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Author Topic: TinyTrak3 Plus APRS Project  (Read 15805 times)

Posts: 2

« on: May 17, 2013, 11:31:26 AM »

I just finished my APRS project and I just wanted to get it out there and mybe get some feedback. The whole project is contained in a Pelican 1120 waterproof case. Im using an Icom IC-T70a handheld as the transmitter and a byonics tinytrak3 Plus GPS encoder. The GPS used is called the Ultimate GPS breakout board from adafruit industries. Initially I had just soldered it up using some hook up wire and some perfboard but I wanted it to be more durable but yet removeable for other projects. The board I designed and built allows the GPS to plug into it via a 9 pin header then plugs directly into the tinytrak with a 9 pin serial connector. I also included a 4 pin header on the board to allow for programming of the GPS as it has build in datalogging capabilites, it can be used as a stan alone tracker if independantly powered. Dispite a few negative reviews I read about the tinytrak, It hs worked flawlessly for me and is perfect for anyone who wants so set up a mobile, or just small and compact APRS station. I modified the byonics radio cable by adding a 9V battery clip so the box can stay sealed but I left on the cigarette lighter plug just in case the 9v dies. Since the radio with the antenna attached wouldnt fit in the box I drilled holes in the top and used SMA jumpers to allow any antenna to be screwed onto the box facing upright. The gps board has a U.FL external antenna connector that I utilized, again using a jumper, so that any sma GPS antenna can be screwed on the box. The gps antenna is mag mount so I just glued a magnet to the inside of the box so when the lid is closed you can stick the gps to the top.
Have a look at some pictures!

If anyone has any questions or would like the PCB schematics for the board I made, feel free to email me   

Posts: 490

« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2013, 08:38:53 PM »

That's quite a project. it looks like a big version of the

Posts: 2

« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2013, 12:22:54 PM »

Why would I buy a micro-trak when I already have a radio? My project allows me to reuse every component individually. As an electronics inthusiast I'm always playing around with different components and don't want to buy new ones every time I build a new project. I can just pull out the GPS and plug it into any other project, plus my setup only cost around 100 bucks. 

Posts: 5483


« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2013, 06:58:47 AM »

I did a very similar setup with an Alinco HT.  I lined the inside with copper tape to help as a 2M groundplane and also put in a pack of 8 NiMH batteries.  The GPS puck can stay inside or be used externally like yours.  With the tinytrack controlling the radio power I can get over 24 hours of operation from the internal pack or it can run from external DC.  There's also room in the box to store a palm pilot and serial cable I can use to reprogram the tinytrack in the field.  I like the form factor of that pelican case, it makes a great sturdy but still portable/deployable APRS box.  I have a single external on/off switch outside so once it's set up I can just hit the switch and off it goes.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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