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31RTrak Update

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  • Jason
    Nov 17, 2007
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      Please check the "Photos" section of the group. There is a new
      folder called "RTrak V 1.6" and it contains pictures of the latest
      RTrak board, including the first case that I hand milled for
      testing. Be gentle, that milling was done with a hand drill and it
      was a bit off. The milled end plates will be done by a professional
      shop and will fit just right.

      This version contains a not-yet available, enhanced version of the
      SMT OpenTracker 1+. This version is 28 pins and contains SPI lines
      to control the MX-146 transmitter. Scott had the foresight to "add"
      the additonal pins to the bottom of the pin rows, on the module,
      allowing for the original 24 pin module to still be used. All RTraks
      will ship with this new 28 pin version.

      You will also see a 16 position HEX rotary switch in the top right
      corner of the board. This will be used for frequency selection. The
      proposed method is to have a frequency table in the OpenTracker
      config software that can hold up to eight frequencies. Any of these
      eight will be selectable by choosing between positions 0 and 8. This
      will be used for single frequency beaconing. When selecting
      positions 9 through F, you can select one of the first eight, as well
      as a pre-determined secondary frequency for dual frequency
      beaconing. Using this method will allow you to switch between these
      two modes easily, without the need of a computer to change. Please,
      share your comments on this.

      Last, there is a 5th picture in the folder that shows a Pelican case
      that has been "plucked" to hold a RTrak, GPS antenna, power cable and
      programming cable. I would like to hear if there is any interest in
      these cases. If there is enough demand, I will offer these as an
      extra accessory to the RTrak package, pre "plucked" of course!

      Now, to answer the main question! "How much is it?" We have settled
      on a price of $250 per unit. This will include, the RTrak (with
      case), GPS patch antenna, lighter power cable, programming cable and
      manual. After much comparison with other similar devices and number
      crunching, this is the price that we have decided on. We compared
      mostly with the frequency agile MicroTrak, which is $220. The
      MicroTrak is nice, but it does not include a built-in GPS, case,
      cables or even the DB9 to connect a GPS. We feel that with our
      price, you are getting much more for the dollar.

      Comments? Suggestions? Complaints?

      Thank you very much for all of the input on and off of this SIG!

      Jason KE4NYV
      RPC Electronics
      www.rpc-electronics.com
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