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Squeak

NEW GPS Tracker

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Looks nice but to many cons :(

Needs a subscription
Uses their server (if they go out of buissiness, it's worth nothing)
Cost is quite high for what it is (a GPS tracker), but it is very customized though.


The GPSes I use to build the same costs about $40 and no subscription or server.
But I'm still having smal issues that needs to be fixed

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Squeak

http://igg.me/at/getitback

This was released at SDC lastnight. a couple of Skydive friends designed and built it.
It looks the goods:)



Honestly while I wish them the best cellphone based communications aren't a solution. Some of the technical fixes they have done are good though.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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Hi Squeak,

Quote

It looks the goods



A few months back, I got asked if I might want to help in the design. Eventually, I spent about 3 hrs with the local design firm offering my thoughts. I have not seen the final design as of yet.

I wish them good luck as I know that they have put a lot of time and $$$ into getting to where they are.

Jerry Baumchen

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This looks great in my opinion and I wish them the best of luck. Seems to be very compact and simple. I doubt I'd pay a subscription, but I'm certain that some people will. Good on you guys!

One question. Are the electronics (I'm guessing the GPS module) exposed like the picture shows inside of the riser? If that's the case, I believe that will be a HUGE design flaw. Here are some thoughts:

A) Wires/Solder points will fail from repeated stress from packing and curving around the harness
B) The electronics module will be crushed or damaged from repeated deployments from the riser covers or just general use. I assume you will be sealing it in silicone or something?
C) What about moisture in freefall/swoop pond on the electronics (or the activation cable) Maybe include an o-ring if it's not already, and silicone the entire electronics module?
D) Cold weather - While jumping, will these wires easily bend when partially frozen and deployed, or while packing on a cold day?

I'm not intending to be an ass, just providing constructive criticism that can hopefully be considered in the final product (if they haven't already). Keep in mind that I'm looking at a picture and making best guesses...

I'd be curious to hear their thoughts on the abuse and how that will be or can be mitigated. I know that if the circuit board was included in the case, it would be much improved, but that's not what it looks like.

***Also, there are several spelling errors on the campaign page.

[inline electronics.jpg]
"When once you have tasted flight..."

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Talked with the people about this. I'm at Summerfest right now.

The unit is encased in a "boot" sort of thing. Fully protected. The pic is to show what it looks like inside. I'm not sure about water resistance.

The basics have been covered. GPS signal goes to a cell signal sent to their place. Then a text is sent to a (or several) cell phones, and the app will let the owner see exactly where it is.

Price is around $170 (USD), service is $99/year or $500 for "lifetime", which will follow the user if there is a device upgrade in the future.

The point was made that it could be used as a "find me" device too. If someone lands out and is hurt, they could (in theory) pull the cable out and activate it. If they had set it up to send a text to a second phone (manifest or jump partner or whatever), it would be simple to find them.
FWIW, after spending quite a while searching for an "out-lander" from last night's sunset jump, cell phones are being required tonight.

I thought about it and will probably pass. I have a fairly old Sabre2, not worth a ton of money.

But I know of several people who have lost brand new (or nearly so) Valkyries. Worth it for them, probably.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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Chris-Ottawa

Seems to be very compact and simple.



I"m not sure I agree. THe pics they show having it take up the inside of the entire front riser all the way from the 3 rings to the dive loop. Not sure how that would work for things like swooping when folks bend those risers in half.

The subscription will probably be the killer as well. I pay an extra 50 bucks on my home owners insurance, and all of my gear is covered. Maybe if the subscription also included insurance more folks would go for it (track your shit with our product, and if you can't find it we'll insure it and get you a new one).

It's a good idea, and moving in the right direction. but for now it looks way too big/bulky and too expensive to buy and then pay for with the subscription.

I hope they raise the funds they want...but 200K seems steep.

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Another thing that occurred to me is battery chemistry. If it's using lipo cells then the last thing someone wants is a lipo fire if they have a rough landing. What if they get ruptured, is the chemical going to render the rig/reserve unairworthy?

-Michael

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uer16

Or even worse, during flight, which will instantly melt the riser in half and blind the pilot with sparks/fire :D. Hopefully we learned after B787 that lithium+aircraft=bad idea.



What will we do about every camera on the A/C having a lithium battery?
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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Nothing (apart from limiting the amount you can carry, which the FAA does). I was just referring to the use of lipo batteries on safety critical stuff. I.e. APU battery on a 787, or in our case a battery on a riser. I'm sure it can be ok if done carefully, but it seems easier to just use more stable chemistries.

In any case I don't know what they use so it's kinda pointless to speculate.

