FeatherWeight GPS Tracker maiden flight

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firemanup

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Just getting back into highpower after a 14 or 15 year hiatus, remember not doing a lot of flights back in the day that I would have liked to as i didnt have one of those expensive trackers that i didnt fully understand.

Fast forward to 2020 and getting back into the hobby, picked up a Featherweight gps tracker after someone else let me watch his work at Minimidwest power this year.

Got it up in the air for the first time yesterday. Started out as a piece of junk as it wouldn't work right, or uhhhhh maybe operator error? When i initially set it up at home i just named the tracker and the ground station the same thing, well the directional arrow was frozen up on the app, not pointing to the direction of the rocket, i figured maybe it just needed to get up in the air first, luckily someone else was there that was familiar with the system and i scrubbed the launch literally 10 seconds before it went up.

After 30 minutes of troubleshooting i tried renaming the tracker, and bingo, now the directional arrow worked. Don’t name the tracker and the base station the same thing lol

First flight was a Wildman Shapeshifter on a J350 for a short shakedown flight, as soon as she took off the app was talking to me, “launch detected” elevation updates, apogee update, descent rate updates, on top of that the app will “point” at the rockets current location. It will point you up to the correct elevation, correct direction, so if you lost view of it you can regain sight of it. Tells you how far out it is as well. Of course since it had a tracker in it, it landed within 150 of me and in the open.

After that confidence booster i flew a rocket/motor combo i would not have normally flown for fear of losing it.

Mach1 Area 51 4” went up on K805G to about 4500 feet, again the system gave me real time location and stat updates throughout the flight. Landed over a quarter mile away in 10ft tall corn, anyone whose been in those fields looking for rockets knows its very easy to loose a bird even that close, but the tracker brought me right to it.

Very impressed with this system and the software.

In both the field photos below the rocket is less than 10 feet away, great not having to spend 2 or 3 hours searching or potentially loosing a rocket.
 

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o1d_dude

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Just getting back into highpower after a 14 or 15 year hiatus, remember not doing a lot of flights back in the day that I would have liked to as i didnt have one of those expensive trackers that i didnt fully understand.

Fast forward to 2020 and getting back into the hobby, picked up a Featherweight gps tracker after someone else let me watch his work at Minimidwest power this year.

Got it up in the air for the first time yesterday. Started out as a piece of junk as it wouldn't work right, or uhhhhh maybe operator error? When i initially set it up at home i just named the tracker and the ground station the same thing, well the directional arrow was frozen up on the app, not pointing to the direction of the rocket, i figured maybe it just needed to get up in the air first, luckily someone else was there that was familiar with the system and i scrubbed the launch literally 10 seconds before it went up.

After 30 minutes of troubleshooting i tried renaming the tracker, and bingo, now the directional arrow worked. Don’t name the tracker and the base station the same thing lol

First flight was a Wildman Shapeshifter on a J350 for a short shakedown flight, as soon as she took off the app was talking to me, “launch detected” elevation updates, apogee update, descent rate updates, on top of that the app will “point” at the rockets current location. It will point you up to the correct elevation, correct direction, so if you lost view of it you can regain sight of it. Tells you how far out it is as well. Of course since it had a tracker in it, it landed within 150 of me and in the open.

After that confidence booster i flew a rocket/motor combo i would not have normally flown for fear of losing it.

Mach1 Area 51 4” went up on K805G to about 4500 feet, again the system gave me real time location and stat updates throughout the flight. Landed over a quarter mile away in 10ft tall corn, anyone whose been in those fields looking for rockets knows its very easy to loose a bird even that close, but the tracker brought me right to it.

Very impressed with this system and the software.

In both the field photos below the rocket is less than 10 feet away, great not having to spend 2 or 3 hours searching or potentially loosing a rocket.
Wow...

The black and neon green rocket would have been a nightmare to find in the corn without a tracker.

I paint my rockets neon pink with black trim for visibility. The GPS tracking system is on the way after 12 years of walking around in ever expanding circles...
 

kjs

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When i initially set it up at home i just named the tracker and the ground station the same thing, well the directional arrow was frozen up on the app, not pointing to the direction of the rocket, i figured maybe it just needed to get up in the air first, luckily someone else was there that was familiar with the system and i scrubbed the launch literally 10 seconds before it went up.
I'm glad someone stopped you before your flight! I have not actually ever tried that before (naming them both the same)! I did not and did not reproduce what you saw but can understand how my software might have been confused. Let me think of how to either allow that to work correctly OR not allow it in the first place....

I'm glad the rest of your experience went well!
 

firemanup

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I'm glad someone stopped you before your flight! I have not actually ever tried that before (naming them both the same)! I did not and did not reproduce what you saw but can understand how my software might have been confused. Let me think of how to either allow that to work correctly OR not allow it in the first place....

I'm glad the rest of your experience went well!
I have screen shots if they will help, pm me if you would like, the system was completely new to me so it may have been something else i was doing wrong as well.
 

ChicagoDave

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One tip - you can record the flight from you iPhone by using the screen recorder!

Also as far as I know it's a manual process, but you can enter the coordinates into Google Maps or other mapping apps and get a pin where the rocket is. That can be quite useful when trying to figure out the best route to the rocket.

I've got a short video from the June QCRC launch of my LOC Sandhawk using the screen recorder and also showing Google Maps mapping where the rocket landed: Featherweight Screen Recording
 

Buckeye

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I'm glad someone stopped you before your flight! I have not actually ever tried that before (naming them both the same)! I did not and did not reproduce what you saw but can understand how my software might have been confused. Let me think of how to either allow that to work correctly OR not allow it in the first place....

I'm glad the rest of your experience went well!
The user manual says to name the tracker and ground station the same. So, which is correct?

"Repeat the above steps for your ground station. Set the frequency and the TrackerID to the same values you used for the Tracker."
 

schneijt

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The manual is, admittedly, not the greatest. It’s a great tracker system, but it can be a bit temperamental to set up the first time you use it. I assume that is likely a typo in the manual; I just looked at the current instructions on the site, and it indeed says to name them with the same ID. I’m pretty sure that if they are named the same thing, it will mess it up the communication between devices. Personally, I named mine something like “JoeTracker” and “JoeGround”. As long as they’re on the same channel and the transmitter is set up as a transmitter, and the ground station as a ground station, I’ve had no trouble with it.
 

kjs

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Sorry for the confusion with the Manual - Adrian wrote it while I was writing the software so we are a little out of synch. I'm going to review it and see if some corrections can be made. For a little clarification on the naming, you should give them names that are appropriate (and preferably not the same). For the tracker, you could try for something fun that the voice can actually pronounce, but then I should give you a test button on the settings page to see how he/she pronounces your rocket name...

Regarding the first post though, I did try naming them the same and they did still seem to track (so some other things might have affected Jason's initial attempt) but I recommend something with 'GS' and 'TRK' - or something to help you tell them apart.

Thanks!
 
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