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

Re: [tracker2] Re: Tracker3 USB dongle

Expand Messages
  • Matthew Cook
    Hi Scott, Sounds like you re having fun :) When I get home tonight I ll dig up my over mould contact and send you an email. Last time I did an over mould I
    Message 1 of 18 , Jan 24, 2013
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi Scott,

      Sounds like you're having fun :)

      When I get home tonight I'll dig up my over mould contact and send you an email.  Last time I did an over mould I used a soft tool (alumina) which was supposed to be good for only 1000-2000 pieces.  I got just over 3000 pieces from it.  The cost was about the same as if I took a normal box and had holes milled in it... I pocketed the money I saved in assembly time :)

      In terms of the GPS I'd just run a RG174 cable out the back with an SMA connector on it.  Give it 4" of cable and let it dangle, the audio could be done the same way..  would make things like telemetry and 1-wire weather stations a tad more difficult but depends on how you're positioning your product and for what purpose.

      You've got a 3D printer.. very cool !  Haven't taken the plunge yet.

      73's

      Matthew
      VK5ZM

      On 25 January 2013 09:49, Scott Miller <scott@...> wrote:
      Hi Matthew,

      I just got the alternate board layout in today, and this one has all of
      the components, aside from connectors, on the bottom.  They extend 1.5mm
      below the board, so it should be possible to get a housing around it and
      still have clearance on the bottom.

      Last time I looked at overmolding, domestic outfits were way too
      expensive.  I haven't looked overseas for that particular sort of mold.

      I'm also working on integrating the GPS into the same housing, so that
      will restrict my options a bit.

      As soon as I get an hour or two to work on it, I'll design a simple
      housing that we can 3D print.  The surface finish isn't good and it's
      hard to make thin-walled parts that snap together accurately, but it's
      nice for prototyping.  The CNC milling machine produces much better
      results, and for small quantities I might try making a mold for some
      sort of urethane resin.

      Scott

      On 1/24/2013 3:06 PM, Matthew Cook wrote:
      > One of the things I've noticed is that everyone seems to be migrating to
      > USB based devices, however no one considered the ergonomics of using it
      > eg Funcube Dongles !
      >
      > Many laptops put the USB ports either out the left or right side of the
      > keyboard, if you're lucky out the back.  This is fine for USB flash
      > drives and things when the laptop is sitting on a desk.  However trying
      > to balance this on your lap in a bus, on  a train or front seat of a car
      > even your couch is a nightmare.   Heaven help you if you drop the laptop
      > with the USB device hanging out the side.. always results in tears.
      >
      > So to fix this problem you end up buying a 0.5m USB extension cable and
      > hang the device away from the laptop, however USB connectors are not
      > positive locking so cable ties or tape are required to hold everything
      > together.  More fustration as things are pulled or fall out the
      > back/side of the laptop.
      >
      > Looking at the images of your new T3 that screams soft silicon over
      > mould at me.  With the T3 PCB and connectors as a soft silicon blob with
      > a 0.5m USB cable moulded into the other end you would have something
      > very useful for field operation.  I've found that soft silicon
      > overmoulds are not as expensive as you might think, especially done on
      > the sub-continent.  I've designed USB dongle/blocks like this for the
      > military and commercial users with great success, had the added benefit
      > of making them rather waterproof (subject to connectors) and very
      > resilient and robust to shock and vibration.  Haven't had one back yet.
      >
      > Definitely food for thought. YMMV.
      >
      > 73's
      >
      > Matthew
      > VK5ZM
      >
      > On 25 January 2013 04:48, Scott Miller <scott@...
      > <mailto:scott@...>> wrote:
      >
      >     I could, but they'd be hard to program.  I've got another (not as small)
      >     board on the way that has a mini-USB connector.
      >
      >     Scott
      >
      >     On 1/24/2013 10:05 AM, Thomas wrote:
      >      > Very nice!
      >      >
      >      > Will you also sell these without the heavy USB connector soldered on?
      >      >
      >      > Thomas
      >      > KT5TK
      >      >
      >      > --- In tracker2@yahoogroups.com <mailto:tracker2@yahoogroups.com>
      >     <mailto:tracker2%40yahoogroups.com
      >     <mailto:tracker2%2540yahoogroups.com>>,
      >      > Scott Miller wrote:
      >      >  >
      >      >  > The new minimalist T3 prototypes came in yesterday:
      >      >  >
      >      >  > http://n1vg.net/t3-dongle.jpg
      >      >  >
      >      >
      >      >
      >
      >
      >
      >     ------------------------------------
      >
      >     Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >     <mailto:tracker2-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com>
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > --
      > Matthew
      > VK5ZM
      > 0487 653 245
      >
      >



