Hardware Choices?

Discussions about anything electronics, from altimeters to cameras.

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vk6tnc
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Hardware Choices?

Postby vk6tnc » Sun May 07, 2017 3:00 pm

Hi fellow Rocketeers,

Here is my first newbie question......Considering my flight kit only contains an Icom IC-R10 receiver and 70cm yagi for tracking, your opinions on flight tracking and control hardware would be appreciated.

Big Red Bee, Altus Metrum, Eggimer kit or something else.......

Thanks in advance

Chris

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Re: Hardware Choices?

Postby OverTheTop » Sun May 07, 2017 3:32 pm

I love the Altus Metrum products. They are not cheap, but the ease of use and slick software are worth paying for IMHO. The four additional channels on the TeleMegas I have are useful for feeding voltages from other avionics so you can have confidence in them before pushing the button.

I have built some Eggfinders but never flown them (gave them to someone else to fly). Many people are having great results with them I hear.

BRB, Kate, so many choices...
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Re: Hardware Choices?

Postby CATO » Sun May 07, 2017 3:51 pm

Did someone say "PML 1/4 PATRIOT on its' way", yeah baby...
"In thrust we trust"

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2018: 14,767 Ns (44% N)
Ns 17: 5,973; 16: 34,558; 15: 35,955; 14: 6,016; 13: 10,208
PB - Gorilla N2717WC, H: 10,260', S: 1.14M

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Re: Hardware Choices?

Postby SpaceManMat » Sun May 07, 2017 5:59 pm

Anything over 3k should have a GPS tracker on it IMO. Your choice of unit is going to depend on a lot on your budget and also your requirements.
Do you want integrated Altimiter GPS?
All the egg products are kits, although you can get them built by someone else if you choose. Cannot go past these for value.
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Re: Hardware Choices?

Postby drew » Mon May 08, 2017 12:13 pm

Given your skillset vk6tnc I reckon the eggtimer GPS would be a good choice. That said EggTimer uses a GPS chipset that isn't optimised for 3D movement. If I was going to build one of those I'd put in a uBlox 7 based GPS unit, like this.

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13670

ksaves is from TRF posted this in the customer reviews section.
Works fine
about a year ago by ksaves2 verified purchaser
Works perfectly fine with an unlicensed ISM tracker. Ditched the onboard GPS and added this unit to it by soldering the signal cable to the board and used the 3.3V power output on an earlier version of the device http://www.eggtimerrocketry.com/page45.php


So it seems that you can build an EggTimer GPS tracker and leverage uBlox 7 GPS hardware.

The problem with your Icom is that it doesn't have an APRS TNC or GPS. Given that you don't really have all that you'd need to easily accomplish decoding the APRS packets without either a breakout box, APRS/GPS capable handheld radio, or your laptop. Ideally you'd want GPS on your "ground station" as you can then get bearing and distance values, but that's not absolutely necessary. So buying BRB which are effectively "pure" APRS based GPS trackers you'd need to pair it with one of the above.

AltusMetrum is a good choice but you're locked in to their system unless you change the unit's default configuration to output APRS. So you've got to leverage a TeleDongle + computer or TeleBT + smartphone or tablet to receive telemetry. That said they do telemetry which is pretty cool. They also leverage uBlox 7 chipsets across their product range now which is nice.

If it was me, I'd buy a TeleGPS and be done with it. They're killer units, small and lightweight; I've fitted one along with a Raven into a Performance Rocketry 38mm FG Von Karman Nose Cone before. Plus I've had a couple issues with TeleMetrums and deployment so I'm a bit hesitant to recommend the all in one solutions. That said I did just pull the trigger on an EasyMega because PYRO CHANNELS.

Then there's Lisa/Kate. You might need to sell your car to buy one though.

Finally, there's the homebrew solution. Strud and Chris Barnes have both rolled their own units. The beauty of that is the ability to control every aspect of the unit's functionality. The downside is heaps of work.
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Re: Hardware Choices?

Postby drew » Mon May 08, 2017 2:39 pm

CATO wrote:Did someone say "PML 1/4 PATRIOT on its' way", yeah baby...


Heh. When Chris told me he had a 1/4 scale Patriot on the way my first thought was "CATO will be pleased".
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Re: Hardware Choices?

