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Thread: Wildman Tracker

  1. #1

    Wildman Tracker

    How many of you have used the tracker sold on Wildman's site? Tim himself told me that he has never lost a rocket with this tracker in it (after 10 years of flying!). He also told me how he's found rockets over 8 miles away, how his customers found rockets further than that, etc. I'ts supposed to be super simple to use, just turn it on and follow the beeping signal up to your rocket. This seems to me to be an excellent unit, and the only thing preventing me from buying one today is the cost. At $575 for the complete unit, it costs literally hundreds of dollars more than standard GPS units. On something this spendy, I'll still need a bit more convincing about its reliablity and effectiveness before I buy one .


  2. #2
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    Don't know where you are getting it costs hundreds more than GPS. By the time you have the Handheld and GPS unit itself your already way up there.

    Anyhow, I have one & also have not lost a rocket yet. [well not counting the ones in trees, but i did find them]

    Just look around at any major launch and you will see dozens of fliers walking around with them.


    Here.... read this thread... look for my posts about the unit and how to use it.

    http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthr...-for-Beginners

    Jim Hendricksen
    L-3 Tripoli 9693
    ICBM, Orangeburg SC - QCRS ,Princeton ILL - MDRA , Price Maryland - Woosh, Bong Wisconsin- ROCC, Charlotte NC
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  3. #3
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    unsolicited testimonial...

    I bought my unit from Tim about three years ago. Best investment in rocketry. Ever. Paid for itself in the first season. Granted, Bong state park has a lot of hazards and a small landing area, but it has saved me at least 8 rockets that I would likely never have seen again, each with avionics, motor cases, and parachutes worth more than cost of the receiver. Been over 4 miles away on two occasions. Deep in the woods or buried in crop. Ever look away for a second and lose your line? Or the references seem to change when you get closer? With a tracker, you can wait an hour, or come at it from a different direction, and it will still get you to the right area.

    I think of it like insurance. You hope you don't need it, but you sleep better knowing it is there if you do.
    Last edited by SMR; 12th September 2012 at 11:24 PM.
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    I believe this is the Tracker made by communication specialists. I have one and it is very reliable. A word of caution is to tape the transmitter battery in place. I also often put the transmitter in a protective case in case of recovery malfunction. 8 miles is about the maximum range but if you travel in the direction the rocket is suspected to have landed chances are you will pick up a signal. Great product right out of the box!
    I also use a BRB900 GPS transmitter and it is not as reliable as the comm spec unit. I'm still working out the bugs with the system.
    Last edited by karlbaum; 12th September 2012 at 11:08 PM. Reason: update
    Karl Baumheckel
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  5. #5
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    I also have the same tracker. Its great would not fly with out it. Yes I to know guys who have found there rocket miles from the launch site. If your rockets gets miles form the launch site you may not get a signal from the site but you just walk or drive untill you pick up the signal. Last month my Jart landed in a large pond I was getting a signal even with it in the water. 24 hrs later it was still sending out a signal come and get me. I got the Jart out of the water dried transmitter out and used it in KS at Air Fest.
    GP

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackjack2564 View Post
    Don't know where you are getting it costs hundreds more than GPS. By the time you have the Handheld and GPS unit itself your already way up there.

    Anyhow, I have one & also have not lost a rocket yet. [well not counting the ones in trees, but i did find them]

    Just look around at any major launch and you will see dozens of fliers walking around with them.


