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Re: [RTrak] toasty...

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  • Keith VE7GDH
    Jason KE4NYV wrote... ... I m sometimes getting a lock in about 30 seconds. Other times I m seeing a couple of minutes. This is indoors but by large windows
    Message 1 of 27 , Apr 8, 2008
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      Jason KE4NYV wrote...

      > You bring up a good point though, I am curious what
      > average lock time people are seeing with their RTraks.
      > All of our testing consistently was 30 or less
      > seconds from power up to full GPS lock.

      I'm sometimes getting a lock in about 30 seconds. Other times I'm seeing
      a couple of minutes. This is indoors but by large windows with a view of
      about half the sky. Another GPS in the middle of the room is able to get
      a lock most of the time. I'll try to do a few outdoor tests where it can
      see more of the sky.

      73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
      --
      "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
    • Scott Miller
      ... Yeah, my Epson RX580 does a pretty decent job, especially after outfitting it with a continuous inking system. I went from constantly changing cartridges
      Message 2 of 27 , Apr 9, 2008
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        > Perhaps it is optical drives that spin the disc faster that the
        > vibration is apparent. I've actually seen drives destroyed by paper
        > stickers that have come loose. I think the discs are a bit more
        > expensive, but there are printable discs that can be printed on by an
        > ink jet printer. I have Canon and Epson printers that do a pretty good
        > job.

        Yeah, my Epson RX580 does a pretty decent job, especially after
        outfitting it with a continuous inking system. I went from constantly
        changing cartridges to not being able to see any drop in the tank levels
        after many, many color pages.

        The rollers need to be cleaned periodically or it'll start having
        trouble feeding the CD carrier. Uline sells printable CDRs, and I get
        my printable mini-CDRs from Tape and Media.

        Someday I may start having them screen printed, but at this point
        (especially with the ink system) it's cheaper to print them in-house.

        Scott
        N1VG
      • Tapio Sokura
        ... There are also lightscribe-compatible discs & drives, where you first burn the contents normally and then flip the disc and burn a visible design on the
        Message 3 of 27 , Apr 9, 2008
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          Keith VE7GDH wrote:
          > Perhaps it is optical drives that spin the disc faster that the
          > vibration is apparent. I've actually seen drives destroyed by paper
          > stickers that have come loose. I think the discs are a bit more
          > expensive, but there are printable discs that can be printed on by an
          > ink jet printer. I have Canon and Epson printers that do a pretty good
          > job.

          There are also lightscribe-compatible discs & drives, where you first
          burn the contents normally and then flip the disc and burn a visible
          design on the other side. The discs are a bit more expensive than
          regular cd-r/dvd-+r, the drives are pretty much priced the same as
          normal burners.

          Tapio
        • Scott Miller
          Yeah, I ve got one of those, too. It was an interesting novelty, but the contrast is low and it s SLOW. Takes several minutes to do a simple text label. The
          Message 4 of 27 , Apr 9, 2008
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            Yeah, I've got one of those, too. It was an interesting novelty, but
            the contrast is low and it's SLOW. Takes several minutes to do a simple
            text label. The printer takes only a few seconds to do a black and
            white label.

            Scott

            Tapio Sokura wrote:
            > Keith VE7GDH wrote:
            >> Perhaps it is optical drives that spin the disc faster that the
            >> vibration is apparent. I've actually seen drives destroyed by paper
            >> stickers that have come loose. I think the discs are a bit more
            >> expensive, but there are printable discs that can be printed on by an
            >> ink jet printer. I have Canon and Epson printers that do a pretty good
            >> job.
            >
            > There are also lightscribe-compatible discs & drives, where you first
            > burn the contents normally and then flip the disc and burn a visible
            > design on the other side. The discs are a bit more expensive than
            > regular cd-r/dvd-+r, the drives are pretty much priced the same as
            > normal burners.
            >
            > Tapio
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • Bob MacDonnell
            Hi Guys; Don t know if you have come across a meter that s very handy for this sort of testing. I purchased one last year from Powerwerx and find it great for
            Message 5 of 27 , Apr 10, 2008
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              Hi Guys;
              Don't know if you have come across a meter that's very handy for this
              sort of testing. I purchased one last year from Powerwerx and find it
              great for measuring 12Vdc loads on a sailboat. It can be purchased
              from several suppliers, and is available with Anderson connectors if
              you like them. Makes it easy to insert in a supply.
              http://www.powerwerx.com/product.asp?ProdID=3809&CtgID=3575

              I gather they were designed for the model aircraft industry where
              battery capacity vs weight is important. The meter measures current
              and voltage and olds max/min values. I use it on radios, lights,
              refridg units, .....

