# Best GPS tracking system?

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#### cerving

##### Owner, Eggtimer Rocketry
TRF Supporter
I've actually thought about removing the other arrows, and the track reading. Compass point and distance are very useful, however, especially when the rocket is on the way down... you can see which way it's drifting and how far.

#### waltr

##### Well-Known Member
I just finished building the eggfinder LCD w/GPS and a couple of mini TX's. Been playing with the system in my yard and did get very confused as to what each arrow was telling me. Went back and re-read the manual again. Think I understand them now.

Planning on more playing tonight to learn the system before this Saturday's club launch.
Hoping this will get me to my rockets in the 6 feet high corn.

#### cerving

##### Owner, Eggtimer Rocketry
TRF Supporter
So if the only arrow was the one that meant "Go that way" then would it be more intuitive?

#### waltr

##### Well-Known Member
Probably one arrow for 'go that way' would do it.

I would like to wait until I have a bit more experience with using the eggfinder system before stating what needs to change. I have read that people that have used this say the display vector, arrows works, it just takes some practice.

Knowing the LCD GPS data is updated to display vectors would be nice. I did a lot of walking in different directions to get updated vectors (arrows).

Did try them out again last night in the yard.
Now having problems get the mini TC to GPS lock, No amber blinking LED, with enough satellites. Both mini's worked great over the weekend getting 5-8 satellites, and locking in a few minutes. Last night one never locked and the other other got 3 satellites. Also typed the Coordinates into iphone it map show mini TX in neighbors yard. I did this Sunday and map show mini TX in my yard exactly where it actually was.

The only thing done between working great on the weekend and last night is putting the heat shrink tubing on the mini TX's. I then removed the heat shrink from one that did not lock and it obtain a few satellites which was enough to send gps data the LCD RX.

Not happy and wondering if I got the GPS chips soldered through the PCB slot done properly... Really do not want to remove the Hope RF module to redo the GPS soldering if this is not needed...

Will be testing again tonight.

#### Dan Griffing

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I run the Altus Metrum TeleMega and love it. The software automatically changes pages for the relevant flight states, presenting the important information for each phase of flight. Really good traffic light page for waiting on the pad, good stats during flight and the callouts let you find where the bird is in the sky during flight.

I too have a but it is a PITA since it is only on Apple hardware and I don't own any. Android has been promised but I found out recently that there is no development for that platform planned . I might fly it in a month if I can get a lend of a device off my daughter.
Its a vacuous and incompetent review to regard the Featherweight as a "Pain in the ass" when you don't have the required equipment to operate it. The user interface for the Featherweight is the iPhone with its highly integrated GPS, gyroscope and magnetometer which not all smart phones come with.

So you if your only complaint is that the Featherweight doesn't work with the Android, its like people 30 years ago complaining that the software they wanted didn't run on AOS or Unix. Well I don't fault my VW minivan for not being a Ferrari.

#### OverTheTop

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Its a vacuous and incompetent review to regard the Featherweight as a "Pain in the ass" when you don't have the required equipment to operate it. The user interface for the Featherweight is the iPhone with its highly integrated GPS, gyroscope and magnetometer which not all smart phones come with.

So you if your only complaint is that the Featherweight doesn't work with the Android, its like people 30 years ago complaining that the software they wanted didn't run on AOS or Unix. Well I don't fault my VW minivan for not being a Ferrari.
You counting my opinion as "vacuous and incompetent" doesn't necessarily make it so. Apple aren't the only phones in town that have GNSS systems and gyros, accelerometers and magnetometers, regardless of anything Apple may say or you might believe. The Android ecosystem is far larger (about 4x) and has the same features in a lot of cases.

My biggest complaint is that Featherweight were (and still are, as at 4AUG21) saying "Android App planned" for the Featherweight GPS (for years I think), and I found out recently that that idea is dead in the water.

#### Mike Haberer

##### DaHabes
TRF Supporter
I have an Eggfinder mini and trying to read the receiver display is confusing as hell. Wish I had spent more and gone with something better and easier to read
I went with the dongle receiver with bluetooth because I did not think the limited display on the receiver would be that easy to use. I prefer a map visualization with a directional indicator on it and this option fit the bill. Works well, integrates cleanly with an Android phone and the Rocket Locater app.

#### Mike Haberer

##### DaHabes
TRF Supporter
Its a vacuous and incompetent review to regard the Featherweight as a "Pain in the ass" when you don't have the required equipment to operate it. The user interface for the Featherweight is the iPhone with its highly integrated GPS, gyroscope and magnetometer which not all smart phones come with.

