Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

initial use of RTrak and request for LED description

Expand Messages
  • gopherbar
    Hello! I finally got the ancillary bits together to try out my RTrak in preparation for mounting in motorbike. I m disappointed that I seem to be overlooking
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 19, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      Hello!
      I finally got the ancillary bits together to try out my RTrak in preparation for mounting in motorbike. I'm disappointed that I seem to be overlooking *something* to show up on http://www.nwaprs.net/

      My RTrak setup uses a small gel-battery, with 11.x volts showing in the RTrak programmer diagnostic. I've tried both a Smiley "1/2 wave" 2m antenna (1.2 SWR) and the intended 1/4 wave antenna for the motorbike, which uses a small aluminum travel rack as the "counterpoise" (2.1 SWR). I used the programmer to initially update the default settings with my call sign, our local path (WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 per http://www.nwaprs.info/) and frequency of 144.390 MHz.

      We have enough APRS traffic that it is hard to tell if my unit is transimitting, using an HT to monitor. I moved up to 144.79 and, as a clear channel, found the RTrak to transmit fine.

      Initially, I tested inside my house but have now set the unit outside with a clear view of the sky. Maybe it takes awhile to show up in the tracking system?

      In any case, I am asking for guidance diagnosing what the RTrak is doing. One piece of information to get me started might be an explanation of what the LEDs show in "program" and "run" modes. In run mode, mine seem to blink red counting seconds over the interval between transmissions, then either some red or green flashes.

      thanks for the help, hugh
      AA0HP Seattle
    • Keith VE7GDH
      Hugh AA0HP wrote... ... Your path and frequency should be OK, but you could try 144.990 to see if anything is listening on that frequency in Seattle. My
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 23, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        Hugh AA0HP wrote...

        > My RTrak setup uses a small gel-battery, with 11.x volts showing in
        > the RTrak programmer diagnostic. I've tried both a Smiley "1/2 wave"
        > 2m antenna (1.2 SWR) and the intended 1/4 wave antenna for the
        > motorbike, which uses a small aluminum travel rack as the
        > "counterpoise" (2.1 SWR). I used the programmer to initially update
        > the default settings with my call sign, our local path
        > (WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 per http://www.nwaprs.info/) and frequency
        > of 144.390 MHz.

        Your path and frequency should be OK, but you could try 144.990 to see
        if anything is listening on that frequency in Seattle. My results with
        an RTrak with a rubber duck or quarter wave right on the RTrak, with or
        without an additional ground plane were abysmal. However, as soon as I
        went to a half wave mag mount, performance (at least where I live) was
        as good as a tracker using an OT1x and an FT-1500 running 10W connected
        to a 5/8.

        I know you have verified that your RTrak is transmitting, but having
        another TNC and radio for testing would be really useful. If you don't
        have a TNC, are there any other APRS users close to your location?

        > One piece of information to get me started might be an explanation of
        > what the LEDs show in "program" and "run" modes.

        The red power LED should be on all of the time. The activity light will
        flash a double-red while the GPS is acquiring and a single green after
        it has a fix. It be red when it transmits.

        73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
        --
        "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.