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GPS tracking for model rocketry

 
 
MLM
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      03-13-2008, 04:16 PM
I am a novice when it comes to GPS so hopefully some of you gurus can't
point me in the right direction. I am researching GPS tracking for high
power model rockets for recovery purposes. The ideal set up would have a
small transmitter to be placed in the rocket that will communicate to a
handheld unit that will provide distance and direction to the rocket. The
transmitter may be subjected to high Gs on launch so it needs to be tough.
Upon landing, there may not be a clear line of site so the signal strength
would need to fairly strong.

There is a product called the BeeLine GPS that would fit this bill but that
requires a ham license which I'm not really wanting to do if there are
alternatives.

Some have used the Garmin Astro which looks great except for the drawback of
the large transmitter which is 3.5" wide, limiting use to a 4" or bigger
rocket. Would it be possible to replace the antenna with one at a 90 degree
angle or even a whip antenna of some type?

Thanks for your assistance.


 
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zydecogary
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      03-13-2008, 05:23 PM
Until you get a better answer .....

This isn't GPS but have you investigated 'LOC8TOR'

http://www.loc8tor.com/

They can be purchased in the UK or the USA -- maybe elsewhere.

I use one for locating my car sometimes when it is parked in a massive
parking lot.



On Mar 13, 12:16*pm, "MLM" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> I am a novice when it comes to GPS so hopefully some of you gurus can't
> point me in the right direction. I am researching GPS tracking for high
> power model rockets for recovery purposes. The ideal set up would have a
> small transmitter to be placed in the rocket that will communicate to a
> handheld unit that will provide distance and direction to the rocket. The
> transmitter may be subjected to high Gs on launch so it needs to be tough.
> Upon landing, there may not be a clear line of site so the signal strength
> would need to fairly strong.
>
> There is a product called the BeeLine GPS that would fit this bill but that
> requires a ham license which I'm not really wanting to do if there are
> alternatives.
>
> Some have used the Garmin Astro which looks great except for the drawback of
> the large transmitter which is 3.5" wide, limiting use to a 4" or bigger
> rocket. Would it be possible to replace the antenna with one at a 90 degree
> angle or even a whip antenna of some type?
>
> Thanks for your assistance.


 
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Bert Hyman
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      03-13-2008, 05:37 PM
http://www.gps-forums.net/(E-Mail Removed) (MLM) wrote in
news:HrcCj.19557$er2.9145@trnddc08:

> There is a product called the BeeLine GPS that would fit this bill
> but that requires a ham license which I'm not really wanting to do
> if there are alternatives.


The BeeLine transmitter is available on custom frequencies in the range
of 300 to 900MHz.

http://bigredbee.com/BeeLine.htm

The advantage of going with one that operates in the ham bands is that
equipment for those frequencies is easy to come by.

The Morse code requirement for ham licenses is gone, so getting a
license suitable for your application is pretty easy.

http://www.hello-radio.org/doityourself.html

--
Bert Hyman | St. Paul, MN | (E-Mail Removed)
 
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Simon Slavin
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      03-15-2008, 09:27 PM
On 13/03/2008, MLM wrote in message <HrcCj.19557$er2.9145@trnddc08>:

> I am researching GPS tracking for high
> power model rockets for recovery purposes. The ideal set up would have a
> small transmitter to be placed in the rocket that will communicate to a
> handheld unit that will provide distance and direction to the rocket.
> The transmitter may be subjected to high Gs on launch so it needs to be
> tough.


High Gs would not be a problem apart from the consideration what part of
the rocket could act as antennae: it would have to last through the
landing impact. I'm trying to figure out what 'high power' means in this
context -- how long a flight would last and how far from the launch site it might land.

> Upon landing, there may not be a clear line of site so the
> signal strength would need to fairly strong.


How far ?

The thing I'm thinking of right now is Garmin's Astro:

<https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=209&pID=8576>

which seems to be ideal.

