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Re: [tracker2] ETA?

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  • Steven Palm
    On Aug 3, 2006, at 3:44 PM, ... And we want you to remain both sane, and we want you to be able to stick around
    Message 1 of 27 , Aug 3, 2006
      On Aug 3, 2006, at 3:44 PM, <scott@...> <scott@...>
      wrote:
      > I'm not out to charge whatever the market will bear, but I do need
      > to bring in enough money to keep growing and make it all worth
      > doing. Comparing what I'm selling to what else is out there at
      > least gives me a sanity check.

      And we want you to remain both sane, and we want you to be able to
      stick around because this is still fun and interesting for you to
      do. :) I'll re-iterate what I put originally and say that I was NOT
      attacking your or your model, just curious where you came down on the
      determination.

      I've told you in private emails before, and I'll say it publicly, I
      think what you are doing and providing is an INCREDIBLE value, and I
      don't want you to have any other impression. In retrospect, I should
      have fired that last message off to you directly instead of to the
      list, but now I think that everyone can get some idea of where your
      heart/mind (and wallet? <smile>) is.

      Thanks again, and I'll stop bugging you now so you have time to
      work on getting the tracker2 out. :)

      Steve
    • Tony VE6MVP
      ... Fair enough. I had asked a local ham if my next to non existent soldering skills would be sufficient to do the TNC-X. (This was before I found out about
      Message 2 of 27 , Aug 3, 2006
        At 01:55 PM 2006/08/03 -0700, you wrote:

        I want to start with kits because it's a lot easier to rework a kit than an assembled board.  Once I've got a fair number of units in regular use I'll feel better about committing to mass production.  Not to mention the fact that between GPS purchases and enclosure manufacturing my working capital has been seriously depleted and will need a bit to recover.
         
        Eventually it probably won't even make sense to offer a kit.  If I can get enough of them built at one time, assembly is pretty cheap, especially for SMT.  How many people want to spend an hour soldering to save 10%?

        Fair enough.  

        I had asked a local ham if my next to non existent soldering skills would be sufficient to do the TNC-X.    (This was before I found out about the Tracker2.)  He bluntly told me that he didn't recommend I do so.  However he'd be happy to loan me the equipment to do so such as the magnifier, temp controlled soldering iron and so forth.   Then he went on and volunteered to build it for me.  When I met him and the group for coffee a few weeks later and picked it up there were some chuckles in agreement as he stated he figured he should be doing the soldering rather than me.

        So I'll probably be asking him to do it again on this one.  <smile>

        Tony
      • Tony VE6MVP
        ... 1) Newsgroup Answers MDB - I designed the MDB to assist frequent newsgroup answerers, such as MVPs, in quickly locating and pasting in their favourite
        Message 3 of 27 , Aug 3, 2006
          At 01:44 PM 2006/08/03 -0700, you wrote:
          (FWIW, I really appreciate the folks on the OpenTracker group who jump in and answer some of the questions, especially when it comes to radio-specific questions about rigs I don't have access to.)

          1) Newsgroup Answers MDB - I designed the MDB to assist frequent newsgroup answerers, such as MVPs, in quickly locating and pasting in their favourite snippets of answers. http://www.granite.ab.ca/access/newsgroupanswersmdb.htm.   If you don't have Microsoft Access installed I'll be happy to build you a runtime package.

          2) Don't be afraid to redirect emails to this mailing list.  Develop a canned response for this.  Let us answer the simpler questions.  And maybe some of us can forward the tough ones to you.

          3) Don't answer the questions as soon as you see them.  Wait a day or so especially if it's a simple answer.  By then the person may have already found the answer on their own or by searching the archives.

          I'm not out to charge whatever the market will bear, but I do need to bring in enough money to keep growing and make it all worth doing.  Comparing what I'm selling to what else is out there at least gives me a sanity check.

          Don't go too cheap.   If you get very few complaints about the price then it's too cheap.  (Some people will always complain.)   If you get some complaints then it's about right.   If you get a lot of complaints then it's too expensive.

          Tony

        • Cap Pennell
          Thanks very much, Scott. I, for one, sure do appreciate all the work you have done and are doing for APRS. FB! Yes, a lot of appliance operators, like
          Message 4 of 27 , Aug 3, 2006
            Thanks very much, Scott. I, for one, sure do appreciate all the work you
            have done and are doing for APRS. FB!