      ------------------------------------

      Yahoo! Groups Links

      <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tracker2/

      <*> Your email settings:
          Individual Email | Traditional

      <*> To change settings online go to:
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tracker2/join
          (Yahoo! ID required)

      <*> To change settings via email:
          tracker2-digest@yahoogroups.com
          tracker2-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com

      <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          tracker2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

      <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
          http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/




      --
      Matthew
      VK5ZM
      0487 653 245
    • James Ewen
      ... You should look into using a DE-9 connector... they are very robust, and have screws on either side of the connector to make a positive secure connection.
      Message 2 of 18 , Jan 24, 2013
      • 0 Attachment
        On Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 4:06 PM, Matthew Cook <vk5zm@...> wrote:

        > however USB connectors are not
        > positive locking so cable ties or tape are required to hold everything
        > together. More fustration as things are pulled or fall out the back/side of
        > the laptop.

        You should look into using a DE-9 connector... they are very robust,
        and have screws on either side of the connector to make a positive
        secure connection. If you use pins 2 and 3 for RX and TX, and pin 5
        for GND, and use RS-232 serial communication protocol, you could do
        away with having to deal with all the complexity of USB operations and
        the requisite drivers and such...

        Of yeah, serial communications is too hard to deal with... USB is better! :)

        I don't want all kinds of blobs dangling off the computer. Put a USB
        hub on the computer or use an extension cable if you don't want snappy
        off bits sticking out of the unit.

        I agree with your assessments, but you're damned if you do and damned
        if you don't.

        I think this new little device is pretty sweet. Not sure if it would
        find a use in my world. All my OT3s are stand alone digipeaters. It
        would be handy to take as a travel device, where you can plug a cable
        into an HT and play APRS on the road in a hotel, but I have a D72 to
        do that all in one box.

        --
        James
        VE6SRV
      • Matthew Cook
        ... You actually had me going here for a bit and it is nice to see someone else who knows their sub-D connector standards :) ... Yupe it depends on your
        Message 3 of 18 , Jan 24, 2013
        • 0 Attachment
          On 25 January 2013 12:46, James Ewen <ve6srv@...> wrote:
           

          On Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 4:06 PM, Matthew Cook vk5zm@...> wrote:

          > however USB connectors are not
          > positive locking so cable ties or tape are required to hold everything
          > together. More fustration as things are pulled or fall out the back/side of
          > the laptop.

          You should look into using a DE-9 connector... they are very robust,
          and have screws on either side of the connector to make a positive
          secure connection. If you use pins 2 and 3 for RX and TX, and pin 5
          for GND, and use RS-232 serial communication protocol, you could do
          away with having to deal with all the complexity of USB operations and
          the requisite drivers and such...

          Of yeah, serial communications is too hard to deal with... USB is better! :)

          You actually had me going here for a bit and it is nice to see someone else who knows their sub-D connector standards :)
           
          I don't want all kinds of blobs dangling off the computer. Put a USB
          hub on the computer or use an extension cable if you don't want snappy
          off bits sticking out of the unit.

          I agree with your assessments, but you're damned if you do and damned
          if you don't.

          Yupe it depends on your product positioning and feature set...  I still think USB is good for some laptop/computer requirements but sucky for others.
           
          I think this new little device is pretty sweet. Not sure if it would
          find a use in my world. All my OT3s are stand alone digipeaters. It
          would be handy to take as a travel device, where you can plug a cable
          into an HT and play APRS on the road in a hotel, but I have a D72 to
          do that all in one box.

          The size is nice, reminds me the first time I bought a OT+ SMD :)

          Recently I married a roving networks bluetooth module with my D710 in the car and now enjoy bluetooth wireless between the laptop, android phone and D710 serial output.   Thinking about my comments earlier this might be better than USB, no wires at all.  However the roving networks modules aren't without their problems, but that could be addressed in the T3 firmware (ie getting them into broadcast mode).. I had to use a small micro to solve my problem.   I truely wish my D72 had a decent bluetooth module inside for the same purpose, what a wonderful toy err HT that would make !

