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GPS tracking/location for cutaways

 

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clustermagnet  (D License)

May 7, 2012, 5:06 PM
Post #1 of 38 (3301 views)
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GPS tracking/location for cutaways Can't Post

Guys, other than these folks: http://paratelemetry.com/ (whos email seems to be b0rken), are there any other companies on the market?

Thanks!


theonlyski  (D License)

May 7, 2012, 5:16 PM
Post #2 of 38 (3252 views)
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Re: [clustermagnet] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

There's nothing really cost effective and safe to use.


clustermagnet  (D License)

May 7, 2012, 5:20 PM
Post #3 of 38 (3241 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

really? that bad?
what are the issues with safety?


theonlyski  (D License)

May 7, 2012, 5:23 PM
Post #4 of 38 (3236 views)
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Re: [clustermagnet] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
really? that bad?
what are the issues with safety?

Bulk/attachment ideas have usually put them in places that could interfere with the operation of reserves. Cables to activate it need to be stowed, the beacons need to be secured somewhere (near the 3 rings would be basically the only place you could make it reasonably useful to activate). But then where do you mount it so it's out of the way but still accessible? How do you activate it? How do you locate it after a chop?


377  (F 666)

May 7, 2012, 5:39 PM
Post #5 of 38 (3214 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

Ham radio offers a solution, called APRS.

http://www.argentdata.com/products/tracker2.html

I have a couple of GPS enabled APRS beacons. My smallest one fits in an Altoids Mints tin box and is powered by a common 9 volt battery. Still, that might be too big for a cutaway beacon, I am not a rigger and dont know all the gear issues.

In most areas APRS signals are picked up by repeaters and the results are posted free right here: www.aprs.fi

Here are the raw data packets from a jump two weeks ago:

http://aprs.fi/?c=raw&call=KF6WRW

Data includes latitude, longitude, altitude, heart rate, blood oxygen level etc.

With one of these attached to a cut away main canopy, finding it would be a cinch. Any smart phone with Internet access and an internal GPS could find it.

The Tech class ham license you need to use APRS is very easy to obtain. Just some multiple choice questions from a pool that is published so you can see them all ahead of time. Morse code testing is no longer a requirement for a ham license.

377


(This post was edited by 377 on May 7, 2012, 5:46 PM)


clustermagnet  (D License)

May 7, 2012, 5:53 PM
Post #6 of 38 (3197 views)
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Re: [377] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

Altoids mints box... too big.
altoids also makes a mini mints box... that would work :)


377  (F 666)

May 7, 2012, 6:19 PM
Post #7 of 38 (3174 views)
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Re: [clustermagnet] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

A better builder than I am could probably get everything into that mini tin. The mini GPS pucks I've seen for sale are external, but cell phones have internal ones so I guess it could be done.

377


councilman24  (D 8631)

May 7, 2012, 6:20 PM
Post #8 of 38 (3174 views)
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Re: [clustermagnet] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

Paratelemetry did not use GPS. It used a radio transmitter turned on as the cutaway canopy left the harness and a radio direction receiver. Look up the tracking devices used for falconry and you'll have it.


377  (F 666)

May 7, 2012, 10:50 PM
Post #9 of 38 (3122 views)
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Re: [councilman24] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

Here are some cheap small transmitters that might do the job.

http://www.byonics.com/mf

Here is some info on DF receivers.

http://www.rainbowkits.com/kits/sdf-1p.html

http://www.three-peaks.net/handi-finder.pdf

377


nigel99  (D 1)

May 8, 2012, 1:08 AM
Post #10 of 38 (3100 views)
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Re: [clustermagnet] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Guys, other than these folks: http://paratelemetry.com/ (whos email seems to be b0rken), are there any other companies on the market?

Thanks!

I've been toying with making a system. I've done loads of GPS tracking design and modern GPS engines are tiny (5mm square - excluding antenna). There are 3 main problems with it - in no particular order

1) Transmitter/transceiver unit that is small and generic.
2) Interface/activation to 3 ring system.
3) Financial viability. It costs from 50-100k to develop any commercial electonics that are 'legal' to sell. How many people are actually going to pay what is needed? I'm not sure there is a market.


EZSundayAM  (Student)

May 8, 2012, 6:40 AM
Post #11 of 38 (3029 views)
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Re: [nigel99] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
2) Interface/activation to 3 ring system.

Maybe a device that fits into or replaces the hackey? You manually activate it and leave it on (like CYPRES) Could program to only transmit below a set altitude to conserve battery.

