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-   -   Need APRS Guru Help (http://www.vansairforce.com/community/showthread.php?t=163390)

Mark Dickens 08-20-2018 09:27 AM

Need APRS Guru Help
 
I have a Byonics RTG-FA permanently installed. It gets GPS from the Skyview over a 9600 baud serial connection and I get a steady green LED almost immediately on power up (after the Skyview is powered up of course), so I assume the GPS coordinates are legit. I'm transmitting the NMEA Basic information to the RTG. I configured the unit per Sam's sticky post with the exception of using 9600 baud. I have smart beaconing turned on. Mic-e is also turned on. The antenna is a Laird Phantom Elite ETRA 1440 mounted onto one of my inspection plates under the right wing connected via a RG-174 coax terminated with a NMO connection.

So, out of all the times I had it on this weekend, and this includes a Pilots N Paws mission flying as high as 9000 ft (on the return leg without the dogs of course), I got nothing recorded on aprs.fi. I did get one beacon on Saturday, but that's it.

I have not yet tested the coax and antenna, and I will. I have an antenna analyzer, but I was wondering if there was anything in the configuration I should check or if there was any way to see if it was transmitting with bad data.

Yes, I'm a ham (K0MDD), but I have the tracker set up with N678MT as the call sign.

Any ideas other than just checking the antenna and coax?

rleffler 08-20-2018 11:10 AM

I've had similar symptoms twice. One was a physical wiring issue and the other one was a dead gps puck.

gnuse 08-20-2018 11:53 AM

Have you checked with Allen -- Byonics? I have always had great help from him.

humptybump 08-20-2018 01:17 PM

Assuming the “green LED” refers to the tracker, I’d start right where you already suspected - by test the antenna and output of the tracker.

Mark Dickens 08-20-2018 02:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by humptybump (Post 1282199)
Assuming the “green LED” refers to the tracker, I’d start right where you already suspected - by test the antenna and output of the tracker.

The tracker is new so hopefully it's putting out rated power. I'll check the antenna and cable

Bevan 08-20-2018 02:30 PM

Check the power input cord and secure it in such a way that the plug is held in tight. It may vibrate out. Ask me how I know.

Bevan

pa38112 08-20-2018 03:28 PM

A couple of things I would check. I would open the cover on your Byonics and re-install everything, but leave the wing access panel slightly open so you can see the LED's. Power up and see if it stays green, or does it fault? For some reason mine would fault when installed in the wing, but was happy if I pulled it out into the wing-tip. It did not like being confines in a metal area.
Also, do you have a coil or two of coax between the Byonics and the antenna?

Mark Dickens 08-20-2018 03:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bevan (Post 1282221)
Check the power input cord and secure it in such a way that the plug is held in tight. It may vibrate out. Ask me how I know.

Bevan

I know it's getting power since the VPX tells me it's drawing power, so that's not the issue. I'm thinking bad coax but it will be two days before I get out there and test it with my antenna analyzer. If it's not that, it's the antenna, but I doubt that since it's essentially new.

Mark Dickens 08-20-2018 03:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pa38112 (Post 1282241)
A couple of things I would check. I would open the cover on your Byonics and re-install everything, but leave the wing access panel slightly open so you can see the LED's. Power up and see if it stays green, or does it fault? For some reason mine would fault when installed in the wing, but was happy if I pulled it out into the wing-tip. It did not like being confines in a metal area.
Also, do you have a coil or two of coax between the Byonics and the antenna?

The transmitter is mounted behind the instrument panel, and I'm getting a constant green LED. I do not have a coil of coax between the transmitter and the antenna. Should I?


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