              73 de bob in brisbane ve0rdm/vk4bdm

              --- In RTrak@yahoogroups.com, "Keith VE7GDH" <ve7gdh@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Jason - received my RTrak yesterday. Looks very nice! I haven't
              > popped the hood yet. I programmed it last night and the GPS got a
              lock .....

              > * about 400 mA while it was warm.
              > * later 160-170 mA, still no lock on GPS, not so warm
              > * with a fixed position entered, 90-100 mA and cool
              > * back to GPS 160 - 170 mA, no lock, mildly warm
              > * still no lock - 400 mA and warmer
              > * powered it off and back on
              > * 400 mA, warm
              > * off and back on 160 mA
              > * GPS still no lock
              .....
              > 73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
            • Keith VE7GDH
              Bob VE0RDM / VK4BDM wrote... ... I m reading my email backwards! I just chopped the supplied power cable a bit earlier today and put Anderson PowerPoles on it
              Message 6 of 27 , Apr 11, 2008
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                Bob VE0RDM / VK4BDM wrote...

                > http://www.powerwerx.com/product.asp?ProdID=3809&CtgID=3575

                I'm reading my email backwards! I just chopped the supplied power cable
                a bit earlier today and put Anderson PowerPoles on it and put a "Watt's
                Up" meter inline with the battery. I'm seeing 130 mA when it's running
                normally and 340 mA when it's running hot. It appears to be the LM-317.
                I just sent Jason a detailed note on it a few minutes ago.

                73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                --
                "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
              • Keith VE7GDH
                Jason KE4NYV wrote... ... I am seeing an abnormal condition. It isn t the GPS receiver that is running warm... at least if the current is slightly higher while
                Message 7 of 27 , Apr 13, 2008
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                  Jason KE4NYV wrote...

                  > That is what we normally see with the test units we
                  > have on the bench and on the road.

                  I am seeing an abnormal condition. It isn't the GPS receiver that
                  is running warm... at least if the current is slightly higher while
                  acquiring, I'm not noticing it. It's the LM317 that is running hot.

                  When I first apply power, the current draw is about 130 mA or so
                  as measured by a "Watt's Up" meter. Almost every time, if I power
                  it down and back up again, the current draw goes to 340 mA. The
                  LM317 is the only thing that is running hot.

                  If I power cycle it with the off time being less than a minute, the
                  current draw is 340 mA almost every time. If I wait a minute or
                  more and power it back up again, the current is only 130 mA or
                  so. Almost every time it is power cycled quickly, it comes back
                  up drawing 340 mA. Does the circuit need to be modified, or is
                  the LM317 bad?

                  Note... the tab on the LM317 is connected to the input. I have bent
                  the LM317 up slightly so there is no chance that it is shorting to the
                  circuit board.

                  So... am I the only one seeing the high current draw when
                  power-cycling the RTrak?

                  73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                  --
                  "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
                • Jason Rausch
                  ... I m sorry, I did nt mean to imply it was the GPS giving off heat. I meant the LM317 all along. Since the LM317 is good for up to 1A, this is not a
                  Message 8 of 27 , Apr 13, 2008
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                    --- In RTrak@yahoogroups.com, "Keith VE7GDH" <ve7gdh@...> wrote:

                    > I am seeing an abnormal condition. It isn't the GPS receiver that
                    > is running warm... at least if the current is slightly higher while
                    > acquiring, I'm not noticing it. It's the LM317 that is running hot.

                    I'm sorry, I did'nt mean to imply it was the GPS giving off heat. I
                    meant the LM317 all along. Since the LM317 is good for up to 1A,
                    this is not a problem and what seems to be excessive heat is really
                    not that much. Yes, it does get warm, but is not to the point of
                    damaging the GPS, regulator or the RTrak as a whole. We mount the
                    regulator flat to the board for the purpose of the board helping to
                    sink the heat away from the regulator.

                    Scott has even gone as far to put tons of vias under the tab of the
                    regulator to help sink the heat away, in his designs.

                    Jason KE4NYV
                    RPC Electronics
                    www.rpc-electronics.com
                  • Keith VE7GDH
                    Jason KE4NYV wrote... ... Yes, it is the LM317 that is running hot when the problem occurs. When the RTrak is running normally, I measure the current at 130 mA
                    Message 9 of 27 , Apr 13, 2008
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                      Jason KE4NYV wrote...

                      > I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply it was the GPS giving off heat. I
                      > meant the LM317 all along. Since the LM317 is good for up to 1A,
                      > this is not a problem and what seems to be excessive heat is really
                      > not that much. Yes, it does get warm, but is not to the point of
                      > damaging the GPS, regulator or the RTrak as a whole.

