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RTrack packets "sound" different, not making it to Digi's

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  • Dan Dawson
    When I first got my RTrack I was able to get picked up by digis occasionally and made it to iGates, but lately, I can t get picked up by anything other than my
    Message 1 of 11 , Aug 22, 2008
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      When I first got my RTrack I was able to get picked up by digis
      occasionally and made it to iGates, but lately, I can't get picked up
      by anything other than my own TH-D7 when it's right next to it.

      When listening to the packets on another radio, I noticed they really
      seem to "sound" different to me, not sure if this makes any sense, but
      I recorded the audio of one RTrack packet and the second packet is
      from my TH-D7.

      Is it possible for anyone to decode the packets from the MP3 and see
      if the first packet does appear to be valid? Here is the audio file:

      http://ki6esh.com/rtrack_and_thd7.mp3

      Are there any troubleshooting ideas I could try to make this start
      working again? I am going on a road trip this week and would love to
      track the journey to Black Rock City.

      I've tried various antennas (rubber duck, small mag mount, large mag
      mount, large mag mount with a 35 watt inline amplifier, took it flying
      over cities at low altitude where coverage should have been great, etc)

      Here is a copy of my configuration profile in case I have something
      set up incorrectly there:

      http://ki6esh.com/rtrack_profile.cfg

      Any help in getting this to work would be greatly appreciated.
      Otherwise I'll get it shipped back for additional troubleshooting help.

      Dan Dawson
      http://ki6esh.com
    • Keith VE7GDH
      Dan KI6EH wrote... ... See below about TXdelay. ... I m not set up to decode the MP3 file but the first beacon might have the TXdelay a bit short and the 2nd
      Message 2 of 11 , Aug 22, 2008
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        Dan KI6EH wrote...

        > When I first got my RTrack I was able to get picked up by digis
        > occasionally and made it to iGates, but lately, I can't get picked up
        > by anything other than my own TH-D7 when it's right next to it.
        >
        > When listening to the packets on another radio, I noticed they really
        > seem to "sound" different to me, not sure if this makes any sense, but
        > I recorded the audio of one RTrack packet and the second packet is
        > from my TH-D7.

        See below about TXdelay.

        > Is it possible for anyone to decode the packets from the MP3 and see
        > if the first packet does appear to be valid? Here is the audio file:
        >
        > http://ki6esh.com/rtrack_and_thd7.mp3

        I'm not set up to decode the MP3 file but the first beacon might have
        the TXdelay a bit short and the 2nd one sounds like it could be a bit
        long. Going by ear, I thought the two beacons came from two different
        stations, but read on!

        > Are there any troubleshooting ideas I could try to make this start
        > working again? I am going on a road trip this week and would love to
        > track the journey to Black Rock City.
        >
        > I've tried various antennas (rubber duck, small mag mount, large mag
        > mount, large mag mount with a 35 watt inline amplifier, took it flying
        > over cities at low altitude where coverage should have been great,
        > etc)

        In my own experience with an RTrak, performance will be somewhat dismal
        with a rubber duck and with one of those super-flexible dual band whips
        right on the RTrak. However, connected to a dual-band mag mount
        (probably 5/8 wave) it did very well both on a vehicle and on the
        back of a bike.

        I would seriously recommend NOT ever connecting an amplifier to
        an RTrak unless you are really out in the boonies. If you are anywhere
        near populated areas, you could get very unpopular really fast if you
        transmit with that kind of power while not listening to see if the
        frequency is clear. At 500 mW straight out of the RTrak, no-one
        could fault you for transmitting often though. The amp should
        most definitely NOT be used in the air.

        In the air, change the path to WIDE2-1. If you are going to sometimes
        fly with it, set it up to use WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 when you are on the
        ground and a one hop WIDE2-1 while you are above a certain
        altitude. Profile switching can do this for you.

        So... that's all nit-picking (except the use of the 35 watt amp which
        shouldn't be used) but now on to the actual problem. You are currently
        using profile switching. In profile 1, the callsign is KI6ESH-3. The
        TXDelay is a bit long at 200 ms. I would suggest 100-125 ms.

        > Here is a copy of my configuration profile in case I have something
        > set up incorrectly there:
        >
        > http://ki6esh.com/rtrack_profile.cfg

        That explained most of your problems.

        Your WIDE1-1,WIDE2-2 two hop path would probably be considered one hop
        over the recommended path, but it's up to you to know what is the right
        path to use.