Simon.
--
http://www.hearsay.demon.co.uk
 
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MLM
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      03-15-2008, 11:38 PM
The largest rocket I have so far will fly to about 6800' with a peak speed
of about 840' per sec, a little of mach for a short period of time. Ofcourse
who knows what the future holds... it depends on the rocket, motor, and
pocket book but flights to 10k' or 15k' aren't uncommon. How far? It could
be 100' it could be several miles dependent on the stability of the flight,
altitude, and the windspeed so with that said... a mile would not be
uncommon but 5 miles or greater is not unheard of. I'd say a minimum range
of 2 miles would be acceptable. Even if it goes further you should have the
line of sight and can follow that line.

I looked at the Garmin Astro and it is promising, I know of one rocketeer
that has used it. The only drawback is the size of the transmitter. which is
3.25" wide. 2.6" diameter high power rockets are common so the ideal
solution would be a width of about 2.5"s. If that antenna can be replaced
with one that is turned 90 degrees to the box, that looks as if it would
work or of a whip antenna could be connected. I haven't found out
defintively how well that would work. Also the transmitter is 6oz which is
ok but a bit lighter would be best. You're certainly on the right track.



"Simon Slavin" <(E-Mail Removed). uk> wrote
in message news:frhkrh$khl$1$(E-Mail Removed)...
> On 13/03/2008, MLM wrote in message <HrcCj.19557$er2.9145@trnddc08>:
>
>> I am researching GPS tracking for high
>> power model rockets for recovery purposes. The ideal set up would have a
>> small transmitter to be placed in the rocket that will communicate to a
>> handheld unit that will provide distance and direction to the rocket.
>> The transmitter may be subjected to high Gs on launch so it needs to be
>> tough.

>
> High Gs would not be a problem apart from the consideration what part of
> the rocket could act as antennae: it would have to last through the
> landing impact. I'm trying to figure out what 'high power' means in this
> context -- how long a flight would last and how far from the launch site
> it might land.
>
>> Upon landing, there may not be a clear line of site so the
>> signal strength would need to fairly strong.

>
> How far ?
>
> The thing I'm thinking of right now is Garmin's Astro:
>
> <https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=209&pID=8576>
>
> which seems to be ideal.
>
> Simon.
> --
> http://www.hearsay.demon.co.uk



 
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Simon Slavin
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-18-2008, 09:16 PM
On 15/03/2008, MLM wrote in message <R5ZCj.648$i54.51@trnddc05>:

> I looked at the Garmin Astro and it is promising, I know of one
> rocketeer that has used it. The only drawback is the size of the
> transmitter. which is 3.25" wide. 2.6" diameter high power rockets are
> common so the ideal solution would be a width of about 2.5"s. If that
> antenna can be replaced with one that is turned 90 degrees to the box,
> that looks as if it would work or of a whip antenna could be connected.


The transmitter electronics is about as small and light as it can get.
But two other components -- antenna and batteries -- can definitely be fiddled with. You can do what you want with the power, as long as you don't weaken the connection so much that you run the risk of the power being disconnected. In fact, for your application you might have to beef up the PSU. The antenna can also be changed in various ways, up to and including trying to make the entire body of the rocket act as antenna. But Garmin has had years of optimizing its designs for size and weight so don't think you can beat them: expect your design to be bigger and heavier, in exchange for being able to fit in the cubbyhole where you want it.

Simon.
--
http://www.hearsay.demon.co.uk
 
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starfire
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-22-2008, 04:41 AM