                      Yes, it is the LM317 that is running hot when the problem occurs. When
                      the RTrak is running normally, I measure the current at 130 mA and the
                      LM317 is just mildy warm. If I power cycle it, the draw is a continuous
                      340 mA. This is not normal. This is not just when the GPS is aquiring.
                      It is a continuous draw of 340 ma and the LM317 is too hot to touch for
                      even a moment. It is only if I power it off for about a minute that I
                      can power it back on with a normal current draw of about 130 mA.
                      If no-one else is reporting this, perhaps it is only my RTrak that is
                      exhibiting this problem.

                      > We mount the regulator flat to the board for the purpose of the
                      > board helping to sink the heat away from the regulator.

                      According to the spec sheet, the tab on the LM317 is connected to the
                      output, so it might be a good idea to space it off the circuit board a
                      bit.

                      > Scott has even gone as far to put tons of vias under the tab of
                      > the regulator to help sink the heat away, in his designs.

                      Not a bad idea, but it is only when the current draw goes up to 340 ma
                      continuous that the LM317 is extremely hot. I'm not talking about mildly
                      warm. 2 watts is too much for it to dissipate without a heat sink, but
                      again this is an abnormal situation. If it was only the normal current
                      draw of the GPS receiver, it would only have to handle about 50 mA or
                      so. Besides the extra heat when this happening, at 340 mA, the battery I
                      am using will only last about 4-5 hours instead of about 10 hours.

                      Jason, or anyone else - how much current do you measure at 12 volts
                      going into the RTrak?

                      73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                      --
                      "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
                    • Jason Rausch
                      ... So far, you are the only one that has reported this specific problem. As I stated before, we noted that our beta units would get warm during GPS
                      Message 10 of 27 , Apr 16, 2008
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                        > If no-one else is reporting this, perhaps it is only my RTrak that
                        > is exhibiting this problem.

                        So far, you are the only one that has reported this specific
                        problem. As I stated before, we noted that our beta units would get
                        warm during GPS aquisition, but then would cool down to a normal temp
                        in regular tracking mode.

                        I know we have one test unit that was powered and ran continuously
                        for at least 48 hours. I did experience it get warm during aquire
                        time.

                        One thing we were worried about in the early design stages was the
                        fact that the copernicus cannot keep it's catalog when powered down,
                        unless there is a backup battery and it is put into a standby mode.
                        This was not an option because the OT1+ it busy doing plenty other
                        things. This turned out to be a short worry because we found that
                        the typical lock time from cold power up was ~30 seconds. Pretty
                        good in my book! We have come a far way from the old days of 5
                        minute lock times, with a full sky view and laying the receiver flat
                        on a stable surface (I know, my Garmin 38 was exactly like this).

                        > According to the spec sheet, the tab on the LM317 is connected to
                        > the output, so it might be a good idea to space it off the circuit
                        > board a bit.

                        Yes, the tab is the output, but the board is soldermasked and should
                        not cause a problem with shorting. I made sure that the part I used
                        in EagleCAD did NOT have the tab area exposed for this reason.

                        > Not a bad idea, but it is only when the current draw goes up to
                        > 340 ma continuous that the LM317 is extremely hot. I'm not talking
                        > about mildly warm. 2 watts is too much for it to dissipate without
                        > a heat sink...

                        Like I said, the LM317 in a TO220 case is good for 1 amp. So neither
                        my readings or yours have reached even half of that. For that
                        reason, the heat has not been a problem in my testing. I agree that
                        if yours in staying hot constantly, there is a chance there is
                        somthing wrong with the regulator in your RTrak.

                        Keith, feel free to ship it back to me for a replacment regulator and
                        full test. I have no problem doing that to make sure you are happy
                        with the purchase.

                        > Jason, or anyone else - how much current do you measure at 12 volts
                        > going into the RTrak?

                        I am going to sit down tomorrow and do some hard testing and current
                        reading. I will post my results when I have somthing to show.

                        Thanks,
                        Jason KE4NYV
                        RPC Electronics
                        www.rpc-electronics.com
                      • Keith VE7GDH
                        Jason KE4NYV wrote... ... I don t know if no-one else is reporting this because no-one else has the problem or because no-one else has measured current
                        Message 11 of 27 , Apr 16, 2008
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                          Jason KE4NYV wrote...

                          > So far, you are the only one that has reported this specific
                          > problem. As I stated before, we noted that our beta units would get
                          > warm during GPS acquisition, but then would cool down to a normal
                          > temp in regular tracking mode.