            Yes, a lot of "appliance operators, like myself" will be hoping to be able
            to buy and use "plug and play" assembled versions of the OT2. My experience
            with APRS (and 2m packet in general) tells me that that many OT2 users will
            be quite content with the basic (default) settings, despite the vast amounts
            of time and energy you've invested into making this project incredibly
            capable, flexible, configurable, and upgradeable. With us "appliance
            operators" in mind, I hope you will consider configuration parameter
            defaults that are quite conservative as regards the limited available
            airtime on the VHF APRS frequency. We know conservative digipaths and
            transmission intervals are courteous to all the other users hoping to share
            the frequency. Maybe default settings like "digi only MYcall and WIDE1-1
            and then only if no other digi is heard first" and "default digipath
            WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1" would be good for starting out.

            I know you've already thought carefully about these things too. Thanks!
            Good luck!
            73, Cap KE6AFE


            -----Original Message-----
            From: tracker2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:tracker2@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of
            scott@...
            Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2006 13:44 PM
            To: tracker2@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [tracker2] ETA?

            The main consideration is of course the cost of the parts and labor (not
            counting mine) for the kits. If I was going solely on a business mentality
            I'd be pricing it up there with the KPC-3 or at least the uTNT.
            <snip>
          • Jason Winningham
            ... Actually, a better default would be don t digipeat at all , which happens to be the default. -Jason kg4wsv
            Message 5 of 27 , Aug 3, 2006
              On Aug 3, 2006, at 4:56 PM, Cap Pennell wrote:

              > Maybe default settings like "digi only MYcall and WIDE1-1
              > and then only if no other digi is heard first" and "default digipath
              > WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1" would be good for starting out.

              Actually, a better default would be "don't digipeat at all", which
              happens to be the default.

              -Jason
              kg4wsv
            • scott@opentrac.org
              Actually I think that it s set to digipeat on MYCALL by default. The logic there is that no one s likely to use you as a digipeater accidentally, but if they
              Message 6 of 27 , Aug 3, 2006
                Actually I think that it's set to digipeat on MYCALL by default.  The logic there is that no one's likely to use you as a digipeater accidentally, but if they need the capability then it's there.
                 
                Scott


                From: tracker2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:tracker2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jason Winningham
                Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2006 3:04 PM
                To: tracker2@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [tracker2] ETA?


                On Aug 3, 2006, at 4:56 PM, Cap Pennell wrote:

                > Maybe default settings like "digi only MYcall and WIDE1-1
                > and then only if no other digi is heard first" and "default digipath
                > WIDE1-1,WIDE2- 1" would be good for starting out.

                Actually, a better default would be "don't digipeat at all", which
                happens to be the default.

                -Jason
                kg4wsv

              • Tony VE6MVP
                ... Add $20 to the TNC-X for the digipeater daughterboard. And I suspect the X-Track daughterboard as well. So that s another $17. So yours should be at
                Message 7 of 27 , Aug 4, 2006
                  At 11:38 PM 2006/08/02 -0700, you wrote:

                  A TNC-X kit sells for $63 with the enclosure (no USB), so I guess $65 for an OT2m kit wouldn't be such a bad deal, considering what it does.

                  Add $20 to the TNC-X for the digipeater daughterboard.   And I suspect the X-Track daughterboard as well.  So that's another $17.   So yours should be at least $102 by the same comparison.     Make it $129 to make a decent profit.

                  Tony

                • Steven Palm
                  ... I think that Scott should have a separate donate area for people who feel the product is too cheap. Go ahead, Tony, drop in as many shekels as you want
                  Message 8 of 27 , Aug 4, 2006
                    On Aug 4, 2006, at 2:20 PM, Tony VE6MVP wrote:
                    > At 11:38 PM 2006/08/02 -0700, you wrote:
                    >> A TNC-X kit sells for $63 with the enclosure (no USB), so I guess
                    >> $65 for an OT2m kit wouldn't be such a bad deal, considering what
                    >> it does.
                    >
                    > Add $20 to the TNC-X for the digipeater daughterboard. And I
                    > suspect the X-Track daughterboard as well. So that's another
                    > $17. So yours should be at least $102 by the same comparison.
                    > Make it $129 to make a decent profit.

