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Re: [tracker2] Replacing Older OT1m System

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  • Matthew Cook
    I ve already stumped the pennies into a T2 + Alinco HT for my yacht at least. The scripts were easily written, mind you took me a while to debug. To solve
    Message 1 of 13 , Jan 16, 2013
      I've already stumped the pennies into a T2 + Alinco HT for my yacht at least.  The scripts were easily written, mind you took me a while to debug.

      To solve this GPS Power/APRS tracker problem I've been working on a MSP430 that sits between the T2 and the GPS.  The MSP430 puts the GPS (ublox) into binary low power mode (hot start) and implements a variable GPS polling period (based upon speed) and then simply tells lies to the T2 every second by sending fake NMEA sentances.  The MSP430 currently adds 2mA to my overall consumption.  I've down to 25-27mA depending on how to look at the AVO.

      The MSP430 sits there and polls the GPS and watches the speed.  If the speed starts to change then the GPS polling period is varied, this should sound familiar?  Yes I've simply copied the SmartBeaconing(TM) algorithm again.

      Anyway if we could get a T3 that can read any one of the GPS units in a low power (and if necessary binary) mode and poll the GPS for a position before transmit then I'd certainly be looking for such a unit.  Programming my MSP430 is a PITA, since I've got to copy the SmartBeaconing parameters out of the T2 and feed them into my software.  It works but it's certainly not production ready, nor do I wish to release/develop this further.  Was just trying to solve the same problem as Marc.

      I hope that the ideas above gives Scott some thoughts as to how this low power GPS mode could be useful.

      I've found the hot start mechanism in the Atmel ublox is pretty good, meaning the positions when polled are coming out as expected.  The prolific chipsets I had no end of trouble with in general.  They were not as well supported as the ublox in terms of others having used them.

      With regard to the GPS, having a unit that can mount on the deck of the boat and sends serial back (hockey puck style) would be preferable to say a GPS module within the T3.  An internal module would require an external antenna with active preamp to get around the cable loss and NF issues, which adds 10-12mA to the overall current consumption; this will blow your power budget.

      The HT and T2 I've hidden under the deck using the HT rubber duck.  I've found that this gets into the local APRS system well when the boat is on the hard and isn't too shabby when out to sea.  I'm luck that my boat is plywood/fibreglass so no issues with faraday shields etc.  External 2m marine antennas aren't easily obtainable here in Australia, I'm certainly interested in any suggestions other APRS yachties might have, especially dual band inc 70cm :)

      73's

      Matthew
      VK5ZM

      On 16 January 2013 15:10, James Ewen <ve6srv@...> wrote:
       

      On Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 8:42 PM, Matthew Cook vk5zm@...> wrote:

      > Scott if you were to look at low power modes then it would be worth
      > switching to the binary protocol and looking for a GPS module with hot start
      > capabilities. I think it wouldn 't be too hard to then put in a script
      > that allowed us to switch profiles when the boat starts to move, which then
      > switches from a 30min update rate to a smart beaconing routine taylored for
      > yachts/power boats.

      We already have the scripting capability, profile switching based on
      speed, and fixed rate/SmartBeaconing. Using the binary protocol
      however would mean that you would be limited one one specific GPS, or
      series of GPS as each one will have a proprietary communications
      protocol. NMEA is a common language.


      > It's then just a simple matter of switching the HT at
      > the appropriate time. It would also be nice if we could somehow get the
      > PARAM information into the TNC so that APRS.fi can give us pretty graphs of
      > battery volts etc.

      You can do that with scripting right now. Not many places display the
      telemetry parameters. If you are only wanting to get the parameters
      into aprs.fi, you can simply send the parameters once, and they will
      "stick" for a very long time.


      > I'd certainly be willing to buy/build/test such a unit.
      > I've got two boats to test it on (yes I'm greedy and likes my
      > boating/fishing), and a mate of mine has a shiny new sports car that sits in
      > his garage that wants one also. Definitely food for thought.