                          I don't know if no-one else is reporting this because no-one else has
                          the problem or because no-one else has measured current consumption.
                          With the RTrak sealed up, it takes a while before I can notice that it
                          is "warmer than usual". With a "Watt's Up" meter inline, it's easy for
                          me to see if it's drawing about 130 mA or if it's drawing 340-350 mA.
                          With it opened up, it's more than apparent after just a few seconds that
                          the LM317 is running hot. When it is running normally with a total draw
                          (and presumably something like 50 mA or so going through the LM317) the
                          regulator is barely warm to touch.

                          > I know we have one test unit that was powered and ran continuously
                          > for at least 48 hours. I did experience it get warm during acquire
                          > time.

                          I don't think I've ever had it running 48 hours continuously, but it's
                          probably ran for 10 5o 24 hours on a few occasions. The abnormal current
                          flow only seems to happen if the RTrak is powered down and then powered
                          on again in less than a minute.

                          > One thing we were worried about in the early design stages was the
                          > fact that the copernicus cannot keep it's catalog when powered down,
                          > unless there is a backup battery and it is put into a standby mode.
                          > This was not an option because the OT1+ it busy doing plenty other
                          > things. This turned out to be a short worry because we found that
                          > the typical lock time from cold power up was ~30 seconds. Pretty
                          > good in my book! We have come a far way from the old days of 5
                          > minute lock times, with a full sky view and laying the receiver flat
                          > on a stable surface (I know, my Garmin 38 was exactly like this).

                          I've sometimes had longer lock-up times, but only when it has been
                          inside (although near some large windows) while the roof has been wet.
                          Outdoors, it locks up in about 30 seconds. No complaints there from here
                          either!

                          > Yes, the tab is the output, but the board is soldermasked and should
                          > not cause a problem with shorting. I made sure that the part I used
                          > in EagleCAD did NOT have the tab area exposed for this reason.

                          OK... sounds like I'm worrying needlessly there and should trust the
                          "green stuff" to keep them separated!

                          > Like I said, the LM317 in a TO220 case is good for 1 amp. So neither
                          > my readings or yours have reached even half of that. For that
                          > reason, the heat has not been a problem in my testing. I agree that
                          > if yours in staying hot constantly, there is a chance there is
                          > something wrong with the regulator in your RTrak.

                          I'm sure with just 50 mA or so going into the GPS receiver, it's well
                          within limits. When the current consumption is abnormal, I presume the
                          extra current is going into the LM317 because that's the only component
                          that is running hot. It may or may not be within limits for not having a
                          heat sink, but it's enough to burn a finger if you leave it on there for
                          a second or more. When the total draw is about 130 mA (at least going by
                          my meter) it's barely warm to touch. Again, it only seems to do this if
                          it's been powered on and then power cycled. I've never caught it drawing
                          the abnormal current if it's been off for more than a minute and then
                          powered on. Even if the LM317 can sustain the kind of heat build-up that
                          I'm seeing, but big thing is battery consumption.

                          > Keith, feel free to ship it back to me for a replacement regulator and
                          > full test. I have no problem doing that to make sure you are happy
                          > with the purchase.

                          We aren't there yet! I'll wait to see what readings you get and if you
                          can duplicate the problem. If it's just the regulator itself, I've got
                          spares here.

                          > I am going to sit down tomorrow and do some hard testing and current
                          > reading. I will post my results when I have something to show.

                          No rush! I know you have been busy. I'm looking forward to hearing about
                          your readings, but just when you have time to look at it.

                          73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                          --
                          "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
                        • Keith VE7GDH
                          Has anyone else measured the current consumption on their RTrak with a 13.8V supply? This is in regard to the abnormal currents that I m seeing when it is
                          Message 12 of 27 , Apr 20, 2008
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                            Has anyone else measured the current consumption on their RTrak with a
                            13.8V supply? This is in regard to the abnormal currents that I'm seeing
                            when it is power cycled. Perhaps because no-one else is reporting this,
                            it is unique to the one that I have. So... what current consumption is
                            everyone else seeing?

                            Symptoms... RTrak at room temperature. Leave it on long enough for the
                            GPS to get a lock. I used to see 130-140 mA, but since doing a GPS
                            firmware update, I'm only seeing about 120 mA. The problem... power
                            cycle it, and more often than not, current goes up from my "normal" 120
                            mA to 340 mA. If I leave it powered off for a minute and then back on,
                            current is usually normal. I was set to watch the output of the LM317
                            with a scope, but I couldn't get it to mis-behave. Thinking that it was
                            because of the cold temperature (unheated garage!) when I had the
                            scope set up, I decided to put it in the freezer for a while. While it
                            was cold, I could power cycle it well over a dozen times without
                            seeing the abnormal current. I let the GPS get a lock each time. After
                            about a dozen and a half cycles, it was coming up to room temperature
                            and I started seeing the higher current again when it was power cycled.
                            However, when I warmed it (on the hearth near a wood heater) it didn't
                            mess up any more than when it was at room temperature. However, I
                            gave it the freezer treatment several times, and each time it behaved
                            until it came up to room temperature. Next step, I'll replace the LM317.

