smallest tracker

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What are some of the smallest trackers out there??
I have heard of the "MicroBeacon" but other than that, are there any cheap, small ones?? That will fit a 29mm tube?
Thanks,
 

ksaves2

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There's this one: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Micro-FM-T...733799?hash=item3d1de7c5e7:g:peMAAOSwGIRXa16F

But you'd have to add something to make noise like a beeper. The other issue is a decent antenna on the broadcast band can be pretty long so the range is limited with this device. You could use it
with some mild modrocs and $3.55 is affordable to play with.

The Adept beacons are more workable: https://www.adeptco.com/adeptinstruments/tracking.htm

The only problem is one needs to be a Ham Radio operator and have the equipment so that cost is an issue here.

Andrew, getting an unlicensed off-the-self Rf tracker that is economical is a tall order with small rockets. Any tracker you add is going to add weight. Now if the rocket needs extra weight for max altitude (if that's what you desire) it serves two
purposes. If the rocket is already at ideal weight, the addition of more with detract from the altitude.

You have to realize to fly fast, you want to be as light as possible. To go high, you need to have the optimal throw weight so the rocket will achieve the highest altitude. Kurt
 

cerving

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Are you looking for a "beeper" that makes noise, or are you looking for something to find your rocket a long distance away? If you're looking at the latter, you might want to look at the Eggfinder or the new Eggfinder Mini, either one will fit in a 29mm tube; the Mini will fit in an 18mm tube. They are GPS-RF trackers, so you'll need the matching receiver, but you're looking at only $120 for the set ($5 more if you go for the Mini). You DO have to solder them together, though... we only make kits. www.EggtimerRocketry.com
 

ksaves2

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Hi Cris, I believe Andrew is aware of that in another thread. He's a young person so I went more towards
affordable-on-a-budget suggestions as far as trackers go. Unfortunately some of the cheaper options are
on the FM broadcast band and the Ham bands. I forgot the XFM-1 that gave about a 1000' ground footprint:
https://www.jbgizmo.com/page30.htm
Getting a light, reliable Rf tracker for 29mm can be a challenge. I get the impression he's looking for a screamer
high altitude flight and there is a tradeoff between performance and added weight he'll have to make a compromise over. If he wants to "go-the-fastest" then a tracker will bog the rocket down but then he could lose it. If he wants to go high, if the rocket weight is appropriate, (spell that light enough) the added tracker weight could optimize the throw weight for the highest achievable altitude. Certainly a nice challenge for a young mind to think through.
I wish him best of luck.

Kurt
 

cwbullet

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I think the LL Electronics tracker is the smallest RF tracker. Anyone know of one smaller?
 

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I use the LL Electronics trackers. They are RF, using the unlicensed ISM band. You've probably seen them tracking animals wearing radio collars. Expect a rangge of 2-3 miles on the ground. They will fit BT-5. The main problem is the price - $155 not including the receiver.
 

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Any smaller ones?
 

cwbullet

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cwbullet

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gtg738w

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If you just want an rf beacon, the wildlife trackers will be hard to beat for small stuff. If you want GPS, packing a good nav antenna on small boards is very difficult. There gets to be a size where the efficiency dives off a cliff and even if the components get smaller you still need the board area because of the antenna. It's a direct trade off between size and performance.

We will still be releasing our tracker whenever ublox starts shipping again...
 

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I can tell you definitively that GPS performance with a smaller board is not as good as with a larger one. Ideally, the ground plane for a patch antenna should be at least twice the size of the patch antenna in both dimensions, with no active components, just a ground plane. Pretty much nobody does that... board space is a precious commodity. Sometimes you have to accept reduced performance if "other" things (like size) take precedence.
 

ksaves2

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I can tell you definitively that GPS performance with a smaller board is not as good as with a larger one. Ideally, the ground plane for a patch antenna should be at least twice the size of the patch antenna in both dimensions, with no active components, just a ground plane. Pretty much nobody does that... board space is a precious commodity. Sometimes you have to accept reduced performance if "other" things (like size) take precedence.
Ditto,
I played with some small GPS chipsets like as could be had with a cellphone and they really need to be out in the open to function well.
If used in a rocket, might have an issue upon touchdown if the GPS patch is facing the dirt or off to the side. Not as much of a problem with the larger GPS patch.

Kurt Savegnago
 

Scott_650

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The Marco Polo Ultralight Drone Transceiver could fit into a smaller rocket - it is less than an inch across but including the antenna it’s roughly 2 inches long - weighs 12 grams. I’ve seen the M-P system in use, it works very well for the flying conditions here in Ohio where we’re mostly trying to find rockets lost in field crops like soybeans or corn, probably not a good choice for really large recovery areas like open desert or in mountain areas. I thought about buying a M-P set but decided I’d wait for the Flightsketch SST or, if my soldering works well enough on my Eggtimer kits, an Eggfinder setup. As Kurt said in another discussion I think the LoRa stuff is really going to be viable for basic rocket trackers.
 

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I just got the Marco Polo Advanced and it works great it tests. Now to fly it in a rocket. Anyone using the Marco Polo? What's the best way to mount it?
Northern Ohio Tripoli (NOTRA) member Andrew Kleinhenz uses the M-P, he’s a member of TRF and is on the NOTRA FB page as well. Hopefully he doesn’t mind me throwing his name out there...
 

gtg738w

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Ditto,
I played with some small GPS chipsets like as could be had with a cellphone and they really need to be out in the open to function well.
If used in a rocket, might have an issue upon touchdown if the GPS patch is facing the dirt or off to the side. Not as much of a problem with the larger GPS patch.

Kurt Savegnago
Exactly, even the micro size stuff for cell/mobile applications is still designed for a ground plane the size of a cell phone... That's relatively huge compared to what we're talking about here.
 

Scott_650

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That is helpful, but measurements would be better.
You have to drill down through some menus but the specs are there:

Tag Transceiver Physical Specifications
  • Height: 2 in. (51 mm)
  • Width: .86 in. (22 mm)
  • Depth: .45 in. (11.5 mm)
  • Weight: .42 oz. (12 g)
 

SkyFire

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Email I received today with additional info;

David,

The tag transceiver can be mounted inside the rocket provided that the antenna is not dressed back along the body of the tag and that the outer shell is a non-conductive material (i.e. fiberglass good, metal or carbon fiber is bad).

Attaching to the shock cord also works. Having the tag antenna perpendicular to the ground gives the most efficient radiation and bearing measurement from the handheld locator – being on the shock cord you know the orientation of the tag’s antenna during descent and allows you to get a bearing on the landing zone at a much greater distance vs when the tag is laying on the ground. If you use the ultralight tag, make certain that you don’t place too much pressure on the unit when attaching it to the cord. The Advanced tag https://eurekaproducts.com/advanced-drone-category/ is better for that since it is in a polycarbonate case and has zip-tie eyelets specifically made for securing the tag. You can see in the attached video that the Advanced unit is very rugged.



Regards,



Tim Crabtree

President

Eureka Technology Partners, LLC

[email protected]

www.eurekaproducts.com

866 825-4208
 

cwbullet

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You have to drill down through some menus but the specs are there:

Tag Transceiver Physical Specifications
  • Height: 2 in. (51 mm)
  • Width: .86 in. (22 mm)
  • Depth: .45 in. (11.5 mm)
  • Weight: .42 oz. (12 g)
Thank you. That is a perfect size for what I need.
 
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