      Pony up the pennies... you've got 95% of what you are asking for
      sitting on the shelf!

      The OT+ will do everything you want except talk in a proprietary
      binary mode to the GPS of your choice, and poll it for a position.

      --
      James
      VE6SRV




      --
      Matthew
      VK5ZM
      0487 653 245
    • Matthew Cook
      I ve already stumped the pennies into a T2 + Alinco HT for my yacht at least. The scripts were easily written, mind you took me a while to debug. To solve
      Message 2 of 13 , Jan 16, 2013
        I've already stumped the pennies into a T2 + Alinco HT for my yacht at least.  The scripts were easily written, mind you took me a while to debug.

        To solve this GPS Power/APRS tracker problem I've been working on a MSP430 that sits between the T2 and the GPS.  The MSP430 puts the GPS (ublox) into binary low power mode (hot start) and implements a variable GPS polling period (based upon speed) and then simply tells lies to the T2 every second by sending fake NMEA sentances.  The MSP430 currently adds 2mA to my overall consumption.  I've down to 25-27mA depending on how to look at the AVO.

        The MSP430 sits there and polls the GPS and watches the speed.  If the speed starts to change then the GPS polling period is varied, this should sound familiar?  Yes I've simply copied the SmartBeaconing(TM) algorithm again.

        Anyway if we could get a T3 that can read any one of the GPS units in a low power (and if necessary binary) mode and poll the GPS for a position before transmit then I'd certainly be looking for such a unit.  Programming my MSP430 is a PITA, since I've got to copy the SmartBeaconing parameters out of the T2 and feed them into my software.  It works but it's certainly not production ready, nor do I wish to release/develop this further.  Was just trying to solve the same problem as Marc.

        I hope that the ideas above gives Scott some thoughts as to how this low power GPS mode could be useful.

        I've found the hot start mechanism in the Atmel ublox is pretty good, meaning the positions when polled are coming out as expected.  The prolific chipsets I had no end of trouble with in general.  They were not as well supported as the ublox in terms of others having used them.

        With regard to the GPS, having a unit that can mount on the deck of the boat and sends serial back (hockey puck style) would be preferable to say a GPS module within the T3.  An internal module would require an external antenna with active preamp to get around the cable loss and NF issues, which adds 10-12mA to the overall current consumption; this will blow your power budget.

        The HT and T2 I've hidden under the deck using the HT rubber duck.  I've found that this gets into the local APRS system well when the boat is on the hard and isn't too shabby when out to sea.  I'm luck that my boat is plywood/fibreglass so no issues with faraday shields etc.  External 2m marine antennas aren't easily obtainable here in Australia, I'm certainly interested in any suggestions other APRS yachties might have, especially dual band inc 70cm :)

        73's

        Matthew
        VK5ZM

        On 16 January 2013 15:10, James Ewen <ve6srv@...> wrote:
         

        On Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 8:42 PM, Matthew Cook vk5zm@...> wrote:

        > Scott if you were to look at low power modes then it would be worth
        > switching to the binary protocol and looking for a GPS module with hot start
        > capabilities. I think it wouldn 't be too hard to then put in a script
        > that allowed us to switch profiles when the boat starts to move, which then
        > switches from a 30min update rate to a smart beaconing routine taylored for
        > yachts/power boats.

        We already have the scripting capability, profile switching based on
        speed, and fixed rate/SmartBeaconing. Using the binary protocol
        however would mean that you would be limited one one specific GPS, or
        series of GPS as each one will have a proprietary communications
        protocol. NMEA is a common language.


        > It's then just a simple matter of switching the HT at
        > the appropriate time. It would also be nice if we could somehow get the
        > PARAM information into the TNC so that APRS.fi can give us pretty graphs of
        > battery volts etc.

        You can do that with scripting right now. Not many places display the
        telemetry parameters. If you are only wanting to get the parameters
        into aprs.fi, you can simply send the parameters once, and they will
        "stick" for a very long time.


