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RE: [aprsisce] Re: Argent Data T3-Micro Initial Look

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  • Fred Hillhouse
    Don t forget to post a photo! Best regards, Fred N7FMH _____ From: aprsisce@yahoogroups.com [mailto:aprsisce@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of KE6BB Sent: Sunday,
    Message 1 of 18 , Jul 22, 2013
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      Don't forget to post a photo!
       
      Best regards,
      Fred N7FMH


      From: aprsisce@yahoogroups.com [mailto:aprsisce@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of KE6BB
      Sent: Sunday, July 21, 2013 23:25
      To: aprsisce@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [aprsisce] Re: Argent Data T3-Micro Initial Look

       

      Sunday update:

      Got away from the relatives for a few minutes to try and solder the connector up. Well, I almost destroyed it. I will probably go buy a cable for an i-thingie, cut it in half, and splice io the Motorola cable.

      More tomorrow. Back to the relatives for now.

      Mark
      KE6BB

      --- In aprsisce@yahoogroups.com, "KE6BB" <rv6amark@...> wrote:
      >
      > I finally received my T3-Micro. I bought this unit for evaluation, but especially because it has GPS Passthru. I think I can put that to use. Here is my very early experience in getting it working:
      >
      > 1. Using the OTWINCFG utility from the Argent Data site, check the USB KISS box (keeps the unit in KISS mode for use with APRSISCE/32) and the NMEA P/T box (enables NMEA Pass Through) on the right side of the screen. You may also want to configure PTT on the lower right side of the screen for your radio. Don't forget to WRITE the data to the device before exiting.
      >
      > 2. Set up a "Simply KISS" port in APRSISCE/32 (CONFIGURE>PORTS>New Port) using the comm port that Windows assigns to the T3 (be sure the T3-Micro is plugged in so Win can see it). Win 7 is better about not reassigning comm ports than XT was, so you probably won't need to change it in the future unless you use a lot of USB devices. Be sure and check the GPS/NMEA box on the Configure Ports dialog box. If you don't, APRSIS32 will not do anything with the GPS data that comes through the port. By default, the T3-Micro is a 9600 baud device for everything, serial port and GPS (they are really the same port).
      >
      > 3. Change the NMEA port to blank. That will eliminate the NMEA OPEN message at the top of the scroller.
      >
      > 4. Enable GPS (ENABLE>GPS)and wait, wait, and wait for the GPS on the T3 Micro. This shouldn't take so long if you have a clear view of the sky. Above the scroller, you should see APRS-IS OK (if you have it enabled), <yourPortName> OK, but no NMEA OPEN. If you see the NMEA OPEN, you probably haven't set up step 3 correctly.
      >
      > This only covers the GPS Passthru effort. Much of it was figured out by trial and error. I think I documented it correctly, but I'm not betting a paycheck on that yet.
      >
      > My first try resulted in the icon wandering all around the neighborhood (well, not really that bad). See the aprs.fi display of my KE6BB-10 instance:
      >
      > http://aprs.fi/#!mt=roadmap&z=19&call=a%2FKE6BB-10&others=1&timerange=604800&tail=604800
      >
      > The unit was on the north side of the first floor of a two story house with no southern windows visible. I don't think many of my other GPS's will even get a fix from there. This one saw between 6 and 8 satellites, but obviously wasn't doing real well since it would occasionally lose the fix momentarily. I will take it out and about when I get more time today.
      >
      > Next priorities:
      >
      > 1. Make some kind of enclosure. It is vulnerable to static discharge damage as it is. Something the size of a package of gum should work with some modification.
      > 2. Take it outside to see if the accuracy improves. I suspect it will.
      > 3. Get this thing working with a radio.
      > 4. Be sure its tracker function is disabled. I have done this with my OT1+ and OT-USB trackers, so I know it isn't difficult. I just haven't spent any time on that yet.
      > 5. Figure out how to profile switch without the computer. I can do that with my OT-USB by using GPS valid check to determine which port I use. More on that later.
      > 6. See just how and where I am going to use it to reduce cable clutter.
      >
      > So far, after eliminating all of my bone-headed, loose nut-on-the-mouse mistakes, it works as expected.
      >
      > Mark
      > KE6BB
      >

