[aprssig] Ideal Tracker Spec (Cross country on 6 AA's)

R. Rochte rochte at gmail.com
Fri Dec 7 14:55:45 EST 2012

Bob, et al:

What would you consider the simplest way to build such a system right now?
 Are there off the shelf components with which I could make a bunch of
these simple APRS "beacons" - and do so inexpensively?

I have a series of small superpressure balloons that are ready to fly and
just need appropriately sized payloads (mass < 100g).  This would give me
far more data than the 10 meter CW beacons that I currently plan to fly!


Robert  KC8UCH

On Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 6:37 PM, Robert Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu> wrote:

> Don't forget that you can run a micro-kind-of-tracker on 6 AA's for about
> a month.  It only has to wake up for 1 second every 5 minutes and send a
> single shortest status packet.  No GPS, no GPS power.  Can fit in a
> cigarette pack.
> Then use FINDU or APRS.FI to "vicinity track" you across country.  It
> should plot a vicinity circle around the digipeaters you are hitting and
> at least show the town you are in.
> Lets see. 5W (RF) for one second every 5 minutes at 9 volts is 12 amp
> seconds per hour for an average power of under 4 mA.  With AA's holding
> about 2700 mAH, then that is about 700  hours or about a month.  Twice as
> long if it only powers up in daylight.
> Bob, Wb4APR
> -----Original Message-----
> From: aprssig-bounces at tapr.org [mailto:aprssig-bounces at tapr.org] On Behalf
> Of Matti Aarnio
> Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2012 6:14 PM
> To: TAPR APRS Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [aprssig] Ideal Tracker Spec
> On Wed, Dec 05, 2012 at 08:24:33AM -0800, Bryan Hoyer wrote:
> >
> > We are currently implementing a Tracker Function for our UDR56K
> > radio with a USB GPS. (For more info on the radio
> www.nwdigitalradio.com)
> >
> > Most trackers are implemented in small micros with limited
> > resources whereas we have an 800MHz Arm (no floating point)
> > running Linux 3.x kernel. The project will be open-sourced.
> Hi,
> That UDR56K is by no means a limited resources thing - it is
> both heavy and power hungry if you think about things like
> balloons.
> A tracker in my opinnion is something you can put into your
> pocket or back-pack, and run for days with a set of batteries.
> Having it in a car pretty much removes the size, mass and energy
> constraints.
> A tracker at a balloon is extremely mass and energy budged
> optimized thing.
> The UDR56K is a much more powerful thing, which is all fine for
> running igates, and digis.  It is also really promising platform
> to do new kinds of transmission protocols.
> I would love to see about anything to replace that huge heap
> of technical mistakes known as AX.25-over-Bell202-over-NBFM.
> Advanced things like:
>  * more efficient modulations (GMSK et.al.)
>  * every packet/segment equiped with FEC covering all of
>    the data (and not only partially like with D-STAR)
>  * decoding to use soft-decission in FEC resolution
>    (eats DSPs and FPGAs for breakfast, though)
>  * CDMA-like multi-carrier operation for igates
>  * Self-organized TDMA (alike AIS)
>  * Receivers with legacy modulation support in parallel
>    to other modes on all channels it receives.
>  * Multiple central frequencies (channels) receiver
>  * Multi-antenna receiver ( = diversity receiver)
>    (Also multi-band if the front-end verter can't fold
>     6m, 2m, 70cm and so on to single IF.)
> What I do like is that the thing is split in two cards with
> a connector in between.  Doing new radio parts will not need
> replacing the host part.
> > Bryan Hoyer K7UDR
> 73 de Matti, OH2MQK
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