        The 200 ms TXdelay in profile 1 is a bit long. I've had good performance
        at 100 ms. As well as using a bit more air time (wasted bandwidth) it
        will shorten your battery life a bit.

        Profile 1 is transmitting every 65 seconds. I would recommend using
        SmartBeaconing. The settings would depend on the speeds you will
        normally be travelling at... different settings for walking speeds, bike
        speeds, driving speeds and flying speeds.

        You have the profile switching settings set to change from profile 1 to
        profile 2 when ANY of the conditions are met, including when the speed
        exceeds 1.45 Km/h. That's just a bit above crawling speed... certainly
        well under walking speed... and there-in lies most of your problems.
        Pretty much as soon as you start moving, it will change to profile 2.

        Profile 2 is set to change back to profile 1 when ANY of the conditions
        are met... including if the temperature is less than minus 210C (there
        isn't a temperature sensor installed, so this should not be enabled) or
        if the jumper is OFF and I assume you aren't popping the lid to fiddle
        with the jumpers, so if the jumper isn't installed, it's going to go
        back to profile 1 immediately. Of course, if you are moving, it's going
        to switch to profile 2 again and so on ad infinitum.

        Of course, you could have added your own switch to manually toggle
        between profile 1 and profile 2.

        So... let's look at your profile 2 settings:

        callsign 6ESHS-7 (gibbled)
        path DE2-9,DE2,-3 (gibbled)
        symbol and table   (gibbled)
        beacon text rak V1.7 (appears to be missing an RT from the beginning)
        SmartBeaconing is enabled, but with the slow speed (293 kmh) set faster
        than the fast speed (32 kmh) and a slow rate of zero seconds (I don't
        know if that's going to transmit immediately or never) and every 28737
        seconds for the fast rate. Basically, the SmartBeaconing settings are
        gibbled too. Aw yeah... it's also set to beacon when turning more than
        zero degrees. Definitely gibbled.

        You have temperature enabled. That's useless as there isn't a
        temperature sensor... unless you did some surgery to the OT that's
        inside the RTrak. You also have telemetry enabled every 15 seconds. Have
        you opened it up and connected anything to the OT to send telemetry?

        Transmit audio level is turned almost all of the way down in profile 2.

        Profile 2 is set for a fixed position of 0S 0W... on the equator off the
        west coast of Africa.

        The TXDelay in profile 2 is way too long at 380 ms. Finally, a setting
        that could be right... don't transmit if less than 5.95 volts.

        Profile 1 has software DCD enabled. That shouldn't be selected, even
        though there isn't a receiver connected.

        The frequency settings were all zero MHz. I'm not sure if that's because
        I wasn't connected to an RTrak or if that was actually what was in the
        configuration file that you attached.

        More... you also had "use PTT input" enabled and had timeslotting set
        for 1876 seconds.

        Did I forget anything?

        I'm sure you didn't enter most of those settings, but hopefully you can
        fix them! If you have any trouble programming it, try updating the
        firmware.

        > Any help in getting this to work would be greatly appreciated.
        > Otherwise I'll get it shipped back for additional troubleshooting
        > help.

        Not necessary! You have some (serious) programming problems, possibly
        combined with an inadequate antenna at least when you are using the
        rubber duck. I'm really impressed with the performance with the
        dual-band mag-mount, while I was surprised at the lack of performance
        with the dual-band whip (two brands, about 14" and 17" if I remember
        correctly) right on the RTrak. The amplifier should (almost never) be
        used with the RTrak.

        I think that about covers it.

        73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
        --
        "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
      • Keith VE7GDH
        I wrote... ... I see now the first one was the RTrak and the 2nd one was your D7! I also said your WIDE1-1,WIDE2-2 two hop path and that should of course
        Message 3 of 11 , Aug 22, 2008
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          I wrote...

          > Going by ear, I thought the two beacons came from two different
          > stations, but read on!

          I see now the first one was the RTrak and the 2nd one was your D7!

          I also said "your WIDE1-1,WIDE2-2 two hop path" and that should of
          course have said "three hop path"!

          73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
          --
          "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
        • Dan Dawson
          Wow, thank you for the detailed response! I m going to try out some ideas, and clarify some of the questions or thoughts you had below :-) I will definitely
          Message 4 of 11 , Aug 22, 2008
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            Wow, thank you for the detailed response! I'm going to try out some
            ideas, and clarify some of the questions or thoughts you had below :-)
            I will definitely report back here if I find the solution!