                            Jason - I noticed that the transmitter is warm to touch. According to
                            the specs, it should only be drawing 1 mA when idle, and 300 mA when
                            transmitting. I'm actually seeing less than that on transmit, but it
                            could be that me meter doesn't react quickly enough. However, with the
                            SRB-MX146 disabled with the "TX disable" switch, my 120 mA current
                            goes down to 50-60 mA which is more like what I would expect for the
                            GPS receiver and the OT+. What "standby" current do see going into an
                            RTrak? The transmitter isn't hot, but it is warm, so there has got to be
                            more than 1 mA going into it all the time... probably more like 60 mA
                            based on my readings. Is there any chance the OT+ isn't telling the
                            transmitter to go into "standby" mode in between transmissions? If
                            the standby current can be dropped from 120 mA to 60 mA, that will
                            nearly double the battery life!

                            73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                            --
                            "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
                          • Scott Miller
                            All the OT1+ does to tell it to go into standby is to drop PTT. It should be either transmitting, or not. Scott
                            Message 13 of 27 , Apr 20, 2008
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                              All the OT1+ does to tell it to go into standby is to drop PTT. It
                              should be either transmitting, or not.

                              Scott

                              Keith VE7GDH wrote:
                              > Has anyone else measured the current consumption on their RTrak with a
                              > 13.8V supply? This is in regard to the abnormal currents that I'm seeing
                              > when it is power cycled. Perhaps because no-one else is reporting this,
                              > it is unique to the one that I have. So... what current consumption is
                              > everyone else seeing?
                              >
                              > Symptoms... RTrak at room temperature. Leave it on long enough for the
                              > GPS to get a lock. I used to see 130-140 mA, but since doing a GPS
                              > firmware update, I'm only seeing about 120 mA. The problem... power
                              > cycle it, and more often than not, current goes up from my "normal" 120
                              > mA to 340 mA. If I leave it powered off for a minute and then back on,
                              > current is usually normal. I was set to watch the output of the LM317
                              > with a scope, but I couldn't get it to mis-behave. Thinking that it was
                              > because of the cold temperature (unheated garage!) when I had the
                              > scope set up, I decided to put it in the freezer for a while. While it
                              > was cold, I could power cycle it well over a dozen times without
                              > seeing the abnormal current. I let the GPS get a lock each time. After
                              > about a dozen and a half cycles, it was coming up to room temperature
                              > and I started seeing the higher current again when it was power cycled.
                              > However, when I warmed it (on the hearth near a wood heater) it didn't
                              > mess up any more than when it was at room temperature. However, I
                              > gave it the freezer treatment several times, and each time it behaved
                              > until it came up to room temperature. Next step, I'll replace the LM317.
                              >
                              > Jason - I noticed that the transmitter is warm to touch. According to
                              > the specs, it should only be drawing 1 mA when idle, and 300 mA when
                              > transmitting. I'm actually seeing less than that on transmit, but it
                              > could be that me meter doesn't react quickly enough. However, with the
                              > SRB-MX146 disabled with the "TX disable" switch, my 120 mA current
                              > goes down to 50-60 mA which is more like what I would expect for the
                              > GPS receiver and the OT+. What "standby" current do see going into an
                              > RTrak? The transmitter isn't hot, but it is warm, so there has got to be
                              > more than 1 mA going into it all the time... probably more like 60 mA
                              > based on my readings. Is there any chance the OT+ isn't telling the
                              > transmitter to go into "standby" mode in between transmissions? If
                              > the standby current can be dropped from 120 mA to 60 mA, that will
                              > nearly double the battery life!
                              >
                              > 73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                              > --
                              > "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
                              >
                              >
                              > ------------------------------------
                              >
                              > Yahoo! Groups Links
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                            • Keith VE7GDH
                              Scott N1VG wrote... ... Thanks for the info. I was making an assumption there. Perhaps Jason can comment on the apparent extra 60 mA going into the transmitter
                              Message 14 of 27 , Apr 20, 2008
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                                Scott N1VG wrote...

                                > All the OT1+ does to tell it to go into standby is to drop PTT. It
                                > should be either transmitting, or not.