    Here.... read this thread... look for my posts about the unit and how to use it.

    http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthr...-for-Beginners
    I didn't think that sounded right, but looking at the website, the receiver lists at $450. That seems a bit high for a radio beacon, unless this isn't the same tracker I'm thinking of. For that price, I would personally get a Garmin Astro 220 or Astro 320 instead (from what I can tell, the 320 doesn't add much for us, so I'd save the money and get the older version - the main differences that I can see that would be noticeable are that the 320 has a bit better compass in it, and it has a nicer screen, but the compass in the 220 is fine for what we need for tracking rockets). It's about the same price for another collar as the Wildman tracker is for another transmitter (~100-150), and it gives full GPS location and is about as easy to use as it gets. The only downside is size, but it fits easily in anything 3" and up (and it can be fit into 54mm or even 38mm with some fiddling, or at least that's what I've heard). A tracker's definitely worth the money, but for that kind of cash, I'd use GPS (and there's no denying the convenience of GPS - it has forever spoiled me for ordinary RDF beacons).
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiley View Post
    This seems to me to be an excellent unit, and the only thing preventing me from buying one today is the cost. .
    Ps the first time you loose a rocket with all the electronics, recovery gear and expensive motor hardware, the tracker cost seems pretty cheap & pays for itself!
    Jim Hendricksen
    L-3 Tripoli 9693
    ICBM, Orangeburg SC - QCRS ,Princeton ILL - MDRA , Price Maryland - Woosh, Bong Wisconsin- ROCC, Charlotte NC
    "Made" member of Chicago & Carolina Rocket Mafia
    Rocketry...........an exact science.......but not exactly !!!

  8. #8
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    No experience with the specific unit sold by Wildman, but I've seen a lot of folks use them with great success.

    The cheapest complete tracking solution is Big Red Bee, with a 70cm handheld and a Yagi antenna, and that's going to set you back a minimum of $200, assuming you build the Yagi yourself (and it works), and you buy a used radio.

    Trackers aren't cheap; all you need to do is find one rocket you otherwise might've lost, and they begin to pay for themselves.

    Also, trackers take practice to learn to use -- regardless of what you get, learn to use it on rockets you can easily find, so that when you need the tracker, you've mastered it.

    -Kevin

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    i tape my BRB900 to my kids bike and send him out riding on our 16 acres. tracks him all over from my laptop,
    Shane B.


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  10. #10
    Thanks guys! Seeing that others have had success with the Wildman unit, I'm now willing to commit to buying it.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by karlbaum View Post
    I believe this is the Tracker made by communication specialists. I have one and it is very reliable. A word of caution is to tape the transmitter battery in place. I also often put the transmitter in a protective case in case of recovery malfunction. 8 miles is about the maximum range but if you travel in the direction the rocket is suspected to have landed chances are you will pick up a signal. Great product right out of the box!
    I also use a BRB900 GPS transmitter and it is not as reliable as the comm spec unit. I'm still working out the bugs with the system.
    What is the reliability issue with BRB900? No troubles with mine, other than the worry about the unit coming apart at the pin connections. There is a forum thread about that somewhere.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by blackjack2564 View Post
    Don't know where you are getting it costs hundreds more than GPS. By the time you have the Handheld and GPS unit itself your already way up there.

    Anyhow, I have one & also have not lost a rocket yet. [well not counting the ones in trees, but i did find them]

    Just look around at any major launch and you will see dozens of fliers walking around with them.


    Here.... read this thread... look for my posts about the unit and how to use it.