So you if your only complaint is that the Featherweight doesn't work with the Android, its like people 30 years ago complaining that the software they wanted didn't run on AOS or Unix. Well I don't fault my VW minivan for not being a Ferrari.
It is also vacuous and incompetent to pontificate on the iPhone's "vaunted" integration of GPS, gyro and magnetometer since just about any newer Android has all of those features as well. My phones have had them for over 5 years at least, probably longer, so I'm calling BS on your argument. It IS a PITA to have to acquire and carry a second device. The FW is not exactly cheap. Having to fork over more $for yet another device IS a bloody PITA. Final bitch point, the FW software is beta (WTF!) and if it isn't re-upped every three months it goes "poof", like if the developer goes belly up or gets hit by a truck (or Covid). When you dish out up to$500 bucks for a product you want it supported. That software goes dormant and the wonderful hardware becomes a miniature brick. I know because I have one and it's my major complaint with the architecture, over and above the Apple only limitation.

#### cerving

##### Owner, Eggtimer Rocketry
TRF Supporter
Probably one arrow for 'go that way' would do it.

Knowing the LCD GPS data is updated to display vectors would be nice. I did a lot of walking in different directions to get updated vectors (arrows).
Those suggestions will be in the next release.

#### waltr

##### Well-Known Member
Tested the Mini TX's (2) the the LCD RX again last night. No changes made to boards and set everything at same place on my wood deck railing.
Both mini TX acquired lock in a few minutes, amber LED blinking, with 5-7 satellites.
Walked mini TX out into yard a ways.Type corrd's into iphone and map showed correct location to within a few feet. All very good.
Mystery is why the night before they didn't work so well?

#### FlyBy01

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I'll just leave this here...

Lots of folks skip the Eggfinder system because they are afraid of the kit and the tiny parts. That is a legitimate concern. There is also a perception that the Eggfinder is less dependable or not as good as the "manufactured solutions". My 2 cents... the Eggfinder should not be overlooked.

Here are some pictures of the rocket I flew with my mom at LDRS. Launched on a CTI K820 to 11,500' at LDRS 38 and recovered with an Eggfinder.

View attachment 392853

View attachment 392854

View attachment 392855
I have one that does not work and I have received little to no support after hours of reading and re-reading the manual and carefully following the manual. So I would recommend against this system unless you have someone build it for you or are very familiar with electronics at the component level.

#### cerving

##### Owner, Eggtimer Rocketry
TRF Supporter
Did you email and/or call us? Our support email is [email protected], our number is 626-549-0013. We've also been known to do Teams sessions, too.

99% of all Eggtimer issues are either due to soldering issues, or not following recommendations in the manuals (i.e., using a 1S LiPo when it calls for a 2S LiPo, or not providing power to the deployment outputs). We work very hard to make the kits as easy to build as possible, however the more difficult ones are recommended for those with previous electronics assembly experience. An Eggtimer TRS GPS/altimeter is not a good first soldering project... you will almost certainly not succeed. There are several people that provide assembly services for Eggtimer products if you don't think your skills are up to snuff.

#### dvdsnyd

##### Well-Known Member
I have one that does not work and I have received little to no support after hours of reading and re-reading the manual and carefully following the manual. So I would recommend against this system unless you have someone build it for you or are very familiar with electronics at the component level.
I'm sorry you have had this experience. I have built and fubar'd my fair share of Eggtimer products.
Cris has always had exceptional customer service, even going above and beyond in several instances.
Dave

#### Dan Griffing

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
You counting my opinion as "vacuous and incompetent" doesn't necessarily make it so. Apple aren't the only phones in town that have GNSS systems and gyros, accelerometers and magnetometers, regardless of anything Apple may say or you might believe. The Android ecosystem is far larger (about 4x) and has the same features in a lot of cases.

My biggest complaint is that Featherweight were (and still are, as at 4AUG21) saying "Android App planned" for the Featherweight GPS (for years I think), and I found out recently that that idea is dead in the water.
I have other issues about the Featherweight. But these aren’t not just complaints about what platforms aren’t supported, which are like complaints about a startup company not having a branch in your neighborhood or having your flavor of product.

The issues I have might be better addressed on a user’s group which are about the ambiguity of operation with its voice reporting, whether there’s a voice playback mode that can be combined with rocket video, and whether the flight gps data is recorded anywhere that can be accessed at a record of the flight.

