Switch to the C++ API which works as expected.

Hope this helps.