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Author Topic: Foxhunting? Cathunting with a CSI LoCATor  (Read 2220 times)
W8AAZ
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Posts: 335




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« on: April 29, 2009, 03:53:31 PM »

I just purchased a receiver and two radio collars from Communications Specialists for cats.  I have had some cats disappearing lately and am exploring the concept of tracking them to keep tabs. I had looked at the regular wildlife trackers but they are definitely much more expensive. The receiver with built in antenna costs 250$ and the collars are 49$ each. Uses CR 2032 batteries and those are sold for like 6 bucks a dozen. So far so good, I can keep track of the cats easily. Works well, the collars transmit pulses one second apart, and the batteries are claimed to last a month. The receiver is channelised, as are the collars, but the range of the receiver is stated as 218.25-223.29Mhz. The collars are Part 15 devices. The receiver is apparently working with a BFO, besides channel selection, there is a "tuning" control that adjusts the beep tone over a certain range. Has selectable attenuation and volume, and a meter. Runs on a 9 volt battery. Alum. case. Has a two element fold up antenna that is maybe moxon configured? element ends are bent towards each other. Has a pistol grip and with the ant. folded, fits in a pouch that goes on a belt. BNC connector would allow antenna options too.  Well check out the device on the CSI website. This is the PR-100 receiver, and they make collars for cats, dogs, and a hanging loop type that you can attach to children or senile old hams.  Fun but a useful device for me. That is why I bought it and am happy so far with the functioning. www.thecatlocator.com
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K0OV
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Posts: 21




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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2009, 09:55:58 AM »

If you use the "Part 15" cat collar at 218 MHz, you will have rather limited tracking range.  As a licensed ham, you can upgrade to the AT-2B transmitter, which puts out 50 milliwatt "dits" in the 222 MHz ham band.  These transmitters are pre-programmed to ID your callsign in CW every ten minutes.  I have copied these transmitters over four miles away on the PR-100, which has 0.025 microvolt sensitivity.  The receiver IF is very narrow and the AT-2B channels are between the standard 125 cm band repeater channels, so there isn't any mutual interference.

The AT-2B is primarily marketed to licensed hams who fly model aircraft and rockets.  It is also great for introducing youth and Scouts to ham radio via foxhunts in parks or on schoolgrounds.  See my review in the Spring 2008 issue of CQ-VHF Magazine.

Sales information is here at http://www.com-spec.com/rcplane/products.html

73,
Joe Moell K0OV
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W8AAZ
Member

Posts: 335




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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2009, 06:29:52 PM »

But..is that thing available in a collar and sized comparable or bulky?  How about battery life?  I am still using the two original batteries in my two collars and the cats are so far staying in range of the receiver when I do a regular sweep check. The collars and transmitters are 50$ each so I cannot afford one for all the cats, just the ones that wander alot. It is educational to find out where they roam, and they seem perplexed at not being able to hide from me anymore. If I were gonna track rockets or planes or something, I would probably go for the higher power unit though, for sure.  The system as it stands works great! Good foxhunt practice on a daily basis.
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