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Red light flashing...

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  • noid1037
    The R-trak is a great little item, when its working. hopefully someone can figure this out. The R-Trak came back from Jason the other day. Opened the box
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 2, 2008
      The R-trak is a great little item, when its working. hopefully
      someone can figure this out. The R-Trak came back from Jason the
      other day. Opened the box and plugged the unit to the GPS SMA, 2 M
      5/8 wave antenna and the power jack. The unit was had the flashing
      red LED for GPS lock-on. I unplugged it after 30 minutes and plugged
      it back in, waited. Still didnt.

      Then Sunday morning, I repeated the unplug-plug back in and it locked
      on.

      This morning, I accidently hit the prog/run switch and lost 'sync'.

      All morning I have tried to plug-unplug. I did connect it the R-trak
      programming cable and all looks the same.

      The GPS antenna is on located on the trunk lid of a Caddillac. It
      worked once and now it isnt. How many others have GPS 'sync' problems?

      The unit was sent back to Jason two weeks ago becuase it
      wouldnt 'sync' up. He updated the GPS firmware and re-configured it.

      Why would it work one day, then by accident I hit the switch and now
      it wont sync up?

      Any help would be appreciated!

      Thanks all!
      Noid Wilson
      Tampa
      N9RLR
      N9RLR-2
    • Jason Rausch
      Dion, What kind of antenna situation are you using? Do you have a decent view of the sky with it? When it came back to me I first verified the GPS sentence
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 2, 2008
        Dion,

        What kind of antenna situation are you using? Do you have a decent
        view of the sky with it? When it came back to me I first verified
        the GPS sentence configuration. I then tested it for a lock by
        setting YOUR antenna on my concrete patio and running the cable
        inside. I had a full lock within 40 seconds of powering the unit up.

        Please just make sure the antenna is in a good position to see the
        sky. The receiver is very sensitive and I have found that it is very
        forgiving with poor view, but it has to see at least some of the sky.

        Jason KE4NYV
        RPC Electronics
        www.rpc-electronics.com


        --- In RTrak@yahoogroups.com, "noid1037" <dwilson@...> wrote:
        >
        > The R-trak is a great little item, when its working. hopefully
        > someone can figure this out. The R-Trak came back from Jason the
        > other day. Opened the box and plugged the unit to the GPS SMA, 2 M
        > 5/8 wave antenna and the power jack. The unit was had the flashing
        > red LED for GPS lock-on. I unplugged it after 30 minutes and
        plugged
        > it back in, waited. Still didnt.
        >
        > Then Sunday morning, I repeated the unplug-plug back in and it
        locked
        > on.
        >
        > This morning, I accidently hit the prog/run switch and lost
        'sync'.
        >
        > All morning I have tried to plug-unplug. I did connect it the R-
        trak
        > programming cable and all looks the same.
        >
        > The GPS antenna is on located on the trunk lid of a Caddillac. It
        > worked once and now it isnt. How many others have GPS 'sync'
        problems?
        >
        > The unit was sent back to Jason two weeks ago becuase it
        > wouldnt 'sync' up. He updated the GPS firmware and re-configured
        it.
        >
        > Why would it work one day, then by accident I hit the switch and
        now
        > it wont sync up?
        >
        > Any help would be appreciated!
        >
        > Thanks all!
        > Noid Wilson
        > Tampa
        > N9RLR
        > N9RLR-2
        >
      • Wilson, Dion
        Jason, I am using the same antenna I sent with the R-Trakat the time of RMA, the same one that came from the initial order. The GPS antenna is located on the
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 3, 2008

          Jason,

           

          I am using the same antenna I sent with the R-Trakat the time of RMA, the same one that came from the initial order.  The GPS antenna is located on the trunk lid of a car, Cadillac Deville.  When I opened the trunk this morning and looking on APRS.fi all was working.  I was showing up on the network and the light was green.  When I get to work the light was flashing red and the last time seen on the network was when I left home. 

           

          Yesterday I left work with it working.  I had four beacons on the network but in the middle of the bridge, I-275, was my last seen beacon and by the time I got home it was a flashing red LED.  There is not an obstruction around there and should it not at some point re-sync?  If I did go under an overpass and sat for a minute so for a traffic light to change and then re-appeared in the open would it not re-sync?

           

          It just seems like for no reason while in the wide open expanses it loses ‘sync’ for GPS.

           

          I can take a picture of the location but imagine the antenna on a trunk lid centered left to right, two to three inches from the edge going into the trunk near the window.  The 2-meter antenna on the passenger side corner of the trunk. 