            > Going by ear, I thought the two beacons came from two different
            > stations, but read on!

            One trick here that might be fooling people a bit is that the first
            packet contains much less data, it was "stripped down" to the most
            basic data the RTrack would include in case something I was including
            was causing the problem (example, no temperature, no voltage, etc) and
            the Kenwood was including the location, message, and possibly some
            other details.

            > However, connected to a dual-band mag mount
            > (probably 5/8 wave) it did very well both on a vehicle and on the
            > back of a bike.

            I assumed the rubber duck wouldn't do much, my mag mount is a center
            loaded 1/2 wave and does well for me on VHF, so most of my testing was
            done with that antenna, no amplifier inline.

            > I would seriously recommend NOT ever connecting an amplifier to
            > an RTrak

            Only dropped it inline as a last resort since nothing was making it
            out, no change.

            > The amp should most definitely NOT be used in the air.

            Definitely wouldn't use it up there! I use profile two for aircraft
            and believe it is the WIDE2-1. It looks like the configuration I
            attached might have been corrupted in the transfer, I'll expand on
            that below:

            > You are currently using profile switching. In profile 1, the callsign
            > is KI6ESH-3. The TXDelay is a bit long at 200 ms. I would suggest
            100-125 ms.

            I set up the TXDelay longer since some people had mentioned that my
            delay might have been clipping the start. I tried options between
            100ms and 500ms, with no change in receipt of the packets by digis.

            > Your WIDE1-1,WIDE2-2 two hop path would probably be considered one hop
            > over the recommended path

            My usual path would be WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 but during testing I added
            another hop, no help.

            > Profile 1 is transmitting every 65 seconds. I would recommend using
            > SmartBeaconing.

            Set it to a standard time so I could know during testing when to
            expect a packet. For driving I will set it to something around 2
            minutes or play with smart, for the plane I will definitely be using
            smart beaconing.

            My profile switch was (I believed) set up to switch from Profile 1 to
            Profile 2 at 90 mph. Profile 2 would only switch back
            to profile 1 when speed was less than or equal to zero. Thinking here
            was I never drive 90, but the plane will reach that once I level for
            cruise. It'll stay in aircraft mode no matter the speed from that
            point until I'm on the ground and stop moving, then auto switch to
            Profile 1.

            Side question, does powering off and back on always revert to Profile
            1 or does it remember it's settings even after power off?

            > You have the profile switching settings set to change from profile 1 to
            > profile 2 when ANY of the conditions are met, including when the speed
            > exceeds 1.45 Km/h.

            This is where I'm wondering if we either have a corrupt file here, or
            if we're using different versions of the config file, etc... my
            profile switch speed is 90 mph, and the rest of the data you mention
            doesn't match what I have in my config at all. Profile 2 says "any"
            but the only box checked is 0 mph for speed, the rest are unchecked.

            > So... let's look at your profile 2 settings:

            All of those second profile settings don't match at all of what I have
            on my config screen, and it does appear to write to the RTrack with no
            problem, so I'm assuming the data is making it in properly. But it
            definitely leaves me wondering how the data got so corrupt when read
            back in on yours, I'm assuming there's some version difference or
            something between us.

            > You have some (serious) programming problems, possibly
            > combined with an inadequate antenna at least when you are using the
            > rubber duck.

            I'm going to do some checking on programming software versions and
            RTrack firmware version to make sure they're playing nicely together.
            Since I can read the packets successfully off my Kenwood from the
            RTrack, that leaves me thinking it is a transmitter/antenna type of
            problem, even though my 1/2 wave center loaded mag mount works great
            for voice contacts.

            Thanks again for reviewing things, I'll keep digging and see what I
            can find... I'll probably set up packets on both the Kenwood and the
            RTrack again with similar data and record the audio again... I'm going
            to play with TXDelay and audio levels on the RTrack, and compare the
            sound of those packets with the Kenwood with it's three power levels
            and see what the differences sound like, using the same antennas and
            same volume settings on the recording computer... they just really
            sound different (not just length but content) from each other.
          • Keith VE7GDH
            Dan KI6EH wrote... ... It helped that you included the config file - hi! ... I forgot to mention... you could enable compressed to shorten the RTrak beacon.
            Message 5 of 11 , Aug 23, 2008
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              Dan KI6EH wrote...

              > Wow, thank you for the detailed response! I'm going to try out some
              > ideas, and clarify some of the questions or thoughts you had below :-)
              > I will definitely report back here if I find the solution!

