[Space] aprs stuff

nils at shkoo.com nils at shkoo.com
Mon Jan 25 02:32:55 PST 2010


Hi,

I've been digging around for APRS hardware and found some interesting 
things.

The Microamp 3 (http://www.byonics.com/microtrak/microamp.php) for $62 
looks useful to boost the radio output to 8 Watts.

Also, the TinyTrak 4 (http://www.byonics.com/tinytrak4/) for $75 looks 
like it has 5 analog inputs and 8 digital inputs.  It can include this 
data in the APRS reports, and has a builtin temperature sensor you can use 
for one of the inputs.  It looks polished and documented.

On the downside, the tinytrak4 isn't open source (as opposed to 
opentracker+ I guess, where just the toolchain is closed source).

Here are some other potential sensors, maybe not for the first run but 
they might supply some interesting data:

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9569
http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=MPX5100A-ND
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8875

It also might be worth including a beacon like one of these ($115) to help 
with recovery, like this one:

http://bigredbee.com/BeeLine.htm

If we have a dual-antenna USRP we can use with a chase team, that'll make 
the direction finding pretty easy.

If we had 2 USRPs we could go a step further and do triangulation and get 
an estimated location instead of just a bearing. :)

Here are some other do-it-yourself APRS trackers that might be useful for 
later launches, or just for general information on how APRS works inside:

WhereAVR
http://garydion.com/projects/whereavr/
Lots of good information on making your own APRS tracker here and how the 
protocol works, and PCB files.
Disadvantage: do it yourself. This might be a good one for a subsequent 
launch.

OZ4HZ APRS Tracker
http://www.aargang64.dk/aprs/docs/txtrack.html
Lots of good information on making your own APRS tracker here and how the 
protocol works, and PCB files.
Disadvantage: do it yourself. This also might be a good one for a 
subsequent launch.



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