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Featherweight or Missileworks T3?

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Arsenal78

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Looking into getting a GPS system that has an easy tracking system to point to the rocket and I'm at a toss up between the Featherweight or the T3. It seems like they both do generally the same idea with the Featherweight adding in the ability to call out altitude and speed. Has anyone used one or the other? Trying to determine if the Featherweight is worth the extra 200 or so.
 

Michael Wilson

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Well, from what I've heard, featherweight is a good investment, I have many friends who use and cant recommend it enough. I don't know anything about the T3 system, but it also seems pretty good.
 

afadeev

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I have MissileWorks T3 GPS system (in addition to EggTimer GPS and altimeter systems), and find it easy and reliable.
I went with T3 because I already used RRC2+ and RRC3 altimeters, and wanted to keep my electronics supply chain and learning curves as simple as possible. Thus, sticking with two vendors. Also, the last time I was shopping, Featherweight components were partially out of stock. It appears, that may be the case again.

There is an ~2x price variations between the two systems, in favor of T3, but Featherweight GPS appears to have a packaging (size and weight) and feature (spoken telemetry) advantages.
 

timbucktoo

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Have you looked at RTx? No phone required and about same as featherweight.
 

Philip Tiberius D.

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I have both the T3 and RTx - in tests (put in my daughters bicycle basket) around the neighborhood the T3 works like a champ and will get used at AirFest26 in a Live Enviroment
Stay Tuned...
 

Cameron Anderson

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I own the Featherweight and T3.
Biggest determining factor here should be anticipated altitude and velocity. I've had my T3 track to a rocket 4 miles away, but it doesn't like ascent at or near Mach 1, I always it on the way up and regain signal on the way down.
T3 can track to 4-5 miles but that's about the working limit.
Featherweight doesn't have the same velocity issue, and has much better range, but costs more.
 

manixFan

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Unless I’m missing something, the Featherweight has a dedicated iOS app (iPhone), while the T3 uses a generic mapping app on an Android device. That may play into a decision into which one to choose.


Tony
 

Adrian A

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Also, the last time I was shopping, Featherweight components were partially out of stock. It appears, that may be the case again.
They should be back in stock in a day or two.
 

Philip Tiberius D.

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Unless I’m missing something, the Featherweight has a dedicated iOS app (iPhone), while the T3 uses a generic mapping app on an Android device. That may play into a decision into which one to choose.


Tony
I did look at that as my wife MADE me get an iPhone when we got married... 🙄. We had a android tablet nobody was using so I poached that...
 

QFactor

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I own the Featherweight and T3.
Biggest determining factor here should be anticipated altitude and velocity. I've had my T3 track to a rocket 4 miles away, but it doesn't like ascent at or near Mach 1, I always it on the way up and regain signal on the way down.
T3 can track to 4-5 miles but that's about the working limit.
Featherweight doesn't have the same velocity issue, and has much better range, but costs more.
Any thoughts on why the Featherweight's range is better? Featherweight and T3 work on the same frequency. Where you able to compare them in the same rocket, same launch conditions? Just curious. At the clubs launches I attend - we just about have the whole spectrum of trackers, except for maybe the Featherweight.
 

Adrian A

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Any thoughts on why the Featherweight's range is better? Featherweight and T3 work on the same frequency. Where you able to compare them in the same rocket, same launch conditions? Just curious. At the clubs launches I attend - we just about have the whole spectrum of trackers, except for maybe the Featherweight.
It's an inherent feature of the new LoRa radio modulation that came out a few years ago, which sends the data with a lot of redundancy. The chip in the receiver in effect "tallies up the votes" for each bit. With the settings used in the Featherweight trackers, each bit of data has 1024 "votes". The net result is about 20 dB of coding gain for a factor of about 10 in range for the same power as compared to if it were just sent without redundancy. Some of this efficiency is also used to reduce power consumption to improve battery life and reduce battery size.
 
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Philip Tiberius D.

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Back from AirFest26 - Kloudbusters put on one hell of an event! Missile Works T3 performed fabulous, the only “problem” was the 3 launches I used it in all landed less than 150 ft from launch pad and one was nearly on the RSO tent.
 

Nytrunner

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Back from AirFest26 - Kloudbusters put on one hell of an event! Missile Works T3 performed fabulous, the only “problem” was the 3 launches I used it in all landed less than 150 ft from launch pad and one was nearly on the RSO tent.
Thats the tracker corollary: If you take the time and effort to install a tracker and onfirm binding, a normal rocket is near guaranteed to land withing eyesight. Its the day you decide not to worry about it that it heads into the cornfields
 

Arsenal78

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I've decided to go with the Featherweight, mainly for the speed it can handle as I want to try and break a mile and mach 1.
 

Banzai88

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Thats the tracker corollary: If you take the time and effort to install a tracker and onfirm binding, a normal rocket is near guaranteed to land withing eyesight. Its the day you decide not to worry about it that it heads into the cornfields
I'll second this with empirical evidence of every one of my flights since I've invested in the MW RTX.......if it's capable of being tracked, it gets a tracker and lands within sight.......if it's capable of being tracked and doesn't get a tracker......well, let's just say that I have a lot invested in 'hope'....... :)

As a project, I made a universal 'tracker pod' out of a piece of bright orange fiberglass coupler and 3D printed sled that I can clip into any rocket without an av bay, so these days I track just about everything (with a corresponding shorter walk and higher recovery percentage!)
 

Arsenal78

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Tried Eggfinder once. Hated the LCD screen thing, especially in the sun with all the arrows I couldn’t see.
 

