Com Spec tracker- new design

Discussion in 'Rocketry Electronics and Software' started by djs, Jun 25, 2018.

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  1. Jun 25, 2018 #1

    djs

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    So- for those of you who have the new style tracker (circle/coin shaped, compared to the old box), have you had any problems keeping the antenna attached? I've had to replace antennas 4-5 times on the new ones, which causes all sorts of issues when they pull loose on a flight. What are you doing to work around this issue? I was thinking of soldering the antenna in, but I don't know if flexing the antenna would just result in a weakened solder joint over time.

    FYI- i'm using a tracker protector and clipping it to the shock cord.
     
  2. Jun 25, 2018 #2

    markkoelsch

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    Are these the 20” long antennas?
    How are they attached now?
    Are the antennas braided wire?

    Have you thought about a nosecone electronics bay? Even if a little hangs out through a hole in a nosecone bulkhead most of this could be taken care of.
     
  3. Jun 25, 2018 #3

    timbucktoo

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    I have one of the old coin style trackers probably 4 years old with over a hundred flights on it and have never had to replace antenna.
    IMG_4544.JPG
     
  4. Jun 25, 2018 #4

    crossfire

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    I just had one pull out a few weeks ago. It pulled out of the clip the screws to the transmitter. I was able to put it back in and squeeze clip tight. I don't think much of the new transmitters. There must be another brand out there that will work with the Comspec receivers?
     
  5. Jun 26, 2018 #5

    blackjack2564

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    Question for OP.....how do you attach the tracker & antenna? Yeah you said a protector, but how is the antenna attached to that & is it exposed?
     
  6. Jun 26, 2018 #6

    markkoelsch

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    There appears to be no strain relief in the design. I think the best thing to do is figure a way to tape the antenna to the transmitter body such that the tape takes the brunt of forces the attachment now takes. Maybe a small piece of aluminum tape.

    Next, I think CJ is on to something. Sure, something to protect the transmitter is a good idea. That said, you need to secure the antenna to something. A little electrical tape to secure it to the harness in a few locations should help. Same for the transmitter.

    Personally, I still like them in nose cones or electronic bays( with testing on electronics and matches before flight).
     
  7. Jun 26, 2018 #7

    djs

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    Jim- tracker is stuck into chute protector, with the antenna bent in a U inside of it. Everything is inside of the protector (it’s one of the Wildman ones), but not really secured internally.

    Mark- I do have some nose cone AV bays, although not all of them have enough space, or the rocket is HED.

    What I may do is just wrap the tracker/base of antenna with electrical tape to make the connection more secure.
     
  8. Jun 26, 2018 #8

    Wayco

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    I run the shock cord right next to the connection for the antenna and wrap the button with electrical tape. This strengthens the connection to the antenna. I don't attach the antenna to anything along it's length, just tape it to the button. I have had a couple of antenna wires separate from the connector, usually when trying to stuff it in a smaller rocket. You can contact Comm-spec and get replacements, or re-crimp the wire (sometimes).
    I also have a couple of the L.L. Electronics falcon trackers:
    http://www.radiotracking.com/transmitters/
    You can order them to the frequencies that your Comm-spec receiver uses, but be specific when you do. The Comm-spec won't tune to the last digit they offer. I have the XLF-6 and the LF-2, which is tiny and has a very flexible antenna. Great for really small rockets (18mm).
     
  9. Jun 26, 2018 #9

    cwbullet

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  10. Jun 26, 2018 #10

    farsidius

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    I use a Marshall transmitter with my ComSpec receiver. They're available in the 218 and 219 MHz range which work with the ComSpec PR-100A receiver. In my 5th or 6th year now using the same transmitter. I finally replaced the antenna last year after a hard landing. I mostly use this as back up since I use my RTx in almost everything now. I put my RTx in the nose cone or AV bay and attach the Marshall to the booster cord - which also provides a little extra recovery insurance in case there's an unexpected separation event at apogee.
     
  11. Jun 27, 2018 #11

    blackjack2564

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    That's about as clear as mud...LOL

    Are you talking about one of these.....
    DSC_0030_1024x1024.JPG

    or one of these chute protectors as you state ???

    Nomex-9x9_1024x1024.jpg

    So if it's the first one [tracker pouch] I don't see where it's even possible to pull antenna loose.

    If wrapped in chute protector, you still have not said how the tracker it attached to shock cord???

    For what it's worth, this is how I have been doing it for 12 yrs now & never had any issues. Wrap entire battery box/tracker, with tape around the shock cord [about 2-3ft from av-bay] then just about another inch to protect the antenna to box connection. Always electrical tape, nothing else.

