Re: TrackSoar


Try leaving the tracker on longer. I’m going from memory, but I believe the GPS LED is simply tied to the 1 PPS output and it may blink regardless of whether the GPS has lock or not. The first time you power up the tracker I’m guessing the so called PTT LED may remain bright until the GPS gets a lock as the tracker processor will be constantly on (ie. not entering sleep mode to save power) until lock is achieved and if the GPS hasn’t been powered on for some time and doesn’t yet have a complete almanac saved this may take up to 10 to 15 minutes. After this the GPS will be able to get a lock much faster, like less than a minute.




From: [] On Behalf Of L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
Sent: Sunday, March 31, 2019 3:04 PM
Subject: Re: [GPSL] TrackSoar


Dang speech to text. The LED was on constantly for the 30 seconds I watched it. I turned off the tracker after watching it for 30 seconds.


On Sun, Mar 31, 2019, 2:53 PM L. Paul Verhage KD4STH via Groups.Io <> wrote:

The LED was on constantly until I turned it off the only did was not blinking for 30 seconds.


On Sun, Mar 31, 2019, 1:17 PM Barry <barry2@...> wrote:

If you mean the PTT LED is alternately on for 30 sec’s and then off for 30 sec’s you have definitely have a problem. And although it’s called a PTT LED it isn’t really a true PTT LED, but actually monitors the processor activity and is basically ON all the time.


From my web page at -

The PTT LED, although it becomes bright around the time of each transmission, actually indicates when the processor is awake and busy processing instructions which is why it's dimly lit between transmissions when the processor is only awake very briefly to check if it's time for another transmission each time GPS data is received and then brightens when it's time to make a transmission and the processor remains awake for much longer. After adding the 4th new feature this LED also becomes bright every 10 sec's when the processor is kept awake while checking the altitude and for a burst which makes it hard to know when a transmission actually occurs so a configuration setting was added that allows the PTT LED to be used as either a processor activity indicator or as a real PTT indicator that's only on during a transmission.


My web page also has a link to my modified firmware that gives one the option to make the LED a true PTT indicator as well as to add a number of other useful features (at least I found them useful.)


I haven’t worked with the Tracksoar since I wrote that page in 2016 and can’t remember exactly how the so called PTT LED behaves under certain conditions so can’t help much more than above and what’s on my page.


Are you sure that you replaced the jumper, or jumpers, that you removed to program the unit after adding your callsign etc. to the config file?


The one thing I meant to check out after trying to locate a landed payload and never hearing any further transmissions after it landed was whether the Tracksoar would continue to transmit, or not, the last good data received from the gps if the gps lost lock and was unable to receive any further good data.




From: [] On Behalf Of L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
Sent: Sunday, March 31, 2019 9:56 AM
Subject: Re: [GPSL] TrackSoar


I'll try testing that. My D72 doesn't even break squelch, so I was thinking the TrackSoar wasn't even trying to transmit.


I had one suggestion to remove the comment statements and then look at debug statements. That means learning more about C for the Arduino. I can at least edit a sketch and upload it. Today I guess I'm going to learn more.


On Sun, Mar 31, 2019, 9:41 AM Mark Conner N9XTN <mconner1@...> wrote:

I have an older Kenwood TH-D7A that has trouble decoding packets that have a short TXD, especially when the squelch is turned on.  I don't know if the D72 has the same issues.  You can try running your D72 with open squelch and see if that helps.  If not, can the TXD for the TrackSoar be increased?


73 de Mark N9XTN



On Sat, Mar 30, 2019 at 7:38 PM L. Paul Verhage KD4STH <nearsys@...> wrote:

I'm testing a TrackSoar APRS tracker before near space season begins in earnest. If you haven't seen one of these, it's a small board with GPS, GPS antenna, transmitter, Arduino, and two meter antenna. It runs from 2 'AA'  cells. You program it's Audrino with your callsign and it's ready to go.


Anyhow, I wonder if anyone is using one as I'm having a problem with mine. I see that it has a GPS lock (the GPS LED illuminates once per second) and that it's trying to transmit ( the PTT LED illuminates for 30 seconds on and off). However, my Kenwood D72 doesn't hear anything. My D72 does decode packets from my other trackers, including a Strato Track.


So if you have any experience with the TrackSoar, could you let me know?



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