Several of us were using the Featherweight at LDRS-39 and it worked great for recovering rockets, but its audio performance was a bit spotty and disappointing.

Its my understanding that Featherweight is a one-man operation by someone with a much more important real job. So I realize that the Featherweight issues need to take a back seat to more significant things. But for users like myself Featherweight continues to show a lot of promise.

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#### Steve Shannon

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
All of our Rocketry GPS Systems have been designed and developed by one or two person teams. That impressed me always:
Altus Metrum: Keith Packard and B’Dale Garbee
Big Red Bee: Greg Clark
Eggtimer: @cerving - Cris Erving
Missileworks: @MWC - Jim Amos
Multronix (Kate): @VernK - Vern Knowles.

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TRF Supporter

TRF Supporter

#### manixFan

##### Not a rocket scientist
All of our Rocketry GPS Systems have been designed and developed by one or two person teams. That impressed me always:
Altus Metrum: Keith Packard and B’Dale Garbee
Eggtimer: @cerving - Cris Erving
Missileworks: @MWC - Jim Amos
Multronix (Kate): @VernK - Vern Knowles.
Don't forget Greg at https://shop.bigredbee.com/ who has awesome stuff!!!
I've said it before and I'll likely say it again: I find it amazing that for such a small hobby we have such a great selection of trackers available for almost any budget and technical preference. And the long term dedication that these vendors have shown is admirable - it's great knowing that no matter which of the above systems I might buy, the vendors have all shown a strong committment to our hobby and their user base.

Tony

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#### Dan Griffing

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
All of our Rocketry GPS Systems have been designed and developed by one or two person teams. That impressed me always:
Altus Metrum: Keith Packard and B’Dale Garbee
Big Red Bee: Greg Clark
Eggtimer: @cerving - Cris Erving
Missileworks: @MWC - Jim Amos
Multronix (Kate): @VernK - Vern Knowles.
I agree with Steve. Each of these rocketry GPS trackers has been developed with very limited manpower and resources, and each for a very limited niche market.

I’ve worked on similar projects and know what this is like. And yet these products are often judged as though they were developed with the kinds of manpower, resources, and potential markets that Apple has for its iPhone that has a hundred million customers.

Rocketeers should realize how lucky they are with the rocket GPS trackers that they have and not be demanding what’s impossible for the developers to provide them.

#### RocketScientistAustralia

##### Well-Known Member
A while back I was in a conference with all the manufacturers. They're all good , smart people and were willing to help their competition to solve the problems of the day.
Perhaps we could get together a 6 month online meeting with them all to allow them to meet their customers and address any issues.
Each system has it's own advantages and issues. There's no real profit in the manufacture of them, so the only real reason any do it is to provide a service to the rocketry community. Maybe if they feel the love of the community, they might give some more love back rather than feeling there's no money in this and I'm just getting whacked over the head. Changes to board design have a cost associated. Component costs and development time costs.

If you build your own, you'll quickly find it's not as easy as you think. Battery, regulator, TX, RX, GPS(which flavour). Now make it fit, And now you find it gets hot. Get rid of the heat somehow. Looked simple when you drew the block diagram.

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#### OverTheTop

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I have other issues about the Featherweight. But these aren’t not just complaints about what platforms aren’t supported, which are like complaints about a startup company not having a branch in your neighborhood or having your flavor of product.

The issues I have might be better addressed on a user’s group which are about the ambiguity of operation with its voice reporting, whether there’s a voice playback mode that can be combined with rocket video, and whether the flight gps data is recorded anywhere that can be accessed at a record of the flight.
Rocketeers should realise how lucky we are to have the GPS trackers they have and not be demanding what's impossible for the developers to provide them. Most are just one-man operations with more important real jobs .

If you want reliable voice annunciation try the Altus Metrum products. Audio is flawless from what I have found. Also they have programs that run on Windows and Mac platforms, and have an Android app.

#### WillMarchant

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
There’s also an iPhone app for Altus Metrum

#### manixFan

##### Not a rocket scientist
I posted a checklist in another thread quite awhile ago about using the Featherweight tracker app. I’ll summarize the two main points here: set display autolock to never and make sure the phone is not muted (side switch). Those are the two main culprits for the voice not working. If you turn on screen recording right before the flight you have the option to record the microphone as well which I have found very useful.

And of course you can share recorded GPS data from the app via email.

Tony