              It helped that you included the config file - hi!

              > One trick here that might be fooling people a bit is that the first
              > packet contains much less data, it was "stripped down" to the most
              > basic data the RTrack would include in case something I was including
              > was causing the problem (example, no temperature, no voltage, etc) and
              > the Kenwood was including the location, message, and possibly some
              > other details.

              I forgot to mention... you could enable "compressed" to shorten the
              RTrak beacon. There is no point enabling "temperature" because there
              isn't a temperature sensor installed.

              > I assumed the rubber duck wouldn't do much, my mag mount is a center
              > loaded 1/2 wave and does well for me on VHF, so most of my testing was
              > done with that antenna, no amplifier inline.

              That's possibly what my mag mount is. The paperwork didn't indicate this
              though. I didn't expect much of the rubber duck when I trsted it, but
              (surprisingly) it didn't do any worse than the two super-flexible
              dual-band whips that I tried.

              > Only dropped it inline as a last resort since nothing was making it
              > out, no change.

              I getcha. In that case, you are forgiven!

              > Definitely wouldn't use it up there! I use profile two for aircraft
              > and believe it is the WIDE2-1. It looks like the configuration I
              > attached might have been corrupted in the transfer, I'll expand on
              > that below:

              The file you attached erlier does appear to be corrupted.

              > I set up the TXDelay longer since some people had mentioned that my
              > delay might have been clipping the start. I tried options between
              > 100ms and 500ms, with no change in receipt of the packets by digis.

              Get it going again, and then try something in the 100-200 ms range.

              > My usual path would be WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 but during testing I
              > added another hop, no help.

              It's worth trying anything (including the amp) when you are
              troublesooting, but a longer path won't help a nearby station decode
              your transmitted tones.

              > Set it to a standard time so I could know during testing when to
              > expect a packet. For driving I will set it to something around 2
              > minutes or play with smart, for the plane I will definitely be using
              > smart beaconing.

              AT 500 mW you are at a disadvantage compared to the high powered
              stations beaconing around you. I would actually recommend using
              SmartBeaconing with it set to beacon every 30-60 seconds at the fast
              rate and every few minutes at the slow rate. Every 30 seconds would be
              far too often from a high powered tracker, but my opinion is that it is
              "OK" for (very) low powered trackers to transmit more often. For
              testing, you could set it to every 10-20 seconds with no path... or even
              set it it on another frequency just for testing.

              > My profile switch was (I believed) set up to switch from Profile 1 to
              > Profile 2 at 90 mph. Profile 2 would only switch back to profile 1
              > when speed was less than or equal to zero. Thinking here was I never
              > drive 90, but the plane will reach that once I level for cruise. It'll
              > stay in aircraft mode no matter the speed from that point until I'm on
              > the ground and stop moving, then auto switch to Profile 1.

              If that's what you last entered, then the config file was definitely
              corrupted. However, based on your stated use, I would set e.g. profile 1
              for normal settings using SmartBeaconing with a two-hop WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1,
              and use a one-hp WIDE2-1 in profile 2 for while you are flying.

              You could base the profile switching on speed or altitude. If you always
              fly from the same airport and never drive any higher than the airport's
              altitude, you could do the profile switching based on altitude. If you
              always drive below a certain speed and always fly faster than that
              speed, you could base the profile switching on speed. Of course, if you
              drive in the mountains above the airport elevation, and the plane has a
              very slow stall speed, deciding on what to base the profile switching on
              could be a bit tricker. Of course, you could drill a hole in the case
              and mount a switch to do manual profile switching.

              > Side question, does powering off and back on always revert to Profile
              > 1 or does it remember it's settings even after power off?

              As far as I know, it will always start in profile 1. However, the
              settings in the config file you attached would have it toggling back and
              forth between profile 1 and profile 2 all of the time. However, the
              settings that I looked at could well be corrupted and not what you
              intended them to be.

              > This is where I'm wondering if we either have a corrupt file here, or
              > if we're using different versions of the config file, etc... my
              > profile switch speed is 90 mph, and the rest of the data you mention
              > doesn't match what I have in my config at all. Profile 2 says "any"
              > but the only box checked is 0 mph for speed, the rest are unchecked.

              You could look at the settings and if they look normal, save the file
              and send it again.

