TrackSoar V2 Available Now

Discussion in 'Rocketry Electronics and Software' started by lowga, Jun 23, 2018.

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  1. Jun 23, 2018 #1

    lowga

    lowga

    lowga

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    Version 2 of the APRS 2-Meter TrackSoar tracker has been introduced, and is available for pre-orders now. A great solution for rocketeers who not only want to track and recover their rockets, but also want to capture real-time telemetry during the flight.

    I've flown the original TrackSoar on several mid-power flights, and have been really impressed with it's performance. No financial connection to the company, just a big fan. Here are the specs:

    https://www.tracksoar.com/product/tracksoar-v2/


    Tracksoar V2

    This Product Requires An Amateur Radio License To Operate

    This Product Includes a Radiometrix HX1 transmitter tuned to 144.390mhz suitable for North America

    This item is currently in pre-order and will begin shipping 7/20/18

    The Tracksoar V2 is a lightweight APRS tracker designed for use in weather balloons, rockets, model aircraft, and drones. It is compact at 2″ by 1.75″ by .5″ (50mm x 45mm x 13mm) (measurements are without the mounting points) and lightweight at 2 ounces (57 grams) including the supplied battery pack and two Lithium Energizer Ultimate AA batteries. The Tracksoar also includes a simple wire 2 meter halfwave dipole antenna, and additionally a footprint for a standard SMA connector to connect your own antenna. The transmit range of the Radiometrix HX1 module is line of site, with recorded distances of over 400 miles. The Tracksoar has integrated sensors for reporting temperature, pressure, humidity, and battery voltage and reporting it all back to the ground. Using the available GPIO and open source firmware you can even add your own sensors. Everything you need for tracking your flights and gathering atmospheric data, just add batteries.

    here’s a list of the new features and upgrades in the Tracksoar V2:

    • USB Micro connector
    • 4 layer board to improve RF performance
    • Improved battery life
    • GPS power backup
    • Removable mounting points
    • More available GPIO
    • No programming shield or jumpers required
    • New and improved firmware
    The Tracksoar leverages the Amateur Radio APRS network to report data to the internet, and pages like APRS.FI making tracking your flights a breeze. Additionally the packets can be listened to directly via an amateur radio for local decoding requiring no internet connection.

    The Tracksoar is open source and all schematic, board layout, and firmware files can be found here.

    specs:

    size: 2″ by 1.75″ by .5″ (50mm x 45mm x 13mm) – without mounting points

    weight: 2 grams

    power: 2x AA batteries (includes battery holder)

    transmit: 300mW Radiometrix HX1

    GPS: Ublox MAX M8Q

    antenna: half wave wire dipole tune to 144mhz

    connectivity: USB micro port

    GPIO: 11 pins including 2 ADC

    firmware: Arduino bootloader update-able via the Arduino IDE

    maximum altitude: 164,000 feet
     
  2. Jun 23, 2018 #2

    cwbullet

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    Did I read it right: 10 second transit is max rate?
     
  3. Jun 23, 2018 #3

    lowga

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    I'll check with the developer to see. I own TrackSoar version 1, and in the software, you can modify the transmit time down to as little as one every four seconds. That's generally how I fly mine.

    I know the developer is aware that rocketry requires more frequent transmissions, so I doubt the spec is accurate. His primary market is high altitude balloons, who have very different concerns.
     
  4. Jun 23, 2018 #4

    cwbullet

    cwbullet

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    Thanks. 10 seconds is a long time between transmits.
     
  5. Jun 23, 2018 #5

    jderimig

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    You never transmits APRS packets frequently on 144.390 which is the digipeater frequency. Even if you transmit at 1 per 10 seconds you will have APRS hams hunting you down with pitchforks and torches. Especially if you are up at altitude, you will be keying every digipeater in your state.


    For rocketry use its better to buy the alternate frequency model and transmit at any rate you want.
     
  6. Jun 24, 2018 #6

    FMarvinS

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    The Ublox 8 GPS receiver used in the tracksoar is probably one of the best available at a reasonable price. Radiometrix makes an HX1 that transmits on 144.800 MHz which is the European digipeter frequency; but not frequently used in the USA. So if that one is available through tracksoar, the ham pitchforks would be left collecting dust behind their rigs.

    Iowga, a PCB board is available for tracksoar 1, is there also one available for tracksoar 2-for those that want to solder their own?

    Fred, L2
    ICBM member
    Camden, SC
    KG4YGP
     
  7. Jun 24, 2018 #6

    jderimig

    jderimig

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    But actually, for just finding your rocket why does transmit rate matter?
     
  8. Jun 24, 2018 #7

    lowga

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    TrackSoar has an alternative board available for other 2 meter frequencies. And a PCB if you want to solder your own..
     

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