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Cheap GPS trackers from ebay?

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Banzai88

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There are several threads on here about these things. Not sure that I've ever seen anyone that admitted to using one, but it's sound, in theory.

It all hinges on how much cell coverage you have for which carrier at your field.
 

Faroutspacenut

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Apologies if this has already been covered - my search-fu has apparently failed me. I may have to get one. You know. For science.
 

djkingsley

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I tried one a couple years ago and was not happy, the first flight was fine but bigger motors caused the SIM card to slide in the holder and loose contact. The SIM card holder was designed to hold multiple size SIM cards. The last time I attempted to use it I put a dab of rtv to hold the card in position. My Missileworks TRx system showed up about then and I relagated the thing to the box failed experiments.
 

Faroutspacenut

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that's good to know. when it comes to these things, I generally believe you get what you pay for.
 

ksaves2

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Yeah, You should shoot for something self contained you can take anywhere you can use. The minimal, economical approach is the Eggfinder. Other systems
fit different niches but this is a good starting point if one doesn't wish to get a Ham ticket (not that hard actually) or use a pricey RDF solution. Kurt
 

billdz

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I've been experimenting with cameras and loose SD card is one of the prime causes of failure, so I'm not surprised to hear a SIM card might come loose. We have good cell coverage at our field, so Rob please let us know how it works our for you.
 

Faroutspacenut

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As it happens, I have a HAM license, so that gives me more options. Mostly I'm interested in knowing if anyone has tried out one of these cheap trackers and how it went. Once I start launching to altitudes where tracking is a necessity (soon!) I'll go with something legit. That said, I like to tinker, and when the cost to experiment with one of these is less than a single-use G motor, it makes it kind of tempting.
 

Q-Aero

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The SIM card holder was designed to hold multiple size SIM cards. .
not the one the OP link it use only mini Make sure you get a Standard (Mini) SIM Card.

Other about the same price are very specific and use micro,
 

PokerJones

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I looked into these a few years back when they first came out, unreliable at best. I would suggest that you stick to a GPS system designed for use in rocketry, eggfinder, missile works, big red bee, telemetrum, etc. These will save you from a lot of frustration and you'll get your rocket back!
 

Random Flying Object

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As it happens, I have a HAM license, so that gives me more options. Mostly I'm interested in knowing if anyone has tried out one of these cheap trackers and how it went. Once I start launching to altitudes where tracking is a necessity (soon!) I'll go with something legit. That said, I like to tinker, and when the cost to experiment with one of these is less than a single-use G motor, it makes it kind of tempting.
Do you already have a HAM radio? Specifically do you have an APRS enabled mobile or HT?
 

Faroutspacenut

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Do you already have a HAM radio? Specifically do you have an APRS enabled mobile or HT?
Have a HT (Yaesu FT-60R) but unfortunately not ARPS enabled. Got my license and the radio before I rediscovered rocketry. As I understand it, I can get a TNC that will do the job with this HT? Though it seems I need an andrioid os device to interface (and I'm all apple).
 

billdz

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@Rob - did you ever try that button camera?
 

Faroutspacenut

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@Rob - did you ever try that button camera?
the on switch broke when I was testing it (not promising). fortunately the ebay vendor took it back for a refund. Turned around and bought another one from someone else for half-the price. Haven't gotten around to fiddling with that one yet. will report back when I have.
 

Random Flying Object

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Have you looked at the Altusmetrum hardware? Their apps are ported to OSX. As for the HT, you will at least be able to hear the pyro continuity chimes between packet bursts, of which I have found exceedingly valuable at the pad.
 

cerving

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I got one of these too, before I designed the Eggfinder. Couldn't get it to work reliably. It's a moot point now, because those units are GSM 2G, and I don't think there's much 2G coverage anymore; AT&T shut theirs off last year, and T Mobile is winding it down.
 

