Re: Cheap tracker for possible one-way mission

Bruce Coates

Hi Mark

It's probably not feasible given the time frame but I'm working on an Arduino (Trackuino) based tracker for a floater.  It's definitely a DIY project as it's assembled from individual parts.  The assembled weight should be around 35-40 grams and will run for about 5 hours with a 1 minute beacon rate on a 150mah lipo and up to 2 days if the beacon rate is reduced.  I can post the details and code if anyone is interested.

The parts required are:
Arduino 3.3v 8Mhz
NEO6M GPS module
SR-FRS-1W radio by Sunrise Electronics
DS1820 temperature sensor(s) (Optional)
Solar cells and charge controller (Optional)
3 resistors, 3 capacitors (Some are optional)
150 mAh (or larger) Lipo pack

73, Bruce - VE5BNC

On 2018-07-05 2:59 PM, Mark Conner N9XTN wrote:
Paul KD4STH and I are looking at doing a launch from the Nebraska Star Party on August 7 from south of Valentine, NE.  The region is fairly devoid of roads, and much more populated with cattle and rough terrain than people.  We are considering a recovery-optional mission for this flight - if it's too difficult to retrieve, we'll skip it.

I have not kept track of the lightweight and low-cost trackers that are out there, and some are probably still in beta.  Ideally I'd like something under $100 to keep our expense down should we choose not to recover it.  Any ideas?  Some of the lower-cost devices seem to have gone out of production.

Obviously it needs a GPS with ~120 kft altitude capability, but can be relatively low-power.  It can also be on 144.39 since the ground APRS infrastructure is nil, so no competition with other stations.  1 or 2 lithium AA batteries for power would be ok as it only has to last a few hours.  Telemetry is not a big deal for this flight either.  Pre-configuration is OK too, I don't think we'll need to fiddle with the setup.  We may have to work out timeslotting with the other flight if necessary, but I think we can do that in advance too.

Feel free to contact me off-list if you'd rather.

73 de Mark N9XTN

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