[aprssig] smallest tracker?

Scott Miller scott at opentrac.org
Mon Dec 4 14:18:08 CST 2006

Seems like the GPS antenna weight might be a problem - patches are kind of
heavy.  You might check out the Sarantel Geohelix P2.  Without the sleeve,
it's 7 grams.  I've got a tiny SiRF receiver to go with it, but I haven't
put the whole thing together yet.  A datalogger would certainly be easier
than an APRS transmitter, if you don't need live updates.  Pigeons have
proven their ability to carry multiple gigabytes of data...

WAIKATO TIMES - STORY: Nick Andreef's pigeons are faster than the internet,
but no match for falcons.

In October Mr Andreef -- who runs Waitomo Adventures -- began commercial
operation of what he reckons is a world first -- using homing pigeons to
deliver digital photographs.

Mr Andreef's company runs tours through a network of caves spread across a
20km radius.

A spin-off from the trips is for customers to buy pictures of their

But by the time tourists were bussed back from their caving adventure to
base office, they often did not have time to wait for photos to be
downloaded and printed.

Mr Andreef said he rattled his brain to think of a way staff could work on
the digital images before the tourists got back.

"We don't have phone lines and telephone exchanges of sufficient quality to
transmit the data, so we came up with the pigeon concept."

Caving guides took the memory stick from their cameras and attached it to a
velcro pack on the pigeon.

"It only takes the pigeons about six minutes for their journey," said Mr

"They can transfer three gigs over 20km faster than the internet."

Some tourists were sceptical -- but the pigeons were 99 per cent reliable,
Mr Andreef said. "They also work for peanuts."

The concept had just hit a snag however.

Nesting karearea (native falcons) have attacked and killed some of the
pigeons mid-flight.

"A pigeon can fly at a cruising speed of 65km/h, 100km/h when pushed," said
Mr Andreef. "But native falcons fly at up to 250km/h."

Once he discovered what was happening to his birds Mr Andreef grounded his
50-pigeon operation.

He expected the falcons' nesting season to finish within the next few weeks.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org 
> [mailto:aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org] On Behalf Of Rochte, Robert
> Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 11:57 AM
> To: 'TAPR APRS Mailing List'
> Subject: RE: [aprssig] smallest tracker?
> >Yes, the BeeLine GPS is currently only available in 70cm, although
> >2Meter protypes are up and running. .  Weight?  2 ounce with battery.
> That's close to what I need - I'm looking for a total system 
> weight of about
> 30 grams (about half of the BeeLine, but perhaps it's lighter 
> with a smaller
> battery).
> Sorry for not clarifying the size requirement in the first 
> place...  I'm
> considering this for a future student project here at our 
> school - not solar
> Montgolfieres this time, but homing pigeons! :)
> 73,
> Robert
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