           

          Many times during the day I go out to see the sync of the unit.  I will unplug it and plug it back in to re-sync.  There are times it wont re-sync. 

           

          As a side note, I have XM and do not have a problem receiving that signal. 

           

          Reply

          D 'Noid' Wilson

          Frontline Communication

          “The Finest Command and Broadcast Vehicles in the World”

          BAS 2 GHz Relocation Project ENG

          Semper Fi

          727.580.8603

          727.571.3295 FAX

          dwilson@...

          dwilson@...

          dwilson@...


          From: RTrak@yahoogroups.com [mailto:RTrak@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jason Rausch
          Sent: Monday, June 02, 2008 4:00 PM
          To: RTrak@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [RTrak] Re: Red light flashing...

           

          Dion,

          What kind of antenna situation are you using? Do you have a decent
          view of the sky with it? When it came back to me I first verified
          the GPS sentence configuration. I then tested it for a lock by
          setting YOUR antenna on my concrete patio and running the cable
          inside. I had a full lock within 40 seconds of powering the unit up.

          Please just make sure the antenna is in a good position to see the
          sky. The receiver is very sensitive and I have found that it is very
          forgiving with poor view, but it has to see at least some of the sky.

          Jason KE4NYV
          RPC Electronics
          www.rpc-electronics .com

          --- In RTrak@yahoogroups. com, "noid1037" <dwilson@... > wrote:

          >
          > The R-trak is a great little item, when its working. hopefully
          > someone can figure this out. The R-Trak came back from Jason the
          > other day. Opened the box and plugged the unit to the GPS SMA, 2 M
          > 5/8 wave antenna and the power jack. The unit was had the flashing
          > red LED for GPS lock-on. I unplugged it after 30 minutes and
          plugged
          > it back in, waited. Still didnt.
          >
          > Then Sunday morning, I repeated the unplug-plug back in and it
          locked
          > on.
          >
          > This morning, I accidently hit the prog/run switch and lost
          'sync'.
          >
          > All morning I have tried to plug-unplug. I did connect it the R-
          trak
          > programming cable and all looks the same.
          >
          > The GPS antenna is on located on the trunk lid of a Caddillac. It
          > worked once and now it isnt. How many others have GPS 'sync'
          problems?
          >
          > The unit was sent back to Jason two weeks ago becuase it
          > wouldnt 'sync' up. He updated the GPS firmware and re-configured
          it.
          >
          > Why would it work one day, then by accident I hit the switch and
          now
          > it wont sync up?
          >
          > Any help would be appreciated!
          >
          > Thanks all!
          > Noid Wilson
          > Tampa
          > N9RLR
          > N9RLR-2
          >

          ______________________________________________________________________
          This email has been scanned by the MessageLabs Email Security System.
          For more information please visit http://www.messagelabs.com/email
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          ______________________________________________________________________
          This email has been scanned by the MessageLabs Email Security System.
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          ______________________________________________________________________
        • Keith VE7GDH
          Dion N9RLR wrote... ... Do you have a laptop? You could plug in the configuration cable and put a null-modem adapter in between and view the NMEA output from
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 3, 2008
            Dion N9RLR wrote...

            > I was showing up on the network and the light was green. When I get to
            > work the light was flashing red and the last time seen on the network
            > was when I left home.

            Do you have a laptop? You could plug in the configuration cable and put
            a null-modem adapter in between and view the NMEA output from the GPS
            receiver to try and see what is going on. The switch should be in the
            RUN position. You could just view the data in a terminal program, or use
            something like VisualGPS to look at it. Here's a couple of lines of my
            output. I have only the $GPRMC and $GPGGA sentences enabled.

            $GPGGA,232710.00,4848.92803,N,12327.32821,W,1,09,1.71,00163,M,-017,M,,*55
            $GPRMC,232710.00,A,4848.92803,N,12327.32821,W,000.0,000.0,030608,20.8,E,A*1A

            Specifically, you are looking for the "A" near the beginning of the RMC
            sentence. If you see a "V" instead, the GPS receiver doesn't have a
            lock. Also, can you measure the current that the RTrak is drawing when
            it isn't transmitting? Perhaps yours needs the "capacitor mod" that
            Jason just announced.

            73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
            --
            "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
          • Wilson, Dion
            Keith and group, The laptop I own does not have a serial port, too new to be installed. I could try it on one of my desktop computers. I would have to buy a
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 4, 2008

              Keith and group,

              The laptop I own does not have a serial port, too new to be installed.  I could try it on one of my desktop computers.  I would have to buy a null modem and verify the information, Radio Shack has one for $10, and I suppose the quickest way of getting my hands on one.  I will review the data hopefully today.

