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RTrak Update

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  • Jason
    Please check the Photos section of the group. There is a new folder called RTrak V 1.6 and it contains pictures of the latest RTrak board, including the
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 17, 2007
      Please check the "Photos" section of the group. There is a new
      folder called "RTrak V 1.6" and it contains pictures of the latest
      RTrak board, including the first case that I hand milled for
      testing. Be gentle, that milling was done with a hand drill and it
      was a bit off. The milled end plates will be done by a professional
      shop and will fit just right.

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

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

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

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

      Comments? Suggestions? Complaints?

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

      Jason KE4NYV
      RPC Electronics
      www.rpc-electronics.com
    • Jason KG4WSV
      How does the GPS behave above 60k (or 20km or whatever the altitude is where most of em go stupid)? -Jason kg4wsv
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 17, 2007
        How does the GPS behave above 60k' (or 20km or whatever the altitude
        is where most of 'em go stupid)?

        -Jason
        kg4wsv
      • Jason Rausch
        ... The Copernicus module manual is very vauge, but according to Trimble, it s good over 60K. I would love to get one on a balloon to test this and verify it!
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 17, 2007
          --- Jason KG4WSV <kg4wsv@...> wrote:

          > How does the GPS behave above 60k' (or 20km or
          > whatever the altitude
          > is where most of 'em go stupid)?

          The Copernicus module manual is very vauge, but
          according to Trimble, it's good over 60K.

          I would love to get one on a balloon to test this and
          verify it!

          That brings up another point. I might offer the RTrak
          without a case for the high alt. guys. Reduce weight
          and price by about $10 a unit. All depends on demand.

          Jason KE4NYV
          RPC Electronics
          www.rpc-electronics.com
        • vk1nut
          1. The 8 pos rotary switch is a good idea, access from the outside through a hole with a screen print giving indication of the 8 positions could be handy.This
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 17, 2007
            1. The 8 pos rotary switch is a good idea, access from the outside
            through a hole with a screen print giving indication of the 8
            positions could be handy.This means there would not be any need to
            open the case to change frequencies.
            2. Are the frequencies going to be fully defined by the user (user
            can define any freq within the hardware limits of the Transceiver?)
            Or is it going to be limited to what frequencies are hard coded?
            If they are hard coded, what will be the frequencies?

            Thanks
            Glenn -vk1nut

            --- In rtrak@yahoogroups.com, "Jason" <lists@...> wrote:
            >
            > Please check the "Photos" section of the group. There is a new
            > folder called "RTrak V 1.6" and it contains pictures of the latest
            > RTrak board, including the first case that I hand milled for
            > testing. Be gentle, that milling was done with a hand drill and
            it
            > was a bit off. The milled end plates will be done by a
            professional
            > shop and will fit just right.
            >
            > This version contains a not-yet available, enhanced version of the
            > SMT OpenTracker 1+. This version is 28 pins and contains SPI
            lines
            > to control the MX-146 transmitter. Scott had the foresight
            to "add"
            > the additonal pins to the bottom of the pin rows, on the module,
            > allowing for the original 24 pin module to still be used. All
            RTraks
            > will ship with this new 28 pin version.
            >
            > You will also see a 16 position HEX rotary switch in the top right
            > corner of the board. This will be used for frequency selection.
            The
            > proposed method is to have a frequency table in the OpenTracker
            > config software that can hold up to eight frequencies. Any of
            these
            > eight will be selectable by choosing between positions 0 and 8.
            This
            > will be used for single frequency beaconing. When selecting
            > positions 9 through F, you can select one of the first eight, as
            well
            > as a pre-determined secondary frequency for dual frequency
            > beaconing. Using this method will allow you to switch between
            these
            > two modes easily, without the need of a computer to change.
            Please,
            > share your comments on this.
            >
            > Last, there is a 5th picture in the folder that shows a Pelican
            case
            > that has been "plucked" to hold a RTrak, GPS antenna, power cable
            and
            > programming cable. I would like to hear if there is any interest
            in
            > these cases. If there is enough demand, I will offer these as an
            > extra accessory to the RTrak package, pre "plucked" of course!
            >
            > Now, to answer the main question! "How much is it?" We have
            settled
            > on a price of $250 per unit. This will include, the RTrak (with
            > case), GPS patch antenna, lighter power cable, programming cable
            and
            > manual. After much comparison with other similar devices and
            number
            > crunching, this is the price that we have decided on. We compared
            > mostly with the frequency agile MicroTrak, which is $220. The
            > MicroTrak is nice, but it does not include a built-in GPS, case,
            > cables or even the DB9 to connect a GPS. We feel that with our
            > price, you are getting much more for the dollar.
            >
            > Comments? Suggestions? Complaints?
            >
            > Thank you very much for all of the input on and off of this SIG!
            >
            > Jason KE4NYV
            > RPC Electronics
            > www.rpc-electronics.com
            >
          • Jason Rausch
            ... This is one concern and it kind of goes against my original design concept. Obviously, the unit is no way water proof, but it could be semi-weatherproof
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 17, 2007
              --- vk1nut <vk1nut@...> wrote:

              >
              > 1. The 8 pos rotary switch is a good idea, access
              > from the outside
              > through a hole with a screen print giving indication
              > of the 8
              > positions could be handy.This means there would not
              > be any need to
              > open the case to change frequencies.