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uer16

Or even worse, during flight, which will instantly melt the riser in half and blind the pilot with sparks/fire :D. Hopefully we learned after B787 that lithium+aircraft=bad idea.



Don't like AADs then?
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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All I'm saying is it's good to be cautious when putting something that might burn like thermite right against your risers, even if the chance of that happening is remote.

If you wanna get technical:
There are lots of different kinds of Lithium batteries. AADs have hard-shelled low-current ones not known to spontaneously combust. Newer laptops, tablets, and phones have flat vacuum-packed lipos that blow the fuck up if you bend them or if you puncture the thin plastic casing.

Unfortunately, looking at the battery pic https://res.cloudinary.com/indiegogo-media-prod-cld/image/upload/c_limit,w_620/v1438124823/g6j1dg71pubyo2j1oxyv.jpg, it looks like they opted for the latter (not 100% sure though).

Apart from that, the thing seems well designed, really like the fpc antenna, would be nice to know more. And no, I don't dislike AADs, but do wish that they were cheaper.

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Lithium batteries of that size are fairly safe and stable. The electronics modules can be very easily sealed with a conformal coating to not only waterproof them but also protect against temperature variations. Small temp changes like going to altitude and back repeatedly will not affect this unit from what i have seen. I work on aircraft avionics and the stress tests we perform on fragile stuff would tell me that this small of a unit will likely be fairly durable. I'd personally re-check the solder joints and the coat it.

I think this is a pretty cool gadget. I also wish the service didn't require a signing up for things and also that it wasn't solely cellular based.

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Hey Chris! My name is Brendan Pope, I'm one of the inventors of the Get It Back. Myself and my partner Taneva Baker have spend the last ~18 months working on this project, and we're excited to finally be able to announce it to the world.

To answer your questions:

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Are the electronics (I'm guessing the GPS module) exposed like the picture shows inside of the riser?



No, the electronic module as well as the antenna are encase in a solid (but flexible) silicone rubber coating, in addition to having some protection from the installation pouch. We have it expose in the photos to give a better idea of what's inside and what sort of components we're using.

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Wires/Solder points will fail from repeated stress from packing and curving around the harness



The wiring we're using is an extremely fine multi-strand designed for tiny bend radii and very frequent flexing in industrial environments. While we can't make everything last forever, they are extremely robust and should last for years, even when used in Tandem rigs and getting packed/deployed 15 times a day.

The antenna connection is not soldered, but a micro-snap connector that is reinforced with a solid coating of epoxy (similar to what's used in many other personal tracking devices, such as you'd find on various GPS pet tracking collars and locator beacons). It's extremely strong, and will easily take any kind of reasonable abuse that you can throw at it. If something hits you hard enough enough to make this thing disconnect, and you've got much larger problems. :)

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The electronics module will be crushed or damaged from repeated deployments from the riser covers or just general use. I assume you will be sealing it in silicone or something?



Yup! It's a very specific grade of silicone rubber that is very flexible, but also abrasion and impact resistant. This coating, combined with the neoprene pouch that installs it onto the riser, give a very good amount of protection from normal usage. I'm sure if you lay the riser out on the ground and whack it a bunch of times with a sizable hammer you could probably damage it, but I'd recommend not using a hammer to pack your rig.

Quote

What about moisture in freefall/swoop pond on the electronics (or the activation cable)



While we do not have the initial budget to take the device through official IEC testing in a laboratory (as detailed here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_Code) and satisfy the legal requirements for advertising something as “Waterproof”, we believe that the design of the device will render it immune to damage from short-term or incidental contact with water. So if you take a dunk in the swoop pond, you should be fine.

The replaceable battery pack is not currently waterproof. While there is no danger in submerging it, corrosion on the internal switch could inhibit it from activating properly. Because of this, we recommend replacing the battery pack if the device does get fully submerged. Replacement battery packs will be readily available and should sell for ~$20.

Quote

Cold weather - While jumping, will these wires easily bend when partially frozen and deployed, or while packing on a cold day?



Yup! Very easily, they're extremely flexible. The only real effect from cold is on the battery pack, below -30c its transmit time begins to drop off dramatically.

Feel free to ask me any other questions you've got about the device! We've been getting a ton of questions about it, and we've been posting some of the more common ones on our FAQ here: http://findmycanopy.com/faq/

*Edits* typos and links

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Hey Michael! I'm Brendan Pope, one of the inventors of the Get It Back.

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I wonder if you could get your slider down on the risers with that?



If your slider is using brass grommets, they will fit over the device and battery pack. (see the attached pictures)

If you're using stainless steel grommets, they unfortunately won't fit over the device (it's frustratingly close, they're less than 3mm too small!). We have an agreement in place with a well-established skydiving equipment manufacturer to provide custom-made new sliders with slightly over-sized stainless steel grommets for about $115. They will also be offering to retrofit your existing slider with larger grommets for less, if you prefer.

