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[aprssig] [opentracker] OpenTracker USB released

ray at rayvaughan.com ray at rayvaughan.com
Thu Dec 16 14:50:15 UTC 2010


It sounds like a very exciting platform!  Lots of things are going to be
possible in this.


If 3G and 4G continue to come down in cost, it might even become a
node-in-a-box.  There are already a lot of cheap hotspots with WiFi on the
market.  At a remote site, a phone line with DSL versus a low cost 3G account...
they're getting closer in price. 

 
Ray

 

On December 15, 2010 at 11:53 PM Scott Miller <scott at opentrac.org> wrote:

> 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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