          73's

          Matthew
          VK5ZM
        • James Ewen
          ... I ve been thinking about doing the same with my D710. Did you embed the bluetooth unit in the control head, or do you have it dangling off the back of the
          Message 4 of 18 , Jan 24, 2013
          • 0 Attachment
            On Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 7:45 PM, Matthew Cook <vk5zm@...> wrote:

            > Recently I married a roving networks bluetooth module with my D710 in the
            > car and now enjoy bluetooth wireless between the laptop, android phone and
            > D710 serial output. Thinking about my comments earlier this might be
            > better than USB, no wires at all. However the roving networks modules
            > aren't without their problems, but that could be addressed in the T3
            > firmware (ie getting them into broadcast mode).. I had to use a small micro
            > to solve my problem. I truely wish my D72 had a decent bluetooth module
            > inside for the same purpose, what a wonderful toy err HT that would make !

            I've been thinking about doing the same with my D710. Did you embed
            the bluetooth unit in the control head, or do you have it dangling off
            the back of the unit?

            I looked at the the RN-41 to embed, and also the RN220XP as a toy for
            work so I can sit in my nice warm truck while connected to those
            blasted radios out in the chilly world, and poke and prod them.

            e-bay is infested with cheaper class 2 devices, which I am sorely
            tempted to purchase and try out, but I have yet to break down and set
            up an e-bay account and make the plunge.

            Do you have any photos, construction images, or drawings of the D710 interface?

            --
            James
            VE6SRV
          • Matthew Cook
            ... I ve used the RN-41 modules, it all sits in a box on the back of the head. I ve tapped the 8V out of the radio/head cable and regulate this down to 3.3V.
            Message 5 of 18 , Jan 24, 2013
            • 0 Attachment
              On 25 January 2013 13:38, James Ewen <ve6srv@...> wrote:
               

              On Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 7:45 PM, Matthew Cook vk5zm@...> wrote:

              > Recently I married a roving networks bluetooth module with my D710 in the
              > car and now enjoy bluetooth wireless between the laptop, android phone and
              > D710 serial output. Thinking about my comments earlier this might be
              > better than USB, no wires at all. However the roving networks modules
              > aren't without their problems, but that could be addressed in the T3
              > firmware (ie getting them into broadcast mode).. I had to use a small micro
              > to solve my problem. I truely wish my D72 had a decent bluetooth module
              > inside for the same purpose, what a wonderful toy err HT that would make !

              I've been thinking about doing the same with my D710. Did you embed
              the bluetooth unit in the control head, or do you have it dangling off
              the back of the unit?

              I looked at the the RN-41 to embed, and also the RN220XP as a toy for
              work so I can sit in my nice warm truck while connected to those
              blasted radios out in the chilly world, and poke and prod them.

              I've used the RN-41 modules, it all sits in a box on the back of the head.  I've tapped the 8V out of the radio/head cable and regulate this down to 3.3V.  The internal regulator in the D710 body gets a little warmer, but not stonking hot or at risk of damange.  The RN modules I used have one bug-bear in that they won't automatically go in to Broadcast mode, so at power on they hide and don't tell you they are there.  So you have to go into your phone/laptop bluetooth settings and tell it to connect.  I'm not keen on that so I've put a small 8-pin micro with some code in it that puts the RN module into the right mode so that then the radio turns on (powerup), it makes the TN tell the world it's there and the laptop or phone will automatically connect.

              I've used these modules in a recent product that allows me to do drive by fault finding and data reading (I actually don't have to stop)...  so I'm reasonably happy with the RN products.


              e-bay is infested with cheaper class 2 devices, which I am sorely
              tempted to purchase and try out, but I have yet to break down and set
              up an e-bay account and make the plunge.

              I can purchase the RN-41 for A$20 in one off qtys with free shipping, so I never felt I needed to head to e-bay.  I too don't have an account either.
               
              Do you have any photos, construction images, or drawings of the D710 interface?

              Umm nope, never documented or blogged it.  It's embarrasingly all held together with hot-melt glue, chocks of foam and other such things.   Happy to scribble something on some paper if you like, there was something from a US supplier that was similar that I copied.  Will see if I can find the URL when I get home from work.

              73's
              --
              Matthew
              VK5ZM
            • Scott Miller
              ... I m not certain how much demand there might be for this version, but they re relatively cheap and easy to produce and I m all for stocking more items that
              Message 6 of 18 , Jan 24, 2013
              • 0 Attachment
                > I think this new little device is pretty sweet. Not sure if it would
                > find a use in my world. All my OT3s are stand alone digipeaters. It
                > would be handy to take as a travel device, where you can plug a cable
                > into an HT and play APRS on the road in a hotel, but I have a D72 to
                > do that all in one box.