                    I think that Scott should have a separate "donate" area for people
                    who feel the product is too cheap. Go ahead, Tony, drop in as many
                    shekels as you want to into the bucket. :) On the other hand, I'm
                    hoping that he leans toward not maximizing profit, but instead
                    minimizing cost but without causing any personal loss or hardship.
                    Maybe that attitude comes from my choosing to work for a non-profit,
                    so not only is my money limited, but I'm focused always on doing
                    things for the efficiency of money, not the surplus of it.

                    And indeed, this is way off topic, so I should shut up now.

                    Steve
                  • Tanner Lovelace
                    ... There s a huge psychological barrier for something that costs over $100. If the raw parts cost is less than that, I d recommend not going into 3 digits.
                    Message 9 of 27 , Aug 6, 2006
                      On 8/4/06, Tony VE6MVP <tony@...> wrote:

                      >
                      > A TNC-X kit sells for $63 with the enclosure (no USB), so I guess
                      > $65 for an OT2m kit wouldn't be such a bad deal, considering
                      > what it does.
                      >
                      > Add $20 to the TNC-X for the digipeater daughterboard.
                      > And I suspect the X-Track daughterboard as well. So that's
                      > another $17. So yours should be at least $102 by the
                      > same comparison. Make it $129 to make a decent profit.

                      There's a huge psychological barrier for something that
                      costs over $100. If the raw parts cost is less than that, I'd
                      recommend not going into 3 digits. That's not to say I don't
                      think profit should be made, I'm just trying to point out some
                      considerations.

                      Personally, I'm rather dismayed by how much radio gear
                      costs these days, especially being in the computer field
                      where costs on everything go down by leaps and bounds
                      every year. (Yes, I realize there are economies of scale,
                      but that's still another barrier for getting new people into
                      the hobby.)

                      Cheers,
                      Tanner Lovelace
                      KB4TYE


                      --
                      Tanner Lovelace
                      clubjuggler at gmail dot com
                      http://wtl.wayfarer.org/
                      (fieldless) In fess two roundels in pale, a billet fesswise and an
                      increscent, all sable.
                    • n0anhasan50212
                      Scott, If it s anywhere near the price indicated (assembled), I ll buy one immediately. I don t have time to do the assembly. If for no other reason, I would
                      Message 10 of 27 , Aug 9, 2006
                        Scott,

                        If it's anywhere near the price indicated (assembled), I'll buy one
                        immediately. I don't have time to do the assembly. If for no other
                        reason, I would LOVE to put it on with ui-view32 at my home station to
                        evaluate the effectiveness of the "smart" digi-peater function with
                        hop count limiting. Everything I use is KISS mode with AGWPEpro
                        supervising the TNCs.

                        Will it run open squelch? (Wrong question...will it accept audio from
                        my radio that is open squelch. Lots of tncs won't..they refuse to key
                        up if noise is present, whereas the True DCD tncs don't look at noise
                        to the the hold-off, but actually look for packet tones to do the
                        hold-off) I'm using a PK-900 at the moment, running in open squelch
                        mode (true DCD). This feature is not the end of the world, but I
                        prefer it.

                        73,

                        ...hasan, N0AN


                        --- In tracker2@yahoogroups.com, <scott@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Still debating on the price. I want to have *some* assembled version
                        > available for somewhere in the $60-$70 range, but it's going to be
                        easier to
                        > pull that off for a surface mount version. Even with custom
                        printing, the
                        > OT1x-style cases cost under $3, and the component cost is less - the MCU
                        > socket alone adds a couple of bucks to the OT2m price.
                        >
                      • Curt, WE7U
                        ... Actually, it _is_ an end-of-the-world feature! For a mobile or portable setup where I have to hook to speaker-out and mic-in, running with the squelch open
                        Message 11 of 27 , Aug 9, 2006
                          On Wed, 9 Aug 2006, n0anhasan50212 wrote:

                          > Will it run open squelch? (Wrong question...will it accept audio from
                          > my radio that is open squelch. Lots of tncs won't..they refuse to key
                          > up if noise is present, whereas the True DCD tncs don't look at noise
                          > to the the hold-off, but actually look for packet tones to do the
                          > hold-off) I'm using a PK-900 at the moment, running in open squelch
                          > mode (true DCD). This feature is not the end of the world, but I
                          > prefer it.

