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  #1  
Old 04-21-2016, 08:07 AM
JohnInReno's Avatar
JohnInReno JohnInReno is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Prescott Valley/Chandler AZ
Posts: 275
Default Spotty tracks

Looking at this forum, the best advice seems to be check all of the connections. I got 4 hits during taxi at KFLX and then nothing until near Phoenix. Here is the link:

http://aprs.fi/#!mt=roadmap&z=11&cal...600&tail=21600

I believe it is a Bionics unit with Pete's J antenna in the wing tip. I will not be able to start trouble shooting until I get back to KFLX in a couple of weeks.

Thanks for any help,
john
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2016, 09:21 AM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
hall monitor
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 3,696
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Assuming there were no power interruptions to the system, The most common causes for intermittent beacons is poor GPS or antenna connections. The trackers themselves have proved to be quite reliable.
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  #3  
Old 04-28-2016, 12:26 AM
VHS VHS is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Napa, CA
Posts: 291
Default Poor track

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
Assuming there were no power interruptions to the system, The most common causes for intermittent beacons is poor GPS or antenna connections. The trackers themselves have proved to be quite reliable.
It looks like John's tracker is a very early single channel unit. If the GPS was purchased at the same time, its very likely that the GPS is on its way out, the first gen units did not tend to work for more than a few years.

The RV present an unusual situation for an APRS transmitter. Most people end up with a wire J-pole or similar in the wingtip. Its also installed ( Depending on your ship's attitude) largely in the horizontal plane, which massively attenuates the signal from the perspective of the vertical VHF antennae that sit on the skin of the globe ( Actually, every vertical antenna is only perpendicular to an imaginary line across and through the planet; Another antenna a mile away has a little bit more "lean" to it compared to other antenna, even though both are measurably "vertical". At any rate, the cross polarization does not help. Another peculiarity to the RV is the asymmetry of the antenna. With the antenna in one wingtip, The fuselage provides shielding that interferes with radiating to the opposite side. Some of you may have noticed good performance on a one way trip, but poor performance on the return trip, flying the reciprocal heading. Optimally a roof or belly whip is the best option. The pattern is about as isotropic as you could hope for ( assuming you are not in contact with Space Stations. I sympathize and fully appreciate what a gold plated batch it is to install new gear, especially when it means drilling or sawing a hole in the skin of your beloved ship. One of the best jobs I heard about was a guy who purchased an approved VHF (airband) antenna, installed it on the upper spine, and ran the cable to his panel, where it was brought out as a BNC connector. As far as the FAA knew, that spare antenna was for his aviation handheld as a back-up system or to monitor several channels. When flying, he plugs in his MT-AIO to the panel with an SMA to BNC cable.

Allen
p.s. Not actually dead yet!
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  #4  
Old 04-28-2016, 06:55 AM
Greg Arehart's Avatar
Greg Arehart Greg Arehart is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Delta, CO/Atlin, BC
Posts: 2,296
Default

I put a tinytrack from Byonics in my wingtip in abut 2009 and it has worked flawlessly since then, including places in central NV and remote northern Canada. The only places/times I've not gotten reasonable signals is down low between mountain ranges, or in the BC coast ranges in the far NW. One key is to change the settings to ring more relay stations (I believe it is Wide 2-1, but don't remember for sure. Should be in the instructions). My tracks were limited until doing this. However, if you fly in a populated area (e.g., CA) those settings will cause some consternation amongst the ham radio folk because of multiple hits and tying up the system (I'm not convinced that is a real problem, but I often turn my tracker off when flying over the central valley).

Greg
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  #5  
Old 04-28-2016, 07:09 AM
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Vlad Vlad is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 7,277
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I bought a second hand RAMI antenna here on VAF and installed it on top of the fuselage. BNC connected on both sides. Broadcasts pretty good but I plan to update the tracker soon.


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