                                Thanks for the info. I was making an assumption there. Perhaps Jason can
                                comment on the apparent extra 60 mA going into the transmitter all of
                                the time. The specs for it indicate 1 mA on standby and 300 mA on
                                transmit. I'm seeing 60 mA less current when the transmitter is
                                disabled.

                                Scott - how much current do you see going into your RTrak?

                                73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                                --
                                "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
                              • Joel Maslak
                                ... Did it today, in the camper. Supply voltage is typically around 13V, not quite 13.8V. When I power cycle it, I get about 100 mW current draw for a few
                                Message 15 of 27 , Apr 20, 2008
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                                  On Apr 20, 2008, at 3:23 PM, Keith VE7GDH wrote:
                                  > Has anyone else measured the current consumption on their RTrak with a
                                  > 13.8V supply? This is in regard to the abnormal currents that I'm
                                  > seeing
                                  > when it is power cycled. Perhaps because no-one else is reporting
                                  > this,
                                  > it is unique to the one that I have. So... what current consumption is
                                  > everyone else seeing?
                                  >

                                  Did it today, in the camper. Supply voltage is typically around 13V,
                                  not quite 13.8V.

                                  When I power cycle it, I get about 100 mW current draw for a few
                                  seconds, then it drops down to 80 mW or so for receive. Transmit is
                                  something over 250 mW (my meter only goes up to 250 mW), but not
                                  enough to blow the meter's fuse...
                                • Keith VE7GDH
                                  Joel (callsign?) wrote... ... I m using a Watt s Up meter. I m seeing about 120 mA which at 13.8V is about 1.7 watts constantly. Before I did the GPS
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Apr 21, 2008
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                                    Joel (callsign?) wrote...

                                    > Did it today, in the camper. Supply voltage is typically around 13V,
                                    > not quite 13.8V.
                                    >
                                    > When I power cycle it, I get about 100 mW current draw for a few
                                    > seconds, then it drops down to 80 mW or so for receive. Transmit is
                                    > something over 250 mW (my meter only goes up to 250 mW), but not
                                    > enough to blow the meter's fuse...

                                    I'm using a "Watt's Up" meter. I'm seeing about 120 mA which at 13.8V is
                                    about 1.7 watts constantly. Before I did the GPS firmware update, it was
                                    more like 130-140 mA. When I power-cycle it, the abnormal current is 340
                                    mA. Your 100 mW seems low. At 13V that would be about 8 mA. Could you
                                    please conform your figures? Are you sure that isn't mA instead of mW?

                                    I'm also seeing a 60 ma reduction in current when I disable the
                                    transmitter. If the GPS receiver is about 30 mA and the OT+ is about 20
                                    mA, I wouldn't have expected the current to be much more than 60 mA or
                                    so. The transmitter specs seem to indicate 1 mA on standby. Perhaps
                                    Jason could comment. Is the schematic available yet?

                                    PS - I "puffed up" a 1300 mAh LiPO battery yesterday after about 4
                                    hours. Current looked normal when it was connected, but it was then left
                                    un-attended for a while. When I returned, the battery was stone dead and
                                    ruined. Ideally, I should have a low voltage cut-out circuit between the
                                    battery and the RTrak, but it should have been good for a few more
                                    hours.

                                    73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                                    --
                                    "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
                                  • Joel Maslak
                                    ... Yep, wrong units. I meant mA.
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Apr 21, 2008
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                                      On Apr 21, 2008, at 8:05 AM, Keith VE7GDH wrote:
                                      > I'm using a "Watt's Up" meter. I'm seeing about 120 mA which at
                                      > 13.8V is
                                      > about 1.7 watts constantly. Before I did the GPS firmware update,
                                      > it was
                                      > more like 130-140 mA. When I power-cycle it, the abnormal current
                                      > is 340
                                      > mA. Your 100 mW seems low. At 13V that would be about 8 mA. Could you
                                      > please conform your figures? Are you sure that isn't mA instead of mW?
                                      >

                                      Yep, wrong units. I meant mA.
                                    • Jon
                                      Ok, Apologies for my slowness in getting around to this. I m also using a watts up meter. I switched on the Rtrack in run mode, its currently showing
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Apr 23, 2008
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                                        Ok,

                                        Apologies for my 'slowness' in getting around to this.

                                        I'm also using a 'watts up' meter. I switched on the Rtrack in 'run' mode, its currently showing 0.28A at 14.15 Volts.

                                        After a few mins I switched on 'pgm' and current dropped to 0.04A

                                        I switched back to 'run' again, GPS has lock (green flash) and the consumption is 0.07A

                                        I've to go dig a hole in the garden, so I'll let it run awhile.

                                        AFAIK this rtrak is the same as when it was delivered to me.