Not perfect but probably cheaper to produce and much easier to integrate into rig. Also more likely to be used by super cautious jumpers who don't want anything "extra" on their 3-Ring..


SansSuit  (D 21554)

May 8, 2012, 6:53 PM
Post #12 of 38 (2913 views)
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Re: [EZSundayAM] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Maybe a device that fits into or replaces the hackey? You manually activate it and leave it on (like CYPRES) Could program to only transmit below a set altitude to conserve battery.

Not perfect but probably cheaper to produce and much easier to integrate into rig. Also more likely to be used by super cautious jumpers who don't want anything "extra" on their 3-Ring..

MOST excellent idea. Lotsa room inside the space of a hackey. Additionally, how about a switch, so that the unit is off when the pilot chute is cocked? When the pilot chute is collapsed, the unit is on. As soon as you land you cock the pilot chute and turn it off. Could whatever antenna is needed be incorporated into the pilot chute itself?


nigel99  (D 1)

May 8, 2012, 9:51 PM
Post #13 of 38 (2884 views)
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Re: [SansSuit] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Maybe a device that fits into or replaces the hackey? You manually activate it and leave it on (like CYPRES) Could program to only transmit below a set altitude to conserve battery.

Not perfect but probably cheaper to produce and much easier to integrate into rig. Also more likely to be used by super cautious jumpers who don't want anything "extra" on their 3-Ring..

MOST excellent idea. Lotsa room inside the space of a hackey. Additionally, how about a switch, so that the unit is off when the pilot chute is cocked? When the pilot chute is collapsed, the unit is on. As soon as you land you cock the pilot chute and turn it off. Could whatever antenna is needed be incorporated into the pilot chute itself?

It is a good idea. GPS and most antenna's that would be used are small enough to go into the hackey replacement.


EZSundayAM  (Student)

May 9, 2012, 6:49 AM
Post #14 of 38 (2838 views)
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Re: [nigel99] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

If you make em I'll buy one!


Susanne_S  (D 5984)

May 10, 2012, 3:14 AM
Post #15 of 38 (2768 views)
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Re: [EZSundayAM] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually I've also been looking for a "cutaway-canopy-transmitter" for quite a while. Good news is: there's already something that works well enough. I'm using the transmitter for one year now without any problems.

I decided against GPS for these reasons:
o The units that are small enough to put them in the main bag need to be recharged every day.
o The units that have a battery that lasts long enough are too bulky.
o The small units still have to much weight to put them in the PC handle in my opinion. A too heavy PC handle can be a factor for malfunctions (PC / bridle wraps).
o If the cutaway canopy lands in an area without mobile reception, you have no chance to find it.

So what I use is a radio transmitter that is located in the main bag. It's extremly light-weight (14 grams) and really small (14x40mm + antenna). The battery lasts almost one year.
The transmitter sends a simple "beep" every few seconds. There's a receiver (something like a radio with a special antenna) to search for the canopy. It shows you which direction to go (the "beep" is louder in that direction). With a little practise this works great. I didn't have any real cutaways last year, just had someone hide the transmitter to try it out.


DougH  (D License)

May 10, 2012, 7:37 AM
Post #16 of 38 (2743 views)
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Re: [Susanne_S] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

How about the 411 on the actual unit that you are using?


Susanne_S  (D 5984)

May 12, 2012, 11:48 PM
Post #17 of 38 (2656 views)
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Re: [DougH] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry, english is not my first language, what does "411" mean?


Squeak  (E 1313)

May 13, 2012, 12:22 AM
Post #18 of 38 (2651 views)
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Re: [Susanne_S] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Sorry, english is not my first language, what does "411" mean?
411 means "What's the information on"/


411 was (might still be) the telephone information number in the States


DougH  (D License)

May 13, 2012, 3:37 AM
Post #19 of 38 (2631 views)
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Re: [Squeak] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Sorry, english is not my first language, what does "411" mean?
411 means "What's the information on"/


411 was (might still be) the telephone information number in the States

Squeak is right, sorry for being unclear. Here in the US dialing 411 will get you the information line for telephone number look ups.

Is the unit you have been using something that can be bought off the shelf? What is the intended use for the product, animal tracking?


Susanne_S  (D 5984)

May 14, 2012, 12:32 AM
Post #20 of 38 (2547 views)
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Re: [DougH] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Smile.

Yes, the unit I'm using is originally made for tracking cats. At the moment I'm trying to make it ready for the skydiving market.

