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  1. #1
    Join Date
    11th November 2015
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    22

    Best Choices for Handheld GPS (to input the Lon./Lat. data from a BRB900 LCD display)

    Hello:

    I am hoping for a little input from other users in regards to what they consider the best choice for a handheld GPS. I want to be able to input data off my BRB900 (right off the LCD Receiver screen - in the format shown on the BRB900 LCD screen) and then use that handheld GPS to basically "walk *** to the rocket. Any input would be appreciated as I do not own a handheld GPS yet and I want to get a decent quality one with reasonable accuracy to use for rocket recovery.

    Thanks in advance...

    Gary S.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    20th February 2009
    Location
    Cayuga, Indiana
    Posts
    12,517
    I use Google maps on my phone.

    L3, TRA #11847
    Tripoli Indiana #132
    Tripoli Central Illinois #59
    Central Illinois Aerospace (NAR) #527
    Chicago Rocket Mafia, "Big Bucks" Dixon
    ___________________________________

    Quiet little voices creep into my head. -- We Were Promised Jetpacks

  3. #3
    Join Date
    5th December 2013
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    6,216
    Very cheap, very effective solution. This is what I use. Tonimus recommended it to me. It is monochrome, old school, and a bit non-intuitive; but once you get the hang of it, it will walk you right to your rocket every time. okay, well, within 50' of it.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Magellan-GPS...EAAOSw-K9ZEJxL
    John S. ---- NAR #96911 ---- TRA #15253 ---- MDRA #067 ---- BARC #028
    L1, 3/15/14: Aerotech Sumo, CTI H133BS
    L2, 6/21/14: Giant Leap Vertical Assault, CTI J240RL
    L3, 3/12/16: MAC Performance Radial Flyer, CTI M1101WH
    Altitude: 13,028', L3 flight; Speed: Mach ???, L3 flight

  4. #4
    Join Date
    9th May 2009
    Posts
    1,545
    If you can't use a smartphone, then the cheapest Garmin handheld (eTrex 10, about $90) would be fine, or something used on ebay. I use an old handheld Garmin with more bells and whistles purchased about 10 years ago for geocaching.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    28th June 2016
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    662
    I would get a unit that has a sight and go feature. That way, if you have visual lock or fly with an RDF backup you can shoot a line in addition to following the GPS. You can also use the sight and go to track down flights without GPS tracking, which would be handy in a number of situations.
    TRA #10518 ---- MDRA #106

    L1, 6/25/2016: Modified MadCow Super Batray, CTI I236 BS
    L2, 9/17/2016: Modified RW Patriot, CTI J280 SS
    L3, 4/8/2017: RW Formula 200, CTI M1810 RL

    Max Altitude: 4,978', L3 Cert flight
    Max Speed: Mach ???, L3 Cert flight

  6. #6
    Join Date
    13th June 2014
    Location
    Cocoa Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,267
    If you have an iPhone, there is an app called MotionX-GPS. It'll do just what you want.
    Tim
    L3 NAR 98225

  7. #7
    Join Date
    26th November 2009
    Posts
    4,200
    All the above is good advice. A Garmin "blue" colored Legend will get the job done too. Only advice is make sure you set the units correctly on your handheld GPS to match the output from the BRB900.
    The BRB900 basically outputs NMEA strings with some extra stuff in the strings. If it just output NMEA only it could be modified to send the strings to a mapping GPS for live tracking. I've talked to
    Greg Clark about this but alas, it's not able to be done unfortunately.

    With the Blue Garmin Legend: https://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Etrex-.../dp/B000058BCQ (buy used on ebay don't pay this price) there is a socket at the top to take the NMEA words and input WPL (waypoint) strings so if
    one graduates to APRS tracking with a Ham radio APRS rig like a Kenwood D72A, 74A or a Yaesu VX-8GR, the GPS can be interfaced to the radio so it can track the rocket live in-flight. No having to input anything and even the Legend one can
    command to navigate to the rocket waypoint. Pretty slick. Ham guys have been able to do this for about the past 10 to 15 years. Problem was it was kind of pricey. Now not so much. Kurt

  8. #8
    Join Date
    9th July 2014
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,311
    Quote Originally Posted by Bat-mite View Post
    Very cheap, very effective solution. This is what I use. Tonimus recommended it to me. It is monochrome, old school, and a bit non-intuitive; but once you get the hang of it, it will walk you right to your rocket every time. okay, well, within 50' of it.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Magellan-GPS...EAAOSw-K9ZEJxL
    Hah! You beat me to it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    5th April 2015
    Posts
    42
    I use an app called "US Topo Maps" on my phone.