              > All of those second profile settings don't match at all of what I have
              > on my config screen, and it does appear to write to the RTrack with no
              > problem, so I'm assuming the data is making it in properly. But it
              > definitely leaves me wondering how the data got so corrupt when read
              > back in on yours, I'm assuming there's some version difference or
              > something between us.

              Did anyone else look at the config file that Dan sent? Can anyone else
              confirm the settings that I saw?

              > I'm going to do some checking on programming software versions and
              > RTrack firmware version to make sure they're playing nicely together.
              > Since I can read the packets successfully off my Kenwood from the
              > RTrack, that leaves me thinking it is a transmitter/antenna type of
              > problem, even though my 1/2 wave center loaded mag mount works great
              > for voice contacts.

              Deal with the programming first. Maybe your settings are OK but the
              config file got corrupted when you saved it. On the other hand, if your
              RTrak is actually using the settings from the file you sent, most of
              them are really messed up. Once the p;rogamming is OK, check the
              performance on RF. In my experience, the antenna really makes the
              difference.

              > Thanks again for reviewing things, I'll keep digging and see what I
              > can find... I'll probably set up packets on both the Kenwood and the
              > RTrack again with similar data and record the audio again... I'm going
              > to play with TXDelay and audio levels on the RTrack, and compare the
              > sound of those packets with the Kenwood with it's three power levels
              > and see what the differences sound like, using the same antennas and
              > same volume settings on the recording computer... they just really
              > sound different (not just length but content) from each other.

              No p;roblem. I would be interested in hearing if the settings in your
              RTrak match what was in the config file that you sent. It isn't too
              surprising that the two beacons sound different. Part is probably the
              different TXDelays. Part is probably because different chips are
              generating the tones. Part could just be the different length of the
              actual beacon. Part could be different audio levels. Changing the
              transmit power out of your D7 shouldn't make it sound any different.

              73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
              --
              "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
            • Jason Rausch
              Keith, Thank you for the detailed help ro Dan! It looks like you hit all of the highlight problems that I saw. Dan, please check the files section for the
              Message 6 of 11 , Aug 23, 2008
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                Keith,

                Thank you for the detailed help ro Dan! It looks like you hit all of
                the highlight problems that I saw.

                Dan, please check the files section for the group. I have uploaded
                the defualt config file that we used to initially program each RTrak
                before they ship. When all else fails, I usually load this file to
                get a unit back to "even center". Please give it a try and see if
                you can remedy the corrupt data that appears to be in your RTrak
                currently.

                Jason KE4NYV
                RPC Electronics
                www.rpc-electronics.com


