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  #11  
Old 05-15-2017, 07:01 PM
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bruceh bruceh is offline
 
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Location: Ramona, CA
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I got my airplane all put back together after getting painted, and now the APRS is no longer working. The Micro Trac is in the left wing tip, and has always performed great. My first thought was I misconnected something during reassembly, so I took off the wing tip again, and everything was fine. GPS puck stuck down on the bottom of the wingtip with some velcro. The J-pole antenna also in place and connected tightly to the unit. The GPS and power is connected and I get the usual red/green LED indications that it is online, and after a few minutes a steady green LED indicates that the GPS has a position lock.

I put the wing tip back on and flew around yesterday, but still no tracks getting broadcast!

Could the paint on the wing tips be blocking the GPS? It does have some amount of metal flake in the paint, but it certainly isn't what I think would be extreme enough to be a problem.

Does anyone here have any other advice on troubleshooting this issue?
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  #12  
Old 05-15-2017, 07:29 PM
Bill Boyd Bill Boyd is offline
 
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Location: Landing field "12VA"
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Default maybe

metallics in paint are blocking the VHF signal from the Tx rather than the GPS reception. Check VSWR after painting? Might not be easy to do inside the tip, but it's a free suggestion
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  #13  
Old 05-16-2017, 03:31 AM
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humptybump humptybump is offline
 
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Where did you perform the test flight? If it was sufficiently local, it could be a ground station off-line.

There are a number of plane with metallic paint and trackers so That may not be the [full] problem.

If you know a HAM radio operator and/or can find a radio that will receive 144.39Mhz, you can verify you are transmitting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Boyd View Post
he better _be_ a ham operator
Clarification (for smarty people): "find a HAM operator with lots of useful tech toys like 2M portable radios, antenna and transmitter testers, etc.
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Last edited by humptybump : 05-16-2017 at 07:09 AM. Reason: responding to Bill's snarky remark :-)
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  #14  
Old 05-16-2017, 07:00 AM
Bill Boyd Bill Boyd is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Landing field "12VA"
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Default If he's on APRS

he better _be_ a ham operator

Good point about verifying tx on 144.39 with an HT or other rig, ideally while watching the status LED's on the tracker to be sure it's _your_ data burst you're hearing.
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Bill Boyd

Hop-Along Aerodrome (12VA)
RV-6A - N30YD - flying since '98
RV-10 - N130YD reserved - under construction

donating monthly to the VAF - thanks, Doug
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  #15  
Old 05-16-2017, 10:08 AM
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bruceh bruceh is offline
 
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Yes, I'm officially KJ6YRP and I do have a handheld. This weekend I flew up and back from Ramona to Corona, and Ramona to Cable to Long Beach and back. I always have great APRS coverage in the SoCal area.
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Bruce Hill
RV-9A N5771H now FLYING!
http://www.overthehills.com/RV-9A-Project
APRS Tracking for KJ6YRP and New Flying Blog
2017 VAF donator
EAA Tech Counselor
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  #16  
Old 05-19-2017, 11:41 AM
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bruceh bruceh is offline
 
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Location: Ramona, CA
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It is back working. I was able to hear the packet bursts from my handheld scanner. Not sure what was the issue during the previous flights. I just opened up the wingtip and made sure all of the connections were OK. Maybe I just had to jiggle the wires a bit?
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Bruce Hill
RV-9A N5771H now FLYING!
http://www.overthehills.com/RV-9A-Project
APRS Tracking for KJ6YRP and New Flying Blog
2017 VAF donator
EAA Tech Counselor
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  #17  
Old 05-19-2017, 08:02 PM
Bill Boyd Bill Boyd is offline
 
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Location: Landing field "12VA"
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Default that's happened to me before, Bruce.

More than once. Tracker mysteriously inop at a locale/altitude where I've always hit iGates in the past. No sooner than I check connections it starts working on the next leg of the flight.

I suppose all this will become fairly moot once 2020 gets here and we can be tracked all the time by big brother.
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Bill Boyd

Hop-Along Aerodrome (12VA)
RV-6A - N30YD - flying since '98
RV-10 - N130YD reserved - under construction

donating monthly to the VAF - thanks, Doug
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