Shoot Fred, You ought to have incredible range with that setup! The only caution I suggest is one should do an all up ground test with contained ematches with no powder in the canisters. Turn everything on, tracker(s) altimeters and such and allow to sit upright for a time. If the altimeter(s) don’t shutdown or reset, one is in a good shape to go. Rf on the “right“ frequency can “whack” some deployment electronics.I use the Byonics MT 1 watt and 2 watt GPS-2 meter transmitter units and they are excellent. I have it set to 4 sec transmission intervals and receiving the NMEA on a kenwood 72A connected to a Garmin (as fully described in the past by ksaves 2) . The transmitter's frequency is easy to set/change and the newer 2 watt one enables an easy 2 frequency choice via a slide switch. As Kyle infers, any of the Byonic units work well. The only caveat is that you need a ham license and an appropriate hand held receiver.
Interference is always a concern with mission critical electronics. The MicroFox 15 is very low power and most altimeters are designed with RFI in mind. I do like to keep the RF from any onboard transmitter away from deployment electronics, because I have had issues in the past. Luckily discovered during ground testing. I do recommend looking t the antenna on board the rocket. A good antenna located outside the e-bay will give a better signal to track and reduce RFI to the altimeter.Dave, my concerns with using the Byonics Micro Fox would be with possible interference issues with onboard Flight Controllers (altimeters), did any of your rockets have other electronics in close proximity to the transmitter. Also did you actually utilize it to find a lost rocket, did you search by yourself or did you have others hunting as well? Our club has used these for fox hunting, they put out a very good signal often times overloading the receivers as you get closer. Have you had to tune on a 2nd harmonic or utilize an attenuator? Were you able to locate the missing rocket? Thanks for the info.
Thanks for the input, appreciate it, 73Interference is always a concern with mission critical electronics. The MicroFox 15 is very low power and most altimeters are designed with RFI in mind. I do like to keep the RF from any onboard transmitter away from deployment electronics, because I have had issues in the past. Luckily discovered during ground testing. I do recommend looking t the antenna on board the rocket. A good antenna located outside the e-bay will give a better signal to track and reduce RFI to the altimeter.
I have had to rely on DF to find rockets a couple of times. I generally search on my own. I have quite a bit of experience with ARDF/Fox Hunting. My profile photo shows me with my ARDF rig during a hunt. I do use a attenuator and small yagi or Moxon antenna. I have used other methods over the years, including tuning off and body fade. Attenuators work much better.
You can find some info on the stuff I have used and built at: https://www.qsl.net/w6dps/HamProjects.html
Also: https://rocstock.org/learn/advanced/ Scroll down to "Rocket Tracking".
Hello Fred, I still have a couple earlier generation Beeline GPS units with replaced batteries that still work.Hey Kurt-its good to hear from you. I'm envious, due to college and graduate school tuition (3 kids), full retirement is still light years away. You are obviously right, full ground testing is required in order to avoid the altimeter problems you described. Also, as Mike questions, I usually place the GPS/transmitter in a nose bay which on the larger rockets can be several feet from the AV-bay. Also, using tuned antennas, as implied by Dave helps minimizing RFI and maximizing propagation. On the controversial side, I use titanium all threads/hardware in the nose bays to hopefully minimize transmission attenuation. One reason I use higher power transmitters is to more easily discern the transmitted NMEA when the rocket is on the ground. I've had problems in the past with 100 mw or 250 mw transmitters having short transmission ranges once the rocket is below 500 to 1000 feet or on the ground.
I know Tommy of Adept Rocketry and initially used the Adept 22 for my L1 and L2 certs. Tommy is a member of one of our local ham clubs and I initially learned about altimeters while visiting his workshop. I believe he was one of the pioneers of altimeter based recovery systems. I agree with your assessment, unless mother nature places obstacles in the way (e.g. hill) using higher power transmitters yields larger recovery foot prints. My initial reason for purchasing the Byonics was the wishful thinking of launching at Argonia or eventually at Black Rock-where those transmitters may be a necessity. Maybe after an effective/safe vaccine is produced (?Moderna) I'll fulfill my desires. Currently, the local club is closed for the summer due to warranted concerns.
Best regards and you & your family stay safe,
I have appreciated many of your posts and your current recounting of the HABs and APRS tracking is high flying fun (pun intended). In my naive days (not ended yet) I had dreams of launching a rockoon which drew my attention to tracking and HAB activity. I agree it would be fun to do live tracking but the closest may be the use of a Kate unit when the price dramatically lowers and some have informed me that the telemetry portion of the TelaMega comes close (although I have no experience yet with it). I'll tell Tommy about our discussion-he'll be glad that he is still appreciated. I look forward to hearing about your successful L3 flight with the dog tag enclosed. That was much better than the typical QSL card! My own L3
plans (half already constructed) attains an altitude just at the local waiver; however, recovery would be difficult with typical winds locally and local geography. So, possibly Argonia is on the distant horizon.
Please continue to post your reminiscences it adds a lot of "flavor" and character to the forum