    http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthr...-for-Beginners
    CJ, this post and the links you posted in the linked thread have piqued my curiosity. To be specific, which system have you used without losing a rocket yet? Was it the one Tim sells, or was it a Marshall transmitter (or other, please specify) and a Com-spec PR-100 receiver? I'm currently looking at using the PR-100 receiver (in a non-ham frequency) in conjunction with the Marshall Scout (http://marshallradio.com/en/north-am...out-transmitte) transmitter. The Scout has a 40mi line of sight range, and the cost of the complete system would be $375. That's $200 cheaper than Wildman's! Please forgive my ignorance, but would the PR-100 be able to receive the signal at 40 miles away? In your experience, what would the range drop to once the rocket is on the ground, assuming that the terrain has rolling rises and small, scattered clumps of trees?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiley View Post
    CJ, this post and the links you posted in the linked thread have piqued my curiosity. To be specific, which system have you used without losing a rocket yet? Was it the one Tim sells, or was it a Marshall transmitter (or other, please specify) and a Com-spec PR-100 receiver? I'm currently looking at using the PR-100 receiver (in a non-ham frequency) in conjunction with the Marshall Scout (http://marshallradio.com/en/north-am...out-transmitte) transmitter. The Scout has a 40mi line of sight range, and the cost of the complete system would be $375. That's $200 cheaper than Wildman's! Please forgive my ignorance, but would the PR-100 be able to receive the signal at 40 miles away? In your experience, what would the range drop to once the rocket is on the ground, assuming that the terrain has rolling rises and small, scattered clumps of trees?
    I went down the same road as you with the PR-100. I ended up selling it and getting into the 300 unit (Tim sells the 400 BTW)
    The "problem" with the 100 series unit is, you have to convert the 3 digit number. I talked to Com Spec and they said the tracking range is identical from unit to unit and the battery life on the transmitters is about 8 days. I have tested that theory and got almost 10 days. frequency number over to a 2 digit number. Basically, you will be out of luck if you ever lose the manual and no one will be able to help you track your rocket unless you have "both" numbers memorized. I know this may seem like no big deal.....but it was for me and not worth the difference in cost. Do what works best for your budget, just remember, receivers are sold with a 3 digit channel # and you will have to convert that if you buy the 100 unit. This may become problems when making sure you are not sharing channels with others at a launch (I had that problem, I only knew my 2 digit number and not the commonly used 3 digit.
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  14. #14
    Jason, I have never had experience with any of this technology, so would you mind clarifying what you mean by the "3 digit number?" If you mean the channel number, it appears that this is adjustable on the receiver. Please correct me if I'm wrong, since I'm learning as I go. Also, what do you mean by "convering" the "3 digit number" and why does the PR-100 unit make this necessary?Just so you know, I want the PR-100 because it can be operated without a ham license.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiley View Post
    Jason, I have never had experience with any of this technology, so would you mind clarifying what you mean by the "3 digit number?" If you mean the channel number, it appears that this is adjustable on the receiver. Please correct me if I'm wrong, since I'm learning as I go. Also, what do you mean by "convering" the "3 digit number" and why does the PR-100 unit make this necessary?Just so you know, I want the PR-100 because it can be operated without a ham license.
    I haven't used the PR-100, so someone (Jason) jump in and correct me if I'm wrong. The front panel of the PR-100 has a two digit channel selector (photo 1). The channels correspond to frequencies per the chart (photo 2).

    The PR-300 and RR-400 (what I use) have three digit channel selectors (photo 3), which correspond pretty much directly with the frequencies of the transmitters (photo 4).

    The Comm Spec manuals are available online to reference - http://www.com-spec.com/rocket/index.html.

    FWIW, the ham license exam is not difficult. YMMV, but our local ham club administers the test one Saturday each month, costs $14, good for 10 years. Study guides and practice exams are available online at no cost. Morse Code is no longer required or tested. The Technician Exam (entry level license) is the one you want, and the exam just covers the basic rules and some definitions. Then you can use all the frequencies commonly available legally and without worry.

    Sather
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    Last edited by SMR; 13th September 2012 at 02:17 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiley View Post
    CJ, this post and the links you posted in the linked thread have piqued my curiosity. To be specific, which system have you used without losing a rocket yet? Was it the one Tim sells, or was it a Marshall transmitter (or other, please specify) and a Com-spec PR-100 receiver? I'm currently looking at using the PR-100 receiver (in a non-ham frequency) in conjunction with the Marshall Scout (http://marshallradio.com/en/north-am...out-transmitte) transmitter. The Scout has a 40mi line of sight range, and the cost of the complete system would be $375. That's $200 cheaper than Wildman's! Please forgive my ignorance, but would the PR-100 be able to receive the signal at 40 miles away? In your experience, what would the range drop to once the rocket is on the ground, assuming that the terrain has rolling rises and small, scattered clumps of trees?
    I have the one Tim sells....the Cadillac of them all, it gets over 400 frequencies.

