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Author Topic: RadioShack Digitraveller ?  (Read 806 times)
N0RQ
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« on: December 23, 2002, 03:55:32 PM »

Has anyone tried the new RadioShack ( www.radioshack.com ) Digitraveller for APRS?

Specifically, I'm looking for a cheap and reliable solution for a dumb mobile tracker (no PDA, no laptop).  RadShack has the $99 Digitraveller in two versions -- part # 20-1601 for PDA and 20-1602 for laptop.  As far as I can tell, the difference is only the cable and the software.  RadShack doesn't specify, but one place I read said it is NMEA.

It would be nice to be able to hook it up to a www.byonics.com TinyTrak (II or III) or perhaps to a www.tigertronics.com TigerTrak TM-1.  However, I'd prefer not to be the first one to do this, as I'm new to APRS and hardware isn't my forte.

Any comments appreciated!
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KB9YNB
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2002, 10:49:18 AM »

I think once the money all shakes out from Christmas, I'm going to buy one of these.  I have the tinytrakII from byonics (a GREAT kit by the way)  It looks like there might be enough room in the case to install the ttII right into the innards, but I'll have to wait to get my hands on one to see.  I'll try to post back to this forum with my results, and maybe do an APRS article if successful.

de kb9ynb
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AG4XD
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2003, 10:53:15 PM »

Which are you trying to set up, the tracking station or the beacon? It looks to me like the RS Digitraveller is a GPS intended to be connected to a PDA if it is to be any use. It might send the correct strings to the TNC, but it might not. You can just as easily use a low end Garmin eTrex GPS that does not require a PDA to be used as a GPS. Also, the Garmin products are a known quantity -- you know they will work with your TNC, and the price is about the same as the Digitraveller.

Maybe it would be better if you stated your requirements, then let someone knowledgeable suggest a solution that meets those requirements.

Cheers,

Jim
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KB9YNB
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2003, 10:27:02 AM »

The Digitraveller was on sale at RS yesterday when I went.  It was $70.  So, I went ahead and bought one.  From reading the info at www.pocketaprs.com I was able to determine that it did, in fact, output NMEA strings just like other GPS units.  The thing I liked about it was that it was small, included a windsheild/dashboard mount, could be powered by batteries or plug, and looked like it would be easy to modify.  It also used a standard RJ12 plug, which meant I could make cables VERY easily with common parts.

At $70, it seemed like it was a pretty good deal.  Now, if anyone knows the pinout for the RJ12 plug, you'll save me some effort in discovering which is which.  I got the PDA version, which comes with connectors for 3 different PDAs.  The PC version comes with a DB9 connector, which would make it easy to find out which pins are which.

Modifications I want to make are:
1. adding a 7805 so it can be used with standard 12V power.

2. seeing if I can shoehorn the tinytrakII unit into the case. (I don't think there is room.)

Anyone with more information on these units please post to the group! :^)

73,
     KB9YNB
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W7COM
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2003, 06:19:35 PM »

It will plug right in to a TH-D7 if you solder up a cable.  If you get the PC version (9 pin connector) and use a null modem cable with the program cable that comes with the D7 you are good to go.

It does need to have a good view of the sky to work though.  It seems to work fine on the dash.  The RS guy said that he did have one returned by someone that had problems using it with a camper that extended over his truck cab.  But for the price, it's a nice little sender unit.

-Joe W7COM
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N0RQ
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2003, 10:11:07 PM »

My understanding is that RadShack is discontinuing the DigiTraveller.

I picked another unit for my mobile trackers -- Deluo at www.deluo.com -- $89.  It works great with my TinyTrak3.  Details on my web site www.qsl.net/n0rq .  Fun stuff!

Dave N0RQ
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KA1CVV
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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2003, 04:41:10 PM »

I to purchased Digitraveller from RS and got it for $49.95 a real deal as I see DeLorme wants $49.95 plus shipping just for the software of the 2003 ver which comes with it! GPS receiver ran great on older Street Atlas ver 6 with no trouble at all! Now I need to try it on the D700 and UIView 32! Will forward connection info on how to hook-up RJ-12 jack with power so you can run one cable to GPS Engine. TNX de KA1CVv
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KB8ASO
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2004, 07:51:54 PM »

RadioShack recently closed the unit out at $29.95!  The only thing you will find now is the PDA version, but it outputs standard RS-232 just like the PC version.  If you can still find one grab-it!!!!  It has a CMOS for low power draw too!

Randy AB9GO
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