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GPS problem?

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  • Norm Barton
    Recently... my RTrak has developed a problem with getting a GPS lock... several tests show that it takes 3 hours from power up of unit until GPS lock and
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 24, 2008
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      Recently... my RTrak has developed a problem with getting a GPS
      lock... several tests show that it takes 3 hours from power up of unit
      until GPS lock and beacon... then it works fine (several hours) until
      I shut down and reapply power... another 3 hours to GPS lock... all
      under same conditions with GPS antenna in good location... I have
      searched the files here but did not find a similar problem...

      Any suggestions?

      Thanks
      Norm ve7bzc
    • Keith VE7GDH
      Norm VE7BZC wrote... ... Is it one of the early ones that needed the capacitor mod on the regulator that feeds the GPS receiver so the voltage out of the
      Message 2 of 7 , Nov 24, 2008
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        Norm VE7BZC wrote...

        > Recently... my RTrak has developed a problem with getting a GPS
        > lock... several tests show that it takes 3 hours from power up of unit
        > until GPS lock and beacon... then it works fine (several hours) until
        > I shut down and reapply power... another 3 hours to GPS lock... all
        > under same conditions with GPS antenna in good location... I have
        > searched the files here but did not find a similar problem...

        Is it one of the early ones that needed the capacitor mod on the
        regulator that feeds the GPS receiver so the voltage out of the
        regulator ramped up more slowly? How much current is it drawing
        when you first power it on? What is the draw when you power cycle
        it? If you can't measure the current, does the case get noticeably
        warm after a while? If you pop the lid and power it on, the regulators
        should be cool. If you power cycle it and it draws abnormal current, the
        voltage regulator feeding the GPS receiver will run warm... if it
        doesn't have the capacitor mod.

        73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
        --
        "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
      • Jason Rausch
        Keith pretty much touched on all of the key things to check out. There is a good chance that if your unit it from the first round, you are experiencing the
        Message 3 of 7 , Nov 25, 2008
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          Keith pretty much touched on all of the key things to check out.
          There is a good chance that if your unit it from the first round, you
          are experiencing the high current, "toasty tracker" problem. The cap
          is a must-do to fix this problem. My offer to mod for those who
          already have units or send them a free cap to do it themselves is
          still open.

          Also, please check your GPS antenna cable. Has it been slammed in
          any doors or beat up? One customer sent me back a GPS antenna from
          his RTrak that had a pretty good pinch it in from a car door. It
          worked on and off because there were times he was in the shade and
          the antenna was not able to pick up anything, but when he had a
          clear, open view of the sky, it worked. My only guess is that the
          antenna had a very poor signal getting from it to the RTrak and had a
          fighting chance with the full view and the shaded times were just
          enough to kill it all together.

          Jason KE4NYV
          RPC Electronics
          www.rpc-electronics.com


          --- In RTrak@yahoogroups.com, "Keith VE7GDH" <ve7gdh@...> wrote:
          >
          > Norm VE7BZC wrote...
          >
          > > Recently... my RTrak has developed a problem with getting a GPS
          > > lock... several tests show that it takes 3 hours from power up of
          unit
          > > until GPS lock and beacon... then it works fine (several hours)
          until
          > > I shut down and reapply power... another 3 hours to GPS lock...
          all
          > > under same conditions with GPS antenna in good location... I have
          > > searched the files here but did not find a similar problem...
          >
          > Is it one of the early ones that needed the capacitor mod on the
          > regulator that feeds the GPS receiver so the voltage out of the
          > regulator ramped up more slowly? How much current is it drawing
          > when you first power it on? What is the draw when you power cycle
          > it? If you can't measure the current, does the case get noticeably
          > warm after a while? If you pop the lid and power it on, the
          regulators
          > should be cool. If you power cycle it and it draws abnormal
          current, the
          > voltage regulator feeding the GPS receiver will run warm... if it
          > doesn't have the capacitor mod.
          >
          > 73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
          > --
          > "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
          >
        • UI-view
          Thank you Jason and Keith... I will be working on your suggestions and report back when completed... Norm ve7bzc
          Message 4 of 7 , Nov 27, 2008
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            Thank you Jason and Keith...



            I will be working on your suggestions and report back when completed...



