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23490Re: [aprsisce] Re: OT Micro/Mini (Was:Golden Packet and APRSIS32 UIFLOOD)

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  • Mark Petiford
    Jul 23, 2013
      But, Fred, that means I probably need to go to the mall!!!  Last time I was asked to go there, my daughter told me she wanted me to take her to go shopping.  I told her that if I wanted to go stand around a bunch of clothes that have never been worn, I would simply go stand in her closet!

      Thanks for the suggestions.  This morning, I was looking at the dimensions for this thing, and it looks like the PC board is .758 wide.  My USB ports on my laptop are spaced .75 center to center.  Those are, of course, in inches.  I was trying to preserve the ability to use both USB ports at the same time without resorting to extension cables, but with that width, my goal won't be possible.  I just measured by USB to Serial adapter (not required for this device) and it is even wider at .85 wide, so it looks like short extender cables are the way to go.  I know I can plug in 2 standard extender cables at the same time, so I think I will just punt and make the enclosure out of whatever is available.  I will probably just use the heat shrink in the short term, and make something a bit more substantial when I get some time.  I haven't made a PC board enclosure in years, so maybe I will give that a try...not this week, but a good winter project.  Not sure how RF proof that will be since it needs a window to "see" the RF from the satellites.  Makes the toothbrush cover look better.  I will look strange in the drugstore or the mall with my calipers measuring toothbrush covers!  My kids will never be seen with me again! <g>  As I look at this thing, it might be less vulnerable using an extender cable than it is sticking out of the back of my laptop.

      All of this is a work-in-progress in preparation for a cross country road trip beginning Saturday.  I will probably use KE6BB-2 which is my APRSIS32 instance on my very old laptop.  With 384megs of memory, it is the poor man's version of a netbook <g>.  I call it "re-purposing".

      <rant>  BTW, to convert the TRRS connector on the Micro to a useable plug, I tried an ipod adapter cable that came with my iPod mini (or is it a micro?).  The TRRS male end would go to the T3-Micro, and the other end is a USB male.  I had a USB female from dead USB hub, but the whole lash-up won't really work because Apple puts a 160K resistor in the shield cable!  Not sure why, but that is what it measures!!!  Couldn't believe it.  That is why I ordered the adapter from the Amazon supplier.  I think they will sell more and more of those as TRRS becomes the new standard.  Someone could make a little money developing and marketing a TRRS male that doesn't require special tooling to solder.  Insulation that doesn't melt would help.  Silver plating on the pads would help.  Do I sound bitter concerning the TRRS plug?  Haven't posted anything on the T2 group.  Not a member of that one.  When I get this figured out, I will give Argent Data (Scott) some feedback.  If it were me, I would suggest they simply offer an adapter on their site, or at least a TRRS connector with an unterminated cable.  They aren't really terribly expensive, but shipping hurts.  That could be avoided by ordering it in the same shipment as the T3-Micro. </rant>

      Sorry this got so long (no I'm not!).  Thanks for listening.


      From: Fred Hillhouse <fmhillhouse@...>
      To: aprsisce@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 8:23 AM
      Subject: RE: [aprsisce] Re: OT Micro/Mini (Was:Golden Packet and APRSIS32 UIFLOOD)

      I found a metal cigar tube with a screw top at one time but it would be long.
      You might hit an accessory shop for earrings, etc. They sometimes have small case for earrings, pills, etc. If you're lucky, you might even get Hello Kitty on it! :)
      Best regards,
      Fred N7FMH

      From: aprsisce@yahoogroups.com [mailto:aprsisce@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mark Petiford
      Sent: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 11:14
      To: aprsisce@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [aprsisce] Re: OT Micro/Mini (Was:Golden Packet and APRSIS32 UIFLOOD)

      Ooo! Thanks, Jim.  That's a good idea.  I will look at them today.  I was going to carve out a dental floss dispenser, but it was really a bit too wide making it impossible to plug the micro into a USB port is another USB device was next to it.  I also have a piece of heat shrink tube that I didn't use from a very old Softrock SDR kit.  It looks about right, but I like the hard case solution better. 

      I would prefer a metal case to help keep RF out, but Altoids tins are too big, even the small ones.  I can find thin wall tubing that is good in the lateral direction but will block usb ports above and below the micro is installed in.  At one point, we had a hardware store that had some aluminum extrusion that might work, but the display was gone when I checked it the other day.  Haven't looked for it on the internet.

      The connector is the real problem.  Finally ordered a pre-made cable that will let me split out the TRRS into common 3.5mm TRS (stereo) connectors.  The TRRS connectors are the wave of the future, but they are really tough to solder.  I have made almost all of my cables for the entire length of my ham radio career, but this one did me in.  The combination of very small solder pads, insulation that melts at or below the solder temperature, and nickel plating did me in.  I finally ordered a breakout cable from an Amazon supplier.  It wasn't the cost of the cable that hurt, it was the shipping...especially since I need it this week:


      So far, this thing has been unflappable (that's a good thing).  It has been powered on for several days now, although most of the time the Comm port is not enabled.  It goes into a sleep mode, but when I enable the comm port, the GPS spits out data immediately.  That means that if I keep power to it all the time, it will be locked on and ready to go as soon as my radios and computer are up.  Since it goes into sleep mode when the comm port is not active, it won't run the battery down...although it probably doesn't draw enough current to worry about even when active.  Still have to get it up an running with a radio, and drive it around a bit this week.


      From: Jim Walters - N4SAR <n4sar@...>
      To: aprsisce@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 7:50 AM
      Subject: [aprsisce] Re: OT Micro/Mini (Was:Golden Packet and APRSIS32 UIFLOOD)

      Try a toothbrush cover as a micro case?

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