    As I stated in the other post, one needs to read all available info posted in the manuals on the sites to determine what best suits your needs. It will require you investing some time to do so. I don't know your flying style, that should determine your needs. Most units state their distance at line of site...6ft above ground level. Why I always stand in my pickup bed... higher.
    It is impossible for me to state any range as every field is different. Only on flat desert or playa can you get the optimum range,but you can increase it anywhere by standing on you bumper, hill or things such as hay bales that abound in farmland, tree stumps etc. We have found rockets that had NO signal on the ground by climbing on the roof of the RV where signal boomed! Use your imagination to get higher up. This is why it is important to track rocket during flight and establish a direction. You may lose signal when landed, but re-acquire it after driving towards it.
    Did you read the PDF I posted in the link on how to use a tracker? Most of your questions are answered there? I would save that gem for future reference.
    I fly a lot, and at different sites, so I carry 3 transmitters. 1. to be sure I am not on some one else's frequency and 2. I need 2 transmitters for 2-stage flying

    I have the Comm-Spec transmitters & Marshall also & have used the tiny LLC.
    Most all transmitters will work on my unit, no matter who makes them. Another advantage of a better unit.
    Jim Hendricksen
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMR View Post
    I haven't used the PR-100, so someone (Jason) jump in and correct me if I'm wrong. The front panel of the PR-100 has a two digit channel selector (photo 1). The channels correspond to frequencies per the chart (photo 2).

    The PR-300 and RR-400 (what I use) have three digit channel selectors (photo 3), which correspond pretty much directly with the frequencies of the transmitters (photo 4).

    The Comm Spec manuals are available online to reference - http://www.com-spec.com/rocket/index.html.



    FWIW, the ham license exam is not difficult. YMMV, but our local ham club administers the test one Saturday each month, costs $14, good for 10 years. Study guides and practice exams are available online at no cost. Morse Code is no longer required or tested. The Technician Exam (entry level license) is the one you want, and the exam just covers the basic rules and some definitions. Then you can use all the frequencies commonly available legally and without worry.

    Sather
    BINGO, thanks for the clarification with pics.
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  18. #18
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    I have this tracker and have not lost a rocket while using it. It is very simple to use.
    -----------------------
    Chuck Haislip
    NAR/Tripoli Level 3 Prefect ICBM - TRA #60

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    I can't speak from user expercience yet, but based on my losses at Bong this weekend on 2 nice rockets, I talked with Tim from Wildman and ordered up a receiver and transmitter on the spot. A selling point for me was that I could use the unit without a ham license to start with. The other selling point was Tim said it was so easy to use that even I could use it. Seeing as I am cluelessIt seemed like an easy decision. Quite honestly seeing as my flights were under 2000 feet I was thinking - who needs a transmitter? Boy that thought process burnd me.Yes the cost was a bit of a concern but when I figured out that I lost an altimeter, 2 different cases, aftermarket chutes, aftermarket cords, and 2 very nice kits plus my time in building them. I have decided that I'll be tracking all my larger MPR and all my HPR flights moving forward. I also lost a lot of time at ECOF this past weekend wandering around looking for my rockets instead of launching.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Rrwjr View Post
    A selling point for me was that I could use the unit without a ham license to start with.
    I do not believe you can "legally" use these transmitters without a HAM license. From the Com-Spec operators manual - "The Communications Specialists, Inc. 222 MHz transmitters are designed for licensed ham radio operation on vacant interstitial “channels” throughout the 222 MHz – 225 MHz ham band." (Emphasis Mine) As was already stated, the test to get your Technician License" is equivalent to the Level 2 test.

    Not sure if anyone gotten dinged using these without a license but, acording to Hoyle, it's not legal

  21. #21
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    You are suppose to have a HAM and that is likely correct.
    -----------------------
    Chuck Haislip
    NAR/Tripoli Level 3 Prefect ICBM - TRA #60

    Level 1 - LOC Minie Magg; Level 2 - PR Broken Arrow;
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    My rockets usually fly naked. If they survive, they earn their paint.