"MLM" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:R5ZCj.648$i54.51@trnddc05...
> The largest rocket I have so far will fly to about 6800' with a peak speed
> of about 840' per sec, a little of mach for a short period of time.
> Ofcourse who knows what the future holds... it depends on the rocket,
> motor, and pocket book but flights to 10k' or 15k' aren't uncommon. How
> far? It could be 100' it could be several miles dependent on the stability
> of the flight, altitude, and the windspeed so with that said... a mile
> would not be uncommon but 5 miles or greater is not unheard of. I'd say a
> minimum range of 2 miles would be acceptable. Even if it goes further you
> should have the line of sight and can follow that line.
>
> I looked at the Garmin Astro and it is promising, I know of one rocketeer
> that has used it. The only drawback is the size of the transmitter. which
> is 3.25" wide. 2.6" diameter high power rockets are common so the ideal
> solution would be a width of about 2.5"s. If that antenna can be replaced
> with one that is turned 90 degrees to the box, that looks as if it would
> work or of a whip antenna could be connected. I haven't found out
> defintively how well that would work. Also the transmitter is 6oz which is
> ok but a bit lighter would be best. You're certainly on the right track.
>
>
>
> "Simon Slavin" <(E-Mail Removed). uk> wrote
> in message news:frhkrh$khl$1$(E-Mail Removed)...
>> On 13/03/2008, MLM wrote in message <HrcCj.19557$er2.9145@trnddc08>:
>>
>>> I am researching GPS tracking for high
>>> power model rockets for recovery purposes. The ideal set up would have a
>>> small transmitter to be placed in the rocket that will communicate to a
>>> handheld unit that will provide distance and direction to the rocket.
>>> The transmitter may be subjected to high Gs on launch so it needs to be
>>> tough.

>>
>> High Gs would not be a problem apart from the consideration what part of
>> the rocket could act as antennae: it would have to last through the
>> landing impact. I'm trying to figure out what 'high power' means in this
>> context -- how long a flight would last and how far from the launch site
>> it might land.
>>
>>> Upon landing, there may not be a clear line of site so the
>>> signal strength would need to fairly strong.

>>
>> How far ?
>>
>> The thing I'm thinking of right now is Garmin's Astro:
>>
>> <https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=209&pID=8576>
>>
>> which seems to be ideal.
>>
>> Simon.
>> --
>> http://www.hearsay.demon.co.uk

>


Hi -

I'm new to this group but I read, with interest, this posting and threads...
We're just starting a model rocket club and want to start working into
higher power rocketry with associated larger payloads. We already have one
club member certified for Level 1. One of the payloads would be GPS and a
tracking system. Have you considered using one of the small ZigBee
transceivers, such as the Digi/Maxstream XBee Pro? According to their spec
sheet, the line of sight distance on the Pro model is supposed to be around
a mile. I'm not sure that would be enough but it may be something to
consider... we are.

Dave


 
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MLM
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-23-2008, 05:18 AM
For GPS as of right now, BeeLine seems to be the way to go. Maybe I'll have
to sit down and get some ecukation for the ham license but I was hoping
there was an alternative not to have to do that. The other questions I have
is what exaclty are you seeing with the BeeLine? I haven't seen one in
action and the description at Red Bee is limited. It does state you need ot
get a receiver such as the Th7P or something..... So I take it the GPS
module will transmit to the receiver, the receiver needs a TNS? to decode it
and then the coordinates will be displayed, from there you could enter them
into a handheld GPS to map it? I'd like to see one in action one of these
days. So two negatives for the BeeLine as I see it, the amateur icense and
all of the required componants are not in one box.

At the moment I'm leaning towards a tracking system offered by
http://www.radiotracking.com/ , a bit more pricy than I was hoping for, but
those trackers would fit jst about in anything.


"Bert Hyman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:Xns9A60807AA9B7EVeebleFetzer@127.0.0.1...
> (E-Mail Removed) (MLM) wrote in
> news:HrcCj.19557$er2.9145@trnddc08:
>
>> There is a product called the BeeLine GPS that would fit this bill
>> but that requires a ham license which I'm not really wanting to do
>> if there are alternatives.

>
> The BeeLine transmitter is available on custom frequencies in the range
> of 300 to 900MHz.
>
> http://bigredbee.com/BeeLine.htm
>
> The advantage of going with one that operates in the ham bands is that
> equipment for those frequencies is easy to come by.
>
> The Morse code requirement for ham licenses is gone, so getting a
> license suitable for your application is pretty easy.
>
> http://www.hello-radio.org/doityourself.html
>
> --
> Bert Hyman | St. Paul, MN | (E-Mail Removed)



 
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MLM
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-23-2008, 05:33 AM
Line of sight one mile is probably not enough. Remember when the rocket
lands, it will probably not be line of sight, it may land in high grass, in
a ditch, or who knows. Level 1 rockets would probably be ok as most will
only go to 3k to 4k in altitude, recovery drift may take them a mile or two.
When you get to bigger motors and smaller rockets, then you're going to 10k
or 15k and the drift may be several miles. If it's transmitting GPS
coordinates, then you can always lock the last known location, get close to
it, and then probably pick it up again. But I didn't see any mention on that
website about GPS, just RF modules.