        > I'd certainly be willing to buy/build/test such a unit.
        > I've got two boats to test it on (yes I'm greedy and likes my
        > boating/fishing), and a mate of mine has a shiny new sports car that sits in
        > his garage that wants one also. Definitely food for thought.

        Pony up the pennies... you've got 95% of what you are asking for
        sitting on the shelf!

        The OT+ will do everything you want except talk in a proprietary
        binary mode to the GPS of your choice, and poll it for a position.

        --
        James
        VE6SRV




        --
        Matthew
        VK5ZM
        0487 653 245
      • Scott Miller
        Hi Matthew, I think you ve shared some of the documentation with me before, but it s been a while and I don t remember the details. I d be happy to look over
        Message 3 of 13 , Jan 16, 2013
          Hi Matthew,

          I think you've shared some of the documentation with me before, but it's
          been a while and I don't remember the details. I'd be happy to look
          over it again and see if I can incorporate some of that into the T3 and
          maybe the T2. Turns out one compiler optimization wasn't enabled and I
          have something like 800 bytes to work with on the T2 now!

          Scott

          On 1/16/2013 8:23 PM, Matthew Cook wrote:
          > I've already stumped the pennies into a T2 + Alinco HT for my yacht at
          > least. The scripts were easily written, mind you took me a while to debug.
          >
          > To solve this GPS Power/APRS tracker problem I've been working on a
          > MSP430 that sits between the T2 and the GPS. The MSP430 puts the GPS
          > (ublox) into binary low power mode (hot start) and implements a variable
          > GPS polling period (based upon speed) and then simply tells lies to the
          > T2 every second by sending fake NMEA sentances. The MSP430 currently
          > adds 2mA to my overall consumption. I've down to 25-27mA depending on
          > how to look at the AVO.
          >
          > The MSP430 sits there and polls the GPS and watches the speed. If the
          > speed starts to change then the GPS polling period is varied, this
          > should sound familiar? Yes I've simply copied the SmartBeaconing(TM)
          > algorithm again.
          >
          > Anyway if we could get a T3 that can read any one of the GPS units in a
          > low power (and if necessary binary) mode and poll the GPS for a position
          > before transmit then I'd certainly be looking for such a unit.
          > Programming my MSP430 is a PITA, since I've got to copy the
          > SmartBeaconing parameters out of the T2 and feed them into my software.
          > It works but it's certainly not production ready, nor do I wish to
          > release/develop this further. Was just trying to solve the same problem
          > as Marc.
          >
          > I hope that the ideas above gives Scott some thoughts as to how this low
          > power GPS mode could be useful.
          >
          > I've found the hot start mechanism in the Atmel ublox is pretty good,
          > meaning the positions when polled are coming out as expected. The
          > prolific chipsets I had no end of trouble with in general. They were
          > not as well supported as the ublox in terms of others having used them.
          >
          > With regard to the GPS, having a unit that can mount on the deck of the
          > boat and sends serial back (hockey puck style) would be preferable to
          > say a GPS module within the T3. An internal module would require an
          > external antenna with active preamp to get around the cable loss and NF