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  22. #22
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    I believe there is some confusion as to what units are being discussed. Seeing as I didnt stay at a Holiday Inn last night, i could be wrong but here is what I am seeing. Yes, you need a HAM with the PR-300, the PR-100 needs a HAM unless you use the legacy channels. The unit which started this thread is what Tim has on his site. That is the R-400 which doesn't operate in the 222 MHz frequency. Therefore, from my understandings you don't need a HAM.

    If you follow CJ's info you will see he has 3 receivers. I believe 1 is the PR-100 as that post mentions the $250.00 price tag and I am assuming he has the r-400 or the RR-400 as one of his others I don't quite understand what the difference of the R-400 and RR -400 is.

    It could be debated and I am sure it will be somewhere, why use a" falconry" type of receiver ( the R-400). As we see in numerous avenues of rocketry there are numerous ways to achieve similar or the same results usings different products.

  23. #23
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    I contacted com-spec when I was looking at systems. Here is his response.

    Hello Kevin, Thank you for your interest in our telemetry tracking receivers. The main difference between the PR-100/R-300 and the R-400 is the PR-100 and R-300 receivers are channelized. Meaning, you enter a channel number and that equals a specific frequency, i.e. CH-60 (222.250MHz). Whereas, the R-400 has a tunable frequency range from 216.000 to 219.999Mhz, with no gaps, so no matter what frequency your transmitter is on, within 216.000 and 219.999MHz, the R-400 will hear it. The R-400 is normally used for Falconry. The rocket people use the PR-100 or R-300. The AT-2B transmitter can be used with these two receivers for rocketry. I hope this has answered your questions. If not, please feel free to contact me at the following number(s).

    Regards,
    Randy Johnson, Sales
    Communications Specialists, Inc.
    randy@com-spec.com
    800.854.0547 or
    714.998.3021
    I wound up buying Tim's receiver, which is a com-spec R-400 customized by com-spec to match the frequencies of the AT-2B com-spec transmitters sold for use in rocketry. The main advantage of the R-400 is that you can de-tune the receiver when you get close to the rocket, which provides more flexibility in finding it. I really like this unit, though I always use a beeper in addition to the radio. The radio is good when you are far from the rocket. The beeper is good when you are 30 ft from the rocket in high corn or soybeans.
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  24. #24
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    The receiver/tracker system sold by Tim is an excellent product, and Com-Spec knows rocketry very well. This is the next generation of the old "Rockethunter" system sold in the previous decade by Joe Mullin. I have stopped by CSI's corporate offices to exchange a receiver; while I was there chatting with the sales rep, I noticed he had signed memorabilia from Burt Rutan on the wall, and a copy of ROCKETS magazine on his desk. This stuff is right up their alley.
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  25. #25
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    Bottom line:

    If ya want the real downlow, just call Tim & ask him. He's the one selling them.
    Jim Hendricksen
    L-3 Tripoli 9693
    ICBM, Orangeburg SC - QCRS ,Princeton ILL - MDRA , Price Maryland - Woosh, Bong Wisconsin- ROCC, Charlotte NC
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  26. #26
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    I'm not familiar with the Comm Spec TX's but I am with the Big Red Bee. You can use the BRB right out of the box on the factory default settings or you can attach it to your computer and configure several settings including transmit frequency, TX mode, duty cycle, audio tone frequency, alphanumeric message (typically your call sign), etc. My 70cm BRB transmitter can be tuned to any frequency within the 70cm band. You are not restricted to a set TX frequency or "channel" so there is no reason to carry multiple TX's to ensure a free frequency. Of course, you should observe the local band plan to avoid high use frequencies.

    The configuration software also allows you to adjust several other parameters including the duty cycle of the signal if you want to optimize battery life vs ease of picking up the signal. E.g. very short on periods separated by long off periods would result in a long batter life but would be more difficult to pickup in a fast sweep. Longer transmissions separated by short off periods gives shorter battery life but is harder to miss when sweeping for a signal. I set mine so it has a 1-2 day battery life and is easy to pick up with a deliberate scan pausing for a second or two at each compass direction.