    • KE6BB
      I finally received a cable that splits out the TRRS (Tip, Ring1, Ring2, Shield) connector into two TRS (Tip, Ring, Shield also known as 3.5mm stereo)
      Message 2 of 18 , Jul 25, 2013
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        I finally received a cable that splits out the TRRS (Tip, Ring1, Ring2, Shield) connector into two TRS (Tip, Ring, Shield also known as 3.5mm stereo) connectors. I was hoping that it would work as wired, but it won't. Ring2 is common to the Shield connection on both connectors. The T3-Micro is expecting the Shield (Ground) to be common to both TRS Shield terminals. So, I cut the TRRS connector off of it, and now have the whole thing lashed up running my KE6BB I-gate instance. It is working great, maybe slightly better than the OT-1+ that it replaced. Certainly isn't as sensitive to RF in the room. It rivals the TT-4 that I was using several years ago. I have successfully operated it in the KISS mode with APRSIS32 and GPS pass-through on a Win 7 machine and an XT machine.

        It turns out, Argent Data did the logical thing with the TRRS connector and made the shield of both TRS connectors common to the shield connection of the TRRS. Apparently, consumer electronics make the TRRS Ring2 connection common to both shield connections of the TRS connectors. I don't have a clue as to why they would do such a thing.

        Once I solder and insulate all the connections, I will transfer it over to my wife's car in preparation for a cross country trip next week, probably as KE6BB-2.

        I have revised the instructions for setting it up a slightly. No major change from what I posted earlier, but broke some of the steps out and added a couple of small things to check. Will post those shortly. Will try to take some pictures and draw a schematic or two also.

        I know, Fred, my homework is late! <g>

        Mark
        KE6BB

        --- In aprsisce@yahoogroups.com, "KE6BB" <rv6amark@...> wrote:
        >
        > I finally received my T3-Micro. I bought this unit for evaluation, but especially because it has GPS Passthru. I think I can put that to use. Here is my very early experience in getting it working:
        >
        > 1. Using the OTWINCFG utility from the Argent Data site, check the USB KISS box...
      • KE6BB
        Hello all, I ve had relatives visiting all week, so the progress on the cable was very slow. I did get the commercial TRRS to 2X TRS modified so the S
        Message 3 of 18 , Jul 27, 2013
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          Hello all,

          I've had relatives visiting all week, so the progress on the cable was very slow. I did get the commercial "TRRS to 2X TRS" modified so the S terminals are common (ground), and the proper signals go to the proper places. For the splitter that I got, it was really just a case of swapping the R2 wire and the S wire. Didn't know that until I really had it hacked up, though because it was impossible to tell where they had made the wires "common". It wasn't obvious until I got everything opened up.

          I got the T3-Micro to transmit and decode with the cable lashed up with clip leads on the table, then soldered everything together. Before I heated the heat-shrink tubing, I decided to try it again. Well, it had some problems. No TX or RX decode at all. Tried some quick checks thinking that a solder connection had come lose, but the end-to-end checks looked good. I really didn't have time to troubleshoot it much, though. As I think back, I may have turned the radio's audio down to eliminate the noise (APRS packets from the local digi) while I was soldering, and forgot to turn it back up. Not sure why the TX light would not light up. I will figure it all out, but it does take time. I need to sit down with this thing and the otwincfg.exe utility. The utility has some good tools.

          The best thing Argent Data could do is offer a splitter cable that is wired for this thing. Us shaky handed old guys would be happy to buy it. In the meantime, I am convinced that my cable making days are over...at least for anything smaller than RG-8 <g>!

          Early tomorrow, I am off on a week-long drive to the midwest (KE6BB-2) but I won't be using the T3-Micro as planned. I will try to publish better setup instructions and some schematics of my splitter cable mod when I get back.

          Once again, thank you Lynn, for the great program. One of the reasons I bought the T3-Micro was to have an excuse to mess with APRSIS32 again.

          Mark
          KE6BB-2 (all week)


          --- In aprsisce@yahoogroups.com, "KE6BB" <rv6amark@...> wrote:
          >
          > I finally received a cable that splits out the TRRS (Tip, Ring1, Ring2, Shield) connector into two TRS (Tip, Ring, Shield also known as 3.5mm stereo) connectors...
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