    I use the coordinates given by the BRB900 to create a waypoint. Then I'm able to "goto" that wayoint.

    I really like that you can overlay a Google earth satellite map to see what's in your path to the rocket.
    Seth Cooper
    L3
    NAR 75427
    TRA 15793

  10. #10
    Join Date
    6th September 2009
    Posts
    1,464
    Quote Originally Posted by mikec View Post
    If you can't use a smartphone, then the cheapest Garmin handheld (eTrex 10, about $90) would be fine, or something used on ebay. I use an old handheld Garmin with more bells and whistles purchased about 10 years ago for geocaching.
    This^

    Quote Originally Posted by NateLowrie View Post
    I would get a unit that has a sight and go feature. That way, if you have visual lock or fly with an RDF backup you can shoot a line in addition to following the GPS. You can also use the sight and go to track down flights without GPS tracking, which would be handy in a number of situations.
    and this^

    I tried 2 or 3 different apps for Android, but I still like my ol' Garmin eTrex with Sight and Go the best. It is rugged, can be operated with one hand, and I don't mind handling it with dirty fingers. The only downside is that I end up carrying 3 bulky devices in my pockets - phone (not needed, just habit), Garmin, and BRB900 LCD receiver.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    3rd February 2012
    Location
    So Cal (ROC, TRASD, SCRA)
    Posts
    2,362
    You can get old unactivated iPhones for next to nothing, ditto for Android devices. As long as it has a GPS in it and your app doesn't need Internet access (i.e. MotionX on iOS) then it will work. I have an old iPhone 4 that I use as my backup tracking device, and also for connecting to Quantums and WiFi Switches in case I forget to charge my phone. Yes, that has happened... ONCE.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    18th March 2016
    Location
    Hinckley, IL
    Posts
    66
    I have been searching for Garmin recievers with "Sight and Go" and I can't find a list of ones that actually have that feature. Want to order one, so does anyone have a list or suggestion on an exact model?

    TIA!
    Tracy Ramsey
    NAR #101696
    Lvl 1 - 7-23-16 - Madcow Torrent
    Lvl 2 - BUILDING! - Binder Designs Velociraptor
    Prairie State Rocketry, WOOSH

  13. #13
    Join Date
    9th May 2009
    Posts
    1,545
    Quote Originally Posted by Zauskycop View Post
    I have been searching for Garmin recievers with "Sight and Go" and I can't find a list of ones that actually have that feature.
    Generally, the receiver has to have an electronic compass in it for Sight-and-go. The Etrex 30 is the cheapest one that has it, AFAIK. But look for a compass as a feature.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    26th November 2009
    Posts
    4,200
    Quote Originally Posted by Zauskycop View Post
    I have been searching for Garmin recievers with "Sight and Go" and I can't find a list of ones that actually have that feature. Want to order one, so does anyone have a list or suggestion on an exact model?

    TIA!
    Etrex Vista HCX has Sight 'N Go. Get it used. Garmin 60 CsX has "Sight 'N Go" and if you think that someday you might want to get a ham tech license and APRS track
    you can get a cable: http://www.gpsgeek.com/products/inte...-pin-round-gps
    You plug this into a D72A and it will live track on the Garmin 60CsX. A cheaper Blue Legend: https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/173
    can also to live APRS tracking but doesn't have sight 'n go feature. Use this cable: http://www.gpsgeek.com/products/inte...-gps-receivers. You can plug these cables into used Kenwood D7A's and D7A(g) but beware, I have two of these and the oscillators have gone out of spec and no longer receive well.
    I wouldn't buy used unless you do a range test with a unit first before buying. A D72A is very workable.

    You don't have to buy Garmin maps. The Legend has a base map that is not upgradeable but it will get the tracking done. The 60CsX one can use this site:
    http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/ To download a good open source map but the points of interest are not good and updated. If you want those, you should buy Garmin maps. If you just want to track rockets, use the OSM maps. The above GPS units are available used for reasonable prices. They are out of production. Kurt


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