                --- In RTrak@yahoogroups.com, "Keith VE7GDH" <ve7gdh@...> wrote:
                >
                > Dan KI6EH wrote...
                >
                > > When I first got my RTrack I was able to get picked up by digis
                > > occasionally and made it to iGates, but lately, I can't get
                picked up
                > > by anything other than my own TH-D7 when it's right next to it.
                > >
                > > When listening to the packets on another radio, I noticed they
                really
                > > seem to "sound" different to me, not sure if this makes any
                sense, but
                > > I recorded the audio of one RTrack packet and the second packet is
                > > from my TH-D7.
                >
                > See below about TXdelay.
                >
                > > Is it possible for anyone to decode the packets from the MP3 and
                see
                > > if the first packet does appear to be valid? Here is the audio
                file:
                > >
                > > http://ki6esh.com/rtrack_and_thd7.mp3
                >
                > I'm not set up to decode the MP3 file but the first beacon might
                have
                > the TXdelay a bit short and the 2nd one sounds like it could be a
                bit
                > long. Going by ear, I thought the two beacons came from two
                different
                > stations, but read on!
                >
                > > Are there any troubleshooting ideas I could try to make this start
                > > working again? I am going on a road trip this week and would
                love to
                > > track the journey to Black Rock City.
                > >
                > > I've tried various antennas (rubber duck, small mag mount, large
                mag
                > > mount, large mag mount with a 35 watt inline amplifier, took it
                flying
                > > over cities at low altitude where coverage should have been great,
                > > etc)
                >
                > In my own experience with an RTrak, performance will be somewhat
                dismal
                > with a rubber duck and with one of those super-flexible dual band
                whips
                > right on the RTrak. However, connected to a dual-band mag mount
                > (probably 5/8 wave) it did very well both on a vehicle and on the
                > back of a bike.
                >
                > I would seriously recommend NOT ever connecting an amplifier to
                > an RTrak unless you are really out in the boonies. If you are
                anywhere
                > near populated areas, you could get very unpopular really fast if
                you
                > transmit with that kind of power while not listening to see if the
                > frequency is clear. At 500 mW straight out of the RTrak, no-one
                > could fault you for transmitting often though. The amp should
                > most definitely NOT be used in the air.
                >
                > In the air, change the path to WIDE2-1. If you are going to
                sometimes
                > fly with it, set it up to use WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 when you are on the
                > ground and a one hop WIDE2-1 while you are above a certain
                > altitude. Profile switching can do this for you.
                >
                > So... that's all nit-picking (except the use of the 35 watt amp
                which
                > shouldn't be used) but now on to the actual problem. You are
                currently
                > using profile switching. In profile 1, the callsign is KI6ESH-3. The
                > TXDelay is a bit long at 200 ms. I would suggest 100-125 ms.
                >
                > > Here is a copy of my configuration profile in case I have
                something
                > > set up incorrectly there:
                > >
                > > http://ki6esh.com/rtrack_profile.cfg
                >
                > That explained most of your problems.
                >
                > Your WIDE1-1,WIDE2-2 two hop path would probably be considered one
                hop
                > over the recommended path, but it's up to you to know what is the
                right
                > path to use.
                >
                > The 200 ms TXdelay in profile 1 is a bit long. I've had good
                performance
                > at 100 ms. As well as using a bit more air time (wasted bandwidth)
                it
                > will shorten your battery life a bit.
                >
                > Profile 1 is transmitting every 65 seconds. I would recommend using
                > SmartBeaconing. The settings would depend on the speeds you will
                > normally be travelling at... different settings for walking speeds,
                bike
                > speeds, driving speeds and flying speeds.
                >
                > You have the profile switching settings set to change from profile
                1 to
                > profile 2 when ANY of the conditions are met, including when the
                speed
                > exceeds 1.45 Km/h. That's just a bit above crawling speed...
                certainly
                > well under walking speed... and there-in lies most of your problems.
                > Pretty much as soon as you start moving, it will change to profile
                2.
                >
                > Profile 2 is set to change back to profile 1 when ANY of the
                conditions
                > are met... including if the temperature is less than minus 210C
                (there
                > isn't a temperature sensor installed, so this should not be
                enabled) or
                > if the jumper is OFF and I assume you aren't popping the lid to
                fiddle
                > with the jumpers, so if the jumper isn't installed, it's going to go
                > back to profile 1 immediately. Of course, if you are moving, it's
                going
                > to switch to profile 2 again and so on ad infinitum.
                >
                > Of course, you could have added your own switch to manually toggle
                > between profile 1 and profile 2.
                >
                > So... let's look at your profile 2 settings:
                >
                > callsign 6ESHS-7 (gibbled)
                > path DE2-9,DE2,-3 (gibbled)
                > symbol and table   (gibbled)
                > beacon text rak V1.7 (appears to be missing an RT from the
                beginning)
                > SmartBeaconing is enabled, but with the slow speed (293 kmh) set
                faster
                > than the fast speed (32 kmh) and a slow rate of zero seconds (I
                don't
                > know if that's going to transmit immediately or never) and every
                28737
                > seconds for the fast rate. Basically, the SmartBeaconing settings
                are
                > gibbled too. Aw yeah... it's also set to beacon when turning more
                than
                > zero degrees. Definitely gibbled.
                >
                > You have temperature enabled. That's useless as there isn't a
                > temperature sensor... unless you did some surgery to the OT that's
                > inside the RTrak. You also have telemetry enabled every 15 seconds.
                Have
                > you opened it up and connected anything to the OT to send telemetry?
                >
                > Transmit audio level is turned almost all of the way down in
                profile 2.
                >
                > Profile 2 is set for a fixed position of 0S 0W... on the equator
                off the
                > west coast of Africa.
                >
                > The TXDelay in profile 2 is way too long at 380 ms. Finally, a
                setting
                > that could be right... don't transmit if less than 5.95 volts.
                >
                > Profile 1 has software DCD enabled. That shouldn't be selected, even
                > though there isn't a receiver connected.
                >
                > The frequency settings were all zero MHz. I'm not sure if that's
                because
                > I wasn't connected to an RTrak or if that was actually what was in
                the
                > configuration file that you attached.
                >
                > More... you also had "use PTT input" enabled and had timeslotting
                set
                > for 1876 seconds.
                >
                > Did I forget anything?
                >
                > I'm sure you didn't enter most of those settings, but hopefully you
                can
                > fix them! If you have any trouble programming it, try updating the
                > firmware.
                >
                > > Any help in getting this to work would be greatly appreciated.
                > > Otherwise I'll get it shipped back for additional troubleshooting
                > > help.
                >
                > Not necessary! You have some (serious) programming problems,
                possibly
                > combined with an inadequate antenna at least when you are using the
                > rubber duck. I'm really impressed with the performance with the
                > dual-band mag-mount, while I was surprised at the lack of
                performance
                > with the dual-band whip (two brands, about 14" and 17" if I remember
                > correctly) right on the RTrak. The amplifier should (almost never)
                be
                > used with the RTrak.
                >
                > I think that about covers it.
                >
                > 73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                > --
                > "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
                >
              • Dan Dawson
                Thanks again for the assistance, we ll see how things go! I downloaded the configuration file you uploaded, and oddly enough profile 2 was corrupt for me?! So
                Message 7 of 11 , Aug 23, 2008
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                  Thanks again for the assistance, we'll see how things go!