If you have any more questions about the device, please ask me! We've put together some of the questions we've been getting into an FAQ: http://findmycanopy.com/faq/

-Brendan Pope
Get It Back

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Quote

I"m not sure I agree. THe pics they show having it take up the inside of the entire front riser all the way from the 3 rings to the dive loop.



Keep in mind that those risers were my (Taneva's) 16" risers. Yes, I am very short ;) For most risers, the sleeve will not take up nearly that much space, and the the device does not fill the sleeve space. We have extra room in each compartment, to allow the system to mold to many different shaped rigs.


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Not sure how that would work for things like swooping when folks bend those risers in half.


The system is quite flexible, and you can still crank on the risers unencumbered.

Quote

The subscription will probably be the killer as well. I pay an extra 50 bucks on my home owners insurance, and all of my gear is covered. Maybe if the subscription also included insurance more folks would go for it (track your shit with our product, and if you can't find it we'll insure it and get you a new one).



We have considered the idea of insurance but we can't guarantee or prove that someone is maintaining their equipment or that they will be jumping within an area with cell service. There are just too many ways for people to cheat the system with that. I've also seen several people who have home owners insurance for their gear denied because the company wasn't satisfied with the police report (generally they want a police report that states the gear was stolen). Home owner's insurance also doesn't cover time without gear if your canopy isn't in stock, or time without work if you are a professional skydiver.

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Hello Hellis, I'm Taneva, one of the inventors of the Get it Back.

Hellis


Uses their server (if they go out of buissiness, it's worth nothing)



Once we get through manufacturing and get the product out to consumers, it’s actually very easy for us to keep the devices connected to the network. So even if we close the doors, as long as you pay the yearly bill we can pay the carriers to keep the device connected from our end. We invested a huge chunk of time and money into a back-end system that would, in the event that we had to stop manufacturing devices, take care of itself, with minimal input from myself or Brendan.

Yes there is a risk to being an early adopter, but we tried to make it as minimal as possible for the consumers. I feel like it’s my personal reputation, of 18 years in the sport, on the line here with my community and family of skydivers if we let you down. Not just money.


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Cost is quite high for what it is (a GPS tracker), but it is very customized though.



I'm not sure exactly what trackers you are referring to. Every tracker we have looked at is as much or more per year, and are only good within a certain country or region. Our subscription allows the device to be used in about 130 countries, without the hassle of signing up for roaming services.


Quote

The GPSes I use to build the same costs about $40 and no subscription or server.
But I'm still having smal issues that needs to be fixed

How are you transmitting the data from your device to your cell phone or receiver then? GPS is receive only and has no transmission capabilities without a cellular or radio transmitter.

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Hey Hackish! I'm Brendan Pope, one of the inventors of the Get It Back.

Quote

Another thing that occurred to me is battery chemistry. If it's using lipo cells then the last thing someone wants is a lipo fire if they have a rough landing. What if they get ruptured, is the chemical going to render the rig/reserve unairworthy?



We are not using Li-Po (Lithium Polymer) battery cells, although Li-Pos are used in everyone's cell phone and go-pros/cameras without problems.

The batteries we're using are similar to the ones found in your AAD. The battery cells themselves are encased in an sonically welded ABS housing which is unbelievably tough; any landing rough enough to possibly damage out battery case would be fatal many times over.

Feel free to ask me any more questions you have about the device! You can also check out our FAQ at http://findmycanopy.com/faq/

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Hey Uer! I'm Brendan Pope, one of the inventors of the Get It Back.

Quote

There are lots of different kinds of Lithium batteries.



Oh man, don't we know it! We spent a solid three months just on battery selection and design. :)

Quote

Newer laptops, tablets, and phones have flat vacuum-packed lipos that blow the fuck up if you bend them or if you puncture the thin plastic casing.



We are not using Li-Pos, partly for the reasons you mentioned but also because they've got very high self-discharge rates.

Quote

AADs have hard-shelled low-current ones not known to spontaneously combust.



AADs (at least the ones that I've examined) are using Lithium Thionyl-Chloride battery cells, which will ABSOLUTELY explode if you treat them wrong. And not only will they explode, but they release some incredibly toxic stuff when they do. They're actually Class 9 Hazmat for shipping, pretty nasty stuff. On the other hand, they're also used in a lot of medical devices, most notably pacemakers.

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Oh man, don't we know it! We spent a solid three months just on battery selection and design. :)



Heh, I believe that :D. Thanks for going through all the questions, pretty rare nowadays to see the engineers that involved with end users.

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