              I left work yesterday with a green light.  I get home and it’s red again.  There were two beacons on the network, both within a mile or so of the origination point.  Yesterday, the unit was hard cycled (unplugged-plugged) from the power jack multiple times.  The car is an un-obstructed view of the sky and the unit does not sync up.  This is very similar to my last RMA and sent back to Jason.  He upgraded the firmware of the GPS and he stated he had it running for an hour on the bench and was shipped back to me, promptly by the way.  I read the profile and saved it to file and that’s where we stand.  The unit worked fine for a few days and then this current state of operation is consistent.  The unit works when it wants to work and there is neither rhyme nor reason to its actual operation. 

              The unit is getting power directly from the vehicles battery. 

              Jason would have to comment on the addition of the capacitor since the unit was sent back as RMA and shipped back between the timeframe of Dayton and last week.  Jason can comment of line if this mod was performed during the timeframe. 

              Thanks for the advice I will report back the findings in due time.

              Regards,

              Noid Wilson

              N9RLR-2

              Tampa

              > I was showing up on the network and the light was green. When I get to
              > work the light was flashing red and the last time seen on the network
              > was when I left home.

              Do you have a laptop? You could plug in the configuration cable and put
              a null-modem adapter in between and view the NMEA output from the GPS
              receiver to try and see what is going on. The switch should be in the
              RUN position. You could just view the data in a terminal program, or use
              something like VisualGPS to look at it. Here's a couple of lines of my
              output. I have only the $GPRMC and $GPGGA sentences enabled.

              $GPGGA,232710. 00,4848.92803, N,12327.32821, W,1,09,1. 71,00163, M,-017,M, ,*55
              $GPRMC,232710. 00,A,4848. 92803,N,12327. 32821,W,000. 0,000.0,030608, 20.8,E,A* 1A

              Specifically, you are looking for the "A" near the beginning of the RMC
              sentence. If you see a "V" instead, the GPS receiver doesn't have a
              lock. Also, can you measure the current that the RTrak is drawing when
              it isn't transmitting? Perhaps yours needs the "capacitor mod" that
              Jason just announced.

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

               

            • Jason Rausch
              ... Do you have access to a USB to Serial adapter? That will work just fine for this test. I think Keith is simply saying to look at the raw GPS data for a
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 4, 2008
                > The laptop I own does not have a serial port, too
                > new to be installed.
                > I could try it on one of my desktop computers. I
                > would have to buy a
                > null modem and verify the information, Radio Shack
                > has one for $10, and
                > I suppose the quickest way of getting my hands on
                > one. I will review
                > the data hopefully today.

                Do you have access to a USB to Serial adapter? That
                will work just fine for this test. I think Keith is
                simply saying to look at the raw GPS data for a lock
                indication in the NMEA strings.

                >
                > I left work yesterday with a green light. I get
                > home and it's red
                > again. There were two beacons on the network, both
                > within a mile or so
                > of the origination point. Yesterday, the unit was
                > hard cycled
                > (unplugged-plugged) from the power jack multiple
                > times. The car is an
                > un-obstructed view of the sky and the unit does not
                > sync up. This is
                > very similar to my last RMA and sent back to Jason.

                I'm not sure what is going on here. I really question
                the GPS antenna getting a good signal, but I
                understand that you have the antenna in a good spot on
                the car. Like I mentioned before, I did about an hour
                test with your RTrak and it never lost lock. That was
                with your specific antenna laying in my concrete
                porch, under an overhang. That was obviously not the
                best view of the sky, but it held in there during the
                test.

                > He upgraded the
                > firmware of the GPS and he stated he had it running
                > for an hour on the
                > bench and was shipped back to me, promptly by the
                > way.

                When I upgraded the GPS firmware, I made sure to
                re-read the config and then re-set it for the proper
                NMEA strings.

                > Jason would have to comment on the addition of the
                > capacitor since the
                > unit was sent back as RMA and shipped back between
                > the timeframe of
                > Dayton and last week. Jason can comment of line if
                > this mod was
                > performed during the timeframe.

                Yes, the mod was done while it was in for service.
                Any units coming back for service of any kind will be
                automatically modded, if it has not already been done.


                Jason KE4NYV
                RPC Electronics
                www.rpc-electronics.com
              • Curt, WE7U
                ... It might be in a good spot, but is it getting squished when he closes the trunk? I remember him saying it was a trunk-mount. -- Curt, WE7U. archer at
                Message 7 of 9 , Jun 4, 2008
                  On Wed, 4 Jun 2008, Jason Rausch wrote:

                  > I'm not sure what is going on here. I really question
                  > the GPS antenna getting a good signal, but I
                  > understand that you have the antenna in a good spot on
                  > the car.