It can be bought in germany. Before I sell it to any other country I have to find out which frequencies are legal to use there. And I'm also trying to get the manufacturers' OK to put that unit in their rigs.


nigel99  (D 1)

May 14, 2012, 1:16 AM
Post #21 of 38 (2539 views)
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Re: [Susanne_S] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Thanks Smile.

Yes, the unit I'm using is originally made for tracking cats. At the moment I'm trying to make it ready for the skydiving market.

It can be bought in germany. Before I sell it to any other country I have to find out which frequencies are legal to use there. And I'm also trying to get the manufacturers' OK to put that unit in their rigs.

A German unit will be manufactured according to EN300-220 and use a frequency from CEPT70-03 and won't be compatible with USA frequencies. If you provide the specific frequency I can tell you where it might be able to be sold as there are exceptions within Europe.


masterrigger1  (D 14167)

May 14, 2012, 4:01 AM
Post #22 of 38 (2525 views)
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Re: [SansSuit] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Maybe a device that fits into or replaces the hackey? You manually activate it and leave it on (like CYPRES) Could program to only transmit below a set altitude to conserve battery.

Not perfect but probably cheaper to produce and much easier to integrate into rig. Also more likely to be used by super cautious jumpers who don't want anything "extra" on their 3-Ring..

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


MOST excellent idea. Lotsa room inside the space of a hackey. Additionally, how about a switch, so that the unit is off when the pilot chute is cocked? When the pilot chute is collapsed, the unit is on. As soon as you land you cock the pilot chute and turn it off. Could whatever antenna is needed be incorporated into the pilot chute itself?


Adding weight to the top of the P/C is a really. really bad idea.

In the early '90s we were building P/Cs with somewhat larger hackey handles. This resulted in quite a number of P/C in tow malfunctions in a very short time span.

The problem was that the added weight of the handle was causing the P/C to somehow tie itself into a knot.

This was happening right as it was pitched and the result was a P/C that could not inflate, thus creating a pilot chute-in-tow.

You probably do not want to re-live the past on this one!

Cheers,
MEL


SansSuit  (D 21554)

May 14, 2012, 1:26 PM
Post #23 of 38 (2482 views)
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Re: [masterrigger1] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Adding weight to the top of the P/C is a really. really bad idea.

In the early '90s we were building P/Cs with somewhat larger hackey handles. This resulted in quite a number of P/C in tow malfunctions in a very short time span.

The problem was that the added weight of the handle was causing the P/C to somehow tie itself into a knot.

This was happening right as it was pitched and the result was a P/C that could not inflate, thus creating a pilot chute-in-tow.

You probably do not want to re-live the past on this one!

Cheers,
MEL

Thank you for the education and history lesson.

To the people who are thinking about making one of these gizmos: How much weight are we talking about here? More than what a hackey weighs?


nigel99  (D 1)

May 14, 2012, 5:08 PM
Post #24 of 38 (2457 views)
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Re: [SansSuit] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Adding weight to the top of the P/C is a really. really bad idea.

In the early '90s we were building P/Cs with somewhat larger hackey handles. This resulted in quite a number of P/C in tow malfunctions in a very short time span.

The problem was that the added weight of the handle was causing the P/C to somehow tie itself into a knot.

This was happening right as it was pitched and the result was a P/C that could not inflate, thus creating a pilot chute-in-tow.

You probably do not want to re-live the past on this one!

Cheers,
MEL

Thank you for the education and history lesson.

To the people who are thinking about making one of these gizmos: How much weight are we talking about here? More than what a hackey weighs?

You could make it lighter, but the tradeoffs probably go against you. Lighter implies small battery, which means lower transmit power and therefore less ability to locate. When using radios the antenna is what governs the overall efficiency. Antennas need to be large relative to the wavelength to be most efficient. The point being for unaided gps you'd want a 25mm square antenna for fastest acquisition. This also plays into the battery and weight calculations.

Of course you can go the direction finder route, as per Susanne, which puts some of the engineering tradeoffs in you favour. I prefer gps though and it can he made small with long battery life (I've designed gps based emergency locating beacons for military aircrew and they were small and long life - but your main is cheaper than the widgetSly


RIGGER160  (D 12345)

May 14, 2012, 7:21 PM
Post #25 of 38 (2442 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] GPS tracking/location for cutaways [In reply to] Can't Post

Robert - It can be done. Jeff did it with his telemetry stuff he used to tranq deer with. It was just a small sleeve sewn on his riser. He ended up using it too shortly after putting it on.


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