    All of the available units should have plenty of range line-of-sight for rocketry when the rocket is in the air. Once the rocket is on the ground the signal will drop off or disappear as discussed above and antenna height is your friend. I have found that by tracking the flight I have a good bearing if the signal disappears and by walking/driving in that direction I pick it up again. I've not lost a rocket either although I only have a handful of flights. However, I have tracked down rockets up to 4 miles away without difficulty. Next to getting your antenna up high and having a good high gain antenna, the TX output will make a difference as to the on the ground range. The BRB I chose has 100mW of output which is pretty high for its small size.

    A comparison of the BRB 70cm highpower TX to the Comm Spec AT-2B TX looks like this.

    BRB 70cm high power
    Works with any 70cm receiver
    FM or CW modes
    420-450MHz ham band
    100mW output
    Call sign ID transmission - user programmable w/ optional cable
    Transmit frequency - user programmable w/ optional cable
    Battery - attached rechargeable lipo
    Duty cycle - user programmable w/ optional cable
    Size "less than 1"x2"", "fits in a 29mm coupler"
    Weight 1oz w/ battery
    $89.00 (+$26.00 for optional programming cable/charger)

    AT-2B
    SSB FM mode (I assume it would work with any 1.25m RX with SSB cabability. Not sure if there are any such handhelds made other than the Comm Spec dedicated RX's)
    222-225MHz ham band
    50mW output
    Call sign ID transmission - factory programmed
    Transmit frequency - factory programmed
    Battery CR2032 coin cell
    Duty cycle - fixed
    Size 1.9x1.1x.8
    Weight 0.9oz w/ battery
    $99.95

    Conclusion: Size and price of the TX's are comparable. BRB has higher output power and is more flexible w/ user programmability of the TX and wide range of RX choices. Comm Spec is more "turn key" solution with factory programming and channelized RX's. 70cm handheld RX's are common so if you have one or buy an inexpensive or used one the BRB overall system price may be significantly lower but you will have to pay attention to how to use the general purpose radio which may be more complex than just setting a 2-digit code as on the Comm Spec unit. If you get a general purpose FM handheld to used with the BRB the radio is also useable for non rocket tracking purposes such as HAM communication and listening to a variety of scanner frequencies as well as commercial broadcasts.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    23rd March 2010
    Location
    Coastal Maine
    Posts
    298
    If you're looking for NO BS walk to your rocket tracking, then go with a Garmin if you have room. If you want to swing a antenna around listening to beeps and squeeks then go with what he has. I used the Garmin and it has a NO BS screen that has an arrow to point at the direction of your rocket, and it tells you how far away it is. The beeps could be a 1 ft away or 10 miles away.
    Darrin Marriner


    TRA #13209 L2
    NAR #90955 L2

  28. #28
    For Hams:

    A Kenwood TH-F6A will handle all of the non-directional beacon tracking needs. It will receive the 1.25m (220Mhz) frequency and has the SSB and CW modes.
    Just add a Yagi antenna and an attenuator such as this:

    http://www.west.net/~marvin/k0ov.htm

    I mount the attenuator on the yagi. Flip it on and follow the instructions. For GPS tracking use a Kenwood D7a, D7a(G), D72A, or Yaesu VX8GR when using BRB
    or byonics units. The Kenwood D7's can be had used for a reasonable cost and a used Yeasu VX8R will work too.
    The Micro Fox beacon can be flashed with Tiny Trak GPS firmware. Add a $30.00 to $40.00 GPS receiver and one has about the cheapest GPS
    tracker out there. http://www.byonics.com/mf, https://www.argentdata.com/catalog/p...roducts_id=144
    If going with 50mW power or above trackers, I'd recommend doing a full up ground test with the electronics on and bare ematches on the altimeter circuits. Stray Rf can set off some altimeters. The BRB GPS tracker will generally work in the ebay without setting anything off but I had the high powered BRB non-directional beacon set off a P6K on the pad. Mounting the tracker in the nosecone can help prevent this along with using some stickon metal shielding on the bulkhead. I tell you, it looks stupid to have the apogee charge blow on the pad while you're getting ready to install the igniter. If the continuity beeping stops,
    duck! Once the main bay is on the ground, if you can't get the key switch turned off, the main will blow. Bungs up the paint job I tell you. Kurt