                                        Regards
                                        de John
                                        EI7IG




                                        --- On Mon, 21/4/08, Keith VE7GDH <ve7gdh@...> wrote:

                                        > From: Keith VE7GDH <ve7gdh@...>
                                        > Subject: Re: [RTrak] Re: toasty...
                                        > To: rtrak@yahoogroups.com
                                        > Date: Monday, 21 April, 2008, 3:05 PM
                                        > Joel (callsign?) wrote...
                                        >
                                        > > Did it today, in the camper. Supply voltage is
                                        > typically around 13V,
                                        > > not quite 13.8V.
                                        > >
                                        > > When I power cycle it, I get about 100 mW current draw
                                        > for a few
                                        > > seconds, then it drops down to 80 mW or so for
                                        > receive. Transmit is
                                        > > something over 250 mW (my meter only goes up to 250
                                        > mW), but not
                                        > > enough to blow the meter's fuse...
                                        >
                                        > I'm using a "Watt's Up" meter. I'm
                                        > seeing about 120 mA which at 13.8V is
                                        > about 1.7 watts constantly. Before I did the GPS firmware
                                        > update, it was
                                        > more like 130-140 mA. When I power-cycle it, the abnormal
                                        > current is 340
                                        > mA. Your 100 mW seems low. At 13V that would be about 8 mA.
                                        > Could you
                                        > please conform your figures? Are you sure that isn't mA
                                        > instead of mW?
                                        >
                                        > I'm also seeing a 60 ma reduction in current when I
                                        > disable the
                                        > transmitter. If the GPS receiver is about 30 mA and the OT+
                                        > is about 20
                                        > mA, I wouldn't have expected the current to be much
                                        > more than 60 mA or
                                        > so. The transmitter specs seem to indicate 1 mA on standby.
                                        > Perhaps
                                        > Jason could comment. Is the schematic available yet?
                                        >
                                        > PS - I "puffed up" a 1300 mAh LiPO battery
                                        > yesterday after about 4
                                        > hours. Current looked normal when it was connected, but it
                                        > was then left
                                        > un-attended for a while. When I returned, the battery was
                                        > stone dead and
                                        > ruined. Ideally, I should have a low voltage cut-out
                                        > circuit between the
                                        > battery and the RTrak, but it should have been good for a
                                        > few more
                                        > hours.
                                        >
                                        > 73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                                        > --
                                        > "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"


                                        __________________________________________________________
                                        Sent from Yahoo! Mail.
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                                      • Jon
                                        back in just now.. its flickering between 0.05 and 0.05A. Rtrak is at room temp. John ... __________________________________________________________ Sent from
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Apr 23, 2008
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                                          back in just now.. its flickering between 0.05 and 0.05A.
                                          Rtrak is at room temp.
                                          John



                                          --- On Wed, 23/4/08, Jon <c0j_1999@...> wrote:

                                          > From: Jon <c0j_1999@...>
                                          > Subject: Re: [RTrak] Re: toasty...
                                          > To: RTrak@yahoogroups.com
                                          > Date: Wednesday, 23 April, 2008, 6:08 PM
                                          > Ok,
                                          >
                                          > Apologies for my 'slowness' in getting around to
                                          > this.
                                          >
                                          > I'm also using a 'watts up' meter. I switched
                                          > on the Rtrack in 'run' mode, its currently showing
                                          > 0.28A at 14.15 Volts.
                                          >
                                          > After a few mins I switched on 'pgm' and current
                                          > dropped to 0.04A
                                          >
                                          > I switched back to 'run' again, GPS has lock (green
                                          > flash) and the consumption is 0.07A
                                          >
                                          > I've to go dig a hole in the garden, so I'll let it
                                          > run awhile.
                                          >
                                          > AFAIK this rtrak is the same as when it was delivered to
                                          > me.
                                          >
                                          > Regards
                                          > de John
                                          > EI7IG
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > --- On Mon, 21/4/08, Keith VE7GDH <ve7gdh@...>
                                          > wrote:
                                          >
                                          > > From: Keith VE7GDH <ve7gdh@...>
                                          > > Subject: Re: [RTrak] Re: toasty...
                                          > > To: rtrak@yahoogroups.com
                                          > > Date: Monday, 21 April, 2008, 3:05 PM
                                          > > Joel (callsign?) wrote...
                                          > >
                                          > > > Did it today, in the camper. Supply voltage is
                                          > > typically around 13V,
                                          > > > not quite 13.8V.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > When I power cycle it, I get about 100 mW current
                                          > draw
                                          > > for a few
                                          > > > seconds, then it drops down to 80 mW or so for
                                          > > receive. Transmit is
                                          > > > something over 250 mW (my meter only goes up to
                                          > 250
                                          > > mW), but not
                                          > > > enough to blow the meter's fuse...
                                          > >
                                          > > I'm using a "Watt's Up" meter.
                                          > I'm
                                          > > seeing about 120 mA which at 13.8V is
                                          > > about 1.7 watts constantly. Before I did the GPS
                                          > firmware
                                          > > update, it was
                                          > > more like 130-140 mA. When I power-cycle it, the
                                          > abnormal
                                          > > current is 340
                                          > > mA. Your 100 mW seems low. At 13V that would be about
                                          > 8 mA.
                                          > > Could you
                                          > > please conform your figures? Are you sure that
                                          > isn't mA
                                          > > instead of mW?
                                          > >
                                          > > I'm also seeing a 60 ma reduction in current when
                                          > I
                                          > > disable the
                                          > > transmitter. If the GPS receiver is about 30 mA and
                                          > the OT+
                                          > > is about 20
                                          > > mA, I wouldn't have expected the current to be
                                          > much
                                          > > more than 60 mA or
                                          > > so. The transmitter specs seem to indicate 1 mA on
                                          > standby.
                                          > > Perhaps
                                          > > Jason could comment. Is the schematic available yet?
                                          > >
                                          > > PS - I "puffed up" a 1300 mAh LiPO battery
                                          > > yesterday after about 4
                                          > > hours. Current looked normal when it was connected,
                                          > but it
                                          > > was then left
                                          > > un-attended for a while. When I returned, the battery
                                          > was
                                          > > stone dead and
                                          > > ruined. Ideally, I should have a low voltage cut-out
                                          > > circuit between the
                                          > > battery and the RTrak, but it should have been good
                                          > for a
                                          > > few more
                                          > > hours.
                                          > >
                                          > > 73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                                          > > --
                                          > > "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I
                                          > am!"
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > __________________________________________________________
                                          > Sent from Yahoo! Mail.
                                          > A Smarter Email http://uk.docs.yahoo.com/nowyoucan.html


                                          __________________________________________________________
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                                        • Keith VE7GDH
                                          John EI7IG wrote... ... Hmmm... so it s not just my RTrak that s doing this, but your symptoms are slightly different than mine. My high current is 340 mA
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Apr 23, 2008
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                                            John EI7IG wrote...

                                            > I'm also using a 'watts up' meter. I switched on the RTrak in 'run'
                                            > mode, its currently showing 0.28A at 14.15 Volts. After a few mins I
                                            > switched on 'pgm' and current dropped to 0.04A. I switched back to
                                            > 'run' again, GPS has lock (green flash) and the consumption is 0.07A.

                                            Hmmm... so it's not just my RTrak that's doing this, but your symptoms
                                            are slightly different than mine. My "high current" is 340 mA although I
                                            have seen 280 mA at times. I've never seen it pull 40 mA. I did see 60
                                            mA with the transmitter disabled by the on-board switch. The typical
                                            current I see is...

                                            * power it on... 120 mA (was more before GPS firmware update)
                                            * power cycle it... 340 mA - LM317 runs hot
                                            * power cycle it... still 340 mA
                                            * leave it off for a minute and power it on, usually 120 mA.
                                            * transmitter mildly warm, apparently drawing 60 mA all of the time.

                                            The specs for the transmitter are 1 mA on standby, so it would be
                                            logical for it to normally draw ~ 50-60 mA and an extra 200-300 mA on
                                            transmit. The specs indicate 300 mA for the transmitter, but at 500 mW
                                            out, I would expect a bit less than 300 mA for it.

                                            We should hear back from Jason shortly about what current consumption
                                            he is seeing, and as far as I'm concerned, these are just "start up"
                                            glitches and have every reason to believe that Jason will get this
                                            straightened out... soon.

                                            73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                                            --
                                            "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
                                          • Keith VE7GDH
                                            Jon EI7IG wrote... ... At 50 mA, that s lower than I am seeing. As mentioned before, I normally see 120 mA (was 130-140 mA before the GPS firmware update) and
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Apr 23, 2008
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                                              Jon EI7IG wrote...

                                              > back in just now.. its flickering between 0.05 and 0.05A.
                                              > Rtrak is at room temp.

                                              At 50 mA, that's lower than I am seeing. As mentioned before, I normally
                                              see 120 mA (was 130-140 mA before the GPS firmware update) and 340 mA
                                              when it is acting up. I still think my 120 mA is 60 mA than it needs to
                                              be as the transmitter specs claim only 1 mA on standby. Eagerly awaiting
                                              word from Jason on this!

                                              73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                                              --
                                              "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
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