            Norm ve7bzc
          • Norm Barton
            ... To Jason and Keith, and any others interested: My findings: Voltage to GPS antenna = 3.0 Vdc Current draw 32 mA (no abnormal current draw on power up)
            Message 5 of 7 , Nov 29, 2008
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              --- In RTrak@yahoogroups.com, "Jason Rausch" <lists@...> wrote:
              >
              > Keith pretty much touched on all of the key things to check out.
              > There is a good chance that if your unit it from the first round, you
              > are experiencing the high current, "toasty tracker" problem. The cap
              > is a must-do to fix this problem. My offer to mod for those who
              > already have units or send them a free cap to do it themselves is
              > still open.
              >
              > Also, please check your GPS antenna cable. Has it been slammed in
              > any doors or beat up? One customer sent me back a GPS antenna from
              > his RTrak that had a pretty good pinch it in from a car door. It
              > worked on and off because there were times he was in the shade and
              > the antenna was not able to pick up anything, but when he had a
              > clear, open view of the sky, it worked. My only guess is that the
              > antenna had a very poor signal getting from it to the RTrak and had a
              > fighting chance with the full view and the shaded times were just
              > enough to kill it all together.
              >
              > Jason KE4NYV
              > RPC Electronics
              > www.rpc-electronics.com
              >
              >
              > --- In RTrak@yahoogroups.com, "Keith VE7GDH" <ve7gdh@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Norm VE7BZC wrote...
              > >
              > > > Recently... my RTrak has developed a problem with getting a GPS
              > > > lock... several tests show that it takes 3 hours from power up of
              > unit
              > > > until GPS lock and beacon... then it works fine (several hours)
              > until
              > > > I shut down and reapply power... another 3 hours to GPS lock...
              > all
              > > > under same conditions with GPS antenna in good location... I have
              > > > searched the files here but did not find a similar problem...
              > >
              > > Is it one of the early ones that needed the capacitor mod on the
              > > regulator that feeds the GPS receiver so the voltage out of the
              > > regulator ramped up more slowly? How much current is it drawing
              > > when you first power it on? What is the draw when you power cycle
              > > it? If you can't measure the current, does the case get noticeably
              > > warm after a while? If you pop the lid and power it on, the
              > regulators
              > > should be cool. If you power cycle it and it draws abnormal
              > current, the
              > > voltage regulator feeding the GPS receiver will run warm... if it
              > > doesn't have the capacitor mod.
              > >
              > > 73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
              > > --
              > > "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
              > >
              >

              To Jason and Keith, and any others interested:

              My findings:

              Voltage to GPS antenna = 3.0 Vdc
              Current draw 32 mA (no abnormal current draw on power up)

              Inspection shows that the 'cap' mod has been done.
              The LM317 regulator does not run hot.

              A simple cable inspection and 'shake' test for breaks, with meter
              attached to cable, did not produce any noticeable results.

              I am considering the purchase of another GPS antenna, to use as a
              spare and to eliminate the GPS antenna as the problem.

              Thanks again for your suggestions.

              73
              Norm ve7bzc
            • Keith VE7GDH
              Norm VE7BZC wrote... ... Everything sounds pretty normal... except you mentioned earlier that it takes 3 hours to get a lock! Try connecting it to a PC with a
              Message 6 of 7 , Nov 29, 2008
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                Norm VE7BZC wrote...

                > Voltage to GPS antenna = 3.0 Vdc / Current draw 32 mA...
                > Inspection shows that the 'cap' mod has been done.
                > The LM317 regulator does not run hot.
                > A simple cable inspection and 'shake' test for breaks, with meter
                > attached to cable, did not produce any noticeable results...

                Everything sounds pretty normal... except you mentioned earlier that it
                takes 3 hours to get a lock! Try connecting it to a PC with a null modem
                adapter or cable in line with the programming cable. You should see
                NMEA data in a terminal program, or better yet, fire up something
                like VisualGPS to take a look at the data it is spitting out.

                73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                --
                "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
              • Jason Rausch
                Norm, Did you ever get this sorted out? Jason KE4NYV RPC Electronics www.rpc-electronics.com ... that it ... modem
                Message 7 of 7 , Jan 5, 2009
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                  Norm,

                  Did you ever get this sorted out?

                  Jason KE4NYV
                  RPC Electronics
                  www.rpc-electronics.com

                  --- In RTrak@yahoogroups.com, "Keith VE7GDH" <ve7gdh@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Norm VE7BZC wrote...
                  >
                  > > Voltage to GPS antenna = 3.0 Vdc / Current draw 32 mA...
                  > > Inspection shows that the 'cap' mod has been done.
                  > > The LM317 regulator does not run hot.
                  > > A simple cable inspection and 'shake' test for breaks, with meter
                  > > attached to cable, did not produce any noticeable results...
                  >
                  > Everything sounds pretty normal... except you mentioned earlier
                  that it
                  > takes 3 hours to get a lock! Try connecting it to a PC with a null
                  modem
                  > adapter or cable in line with the programming cable. You should see
                  > NMEA data in a terminal program, or better yet, fire up something
                  > like VisualGPS to take a look at the data it is spitting out.
                  >
                  > 73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                  > --
                  > "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
                  >
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