    When I first started I DID tape the antenna to shock cord also....I pulled 2 antenna's out that way. Why I don't know, just did. Tim [Lehr] converted me to this way, been doing it ever since.

    DSCN2966.jpg

    DSCN1885.jpg
     
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  12. Jun 27, 2018 #12

    djs

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    Jim- sometimes words come out that make sense in my head, but not to the rest of the world. I mean a tracker protector- the ones that Tim sells (your first picture). This then gets clipped to my shock cord. Why the antenna pulls out- I have no idea, but I’ve had it happen at least 3 times.
     
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  13. Jun 27, 2018 #13

    jd2cylman

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    Because you're hard on stuff...:p:p
    I use the pouch for the new ones, and the one thing I do is put a wrap of tape around the whole pouch just above the main body of the tracker. That way the tracker stays put in the bottom of the pouch. I've folded the cable every which way so far...
     
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  14. Jun 27, 2018 #14

    blackjack2564

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    djs...I think Adrian is on to something.
    Can see where the tracker is in one end of pouch & there is a violent moment from ejection charge.
    Could cause a sudden movement of tracker body in opposite direction AWAY from antenna loop causing it to break free while passing antenna trying to go other end of pouch.

    Good idea to "trap'/hold in position ,by a few wraps around pouch, just below tracker to cinch it in place.
    Good luck & let us know how it turns out.
     
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  15. Jun 27, 2018 #15

    djs

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    Jim- this makes some sense. I'll give it a try at the Tripoli Wisconsin launch next weekend and see what happens.

    If I lose my rocket, I'm blaming all of you guys! :)
     
  16. Jun 27, 2018 #16

    jd2cylman

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    Still not Carl... ;-)

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    You need a swim
     
  17. Jun 27, 2018 #17

    markkoelsch

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    And some ticks...
     
  18. Jun 27, 2018 #18

    cwbullet

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    Anything but ticks.
     
  19. Jun 27, 2018 #19

    ksaves2

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    ........But beware of Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever.

    As an aside, I don't think it's a good idea to curl up an antenna for any Rf device if one wants maximum
    range....... Unless one has a sure fire and non-stressed way to unfurl it at apogee. Kurt
     
  20. Jun 27, 2018 #20

    jd2cylman

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    Still not Carl... ;-)

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    Livestock, yeah, that's it... :rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  21. Jun 27, 2018 #21

    jd2cylman

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    The pouch help keep at least part of the cable straight.
     
  22. Jun 27, 2018 #22

    markkoelsch

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    Bong should be defoliated
     
  23. Jun 27, 2018 #23

    jd2cylman

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    Still not Carl... ;-)

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    Especially since half the crap growing out there isn't native species... I don't mind if they want to return the grassland to native prairie, but keep it NATIVE. Kill off the invasive stuff that's just weed. Even the scrub trees, if they're not native, kill 'em.
    But we digress. The net result is that Glen needs a swim in the Bong swamp... It smells so lovely... :eek::eek: (where's our puke emoji..)
     
  24. Jun 27, 2018 #24

    CzTeacherMan

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    Is that an annual tradition now? I'm hoping to be there next weekend to help with that endeavor.
    PS... When you see me, ask about my lost tracker... Ugh
     
  25. Jun 27, 2018 #25

    crossfire

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    The last I looked my transmitter is still hanging in a tree at the Bong.
     
  26. Jun 27, 2018 #26

    jd2cylman

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    Still not Carl... ;-)

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    I loaned one out to a fellow flier earlier this year(or was it last year???). It's still in a tree as far as I know... He bought me a new one the same day :)

    Oh crap Is TWA this weekend... :eek::eek:... No, next weekend (the 7th of July). Crap June is over with already...
     
  27. Jun 27, 2018 #27

    crossfire

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    It would not be good if TWA was this Sat. Very Hot weather Sat. Sun.
     
  28. Jun 28, 2018 #28

    EBurg

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    I was the flier that put your tracker in a tree last year! The tracker worked perfectly, it just needs to come with a 50' ladder....
    I've had good luck using the Wildman sleeve and electrical taping the heck out of it. I started doing that when I used it in a 38mm rocket and needed to do it to fit, and have just kept doing it for strain relief.
     
  29. Jun 28, 2018 #29

    djs

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    EBurg- which tree? Maybe it blew down in a storm?
     
  30. Jun 28, 2018 #30

    jd2cylman

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    Still not Carl... ;-)

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    I'm old enough that now I have CRS... I couldn't for the life of me remembered who it was :confused::confused:
    Was that a cert flight, too?
     

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