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[aprssig] APRS needs...

Jason Rausch jason at ke4nyv.com
Tue May 27 12:36:02 UTC 2008


Kauto,

Have you seen our RTrak?

http://www.rpc-electronics.com/trackers.php

This is the whole package in a single box.  We are
using an embedded OpenTracker 1+ and have an internal
GPS included.

So here is what it's NOT:
1.  It's not 2W, 750mW, but that can be increased for
special purposes, like SAR.  I have offered to do a
high power version meant for SAR and used OFF of the
national APRS channels ie. 144.390 (USA).

2.  Watertight.  At this time, the tough aluminum case
if sufficient for most users.  I have several SAR and
dog teams testing RTraks right now using their own
water tight solutions.  I have been looking into a
Pelican case type idea for making it water tight.

3.  For now, it does not have an internal battery.  We
are looking at two options.  Internal 9V batteries or
a Lithium Polymer battery.  The LiPo is a taller order
with the need for a good, safe on-board balancing
charger.  It's also not very field servicable, where
the 9V batteries can be simply swapped out and sent
back into the field.  We have done some preliminary
tests with two 9V batteries back to back and the
results have been decent.  I need to test this some
more before I can post solid numbers that I can stand
behind.

4.  The internal radio is transmit only.  Although, it
is frequency agile, from 144-148 MHz.  SRB, who makes
the transmitter has a transceiver in the works, but no
set release date as of yet.

5.  The RS-232 programming port is bi directional, but
without a receiver, the waypoint function is useless
for the GPS.  Besides, there is no point in sending
waypoint data to a displayless GPS.

As I have told many SAR group reps at hamfests, we are
open to working with you to design a version for your
needs.  The only thing I really need is a number
commitment of at least 10+ units to make it worth my
time.  I can't tell you the time and money I have
invested just in the current version because I simply
lost count.  

When it comes down to it, most SAR groups want a good
reliable tracker, lightweight, with as least cables as
possible and a good run time.  We even have a dog SAR
team here in Virginia that is putting our trackers on
the dogs to keep up with them in the bush.  We may not
have the perfect track yet, but we are working towards
that goal :o)

Jason KE4NYV
RPC Electronics
www.rpc-electronics.com


--- Kauto Huopio OH2LFM <oh2lfm at sral.fi> wrote:

> On Mon, May 26, 2008 at 8:53 PM, Ev Tupis
> <w2ev at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > ... a hand-held transceiver with a clamshell
> qwerty
> > keyboard, color LCD screen and an open OS.
> 
> Before this, I think we would need a Really Rugged
> Tracker.
> 
> Something that can be attached to the outside of a
> backback and be
> operated in all possible rain and temperature
> conditions.
> Integrated SIRF III GPS, OT1+ tracker engine, proper
> sturdy
> connectors for external power and RS-port for
> bidirectional NMEA
> feed for external GPS. Frequency-agile TX/RX radio,
> I'd say minimum
> 2W out. Internal battery that must be able to be
> field-replaced without
> special tools maintaining IP67 protection must be
> capable of 8 hours
> of SAR operations field use in all temperature
> conditions.
> 
> Yes, it sounds not cheap. But proper APRS depolyment
> in SAR enviroment
> requires this.
> 
> If we could integrate Bluetooth, it could be quite
> easy to connect to a general-
> purpose terminal like Nokia N810. It is not IP67,
> but could be stowed in the
> pocket.
> 
> Any rugged GPS units with open source platform
> inside, so that APRS messaging/
> agile waypoint capabilities could be enhanced?
> 
> --Kauto OH2LFM
> 
> 
> -- 
> Kauto Huopio OH2LFM - oh2lfm at sral.fi
> Hansakallionkuja 12 A 1, 02780 Espoo, Finland
> Tel. +358-40-5008774 (gsm)
> 
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