David Schwantz

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What app are you guys using with the T3? Rocket Locator will not work for me.
 

David Schwantz

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Yes Bluetooth GPS does connect, Jim from Missile Works had me try that last night to make sure T3 is working. But states errors and map will not load. But it does work, so I know the T3 is fine. My Eggfinder system also will not connect to Rocket Locator. So I am sure it is in the app. Something I am missing. There is no tab for "connect to device" as there is in Bluetooth GPS.
 

QFactor

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Yes Bluetooth GPS does connect, Jim from Missile Works had me try that last night to make sure T3 is working. But states errors and map will not load. But it does work, so I know the T3 is fine. My Eggfinder system also will not connect to Rocket Locator. So I am sure it is in the app. Something I am missing. There is no tab for "connect to device" as there is in Bluetooth GPS.
Now that's one issue I have not run into with Bluetooth GPS. I think I'll fire up my T3 and cell phone and check it out. Did you try the "Enable Mock GPS Provider" ?

Rocket Locator works on some devices and not others. Never been able to figure out if there's a pattern.
 

Buckeye

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What app are you guys using with the T3? Rocket Locator will not work for me.
I have tried all the apps. I found this one to be the most robust for the way I want to navigate to my rocket:

 

QFactor

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I have tried all the apps. I found this one to be the most robust for the way I want to navigate to my rocket:

I used the same thread sometime ago to find the Rocket Track app (APK file) - since it is not available on the app stores.

The app works good. The small challenge is getting the APK file onto the phone.
 

QFactor

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Yes Bluetooth GPS does connect, Jim from Missile Works had me try that last night to make sure T3 is working. But states errors and map will not load. But it does work, so I know the T3 is fine. My Eggfinder system also will not connect to Rocket Locator. So I am sure it is in the app. Something I am missing. There is no tab for "connect to device" as there is in Bluetooth GPS.
Were you getting Lat/Lon, Altitude info on the Main screen for Bluetooth GPS after connecting to the T3? And on the Status screen (compass screen) did you notice the number of satellites "In View" and "In Use"? If you see the "In Use" constantly dropping to "0" the Map feature will not show a location. Maybe that's the reason for an error? But I'm only guessing.
 

manixFan

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I've decided to go with the Featherweight, mainly for the speed it can handle as I want to try and break a mile and mach 1.
I've gone to Mach 2.4 and nearly 25,000' with the Featherweight and tracked to over 2 miles recovery distance (not that far in the scheme of things). I've known others who have tracked to much further away. The size and weight are great and if you have an iPhone, the app is pretty easy to use. (I've been able to mount it in a 29mm nose cone.) A couple of our club members just converted over to the Featherweight from other systems and used it at Airfest for the first time and were very happy with how they work. If you have an iPhone, it's a very good system.

While the features aren't native yet, you can also make KML/KMZ files from the logged data to see your flight in Google Earth. And hopefully soon will be a copy/paste button to past the lat/lon into the tracking app of your choice, instead of using the built-in tracker app.


Tony
 

David Schwantz

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Yes, Lon/ Lat were displayed along with several satellites. Do not know what "mock gps is".
 

QFactor

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Yes, Lon/ Lat were displayed along with several satellites. Do not know what "mock gps is".
Mock GPS "supposedly" allows you to fake the location of your phone in the Android system. My understanding is that some devices need to do this to get around some GPS software limitations. But don't quote me on that. I'm not an app expert. The info out there on it can drown you.

Since you were getting the satellite info and Lat/Lon - then I haven't clue why the map feature was not working. Sorry

Look into the Rocket Track app.
 

Buckeye

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I now have both T3 and FW systems (and BRB900), so I will chime in even though the OP made his decision.

Yes, they will both find your rocket, kinda like a Corvette and Camry will both get you to the grocery store. You need to understand what you are getting for the huge price difference. Anecdotes like "I flew my tracker to 10,000 feet, it landed a mile away, and I walked right to it" are not really meaningful, since every 900 MHz tracker has successfully done this for 10+ years.

I bought the FW for data and innovation. If you want to geek out over dBs, high speed sampling rates, and downloads, then this is the unit for you. Also, lots of emphasis on communicating with other trackers. Yes, it comes with a dedicated Bluetooth app for iOS, but it scares the hell out of me, to be honest. The app is in constant development/remediation, as evidenced by all the threads in this forum. I do worry that it will freak out on me one of these days. Kevin and Adrian are active members here, so that is comforting.

The T3 will find your rocket with standard NMEA strings. There are 3, no-cost, Android apps that you can pair to it via Bluetooth. Two of them have mapping features. Yes, these 3 apps are wonky, but odds are one of them will work for you. You can also Bluetooth to a COM port and a terminal program on a laptop base station - no Android required. I think the T3 is a good balance of cost and features.

However, if I absolutely, positively need to find the rocket, I still revert to my trusty BRB900. In these scenarios, I don't trust Bluetooth connections and don't give a damn about maps or arrows to point me. I'll worry about that later. I just reliably need the latitude and longitude coordinates and the BRB900 delivers that with its dedicated receiver unit.
 

QFactor

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However, if I absolutely, positively need to find the rocket, I still revert to my trusty BRB900. In these scenarios, I don't trust Bluetooth connections and don't give a damn about maps or arrows to point me. I'll worry about that later. I just reliably need the latitude and longitude coordinates and the BRB900 delivers that with its dedicated receiver unit.
[/QUOTE]
Do you put those coordinates into a Garmin unit, or just use your smart phone? I'm not familiar with the BRB900, but I did go out to the website to look at the setup.
 
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