                  It might be in a good spot, but is it getting squished when he
                  closes the trunk? I remember him saying it was a trunk-mount.

                  --
                  Curt, WE7U. archer at eskimo dot com
                  http://www.eskimo.com/~archer
                  Lotto: A tax on people who are bad at math. - unknown
                  Windows: Microsoft's tax on computer illiterates. - WE7U.
                  The world DOES revolve around me: I picked the coordinate system!"
                • Wilson, Dion
                  I think I need to ship this back...I moved the unit from the trunk to the passenger seat. The unit locks in for a few minutes and then unsyncs a few minutes
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jun 5, 2008

                    I think I need to ship this back…I moved the unit from the trunk to the passenger seat.  The unit locks in for a few minutes and then ‘unsyncs’ a few minutes later.  I see the flashing green light and the occasional red TX light.  Then it will start flashing red with no discernible reason.  Both the GPS and 2M antenna run out the sunroof with it OPEN.  The power comes from the 12 ashtray plug.  Since before it was mounted in the trunk I could not attest to its type of hiccups it was having.  I have a USB to DB-9 adapter and will view its data stream as Jason suggested.  I don’t mind spending some time working on it since in the spirit of the hobby we should be able to solve the issue.  But my time is already in short demand to even be messing with this issue.  (not a dig!)  I will work on over the weekend best I have time available and then make a decision on what can be done.

                     

                     

                    To inquire about the coax pinch, this is the RG-316 type coax, one of its applications is to be used in trunk mount scenarios.  We use this in many GPS and RF applications and have not had this type of pinch issue.  Curt, WE7U commented it could be pinching, what other way would you consider the mag mount GPS antenna to be routed?

                     

                     

                     

                    Reply

                    D 'Noid' Wilson

                    Frontline Communication

                    “The Finest Command and Broadcast Vehicles in the World”

                    BAS 2 GHz Relocation Project ENG

                    Semper Fi

                    727.580.8603

                    727.571.3295 FAX

                    dwilson@...

                    dwilson@...

                    dwilson@...


                    From: RTrak@yahoogroups.com [mailto: RTrak@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Curt, WE7U
                    Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2008 8:52 PM
                    To: RTrak@yahoogroups.com
                    Cc: archer@...
                    Subject: RE: [RTrak] Re: Red light flashing...

                     

                    On Wed, 4 Jun 2008, Jason Rausch wrote:

                    > I'm not sure what is going on here. I really question
                    > the GPS antenna getting a good signal, but I
                    > understand that you have the antenna in a good spot on
                    > the car.

                    It might be in a good spot, but is it getting squished when he
                    closes the trunk? I remember him saying it was a trunk-mount.

                    --
                    Curt, WE7U. archer at eskimo dot com
                    http://www.eskimo. com/~archer
                    Lotto: A tax on people who are bad at math. - unknown
                    Windows: Microsoft's tax on computer illiterates. - WE7U.
                    The world DOES revolve around me: I picked the coordinate system!"

                    ______________________________________________________________________
                    This email has been scanned by the MessageLabs Email Security System.
                    For more information please visit http://www.messagelabs.com/email
                    ______________________________________________________________________


                    ______________________________________________________________________
                    This email has been scanned by the MessageLabs Email Security System.
                    For more information please visit http://www.messagelabs.com/email
                    ______________________________________________________________________
                  • Curt, WE7U
                    ... It doesn t sound like the issue, so forget it. It was one possibility that came to mind that might have explained why it was working for Jason but not for
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jun 5, 2008
                      On Thu, 5 Jun 2008, Wilson, Dion wrote:

                      > To inquire about the coax pinch, this is the RG-316 type coax, one of
                      > its applications is to be used in trunk mount scenarios. We use this in
                      > many GPS and RF applications and have not had this type of pinch issue.
                      > Curt, WE7U commented it could be pinching, what other way would you
                      > consider the mag mount GPS antenna to be routed?

                      It doesn't sound like the issue, so forget it. It was one
                      possibility that came to mind that might have explained why it was
                      working for Jason but not for you.

                      What else could it be... Voltage drops when transmitting. RF spurs
                      getting into the GPS and causing it to lose lock (unlikely as the
                      frequencies are quite separated). Severe GPS multipath at your
                      testing location.

                      --
                      Curt, WE7U. archer at eskimo dot com
                      http://www.eskimo.com/~archer
                      Lotto: A tax on people who are bad at math. - unknown
                      Windows: Microsoft's tax on computer illiterates. - WE7U.
                      The world DOES revolve around me: I picked the coordinate system!"
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