• If you have bought, sold or gained information from our Classifieds, please donate to Rocketry Forum and give back.

    You can become a Supporting Member which comes with a decal or just click here to donate.

Wanted Comspec Receiver

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Ahhhhhh, If I remember correctly the older ones were tuned to a particular receive frequency for the tracker it was meant to receive. The old ones I think weren't tunable but I could be wrong there. It cost so much I think $1500.00 for a setup, I went into Ham radio, got a General license and experimented on a much cheaper scale. Learned how to Rf track with a Yagi handheld antenna and attenuator but went to APRS/GPS tracking and will not go back to Rf tracking except for a very small rocket that can't contain a GPS tracker.
I still have a bunch of "beep-beep" trackers that are programmed to transmit my Ham Radio callsign every 30 seconds or so in Morse code to be legal!! Oh, I bought an attenuator kit and built mine because the commercial ones cost a fortune on the receive end.

The ComSpec receivers were tuned to the transmitter they were meant to track, had a rotatable loop antenna with a signal strength meter. I can't remember if the receiver was tunable. There might have been a rotating switch to tune but I don't remember. I saw several guys get their rockets back with out of sight flights but they did have a "sense" which direction they went before they went out of radio range. One guy had a lawn dart and the Comspec tracker survived and guided him to the "hole"!! Dug it out and his deployment electronics were trashed but the tracker still worked as it was very "shock mounted".
I think it's better to go to GPS or APRS tracking unless rocket size warrants the need for a very small "beep-beep" radio tracker. Then one needs to learn to track with a Yagi antenna and an attenuator which what the ComSpec receiver had. I think there was another maker "Rocket-Finder" that sold the same product.

Wildman sold them for years but I suspect there weren't many buyers due to the cost. Getting a Ham radio license helps as there are chapters in the Ham manuals on directional tracking that really can be applied to Rf tracking rockets.

As mentioned GPS/APRS is the way to go if the given rocket can contain the hardware. The 70cm Ham band has a larger ground footprint than the 900Mhz unlicensed trackers but I have to admit I've never lost a rocket with a 900Mhz tracker as long as I had a sense of where it went. Plus I used a 900Mhz Yagi antenna for hunting the 900Mhz trackers on the ground. If the GPS antenna is facing up, one can get the "final position" on the receiver.

The "old" rule of thumb is 900Mhz trackers are "no good" but having flown 70cm (400Mhz) band trackers 900Mhz does fine compared to the 70cm band for sport fliers. For "extremely" high flights GPS is the way to go with a Yagi on the receive end to get the last position packet.

Kurt (aka KC9LDH in the Ham world)
 
Ahhhhhh, If I remember correctly the older ones were tuned to a particular receive frequency for the tracker it was meant to receive. The old ones I think weren't tunable but I could be wrong there. It cost so much I think $1500.00 for a setup, I went into Ham radio, got a General license and experimented on a much cheaper scale. Learned how to Rf track with a Yagi handheld antenna and attenuator but went to APRS/GPS tracking and will not go back to Rf tracking except for a very small rocket that can't contain a GPS tracker.
I still have a bunch of "beep-beep" trackers that are programmed to transmit my Ham Radio callsign every 30 seconds or so in Morse code to be legal!! Oh, I bought an attenuator kit and built mine because the commercial ones cost a fortune on the receive end.

The ComSpec receivers were tuned to the transmitter they were meant to track, had a rotatable loop antenna with a signal strength meter. I can't remember if the receiver was tunable. There might have been a rotating switch to tune but I don't remember. I saw several guys get their rockets back with out of sight flights but they did have a "sense" which direction they went before they went out of radio range. One guy had a lawn dart and the Comspec tracker survived and guided him to the "hole"!! Dug it out and his deployment electronics were trashed but the tracker still worked as it was very "shock mounted".
I think it's better to go to GPS or APRS tracking unless rocket size warrants the need for a very small "beep-beep" radio tracker. Then one needs to learn to track with a Yagi antenna and an attenuator which what the ComSpec receiver had. I think there was another maker "Rocket-Finder" that sold the same product.

Wildman sold them for years but I suspect there weren't many buyers due to the cost. Getting a Ham radio license helps as there are chapters in the Ham manuals on directional tracking that really can be applied to Rf tracking rockets.

As mentioned GPS/APRS is the way to go if the given rocket can contain the hardware. The 70cm Ham band has a larger ground footprint than the 900Mhz unlicensed trackers but I have to admit I've never lost a rocket with a 900Mhz tracker as long as I had a sense of where it went. Plus I used a 900Mhz Yagi antenna for hunting the 900Mhz trackers on the ground. If the GPS antenna is facing up, one can get the "final position" on the receiver.

The "old" rule of thumb is 900Mhz trackers are "no good" but having flown 70cm (400Mhz) band trackers 900Mhz does fine compared to the 70cm band for sport fliers. For "extremely" high flights GPS is the way to go with a Yagi on the receive end to get the last position packet.

Kurt (aka KC9LDH in the Ham world)
The Comspecs are very good I used mine for 20 years and always found my rockets.
 
The ComSpec receivers were tuned to the transmitter they were meant to track, had a rotatable loop antenna with a signal strength meter. I can't remember if the receiver was tunable. There might have been a rotating switch to tune but I don't remember.
All ComSpec receivers supported multiple transmitter frequencies. There were a few versions, from lower cost versions with pre-defined "Channels" from 00-99, the better ones could be set to receive any transmitter frequency between 219-224MHz. These were $500 from Wildman.
 
Back
Top