                          Actually, it _is_ an end-of-the-world feature!

                          For a mobile or portable setup where I have to hook to speaker-out
                          and mic-in, running with the squelch open means I have one fewer
                          control to mess me up. The only controls I then have to worry about
                          are volume and power.

                          I've had my Jeep tracker performing poorly at times over the years,
                          often because I've accidentally bumped one or the other control.
                          Now that the radio and TNC are inside an ammo-can it happens less.
                          These days I'm often pulling my OpenTracker to burn in new firmware
                          versions, so the chances are going up again...

                          --
                          Curt, WE7U. APRS Client Comparisons: http://www.eskimo.com/~archer
                          "Lotto: A tax on people who are bad at math." -- unknown
                          "Windows: Microsoft's tax on computer illiterates." -- WE7U
                          "The world DOES revolve around me: I picked the coordinate system!"
                        • scott@opentrac.org
                          Yes, it ll run open squelch - just make sure the SWDCD option is turned on. Works well. Scott _____ From: tracker2@yahoogroups.com
                          Message 12 of 27 , Aug 9, 2006
                            Yes, it'll run open squelch - just make sure the SWDCD option is turned on.  Works well.
                             
                            Scott


                            From: tracker2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:tracker2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of n0anhasan50212
                            Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2006 5:04 AM
                            To: tracker2@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: [tracker2] Re: ETA?

                            Scott,

                            If it's anywhere near the price indicated (assembled), I'll buy one
                            immediately. I don't have time to do the assembly. If for no other
                            reason, I would LOVE to put it on with ui-view32 at my home station to
                            evaluate the effectiveness of the "smart" digi-peater function with
                            hop count limiting. Everything I use is KISS mode with AGWPEpro
                            supervising the TNCs.

                            Will it run open squelch? (Wrong question...will it accept audio from
                            my radio that is open squelch. Lots of tncs won't..they refuse to key
                            up if noise is present, whereas the True DCD tncs don't look at noise
                            to the the hold-off, but actually look for packet tones to do the
                            hold-off) I'm using a PK-900 at the moment, running in open squelch
                            mode (true DCD). This feature is not the end of the world, but I
                            prefer it.

                            73,

                            ....hasan, N0AN

                            --- In tracker2@yahoogroup s.com, <scott@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Still debating on the price. I want to have *some* assembled version
                            > available for somewhere in the $60-$70 range, but it's going to be
                            easier to
                            > pull that off for a surface mount version. Even with custom
                            printing, the
                            > OT1x-style cases cost under $3, and the component cost is less - the MCU
                            > socket alone adds a couple of bucks to the OT2m price.
                            >

                          • scott@opentrac.org
                            Here s a solution to that: http://www.l-com.com/item.aspx?id=7340 Install a waterproof d-sub connector on the ammo can and update the firmware without opening
                            Message 13 of 27 , Aug 9, 2006
                              Here's a solution to that: http://www.l-com.com/item.aspx?id=7340  Install a waterproof d-sub connector on the ammo can and update the firmware without opening it up.
                               
                              Scott


                              From: tracker2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:tracker2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Curt, WE7U
                              Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2006 5:14 AM
                              To: tracker2@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [tracker2] Re: ETA?

                              On Wed, 9 Aug 2006, n0anhasan50212 wrote:

                              > Will it run open squelch? (Wrong question...will it accept audio from
                              > my radio that is open squelch. Lots of tncs won't..they refuse to key
                              > up if noise is present, whereas the True DCD tncs don't look at noise
                              > to the the hold-off, but actually look for packet tones to do the
                              > hold-off) I'm using a PK-900 at the moment, running in open squelch
                              > mode (true DCD). This feature is not the end of the world, but I
                              > prefer it.

                              Actually, it _is_ an end-of-the-world feature!

                              For a mobile or portable setup where I have to hook to speaker-out
                              and mic-in, running with the squelch open means I have one fewer
                              control to mess me up. The only controls I then have to worry about
                              are volume and power.

