AIM Xtra 3.0 Information

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lowga

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Gheem on "The Rocketry Show" podcast #88 mentioned the AIM XTRA GPS/Telemetry/Altimeter package from "Off We Go Rocketry." Checking on their web site, I see only the 2.0 hardware version currently available for sale--but Gheem mentioned a newer 3.0 version that is now available.

The Rocketry Show

Off We Go Rocketry

Reading through the description and manual, this seems to check almost all of the boxes that I'm looking for to complete a telemetry project. Until now, I've been improvising a similar solution using a modified APRS balloon tracker to transmit real-time telemetry information to my HT. While this works, it makes managing the data downloaded difficult at the ground station.

The AIM XTRA system seems to resolve many of those issues, and it operates on 432 MHz at 50 mW--perfect in terms of range.

I'd love to hear from anyone who owns the system. Gheem mentioned that it's possible to have voice announcements in real-time, another plus.

How reliable are the altimeter/pyro settings for the device? What is the minimum diameter rocket that I could loft this thing in? What type of connectors for the antennas? (I'm assuming SMA). Anyone tracked the rocket using a Yagi or small Log antenna? I was thinking about an ELK or Arrow antenna as an option for greater range.
 
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David here from Entacore. A customer of mine mentioned this post so I thought I would come take a look...

Off We Go Rocketry does have the version 3.0 in stock. I will ask them to update the product listing to reflect that.

Now for the fun part:

Obviously being the creator of the product I'm going to say it works well, so I will answer some of your direct questions.

The unit is 30 mm in diameter so you will need a inner diameter slightly larger than that.
The connectors are SMA. You do receive all the antennas you need when you order the system. The range varies, but anything up to 30 k feet is fine with the longer antenna provided. You can attach a Yagi to the ground station which will improve range by about 50% (for a 3 element).

As for the reliability of the ejections, I would say we have had very good results. Special attention has been paid to this. You can actually emulate flights through the software to see how the unit will respond. For example, you can change GPS values to simulate loss of lock etc.

I am a member of Cape Rocketry, and we actually set the amateur African altitude record with two XTRAs last year. I think the Youtube clip is pretty cool:

There is a also a video describing the avionics which you might find informative:
 

Cameron Anderson

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I have an XTRA 2.0 and I love it. There is real time voice emulation but honestly I'm too busy watching the rocket to listen to much of what is said. Programming is very intuitive, lots of options for a variety of events. I haven't pushed it past 10,000' feet yet but I have done several launches in multiple airframes with zero issues. Not sure what the difference between the 2 and 3 are.
 
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