The Tiny Trak
SMT Assembly AKA uTrak (microtrak)
It was decided after talking with Byon up in Dayton 04 to make yet another
tracker project. Kyle KG4JPL and Dave KG4YZY built this over one weekend.
However, this time we used the surface mount version of the TinyTrak
3. Full information
about the SMT TinyTrak is now on the Byonics
website. This homebrew one got named uTrak
(microtrak). We'll show you some photos of the project.
The power supply section was completed, however is not documented here. It
used a small 1.2ah volt battery in a package not much larger than
the VX2 to power both the GPS and the radio.
It was decided that the
Yaesu VX2 transceiver would be the best option. It's small, has
alot of features, and can easily be used as a regular radio. Attached to
the VX2 as shown here is the entire GPS antenna, receiver, engine, and
TinyTrak. Yes, all in that little box.
Evermore GPS Mouse 3 was used - retained the use of the case after
some work with a Dremel. The translucent case has some advantages,
to be noted later down. The Evermore GPS is sold here in the states
by Deluo. Also, for those of you
wanting to really save power, a utility called GPS
Manager was available from American Outland as a free download at one
point that allowed you to select what NEMA sentences to output, how often,
and what power saving mode to run this GPS in. Unfortunately this
company is no longer in business, but most newer GPS models have
software similar to this for use.
Here is the assembly out of
the case. The GPS is in two boards. The patch antenna and
receiver is on one board, and the GPS engine is on a second board.
Shown here you can also see the subminiature pushbutton switch placed on
the board to manually beacon. This switch, as you can see was filed
heavily to reduce it's thickness to fit in the small space available.
Here is where it gets
fun. Leave your bowling pin sized soldering irons at home for this
project. A SMT rework station was used to prepare some of the work
done. You can see the SMT TinyTrak sandwiched between the two GPS
boards. It's -very- small. From this vantage point, you can
see why the translucent case was used - you can see the surface
mount LED's on the TinyTrak from this angle, as well as the LED status
indicator on the GPS receiver.
This is the assembly shown
apart. The board on the left is the antenna / receiver with the TT3
SMT mounted to the back of the RF shield on that board. The board on
the right is the GPS engine itself.
This unit is not for sale, it was a home brew
project for one use, and to spur some other creative designs.
Also check out our other tracker, the
Posted originally on 11/04 with updates being added on 7/05 and 9/07