                              I've had my Jeep tracker performing poorly at times over the years,
                              often because I've accidentally bumped one or the other control.
                              Now that the radio and TNC are inside an ammo-can it happens less.
                              These days I'm often pulling my OpenTracker to burn in new firmware
                              versions, so the chances are going up again...

                              --
                              Curt, WE7U. APRS Client Comparisons: http://www.eskimo. com/~archer
                              "Lotto: A tax on people who are bad at math." -- unknown
                              "Windows: Microsoft's tax on computer illiterates. " -- WE7U
                              "The world DOES revolve around me: I picked the coordinate system!"

                            • J. Lance Cotton
                              ... So what does it do with SWDCD is off? -- J. Lance Cotton, KJ5O joe@lightningflash.net http://kj5o.lightningflash.net Three Step Plan: 1. Take over the
                              Message 14 of 27 , Aug 9, 2006
                                scott@... wrote:
                                > Yes, it'll run open squelch - just make sure the SWDCD option is turned
                                > on. Works well.

                                So what does it do with SWDCD is off?

                                --
                                J. Lance Cotton, KJ5O
                                joe@...
                                http://kj5o.lightningflash.net
                                Three Step Plan: 1. Take over the world. 2. Get a lot of cookies. 3. Eat the
                                cookies.
                              • scott@opentrac.org
                                Then it goes by the energy detect on the demodulator chip. White noise or voice will trigger it. _____ From: tracker2@yahoogroups.com
                                Message 15 of 27 , Aug 9, 2006
                                  Then it goes by the energy detect on the demodulator chip.  White noise or voice will trigger it.
                                   

                                  From: tracker2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:tracker2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of J. Lance Cotton
                                  Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2006 7:52 AM
                                  To: tracker2@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: Re: [tracker2] Re: ETA?

                                  scott@opentrac. org wrote:
                                  > Yes, it'll run open squelch - just make sure the SWDCD option is turned
                                  > on. Works well.

                                  So what does it do with SWDCD is off?

                                  --
                                  J. Lance Cotton, KJ5O
                                  joe@lightningflash. net
                                  http://kj5o. lightningflash. net
                                  Three Step Plan: 1. Take over the world. 2. Get a lot of cookies. 3. Eat the
                                  cookies.

                                • hasan schiers
                                  Thanks Scott, I can t wait! 73, ... From: scott@opentrac.org To: tracker2@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2006 9:44 AM Subject: RE: [tracker2] Re:
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Aug 9, 2006
                                    Thanks Scott, I can't wait!
                                     
                                    73,
                                     
                                    ...hasan, N0AN
                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    From: scott@...
                                    Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2006 9:44 AM
                                    Subject: RE: [tracker2] Re: ETA?

                                    Yes, it'll run open squelch - just make sure the SWDCD option is turned on.  Works well.
                                     
                                    Scott


                                    From: tracker2@yahoogroup s.com [mailto:tracker2@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of n0anhasan50212
                                    Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2006 5:04 AM
                                    To: tracker2@yahoogroup s.com
                                    Subject: [tracker2] Re: ETA?

                                    Scott,

                                    If it's anywhere near the price indicated (assembled), I'll buy one
                                    immediately. I don't have time to do the assembly. If for no other
                                    reason, I would LOVE to put it on with ui-view32 at my home station to
                                    evaluate the effectiveness of the "smart" digi-peater function with
                                    hop count limiting. Everything I use is KISS mode with AGWPEpro
                                    supervising the TNCs.

                                    Will it run open squelch? (Wrong question...will it accept audio from
                                    my radio that is open squelch. Lots of tncs won't..they refuse to key
                                    up if noise is present, whereas the True DCD tncs don't look at noise
                                    to the the hold-off, but actually look for packet tones to do the
                                    hold-off) I'm using a PK-900 at the moment, running in open squelch
                                    mode (true DCD). This feature is not the end of the world, but I
                                    prefer it.

                                    73,

                                    ....hasan, N0AN

                                    --- In tracker2@yahoogroup s.com, <scott@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Still debating on the price. I want to have *some* assembled version
                                    > available for somewhere in the $60-$70 range, but it's going to be
                                    easier to
                                    > pull that off for a surface mount version. Even with custom
                                    printing, the
                                    > OT1x-style cases cost under $3, and the component cost is less - the MCU
                                    > socket alone adds a couple of bucks to the OT2m price.
                                    >

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