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[aprssig] [opentracker] OpenTracker USB released

Scott Miller scott at opentrac.org
Thu Dec 16 04:53:44 UTC 2010


It's on my bench now - just an eval board and a few thousand lines of 
code so far, but a first attempt at a board layout is in the works. 
Anything like a functioning beta version is at least 6 months out.

512 KB flash, 576 KB SRAM, minimum 4 MB serial flash, USB host/device 
support, SD/MMC slot... it's going to be a lot less confining system to 
program for! =]  Also, with a 24 MHz 8-bit MCU already nearly matching 
an MX614 for decode performance, I'm really looking forward to seeing 
what I can do at 76 MIPS with a 32-bit MCU that's got some DSP instructions.

WiFi isn't in the works immediately.  I'm trying to design the board 
with expansion modules in mind, though.  Until then, you'd have to use a 
WiFi bridge.

It won't be quite as miserly with power as the T2, of course.  I think 
the Ethernet section alone draws something like 500 mA @ 3.3v.

POE would be nice, but also might have to wait.  Power distribution will 
already be much more complicated than the T2, with more voltages and 
higher currents, and considerations like having to be able to shut down 
some peripherals when in USB bus-powered mode.

Scott
N1VG

On 12/15/2010 8:25 PM, ray at rayvaughan.com wrote:
> Any hope for an Ethernet version some day? So much more flexible. The
> radio could be anywhere in the world with a hardwire or WiFi connection.
> PoE could even power the device, and a low wattage radio.
>
> Ray, KD4BBM
>
> On December 15, 2010 at 11:16 PM Scott Miller <scott at opentrac.org> wrote:
>
>  > 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.
>  >
>  > Scott
>  > N1VG
>  >
>  > 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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