  29. #29
    Join Date
    25th August 2009
    Location
    Carol Stream
    Posts
    2,057
    Quote Originally Posted by mainer View Post
    If you're looking for NO BS walk to your rocket tracking, then go with a Garmin if you have room. If you want to swing a antenna around listening to beeps and squeeks then go with what he has. I used the Garmin and it has a NO BS screen that has an arrow to point at the direction of your rocket, and it tells you how far away it is. The beeps could be a 1 ft away or 10 miles away.
    It's funny to hear different opinions about trackers. One calls it "BS" and I kinda like the idea of the "fox hunt" after a launch. The 1 foot or 10 miles thing is a bit of (drama) an exaggeration. The sensitivity adjustments on the dial and distance set points help differentiate between distances that far apart. Don't get me wrong, gps is pretty slick. I just wouldn't use it if I were given it. I guess it's just like any newer technology. The new is always better and the stuff that was the cats a$$ a few years back is now junk to the people who buy into the new gadgets.
    L3-TRA 12636
    QCRS BOD/Prefect. Princeton, IL
    TWA Bong, WI
    Chicago Rocket Mafia "The Hot Tub"
    Public Enemy Aerospace
    Beep-Beep-Boop-Boop

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Rrwjr View Post
    I believe there is some confusion as to what units are being discussed. Seeing as I didnt stay at a Holiday Inn last night, i could be wrong but here is what I am seeing. Yes, you need a HAM with the PR-300, the PR-100 needs a HAM unless you use the legacy channels. The unit which started this thread is what Tim has on his site. That is the R-400 which doesn't operate in the 222 MHz frequency. Therefore, from my understandings you don't need a HAM.

    If you follow CJ's info you will see he has 3 receivers. I believe 1 is the PR-100 as that post mentions the $250.00 price tag and I am assuming he has the r-400 or the RR-400 as one of his others I don't quite understand what the difference of the R-400 and RR -400 is.

    It could be debated and I am sure it will be somewhere, why use a" falconry" type of receiver ( the R-400). As we see in numerous avenues of rocketry there are numerous ways to achieve similar or the same results usings different products.
    When I bought my tracking system from Tim, I questioned the difference between his tracker and the R-300 unit on Com-Spec's site. He said his unit was a model RR-400. It took a little digging but I found this Con-Spec's site circa 2008 (courtesy of the Internet Way-back Machine):

    - R-300: covers all 300 channels from 222-225MHz and includes highly selective filtering and a TCXO for use in dense urban locations
    - RR-400: covers both 222-225MHz continuously and legacy 219-220MHz rocket channels continuously (all 300+100 channels)

    So it looks like they are identical except the RR-400 has the legacy channels which were used by the Rocket Hunter transmitters. If you do not have any Rocket Hunter transmitters, it looks like the R-300 would save you a little money. In fact, that's what What's up Hobbies recommends here: http://stores.whatsuphobby.com/-strs...sh-/Detail.bok Click detailed description.

    As for the matter of licensing. I emailed Com-Spec just to satisfy my curiosity since I already have my technicians license. To my surprise, Randy called me a few minutes later and said the units Wildman sells do require a HAM license. He had to move his transmitter's frequency to the 222-225MHz HAM band - The 219-220MHz band is restricted to amateur point-to-point fixed digital message forwarding systems (??).

    He further said that it's highly unlikely anyone would get dinged using these low power transmitters. Also, there's usually a HAM attending the launches and they can be responsible for unlicensed people using these "powerful transmitters that can overpower a television transmitter". (sarcasm intended)

    Last edited by Stable1; 19th September 2012 at 02:48 AM.

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