          > issues, which adds 10-12mA to the overall current consumption; this will
          > blow your power budget.
          >
          > The HT and T2 I've hidden under the deck using the HT rubber duck. I've
          > found that this gets into the local APRS system well when the boat is on
          > the hard and isn't too shabby when out to sea. I'm luck that my boat is
          > plywood/fibreglass so no issues with faraday shields etc. External 2m
          > marine antennas aren't easily obtainable here in Australia, I'm
          > certainly interested in any suggestions other APRS yachties might have,
          > especially dual band inc 70cm :)
          >
          > 73's
          >
          > Matthew
          > VK5ZM
          >
          > On 16 January 2013 15:10, James Ewen <ve6srv@...
          > <mailto:ve6srv@...>> wrote:
          >
          > __
          >
          > On Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 8:42 PM, Matthew Cook vk5zm@...
          > <mailto:vk5zm%40bistre.net>> wrote:
          >
          > > Scott if you were to look at low power modes then it would be worth
          > > switching to the binary protocol and looking for a GPS module
          > with hot start
          > > capabilities. I think it wouldn 't be too hard to then put in a
          > script
          > > that allowed us to switch profiles when the boat starts to move,
          > which then
          > > switches from a 30min update rate to a smart beaconing routine
          > taylored for
          > > yachts/power boats.
          >
          > We already have the scripting capability, profile switching based on
          > speed, and fixed rate/SmartBeaconing. Using the binary protocol
          > however would mean that you would be limited one one specific GPS, or
          > series of GPS as each one will have a proprietary communications
          > protocol. NMEA is a common language.
          >
          >
          > > It's then just a simple matter of switching the HT at
          > > the appropriate time. It would also be nice if we could somehow
          > get the
          > > PARAM information into the TNC so that APRS.fi can give us pretty
          > graphs of
          > > battery volts etc.
          >
          > You can do that with scripting right now. Not many places display the
          > telemetry parameters. If you are only wanting to get the parameters
          > into aprs.fi <http://aprs.fi>, you can simply send the parameters
          > once, and they will
          > "stick" for a very long time.
          >
          >
          > > I'd certainly be willing to buy/build/test such a unit.
          > > I've got two boats to test it on (yes I'm greedy and likes my
          > > boating/fishing), and a mate of mine has a shiny new sports car
          > that sits in
          > > his garage that wants one also. Definitely food for thought.
          >
          > Pony up the pennies... you've got 95% of what you are asking for
          > sitting on the shelf!
          >
          > The OT+ will do everything you want except talk in a proprietary
          > binary mode to the GPS of your choice, and poll it for a position.
          >
          > --
          > James
          > VE6SRV
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > --
          > Matthew
          > VK5ZM
          > 0487 653 245
          >
          >
        • Matthew Cook
          Hi Scott, I ll go over my notes on the weekend when I get home and send you through some info. I m about 300mi from home at the moment out in the country side
          Message 4 of 13 , Jan 16, 2013
            Hi Scott,