              This is one concern and it kind of goes against my
              original design concept. Obviously, the unit is no
              way water proof, but it could be semi-weatherproof
              with as little holes as possible. That is the main
              reason I did not want to add any other holes to the
              case.

              > 2. Are the frequencies going to be fully defined by
              > the user (user
              > can define any freq within the hardware limits of
              > the Transceiver?)

              The frequencies will be fully defined by the end user.
              The plan is to have an 8 row table in the config
              software. This is where the user can type in any 8
              frequencies, that fall within the transmitter's range.

              Jason KE4NYV
              RPC Electronics
              www.rpc-electronics.com
            • trevorhardisty
              ... Looks good ... good idea, price? ... Price sounds good to me, when will it be available? ... Trevor
              Message 6 of 9 , Nov 17, 2007
                --- In rtrak@yahoogroups.com, "Jason" <lists@...> wrote:
                >
                > Please check the "Photos" section of the group. There is a new
                > folder called "RTrak V 1.6" and it contains pictures of the latest
                > RTrak board, including the first case that I hand milled for
                > testing. Be gentle, that milling was done with a hand drill and it
                > was a bit off. The milled end plates will be done by a professional
                > shop and will fit just right.

                Looks good
                >
                > This version contains a not-yet available, enhanced version of the
                > SMT OpenTracker 1+. This version is 28 pins and contains SPI lines
                > to control the MX-146 transmitter. Scott had the foresight to "add"
                > the additonal pins to the bottom of the pin rows, on the module,
                > allowing for the original 24 pin module to still be used. All RTraks
                > will ship with this new 28 pin version.
                >
                > You will also see a 16 position HEX rotary switch in the top right
                > corner of the board. This will be used for frequency selection. The
                > proposed method is to have a frequency table in the OpenTracker
                > config software that can hold up to eight frequencies. Any of these
                > eight will be selectable by choosing between positions 0 and 8. This
                > will be used for single frequency beaconing. When selecting
                > positions 9 through F, you can select one of the first eight, as well
                > as a pre-determined secondary frequency for dual frequency
                > beaconing. Using this method will allow you to switch between these
                > two modes easily, without the need of a computer to change. Please,
                > share your comments on this.
                >
                > Last, there is a 5th picture in the folder that shows a Pelican case
                > that has been "plucked" to hold a RTrak, GPS antenna, power cable and
                > programming cable. I would like to hear if there is any interest in
                > these cases. If there is enough demand, I will offer these as an
                > extra accessory to the RTrak package, pre "plucked" of course!

                good idea, price?


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

                Price sounds good to me, when will it be available?

                > Thank you very much for all of the input on and off of this SIG!
                >
                > Jason KE4NYV
                > RPC Electronics
                > www.rpc-electronics.com
                >
                Trevor
              • Jason
                ... Glenn, I have given this some more thought and I think I am going to stick with not drilling the hole before the unit ships, but I am going to have
                Message 7 of 9 , Nov 28, 2007
                  --- In rtrak@yahoogroups.com, "vk1nut" <vk1nut@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > 1. The 8 pos rotary switch is a good idea, access from the outside
                  > through a hole with a screen print giving indication of the 8
                  > positions could be handy.This means there would not be any need to
                  > open the case to change frequencies.

                  Glenn, I have given this some more thought and I think I am going to
                  stick with not drilling the hole before the unit ships, but I am
                  going to have instructions on the website, along with dimensions to
                  allow the end user to drill the hole themselves.

                  Thanks!
                  Jason KE4NYV
                  RPC Electronics
                  www.rpc-electronics.com
                • Michael Crowder
                  Will the $250 include the nice carrying case as well? -- Michael KB4LFH
                  Message 8 of 9 , Nov 29, 2007
                    Will the $250 include the nice carrying case as well?

                    --
                    Michael
                    KB4LFH


                    --- In rtrak@yahoogroups.com, "Jason" <lists@...> wrote:

                    > Now, to answer the main question! "How much is it?" We have settled
                    > on a price of $250 per unit. This will include, the RTrak (with
                    > case), GPS patch antenna, lighter power cable, programming cable and
                    > manual.
                  • Jason
                    ... No, I can t quite get them that cheap. I will however pre pluck the foam so that your RTrak kit will fit right out of the box. The target price on the
                    Message 9 of 9 , Nov 29, 2007
                      --- In rtrak@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Crowder" <sonex293@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Will the $250 include the nice carrying case as well?

                      No, I can't quite get them that cheap. I will however pre "pluck"
                      the foam so that your RTrak kit will fit right out of the box. The
                      target price on the Pelican case is about $35 each.

                      Thanks!
                      Jason KE4NYV
                      RPC Electronics
                      www.rpc-electronics.com
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