Faroutspacenut

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Have you looked at the Altusmetrum hardware? Their apps are ported to OSX. As for the HT, you will at least be able to hear the pyro continuity chimes between packet bursts, of which I have found exceedingly valuable at the pad.
I have and it looks very impressive. Definitely what I'll be building up to - especially for the tracking aspects. I have to confess that at least for now, I'm not all that interested in pyro dual-deploy. I'm sure I'll get there at some point, but for now I'm trying to keep it simple - carefully selecting motors and delays for ejection and a JL Chute Release to keep it close to home.
 

Faroutspacenut

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I got one of these too, before I designed the Eggfinder. Couldn't get it to work reliably. It's a moot point now, because those units are GSM 2G, and I don't think there's much 2G coverage anymore; AT&T shut theirs off last year, and T Mobile is winding it down.
Ah, that's really good to know. Pointless indeed if you can't get coverage. You may have just saved me some frustration. I've been looking in to your products as well, so thanks.
 

ksaves2

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If you have an Android device, you can use a mobilnkd tnc with any h/t but a dedicated APRS rig is easier. For the Eggfinder, can use the GPS Rocket Locator app. It doesn't need to be a live phone. Download apps and maps via WiFi and no internet required.
Device needs an onboard GPS though to keep it simple.
Oh, need to have B/T board added to the EF receiver but not
hard to do.
 

jdbwizzard

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Someone I fly with uses this all the time.
http://www.spytecinc.com/gl-200-rea...Qjmq4BdKMBYxMdMwjqiknIJfphcZenRGz9xoC4yPw_wcB

It works great though its a little more and service is $25 a month which sucks. Not sure if there is other services you can buy. But your rocket could land anywhere in cell service and you can find it.
I love my eggfinder though haven't had a change to test my range yet. Funny how with the tracker the rocket keeps landing right next to me lol.
This is the only case of a cellular GPS I have seen.
 

Faroutspacenut

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If you have an Android device, you can use a mobilnkd tnc with any h/t but a dedicated APRS rig is easier. For the Eggfinder, can use the GPS Rocket Locator app. It doesn't need to be a live phone. Download apps and maps via WiFi and no internet required.
Device needs an onboard GPS though to keep it simple.
Oh, need to have B/T board added to the EF receiver but not
hard to do.
I've been looking into the APRSdroid app. If I'm reading it correctly, it has AFSK capabilities, so in theory all I need is an audio cable from my HT to an android device and the app will decode the packets? If that's the case, do I even need a TNC?
 

Faroutspacenut

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For those keeping score, I've decided to upgrade my HT to one with APRS/GPS. Found what seemed like a good deal on a lightly used Yaesu FT-1XDR and jumped. I'll likely go with either an Altus Metrum TeleGPS or a BRB 70cm GPS for the transmitter and just use my HT to point me in the direction I need to walk. This way I also have the option of going RDF if I want to give that a try.
 

ksaves2

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For those keeping score, I've decided to upgrade my HT to one with APRS/GPS. Found what seemed like a good deal on a lightly used Yaesu FT-1XDR and jumped. I'll likely go with either an Altus Metrum TeleGPS or a BRB 70cm GPS for the transmitter and just use my HT to point me in the direction I need to walk. This way I also have the option of going RDF if I want to give that a try.
On page 145-146 of the manual there is a CT-170 data cable to take waypoints off the rig and send them to an external GPS. Only problem is I don't know of an external
GPS to take the cable. It could have the potential to do live mapping/tracking which is real nice as one doesn't have to input anything. Just make the two
icons, local position and rocket position come together. The VX-8GR and only the "VX-8GR" the could use the same cable that is used and still available to connect
a Kenwood D7A, D7A(g) and D72a to a round serial port Garmin GPS like the Garmin 60Cs and CsX. It would directly take the waypoint off the port
and stick it on the map along with your local position. Yaesu really can't get APRS right. They should look at what Kenwood does and emulate the
bulk of it. Kurt
 
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