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[aprssig] [opentracker] OpenTracker USB released

Scott Miller scott at opentrac.org
Thu Dec 16 04:16:17 UTC 2010

The OT1+ has never had particularly strong RX capability.  It was 
something I managed to add on when I upgraded from the old KX8 processor.

When I have time, I'm going to see if the OTUSB's demodulator can be 
back-ported to the OT1+.  It's going to be a bit of a stretch, though - 
the OTUSB is clocked 3.25 times faster than the OT1+.

I've been getting results of over 930 packets decoded on the WA8LMF test 
track, compared to about 960 for the MX614-based OT2m and under 900 for 
most TNC2 clones.  The biggest limitation is dynamic range, since it's 
using mostly 8-bit math.  You have to make sure the audio level is 
adjusted properly, but there's a display in the diagnostic screen for 
that.  I'm going to add a simple AGC function later on - that helped 
with the DTMF decoding on the ADS-SR1.  Incidentally, that runs on a 
slightly slower version of the same processor, so at some point I'll 
probably port the DTMF code over and use it for some non-APRS stuff with 
the OTUSB hardware.

The new MCU also has more RAM available, and part of that's going to go 
to KISS buffering.

I'm really looking forward to doing a few more specialized board layouts 
based on the OTUSB.  Aside from the voltage regulator there's just one 
44-pin IC that does everything, USB interface included.  Some of the 
software work was a major pain - getting it to load firmware over the 
USB port when a good chunk of that firmware is the USB stack itself, for 
example - but it does make the hardware side easier.


On 12/15/2010 4:01 PM, Xinhua Rong wrote:
> Scott,
> Congratulations on the new product release. Personally, I like MX614
> more. I had poor decoding experience in OpenTracker+ with FT-7800R,
> FT-8800R etc mobile radios with DATA port. Not sure if you had chance to
> test OTUSB with these radios.
> Thanks,
> Adam
> On 2010-12-16 6:01, Scott Miller wrote:
>> I'm pleased to announce that the new OpenTracker USB is now shipping!
>> https://www.argentdata.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=148
>> http://wiki.argentdata.com/index.php/OpenTracker_USB
>> The new tracker is basically a Tracker2 without the digipeater and
>> Garmin protocol functions, but with a full-speed USB port that can be
>> used for configuration, command prompt access, and KISS mode,
>> independent of the two regular serial ports.
>> This means you get remote control capability, a TNC2-style command
>> prompt, scripting, weather station support, KISS mode, and the ability
>> to do all of this simultaneously without reloading the firmware.
>> There's also space inside for a GT-525 GPS receiver module, and we'll be
>> offering that with the appropriate jumper a little later as an option.
>> Demodulation is software-based, and significantly improved over the
>> OpenTracker+ - in our testing, it's been very close to MX614-based TNCs
>> in decode performance.
>> Because of the surface mount construction we won't be offering this one
>> as a kit. We'll still be offering the OpenTracker+ as a kit as long as
>> we're able to get the parts, but the assembled version will be phased
>> out in favor of the new design.
>> USB support has been tested with Windows 2000/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux.
>> We'll be adding INF files for Vista and Windows 7 shortly, but it shows
>> up as a generic USB CDC device so drivers are included with the
>> operating system.
>> Documentation is still sparse, but the wiki has the critical
>> information. Nearly all of the information in the Tracker2 manual
>> applies, with the exception of the digipeater and Garmin sections. The
>> OTUSB manual should be published by this weekend.
>> We've got units ready to ship now, and more on the way, so there's still
>> time to put it on your Christmas list!
>> 73,
>> Scott
>> N1VG
>> __._,_.___
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