I am leaning towards http://www.radiotracking.com/ at the moment, subject to
change. The XLF 6v transmitter and the MNS20 receiver. It's directional
tracking, not GPS, but those lil transmitters will fit into just about
anything with a range of 20 to 30 miles line of sight. They are also tough
from comments I have read, apart from a ballistic impact, they should hold
up.



"starfire" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "MLM" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:R5ZCj.648$i54.51@trnddc05...
>> The largest rocket I have so far will fly to about 6800' with a peak
>> speed of about 840' per sec, a little of mach for a short period of time.
>> Ofcourse who knows what the future holds... it depends on the rocket,
>> motor, and pocket book but flights to 10k' or 15k' aren't uncommon. How
>> far? It could be 100' it could be several miles dependent on the
>> stability of the flight, altitude, and the windspeed so with that said...
>> a mile would not be uncommon but 5 miles or greater is not unheard of.
>> I'd say a minimum range of 2 miles would be acceptable. Even if it goes
>> further you should have the line of sight and can follow that line.
>>
>> I looked at the Garmin Astro and it is promising, I know of one rocketeer
>> that has used it. The only drawback is the size of the transmitter. which
>> is 3.25" wide. 2.6" diameter high power rockets are common so the ideal
>> solution would be a width of about 2.5"s. If that antenna can be replaced
>> with one that is turned 90 degrees to the box, that looks as if it would
>> work or of a whip antenna could be connected. I haven't found out
>> defintively how well that would work. Also the transmitter is 6oz which
>> is ok but a bit lighter would be best. You're certainly on the right
>> track.
>>
>>
>>
>> "Simon Slavin" <(E-Mail Removed). uk>
>> wrote in message news:frhkrh$khl$1$(E-Mail Removed)...
>>> On 13/03/2008, MLM wrote in message <HrcCj.19557$er2.9145@trnddc08>:
>>>
>>>> I am researching GPS tracking for high
>>>> power model rockets for recovery purposes. The ideal set up would have
>>>> a
>>>> small transmitter to be placed in the rocket that will communicate to a
>>>> handheld unit that will provide distance and direction to the rocket.
>>>> The transmitter may be subjected to high Gs on launch so it needs to
>>>> be
>>>> tough.
>>>
>>> High Gs would not be a problem apart from the consideration what part of
>>> the rocket could act as antennae: it would have to last through the
>>> landing impact. I'm trying to figure out what 'high power' means in
>>> this
>>> context -- how long a flight would last and how far from the launch site
>>> it might land.
>>>
>>>> Upon landing, there may not be a clear line of site so the
>>>> signal strength would need to fairly strong.
>>>
>>> How far ?
>>>
>>> The thing I'm thinking of right now is Garmin's Astro:
>>>
>>> <https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=209&pID=8576>
>>>
>>> which seems to be ideal.
>>>
>>> Simon.
>>> --
>>> http://www.hearsay.demon.co.uk

>>

>
> Hi -
>
> I'm new to this group but I read, with interest, this posting and
> threads... We're just starting a model rocket club and want to start
> working into higher power rocketry with associated larger payloads. We
> already have one club member certified for Level 1. One of the payloads
> would be GPS and a tracking system. Have you considered using one of the
> small ZigBee transceivers, such as the Digi/Maxstream XBee Pro? According
> to their spec sheet, the line of sight distance on the Pro model is
> supposed to be around a mile. I'm not sure that would be enough but it
> may be something to consider... we are.
>
> Dave
>
>



 
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