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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.

Quarter Comparison

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.

SMT Closeup

 The 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.

Top Off

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.

LED's

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.

Two Boards Close Up

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 Weetrak

Posted originally on 11/04 with updates being added on 7/05 and 9/07

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