[Space] APRS trackers

Adam Engelhart adam at tellumo.net
Mon Jan 23 00:29:00 UTC 2012

Ladies and gentlemen--

Kindly find below my research on GPS/APRS trackers for Spacebridge.

I'm afraid I don't have as much information on the parameters we
need--I know that at a minimum we should have it track above 60k feet.
(As I understand it, it is required that civilian GPS devices not
track when traveling over BOTH 999 miles/hour AND 60,000 feet AMSL,
but that a distressingly large proportion replace that AND with an OR,
which is yet another part of what makes high-altitude balloonery so
interesting. *This is not legal advice*, and *I am not your,
Noisebridge's, or Spacebridge's lawyer*: http://ianyl.net/TINLA.html ;
http://ianyl.net/ .)

Regardless, I wasn't too sure about the weight or power budgets or of
what hardware we had on board or available, so I just looked up
whatever seemed decent. Results follow:

BigRedBee (http://www.bigredbee.com/blgps_2mhp.htm):

		* Proven altitude records: http://www.bigredbee.com/kml_gallery.htm
; some astonishing stuff at http://californianearspaceproject.com/ as
		* Includes GPS
		* Can use entire 2M band, as well as 70 cm band (but latter is
limited to 16 mW, as opposed to 5 W--need some kind of radio guru to
look at this)
		* Supports various voltages
		* $275! But includes radio.

Byonics TinyTrak3 (http://www.byonics.com/tinytrak/)

		* Only $98 including GPS
		* Former successful use: http://www.eoss.org/hardware/k0yuk_aprs.htm .
		* Needs external radio
		* Can power GPS (5V)

These two seem to pretty much run the market, although there may be
something buried out there that I haven't been able to uncover. Once

--Adam Engelhart

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