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  #1  
Old 08-27-2016, 10:15 AM
Vlad's Avatar
Vlad Vlad is offline
 
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Question The Best Tracker on the Market?

My 10 years old BigRedBee APRS tracker is faltering and I am thinking of replacing it with something more robust and modern. Any recommendation from seasoned hams? Which tracker is the best? I am not a tinkerer and wouldn't build my own.
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  #2  
Old 08-27-2016, 11:37 AM
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blueflyer blueflyer is offline
 
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Default MicroTrak RTG

I'm happy with mine that I bought a few months ago. Install cant be any more simple.... http://www.byonics.com/microtrak/
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  #3  
Old 08-27-2016, 01:29 PM
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Ok I'm stupid. Whats a tracker (in this context) and why would one want to buy one? Why do HAMs use it?
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MustangII (FoldingWing) "FirewallFwd&sundries": IO360B1E,RSA,C2YR-BF/F7666-2,Superior sump,James; 2xHXr,MiniX,EIS,480,327,240,SL30,Navworx; SteamAlt,AS,VSI
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  #4  
Old 08-27-2016, 01:38 PM
John Owen John Owen is offline
 
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Default Micro Trak

Has anyone used the Micro Trak AIO (all in one)? It looks like it could have multiple uses with the battery power and attached rubber duck antenna.

John
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  #5  
Old 08-27-2016, 01:47 PM
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Greg Arehart Greg Arehart is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maniago View Post
Ok I'm stupid. Whats a tracker (in this context) and why would one want to buy one? Why do HAMs use it?
Mani,

These are little (physically) ham radios put in a wing or other place in an airplane and which put out a signal that is then connected to the internet (look at aprs.fi, for an example) and anyone can see where you are at any given time (within a few minutes). Of course if you want to be in stealth mode, just turn off your transmitter (tracker). It is a cheap alternative to things like spidertracks or spot, but it does not provide all the capability of those things.

Also, it is used by a bunch of other folks (autos, boats) so you have to filter those out.

That's it in a nutshell. Search on aprs on here for more detail.

Greg

P.S. to legally use one, you have to have a ham radio license, which is pretty easy to obtain.
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  #6  
Old 08-27-2016, 01:58 PM
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Ok thanks Greg. I wiki'ed APRS and after reading a bunch of gobldie-gook I did finally figure out it was kinda SPOT-ish. Just wasn't sure why HAMs were the center of it all.
I get it now.
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MustangII (FoldingWing) "FirewallFwd&sundries": IO360B1E,RSA,C2YR-BF/F7666-2,Superior sump,James; 2xHXr,MiniX,EIS,480,327,240,SL30,Navworx; SteamAlt,AS,VSI
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  #7  
Old 08-27-2016, 02:16 PM
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Lenny Iszak Lenny Iszak is offline
 
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Vlad,

I like the idea of receive before transmit and this unit seems to be doing that:
http://www.byonics.com/mtt4b

It gives you more of a chance that your packet will be heard. It also has plenty of power at 8 watts.

It can also receive messages via APRS. Would be cool if someone made a messaging app for it.

Lenny
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  #8  
Old 08-27-2016, 02:31 PM
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Default The problem with airborne receive before transmit

is that you'll never hear a quiet interlude on a packet channel on 2 meters. Ever.

Better to transmit in the blind, at a reasonable output power and interval, and hope for no collisions. Listen-before-transmit is good etiquette and good engineering for land-mobile stations and of course digi-peaters. It's pretty impractical for airborne trackers with any receiver sensitivity at all.
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  #9  
Old 08-27-2016, 02:37 PM
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Default Hamming way longer than I've been aviating

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
My 10 years old BigRedBee APRS tracker is faltering and I am thinking of replacing it with something more robust and modern. Any recommendation from seasoned hams? Which tracker is the best? I am not a tinkerer and wouldn't build my own.
Not saying you should necessarily take on a tracker DIY project, Vlad, but when the WX has you grounded, unless you're building another plane, I'm hard-pressed to think of a better alternative hobby than diddling with radio transmitters, receivers, antennas - and modern ham accesories like modems and computers. Anyone technical enough to build an RV and get a pilot's license should have no difficulty getting savvy enough with electrons and radio frequency energy to have some real fun with it. Plus, you're already licensed.

Go for it.
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RV-6A - N30YD - flying since '98
RV-10 - N130YD reserved - under construction

donating monthly to the VAF - thanks, Doug
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  #10  
Old 08-27-2016, 04:05 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maniago View Post
Ok I'm stupid. Whats a tracker (in this context) and why would one want to buy one? Why do HAMs use it?
Plenty of stickies in the VAF APRS sub-forum:

http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...play.php?f=104
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