                I'm not certain how much demand there might be for this version, but
                they're relatively cheap and easy to produce and I'm all for stocking
                more items that don't require long lead times and large MOQs like the
                OT3m cases.

                Also, with the GPS receiver installed it can take the place of a USB GPS
                receiver as well.

                And sometimes it's just fun to see how small a board you can cram
                everything onto. Just built a USB keyboard emulator into a board that's
                1/2 square inch, single sided, including the USB connector.

                Scott
              • Scott Miller
                ... Great, I appreciate it! The GTRANS was originally designed for that sort of packaging. We had to move to a plastic enclosure to accommodate the switching
                Message 7 of 18 , Jan 24, 2013
                • 0 Attachment
                  > When I get home tonight I'll dig up my over mould contact and send you
                  > an email. Last time I did an over mould I used a soft tool (alumina)
                  > which was supposed to be good for only 1000-2000 pieces. I got just
                  > over 3000 pieces from it. The cost was about the same as if I took a
                  > normal box and had holes milled in it... I pocketed the money I saved in
                  > assembly time :)

                  Great, I appreciate it! The GTRANS was originally designed for that
                  sort of packaging. We had to move to a plastic enclosure to accommodate
                  the switching power supply the newer nuvis need, though, and the
                  contract manufacturer was having no end of trouble getting 48-pad QFNs
                  on those tiny, thin boards reliably and I got *really* tired of doing
                  rework.

                  > be done the same way.. would make things like telemetry and 1-wire
                  > weather stations a tad more difficult but depends on how you're
                  > positioning your product and for what purpose.

                  This is definitely aimed at basic setups, though of course it's still
                  usable as a digi and everything. The DIP module will be more useful for
                  telemetry applications. And I've been tempted to make a DIN rail
                  mounted one with lots of extra I/Os.

                  > You've got a 3D printer.. very cool ! Haven't taken the plunge yet.

                  Just a basic single extruder with 6x6x6 inch build area. But when I was
                  working on a custom button panel, I found I could turn around a revision
                  in under half an hour, with minimal material cost. It certainly has its
                  uses.

                  Scott
                • James Ewen
                  ... a ... URL ... Here s a real simple schematic for powering up a BT module and interfacing to a serial port. Dan YO3GGX uses this configuration for creating
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jan 24, 2013
                  • 0 Attachment
                    On Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 8:40 PM, Matthew Cook <vk5zm@...> wrote:

                    >> Do you have any photos, construction images, or drawings of the D710
                    >> interface?
                    >
                    >
                    > Umm nope, never documented or blogged it.  It's embarrasingly all held
                    > together with hot-melt glue, chocks of foam and other such things.   Happy
                    > to scribble something on some paper if you like, there was something from a
                    > US supplier that was similar that I copied.  Will see if I can find the URL
                    > when I get home from work.

                    Here's a real simple schematic for powering up a BT module and interfacing to a serial port. Dan YO3GGX uses this configuration for creating a BlueCat interface. 
                    Inline image 1
                    This should work for the D710. It can be fed with the 8 volts available in the head.

                    --
                    James
                    VE6SRV
                  • Larry Sack
                    Scott,   Cool stuff with the dongle. What kind of connector is that for the audio? Must be a four conductor deal . . .   What kind of applications do you see
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jan 25, 2013
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Scott,
                       
                      Cool stuff with the dongle. What kind of connector is that for the audio? Must be a four conductor deal . . .
                       
                      What kind of applications do you see for this device? With the USB power packs out there, this thing could run for a very long time next to a HT.
                       
                      Same code as the OT3m?
                       
                      Larry Sack, N8QNM
                    • rcgreenw
                      ... I would go with the mini-USB. Most of us already have a mini-USB cable (or several) lying around, and there are lots of mini-USB power supplies already on
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jan 25, 2013
                      • 0 Attachment
                        > I could, but they'd be hard to program. I've got another (not as small)
                        > board on the way that has a mini-USB connector.

                        I would go with the mini-USB. Most of us already have a mini-USB cable (or several) lying around, and there are lots of mini-USB power supplies already on the market.

                        --Rich
                      • Scott Miller
                        It s a 4-conductor 3.5mm jack. Right now my biggest problem with the design is that I either need to eliminate the HT and HI jumpers or make it easy to open
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jan 31, 2013
                        • 0 Attachment
                          It's a 4-conductor 3.5mm jack. Right now my biggest problem with the
                          design is that I either need to eliminate the HT and HI jumpers or make
                          it easy to open the case.