            I'll go over my notes on the weekend when I get home and send you through some info.

            I'm about 300mi from home at the moment out in the country side with my trusty laptop, 3G wireless internet modem & embedded development system literally writing and debugging code in a farmers paddock... it's just tipped over +42degC in the shade today :)

            Anyway more soon.

            Regards

            Matthew

            On 17 January 2013 15:54, Scott Miller <scott@...> wrote:
            Hi Matthew,

            I think you've shared some of the documentation with me before, but it's
            been a while and I don't remember the details.  I'd be happy to look
            over it again and see if I can incorporate some of that into the T3 and
            maybe the T2.  Turns out one compiler optimization wasn't enabled and I
            have something like 800 bytes to work with on the T2 now!

            Scott

            On 1/16/2013 8:23 PM, Matthew Cook wrote:
            > I've already stumped the pennies into a T2 + Alinco HT for my yacht at
            > least.  The scripts were easily written, mind you took me a while to debug.
            >
            > To solve this GPS Power/APRS tracker problem I've been working on a
            > MSP430 that sits between the T2 and the GPS.  The MSP430 puts the GPS
            > (ublox) into binary low power mode (hot start) and implements a variable
            > GPS polling period (based upon speed) and then simply tells lies to the
            > T2 every second by sending fake NMEA sentances.  The MSP430 currently
            > adds 2mA to my overall consumption.  I've down to 25-27mA depending on
            > how to look at the AVO.
            >
            > The MSP430 sits there and polls the GPS and watches the speed.  If the
            > speed starts to change then the GPS polling period is varied, this
            > should sound familiar?  Yes I've simply copied the SmartBeaconing(TM)
            > algorithm again.
            >
            > Anyway if we could get a T3 that can read any one of the GPS units in a
            > low power (and if necessary binary) mode and poll the GPS for a position
            > before transmit then I'd certainly be looking for such a unit.
            > Programming my MSP430 is a PITA, since I've got to copy the
            > SmartBeaconing parameters out of the T2 and feed them into my software.
            > It works but it's certainly not production ready, nor do I wish to
            > release/develop this further.  Was just trying to solve the same problem
            > as Marc.
            >
            > I hope that the ideas above gives Scott some thoughts as to how this low
            > power GPS mode could be useful.
            >
            > I've found the hot start mechanism in the Atmel ublox is pretty good,
            > meaning the positions when polled are coming out as expected.  The
            > prolific chipsets I had no end of trouble with in general.  They were
            > not as well supported as the ublox in terms of others having used them.
            >
            > With regard to the GPS, having a unit that can mount on the deck of the
            > boat and sends serial back (hockey puck style) would be preferable to
            > say a GPS module within the T3.  An internal module would require an
            > external antenna with active preamp to get around the cable loss and NF
            > issues, which adds 10-12mA to the overall current consumption; this will
            > blow your power budget.
            >
            > The HT and T2 I've hidden under the deck using the HT rubber duck.  I've
            > found that this gets into the local APRS system well when the boat is on
            > the hard and isn't too shabby when out to sea.  I'm luck that my boat is
            > plywood/fibreglass so no issues with faraday shields etc.  External 2m
            > marine antennas aren't easily obtainable here in Australia, I'm
            > certainly interested in any suggestions other APRS yachties might have,
            > especially dual band inc 70cm :)
            >
            > 73's
            >
            > Matthew
            > VK5ZM
            >
            > On 16 January 2013 15:10, James Ewen <ve6srv@...
            > <mailto:ve6srv@...>> wrote:
            >
            >     __
            >
            >     On Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 8:42 PM, Matthew Cook vk5zm@...
            >     <mailto:vk5zm%40bistre.net>> wrote:
            >
            >      > Scott if you were to look at low power modes then it would be worth
            >      > switching to the binary protocol and looking for a GPS module
            >     with hot start
            >      > capabilities. I think it wouldn 't be too hard to then put in a
            >     script
            >      > that allowed us to switch profiles when the boat starts to move,
            >     which then
            >      > switches from a 30min update rate to a smart beaconing routine
            >     taylored for
            >      > yachts/power boats.
            >
            >     We already have the scripting capability, profile switching based on
            >     speed, and fixed rate/SmartBeaconing. Using the binary protocol
            >     however would mean that you would be limited one one specific GPS, or
            >     series of GPS as each one will have a proprietary communications
            >     protocol. NMEA is a common language.
            >
            >
            >      > It's then just a simple matter of switching the HT at
            >      > the appropriate time. It would also be nice if we could somehow
            >     get the
            >      > PARAM information into the TNC so that APRS.fi can give us pretty
            >     graphs of
            >      > battery volts etc.
            >
            >     You can do that with scripting right now. Not many places display the
            >     telemetry parameters. If you are only wanting to get the parameters
            >     into aprs.fi <http://aprs.fi>, you can simply send the parameters
            >     once, and they will
            >     "stick" for a very long time.
            >
            >
            >      > I'd certainly be willing to buy/build/test such a unit.
            >      > I've got two boats to test it on (yes I'm greedy and likes my
            >      > boating/fishing), and a mate of mine has a shiny new sports car
            >     that sits in
            >      > his garage that wants one also. Definitely food for thought.
            >
            >     Pony up the pennies... you've got 95% of what you are asking for
            >     sitting on the shelf!
            >
            >     The OT+ will do everything you want except talk in a proprietary
            >     binary mode to the GPS of your choice, and poll it for a position.
            >
            >     --
            >     James
            >     VE6SRV
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > --
            > Matthew
            > VK5ZM
            > 0487 653 245
            >
            >


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            --
            Matthew
            VK5ZM
            0487 653 245
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