                  I downloaded the configuration file you uploaded, and oddly enough
                  profile 2 was corrupt for me?!

                  So I went ahead and downloaded a new firmware from the web using
                  RTrackOpenTracker.exe (1.0.0.1 that came on the CD?) and the firmware
                  was: OpenTracker Plus RTrack firmware 54568 04-12-2008.

                  Loading that gave me a new default profile which I started with. I
                  updated my call, the icons, profile switching, etc. I left as much as
                  possible default unless I felt it was safe to change it.

                  Since uploading my config seemed to show corrupt for you two, and
                  yours seemed corrupt for me... here are screen captures of my final
                  config after starting over with the default:

                  http://ki6esh.com/2008-08-23_Profile1.jpg
                  http://ki6esh.com/2008-08-23_Profile2.jpg
                  http://ki6esh.com/2008-08-23_Profile_Switch.jpg

                  I'll try to take it out around town and do some testing today, and
                  I'll probably try to do an audio capture if it again so I can compare
                  it to the TH-D7 again. I'll report back!

                  Dan Dawson
                  http://ki6esh.com
                • lists@ke4nyv.com
                  Dan, Those SS s look good. One thing I forgot to mention was exactly what you did. Reload the firmware so you have a fresh start and THEN load my default
                  Message 8 of 11 , Aug 23, 2008
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                    Dan,

                    Those SS's look good. One thing I forgot to mention was exactly what you did. Reload the firmware so you have a fresh start and THEN load my default file. That would give you a fresh start..on a clean slate (can you have both of those?) ;o)

                    Jason KE4NYV
                    RPC Electronics
                    www.rpc-electronics.com

                    --- On Sat, 8/23/08, Dan Dawson <dawson@...> wrote:
                    From: Dan Dawson <dawson@...>
                    Subject: [RTrak] Re: RTrack packets "sound" different, not making it to Digi's
                    To: RTrak@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Saturday, August 23, 2008, 12:43 PM


















                    Thanks again for the assistance, we'll see how things go!



                    I downloaded the configuration file you uploaded, and oddly enough

                    profile 2 was corrupt for me?!



                    So I went ahead and downloaded a new firmware from the web using

                    RTrackOpenTracker. exe (1.0.0.1 that came on the CD?) and the firmware

                    was: OpenTracker Plus RTrack firmware 54568 04-12-2008.



                    Loading that gave me a new default profile which I started with. I

                    updated my call, the icons, profile switching, etc. I left as much as

                    possible default unless I felt it was safe to change it.



                    Since uploading my config seemed to show corrupt for you two, and

                    yours seemed corrupt for me... here are screen captures of my final

                    config after starting over with the default:



                    http://ki6esh. com/2008- 08-23_Profile1. jpg

                    http://ki6esh. com/2008- 08-23_Profile2. jpg

                    http://ki6esh. com/2008- 08-23_Profile_ Switch.jpg



                    I'll try to take it out around town and do some testing today, and

                    I'll probably try to do an audio capture if it again so I can compare

                    it to the TH-D7 again. I'll report back!



                    Dan Dawson

                    http://ki6esh. com
                  • Dan Dawson
                    Something in the resetting the firmware starting with a new profile looks like it might have made a difference :-) I was out and about for 45 minutes and one
                    Message 9 of 11 , Aug 23, 2008
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                      Something in the resetting the firmware starting with a new profile
                      looks like it might have made a difference :-)

                      I was out and about for 45 minutes and one packet did get picked up,
                      which is more than I can say for the last few months of casual playing
                      and testing.