                          I see this as being potentially useful for laptop setups where you don't
                          want to mess with a sound card packet interface. Should also be useful
                          for simple embedded applications that don't need extra I/Os.

                          Yes, it's still a T3. The code is exactly the same.

                          Scott

                          On 1/25/2013 5:23 AM, Larry Sack wrote:
                          > Scott,
                          >
                          > Cool stuff with the dongle. What kind of connector is that for the
                          > audio? Must be a four conductor deal . . .
                          >
                          > What kind of applications do you see for this device? With the USB power
                          > packs out there, this thing could run for a very long time next to a HT.
                          >
                          > Same code as the OT3m?
                          >
                          > Larry Sack, N8QNM
                          >
                          >
                        • Matthew Cook
                          No spare I/O ? Couple of well placed MOSFET s and make it a software option. 73 s Matthew VK5ZM ... -- Matthew VK5ZM 0487 653 245
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jan 31, 2013
                          • 0 Attachment
                            No spare I/O ? Couple of well placed MOSFET's and make it a software option.

                            73's

                            Matthew
                            VK5ZM

                            On 1 February 2013 08:53, Scott Miller <scott@...> wrote:
                            It's a 4-conductor 3.5mm jack.  Right now my biggest problem with the
                            design is that I either need to eliminate the HT and HI jumpers or make
                            it easy to open the case.

                            I see this as being potentially useful for laptop setups where you don't
                            want to mess with a sound card packet interface.  Should also be useful
                            for simple embedded applications that don't need extra I/Os.

                            Yes, it's still a T3.  The code is exactly the same.

                            Scott

                            On 1/25/2013 5:23 AM, Larry Sack wrote:
                            > Scott,
                            >
                            > Cool stuff with the dongle. What kind of connector is that for the
                            > audio? Must be a four conductor deal . . .
                            >
                            > What kind of applications do you see for this device? With the USB power
                            > packs out there, this thing could run for a very long time next to a HT.
                            >
                            > Same code as the OT3m?
                            >
                            > Larry Sack, N8QNM
                            >
                            >



                            ------------------------------------

                            Yahoo! Groups Links

                            <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
                                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tracker2/

                            <*> Your email settings:
                                Individual Email | Traditional

                            <*> To change settings online go to:
                                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tracker2/join
                                (Yahoo! ID required)

                            <*> To change settings via email:
                                tracker2-digest@yahoogroups.com
                                tracker2-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com

                            <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                tracker2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

                            <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
                                http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/




                            --
                            Matthew
                            VK5ZM
                            0487 653 245
                          • Scott Miller
                            That s the idea right now, but it s a pretty tight squeeze already, and I m reluctant to add one more firmware variation. Scott
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jan 31, 2013
                            • 0 Attachment
                              That's the idea right now, but it's a pretty tight squeeze already, and
                              I'm reluctant to add one more firmware variation.

                              Scott

                              On 1/31/2013 3:28 PM, Matthew Cook wrote:
                              > No spare I/O ? Couple of well placed MOSFET's and make it a software option.
                              >
                              > 73's
                              >
                              > Matthew
                              > VK5ZM
                              >
                              > On 1 February 2013 08:53, Scott Miller <scott@...
                              > <mailto:scott@...>> wrote:
                              >
                              > It's a 4-conductor 3.5mm jack. Right now my biggest problem with the
                              > design is that I either need to eliminate the HT and HI jumpers or make
                              > it easy to open the case.
                              >
                              > I see this as being potentially useful for laptop setups where you don't
                              > want to mess with a sound card packet interface. Should also be useful
                              > for simple embedded applications that don't need extra I/Os.
                              >
                              > Yes, it's still a T3. The code is exactly the same.
                              >
                              > Scott
                              >
                              > On 1/25/2013 5:23 AM, Larry Sack wrote:
                              > > Scott,
                              > >
                              > > Cool stuff with the dongle. What kind of connector is that for the
                              > > audio? Must be a four conductor deal . . .
                              > >
                              > > What kind of applications do you see for this device? With the
                              > USB power
                              > > packs out there, this thing could run for a very long time next
                              > to a HT.
                              > >
                              > > Same code as the OT3m?
                              > >
                              > > Larry Sack, N8QNM
                              > >
                              > >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > ------------------------------------
                              >
                              > Yahoo! Groups Links
                              >
                              >
                              > <mailto:tracker2-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com>
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > --
                              > Matthew
                              > VK5ZM
                              > 0487 653 245
                              >
                              >
                            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.