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Rtrak: GPS Settings incorrect and hot to touch - at times

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  • Andrew
    Jason, My RTrak also appears to have the wrong NMEA settings programmed into the GPS. Are you happy with customers opening up, soldering wires and
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 20, 2008
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      Jason,

      My RTrak also appears to have the 'wrong' NMEA settings programmed
      into the GPS.

      Are you happy with customers opening up, soldering wires and
      reprogramming the devices to make them work properly as Keith has
      done? What happens if something goes wrong in this process and the
      thing dies?

      My GPS did take a long time to get its first fix - around 2 hours.
      This could be to do with it needing to get a new almanac due to
      starting it up on the other side of the world (Melbourne Australia).
      Now it fires up in 15-30 seconds from cold.

      My RTrak also runs quite hot at times - usually when running in the
      car of 13.8 Volts - seems to be OK for temperature when running of
      9xAA cells. I'll need to experiment some more to be definitive. I'll
      borrow an IR camera from work and see where the heat is coming from.

      Andrew
    • Keith VE7GDH
      Andrew (callsign?) wrote... ... I can t speak for Jason, but he gave me the OK to go ahead and update my GPS settings. It was an easy procedure, and I much
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 21, 2008
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        Andrew (callsign?) wrote...

        > My RTrak also appears to have the 'wrong' NMEA settings programmed
        > into the GPS.
        >
        > Are you happy with customers opening up, soldering wires and
        > reprogramming the devices to make them work properly as Keith has
        > done? What happens if something goes wrong in this process and the
        > thing dies?

        I can't speak for Jason, but he gave me the "OK" to go ahead and update
        my GPS settings. It was an easy procedure, and I much preferred it to
        sending it back to get it done. I added $GPRMC but then went back and
        updated the GPS firmware and 2nd time around, had just $GPGGA and
        $GPRMC enabled.

        > My RTrak also runs quite hot at times - usually when running in
        > the car of 13.8 Volts - seems to be OK for temperature when running
        > of 9xAA cells. I'll need to experiment some more to be definitive.
        > I'll borrow an IR camera from work and see where the heat is coming
        > from.

        This is the one that concerns me. With a total "standby" current of 120
        mA or so (after updating the GPS firmware) the transmitter seems to be
        drawing 60 mA all of the time. The radio specs indicate 1 mA on standby.
        I suspect you will find some heat given off by the transmitter and a lot
        by the LM317 if it's doing the same thing that mine is. I was all
        prepared to swap it until I started seeing other reports of them
        running hot. I'll probably still go ahead and do that just to rule out
        the LM317 itself. There appear to be only four other components related
        to the LM317... two resistors in a voltage divider and two bypass caps.
        I don't have an infrared camera here, but I have a finger that is
        capable of detecting temperatures that are too hot to touch - hi! On
        the outside of the case, it's only warm. It's with a finger right on the
        LM317 that it's apparent where it's coming from.

        We have one of the niftiest pieces of APRS hardware going. The missing
        NMEA sentence is an easy fix. Getting the "toasty" symptoms out of the
        way will make it a real winner. I think the only thing that could top it
        would be a Tracker2 and a transceiver in it instead of just a
        transmitter... unless we are talking about HamHUDs!

        73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
        --
        "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
      • Andrew
        Good news! Thanks to Keith s instructions in previous posts I have also managed to reprogram the trimble GPS (connect a DB9 to the GPS pads on the Rtrak
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 27, 2008
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          Good news!

          Thanks to Keith's 'instructions' in previous posts I have also managed
          to reprogram the trimble GPS (connect a DB9 to the GPS pads on the
          Rtrak board, download the Trimble software, and set the GPS to output
          GGA and RMC Sentences). This has corrected all the problems I've being
          having with with Smart Beaconing and speed and course data.

          The issue with heat still persists and seems to be in the regulator
          area. Only happens occasionally. Time for more research.

          -Andrew
          agmatthews@...

          --- In RTrak@yahoogroups.com, "Andrew" <agmatthews@...> wrote:
          >
          > Jason,
          >
          > My RTrak also appears to have the 'wrong' NMEA settings programmed
          > into the GPS.
          >
          > Are you happy with customers opening up, soldering wires and
          > reprogramming the devices to make them work properly as Keith has
          > done? What happens if something goes wrong in this process and the
          > thing dies?
          >
          > My GPS did take a long time to get its first fix - around 2 hours.
          > This could be to do with it needing to get a new almanac due to
          > starting it up on the other side of the world (Melbourne Australia).
          > Now it fires up in 15-30 seconds from cold.
          >
          > My RTrak also runs quite hot at times - usually when running in the
          > car of 13.8 Volts - seems to be OK for temperature when running of
          > 9xAA cells. I'll need to experiment some more to be definitive. I'll
          > borrow an IR camera from work and see where the heat is coming from.
          >
          > Andrew
          >
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