                      The only thing that seems a bit odd from this packet is the iGate that
                      picked it up... KC0MWM appears to be in Nebraska and I'm in
                      California! My path was WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1, and here's the raw packet as
                      received.

                      2008-08-23 21:41:42 UTC:
                      KI6ESH-3>APOTC1,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-2,qAR,KC0MWM:!3703.37N/12201.85W>

                      I'll report back when I return from Burning Man and see how things go
                      with it!

                      Dan Dawson
                      http://ki6esh.com
                      http://aprs.fi/?call=KI6ESH-3
                    • Greg Clark
                      2081 miles? That s one way to do it!!! Have fun on the Playa -- I hope to be there in 3 weeks for a rocket launch (XPRS) -- Greg K7RKT Stations which heard
                      Message 10 of 11 , Aug 23, 2008
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                        2081 miles?  That's one way to do it!!!  Have fun on the Playa -- I hope to be there in 3 weeks for a rocket launch (XPRS)
                         
                        -- Greg K7RKT
                         
                        Stations which heard KI6ESH-3 directly on radio over the last 48 hours
                        callsignpktsfirst heard - UTClast heardlongest(tx => rx)longest at - UTC
                        KC0MWM12008-08-23 21:41:422008-08-23 21:41:42CM87XB > EN00TW2081.7 miles 71°2008-08-23 21:41:42

                         



                         
                        On 8/23/08, Dan Dawson <dawson@...> wrote:

                        Something in the resetting the firmware starting with a new profile
                        looks like it might have made a difference :-)

                        I was out and about for 45 minutes and one packet did get picked up,
                        which is more than I can say for the last few months of casual playing
                        and testing.

                        The only thing that seems a bit odd from this packet is the iGate that
                        picked it up... KC0MWM appears to be in Nebraska and I'm in
                        California! My path was WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1, and here's the raw packet as
                        received.

                        2008-08-23 21:41:42 UTC:
                        KI6ESH-3>APOTC1,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-2,qAR,KC0MWM:!3703.37N/12201.85W>

                        I'll report back when I return from Burning Man and see how things go
                        with it!

                        Dan Dawson
                        http://ki6esh.com
                        http://aprs.fi/?call=KI6ESH-3


                      • Keith VE7GDH
                        Dan KI6ESH wrote... ... Car symbol. Looks OK but I would have used SmartBeaconing. Perhaps bump the TX audio up a bit higher. ... Small plane symbol. Nice one
                        Message 11 of 11 , Aug 24, 2008
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                          Dan KI6ESH wrote...

                          > here are screen captures of my final config after starting over with
                          > the default:
                          > http://ki6esh.com/2008-08-23_Profile1.jpg

                          Car symbol. Looks OK but I would have used SmartBeaconing.
                          Perhaps bump the TX audio up a bit higher.

                          > http://ki6esh.com/2008-08-23_Profile2.jpg

                          Small plane symbol. Nice one hop path... good for while at altitude.
                          No need to output waypoints. Perhaps bump TX audio up a bit higher.
                          Consider SmartBeaconing.

                          > http://ki6esh.com/2008-08-23_Profile_Switch.jpg

                          With your profile switching setup, it will go to profile 2 when you
                          exceed 90 mph but it will never switch back until you power cycle it.
                          You have several options... e.g. based on speed, altitude, even voltage
                          when you turn the engine off if you are powering it from the planes
                          electrical system, but you probably don't do that in the air.

                          Thoughts on SmartBeaconing... you probably drive somewhere between
                          zero (parked) and X (80-90?) kmh. You probably travel somewhere
                          between X and Y (125-300?) kmh in the air. Cars can make 90 degree
                          turns but usually slow down for them. Most planes (and pilots) can't
                          take the Gs to do 90 degree turns unless they are taxiing on the ground.
                          The RTrak only puts out 500 mW so won't trample too many high power
                          (5 - 50W) trackers. Because there are so many high power trackers (in
                          populated areas) the RTrak and other low powered devices probably
                          need to transmit more often to have a better chance of being heard.
                          Especially if you are travelling on the ground at highway speeds, this
                          will not "impact" any given area for very long in any case. In the air
                          you will have a larger footprint, but you will still be competing with
                          the higher powered devices. Consider these things when determining
                          what are reasonable SmartBeaconing settings.

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