Postby SpaceManMat » Mon May 08, 2017 5:20 pm

The TRS eggtimer is both altimeter and GRS, it transmits Altimiter baro data although not in a standard NMEA sentence. I believe the LCD Tx does however ustilise the baro data.
QRS: 124
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Highest Altitude: 13,647 feet
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Re: Hardware Choices?

Postby CATO » Mon May 08, 2017 5:29 pm

drew wrote:
CATO wrote:Did someone say "PML 1/4 PATRIOT on its' way", yeah baby...


Heh. When Chris told me he had a 1/4 scale Patriot on the way my first thought was "CATO will be pleased".



:-)
"In thrust we trust"

AMRS 21 L3
TRA 07459 L3

Impulse:
2018: 14,767 Ns (44% N)
Ns 17: 5,973; 16: 34,558; 15: 35,955; 14: 6,016; 13: 10,208
PB - Gorilla N2717WC, H: 10,260', S: 1.14M

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Re: Hardware Choices?

Postby drew » Mon May 08, 2017 5:44 pm

SpaceManMat wrote:The TRS eggtimer is both altimeter and GRS, it transmits Altimiter baro data although not in a standard NMEA sentence. I believe the LCD Tx does however ustilise the baro data.


I'm no expert but I thought the Eggtimer range didn't have GPS...
Andrew Hamilton
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Max Alt AGL - 23,908ft - K300 - Balls 22
Max V - 2,488 ft/s, ~Mach 2.2 - M2250 - THUNDA 2015

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Re: Hardware Choices?

Postby SpaceManMat » Mon May 08, 2017 6:21 pm

drew wrote:
SpaceManMat wrote:The TRS eggtimer is both altimeter and GRS, it transmits Altimiter baro data although not in a standard NMEA sentence. I believe the LCD Tx does however ustilise the baro data.


I'm no expert but I thought the Eggtimer range didn't have GPS...


From their page "The Eggtimer TRS is an integrated flight computer and GPS rocket-recovery solution".

So I'll agree with the first part of your statement but not the second :wink:
QRS: 124
AMRS: 32 L2 RSO
Highest Altitude: 13,647 feet
Fastest Flight: Mach 1.55
Largest Motor: CTI 1115J530 IM
Current Project: X Wing

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Re: Hardware Choices?

Postby OverTheTop » Mon May 08, 2017 6:47 pm

They have a tracking only version (and a mini version of that as well), and a full flight computer with baro and GPS tracking.

Easy to assemble. Cheap. Go for it! I recently built a TRS, LCD and Quantum.

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Re: Hardware Choices?

Postby kopius » Mon May 08, 2017 10:31 pm

I just have to chime in here from previous discussions, but unless the documentation has by some miracle been circulated without my knowledge, eggtimers are STILL ILLEGAL IN AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND. Because of this, further discussions about the use of these on this forum will be removed.

Additionally, eggtimers will NOT be permitted at launches.

As others have said, BRB range of products are very robust and reliable. LISA (aka Australia version of KATE) is by far the best tracker on the market but also has he price tag to show it. These are definitely the ultimate option for extreme flights, especially with the yet to be released add-on controllers. (I had a sneak peak of these recently in the USA and can't wait to fly with them). In fact, LISA (and accessories) will soon be available as a regular item on the ausrocketry.com.au webstore.
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Re: Hardware Choices?

Postby strud » Tue May 09, 2017 6:54 am

Can we have a statement about the use of Amateur radio equipment usage at launches please ? since I would think that prohibiting appropriately licenced operators from using their equipment might exclude a number of people you might want to remain involved in the hobby.

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Re: Hardware Choices?

Postby kopius » Tue May 09, 2017 7:49 am

strud wrote:Can we have a statement about the use of Amateur radio equipment usage at launches please ? since I would think that prohibiting appropriately licenced operators from using their equipment might exclude a number of people you might want to remain involved in the hobby.

I don't think a statement as such is required, licensed users can fill their boots with their applicable products, however products that breach the ACMA regulations will not be tolerated.


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Re: Hardware Choices?

Postby lorstin » Tue May 09, 2017 8:31 am

kopius wrote:.............. eggtimers are STILL ILLEGAL IN AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND. Because of this, further discussions about the use of these on this forum will be removed.....


Forgive my ignorance but what makes them illegal? :? I've just done a quick "google" and couldn't find anything relating to them being illegal.
caveat emptor :?


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